I’d never even heard of Gdansk before last month. I came home after a particularly stressful day at work and Robin suggested we had a weekend away, perhaps visiting a Christmas market in a cold European city. Immediately I thought of Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam and Krakow, but our little pennies couldn’t quite stretch to the dizzy heights of the traditional top ten best markets, so we used Flight Checker to see what we could afford.
Have you used Flight Checker? It’s a brilliant website c/o Martin Lewis from Money Saving Expert. It allows you to enter your budget and your preferred dates then click “I’ll go anywhere” and it provides a list of flights that meet your requirements. We wanted to see where we could go for under £100 return per person and up popped Gdansk at £41!
A bit of research told me Gdansk is a northern city in Poland offering me the elaborate architecture I wanted and Robin the cold temperatures he desired. We flew on Friday evening, came back on Sunday afternoon and had a wonderful winter weekend.
We stayed in an apartment in central Gdansk which I found via Patio Apartments on Airbnb. It was absolutely beautiful and perfect for our requirements; comfy beds and in the perfect location – just a four minute walk to the Christmas market with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants in between. The apartment was so modern that the beautiful bathroom had lights built in to the mirror with a special magnified circle at the side to help you do your make up. This was so incredible that I took photos and it’s now on my wish list for the dream home.
Saturday morning we got up early and found a little cafe that did the most delicious scrambled eggs on butter – so delicious, in fact, that we went back for more on Sunday morning before dashing to the airport.
We spent Saturday wandering the streets of Gdansk, enjoying lots of food and mulled wine and hot chocolate before it got dark. The market is at its best in the dark, with lots of beautiful light displays. The bonus of our apartment being two roads away meant that when we got very cold or the pains got a bit much, we could go home for a half hour rest and wifi fix! Thankfully we only did that once. Also, another thing to note: if you’re a fan of amber then you’ll LOVE Gdansk. It’s everywhere!
The Christmas market in Gdansk is fairly small, so if you’re looking for something grand like the 300+ stalls at Dusseldorf market then this probably isn’t for you. Gdansk market has approx 40 stalls with a range of Polish foods and Christmas decorations, as well as lots of lovely, warm, woolly items of clothing to ward off the winter chill.
My favourite bar was an underground beer cave serving delicious mulled wine. It also had this slightly strange picture across the main wall which was pretty intriguing.
It was a long and wonderful day, with two three-course meals and lots of Polish treats in between. After a slow walk back to the apartment, I took one last photograph. This was the view from our front door. Beautiful.