48 Hours in Gdansk: A Surprise Birthday Weekend

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

November 1st was Marks 27th Birthday. He had an action packed weekend planned, a work function with fireworks on Friday, a BYO dinner on Saturday evening and a party at Kennington roof gardens Saturday night. Little did he know that none of it was going to be happening. Instead I had planned for 48 hours in Gdansk.

Friday Morning I broke the news. We would be spending the next 48 hours in Gdansk with two of our closest friends. I’d already called ahead and cancelled dinner reservations, nobody had actually bought tickets to the event and unfortunately we were going to miss his work party. Little did Mark know this was only the start of the surprise.

Arriving in Gdansk at 12.40am we were both tired and a little moody. Thankfully I’d booked an airport transfer through Flatinfo Chmilena Tower where we were staying. The apartment that we had booked was absolutely incredible. Top floor with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a huge living area. As soon as we arrived we got the guided tour, finishing with the enormous balcony…

He pulled back the curtain and got the surprise of his life. I’d also arranged for 5 of our other closest friends to take the flight before us and surprise Mark. I’ve never seen someone so excited, but also so scared. The rest of the evening was a blur of snacks, prosecco, chats and relief that we could all stop lying about the weekend! 3am saw us calling it quits and heading to bed.

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

In all honesty I picked Gdansk as the venue for the party purely based on price. We’d had a great time last time we came to Poland, it was easy on the budget and pretty as anything. So when I went on Skyscanner and searched the weekend with London to ‘Everywhere’ I was stoked to see we could get return flights for under 50 quid! A search on Booking.com showed I could get the cheapest prices I’ve ever seen at a Hilton Hotel, a huge range of hotels with review scores of 9/10 or higher and tonnes of options for groups. A weekend trip to Gdansk for under £100, I knew I was onto a winner.

Gdansk itself is a small town in the northern coast of Poland. Due to its location its historically been an important trading port and just outside the town borders there was the first clash of the second world war. These days Gdansk is the perfect place to go for a city break. Its small enough that you can walk absolutely everywhere, big enough that it has a thriving food scene, and popular enough to have a buzzing nightlife year round.

Day one in Gdansk for us didn’t really start until mid morning (3am bedtimes will do that to you). A coffee and and handful of pretzels later we were out the door and headed to see the Old Town. Thanks to the awesome location of our apartment we were there in under 5 minutes! Within two hours we had ticked off 6 of TripAdvisors Top 10 things to do in Gdansk. Whilst that sounds impressive, chances are if you walk up a pretty street its one of the top attractions.

 

 

Poland really turned the weather on for us over the weekend! ☀🇵🇱

A post shared by Mike& Mark (@theboysabroad) on

After a couple of hours wandering the streets we made a beeline for Chleb i Wino. If you plan to visit anything in Gdansk, make it this restaurant. There was a little confusion when we arrived about our table (they had no idea about our reservation even though I had a confirmation email), but eventually we were seated. The service was a little slow but the food and cocktails were incredible. By no means is what they serve traditional polish food. But if you’ve got a whole weekend in Gdansk you’ll have lots more time for Perogi!

As evening fell we were only halfway through our 48 hours in Gdansk, but we were only just getting started. After 3 hours in the restaurant we decided it was time to make a move. Full of espresso martinis and carbs we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and split our party in two. Half of us headed to Lidl to shop provisions and the others headed back to start getting ready for the rest of the night.

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

I wish I could comment on the nightlife in Gdansk – but we ended up spending most of the night drinking at the built in bar at our apartment! I guess this trip was more about the people we were with as opposed to the places we could see. After a few deep and meaningful conversations, an emotional speech and some ridiculous photos that will never see the light of day we did (somehow) make it out of the apartment just after midnight. We were headed to Flisak 76, a small speakeasy cocktail bar that has criminally low prices but as a table of 9 they couldn’t seat us!

Day two in Gdansk went very similar to the first. We woke up mid morning, ate snacks and talked rubbish until it was time to check out. Reception at Flatinfo Tower were kind enough to hold our bags for the day and arrange a shuttle for us back to the airport. That meant we had the day free to explore without lugging around our carryon!

We wandered up the river (again) and back through the old town (again) until we got to Barylka where we settled for lunch. The food was great, the service a little slow but the location riverside really couldn’t be beaten!

Our group split up with half of us jumping aboard the “Amber Wheel” Ferris wheel. Unfortunately its right behind a construction site so views over the river are average at best. It was interesting to see how similar Gdansk as a whole looked to Amsterdam and Prague though! The ride lasted 15 minutes which was about 5 times too long, we would have been more than happy to get off after the first round – the next four seemed like overkill.

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

After that we only had time for one last drink at The Legendary Jack Daniels Bar before we jumped into our shuttle and headed for the airport. All in all we’d had just over 48 hours in Gdansk, but what a weekend it was!

As far as city breaks from London go Gdansk was incredibly laid back. There aren’t a myriad of museums to visit, there aren’t hundreds of sights to tick off and there definitely isn’t a huge city to have to navigate. The 48 hours in Gdansk we were lucky enough to share with some of our closest friends are some of the most special we’ve had in the entire time that we’ve lived in London.

Someone at work this week actually told me that I should get a job for the Gdansk Tourism board the weekend so much. So would we recommend Gdansk as a city break from London? Most definitely.

 

Related  Visiting a Polish Milk Bar: A taste of communism

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk 48 Hours in Gdansk Poland | The Perfect City Break in Gdansk #Poland #CityBreak #VisitGdansk

 

6 Comment

  1. Your weekend sounds amazing! It’s so difficult keeping surprises from your partner isn’t it! I arranged a surprise party for my husband’s birthday with everyone in fancy dress and I kept it to myself for 10 months, the suspense was killing me! So glad you pulled it off and you are right, trips away with friends tend to be more about the people you are with than the place itself but Gdansk looks like a fab place to have spent Mark’s 27th birthday. Happy belated birthday Mark! #feetdotravel

  2. Happy Birthday! What an amazing birthday weekend and a fun surprise. I have not been to Poland but looks like the price and the lovely architecture in Gdansk would be a nice place to start. Great photos and wonderful places to visit while in Gdansk. I pinned this for later use! #feetdotravel

  3. Ruth says: Reply

    Oh my! I would love a surprise like that! I imagine living in London gives you tons of possibilities like that. I loved Poland too! Like you mentioned, there is a lot to see, a lot to eat and all is very affordable! Many congratulations to Mark! #feetdotravel

  4. Wow that;s a great surprise. Looks like you had a fab weekend and will be sure to add Gdansk to our travel plans.

  5. Definitely the perfect place to city break. Lovely architecture, affordable prices, tasty food and drinks all these make Poland so attractive destination to visit. Happy Birthday Mark!

  6. That’s such a lovely surprise. It’s amazing you kept it a secret. The stand-in bar looks incredible. Mark, you share your birthday with me (Kate). We also try to do cool things every birthday.

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