Hi, my husband I are planning a trip to Gdansk next June. Would like to have some recent recommendations on accommodations in Gdansk. Thanks so much!
Hi, My recommendation for a place to stay in Gdansk (Danzig) is not that recent. I was there in early July 2003, stayed four nights at a Pension called Dom Aktora on ul Straganiarska 55/56 located in the old town. Very satisfactory, good breakfast, room included the facilities. No other anglophone guests were there at the time I stayed there. Still it was not long enough then. I wished that I had had another two more nights in Gdansk. How are you arriving in Gdansk? Going there from Berlin with two train changes, one in Poland, seemed to take forever, but it was a nine plus hour ride on punctual trains...interesting landscape.
I cruised the internet for several hotels and got a GREAT rate at the Radisson Blu - the rooms were large and the location can't be beat. As noted above, getting in and out of Gdansk by train makes for a long day - I flew in as part of my open-jaw then took an airberlin flight to Berlin.
Thank you for your advice! Greatly appreciated. We plan on staying at least a week and will probably fly direct to Gdansk from JFK with one stop. My mother was from Danzig and that is why we are traveling. She died when I was 9 and I have no information on her background except for paperwork she filled out for her citizenship. A long story short, my evil stepmother threw everything out. Anyway we want to fly to Gdansk and spend a week and possibly go onto Italy through Croatia where my spouse's grandfather was from. Any information on Italy, Croatia and Gdansk are much appreciated. We would like to take the train from Gdansk to Croatia but I haven't researched the reality of this as of yet. We are still in the early planning stages. Was Ricks book on Gdansk helpful? Thanks for all your help! Debra
We would like to take the train from Gdansk to Croatia but I haven't researched the reality of this as of yet Not realistic - just look at the distances. You'd be treking across multiple countries in Europe, not just one or two. Plus train service in Croatia is only relevant in the north; once you get a little south/coastline, it's all buses. Fly a cheap carrier (or Croatia airlines) instead unless you have all the time in the world to sit on and change trains. Info on Gdansk:
My husband and I have tentatively looked at driving from Gdansk through Austria, Prague and wind up in Dubrovnik for some time then fly to Italy or take the overnight ferry to Italy. Any suggestions on recent accommodations in Dubrovnik, Rome, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast or Dubrovvik or Austria would be greatly appreciated. Also in anyone has done this route with a dual combination of trains and driving their experiences would be appreciated. I always feel where there is a will there's a way! We plan on 3 weeks total in Europe. Thanks a lot! Debra
The cross-border rental car return fees will eat you alive. In addition they might not let cars from the EU proper into Croatia. Croatia is not a full EU member. I think the first part of your trip is doable, the second where you fly to Italy I think is a stretch.
Hi, If you want to fly to Gdansk, then I would suggest this if it works for you: Fly from JFK to London LHR, then change in London Stansted (?) to Wizzair to go to Gdansk.
Thanks so much for the input! Why would flying to Italy be a stretch? Would we need more time than 3 weeks to do this or is the ferry a better alternative? Any new accommodations in Croatia, Vienna etc available?
Hi, True on the drop off fees on a rental car. I would suggest that if flying out of Gdansk (Danzig) with Wizzair, see if they go to Warsaw, Krakow, Vienna, Prague, Munich, or Zagreb. Then take the train from these junction points, esp Munich and Vienna, to Croatia, say Zagreb. You might have to do two flights or a fly and train combination. Yes, three weeks would be better. Accomodations in Vienna: Numerous hotels and Pensionen in the immediate area of Westbahnhof (west train station), various price ranges, Motel One (the newest) is connected to the station, Mercure is very close by. Westbahnhof is where I always stay, extremely convenient with trams and the U-Bahn (subway)
Fred - the city is called Gdansk - the name Danzig is a dirty word, not only in Gdansk, but in Poland as a whole. from wiki - "Poland was given full rights to develop and maintain transportation, communication, and port facilities in the city. The Free City was created in order to give Poland access to a well-sized seaport, while acknowledging that the city's population was roughly ninety-five percent German. The Polish minority in the city continued to be oppressed and Germanized by the local German authorities. They faced significant resentment and hatred from the German population. and local authorities continued policies of discrimination and oppression against the Poles. In 1933, the City's government was taken over by the local Nazi Party, which suppressed democratic opposition. Due to anti-Semitic persecution and oppression, many Jews fled. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Nazis abolished the Free City and incorporated the area into the newly formed Reichsgau of Danzig-West Prussia. The Germans classified the Poles and Jews as subhumans, subjecting them to discrimination, forced labor, and extermination. Many were sent to death at concentration camps. During the city's conquest by the Soviet Army in the early months of 1945, many citizens fled or were killed. After the war, many surviving ethnic Germans were expelled and deported to the West when members of the pre-war Polish minority started returning. The city subsequently became part of Poland, as a consequence of the Potsdam Agreement. Polish settlers were recruited to replace the German population." The residents of Wroclaw, find it equally offensive to have their city referred to as Breslau.
If it is a "dirty word" then it depends if one accepts it or rejects it. A matter of choice? Why does DB use it still? They use both words, Gdansk Glowny and Danzig Hbf. That publisher of tourist site picture books, be it on Paris, Marseilles, London, Rome, Vienna, Krakow, Prague, etc in various languages, French, Italian, English, German, Spanish, etc all have the title for the city "Gdansk", except in the German language version has "Danzig" as the title.
Yes, Fred, please stop calling Polish cities by German names. It's like rubbing salt in old wounds.
@ Agnes: That is certainly not my intention and your point is well taken. Some of the Poles I met during my three trips there knew both names of a place, the current Polish name as well as the historical German name. one such example: When I was going to Torun in 2005, I wasn't solo, as usual, but one of a party of three. the other two native French. After transfering in Poznan, we sat amongst a group of Polish university students. One of them hearing the native French spoken by the two, started a conversation with us. You had the impression she wanted to practice her French. She told us that they were going to the terminus, Olsztyn, then she said the old historical German name for the place, Allenstein. That was a surprise.
Gdansk is BOTH the historic and current name - Danzig was the interloper name.
i don't see why all of you are getting mean to each other over the name of Gdansk. Every race, religion has been persecuted at one time or another some more than others. I certainly don't want to cause anyone to dislike me but my mother (who is dead - shedied at 38 7rs when I was 8) was born in Danzig in 1925. I have no history of my mother or her family, according to family legend my grandmother died when my mother was 6 yrs. old. When the Russians moved in my mother and her aunt were on the run one town behind the Allies, she lost track of father, never found out what happened to him and she lost her aunt in Liepzieg. My dad was in the air force and met her in Munich. The rest is history except for not only did my mother die young but my dad died 6 yrs later at 46 from a stroke at the dinner table. I would like to visit where my mother was born and lived for awhile. That's all. I certainly would never insult anyone knowingly. So please could we put our differences aside and help with accommodation info and travel info to Croatia through Austria and Prague then to Dubrovnik and then to the Amalfi Coast in Italy? Thanks everyone! BTW has anyone used Rick Steve's travel guides at $50/half hour? If so, was it worth it? Thanks!
We were in Gdansk last year with a tour group. Our tour guide there was the guide Rick recommends in his book. Sorry, I don't have her name handy, but she was excellent! Spoke English very well and was extremely knowledgeable. While in Gdansk, I recommend taking a trip to Sopot. Very beautiful little area right on the Baltic Sea. We stayed at the Novotel Gdansk Centrum. Not the fanciest of hotels, but very comfortable and great location. It is an easy couple of block walk to the center of the town. If you are looking to do any sort of research on your family, I would highly recommend hiring a guide in Poland to help. We went to look for information on my husband's family. By hiring the guide and giving her the information we had in advance, she was able to contact the church and make arrangements in advance to allow us to come in and look at the records. Records in Poland are very complicated due to the war, various occupations, etc. Without having someone that knows what they are doing, it becomes very difficult to figure it out on your own. We also found that the English of some of the people in the smaller towns was not very good, so having a guide who could communicate for us was invaluable.
Many cities over 200 years of age have had many names. The names have historical significance. Poland in particular has had many identities. We used Rick Steves' telephone service and found it somewhat helpful. The problem with the guide books is that they present many choices in a pretty much equivalent level. The telephone discussion can help settle specific questions. Before speaking to the guides, make sure you have read up on things yourself. Specific questions are better than general questions.
Thanks Paul for the info and to everyone for their advice! I check in everyday to see if any new posts! Again, thanks! Debra
Debra, Several years ago we stayed at the Hotel Bonum, which is now part of Best Western. The rooms were clean, comfortable, a bit larger than average, and the receptionists were helpful and friendly. It is a five minute walk from the main tourist areas. There is no air conditioning.
Be sure to check out Malbork Castle. It's about a 45 minute ($3) train ride from Gdansk. Admission is about $6 and includes a hand-held electronic guide (like an Iphone) that gives you information in a wide variety of languages. Malbork (dare I say Marienburg?) was the seat of the Teutonic Knights when they were fighting the crusade against Lithuanian Pagans. Because stone is in short supply, I believe it's the largest brick castle in the world (foundation stones brought from Sweden). I don't have a great hotel recommendation but I'd want to be an easy walk from St. Mary's Church downtown. Gdansk has one of the nicest medieval centers anywhere and should have plenty of eating/people watching options.
Malbork is fantastic - you shouldn't miss it. I ditto all of Brad's comments. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Malbork; it's an amazing site.