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Gdansk Christmas markets


Lisah78
25 Oct 2017  #1
Hi
Just wanted some advice about travelling from U.K To gdansk for the Christmas markets in December
I'm hoping to travel with my young child fora few days and want to know if it's worth a visit! I have never visited Poland before but very much like the idea of doing so .

Any advice appreciated x
Harry
25 Oct 2017  #2
Just wanted some advice about travelling from U.K To gdansk for the Christmas markets in December

It's a very nice city and there's a fairly new train from the airport to the city centre. I've not been to the Christmas market but the city is well worth a visit at any time of the year (I'm going myself in a couple of weeks to avoid the parade of neo-Nazis in Warsaw on 11 November). What specific questions did you have?
OP Lisah78
25 Oct 2017  #3
I was just askin advice on best places to stay, where to visit of interest n if there was much of a Christmas market. Also is there anywhere to avoid as I would be alone with my small child and wouldn't want to take any unecessary risks.

Thanks for ur response x
Harry
25 Oct 2017  #4
advice on best places to stay

I like the Radisson, book ahead and you can get a room for about £55 with breakfast. If that's too much just have a look on Skyscanner.pl and use the price filter to set the price at whatever level you want.

where to visit of interest

The entire old town, the museums (WWII and Solidarnosc museum in particular, apparently).

Also is there anywhere to avoid as I would be alone with my small child and wouldn't want to take any unecessary risks.

The whole of the old town area is very safe indeed.
spiritus 67 | 663
26 Oct 2017  #5
If you go to Gdansk then you should also go to Gdynia and Sopot. Very easy to get to by train. The three cities are very close to each other and have their own identity but Gdynia and Sopot especially have nice beaches which your child might enjoy.

Gdansk is great to explore too, plenty of gothic looking buildings etc
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2017  #6
Don't forget to try a cup of hot mulled wine. They always sell this at Christmas markets. It keeps the cold out, and puts a smile on your face.
Harry
26 Oct 2017  #7
Don't forget to try a cup of hot mulled wine.

At least one of those. And some of the hot mead, have you tried that yet?

Gdynia and Sopot especially have nice beaches which your child might enjoy.

This is an excellent example of why it's a good idea to only take travel advice from people who've actually been to the place in question. Personally I have lived in Gdansk and Sopot and can assure you that December is a terrible time to go to the beaches. In fact it's absolutely the worst time of year to go: January and February will be colder than early/mid December but in December the sea has more heat stored up, which means that the air is wetter than in February and the cold feels colder. Factor in the wind whipping in across the bay and you've got the worst places in the Tri-City then. Even the badlands of Zabianka are better: at least they have building where you can warm up in and there's a fighting chance that you might even leave the area with most of your valuables.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2017  #8
hot mead, have you tried that yet?

No, sounds nice. Can't say I've seen it sold at the Christmas markets I've been to. Perhaps I had eyes only for the wine.

I'm not sure I'd fancy Gdansk in December. One of the reasons I left the UK was that damned cold wind.
Harry
26 Oct 2017  #9
I'm not sure I'd fancy Gdansk in December.

The old town is fine. Admittedly when the wind's in the wrong direction and whipping up the long streets such as Dluga, that is less than idea but there are lots of side streets to duck into, and an impressive number of cafes and bars, far more than when I lived there. Of course on the beach there are no side streets and all the bars and eating places are shut in December due to nobody sane wanting to spend time on the beach then.

Can't say I've seen it sold at the Christmas markets I've been to.

I've only seen it the last two winters in Warsaw, might not have spread up to your neck of the woods yet.
jon357 63 | 14,122
26 Oct 2017  #10
I'm not sure I'd fancy Gdansk in December.

Bitterly cold there in the winter.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2017  #11
I can handle the cold. We had minus 32 for a week here about five years ago. Not much fun humping coal in that. It's the wind that gets me.

I like those places when you can have fish and chips outside with a few cold ones. In August.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,423
26 Oct 2017  #12
It's the wind that gets me

Same here we got only -27 last year, but if you put me in the wind at -5 its damn nasty, the problem is Gdansk is always windy, brill in summer tho.
OP Lisah78
26 Oct 2017  #13
So I should buy a majorly warm coat and hat n drink lots of vodka to keep out the cold 😂
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
26 Oct 2017  #14
n drink lots of vodka to keep out the cold

in fact alchohol lowers your core body temperature, so no.
DominicB - | 2,671
26 Oct 2017  #15
@Lisah78

If you were staying for a longer time, it would definitely be worthwhile investing in proper winter gear, with emphasis on (real) wool, (real) down, (real) fur and (real) leather. Long down-filled coat, fur-lined skin gloves, long woolen underwear, sweater, scarf and socks, solid leather high shoes and a good hat. You will be comfortable even at -30 with a strong wind.

For a few days, though, you'll just have to bring the best you can and dress in as many layers as you can. And hope for the best weather you can get. If it does drop down to -30 with a strong wind, you won't be spending much time at an a outdoor market, so make sure to find things to do indoors.

You are aware that vodka is the leading cause of people freezing to death in the world?
OP Lisah78
26 Oct 2017  #16
I assure u I am well aware of the dangers of vodka 😳
-30 seems a little too extreme for me n my daughter so maybe it'd b wiser to wait till warmer months to visit.
spiritus 67 | 663
26 Oct 2017  #17
This is an excellent example of why it's a good idea to only take travel advice from people who've actually been to the place in question

Will you just shut the f*ck up Harry.

You're like a broken record. I have been to Poland many times, my wife is from Gdynia. If you keep spreading lies about me then I will start with you........

Message to the mods-if you want to ban me then do it but idiots like Harry who carry their poison from thread to thread get away with it. I replied in all helpfulness to the OP. I haven't baited Harry yet he can't stop being a d*ckhead.

Lisa, sorry for that but this forum has it's fair share of bullies who try to dominate threads by belittling the opinion of other members.

Now, as you are going to Gdansk in December I thought it was pointless in telling you that the "winter is cold" blah blah blah. I assume you know all of this anyway :)

I wasn't suggesting you don your bikini but children love beaches whether it's hot or cold and I still maintain Sopot and Gdynia have nice beaches that your child will enjoy. Yes, it will be cold but you'll be dressed warmly. There's a famous pier in Sopot that on fine days, (even winter days.....Harry) people promenade up and down taking in the view whilst kids love feeding the swans on the beach (took me a while to get used to seeing swans on a beach-here in the UK you only get them in lakes and rivers).

There is usually a skating rink just at the front of Sopot pier in December which may or not be your thing :) Kids especially love the chocolate bars, Sopot has one called Blikle or Wedel (always get them mixed up) where they serve an amazing array of hot and cold chocolate drinks....google it !

Gdynia also has a nice beach with it's own kids playground right on the sand. Polish winters can be harsh but Poles are used to it so if you're blessed with a sunny day in December then there will still be plenty of people walking around.

There is also an aquarium on the pier in Gdynia which kids love.
OP Lisah78
26 Oct 2017  #18
Now an ice rink sounds wonderful
I did expect it to be cold obviously n am sure I can tough it out with the correct apparel

Don't want to be causing any friction between u guys so maybe we can all just play nicely now 🤔
Ziutek 9 | 160
26 Oct 2017  #19
@Lisah78
I live in Gdańsk and naturally think it's the best place in Poland. However, I'm not sure it has the best Christmas market. If I were you, I'd consider Wrocław and maybe Kraków. As far as the beaches are concerned, of course you can go for a stroll on them in the winter but part of their attraction is the numerous bars, stalls and restaurants that they contain but which, with a few exceptions, close at the beginning of September.
DoggyDogg
27 Oct 2017  #20
I want to visit Gdansk. I was in Warsaw and Krakow. Too many people are recommending Gdansk(I want to go to Wroclaw too)
DominicB - | 2,671
27 Oct 2017  #21
I'm not sure it has the best Christmas market. If I were you, I'd consider Wrocław

I second that. If it is a Christmas market you are looking for, the one in Wrocław is the best.
Atch 17 | 2,839
27 Oct 2017  #22
@Lisa78, it depends on whether your priority is visiting Poland or visiting a Christmas market. If it's the Christmas market (especially with a little one accompanying you) then Poland isn't the obvious choice as Germany and Austria have a much greater tradition in this area, it's a relatively recent thing in Poland with the exception of the Kraków nativity scenes. If you're definitely set on Poland then I would agree with other posters that Gdansk is not a great choice. The market will be nothing special and the seaside in a Polish winter is not the best choice. You won't see the place at its best. Agree with Ziutek that Wrocław and Kraków will have more spectacular markets.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
27 Oct 2017  #23
As well as that, Poland pretty much shuts down at Christmas. I agree, Germany has beautiful Christmas markets, where you can buy well-made wooden tree decorations and toys. Save Gdansk for the summer.
mafketis 20 | 7,159
27 Oct 2017  #24
it's a relatively recent thing in Poland

This cannot be repeated enough. There is just no big post WWII tradition of Christmas markets in Poland for different reasons.

The communists weren't about to promote or even allow such a thing

In the early years after communism people were too busy scrambling to make a living to give the idea much thought, traditional post WWII Christmases were hard enough to carry off (see below)

They're basically a German thing and after communism Poland really wasn't looking to the German cultural sphere for inspiration (unlike Czecz and Slovakia and Hungary).

Their relatively recent appearance in Poland is more about the expanding economy (and a population looking for more fun things to do) than anything related to traditional Polish christmas customs.

It should be noticed that in the early 1990s Advent in Poland was the most goddannned depressing thing ever. Pitch black night by 17.00 and freeze your @ss off weather, no decorations (big ole nada), people stomping around with big frowns on their faces, no work or other social get togethers or activities...a very hard ajustment for someone from a country where it's a time of a lot of parties and social activities....
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
27 Oct 2017  #25
-30 seems a little too extreme for me n my daughter so maybe it'd b wiser to wait till warmer months to visit.

Not every winter we have -30' and sometimes in November sometimes in February.
Dougpol1 30 | 2,928
27 Oct 2017  #26
If it's the Christmas market (especially with a little one accompanying you) then Poland isn't the obvious choice as Germany and Austria have a much greater tradition in this area

Rome has the best Christmas market I've seen. No libations though as the Italians don't drink on the street....

PS to the OP: Around Christmas here is fine, it's just the wind and the dark days as someone said. Gdansk is seldom below -5 degrees in the daytime.


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