Tourist's Toolkit - tips and tricks, i.e. the most important information for a tourist
Updated: Nov 9
Gdańsk is a beautiful city on the Baltic Sea, which has a lot to offer tourists. Monuments, museums, beaches, culture and cuisine - these are just some of the attractions that await you in Gdańsk.
If you are planning to visit this city for the first time, then this article is for you. Here you will find the necessary tips and tricks that will help you organize a successful stay in Gdańsk. You will learn e.g. how to get to the center from the airport, where to find cheap accommodation and food, what to see and do in Gdańsk and how to get around the city.
Before we get into specifics, however, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Damian and as you may have noticed, this blog is the blog of my company dealing with intercity transfers and airport and hotel taxi.
But apart from running a transport company, I am also a Gdańsk citizen from birth, I love this city and I will try to help you so that you will love it too.
I will not force you to use my services, if you want, you will find the e-mail address yourself. I will focus here on tips so that you will remember your stay in Gdańsk pleasantly.
You will also learn what are the dangers and what to watch out for, so that a promising stay does not turn into a real nightmare.
I invite you to read!
What are pBlik and PayPal payments
How to get from the airport to the Centre?
Speaking of transport from the airport, in this chapter I will explain to you why companies like mine operate despite the fact that prices are always higher than those of the competition. But I will also tell you what other options are there for transport from the airport to the city center. I want you to choose the one that suits you best and fits your budget.
Airport Lech Wałęsa in Gdańsk is located about 16 km from the city center, in the Rębiechowo district. It is one of the largest and most modern airports in Poland, serving over 5 million passengers a year.
From the airport you can get to the center of Gdańsk or other cities of the Tri-City (Sopot and Gdynia) in several ways:
By train: This is the fastest and cheapest option from the airport to center. SKM (Fast Urban Railway) trains run every 15-30 minutes and stop at several stations in Gdańsk, e.g. in Gdańsk Wrzeszcz and Gdańsk Jasień, Gdańsk Morena. A normal ticket costs PLN 3.50, and a concessionary ticket costs PLN 1.75. You can buy it at the vending machine on the platform or through the SKM Mobile, Bilkom application. The journey takes approximately 20-25 minutes. The downside is the lack of a direct connection with Gdańsk Główny, to get to the center you have to change to the SKM train at the Gdańsk Wrzeszcz station. Or Take the tram.
By bus: This is the second cheapest option from the airport to the city center . ZTM (Municipal Transport Authority) buses run every 10-20 minutes and stop at several stops in Gdańsk, e.g. at the Main Railway Station and Brama Wyżynna. A normal ticket costs PLN 3.20, and a concessionary ticket costs PLN 1.60. You can buy it at the vending machine at the stop or through the SkyCash application. The journey takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
By Taxi: This is the most convenient transportation option from the airport to the city center. Taxis are waiting for you outside the Arrivals terminal. You can order them via the application or use the services of the official partner of the airport: Neptun Taxi. The price for a ride to the city center is around PLN 70-90, depending on the destination and the time of day. The journey takes approximately 20-25 minutes.
Airport & Hotel Transfer: This is an option for those who value comfort and safety. Transfer is a service provided by transport companies such as mine, which consists in picking up the passenger from the airport by the driver and delivering him to the indicated address. The driver is waiting for you with a sign with your name in the arrivals hall and helps you with your luggage. The price for a ride to the center is about PLN 100-120, but it is fixed and independent of traffic jams or flight delays. The journey takes approximately 20-25 minutes.
Currency, cards and ATMs - how to pay in Poland?
If you are coming to Poland from another country, you need to know that the currency in Poland is the Polish zloty (PLN). There is no euro, dollar or pound in official circulation here. The zloty is divided into 100 groszy and comes in the form of banknotes and coins. Banknotes have denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 zlotys, and coins of 1, 2 and 5 zlotys and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy.
How to exchange currency for PLN?
If you bring cash with you in a different currency, you can exchange it for PLN at exchange offices. Exchange offices are currency exchange points that you will find in city centers, airports, train stations and shopping centers.
Exchange offices usually offer better exchange rates than banks and do not charge additional fees for the transaction, but only earn on the exchange rate difference. However, rates may vary depending on the exchange office and currency.
That's why it's a good idea to compare several offers before making an exchange. You can also check the current exchange rates on the website of the exchange office, it is also worth comparing it in the online calculator and with the interbank exchange rate.
Beware of currency scammers and money changers
One of the things you need to watch out for when paying in Poland is old banknotes and coins. In 1995, the Polish zloty was denominated, it consisted in the exchange of money in the ratio of 10,000 to 1. This means that one new zloty was equivalent to ten thousand old zlotys.
Old banknotes and coins have lost their value long ago and are no longer legal tender. However, some scammers may try to take advantage of tourists' ignorance and sell them or give them change in old money. Don't fall for it!
You can easily distinguish old banknotes and coins from new ones because they have many more zeros on the denominations, they are in a different size, and their most important distinguishing feature is the emblem depicting the Polish eagle without a crown, a symbol of the country occupied by communists.< /strong>
If someone tries to give you old money, say no and ask for new money. If someone tries to sell you old money as souvenirs, don't buy it - it has no collectible or historical value.
How to pay by card?
Paying by card is very popular and convenient in Poland. The vast majority of shops, restaurants, hotels, service outlets and gas stations accept payments with Visa, Mastercard or Maestro cards.
Some places also accept American Express or Diners Club. Paying by card is usually free or involves a small fee (e.g. PLN 0.50). If you pay with a foreign card, you can choose whether you want to pay in PLN or in the currency of your country.
It is usually better to choose PLN because the exchange rate is more favorable than the one offered by the issuing bank.
Contactless payments are becoming more and more popular, in Poland currently the limit for contactless transactions without a PIN code is usually PLN 100.
You should also remember that it is not customary in this country for the waiter to take the card to the back, the vast majority of payment terminals are wireless or located at the cash register.
Blik and PayPal payments
Very popular payment methods, especially when it comes to consumer purchases, are payments via payment systems.
In Poland, the most popular is Blik, but unfortunately it is only supported by customers of Polish banks at the moment of writing this article, this fact is to change in the future. Other very popular systems are PayPal, PayU and Blue Media.
Blik is a Polish payment system that works based on applications banking. To use Blik, you must have an account in one of the banks cooperating with the system and activate the service in your application. Blik generates a six-digit code that is used to authorize the transaction. You can pay with the Blik code in online and stationary stores that accept this form of payment, as well as withdraw cash from ATMs and send money to other Blik users. Blik payments are safe, fast and free.
PayPal is an international payment system that works with address e-mail. To use PayPal, you need to create an account on the website or in the mobile application and connect a payment card or bank account to it. You can pay with PayPal at online and offline stores that accept PayPal, and you can send and receive money from other PayPal users. PayPal payments are safe, fast and free in one currency. Fees may apply for currency conversion or cross-border money transfers.
How to use ATMs?
ATMs are easily accessible and widespread in Poland, it can even be said that they are everywhere. You can find them in city centers, airports, train stations and shopping centers. ATMs accept Visa, Mastercard or Maestro cards and some other networks (e.g. Cirrus or Plus). You can withdraw PLN or another currency (if the ATM offers such an option).
You can also deposit cash at an ATM with the cash deposit option. ATM withdrawals may incur transaction or currency conversion fees. These fees depend on the operating bank and the issuing bank
Revolut - useful not only in Poland
Revolut is an international online payment system that lets you shop online and in-store and transfer money between users in over 150 currencies with no hidden fees. A lot of tourists around the world also use this solution, which undoubtedly makes life easier.
The Revolut card is a payment card that you can order via the Revolut mobile app or website. A Revolut card can be physical or virtual.
A physical Revolut card is made of plastic or metal and has a chip and magnetic stripe. You can use it to pay in stationary stores and withdraw cash from ATMs.
The Revolut virtual card is only available in the app and is used for online payments. You can also use Apple Pay or Google Pay if you link your Revolut card to these services.
The Revolut card has many advantages and features that make it easier for you to manage your finances. Here are some of them:
You can pay with your Revolut card in over 150 currencies at great exchange rates. You don't have to worry about currency conversion or additional fees for foreign transactions.
You can send and receive money from other Revolut users for free and instantly. You can also send money to bank accounts in different countries and currencies for low fees.
You can control the security of your Revolut card through the app. You can block and unblock your card with one click, change its PIN or CVV code, set spending limits or disable certain types of transactions.
You can use disposable virtual cards for online payments. These are cards whose details change after each transaction, which prevents data theft or fraud.
You can get instant notifications for every transaction you make with your Revolut card. You will see the amount spent, account balance and transaction details.
You can earn up to 1% cashback or rewards on every transaction you make with your Revolut Metal card. This is a special card made of solid steel that is only available to members of the Metal plan.
Where to go shopping - so as not to go bankrupt?
If you're coming to Poland as a tourist, you probably want to save some money on groceries. You don't have to worry, in Poland you will find many shops and markets that offer cheap and good products.
Here are some tips on where and how to shop in Poland:
If you want to do more grocery shopping, it's best to go to one from large supermarkets, such as Lidl or Biedronka as well as Carrefour and Dino. These chain stores are very popular and common throughout the country. There you will find a wide selection of food, beverages, cosmetics and household goods. The prices are very affordable and there are often promotions and discounts. You can pay by cash or card.
If you need to buy something small or fast you can use one from numerous local or chain stores, such as Żabka, Freshmarket or Carrefour Express. These stores are open every day, often late into the evening or even around the clock. There you will find basic food products, drinks, sweets, newspapers and cigarettes. Prices are slightly higher than in supermarkets, but you get more convenience and accessibility. You can pay by cash or card.
If you need to buy medicines or other medical products, you can go to a pharmacy or pharmacy. Pharmacies are usually open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. Pharmacy outlets are part of other stores or markets and have longer opening hours. In pharmacies and drugstores you can buy prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as painkillers, patches, bandages and condoms. Drug prices are regulated by the state and depend on the type of drug and reimbursement. You can pay by cash or card.
Also remember that some medications over the counter or dietary supplements and condoms or sanitary napkins you can buy them in regular stores and even at 24-hour gas stations.
If you want to buy alcohol, you have many choices. Alcohol is sold in grocery stores, gas stations and specialty liquor stores. You can buy beer, wine or stronger drinks such as vodka or whiskey. Alcohol prices vary by type and brand. To buy alcohol, you must be 18 years or older and show proof of identity at the request of the seller. Some municipalities have restrictions on the sale of alcohol at night.
Gdańsk Tourist Card and tourist information points
Another way to save a few PLN is Gdańsk tourist card, it is a special card that allows you to visit Gdańsk and the region at an attractive price.
The tourist card offers free admission to over 20 tourist attractions and discounts to cultural facilities, entertainment venues and partner restaurants. In addition, after purchasing the card, you can top up a ticket for public transport in Gdańsk or the entire Tri-City.
The tourist card is available in various packages, tailored to the needs and interests of tourists. You can choose the Explorer package, which includes the most important historical and cultural attractions of Gdańsk, the Metropolis or Metropolia + package, which also allows you to visit Sopot, Gdynia and other cities in the region, or the Tastes of Gdańsk package, which provides culinary experiences and tastings of local products.
The tourist card is valid for 24 or 48 hours from the first use. It can be purchased online at https://kartaturysty.visitgdansk.com/ or at one of the points of sale in the city. The price of the card depends on the type of package and entitlements. There are regular and reduced prices for children, teenagers and seniors.
Tourist information are places where you can get help and advice regarding your stay in Gdańsk and the region, buy a guidebook or map and find a guidebook offer. Tourist information offers free maps, leaflets, guides and booking of accommodation and tickets. Tourist information is available in several locations in Gdańsk:
Tourist Information of the Main Town - ul. Long Market 28/29
Tourist Information Railway Station - ul. Podwale Grodzkie 2
Tourist Information Airport - ul. Słowackiego 200
Tourist Information Energa Stadium - ul. Generations of Lechia Gdańsk 1
Beware of scams in nightclubs and strip clubs
If you plan to visit a nightclub, a club. Go-Go, strip club or brothel in Poland, you have to be very careful.
An organized criminal group has been operating throughout the country for a long time, extorting money from customers of these premises. The police close down more premises, put people in prison, and in place of closed places of this type, new ones spring up like mushrooms after rain.
This is an illegal business worth millions of euros, I personally drove a customer cheated in such premises several times, one confessed to me that he lost over 60,000 euros in one night!
Here are some tips on how not to be deceived, and how to protect yourself from them:
Don't fall for a free drink or pass. It's often a trap to get you into a club and give you a drugged or sedated drink. You may lose consciousness or judgment after drinking such a drink. An honest and good nightclub with an unblemished reputation in the community does not have to lure its customers in this way.
Do not give out your payment card or PIN to anyone. Club employees can persuade you to pay for services or drinks by card, and then charge your account with huge amounts. Some customers lost even several hundred thousand zlotys in this way. If you must pay by card, always check the amount and receipt. And what is most important in Poland, you pay with a card by doing this yourself, you do not give the card to the waiter, he can only bring a payment terminal or ask you to come to the cash register with the card.
Don't be talked into a private show or VIP room. This is another way to extort money. You may be forced to pay for services you did not request or receive.
Don't trust waitresses or dancers. They are part of a criminal group and are designed to lure you into a trap. They may pretend to be interested in you, fuel your desires, or ask you for financial help. Don't fall for their charm and manipulation.
Do not go with anyone to another place or apartment. You may be kidnapped, beaten, robbed or blackmailed. Do not trust anyone who offers you to continue having fun outside the club. Always return to your hotel or accommodation by safe means of transport.
Report any fraud to the police. If you have fallen victim to a criminal group operating in nightclubs and strip clubs, do not hesitate to report it to the police. The more entries, the better the chance of breaking this group and getting your money back.
In Poland, services in brothels or striptease shows cost about PLN 300-400 in an hour or a show, if you consciously go to such a place, it's better protect your card with a limit in advance.
Always ask for the price of a drink. You will be encouraged to buy the lady a drink, often it will be very expensive, it is also part of manipulating you to spend as much as possible in such places. In fact, if you buy a drink for the person working in the club, they will most likely drink a non-alcoholic drink and you will pay for 50 year old whiskey.
Remember that a nightclub or strip club is not a safe or fun place. It is a trap for naive and reckless tourists. Don't be fooled by advertisements or invitations. Always be alert and careful.
This does not change the fact that there are clubs in the Tri-City that have been operating for years, they have the opinion of proven and relatively safe places.
One of these places is the Ewan Cabaret in the heart of the old town. This is a strip club where you can go with your friends.
When it comes to brothels, Bodega in Gdynia and Rozi in Gdańsk have been operating for years. These are proven places, but remember that talking about safety in this type of establishment is like talking about safety while bungee jumping.
Accommodation - how to find the best place
Poland is a beautiful and diverse country that offers many tourist and cultural attractions. If you are planning to visit Poland, you need to take care of the right accommodation that will provide you with comfort and safety. What to look for when choosing accommodation in Poland? Here are some tips:
Choose the type of accommodation that suits your needs and budget . In Poland you will find many different accommodation facilities, from luxury hotels and apartments, through resorts and guesthouses, to cheap hostels and campsites. You can also take advantage of the agritourism offer or rent a whole house or a summer house.
Choose an accommodation location that is convenient for your travel plans. If you want to visit big cities, look for accommodation in the center or close to public transport. In Gdańsk Centrum and the old town area, you can choose from a dozen or so facilities of various standards. If you want to relax by the sea, look for accommodation close to the beach or campsite. If you want to get to know the local culture and traditions, choose accommodation in small towns or in the countryside.
Compare prices and reviews from other guests on websites offering accommodation reservations . You can use services such as e-turysta.pl, noclegi.pl or booking.com for a wide selection overnight stays in Poland. Check the availability of dates, terms of booking and payment, as well as ratings and comments from other users. Choose accommodation with a good value for money ratio and positive opinions and don't be afraid to use uncle Google.
Book your stay in advance to secure your place and avoid unpleasant surprises. Some accommodation facilities can be very popular and fill up quickly, especially during the summer season or during holidays and cultural events. Book your accommodation online or by phone, confirm your reservation and keep your proof of payment or booking confirmation.
Enjoy your stay in Poland and take care of your room as if it were your home. Respect the rules of the accommodation facility, do not make noise and do not damage the equipment. Keep your room or cottage clean and tidy. Pay for your services and drinks as you go or before you leave. Leave a tip or positive feedback for the staff or owner.
Travel safely and responsibly
Traveling is a great opportunity to get to know new places, cultures and people. However, we cannot feel the same safe and at ease everywhere.
Every tourist, wherever they go in the world, faces various dangers. Vacation is often a time when we are distracted, sometimes we approach the issue of security lightly, a tourist around the world is an easy target for scammers.
Despite the fact that we are in Europe, there are slightly different customs in each country, fraudsters can also take advantage of this.
In this article, we have described several ways they can scam you. We also presented you some ways to save a few zlotys during your vacation.
Remember, I'm not writing this to scare you, I just want you to keep it in the back of your mind.
Being careful wherever you are in the world, your stay won't turn into a nightmare.
Poland is one of the safest countries for tourism. Nevertheless, it is better to always be vigilant, because they can rob you even in front of your own house.
We wish you a successful and safe journey! See you in Gdansk.