3 Places to Find Romance in Gdańsk

A backpackers budget doesn’t really allow for romance whilst travelling. When Luke and I travel, we’re not always having a romantic time. We don’t have enough travel money to visit fashionably romantic destinations like Paris or Venice, we’re always Couchsurfing or staying in a dossy 10-bed hostel dorm room, and we move from place-to-place quite quickly.

Poland itself hadn’t been the most romantic travel destination. Being on the Angloville programme, trembling at Auschwitz, hiking up steep icy slopes in Zakopane, and being lost in gloomy Warsaw hadn’t conjured up any romantic moments. Then, unexpectedly, things changed. We alighted a train when the sun was setting over Gdańsk and began walking toward our dossy hostel. The city had a certain charm. It was different, in Gdańsk there was romance.

 riverside in Gdańsk Romance in Gdańsk
The riverside in Gdańsk is lined with gorgeous buildings and cafés.

If you’re travelling to Gdańsk as a couple, you don’t need to splurge on a lavish hotel and a posh meal to make your time there romantic. Here are 3 romantic activities we enjoyed during our stay that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

1Ambling through the streets

It may seem obvious, but travellers often have their head buried in a map, or otherwise get caught up in getting from A-to-B as quickly as possible. take time to look around you. The city is full of cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, and historic sights. Amble by the riverside in the evening when violinists play in the archways and the main square is flooded with the warm glow of the street lamps.

streets of Gdańsk Romance in Gdańsk
Ambling through the beautiful streets of Gdańsk.

2Breakfasting at the Retro Café

I find eating breakfast really romantic. It sounds a bit bizarre, I know, but for me there is something exciting about waking up with your other half (the relief that they’re still there maybe!) and sharing food at the breakfast table. I love eating breakfast out too, because you can always eat something more exciting than what you would usually rustle up at home. The Retro Café is a classic, jazzy café that opens for breakfast at 10am. The mugs are adorned with quirky moustaches and the lamp shades are made from top hats.

Retro Cafe moustache cup Romance in Gdańsk
How do I look with a moustache?
Retro Cafe moustache cup Romance in Gdańsk
Luke looks a little more handsome.

Admittedly, I thought that our breakfast was taking a long time to arrive… When it came, I realised why. Layered granola, yoghurt and jam with freshly cut fruit (10 PLN), sumptuous.

Retro Cafe Granola Romance in Gdańsk
Breakfast Granola at the Retro Café costing only 10 PLN (£2)

3

 Having a tipple at Café Kamienica

We spend most of our evenings just crashing, or walking around, but Gdańsk is a city rich in tempting wine bars. We gave into the temptation and rolled into Café Kamienica, an arty café bar exuding a warm atmosphere with very little pretension. The drinks menu is endless, ranging from full-bodied reds and honey beer to mango tea and dark hot chocolate.

Café Kamienica Romance in Gdańsk
Me admiring the art in Café Kamienica

Forget Paris and Venice, Poland has its very own city of love. You don’t have to look far to find romance on a budget in the city of Gdańsk, although there is definitely the opportunity to splurge if you want to. Gdańsk is a perfect place for a long-weekend romantic getaway for couples travelling on a budget. Cheap flights with Ryanair and Wizzair across Europe, as well as plenty of budget hostels and meals costing around £3 per person mean that Gdańsk is very affordable.

Have you visited Gdańsk? Are there any other quirky places you’d recommend for a romantic getaway?

Charlie Marchant

Charlie is a long-term traveller from the UK who writes about simple ways to travel sustainably, including how to become a house sitter and slow traveller, eating local and vegetarian, and making responsible travel choices.

29 thoughts on “3 Places to Find Romance in Gdańsk

  1. Gdansk is where Cez was born and raised, so this post made him so excited and happy. So glad you found this city so interesting and cheap. I was there in winter 2 years ago, but hope to make it there this summer. We’re back in Poland for a month in August so we will definitely visit this coffee shop and have some granola. 10 PLN? That’s nothing!

  2. Oh it sounds lovely Charlie! Just moseying around the streets and stopping now and again for a nice coffee is my favourite way to spend time in any European city. I don’t think I’ve even heard of Gdansk before but now I definitely want to go. It looks really beautiful.

    1. Yes, me too. I really appreciate being able to do that in Europe since travelling in Asia where it’s much harder because of traffic, crowds and lack of coffee shops. Definitely put Gdansk on your list, it’s a really underrated place!

  3. I find eating breakfast romantic too! Even if I’m doing it by myself because my other half is still asleep….(This happens frequently.) All I need is a good book and a cup of coffee. Best part of the day.

    Also you both look great with mustaches.

  4. This looks like such a charming place! I haven’t been to Poland yet but will be visiting later this year after we move to a neighboring country. Hopefully I’ll get to spend a few days in Gdansk!

  5. I’m also like you, and find breakfast, or even lunch and dinner, can be quite romantic. I never thought of Poland being as romantic as other European countries, but I think you can find romance anywhere with the right person :)

    PS. That layered granola breakfast thingy just looks devine!

    1. I never thought of Poland as romantic either, but you’r right, with the right person anywhere can seem romantic :)

      Oh my gosh, that granola was so delicious!!

  6. Glad you enjoy Gdansk! I’ve lived here for 4 years and it’s still gorgeous and magic place… You must come back here in the summer – warm, sunny evnings are REALLY nice and… romantic :) And the sea, of course! Sopot is also a very nice place.

    Warsaw is worth a visit in December – Castle Square looks wonderful! There’s big christmas tree and laser illuminations… (here’s some stock photos from schutterstock: http://shutr.bz/1n7DDWN).

    1. Hi Natalia, oh Gdansk was wonderful, I’d love to go back in the summer, although we had great weather in March. We stayed with a host family in Sopot when we were there :) Are you Polish?

      Oh Warsaw looks gorgeous there! Thanks for sharing that clip and photos with me =)

      1. Gdańsk is beautiful but I must say Kraków is my favorite ! It has the same old world style streets, romantic restaurants and great location in proximity to other attractions.

  7. Hi Charlie,

    Love your blog!

    Can you recommend a good place to stay! You’ve totally sold me on Gdansk! I’m a solo female traveller and my budget isn’t super tight, but I am all about finding the culture. Any recommendation from you or fellow readers are very welcome!!

    Thanks a million :)

    1. Hi Lizzie – thanks so much! Actually, when we stayed in Gdansk we Couchsurfed and were hosted by the most awesome family who lived a couple of towns along in Sopot. We stayed in one hostel for a night before our flight which was one of the cheapest in the area and wasn’t particularly nice (wouldn’t recommend it). Good luck with finding a great place to stay though! I’m sure there are lots of good ones in the area, and maybe check on AirBnb too? :)

  8. What an amazing story on my beloved City. (I had to share it on my FB page)
    I’m Gdansk born Pole living now in NYC. These 3 places are great, but this is just the tip of locations and activities you can experience in my birth city and around. Retro Cafe is great. Also for little less touristy and even more charming coffee and breakfast experience I recommend PIKAWA on Piwna ulica (Beer street). I also love their name which is very clever word game and double meanings. Letter Pi and KAWA (polish word for COFFEE), but also PIKAWA which is Polish funny way of talking about heart suggesting that your heart (pikawa) will get its boost at this location. My every visit back I always have to stop by for a great coffee, shake or breakfast at PIKAWA. Even on the budget, but with more time allowed for stay in Gdansk I recommend a visit to SOPOT by SKM train and walk from the SOPOT Glowny (main) station towards the beach and molo (pier). With even more time you can’t miss the day trip on the train to MALBORK with its biggest in the world brick castle by Teutonic Nights. This was their capitol for many years and one of the most romantic places to visit when staying in Gdansk for more than a day.

    here is their Facebook page
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pikawa/208596792484979

    1. Hey Roman – thanks so much for sharing, that’s awesome of you! I hadn’t heard of Pikawa but will definitely check it out if I’m lucky enough to be back in Gdansk in the future :) And yes, we stayed (Couchsurfed) with a family in Sopot for 5 days and had an awesome time! Sopot is very lovely too. We also visited Malbork en-route to Krakow and thought the history was very interesting (and the beer there was very good too!) Thanks so much for sharing all the info :)

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