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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?