Poland’s coast: Gdańsk, Sopot and Malbork

View from the top of Old City Hall, Gdansk.

View from the top of Old City Hall, Gdansk.

Gdańsk, the large Polish city on the Baltic Sea, is the perfect combo of beautiful historical city, cool restaurants to check out, and nature and beach just fifteen minutes away. I loved this area so much I extended my stay by several nights. Also, I found several good restaurants, with tasty Polish-inspired vegetarian food.

The cool waters of the Baltic Sea, Sopot.

The cool waters of the Baltic Sea, Sopot.

After a trip the Baltic Sea’s beach, try the vegetarian chain Green Way in Sopot. Sopot is the resort town foil to Gdańsk’s shipyards, and while the restaurants are pretty pricey, Greenways is very reasonable. The menu has vegan and gluten-free options marked, and the chilled beet soup I had is on my list of recipes to try.

Chilled beet soup, Green Way.

Chilled beet soup, Green Way.

Curry and veggies, Green Way, Sopot.

Curry and veggies, Green Way, Sopot.

My find in the city, though, was the little coffee shop Dobra Kawa. It was the rest stop on my free walking tour. Excellent coffee, local art on the walls, and best of all— delicious gluten-free vegetarian pie.

Mmm pie, Dobra Kawa.

Mmm pie, Dobra Kawa.

Dobra Kawa is just outside Old Town, and if you’re looking for a vegetarian restaurant in the main square, give Vegebar a try. They have Polish food ready made, so you can see what you’re ordering. I liked their little salads the best.

Stuffed cabbage at Vegebar.

Stuffed cabbage at Vegebar.

Another happy accident was Billy’s, which serves gluten-free pasta and has a good view of the marina.

Spinach and noodles, Billy's.

Spinach and noodles, Billy’s.

Also, a ten minute cruise from the main center by tram is Avocado, which has excellent vegan food, veggies fresh bursting with flavor. Really enjoyed their stuffed pepper, as well. Down the street is a little coffee shop, Fukafe, that serves vegan cake.

Lunch at Avocado.

Lunch at Avocado.

Mural.

Mural.

IMG_0411And if you have a day to make the trip, check out the Malbork castle. About 45 minutes from Gdansk by train, the view as the train is approaching is like something out of fairy tale or Harry Potter. Built by the Teutonic Knights of Germany, it’s extremely-well maintained, and offers a fascinating view of the history of the area. It’s also picturesque, a rose garden, mandolin players serenading you in rooms with vaulted ceilings— and the audio guide is very interesting. One of the rooms has a cannonball embedded in the wall, from one of the wars fought in Poland— vividly showing Poland’s historical struggles.

Drawbridges are great. Malbork Castle, Poland.

Drawbridges are great. Malbork Castle, Poland.

Lastly, a place you should check out is the Solidarity museum (Europejskie Centrium Solidarnosci) on the site of the old shipyards. The museum itself is filled with interactive displays and cool historic memorabilia, and walks you through the Shipyard deaths, to the final days of Communism, to Lech Wałęsa elected as Poland’s president, all the Communist leaders voted decisively out.

The worker's original requests, posted outside the shipyard, and helmets, Solidarity Museum.

The worker’s original requests, posted outside the shipyard, and helmets, Solidarity Museum.

Didn’t get out to Gdynia, the third city in the trio of coastal cities. Which just means I’ll have to go back…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s