Gdansk, the amber capital was actually more than an hour worth of bus ride from the sea port at Gdynia where the Caribbean Princess docked at.   Because of the inconvenience of getting into town from the port, taking the shore excursion from Princess Cruises was the best and safest option.

Alternatively, passengers can opt to take a Princess Cruises shuttle to the train station in Gdynia and get to the town of Gdansk on their own.  The cost of the shuttle is not much lower than taking the land excursion to justify the time and inconvenience of taking a train on our own, therefore, taking the land excursion was still our best bet.

Yet, another option was to explore the city of Gdynia which is about 2km from the port and within walking distance.

The main town of Gdansk. It feels so much like Bruges and Tallinn all over again.  Perhaps, the only difference was that we felt a bit safer in those two cities than in Gdansk.

Along the way to the main town, we had a quick sightseeing tour of Gdansk city from the bus.  Poland used to be under communist rule for quite some time, and the impediments to its development can still be seen in the city.  Even a relatively upmarket hotel like Novotel looked old-fashioned in this city.

Spot the large ferris wheel and you’ll know that you are near to the main street.  This ferris wheel is one of the tallest structure in town, its hard to miss it!

The Green Gate in Gdansk is easily the most notable tourist icon.  It is the gateway to the main town of Gdansk and is flanked by the Long Market and the River Motlawa.  The Green Gate was also where our tour guide left us to explore the main town on our own, and the central meeting point to get us on the ride back to the Caribbean Princess.

The main town looms ahead.  With maps provided by our tour guide, we had at least 3 hrs to explore this place on our own.

St Mary’s Church<

The most notable structure upon entry into the main town was St. Mary’s Church. Entry to the church is free, but you do need to pay a fee to climb up to the tower.

Inside St. Mary’s Church.

We paid a fee to climb the 405 steps up the 78 metre high tower.  If you have Polish currency (Zloty) with you, then you will just need to pay a token sum of 6 Zloty per adult. They also accept the entry fee in Euros, but the amount is a lot higher than the fee they accept for their local currency.

The start of my 400-over steps workout for the day.  The spiral staircase was narrow, leaving no space for anyone to walk side by side, and no railings to hold on to, we were afraid to miss a step and tumble down the stairs!

Step 150…. 300 more to go!!

Looking at the interior of the church tower as we climbed.  The word eerie crept into my mind a few times.

More steps on the way.  It seemed like we paid to do a workout here, when we could have easily used the free gym on the Caribbean Princess!

But once we got to the top, the view was quite worth our physical exertions in getting up here.  This was the best picture we got of the main town of Gdansk!

Spotted the ferris wheel!

Some of the other beautiful structures in the main town of Gdansk. Just like Bruges and Tallinn, this old medieval town is a photographer’s haven.

Market Place of Gdansk

Ventured into the marketplace of Gdansk, where lots of hand-made crafts were sold at good prices.

In fact, prices were even cheaper than that in Tallinn,  provided that you have some Zloty on hand to buy them.

Irresistibly cute!

Beautifully crafted jewellery for only 10 Zloty – that’s about only SGD $3.60!

If you are interested in music boxes, there are plenty here…

There are several money changers in the main town of Gdansk, but the exchange rate from all of them were exceptionally terrible.  Because all the shops and restaurants in Gdansk do not accept Euros, we had no choice but to make a bad trade if we want to do some shopping here.

Quick Bite @ Cafe Ferber

At least it means that we got to sit down at a cafe for a meal..

Shopping again!

Back to shopping and exploring the main town…

There is a reason why Gdansk is called the amber capital of the world.  Even at the sidewalks, amber jewellery are sold at good prices.  Of course if you are looking for a good piece, the up-market jewellery shops have them as well..

Out of the green gate, the long market is another place to explore..

Before we go back to board the bus back to the ship, we couldn’t resist taking photos of the ferris wheel along the harbour.

Join us next on our disembarkation tour to the Stonehenge!

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