Thinking of visiting Gdansk with kids?
There are so many things to do when visiting Poland with kids. Whether you’re visiting Gdansk for a weekend break in the summer, or a Gdansk Christmas, you will find activities for families throughout the whole city at any time of year. Here are some of the best things to do in Gdansk with kids plus how to plan and make the most out of a city break in Gdansk with kids.
Poland is a country that adores children, and this becomes clear when you visit. The number of things to do in Poland with kids is astounding, and Gdansk for kids is a wonderland of jewels and pirates, beaches, playgrounds, and food.
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Is Gdansk worth visiting?
It is absolutely worth visiting and should be a destination that is high on your European travel list.
Not only does a Gdansk city trip introduce you to a coastal city with a fascinating history, but it comes with pirate ships, interactive museums, and a traditional carousel and Ferris wheel in the heart of the city. Poland for kids is a wonderland of exploration and education.
How to Get to Gdansk, Poland
Flying to Gdansk: You can fly into Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport (GDN). The airport serves the entire tri-city (Gdansk-Sopot-Gdynia) area. Find flights for your dates here >>>
Why not book this private transfer from Gdansk Airport to the city
Driving to Gdansk: If you’re travelling from within the country by car, take these routes:
- From the east, take the S7 highway to the 89, then turn onto the 501 to take you into the city.
- From the south you will take the S6 highway to the S7, then take the 91 into the city.
- Northwest take the 6 highway to the E28, which will provide you with multiple entry points into the city.
- Southwest take the 20 highway to the 7 which turns into route 501 and takes you into the city.
Train to Gdansk: If you are travelling to Gdansk from within Poland, PKP (intercity trains) offer multiple routes from all Polish locations.
Where to Stay in Gdansk with Children
Gdansk is a perfectly safe and fun city, and staying anywhere in the Gdansk city centre (old town) will give you things to do for a couple of days, if not more.
For those who wish to treat themselves, there are plenty of rooms available with views of the Motlawa River or the picturesque old town, and the following suggestions are all just a stone’s throw from the carousel, panorama wheel and the Long Market.
Mid-Range: Hotel Artus
The boutique Hotel Artus is just 50m from the Long Market and the statue of Neptune and is as central as you can get in the old city. Buffet breakfast and shuttles from the airport are available. Rated 9.8 by those staying with kids.
Splashing Out: Hilton Gdansk
Of all the hotels in Gdansk city centre, The Hilton is one of the most notable. Located on the waterfront in the old town, there is an indoor swimming pool on the top floor with panoramic views of the city. Facilities include a gym, sauna, and an international cuisine restaurant. Shuttles are available from the airport. Buffet and other breakfast options are available.
Best Things to do in Gdansk with Kids
It is easy to fill a few days with fun things to do in Gdansk without having to travel far outside of the city centre. Since the city is compact and traffic in the old city is limited, it is easy and safe to walk around and visit sites on foot. Nothing will ever be too far away if you’re staying in the city centre.
#1 Play Department
The Faculty of play is a 400-metre square playroom that is modelled after the shipping industry and is an education facility to teach children about stages from ship construction to cargo voyages.
It might be best to do some planning for this one, as there is a maximum of 35 people who can enter the Play Department every full hour.
One adult may accompany a maximum of three children. Single children may be accompanied by a maximum of two guardians.
Tip: Outdoors shoes must be removed, so arrive prepared with indoor shoes or socks that have an anti-slip coating.
#2 A Walk Through the Old Town
Gdansk is a city full of hidden details. The drain pipes in the old city are characters and silly faces, making them fun for families to spot. There are the lion statues that are well polished by pant seats, and rows of beautiful old historic houses in Polish and Dutch-influenced architecture.
Families can take a walk along the waterfront and eat Polish or international cuisine. Bonus if it’s Christmas, as Gdansk is festive and lively during the holiday season. Walking through the old town will bring you to many of these other must-see locations on the list.
#3 The Gdansk Carousel
The Italian-style Gdansk Carousel, painted in historic scenes from Gdansk, is open in the summer months and is eye-catching and exciting as you approach it along the Motlawa River. It’s a fun time for parents and children alike, and delicious ice cream is never too far away.
#4 Panoramic AmberSky Wheel
The Gdansk Panoramic Wheel (AmberSky) provides a great view of the city from 50 metres and even has a VIP car if you want to splash out.
Regular prices are 32zl. 22zl for those under 140cm. Check local information for seasonal openings and hours.
#5 Oliwa Zoo
Oliwa zoo is a great way to spend a day in Gdansk. Here you will find big cats, exotic birds, reptiles, monkeys and much much more. Open year-round. A bonus: it is part of Oliwski Park, which in itself is something to explore. Easily accessible by tram.
#6 Hevelianum Science Center
Hevelianum is a brilliant science centre not far from the city centre (roughly 1.5km). Here children age 3 and up (and their parents) will enjoy the mix of play, science and history. There is a creative playground for kids up to the age of 9.
For kids and teens, there is a journey “Around the World” where they can interact with tech and learn about the magic of each unique continent.
Related Post: Best Theme Parks in Europe for Families
#7 Ride a Pirate Ship
When you walk along the Matlawa River you will not be able to miss the 17th-century galleons that tour majestically in and out of the centre like something from a Pirates of the Caribbean film.
The ships are beautifully designed and kids can enjoy playing pirates while family can enjoy a beverage. Rides can be booked on-site, and private bookings and parties are also available.
#8 Parks and Playgrounds
In Poland, there is always somewhere to play. No matter the season or weather, there is always a place for little ones to let out their energy. For walking (or running), visit the beautiful Oliwski Park.
If your children like adventure, you can visit an outdoor rope course.
Inbad weather, there is a large indoor playground at the Arena, adjacent to downtown.
Reagan’s Park, Kraina Zabawy has a large and spacious outdoor playground and a skate park (with the best beach in Gdansk nearby!).
Parrots, meerkats, lemurs and more! If you get stuck with bad weather, Papugarnia is a great way to spend the day indoors. Be sure to read the regulations before you go!
You can’t mention Gdansk beaches without mentioning the other two tri-city stops: Sopot and Gdynia. Each has its own flavour and something to offer. Sopot is a resort town with a long beach that can be enjoyed in any season if you’re dressed for it. Gdynia has a trampoline park that will make sure the kids are nice and calm on the trip home.
Take the SKM train from Gdansk central station and choose your destination for a very easy day trip.
Where to Eat in Gdansk
Eating in Gdansk means you have a broad range of Polish and international cuisine. Here are a few top choices:
- Tawerna Dominikańska (Polish)
- Billy’s American Restaurant (American)
- Casa Di Amic (Italian)
- Niepokorny Bistro (Polish)
Tawerna Dominikańska (Polish)
Some of the best food in Gdansk can be found at Tawerna Dominikańska. Very affordable Polish cuisine is situated right on the river near the carousel. Children can look for the snake that lives under glass on the floor.
Billy’s American Restaurant (American)
Classic American dishes with Italian, Polish, German and Mexican influences. Four locations around the tri-city area. Located on the Matlawa River.
More Information: billys.com
Casa Di Amic (Italian)
When only pizza can save the day. (Sorry Gdansk cuisine!) Other dishes are also available and they deliver.
More Information: casadiamici.pl
Niepokorny Bistro (Polish)
Beautiful and delicious cuisine that won’t break the bank.
More Information: Niepokorni Bistro
How to Spend 2 Days in Gdansk with Kids
You will not run short of things to do with kids in Gdansk. How you mix and match days and itineraries is entirely up to you. This two-day itinerary makes for the perfect Gdansk weekend break.
Day 1: 24 Hours in Gdansk
Morning: Take a walk down the Long Market through the old town. Look at the old architecture, search for funny drainpipes, relax near the Neptune statue, see Gdansk city hall, visit shops and eat ice cream.
Be sure to visit Amber Street (Ul. Mariacka) to explore the region’s rich history of amber treasures. (See if kids can find any million-year-old insects!).
As you stroll you can visit Gdansk’s famous old crane, and if your children are interested in trying their hand at (pretend) sailing, you can visit the National Maritime Museum. All are within the same square kilometre so you will never get too tired from walking.
Afternoon: If churches are your interest, there is a famous Gdansk church with some historical wonders inside. Visit the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a gothic wonder that is free to enter, but if you want to see all of the features, you must pay. International and local cuisine can be found everywhere in the centre, and be sure to try some of the local dishes.
If the kids didn’t get enough of their pirate play at the Maritime museum, you can take a 90-minute tour of the city on a 17th-century galleon pirate ship! These beautiful replicas can be found sailing up and down the Matlawa river, and schedules are listed on site.
Later in the day when the lights come on, visit the Italian-styled Gdansk carousel and the AmberSky Wheel for beautiful views of Gdansk at dusk.
Day 2: 48 Hours in Gdansk
Morning: Time to explore some fun outside of the old town. You can easily take public transport, car or taxi to get to your next destination. (Note: children under 150cm legally need car seats – usually at the discretion of the driver.)
Oliwa Park has enough to see for the whole day unless you prefer to get another site in. The park is a sprawling garden that will delight the young and not-as-young, and the zoo is also nearby. Try to catch an organ recital at the Oliwa Cathedral (noon most days, 15:00 on Sundays).
Afternoon: The park is an easy way to fill a day, but should you find yourself finished early, head 5km to the Kraina Zabawy in Reagan’s Park. There you will find sprawling greenery, bike paths, a huge playground for children, and the best beach in the city. You can eat dinner here or head back into the centre.
Alternatively, look at any of the following options and decide what’s best for you.
3 Days in Gdansk
Start your departure to arrive early at the Hevelianum Science Centre. (Check site for hours, they can change seasonally.) can take the local bus and walk partway, or you can walk the full distance from the old city if the kids can trek 1.8km from the city centre.
If you want to fill their brains with more engaging activities, you can head across to the European Solidarity Centre or about 1km from the city centre. After a full day of these brain-challenging activities, they will be sure to get a good sleep.
4 Days in Gdansk
How you spend the fourth day in Gdansk will largely depend on your own family’s interests. You can take a Gdansk city break and see Malbork Castle, 60km south of Gdansk. (Also has indoor activities in case of rain.)
Poland has many sites that can be visited beyond the Gdansk Cathedral and the Oliwa Cathedral. If you are a history buff, there is a WWII museum (though young children are not encouraged to visit the main exhibits, there is a place for them to learn as well), or revisit the carousel and panorama wheel.
If you are looking for something beyond those, one option is a visit to Papugarnia, a place where children can interact with exotic animals. (Again – be sure to read their regulations before you visit. No buttons allowed!)
It’s never a good idea to overbook activities in Gdansk because you are always guaranteed to find more than you expected.
Day Trips from Gdansk for Families
There are many options for day trips outside of Gdansk, and all are easily accessible by bus or tram. If you wish to stroll along a beautiful sand beach and walk with swans, you can see them in many places in the region.
Activities for kids are guaranteed no matter where you go. The rest of the tri-city area as well as the Hel peninsula are the best options for day trips from Gdansk.
It’s hard not to be charmed by Sopot, with its traditional beach houses and chic restaurants. In the town’s walking street centre there is always a rush of activity, and children will be dazzled by toys, buskers and ice cream with every step they take. Summers here are busy, and it’s not hard to see why. Sopot is worth a visit any time of year. Get there easily by SKM train.
Stay on the SKM train and move onto Gdynia, just a hop over from Sopot on the way to Hel. Keep the kids close as you step off the train into the bustling Monte Cassino walking street. Find more science fun for the kids at Pomorski Park Naukowo-Technologiczny and take a sea walk along the Orlowo Pier.
A full day of its own, the Hel peninsula is a geographical wonder in the Baltic. As you get to the seaside town of Hel, you are immediately immersed in the history of the region as a fishing port and military defence post.
You can visit the lighthouse, eat fish in one of the many seaside restaurants, and visit the seal sanctuary (lines can be long, so arrive early). Take the hiking path out around the peninsula as well to find the old military bunkers.
Bring a sweater or jacket, as the winds can be a little crisp off the Baltic.
When is the best time to visit Gdansk
The best time to visit is the time that suits you best. Gdansk is wonderful at all times of the year, but due to the fact that it’s a coastal city, rain or snow can be fairly unpredictable. Summer is frequently sunny and warm, and with beaches nearby it offers families a wider range of activities. However, July also has the highest rate of rainfall throughout the year.
Gdansk in August
August is the warmest month of the year and so many activities (including the beach) can be enjoyed outdoors.
Patios are bustling and live music wafts throughout the city. If it gets too hot or rainy, there are plenty of indoor activities as well. Gdansk activities can be found no matter the weather.
Gdansk in December
Christmas in Gdansk is special. Experiencing a Gdansk Christmas can give your family the Christmas market experience you’ve always wanted without having to succumb to the crowds and prices in Germany. The lights are lovely and spirits are high in a culture that loves to celebrate Christmas.
Gdansk in December is magical. Like Germany, Poland also loves Christmas and does it right with cosy Christmas markets. Gdansk is no different and the Christmas market in Targ Weglowy is open from late November until January 1. There is fresh gingerbread for the kids and mulled wine for the parents. Enjoy the beautiful lights, food stalls, and Christmas tree near the Neptune statue.
How to Get Around Gdansk
Transport around Gdansk is modern and easy, and all services are available in English. If you use your phone to plot your trip, you will find routes and connections to be fairly straightforward and simple.
The easiest way to get around is on foot. However, if you need to travel to further points or need to take a rest from walking, use the easy and affordable local trams to get around. Check the ZTM website for local times and routes.
If you prefer, Gdansk city tours are widely available online and once you are in the city.
For travelling throughout the tri-city area, use the yellow and blue SKM trains.
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.