On our final morning in Gdansk we took the SKM train to the suburb of Oliwa, located 5 km to the north of the city centre. Single tickets cost 3.8 zl (80p) for the short journey to this prosperous neighbourhood.
Leaving the station, we headed to the main road from where it was only a ten minute walk to the entrance of Oliwa Park. This public park is a calm, green space and we enjoyed our stroll following pathways beside attractive flower borders and ornamental ponds.
At the far end of the park we visited Oliwa cathedral which dates back to the 12th century. Wandering around the exterior, we thought the church was closed as its heavy door was shut, but luckily we noticed some people leaving and realised that the door was only closed to keep out the cold.
We were so pleased to have had the opportunity to look inside as the interior is exquisite and contains one of the largest organs of its type in Europe with an incredible 7,896 pipes and registers. Admission to the cathedral is free and it is open to view unless a service is taking place.
Also located on the western edge of the park is the beautiful rococo Abbots’ Palace, parts of which date back to the 15th century. It is now home to the Museum of Modern Art, admission 10 zl with free entrance each Friday. Sadly, there was insufficient time for us to visit this museum as we needed to collect our luggage and return to the airport for our afternoon flight back to the U.K.
We returned to the airport by direct train (3.80 zl) taking 25 minutes, and it was just as well that we had allowed extra time as there were lengthy queues through security taking us much longer than expected to reach our departure gate. Hopefully this doesn’t happen too often but I suggest arriving early just in case there are any unforeseen delays.
Our return flight back to Leeds-Bradford airport departed on time and a few hours later we were back home after a delightful few days in Gdansk. Our city break staying at the conveniently situated Novotel had exceeded expectations with its characteristic old town charm, superb museums and easy rail access to the coastal resort of Sopot and the magnificent castle at Malbork. Coupled with its attractions, Gdansk remains an inexpensive city to visit with hotel and restaurant costs much lower than in many European cities so I’m certain we will be back before too long.
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