Ever wanted to see Hell on the earth? Well, it’s actually Hel, not Hell. The long, narrow peninsula derives its name from the small town located at the very end of it. This small town, however, turns into the alternative capital of Poland in the summer. People from the whole Poland, including Polish celebrities, come here to spend their summer holidays – hence it’s sometimes difficult to find a little space for yourself. It might be also difficult to get there in high season, as there is only one road going through the whole peninsula. Therefore, Gdansk to Hel ferry or Gdynia to Hel train are recommended ways to get to the peninsula.
Why should you go from Gdansk to Hel?
You’re not going there to take a picture with Polish celebrities, are you? What everyone goes there for, is the Baltic Sea. In narrowest places, the width of the Hel Peninsula is as little as 200 meters. That’s the distance between the open Baltic Sea to the north, and the bay to the south. In the bay, the water is a bit warmer, and there are almost no waves. In the open sea just the opposite, so that’s the best place to practice water sports. It’s not enough to surf, but it’s OK for windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Hel is the most important town in the Peninsula. It was an important resistance point during the first month of the Second World War. It surrendered to Germany on the 2nd of October, 4 days after Warsaw.
Now it’s an important holiday destination, although except for the sea Hel hasn’t much to offer. What’s well worth visiting is a Maritime Station, where seals are healed before being reintroduced to the sea (opening hours 9.30-18.00, entrance fee 5 PLN). At 9:30, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00 and 15:30 it is possible to take part in seal feeding.
The other place worth visiting in Hel is the Military Museum. It’s’ buildings are spread across the cape, so be prepared for some walking. The tickets to all objects cost 36 PLN, and the museum is open from 10 to 16/19, depending on the month.
Chalupy is a small village located not far from the beginning of the Peninsula. It is famous for its beach. Not that its sand comes from the moon or anything like that. It is just the oldest, and the most famous nudist beach in Poland.
How to get to from Gdynia Hel
Gdynia to Hel by train
There are trains to Hel leaving from Gdynia Glowna train station. The trip lasts about 1,5 hour and ticket price start from 17 PLN.
Gdynia Hel ferry
Gdynia to Hel ferry run every day until the end of September. It leaves Gdynia to Hel at 10 am and the trip lasts 1 hour 5 minutes. There are two other Gdynia to Hel ferry options (at 1 pm and 4.30 pm) but they run only if there are enough passengers. The same ferries leave Hel to Gdynia at 3 pm (unconditionally) and 11.30 am and 7 pm (if there are enough passengers). Ticket for Gdynia – Hel ferry costs 50 PLN and 15 PLN for the bike.
How to get from Gdansk to Hel
Gdansk to Hel ferry
In summer there are ferries that go to Hel from Gdansk at least once a day (8.20 am) during the summer holiday (until the end of August). Just like from Gdynia – there are two more ferries that run if there are enough passengers (1 pm, 6 pm). The trip lasts one hour and the one-way ticket costs 50 PLN. You can also take a bike to a regular boat (+15 PLN) and ride it back for at least some distance. There is a good bike path in the Hel peninsula and as you will be going along the train route, you can switch to train at any time. If you prefer to go back by boat, ferry from Hel to Gdansk leave at 3.40 pm and optionally at 10.20 am and 8 pm). Tickets may be obtained from Zegluga Gdansk website.
Gdansk to Hel train
There are some direct trains going from Gdansk to Hel, and the regular ticket price starts from 19 PLN but you should ask or look for special offers. The trip lasts 2-2,5 hours. You may also get to Gdynia first as there are more options from there.
How to get from Sopot to Hel
Sopot to Hel ferry
Sopot to Hel ferry runs twice a day until the end of August, but only if there are enough passengers. They leave Sopot at 11 am and 3 pm. They go from Hel to Sopot at 1 pm and 5 pm. Ticket costs 50 PLN (+15 for the bike).
Going from Gdansk to Hel by car
It is not a good idea to go to Hel by car at all. There’s only one road on the Hel peninsula which is totally jammed with cars during summer. You will waste your time in a traffic jam, we don’t recommend that. If you, however, decide to go to Hel by car, consider going to Leba to see the moving sand dunes.