Westerplatte and Wisloujscie Fortress
If you’re staying in Gdansk longer than one day, consider going to Westerplatte and Wisloujscie to learn more about the Second World War and to discover the historic Wisloujscie fortress located by an old estuary of the Vistula river.
Before going from the centre of Gdansk to Westerplatte and Wisloujscie check our suggestion for Gdansk in one day. Another option is the Oliwa district with the Oliwa Cathedral, botanical garden and Pacholek hill.
Westerplatte – where the Second World War started
Westerplatte is an important place for the Second World War and Polish history. It’s here where the Battle of Westerplatte took place – the first battle during the Second World War. Before that, Westerplatte was a small peninsula with no military significance. It was rather considered to be a holiday resort.
That changed after Poland regained independence after the First World War. A small military depot was created here, that enable Poland to obtain military shipments from the sea. It was later strengthened by building military barracks and locating a garrison of about 200 soldiers.
On the 1st of September 1939 at 4:48 a.m. the German battleship “Schleswig-Holstein” opened fire to the Polish garrison. Polish soldiers had no chances of winning but they withstood for seven days. 209 Polish soldiers and about 3400 German soldiers and policemen fought in the battle. Until now, it’s a symbol of resistance to the invasion.
Today on Westerplatte you can visit the ruins of defenders’ barracks and guardhouses. You can still see the war damages because the buildings weren’t reconstructed. There’re information boards where you can get more information about the battle and a small museum (regular ticket 6 PLN, reduced 4 PLN). There’s also a huge granite Monument of the Coast Defenders. If you climb the stairs you will see the panorama of Nowy Port and Letnica – Gdansk’s districts with a lighthouse and Amber Football Stadium. There’s also a small beach nearby (10 minutes from the bus stop). You can go on the promenade there, but since Westerplatte is an industrial area now and used to be very contaminated – for your safety, it’s better not to swim there.
Was it really Westerplatte where the Second World ar started?
Although Westerplatte was considered to be the place where the Second World War started, recent studies reveal that it was probably Wielun, a town in the south of Poland, that first suffered from Nazi bombings. However, it has not changed the symbol of this place.
How to get from Gdansk to Westerplatte?
By public transport
To get from Gdansk to Westerplatte by public transport, you should take bus nr 138 or 106 from the city centre (bus stop “Dworzec Glowny” or “Brama Wyzynna”), direction “Westerplatte”, and then you have to get off at the last stop: “Westerplatte”. Please notice that the buses are not very frequent – once or twice for an hour. In the high season, but only during weekends, there’s an additional bus nr 606.
Gdansk to Westerplatte water tram
In the summer (May-September) you can take a ferry tram nr F5 from Zabi Kruk, Zielony Most or Targ Rybny to Westerplatte. A one-way ticket costs 10 PLN (5 PLN reduced). You need to buy tickets onboard. If there is not any free place left you can’t enter the boat, so it’s better to start the trip on the first stop (Zabi Kruk).
Unfortunately, the water tram didn’t run in 2021 and it is highly unlikely that it’ll run in 2022
Gdansk to Westerplatte with a pirate ship
You can also go by a “pirate ship” or a regular boat from Dlugie Pobrzeze. A one-way ticket costs 50 PLN (45minutes trip) and return ticket costs 70 PLN. The whole Gdansk – Westerplatte – Gdansk cruise lasts about 90 minutes, and if you wish to spend more time at Westerplatte, you may return on another cruise with the same ticket. Ticket may be bought on board.
Gdansk to Westerplatte with a ferry
Zegluga Gdanska also offers Gdansk Westerplatte boat. It runs every day until the end of November. One way ticket, which includes Gdansk Harbour sightseeing on the way to Westerplatte costs 45 PLN. The return ticket costs 65 PLN. Boat departure hourly from 10 am to 6 pm from the Green Gate (Zielona brama). Tickets may be bought online.
Gdansk to Westerplatte by car
It should take you about 15 minutes to get there (10 km). There’re two car parks on both sides of Henryka Sucharskiego Street (next to the bus stop). Gdansk
Gdansk to Westerplatte by bike
Going from Gdansk to Westerplatte by bike might be a good idea due to the frequency of the buses. It should take you about 30 minutes. You can go by bike close to the monument and to the beach. However, on your way to Westerplatte, you’ll pass by an industrial area which is not very pleasant.