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 historic Wisloujscie fortress located by an old estuary of the Vistula river.
Westerplatte – no more war…
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. On the 1st of September 1939 at 4:48 a.m. the German battleship “Schleswig-Holstein” opened fire to 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 (closed till may 2018, normal ticket 5 PLN, reduced 3 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 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.
How to get 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 on the last stop: “Westerplatte”. Please notice that the buses are not going very frequently – once or twice for an hour. In the high season during weekends there’s an extra bus nr 606.
In the summer (May-September) you can take a ferry tram nr F5 from Żabi Kruk, Zielony Most or Targ Rybny to Westerplatte. A one-way ticket costs 10 PLN (5 PLN reduced). You need to buy tickets on board. 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).
You can also go by a “pirate ship” or a regular boat from Dlugie Pobrzeze. A one-way ticket costs 30PLN (45minutes trip) and return ticket is 45 PLN.
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).
You can go there by bike which is 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. To get to Westerplatte you’ll pass by industrial area which is not very pleasant.
When you’re in Westeplatte don’t miss Wisloujscie Fortress which is not so far from there.
The fortress was located in strategic area, near estuary of Vistula river from where it was possible to control boats entering and leaving a port. In XV century there was a defensive tower with a lighthouse function. In the end of XVI century, the fortress was modernized and Fort Carré was constructed according to the Italian rules. Fort was made of brick and surrounded by a moat. On the entrance portal, you can find a date “1602” which refers to the final work carried out in the fort.
In 1657-58 fortress was connected with other city’s fortifications and then was modernized during Napoleonic War.
After the First World War, the fortress looses the military significance and was destroyed at the end of the Second World War in 1945. After archaeological research and renovation work the place is open to the visitors.
Normal ticket 15 PLN, reduced ticket 7PLN. Obligatory you have to pay extra 2 PLN for a guided tour, you can’t visit fortress on your own. Guides present the history in an interesting way so it’s really worth listening.
29 of April – 3 of May 10:00-18:00
04 of May – 15 of June 10:00-16:00
16 of June – 31 of August 10:00-18:00
1-31 of September 10:00-16:00
Notice that fortress is open only in the summer. The last entrance 50 minutes before closing. You can pay by credit card.
Opening hours can be changed – check it here before going.
How to get to Wislujscie?
From Westerplatte to Wisloujscie Fortress you can go on foot. Go on the promenade to the beach, then go Pokladowa street and turn left to J.Charpantiera Street. It should take about 30 minutes to get there.
By public transport
You should take bus nr 106 or 138 from the city centre (from bus stop “Dworzec Glowny” or “Brama Wyzynna”), direction “Westerplatte”. You have to get off on stop “Twierdza Wisloujscie”. The bus stop is on demand so press the button “stop” inside the bus. When you’re going back put out your hand to signalling to the bus to stop.
From Westerplatte you can take the same bus nr 106 or 138, direction “Dworzec Glowny” or ”Jana z Kolna” and get off the at the bus stop “Twierdza Wisloujscie”.
In the summer (May-September) you can take a ferry tram nr F5 from Żabi Kruk, Zielony Most or Targ Rybny to Twierdza Wisloujscie (one stop before Westerplatte). A one-way ticket costs 10 PLN (5 PLN reduced). You need to buy tickets on board. 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).
You can easily get to Wisloujscie by car from the city centre. It takes about 20 minutes (10 kilometres). From Westerplatte it’s 10 minutes (2,5 kilometres).
It takes 10 minutes from Westerplatte (2,5 kilometres) and 30-40 minutes from the city centre.
What’s next? Let’s go to the Stogi beach
From Wisloujscie you can go back to the city centre or – if you have more time – you can go to Stogi beach which is not so far from there – check it here how to get to Stogi beach.
Where to eat?
There aren’t many places to eat so the best option is to go back to the centre and eat there. If not, in Westerplatte you can eat in one of two bars next to the ferry terminal. In Bar Zywiec they serve tasty fried cod with chips. In Wisloujscie you can’t find any restaurant, and at Stogi beach there’s a restaurant open all year and seasonal bars with snacks.