Westerplatte and Wisloujscie Fortress
If youâ€™re staying in Gdansk longer than one day,Â 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 â€“ no more warâ€¦
Westerplatte is an important place for the Second World War and Polish history. Itâ€™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 â€śSchleswig-Holsteinâ€ť 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 itâ€™s a symbol of resistance to the invasion.
Today on Westerplatte you can visit the ruins of defendersâ€™ barracks and guardhouses. You can still see the war damages because the buildings weren’t reconstructed. Thereâ€™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). Thereâ€™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 â€“ Gdanskâ€™s districts with lighthouse and amber football stadium. Thereâ€™s also a small beach nearby (10 minutes from the bus stop). You can go on the promenade there, but sinceÂ Westerplatte is an industrial area now and used to be very contaminatedÂ – for your safety, itâ€™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 â€śDworzec Glownyâ€ť or â€śBrama Wyzynnaâ€ť), direction â€śWesterplatteâ€ť, and then you have to get off on the last stop: â€śWesterplatteâ€ť. Please notice that the buses are not going very frequently â€“ once or twice for an hour. In the high season during weekends thereâ€™s an extra bus nr 606.
In the summer (May-September) you can take a ferry tram nr F5 from Ĺ»abi 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 canâ€™t enter the boat, so itâ€™s better to start the trip on the first stop (Zabi Kruk).
You can also go by a â€śpirate shipâ€ť 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). Thereâ€™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 youâ€™ll pass by industrial area which is not very pleasant.
When youâ€™re in Westeplatte donâ€™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 CarrĂ© 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 â€ś1602â€ť which refers to the final work carried out in the fort.
In 1657-58 fortress was connected with other cityâ€™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 canâ€™t visit fortress on your own. Guides present the history in an interesting way so itâ€™s really worth listening.
29 of April â€“ 3 of May Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 10:00-18:00
04 of May â€“ 15 of JuneÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 10:00-16:00
16 of June â€“ 31 of AugustÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 10:00-18:00
1-31 of September Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 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 â€śDworzec Glownyâ€ť or â€śBrama Wyzynnaâ€ť), direction â€śWesterplatteâ€ť. You have to get off on stop â€śTwierdza Wisloujscieâ€ť. The bus stop is on demand so press the button â€śstopâ€ť inside the bus. When youâ€™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 â€śDworzec Glownyâ€ť or â€ťJana z Kolnaâ€ť and get off the at theÂ bus stop â€śTwierdza Wisloujscieâ€ť.
In the summer (May-September) you can take a ferry tram nr F5 from Ĺ»abi 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 canâ€™t enter the boat. So itâ€™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 itâ€™s 10 minutes (2,5 kilometres).
It takes 10 minutes from Westerplatte (2,5 kilometres) and 30-40 minutes from the city centre.
Whatâ€™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 arenâ€™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 canâ€™t find any restaurant, and at Stogi beach thereâ€™s a restaurant open all year and seasonal bars with snacks.