The Best Places in the Tri-city for Kids & Families
Travelling with children is equally fun as it is challenging. Whether it's keeping your child happy with food and activities, minimising the boredom of mature sightseeing or encouraging them to keep moving to the next stop, it can often seem like a constant battle to enjoy your holiday. Fortunately, for families visiting the Tri-city area (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia), there are a variety of options for a variety of young minds, whether it's sunny or a rainy day!
It's not hard to stimulate the imagination of a child when walking through the streets and arches of Old Town of Gdańsk, past the comical drainpipes and each mysterious doorway on ul. Mariacka before making a turn onto the waterfront where two mock pirate ships are docked. This may very well be the spark of motivation that can convince an otherwise-difficult child to visit a museum with you! If you're heading to the Tri-city in the summer months, taking advantage of the beautiful Baltic coastline is a no-brainer. While Sopot is often the default for beach time, don't forget that Gdynia also offers plenty of sea and sand in reach of lody (ice cream), gofry (waffles) and other sightseeing opportunities, which the kids will also enjoy. The colder, wetter months during the so-called 'low season' will only limit your outdoor options and there are still plenty of indoor activities to consider.
Fussy eating habits are a challenge to any parent and foreign cuisine can shake things up even further. However, we don't want you to feel discouraged. Fortunately, in Poland, there's Pierogi! This popular and child-relatable dumpling can be found at any 'Pierogarnia' restaurant, and there's a lot. Most notably, however, Mandu in Gdańsk and Pierożek in Gdynia have adapted many traditional recipes to include familiar ingredients and even dessert options. If a play area and more food options are what you need, take a look at Restauracja Kos and Winne Gronno in Gdańsk or Pomarańczowa Plaża in Sopot.
Taking a coffee break does not have to break your kids' enthusiasm either. There are a number of child-friendly cafés all over Tri-city that cater to the needs of young parents. In Gdańsk, places like Dobra Kawa and Przystanek Kawa perfectly balance baristic standards with kid menu options and play areas while Sopot takes it a step further, with Dwie Zmiany café/artspace holding plastic and sensory workshops for children. Gdynia's young family demographic has accommodated this lifestyle, with ALT Café and Ciuciubabka having an entire playrooms at your children's disposal!
Before we starting talking about our top pick of activities, let's quickly chat about getting around. While car rental offers the most flexible option for families, the most affordable way to get around in Tri-city is, of course, public transport! Travelling between cities is facilitated by the SKM train network and the local bus/tram network can further zip you around once you get into each city. Ticket prices are dependent on the number of stops you are travelling. While a ticket from Gdańsk to Gdynia (one end to the other) will cost 6.20zł and take about 35 minutes, families staying in Tri-city for a few days may want to consider purchasing 'Plus' Tourist Card, which covers all your public transport needs and offers free entry and discounts to a number of sights and restaurants. Depending on the age of your family, it is useful to know that children under 4 travel for free although you also have to buy a 0zł ticket (we kid you not) and you are likely to be requested to provide proof of the child‘s age so basically keep passports on you at all times.
Remember that there are plenty of bike paths in the cities and in some beautiful bushland along the coast. Bike and scooter rentals are available from a number of venues as well as a scan-and-go bike and scooter system called Mevo. Furthermore, bikes travel for free on SKM though they must be placed on a rack in the front carriage of the train.