Elbląg without exaggeration can be considered one of the most beautiful non-tourist Polish cities. It was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1237 on the site of the ancient Prussian settlement of Truso. Chronicles testify that as early as the 8th c. Truso was an important Baltic port, the Vikings often sailed here, and life in the city was in full swing. Today, in memory of past eras, the city has a medieval castle and other ancient buildings.
At different periods of its history, Elblag belonged to Poland, then Prussia, then the German Empire and later the Third Reich. When Soviet troops entered the city in 1945, Elblag passed to Poland, and many Poles from the USSR were resettled there. The Russians are now reminiscent of the Soviet military cemetery – the burial place of more than 2,700 soldiers – and a monument to the fighters against the communist regime in the 1970s.
To the border with Russia (to Kaliningrad) just over 100 km.
- Cachedhealth: Information about shopping and eating in Poland.
How to get to Elblag
The most convenient way to come to Elbląg is from Kaliningrad by bus or by train from Warsaw.
- by bus
Buses from Kaliningrad to Elblag run daily in the morning and in the evening from the international bus station. Travel time is about 1.5 hours, the fare is 700 RUB per passenger one way. If you buy a ticket immediately there and back, you can get a small discount.
- by train
The train to Elbląg from Warsaw runs every day, the travel time is just over 3 hours, the fare is from 40 EUR per person one way.
There is no airport in the city, the nearest one is in Gdansk. 60 km. From Gdansk to Elbląg you can take a taxi in about 1-1.5 hours.
Transport in Elbląg
You can move around the city by trams, buses, and, of course, by taxi. The most popular carriers are Rabat Taxi Elbląg (tel. (4855) 233-34-44), Truso Taxi (tel. (4855) 64-866-88), Jolivet. Radiotaxi (tel. (48) 800-514-515).
If the walk or gatherings in the restaurant are delayed, it is not necessary to call a taxi: a night bus runs along the streets of Elbląg. However, the city is small, its historical center can be explored on foot in a couple of hours.
Most of the hotels in Elbląg are located in the city center in old historical buildings. Most often these are 3-star hotels, prices in them start from 45 EUR per day for a double room. A couple of kilometers from the center you can find a hotel of the same category from 35 EUR per day, and one of the most budget options is apartments (one room, living room and kitchen), from 25 EUR per day.
The most luxurious in the city is the 4-star Elblag Hotel, located in the Royal House of the 17th century. The interiors there are historical, but the amenities are modern: the rooms have all the amenities according to the category, an indoor pool, a hammam and a spa. The cost of living is from 60 EUR per night for a double room.
Shopping in Elblag
There are three major shopping centers in Elbląg:
- Ogrody: TK MAXX, H&M, Mohito, Orsay, House, Lee, Wrangler, Big Star, Deichmann, etc. brands are represented, there is also a Carrefour supermarket,
- Zielone Tarasy: interesting here are Gray Wolf and Monnari (good and inexpensive women’s clothing), Wenice (clothing for children), Media Expert electronics store)
- “Malborskaya Gallery” (Galeria Malborska): in addition to 20 shops, there is a cafe and a hotel.
It is worth paying attention to Polish food discounts – Bedronka, Lidl, Kaufland, Carrefour, E.Leclerc: where you can buy European products at low prices, including “sanctioned” cheeses.
Cafes and restaurants in Elbląg
In the center of Elblag there are many cafes and restaurants of different price categories, almost every one has a menu in Russian.
The Studnia Smaków restaurant (site in Polish) enjoys well-deserved popularity, which means “well of tastes”. It serves traditional and author’s Polish cuisine and offers a boring diet menu, a specialty – home-made pasta. In Studnia Smaków, it is worth trying grilled dishes and beer of the restaurant’s own production, which can be poured from taps right at the table.
An unusual place for a coffee break while walking around the center is an old tram. This car has been driving through the streets of Elbląg since 1961, and when the city began to reconstruct the tram tracks, it was turned into a landmark. You can get on the tram, take pictures, relax and have a cup of coffee. It is located on Stary Rynok Street.
Another good place is the country-style restaurant Stara Karczma. It serves Old Polish and Italian cuisine, with warmian cod and pork in chanterelle sauce worth a special mention. For children there is a corner with toys, and for adults – billiards and live music evenings every Thursday on Thursdays (in a separate room). You can reserve a table and view the menu on the restaurant’s website (in Polish.).
Restaurant Pod Aniołami (“Under the Angels”, website in Polish) offers excellent Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinean and traditional Polish cuisine. The halls of the restaurant are very stylishly decorated in a colonial style. If a company gathers from 12 people, you will be given a master class on making traditional Polish gingerbread according to a medieval recipe.
Attractions and entertainment in Elbląg
Elbląg is like a setting for a fairy tale or a chivalric romance. It has preserved medieval and later architecture, the streets are paved with paving stones, and it is almost always very quiet on them.
All the most interesting is located in the historical center – “Starowka”. In Elblag, the ruins of the gothic castle of the same name, built for defense, have been preserved. To this day, only the remains of the brick fortress walls, a granary, cellars and trade gate Brama Targov, which are considered one of the main city attractions and are located in the center of Elbląg, have “survived”. Near the gate there is a monument to the baker boy, who once saved the city.
During the time of the Teutonic Order, invaders raided Elbląg one night. Only the little baker did not sleep then. He saw the enemy, took a shovel, which he usually used to take bread out of the oven, cut all the cables on which the city gates were held, and the way to the city for uninvited guests was closed.
Another important attraction is the Cathedral of St. Nicholas with a height of 97 m, this is one of the highest temples in Poland. The cathedral was built in the 18th century. in the Gothic style, here you can see a bronze font of the late 14th century, wooden statues of the apostles and a functioning organ – concerts of sacred music are regularly held here.
Near the cathedral there is a monument to Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland. Such monuments stand in many cities of the country.
In the historical center, many medieval buildings, including residential ones, have been preserved, as well as two drawbridges across the Elbląg River. Museum lovers should visit
Historical and archaeological museum in Elbląg
(it is located right on the waterfront). The exposition tells about the history of the city and the region, here you can see unique archaeological finds from the era of Prussian settlements.
A few kilometers from Elblag, in the city of Malbork, stands one of the most spectacular castles, which was the capital of the Teutonic Order for 150 years. The castle is well preserved. It consists of three parts: the high castle (the center of the fortress), where the hall, the bedrooms of the brethren and the refectory were located; middle (the residence of the Grand Master) and low (utilities).
Elbląg is a very green city, there are many parks and squares, as well as a very picturesque Elbląg Canal, through which excursions by boat depart every day.
The largest park in the city is Bazhantarnya Park (369 hectares), today it is one of the favorite places for walking among locals and tourists. The landscape of the park is diverse: beech and hornbeam forest, ravines, streams and Mount Brave, which offers views of the Vistula Lagoon and beautiful sunsets. The park has several trekking routes of varying length and difficulty. In summer, people go hiking, visit the rope park, and in winter they go skiing and snowboarding.