Gdańsk, the city

After soaking in the tub for I don’t know how long and coming out lazily, nicely refreshed and absolutely famished, we went looking for dinner. 

The hotel

Gdańsk is a beautiful and old city with such a friendly and carefree flair, with a population of about 455 830. It is the region’s calling card because of the two defining events that started here – the World War II and the Solidarity Movement. 


Of course when travelling, we always try to find places to experience the local cuisine. We found one with ease and looking at the menu, we knew we have made the right choice. When we stepped inside we immediately saw that it was an upmarket restaurant with opulent decor but still laid back. Luckily we had dressed decently enough so that wherever we end up we are not denied entry because of the dress code. We ate things I couldn’t even pronounce…but they were explained in English so we knew what we were eating. Food was really delicious, the vibe cosy and relaxed with the opera singer entertaining us for the evening. I even drank their local beer just for the fun of it. In fact, I would say this restaurant is a trip on it’s own. 

The restaurant

Then came the tricky part – to tip or not to tip? Coming from two different places that are such opposites when it comes to tipping amongst other things, it always leaves me confused. In South Africa tipping is commonly practised and is expected, whilst in Finland such thing is generally not done. We had forgotten to find out about this earlier on, but luckily we had a guide book with us about basic courtesy. We quickly read whilst we ordered another round of drinks, and we found a warning, to be careful about saying “thank you” when paying the bill because it’s commonly interpreted as “keep the change”. OK, so it is optional but after such great food and enjoyment, we happily paid the tip. 


It is safe to walk at night on the streets, petty crime like pick-pocketing is common but the hotel staff had assured us that it’s safe.


So, we explored the city a bit after dinner but not much really as we‘ve arrived late and bit tired. But we managed to see the beautiful old buildings, churches, etc in the evening and the next day before we left for the next destination – Warszawa.

Wandering around


Public Park




11 Comments Add yours

  1. Ruth2Day says:

    how odd that thank-you means keep the change. I can’t think of anything you could say instead.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Well it’s a matter of timing, you don’t say thank you when the waiter picks up the bill and payment – that will be the part that means keep the change. It’s of course, good manners to say thank you afterwards when your change is safely in your purse:-)

  2. adinparadise says:

    Sounds like a wonderful restaurant. I’ll be careful not to say thank you if the change is more than I would normally tip. 😉

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      The restaurant is certainly awesome. With regards to tipping, you need to be careful when the waiter picks up the bill and payment that when saying thank you means keep the change. But afterwards it is OK:-)

  3. Northern Narratives says:

    Wonderful photos. The buildings look very nice 🙂

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you, and more so for your following:-)

  4. Thank you has a different cultural context among eastern european countries. (I come from Slovakia and my partner comes from Gdansk). When we say how are you we truly answer the way we mean it and when we say thank you it has different contexts like the one in restaurants. However in English it wouldn’t probably sound the same so you wouldn’t have to worry.
    Also, as I am aware there are no dress codes in pubs and restaurants. And definitely not in eastern european countries that welcome foreigners 🙂 Glad you had a great time 🙂

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Hi FC, thanks for the visit and your input. It is enlightening to hear the cultural differences from someone who comes from the area. I guess that’s what we seek by travelling to learn and appreciate other cultures, amongst other things. Despite the language issues and trains:-), we really had a great time in the places we visited in Poland. We found that people are really friendly there.

      1. I can’t even imagine visiting those places if I wasn’t “one of them”. It’s a real adventure as many people don’t really speak English, especially if you mention trains etc. 🙂

  5. aj vosse says:

    I’ve got the map open… looking at where you’re going! I’ll continue reading your travels. We must sill do that whole area, including Finland… one day! 😉

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you for reading. Yes, I agree Eastern Europe is a must visit. Value for money was my highlight. And Finland of course, on your itinerary just because there is no place like it:-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.