Elbląg (German: Elbing) is a river port city in northern Poland in the Warmia-Masuria region with over 120,000 inhabitants. In the Middle Ages it was an important Hanseatic seaport serving the Vistula River bay on the early medieval Baltic Sea trade routes.
The city and its port lie on the Elbląg River, which flows into the Vistula Lagoon about 10 km to the north, thus giving the city access to the Baltic Sea via the Strait of Baltiysk.
Elbląg's Old Town area was almost completely destroyed in World War II. The Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture in this area is largely the result of post-war re-creation. The area is pretty enough but doesn't truly reflect the nature of the city. For that you have to wander north a kilometer or two to find the communist new town, which has a charm of its own.
There are direct regional trains from Gdańsk and Gdynia. Some slower long distance TLK trains also calls here, while a change in nearby Malbork is required for high-speed EIP and EIC trains. Additionally, the seasonal train between Kaliningrad and Gdańsk also calls here.
- 1 Elbląg railway station.
Elbląg can be reached from other large cities of Poland by bus.
The nearest international airports are in Gdańsk, Kaliningrad, Warsaw and Bydgoszcz.
The E7 road from Gdańsk to Warsaw runs past Elbląg an hour out of Gdansk.
There is tram network in Elbląg but it isn't very big and the main attractions are very near each other so walking is good enough.
- 1 St Nicholas Cathedral, Mostowa 18. Considered the focal point of the Old Town, St. Nicholas Cathedral is a wonderful building from the 13th century.
- Old Town. Cafes, restaurants, cobbled streets, modern yet classical architectural designs among a handful of original survivors.
- 2 Church Path (Scieżka Kościelna). In the Old Town - a path between the brick houses which historically connected three churches. Very charming, is now open for tourists and is a scenery for wedding photos.
- 3 Elbląg-Ostróda Canal, Terminal in Old Town, ☏ +48 55 232 43 07. The boats rise on rails. Bar, snacks and meals available on board. Takes about 10 hr end to end but for a shorter day trip you can get off much earlier and get the train back, alternatively travel on towards the lake district.
The cathedral is a beast that's arguably more worth seeing than the one in the old town.
- Take a tram to Bazantarnia forest, walks take you along the river or through beautiful old trees, with hills and ravines. (tram no 2, to Marymoncka wsiad. from train station and Plac Słowiański, between new and old town) tickets available from kiosks, stamp on entry.
- Visit Światowid, a truly socialist building, still going strong as a cultural hot spot, cinema, theatre, gallery, restaurant. Next door to...
- Multikino, modern multi-screen cinema among modern shops with bar and cafe.
- Massive open air swimming pool ul. Kościuszki (one of the biggest in Europe)
- Ski [formerly dead link] (at Góra Chrobrego) cheap bus 1 zł (some days) from carpark outside cemetery on ul. Kościuszki. 2 routes 400 and 450 m and 2 button lifts 130/450 m. More routes and lifts planned for 2011/12 season. 2 zł a go for the lift weekends (10 for 18 zł), 1.50 zł in the week. 20 zł returned deposit on electronic pass card. Small covered bar at bottom.
- Museum and library (Old Town) (13th century) set in Teutonic castle grounds (fragments remain). Quite hidden museum at the back of ul. św. Ducha. Containing archeology from the foundations of the destroyed old town (still uncovered in the Old Town). Other exhibits include Saxon finds from the nearby early settlement of Truso (a reconstructed Saxon house is also situated in the gardens and can be viewed only by asking the cashier after buying a ticket for the rest of the museum). Art and Photography exhibitions are set in the other buildings. Opening hours: closed Mondays and public holidays; open Tu-Sa 08:00-16:00, Su 10:00-16:00; June–September: Th Sa Su 10:00-18:00.
- Aero Club, ul. Lotnicza 8, +48 55 233 44 10
- Galeria el, ul. Kuśnierska 6 (Old Town).
- Nowa Holandia. (Warsaw bound E7 motorway, from Elbląg join motorway at North/West end of city). Nature and theme park set in large grounds behind Elblag service station, restaurant at front, bars, sleigh rides, bonfires, canoeing, 45-seater boat trips, city farm, walks and playground. 8 zł per person for a sleigh ride, tea and sausage cooked in the fire. Bus nr 6 a short walk and you're there.
Jewellery with amber.
Hand-picked wild mushrooms, fresh milk, honey, smoked sausage and fresh produce at the market Saturdays and Tuesdays morning.
Vodka and mead.
Cakes and breads.
Sweets made in Elbląg - flagship store of Wolność company: ul. ks. Osinskiego 4A.
The Old Town has menus in four languages and offers supposedly traditional food in supposedly traditional buildings (mains 20-40 zł). The New Town has communist-style canteens in concrete blocks (two courses and a beer 20 zł).
- Restauracja Slowianska, ul. Krótka 4, ☏ +48 55 611 47 25. Charming restaurant with many dishes. Polish and Italian cuisine, also serve very good steaks!
- Bar Kalinka, ul. 12 lutego 34/1, ☏ +48 55 235 55 66. A New Town canteen. Grab a tray and get some tasty soup, salad and snitzel in a genuine locals' place. Mains 6 zł.
Beer from the Elbląg's brewery - Specjal
- 1 Hotel Pod Lwem, ul. Kowalska 10, ☏ +48 55 641 31 00. Beautiful hotel in restored 16th-century building in the middle of the Old Town. Very smart but also very reasonable
- 2 Pensjonat MF, ul. św. Ducha 26, ☏ +48 55 641 26 10, firstname.lastname@example.org. content
- 3 Camping No61, ul. Panieńska 14, ☏ +48 55 6418666.
- Kadyny Country Club, 82-340 Tolmicko (in the town of Kadyny), ☏ +48 55 2316120.
- Malbork - The Malbork Castle Museum - A well preserved medieval Gothic castle and a museum. Inscribed in 1997 on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
- Sztutowo - with the Stutthof concentration camp.
- Frombork - old coastal town, working place of Nicolaus Copernicus. Buses leave roughly hourly from the bus station near to the train station (7 zł).
- Kaliningrad, via the border at Braniewo
The countryside around Elbląg is picturesque and well worth exploring by bicycle. You can rent bicycles from a shop next to the train station and behind the bus station, or bring your own on the trains that come from Gdansk. Maps of bike routes are available in most bookstores, but be careful- these routes aren't clearly marked and it's easy to lose your way. But the area is small and the locals are ready to help!