Last fall, we wanted to discover the famous baltic golden forest. Since in my home country we do not have the four seasons, the colors of fall have been something that always amazed me. In the Netherlands (where I currently live), you can see the trees of different colors, but the variety is small. When I read that in some Baltic countries you can see the amber forest ( all the tonalities of amber in a whole forest), I knew one day I would have to make a visit, and this day came sooner than I thought.
This was because my mom visited me this fall, and one of her dreams was to visit the land of her great grandfather, Poland. Specifically, she wanted to visit a small town called Puck, near Gdánsk. Since we were going there, she told me about another dream of her: Visiting the famous Virgin Mary made of gold, which was in a famous church just in the city center of Vilnius. Therefore, why not visit both places on our trip.
We started planning the trip and realized that moving from Gdánsk to Vilnius by public transport was kinda difficult. In addition, the plane tickets for Vilnius were also more expensive than flying to other places in Poland, like Warsaw. Hence, we had the great idea to make this one a road trip.
This one was the best idea to discover all the places that we wanted to see and many more we didn’t know existed. Different from other points of view, the roads are in very good shape, and the gas in Poland is way cheaper than in other European countries. The only downside was the distances between the cities, and since I drove all the way, it was a little bit exhausting. Nevertheless, it is completely possible to do this trip.
Keep reading to discover all our itineraries.
1rst Day: Warsaw
Since our flight was late in the afternoon, we could not discover too much around the city that day. Nevertheless, we went to the supermarket to get some food for our breakfasts and dinners. Something that my mom and I love to do, discover the local produce, and try some new stuff. After spending a long time in the supermarket, we relaxed in our lovely and complete Airbnb. This is the link if you want to stay here as well. It was really convenient because there was a parking space, kitchen and enough space for both of us.
2nd Day: Warsaw Down Town
We woke up early, had a lovely porridge for breakfast, grab our raincoats, and start moving to discover the Polish capital. This city is unique, it is very big and it has many types of scenarios. The old town was colorful, full of life and with the marvelous buildings. I think it is one of the cities that I have seen so many churches, and all of them were opened and always with people.
We grab a beautiful lunch and tried the local delicacies. If you want to check our meals, do not miss my upcoming post.
This day we walked a lot around the city and back to our accommodation. We had a lovely dinner and prepared ourselves for the first stage of our road trip on the following day.
3rd day: Warsaw to Vilnius
After spending a good time in Warsaw, we started our way to Vilnius. The trip is around 6-7 hours, but counting the stops for lunch and rest at the end was like 9 hours. It is almost one day of driving, but we do not regret this decision since there was so much to see on the way.
We grab lunch in a beautiful little city called Augustow. It is surrounded by lakes and forests. We liked to have a nice meal in a restaurant called Kaktusik.
Since it was a really long way, we had dinner near our hotel. Luckily, this one was just next to a shopping center, so there were many options where to choose from. We rested this day, so we could discover Vilnius the following day.
That night we talked with our hotel receptionists and discovered a place called Trakai, not too far from the city (35 min by car). In here, there is the famous Trakai houses and a marvelous castle on an island. Therefore, we decided to wake up early and try to get to Trakai before all the tourist buses arrive, so we would have enough time to check everything and go back to discover Vilnius downtown.
We stayed in a Best Western, just outside of the city center. It was perfect due to the good connections with the highway, the free parking spot, and the superb included breakfast.
Forth Day: Vilnus and Trakai
On this day, we woke up early so we could do everything that we planned the night before. First, we had an amazing breakfast at the hotel, where we tried local delicacies. Then, we jumped in the car and start our way to Trakai. It was very fast to get there, just around 40min. We parked the car near the castle (on the road) and started our tour inside the castle. The scenario was beautiful, all the trees with leaves of different colors made a very fall-y vibe.
The castle by itself is stunning, with an elegant atmosphere and interesting pieces of the royalty. You can find interesting facts about the Trakai tribe and all the history of their people. Also, the houses around the castle entrance are so cute, the colors really matched the fall leaves, so it was part of the charm. We had lunch in a restaurant near the castle, where we tried authentical Trakai cuisine.
On our way back to Vilnius, we wanted to get deep into the Lithuanian fall forests. That is why we entered an alternative road to keep our trip. To our surprise, we were able to watch these amazing autumn views. Sadly, the road was in bad shape, so we had to make a U-turn, but at least we saw a gasp of how is it in the forests.
Once we got back to our hotel to leave the car, we grab our raincoats and got the bus to downtown. First, we planned to visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, since this was the main motivation of coming to Vilnius. I couldn’t take photos inside, but I can assure you it is breathtaking. After this, we started walking around the city and climb the mountain to reach the Gediminas’ Tower is the remaining part of the Upper Castle. From there, you can see a nice view of the old town.
We finished the day having an early dinner and resting our hotel. We needed to recharge energy for the next day, the way back to Poland.
Fifth Day: Vilnus to Gdánsk
This trip is a long one, around 7 hours, but if you stop is around 9 hours. If you want to make it, I would recommend splitting it in two days.
Overall, the road is in very good shape, and you have the chance to check out cute little towns. Also, there is a large part that is full of forests. So you can also appreciate the seasonal wonders on your way.
Something that we notice was the fact that everything in Poland is cheaper, so we saved putting gas or shopping until we got back to Poland.
We arrived at Gdánsk at 3:00 pm, just in time to rest for a while and decide what was going to be our dinner. Luckily, our Airbnb had a very good location, with a very tasty restaurant just downstairs. I think that was one of the most delicious dinners we had in our trip, just because we were so tired from road trips. This is the link to our accommodation.
Sixth day: Malbork and Gdánsk
We stayed 3 delicious nights at Gdánsk, perfect to relax and really enjoy our lasts days in Poland. Well, that was what I thought, but with my mom, you can never relax. So we planned our 2 whole days in Gdánsk full of activities and must-see sited.
First, we saw this popular castle called Malbork. It is one of the biggest brick castles in the whole world. It has big and elegant halls, stunning gardens, and the most delicious restaurant just in the middle of the castle. It took us around 2-3 hours to see it all. Everything is well connected and if you arrive early you can get the chance to have all for you as we did.
My mom suggested to have lunch in the restaurant and I hesitated a little, I thought that was going to be a tourist trap and bloody expensive. To our surprise, it was delicious, and I liked the idea of eating a gourmet version of what the people were eating in the same castle in another era. The price was ok, not cheap but not too expensive for polish prices, in the end, I think we paid around 40 euros in total for two main dishes and two beverages, but you are eating in a castle!!! If you want to know more about this food check my food post for this trip!
Once with our belly full and happy, we got back to discover Gdánsk. Our accommodation was closed to the city, so we left the car at the apartment and we started walking to check the old downtown.
Gdánsk is an amazing big city, full of life and charming landscapes. The main street is full of nice shops and the wharf has so many nice spots to take pictures and grab a coffee. We visited the amber street full of nice jewelry. We got some souvenirs for the family and of course some nice pair of earrings for us.
Seven day: Puck, Gdynia and Sopot
We reserved this day to pay a visit to our main reason for coming to Poland, the small town of Puck. We wanted to go there because my great great grandfather was from there, and my mom wanted to check it out. The trip was around 1 hour, and we saw many things on our ways back, like the Hel peninsula, the fancy town of Sopot and the cool city of Gdynia.
Last Day! Going back home from Gdánsk
We couldn’t say another thing on our last day in Poland. Mainly because our flight was early in the morning. Nevertheless, I really want to come back and discover more about this amazing country.