Gdansk, Poland is the first European city ‘free walking tour’ I actually planned to attend out of my free walking tours in five different cities during the past year. Timing helped as I learned about the free guided walk at the Gdansk Tourist Information center. I was standing 50 meters from the tour starting point at Golden Gate /Złota Brama, 15 minutes before the starting time on a Wednesday morning, March 2017.
Golden Gate /Złota Brama Gdansk (1612-14) marks one end of Long Street, the main historic and tourist center street of modern Gdansk. Seen behind the gate in the photo center is the 14th century Gdansk Prison Tower, rebuilt after WWII.
Gdansk was destroyed in the final months of the Second World War from rounds of aerial bombing and a city firestorm. There are two large black & white photos showing historic Gdansk inside the open air gate walls, the city named Danzig at the time.
Free walking tours are common in eastern Europe, where a tour guide might pull in a competitive wage working for tips with a 3 to 4 hour guided walk. Don’t be one of the 30 to 50% of attendees who stay for 30 minutes or more, but rarely stick around to tip at the end or before departing. Typical groups fluctuate in size from 10 to 40 people depending on how many tourists join in as the group walks through a city’s tourist zones. Usually the crowd is only 50% of its maximum size by the end of a 2.5 to 3.5 hour tour.
Kasia, Gdansk Free Walking Tours
I have attended walking tours in different countries including Free Walking Tour Gdansk, Krakow and Wroclaw in Poland. Free Walking Tour Foundation is the umbrella Poland group. Bratislava, Slovakia and Sofia, Bulgaria are other walking tours I happened upon while walking and taking tourist photos in those cities.
‘Dluga’, more commonly known in English as Long Lane or Long Street extends from Golden Gate to Town Hall (tower) where the lane opens into Long Market/Dlugi Targ square bordered by Green Gate at the Motlawa River.
Neptune’s Fountain in front of Artus Court 1617.
Gdansk Long Market at night. Radisson Blu Gdansk 20 meters to the left and Hard Rock Cafe Gdansk on the right.
Free Walking Tour Gdansk was a chilling, educational and entertaining experience on a day with a cold wind blowing off the Baltic.
These European city adventures make me want to give walking tours of Monterey, California.