Kociewie totally delighted and charmed us! Time passes here as if at a slower pace, at your fingertips are monuments, impressive religious buildings, charming towns, and there is no shortage of places for rest, recreation and family fun. Add to this the fact that the region is not yet so popular and besieged, so even on vacations you will find corners here where you will be completely alone. What is worth seeing in Kociewie? You can find everything in this post.
Kociewie promotes itself as a “Gentle Land” and with this gentleness we were absolutely captivated. The land is very charming, where the Wda and Wierzyca rivers meander picturesquely, and the Vistula River marks the region’s border. A land full of lakes, at the gates of the Tuchola Forest, with one foot in the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the other in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship (with 80% of Kociewie lying in the Pomeranian Voivodeship).
Kociewie is located in Pomerania and IS NOT part of Kashubia. Why such an emphasis right away? Because there are still many people who do not know where Kociewie is located, and often the first association is Kashubia. From here it may be right, because Kociewie borders Kashubia, but they are completely independent regions.
Kociewie is a completely different area, a different culture, a separate dialect – it is one of the ethno-cultural regions of Pomerania, full of lakes (there are about 200 of them here!), with rivers inviting to canoeing, having to offer, besides nature, also historical, historic places.
So, we spent the end of the summer vacation in Kociewie. We visited local museums, walked the walls of the castle, saw villages that look like open-air museums, were at several viewpoints, saw charming towns, learned about the history of the cities…. and all this in a few days, because the distances in Kociewie are not great and you can easily plan several attractions in one day.
We, of course, in Kociewie were with children, but we warn you right away that this post does NOT describe only attractions for families with children. On the contrary! During our stay, only one attraction was typically for the youngest (we’re talking about the Kootenay Homestead), all the rest were places we would have also visited if we had come here without children.
At the end of the post we include a map with attractions in Kociewie to make it easier for you to locate them and plan your trip :) You will also find recommended restaurants and accommodations.
Table of contents
What is worth seeing in Kociewie?
As we wrote above, Kociewie is not a large region and you can easily see several attractions in one day. However, the entry came out huge for us, as there are huge things to see and experience there :) We tried to divide the whole entry mainly into localities to make it easier for you to plan your stay.
Let’s start the description of the most interesting places in Kociewie from the region’s capital Starogard Gdanski (although it should be emphasized at this point that it is not the largest city in the region). It is a good place to start your Kocievian adventure if only because the Museum of Kocievian Land is located here.
Starogard Gdanski is one of the older cities in Pomerania. Although the first records date back to 1198, it is known that there was already a settlement here several hundred years earlier, and archaeological excavations indicate that even in the Neolithic it was already an inhabited area (that is, about 4,000-5,000 years ago).
Defensive walls with towers, a market square impressive in size, a beautifully landscaped city park – these are just a few of the attractions of Starogard Gdanski, for which it is worth stopping here at least for a few hours.
Market Square in Starogard Gdanski
We started our walk around the city from the Market Square, where we parked the car. The first thing that caught our attention was…. greenery! Trees, flowers, lawn – so rare in squares and old markets, and here they please the eye. There are benches in the shade, and there is a fountain to give coolness on hot days.
In the central part of the Market Square is the City Hall, which somewhat overshadows the size of the market itself, and these are impressive, as they are 107 x 107 meters, and as we can read in brochures about the city it is more than at least the Old Town Square in Warsaw.
The city hall dates back to the 19th century and was built on the foundations of the old city hall. Interestingly, the current building is almost twice as small, and you can see photos of the uncovered foundations of the former city hall at this link.
The Market Square features former wells, and is surrounded by renovated townhouses. Unfortunately, not much remains of the original buildings, as the town was destroyed in a fire in 1792, and those townhouses that can be seen today are enclosed.
The northwestern part of the Market Square overlooks the city’s oldest church, the St. Peter’s Parish Church. Matthew. This church was built in the early 14th century and is an example of medieval Gothic architecture.
Museum of the Kociew Land and medieval towers
Heading from Market Square in a northerly direction along Gen. J. Haller we come to the towers, which were part of the defensive city walls. The brick, tall tower is the Danzig Tower, and tucked away on the left, more resembling a residential building, is the Corner Tower (converted to private housing in the 19th century). The Gdansk Tower (also known as the Shoemaker’s Tower) was built in the first half of the 14th century and has definitely kept more of its original appearance – it was located at the Gdansk Gate, which is now gone. Both the Gdansk Tower and the Corner Tower are the best-preserved towers in the city. The third surviving one is the Mill Tower – destroyed and rebuilt many times, it is now privately owned.
We write about the towers when describing the Museum of Kociew Land, because it is in the towers that some of the exhibitions are located (the others are in the building opposite the towers and in the City Hall). All exhibitions are visited with a single ticket.
The first part of the Museum of Kootenay Land is a room in the same building where the cash register is located. On the first floor of the building there is an exhibition, where you will learn about Kittitian culture, the history of Kittitian embroidery, and see furniture and furnishings of the old chambers. In the Corner Tower, exhibitions are on several floors and here we can see archaeological finds from the region, learn about its detailed history from Neolithic times to the post-war era.
There are also exhibitions in the Danzig Tower, and they deal with the martyrdom of the residents and history from World War II, but this part was closed during our visit.
As we have already mentioned, also in the City Hall there are exhibitions that are part of the Museum of the Kociew Region – they are not open all the time: after visiting the exhibitions in the towers, you must go with a museum employee to the City Hall. At the time of our visit, there was an exhibition related to hunting.
If you are going to the Museum of Kociewska Land then across Haller Street is a very pleasant cafe called Dzienna Dawka serving delicious coffee and great baked goods.
Museum of the Kociev Region
Street. Side 2,
83-200 Starogard Gdanski
- Monday-Friday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm,
- Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm,
- Sunday: closed.
- Normal ticket – 6 zl,
- Discounted ticket – 3 PLN,
- With the National Large Family Card, a normal ticket is at the price of a discounted one.
City Park in Starogard Gdanski
As a rule, we visit city parks in order to find playgrounds there and to hide from the hustle and bustle of the city, but in the case of the park in Starogard Gdanski, there are many more reasons for this, and even when you avoid playgrounds by a wide margin, this park is worth a look.
Because this green area is an interestingly arranged space – we have here not only park alleys, but there are also pergolas, sheds, bridges, there is a pond where ducks and swans swim, there is a brine graduation tower. An ideal place for walking and relaxing among the greenery!
Why are there so many attractions in this 100-year-old park? Well, it is quite fresh from a major reconstruction, which aimed to make a more functional and resident-friendly place where they can commune with nature. As part of the work, not only was the pavement changed and new equipment added, but nearly 200 trees and about 33,000 perennials and shrubs were planted
. It was put back into service in 2020, and immediately with success, as in the same year it received an honorable mention in a competition for the best developed public space in Poland.
The most striking landmark in the park is Wierzyczanka, the water nymph statue, and behind it you can see the aforementioned Fara sw. Matthew.
Of course, the playground is also in the park :)
The large parking lot is located at the Sports and Recreation Center:
General Józef Haller 19a,
83-200 Starogard Gdanski
Park is, of course, available for free.
Above you could read about the capital of Kociewie, and now it’s time for the more spiritual side of the region. Pelplin advertises itself as the City with a Soul or the Spiritual Capital of Kociewie, because it is definitely the religious aspect that is dominant in the city and this can be seen at almost every turn. However, whether you’re a believer or not, in our opinion, it’s worth exploring the history of the former Cistercian abbey located here and seeing the impressive cathedral basilica.
The basilica and the abbey can be visited; tickets are purchased at the Diocesan Tourist Information Center (1 Plac Tumski).
The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an impressive Gothic building (it is the second largest brick church in Poland). From the outside it impresses with its grandeur, and inside with its rich decorations, details as well as valuable works. The first thing that catches your eye as soon as you enter the temple is the huge altar, and here’s an interesting fact right away: it is the largest wooden altar in Poland (we recommend walking around it to take a look at the wooden structure behind)! This altar contains one of the most important and valuable works in the church, which is the painting “Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (dated 1623).
In all, there are more than 20 altars in the cathedral, you’ll see impressive star vaults, crystal vaults and lattice vaults, you can admire huge stained glass windows, one of the largest organs in Poland and a beautiful Baroque organ just above the passage from the cathedral to the monastery.
So let’s move on to the monastery and its very abbreviated history. The Order arrived here in 1276 from Bad Doberan in Mecklenburg (they had previously been brought to Pogódki), when Duke Mściwój II donated the land to the Cistercians (in 1274). Initially a small complex, it was expanded over time, including outbuildings. The monastery was looted and destroyed during, among other things. The Thirteen Years’ War and the Swedish invasions, and the abbey was abolished in 1823, when the area came under Prussian rule.
Today, part of the monastery is open to the public: one views the four-winged cloisters with a viridian in the center and the chapel. In addition, you can sign up for workshops where you learn and practice the secrets of calligraphy. However, these are no ordinary workshops – they are held in a unique workshop, reconstructed on the model of a Cistercian calligraphy workshop.
If you plan to visit the cathedral and monastery with your children, it’s a good idea to take along a map with tasks to complete: children must follow a marked trail, answer questions, draw signs and look for clues inside the cathedral and monastery. This is definitely a more appealing way to get to know the place (recommended for children so from 5 or 6 years old).
What else to see in Peliplin? Although the Diocesan Museum with collections of architecture and sacred art, but the most famous exhibit is the Gutenberg Bible, one of 48 surviving copies (there were about 200 printed), noting that only 20 remain complete.
You should also take a walk to the Bishop’s Gardens, which were built on the site of the former Cistercian gardens. It is now a revitalized garden, open to all, with alleys and plantings (work was completed in June this year).
Driving from Pelplin to Starogard Gdanski one passes a mountain with a 33-meter high cross – it was here that John Paweł II celebrated Mass in 1999. It is now a place of pilgrimage but also a good vantage point for a panoramic view of the city.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter’s. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
2 St. Mary’s Square,
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
A tour of the former abbey:
- Normal ticket – 12 zł,
- Discounted ticket – 8 or 10 zloty,
- Children under 6 years of age – for free.
- Normal ticket – 12 zł,
- Discounted ticket – 8 or 10 zloty,
- Children under 6 years of age – for free.
- Normal ticket – 20 zl,
- Discounted ticket – 12 or 16 zloty.
Swiecie and the Teutonic castle
Swiecie’s most popular tourist attraction is the Teutonic Castle, located on the Vda River, near the mouth of the Vistula. And even though when planning our trip around Kociewie, we knew that the castle was under total renovation and not open to the public, we still decided to visit Swiecie at least for a while.
The castle can be seen from afar thanks to its characteristic 35-meter high and slightly sloping tower (this tower is particularly picturesque from the bridge over the Vda River). It is possible to drive up to the castle itself, but it is fenced off, so there is no chance of approaching the walls themselves (the planned completion date for the first phase of work is mid-November 2022). Nevertheless, you can stroll around the area, go down to the small platform on the Vda River or approach or drive up to see the Old Market in Swiecie.
We just went to the Old Market to see the 19th century bourgeois houses surrounding the market and the fountain, where children joyfully ran around on a hot day. At the market, the object that attracts the most attention is a neo-Gothic building with a turret – this is the Wedding Palace (formerly the city hall, built in 1879).
Driving through the streets of Swiecie, we stopped for a moment to look at two murals: one is “The Legend of the Creation of the Swiecie Coat of Arms,” and the other is “Witold Alexander Herbst,” both located on Sadowa Street.
Teutonic Castle in Swiecie
facility is currently closed, prices are unknown.
Diabelce Mountains: nature trail and viewpoints on the Vistula River
The Devil’s or Devil’s Mountain is an unincorporated range of hills stretching along the left bank of the Vda River, west of Swiecie. A hiking trail of about 10 kilometers is marked out here, which stretches, along the Wda and then the Vistula; from Swiecie all the way to the Sartowice palace (or, more precisely, to the adjacent park).
However, if this is too long a distance for you to cover, you may be interested in the shorter nature trail – its passage to the viewpoints and educational points should not cause problems even if you are traveling with younger children. It is a short and rather flat stretch of about 1 kilometer one way.
Along the way, several viewpoints with didactic elements await: in addition to benches for admiring the views, there are educational boards with various games (puzzles, maze, etc.). Of course, there is no shortage of views of the Vistula and the Vda – these are truly fabulous!
Directions and address:
Finding a place to park and the start of this short trail can be more problematic. The best way is to head for the Nursing Home, at 12 Wojska Polskiego Street. You can leave your car here, or a piece further on, going towards the traffic circle with Miodowa Street. Before the traffic circle, turn into a small street to the right – this is where you can park and where there is an information board.
Exact location: 53°24’54.7 “N 18°28’07.0 “E
(You can also find the point on the map at the bottom of the text)
Kasparus and Dlugie – magical villages
Guess what? It’s been a long time since we’ve seen wooden, thatched cottages anywhere other than an open-air museum. Not that we were looking for them specifically, but it’s been a long time since we went to villages like Kasparus (Osiek commune) and Długie (Osieczna commune), where we could feel like we were in a completely different world. It turns out that Kociewie hides several such architectural gems!
Although these are not typical tourist attractions, there are no signs for historic houses and you really have to make an effort to get here, the atmosphere here is unique. Colorful shutters and doorframes, wooden ornaments, home gardens and and wooden fences surrounding farms…. All we missed was the crowing of the rooster (no surprise, we were here in the evening), the horse-drawn cart and the children playing in the street. Because we don’t know why, but the villages, despite the fact that you can see that they are inhabited, are very quiet and peaceful. Or is it just the perspective of middle-class people who are used to constant noise and running?
It is worth noting that in the village of Kasparus there is a wooden-brick church, with a wooden historic parsonage. Unfortunately, it almost completely burned down on the night of December 30-31, 2020, and a collection is currently being held to rebuild it. Details can be found here.
We are not one of those people who look into windows, peep in, or take pictures from hiding, but we completely did not want to disturb the local peace, so we left these villages quite quickly.
However, it is not only the villages that we will remember, but also the very road leading to them. Zero pavement, roads provided by the National Forests stretching through the forest, and often dusty. Every now and then we would check if we were sure we were going the right way and were glad we had hit the nice weather, because in the rain or snow we would rather not choose to go this way. There is a lack of signs on the roads, although one can come across such stone pillars, which are remnants of the partition era.
To reach the village of Kasparus, head northwest from Skórcz on road 214. The road will turn left, but continue straight to the village of Skrzynia. There, after crossing the river, you should turn right and after driving about 4 kilometers you reach the village of Kasparus.
Access to the village of Długie from Kasparus is via forest roads. Be sure to head north toward Lake Long. The villages are about 4 kilometers apart, and although the navigation shows that you can cover this stretch in 9 minutes, it took us a little longer ;)
Gniew and Castle Gniew
Another city, another castle: “Master Gniew” this is the slogan promoted by the city of Gniew, and we must admit that it is very catchy and original, it bought us right away!
The town of Gniew was first mentioned in 1229, although the area is known to have been inhabited much earlier. Nevertheless, it was with the arrival of the Teutonic Knights and their takeover of the lands (in the late 13th century) that the city experienced significant development. Built by them, the imposing Gothic building was the seat of monks, knights, starosts and kings (the castle was often visited by, among others, King John III Sobieski, who before becoming king was starost of the Gniew castle). It was the most powerful stronghold of the Order on this side of the Vistula River.
Built on an escarpment, the castle is now a hotel facility, conferences are held here, corporate events and weddings can be held here. However, this does not mean that visitors are left only to admire it from the outside. You can enter the castle, but only with a guide, and the tours begin at full hours. The tour just lasts about an hour. And while with children we rather rarely opt for guided tours, here there was no other choice and we could only go inside as part of the tour. Fortunately, we ended up with a small group (there were two other people besides us) and an over-sympathetic guide, and thanks to her involvement the tour was really interesting for both us and the kids.
The tour starts from the courtyard, and then you go to the chapel to climb the tower, see the treasury (spoiler: unfortunately empty) and then walk the walls to the room where you see armor, swords and swords, and even try your hand as a knight ;) The latter was by far the most fun for the kids: they could put on a helmet, pick up a sword and sword sword, and even see how the weapons are wielded by professionals.
At the end, we had the opportunity to see a temporary exhibition about the war times.
Thanks to the guided tour, we learned the history of the castle with many interesting facts and legends: we learned how thick the walls are, why the war with the Swedes was unresolved, what functions the castle had during the partitions, but also that in fact as much as 95% of the castle was consumed by fire, so the vast majority of the building is rebuilt.
If you go to see the castle in Gniew, we highly recommend you to take a walk to the Market Square, see the town hall, the town pumps, you can look at the townhouses surrounding the Market Square (especially noteworthy are those with arcades, the so-called Gniew lebs) and look for cameras that run display old photos of specific places (so you can see what the city looked like more than 100 years ago). In the central part of the square is the town hall, and next to the square is the Church of St. Peter. Santa Claus.
Next to the Market Square is the Cap Museum, which has about 1,000 caps in its collection and is free to visit.
The town totally charmed us! Cobblestone roads, renovated, colorful townhouses, and peace and quiet. We enjoyed walking through the narrow streets, we only lacked a cafe or restaurant, in the garden of which we could sit and feel the city for a while.
From September 6, guided tours are available at the following times:
- Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm,
- Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm.
- Normal ticket – 20 zl,
- Discounted ticket – 15 PLN,
- Family ticket – PLN 50.
Arboretum in Wirtach
Open-air museums and arboreta are always a pleasure to visit, and what’s more, we like to see them at different times of the year. Several times a year they completely change their face: they delight with a fever of colors and show the changes that occur all the time in nature.
So, being in Kociewie, we couldn’t miss visiting the oldest forest arboretum in Poland, the Arboretum Wirty.
It is located on Lake Borzechowskie Wielkie, about 13 km southwest of Starogard Gdanski. The origins of this arboretum date back to 1869 when Oswin Puttrich, who came from a family with a military and forestry tradition, established a plant garden and tree nursery on the site of today’s garden.
Currently, the arboretum has more than 830 species of shrubs and trees, including collections of firs, pines, beeches, barberries, magnolias, azaleas, and rhododendrons. The garden covers an area of nearly 70 hectares and can be distinguished into two parts: park and forest (the park part occupies 7 hectares). In the forest section you can admire more than 200-year-old domestic trees, interspersed with exotic species, many of which are over 30 meters high.
Several color-coded trails lead through the arboretum: yellow – scenic trail (50 minutes), blue – park trail (30 minutes), red – azalea trail (40 minutes), black – Schwappach trail (60 minutes). A detailed map with routes can be found at this link. Interestingly, following the yellow trail you can go outside the garden area and end up at Lake Borzechowskie Wielkie – here there are viewpoints, piers and a shelter for resting. This lake is the deepest lake in Kociewie, there are islands on it, and on one of them you will even find the remains of an old castle.
Although the area of the arboretum is not exceptionally large you can find many paths to walk and spend even a few hours here. The garden area is interestingly arranged and, above all, really prepared with attention to every detail.
In addition, you can find additional attractions here – we just happened to be in the middle of the Kociew Fair: there were performances, shows, competitions, and you could also have a snack. Entry that day was free.
As for attractions for children, in our case the attraction itself was walking the designated trail, looking for arrows and spotting animals, but of course there is an interesting natural playground on site (right behind the ticket offices).
The Arboretum is open year-round, but opening hours depend on the month:
- During the winter months (November to February): 9:00 – 16:00,
- In March and October: 9:00 – 17:00,
- During the spring and summer months (April to September): 9:00 – 20:00.
- Normal ticket – 8 zł,
- Discounted ticket – 4 PLN,
- Children under 5 years of age – for free.
Park Zagroda Kociewska
According to us Park Zagroda Kociewska is an absolute hit if you are looking for a place perfect for families with children, and its location makes it possible to come here for a day even from the Tri-City (it takes only 40 minutes to get there). The homestead is halfway between Gdańsk and Starogard Gdański (roughly at the level of Tczew).
For us, the place is a bit similar to Clement’s Orchards, but there is even more creative play and space to run around in the Kciewska Homestead ;)
Already from the parking lot, an unusual ride on the tracks attracts attention. Unusual, because old and slow vehicles that start every few to several minutes and are operated by an employee. The ride itself is quiet and quite slow, but because of this, even the youngest kids can safely enjoy this attraction (of course, the smallest ones sit with their caregivers).
At the beginning, as soon as you walk from the ticket office, you are greeted by rabbits, and they are not the only animals you will meet along the way. There are goats, sheep, chickens, ponies, alpacas, a donkey, parrots. You can feed the animals, but only with special food, which you buy in the store at the entrance (so if you want to feed the animals you’d better buy the food right away so you don’t have to go back later).
Of course, it’s not just the animals that will interest visitors – there are many interesting and engaging games at the Homestead. There is mini golf, jumping cushions (including a super-flat cushion, or rather platform, filled with water), a large sandbox with a water tap, large blocks to stack, an obstacle course to walk, a maze with sounds, and a sensory path. The hit turned out to be a track to…. all in all, the interpretation is arbitrary, but it’s about a track on a course where you can follow with the ball and aim at different holes (something like maxi golf ;) ). However, children can play freely here, and they will only be limited by their imagination.
We recommend already at the mini golf to buy a wooden ball for 5 zloty with the logo of the Homestead – on the one hand it is a souvenir, and on the other hand a ball that will come in handy for other attractions – there are tracks where you can see how it will slide, roll, overcome obstacles and race with other balls – children really had a lot of fun with such a ball. There are also two additional paid attractions at the Homestead: self-propelled cars – PLN 2, and steerable boats – PLN 5 (so it’s good to have coins with you).
It is worth noting that the Homestead has plenty of places for barbecues, there are shelters with tables and benches, and there are also deck chairs on which to relax. And all surrounded by flowers, meadows and fields in the distance. Idyll!
Right next to the Homestead is a restaurant of the same name. Unfortunately, just when we were (Monday) it was closed, but the items on the menu sound incredibly tasty, and this is confirmed by very good reviews on Google and other blogs, so it will be a good place to eat.
Park Zagroda Kociewska
Street. Skarszewska 8
Zagroda Kociewska is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00
- Normal ticket – 23 zł,
- Discounted ticket – 20 PLN,
- Children under 3 years – free.
There is a 10% discount with the Large Family Card.
Tczew is the largest city in Kociewie, but if you read the beginning of the post carefully, you know that it is NOT the capital of the region. Like Starogard Gdanski, however, the city ranks as one of the older ones in Pomerania, with the first references to Tczew dating back to the late 12th century.
And although for many of you Tczew is probably associated mainly with the famous bridge over the Vistula, we have other places to see in the city, including for inclement weather. They are closely connected with the Vistula River, because it was thanks to the river that the city underwent significant development (a customs chamber and a port functioned here), and the first one we want to show you is the Vistula River Museum.
Museum of the Vistula River in Tczew
The museum is located in a post-industrial building (before the war there was an agricultural machinery factory “Arkona” here), between the City Park and Copernicus Park, at 30 Stycznia Street, and is a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk. In the building next door is the Local Tourist Organization KOCIEWIE, which runs the Kociewie Tourist Information Center, where you can get information about the region and equip yourself with maps and brochures.
But let’s return to the museum itself, which, contrary to its name, preaches not only about the Vistula, although it is about the Vistula’s role in Polish history that we will learn a lot. There is a lot of information here about other rivers, about ships, and even about river law.
We will learn about the beginnings of settlement on the Vistula, goods transported on rivers, methods of transportation, various floating constructions (not only boats and ships, but also the first rafts, floating ships), we will get to know the rafters, see how the boats are built (from what material), read about bridges, dams, towns on rivers, ports, fishing, learn about the morphology of the Vistula and its basin.
Among the exhibits are wooden boats, mock-ups, ship models, and descriptions of the various parts and exhibits bring us closer to the history of the city and the region.
We recommend visiting the museum in conjunction with the Shipwreck Preservation Center (description a few paragraphs below)
Museum of the Vistula River, Branch of the National Maritime Museum
30 January 4,
Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
- Normal ticket – 8 zł,
- Discounted ticket – 6 zloty.
There are also combination tickets with the Shipwreck Preservation Center:
- Normal ticket – 10 zl,
- Discounted ticket – 7 zl.
In the same building as the Vistula Museum there is a free exhibition as part of the Art Factory (on the first floor, opposite the ticket office).
This is a place where prepared scenes with characters are waiting – when you approach such a scene, the lighting automatically turns on and a video relating to what you see in front of you begins to play. Here we will learn about interesting legends and historical events.
Also in the courtyard you will see exhibits: a country farmhouse, a locomotive and a mock-up.
- Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm,
- Saturday and Sunday: 10:00-16:00.
Shipwreck Preservation Center
While at the Vistula Museum, it’s worth taking a look at the building next door, the relatively new Shipwreck Preservation Center, opened to visitors in 2016.
Like the Vistula Museum, it is also a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk and is an excellent complement to the neighboring museum. The sites can be visited independently, but in our opinion they are so similar in theme and complementary that it is worth seeing both (especially since they are almost next door and you can buy a combined ticket to enter both).
The Shipwreck Preservation Center is one tall hall where we can see boats, yachts, dugouts, rafts from both Poland and various parts of the world on display and hanging.
In addition, the mezzanine floors are additionally made for children’s games and you can observe how the work of maintenance and cleaning of the various elements is done.
Shipwreck Conservation Center, Division of the National Maritime Museum
Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
- Normal ticket – 8 zł,
- Discounted ticket – 6 zloty.
There are also combination tickets with the Vistula Museum:
- Normal ticket – 10 zl,
- Discounted ticket – 7 zl.
Vistula Boulevard and Tczew Bridge
Being in Tczew, it is worth going to the Vistula River Boulevard – a place for rest, recreation and various sports activities, and by the way you can see in all its glory the famous Tczew bridges.
The boulevards are great for families with children – there are several playgrounds here, for younger and older children, but the most noteworthy is a playground called the castle, as it is rare to find such large structures on playgrounds.
The boulevard area is full of benches, there are shelters where you can take shelter from the sun or rain, there are plantings made, and a pedestrian and bicycle path is laid out next to it.
It is from here that you can admire the railroad bridge and the road bridge(Tczew Bridge). The latter attracts attention with its brick towers, but you won’t see any vehicles on it because it is currently closed (work was interrupted during the renovation and the bridge currently stands unfinished).
However, it is worth stopping by this bridge for a moment: its construction took 7 years and was completed in 1857. At the time, it was one of the longest bridges in the world (at 837 meters) and was the largest steel truss structure. It is listed among other well-known structures in the world as a major achievement of structural engineering at the time. Both bridges were important transportation hubs, so much so that they were destroyed during the wars. They were blown up by the Poles on the very first day of World War II, and then in 1945 the Germans did the same to stop the Red Army. After reconstruction, both rail and automobile traffic returned to it.
We hope that soon crews will return to the bridge and we will see the restored Tczew Bridge!
We went to General Joseph Haller Square on our way to the Vistula River Boulevards. If possible we try to walk around the cities as much as possible, so we discover different corners and interesting buildings.
The market is surrounded by colorful, renovated townhouses, and there is a small fountain in the center of the square. There was a town hall in the square until 1916, which was destroyed by fire (its outline can now be seen in the square – it can also be seen well on satellite images).
In the market there is a monument that changes…. four times a year. This is a monument symbolizing the seasons, and although modest, the idea is interesting :)
Viewpoints New and Little Paddle and Big Paddle
We have already written above about the Diabelce viewpoint in Swiecie, and now a suggestion for other viewpoints more to the north, on the border of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian and Pomeranian Voivodeships.
If you are looking for a trail that is not very demanding, but provides a scenic view of the Vistula Valley from the top, you may be interested in the observation tower between the reserves of Wioslo Małe and Wioslo Duże. These reserves are located on the Vistula escarpment, on the border of the Starogard Lake District and the Kwidzyn Valley.
To get to the observation tower you need to walk along a forest path about 15 minutes one way, with a route that is not too demanding. At the end of the path is a wooden observation tower, from which you can watch the Lower Vistula Valley. Anyway, see what views it offers in the photos below:
While crossing the route should not be a problem, getting to the parking lot is no longer so obvious. In the navigation, you can search for the point: Vehicle Stopping Place , “Paddle Big” with a hiking path and observation tower , which indicates well the parking lot at the information board, where you immediately jump on the short trail.
Another point that is more easily accessible both by car and on foot is a wooden shed on the escarpment, in the town of Nowe. Close to the point is a parking lot and you only have to walk literally a minute to a shed overlooking the Vistula. The platform is about 60 meters above the river and from it you can admire the Kwidzyn Valley (Kwidzyn can also be seen from here).
Both points can be found on the map at the end of this post.
Entry to both viewpoints is free
Accommodation in Kociewie
Below we have for you a suggestion of some interesting accommodations in Kootenay, among which we could not decide for quite a long time. In the end, we spent the night at the Plachevo Recreation Center, due to the best location in terms of the attractions we wanted to see in Kociewie.
- Recreation Centre Plaszczewo
Address: Plachevska 1, 83-200 Koteże
Prices: from 200 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
- Hotel Strzelnica
Address: Bracka 1, 83-200 Starogard Gdański
Prices: from 300 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
- GNIEWKO Inn
Address: Rakowiec 108, 83-135 Mała Karczma
Prices: from 260 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
- Tuscany of Kociew
Address: Bochlin 71, 86-170 Nowe
Prices: from 250 PLN for a double room
- Stop Tleń
Address: Bydgoska 2, 86-150 Tleń
Prices: from 240 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
- Hotel Ren
Address: 5 Skarszewska Street, 83-200 Starogard Gdański
Prices: from 280 PLN for a double room
Recommended restaurants in Kociewie
We rarely recommend restaurants as part of our posts, but there are two places that so charmed us during our stay in Kociewie that we decided to share them with you.
Stop Tleń – this is an accommodation facility, restaurant and brewery. It is quite a famous place and there are sometimes lines waiting for a free table, but it is definitely worth it. Interesting dishes, attractively served (even the pancake is not an ordinary pancake), and very tasty. What more could you want?
Gniewko Inn – we discovered the place by accident, but it is brilliant. The menu features local, Kittitian delicacies, lots of vegetarian options and, of course, tasty :) On top of that, it’s a cool place for kids, as there’s a large playground and a mini zoo.
Map of attractions in Kociewie
Finally, we have for you a map on which we have marked all the places and attractions in Kociewie described above – we hope it will help you plan your stay in the gentle land….
Kociewie – our opinion
Kociewie jumps to a high position in our subjective ranking of the best vacation destinations in the country! It’s close from Central Poland, and you can also drop in for a day while on the Baltic Sea.
It enchants not only with its sights, but also with its nature, peace and quiet, which we so often lack in popular places. Surprisingly, even at the end of the vacation, we entered most attractions with the so-called “”I”. boot, and at the viewpoints we were often completely alone!
So if you want to spend your vacation in a unique place, Kociewie is the right choice for you.
The material was created as part of the cooperation project titled. “Campaign Move to Kociewie – strengthening the brand of the region” implemented under sub-measure 19.3 “Preparation and implementation of cooperation activities with the local action group” covered by the Rural Development Program for 2014-2020 with the participation of three Kociewie LAGs: Local Action Group “Chata Kociewia”, Local Action Group “Wstęga Kociewia” and Local Action Group “Gminy Powiat Świeckie”.