museum shops of the world: national maritime museum in gdansk

IMG_2942I know you’re wondering, will Steph ever finish this endless tour of museums and/or museum shops? No, because she’s moving to Singapore in four weeks where her job is literally ‘do science-based art’, so you’re looking at another few months. Settle in, quokkas.

[Also, Liz still has a couple of Brisvegas museum shops up her sleeve. Somehow we found ourselves with a backlog!]

This week on museum shops of the world: National Maritime Museum in Gdansk, Poland.

The National Maritime Museum has about fifteen zillion locations. We visited three sections: the Granaries on Ołowianka Island, Sołdek, and the Crane. These three sections are all located in Gdańsk. As Gdańsk is a part of Tricity – three major cities in Pomerania, Poland, located on the Baltic Coast – the National Maritime Museum actually extends beyond Gdańsk, and includes locations in Gdynia and Tczew (I was IN Tczew and I didn’t visit the Shipwreck Conservation Centre, and let me tell you I am PRETTY UNIMPRESSED BY ME).

Tactile model of invasion of Poland by Sweden (I think)
Polish battle braille!

Sołdek is a pretty generic ship, and is notable because it was the first ship to go to sea from the Polish ship building industry. It was named after a tracer who worked on it, which I think is cool – Stanisław Sołdek was just some random worker, and his wife Helena became the ship’s godmother. Which is RELATED, because the temporary exhibition was what made this a cool visit – all about the godmothers of Polish ships. INTO IT.

The port crane involves a lot of climbing up and down to see how it worked (spoilers: the mechanism was powered by two men walking inside two giant hamster wheels on treadmills). It’s worth a visit if you like old-school mechanisms and ship business.

The Granaries building is a more generic, overall history of maritime in Poland. It’s got a lot of history, but forces you to walk a path and get to the best bits, ie, the hilarious modern mermaid art and the 300 year old cannons, at the very end. The texts are all in Polish, but every piece and curated element has an attached English description and German description in a laminated card near the entry point.


The shop is attached to the main entry desk of the Granaries building. It’s got a nice array of local books in Polish, English and German. It’s also got some fun postcards, and collection of touristy things like spoons.


Nothing, I was too tired and grumpty to look at the shop.

National Maritime Museum, Gdańsk

  • ul. Ołowianka 9-13, 80-751 Gdańsk
  • We walked from our hostel, but purchased a ticket pass that included the ferry across the river to get from the Granaries to the Crane. Accessibility overall is pretty average – there’s a lift in the Granaries building, but Sołdek and the Crane require many, many tired stairs.
  • Cost of entry: We went for a 18zl pass which included Sołdek, Granaries, Crane and the ferry.

Overall score

3 out of 5 exciting crane towers