This February I headed over to Gdańsk with my pal Kim for a bit of rainbow hunting and some cheap beer. Our flights cost less than £30 return and we booked a beautiful B&B in the centre of the city for a minuscule sum too. It was a no brainer!
Długi Targ (or Long Market), one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city is a very colourful place indeed. I was instantly struck by how beautiful the architecture was in Gdańsk, with many of the buildings showcasing intricate or geometric painted details. It's fair to say that the city was fairly quiet when we visited, and not much seemed to happen early in the morning. You can get a great coffee (and some outrageous cakes) at Drukarnia, just don't expect it before 10am! I have a feeling that the city might be busier in the summer months, with the seaside town of Sopot being so close by. We were only in Gdańsk for about 48 hours so there were lots of places we didn't get to visit, but we did manage to go to Josef K twice. You can get cocktails for as little as 15 zloty (a little over £3) here, It's very colourful and full of thrifted bits and bobs.
On our first evening, Kim and I got curious about the city's street art - we'd visited Warsaw in 2017 and had a great time hunting down all the murals. A bit of googling helped us discover Zaspa,a part of the city filled with pastel-coloured high rise flats, many with gigantic murals on the side. In the morning we hopped in a cab and braced the cold, all for the love of Rainbow Hunting!
The artwork in Zaspa did not disappoint and we spent the morning wandering around gawping at the buildings, pretending to be art critics and jumping around like idiots. I found Zaspa incredibly inspiring, despite the fact my fingers felt like they might fall off every time I took a photo and that I spent a lot of time avoiding dog poo! We were both dressed in rainbow garb, so it's safe to say we stood out a bit. I think I look a bit like I'm falling off a building in the photo below...
Apparently the first ten murals were painted in 1997 during a festival organised to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Gdańsk. The project was revived over 20 years later in 2009 with the Monumental Art Festival, when 38 pieces were added from worldwide artists. In 2010, Gdańsk School of Mural started contributing to the project, an initiative aimed at the integration and education of artists interested in monumental painting.
There's a really handy map on the Murale Gdańsk Zaspa website which you can use as a guide while you walk around, but if you're in Gdańsk during the summer months you can join a walking tour hosted by local residents. Tours are free of charge and happen three times a week in the summer - check the website for details or ask in the Cultural Information Point in Długi Targ.
For me, Zaspa was a real highlight of the trip and it was so nice to see public art and grafitti being combined in such a positive way. I particularly loved the work of zosen, as you can probably tell from my photos. I'd love to see more stuff like this in the UK - imagine if all every block of flats was this colourful!
If you have any questions about Zaspa or Gdańsk send me a message on instagram or shoot me an email, I'm always happy to talk travel. If you want to become an Official Rainbow Hunter yourself you can buy one of my pins on Etsy - don't forget to tag me into your #OfficialRainbowHunter photos so I can share they joy!