Hel Things to Do

  • Bateria Boforsa 154 mm
    Bateria Boforsa 154 mm
    by briantravelman
  • Motorcycle From
    Motorcycle From "Last Crusade" lol
    by briantravelman
  • Restaurant front
    Restaurant front
    by evaanna

Most Recent Things to Do in Hel

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    Bateria Boforsa 154 mm

    by briantravelman Written Jan 5, 2014

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    Bateria is "battery", and I guess "boforsa" is a type of gun. We stumbled onto this place by accident, looking for "Muzeum Obrony Wybrzeza". There was a fee of 3 zloty normal, and 2 zloty for students. The battery didn't look that interesting enough to pay, but you can tour the outdoor exhibits, for free. Basically it's just replicas of things used in WWII, like guns, clothing, helmets, hats, and a motorcycle. You are allowed to touch everything, and try stuff on.
    This part of the museum is free, but if you want to go into the battery, you have to pay. You can also buy maps, and souvenir replicas from the guy up front, a word of warning though, he doesn't speak English.
    You can also listen to war music, which plays when you enter the exhibit.

    Bateria Boforsa 154 mm Motorcycle From
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    Boat trips on the Bay of Gdansk

    by evaanna Updated Aug 20, 2013

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    If you have a day for exploration, take a passenger boat from Gdynia, Gdansk or Sopot to Hel or Jastarnia (only from Gdynia). You can go on a round or one-way trip, but give yourself some time to visit Hel and have a meal there before you return to the city. Unfortunately, the boats run only in the high season, which this year, for instance, ended on 17th September and often ends while the weather continues to be great and is forecast to remain so till the end of the month. We have recently found out that most of the boat trips actually stop at the end of August.
    For more details of the cruises, including the price list and the timetable, see the website, only partly in English, so let me add that 'odjazd' means departure and 'przyjazd' arrival.

    Passenger boat Gdansk - Hel
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    The Seal Sanctuary

    by evaanna Updated May 8, 2009

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    The scientists at the Seal Sanctuary at Hel look after seals which, for various reasons, were unable to live in their natural habitat and then, when they get stronger, release them into the Baltic Sea, where seals have become very rare. A visit to the sanctuary is an interesting experience for children and adults alike. The seals look quite happy there, racing from pool to pool, getting out onto the banks and romping about like naughty children. I could watch them for hours - one even kept jumping up on the bank right ahead of me as if posing for photographs. You can watch them either directly or through a pane of glass underground. To make your visit even more interesting try to be there at seals' feeding time, e.g. at 2 p.m. The building houses also an exhibition on the natural environment of the Baltic, unfortunately in Polish only.

    Opening times: during the season - 9.00 till sunset, out of season - 9.30 - 16.00.
    Admission: 2 PLN + another 2 if you want to see the seals through the glass. You must have 2 zl coins to enter.
    Excellent disabled access.

    Posing for a picture? Seal sanctuary, Hel Seal sanctuary, Hel Seal sanctuary, Hel Seal enjoying people's company
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    The sea

    by ZiOOlek Written Oct 5, 2008

    Hel is mainly famous for its sea and beaches. The town is surrounded by the Baltic sea from three sides, partly by waters of the bay. The beach in many places is really wide and there is plenty of place to rest, play or sunbath. However, during high season (June, July, August) Hel is extremely crowded and it is good to reserve a room in advance becasue you won't find it when arriving without reservation.

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    Justice come too late

    by evaanna Updated May 21, 2008

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    At the battery named after Heliodor Laskowski you can see a plaque commemorating its commander Lt. Zbigniew Przybyszewski. His battery heroically put up a fight against the overwhelming German forces for 32 days in the campaign of 1939. Hel was the last place in Poland to surrender. Lieutenant-commander Zbigniew Przybyszewski survived the war. Sadly, like many Polish officers, unjustly charged with treason, he was sentenced to death by the Communist authorities and killed on 16 December 1952. The plaque was founded in 2007 on his 100th birthday.
    The inscription on the plaque says:
    (in translation)

    'It is sweet and honourable to die for your country,
    Bitter when in its name a hero is murdered.'

    Plaque to Lt.-Commander Zbigniew Przybyszewski The battery The battery - close-up The battery
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    Memorabilia of the defence of Hel 1939

    by evaanna Updated May 19, 2008

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    The forest leading to the beach hides numerous remains of the defence of Hel in 1939: anti-aircraft gun emplacements, bunkers, pillboxes and even one of the guns. You can now reach them walking along Kuracyjna St, which used to be closed as part of a military area. It's a nice walk even for those who are not interested in war memorabilia. The forest is full of bird singing and taking the various paths you can reach the coast at a number of points. The cobbled road ends in a spacious beach. This is the very tip of the peninsula from which you can watch the passing ships.

    Ruined bunker on the beach Pillbox in the forest Observation tower Bunker in the forest Crosses marking the site of the defence of Hel
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    Ride the waves on the Cpt. Morgan

    by evaanna Updated Apr 29, 2008

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    If you can't take a trip on one of the big boats going to Gdansk or Sopot, don't despair. You can still enjoy a round boat trip into the open sea on one of the smaller boats. They are there off season as well and for the small sum of 10 (for 30 min.) or 15 (for 45 min.) zloties will take you along the coast to see the war time shipwrecks, the beaches and the lighthouse at Hel. We chose the Cpt. Morgan, a fishing boat built of wood after the Viking designs. It was my birthday and, coincidentally, the boat turned out to be exactly my age (well, not to the day, but anyway). Beautifully renovated (I wish I could undergo this as well), it is now used for boat trips, fishing trips for groups, trips organised to watch sunset or sunrise at sea. I somehow don't believe I would get up that early but even by day we greatly enjoyed the rocking of the boat to the sound of traditional shanties, with the wind in our faces and the sun shining brightly. The boating fan that I am, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday.

    The Cpt. Morgan and its owner Wartime shipwrecks near Hel The Cpt. Morgan at Hel The Cpt. Morgan returning from a fishing trip Unloading fishing gear after the trip
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    Take a water-taxi if you dare

    by evaanna Updated Sep 24, 2007

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    If you crave for adventures, perhaps you would like to take a trip by water-taxi from Hel to Gdynia? This speedy boat will take you there in just 15 minutes. Tightly fastened to your seat, you will still feel the excitement of travelling on the water at the high speed of 90 km/hour and very close to the surface. The taxi doesn't go off season when we were there, but I'm not sure if I would take up the challenge anyway. Perhaps I'd better leave it to younger people.

    Water-taxi at Hel Water-taxi at Hel Water-taxi Marina in the port at Hel
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    Old fisherman's cottages

    by evaanna Updated Feb 27, 2007

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    Walking along Wiejska St, the main street of Hel, you will see some charming 19th century fisherman's cottages. Half-timbered, with tiny windows and with low wooden fences around them, they remind me of doll's houses, but they still serve their purpose. More and more of them have been beautifully restored in recent years so don't miss a single one. The one in the photo dates back to 1890, the one that houses a restaurant is even older, coming from 1842. In poor condition, it will undergo complete reconstruction in the autumn this year. I keep fingers crossed they don't spoil it. The wrought-iron railing in the third picture has been added only recently.

    19th century fisherman's cottage, Hel, Poland 19th century fishermen's cottage, Hel, Poland Old fisherman's cottage dating back to 1842 Main street of Hel with the old cottages House in Hel
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    Fokarium photo 2

    by chiara76 Updated Feb 17, 2007

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    In Fokarium there are several adult seals: Balbin, Unda, Joel and some young ones.

    Last news from this place, I have read on the interenet page Balbin was dead;( I don't know the reason of it but it is sad news.

    The new seal man is coming from Sweden and we all hope he will be great new main man in the seal's team.

    Balbin
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    Fokarium (Seal's Aquarium)

    by chiara76 Updated Feb 17, 2007

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    Fokarium is an aquarium only with seals. It is operated by Gdansk University but it is open for tourists. In early spring you can meet there baby seals which will be released to sea in may. The fokarium is open every day from 8.30 till 20.00.
    Seals are a natural part of the sea but unfortunately the population of seals in Baltic Sea is decreasing beacuse of the seals perishing in the fishing nets. Without the help of the people this beatutiful mammals will not survive.
    Seals are very cute and understand a lot. It is easy to train them and they recognize their carers. Please help them to save seals in Baltic Sea.

    Seal. Seal. Seals.
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    Main Street - Ul. Wiejska

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Nov 6, 2006

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    This is the principal street in Hel cutting a swathe through the centre of town, from the monument commemorating the Defenders of Hel all the way through the centre and as far as the bus stop at the other end. It runs parallel with the harbour toward the eastern end and you can cut through the houses for glimpses of the sea and the boats. There are many fine examples of old fishing cottages on this street but I must confess that during our visit it was almost impossible to see them. It seemed to me that every building was a shop or a bar or a restaurant and that in between the buildings, every inch of space was crammed with stalls selling souvenirs. We didn't spend much time here as by mid-afternoon there was scarcely standing room. I'm sure this street would be most enjoyable to stroll on when the town is less crowded, obviously July and August are not times to get a really authentic flavour of a place. But for me the alternative would have been not to see Hel at all, and that would certainly not have made sense. Even with packed-to-capacity crowds, Hel is still charming.

    A crowded Ul. Wiejska
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    Finding your way home

    by Ekaterinburg Written Nov 6, 2006

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    Coming off the beach and heading for the centre of town, you can't miss this massive array of signposts and distances. You get the general direction and mileage to Warsaw, Gdansk and a host of other Polish towns and cities. Maybe I missed one , but it seemed to me that the only international destinations mentioned were Helsinki and Stockholm. I wonder if there's a message there for Swedes and Finns or is it that Swedes and Finns make up large visitor numbers? No matter how hard I looked I couldn't find directions back to Ireland.

    Which way home?
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    The Beach

    by Ekaterinburg Written Nov 6, 2006

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    I now know that there is more than one beach in Hel and that if I had kept walking through the forest I would have reached a truly superb expanse of sea and forest. Next time I will pay more attention to VT pages before I go!. The town beach was the only beach I made it to and long before we got here we spotted the 'Iron Man' presiding over his yellow bouncy castle. The beach was crowded, naturally, it being a Sunday afternoon in July and there wasn't a whole lot of room to spare. The actual sandy area is quite narrow but it was jampacked with families having a good time. From this beach you have a nice view of the outer harbour wall and the ocean. There are steps down to the beach which are quite steep and one ( meaning me) could easily (and did) trip on. So be careful and don't say you weren't warned. Allin all then, not the most exciting beach in the world but perfectly adequate for a swim, paddle or sunbathe.

    The ttown beach at Hel
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    The Fishing Museum

    by Ekaterinburg Written Nov 6, 2006

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    The fishing museum is worth a visit as much for the building itself as for the museum it contains. This apparently is the oldest preserved building in Hel, dating from the early 15th century. From 1525-1945 it functioned as a Protestant church and this combination of red-bricked church, now a fishing museum really works well. Admission cost is minimal and for a few zlotie extra you can climb the tower and admire a panoramic view of the town and harbour. I would have liked to do this climb but while the spirit was willing, the legs and lungs were beginning tosuffer from the extreme heat and just refused to cooperate. The permanent exhibition is well presented and fairly interesting - everything you ever wanted to know about fishing and maybe one or two things you really could have done without knowing. Outside you can examine the traditional fishing boats.

    The Fishing Museum
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Comments (1)

  • briantravelman's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    The town was cool, but I was there on a day when the fishery museum was completely covered up for renovation. The most beautiful building in town, and I didn't get to see it. :(

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