posted on: 6 December, 2018
Start with the basics. Gdansk is amazing and you must go!
Set on Poland’s northern Baltic coastline, Gdansk is Poland’s prettiest seaside city. Fact. Over 1000 years old and equipped with a rich heritage this city is the perfect place for your next city-break! It’s hard to narrow the Top 7 things to see down as you can easily spend a week in the Tricity city region of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia. But let’s get going.
There are plenty of cheap direct flights from the UK and transport from the airport is short and inexpensive by taxi.
Best time to travel is between April and October, but a cold and brisk winter’s day has its charm too. Plus, you can get an amazing deal on your hotel!
Food and drinks are inexpensive and while Gdansk isn’t a party town as such, the nightlife is lively especially during the weekends! Sounds good so far? Then follow us and read about the Top 7 things to see in Gdansk.
First and foremost, it’s all about the old town. The historic centre is a beautiful place to start your exploration. See the stunning architecture that’s heavily influenced by Germanic, Polish and Flemish tradition. Flemish? Yes, you read right, but we’ll come to that later. The streets are lined with brick houses, churches and former trade halls and depots. Pastel lovers have a field day here! Set history aside, the party goes on all night here too. Plenty of bars and club cater for all drinking needs and pockets!
The Royal Way and Dugla Street are the main arteries. They are spectacular paths through the old city. Walk through the amazing city gate which opens to the Motlawa river. Some of the main sights on the way are the Golden Gate, the Torture House, the Prison Tower and Neptune’s Fountain. It comes to no surprise that the Polish kings loved Gdansk too and paraded more than necessary through the old town.
Mariacka Street is one of the most beautiful streets in Gdansk’s old town. Amber is part of Gdansk’s heritage. It seems to be everywhere and has such a heritage that dates back hundreds of years when locals would (and still do) create some of the most intricate and beautiful jewellery in all Eastern Europe. Baltic Amber was very much prized for its beauty. Much of the amber at the Amber Room in Kaliningrad, Russia was sourced from the Bay of Gdansk.
It is a must for any visitor to have a cup of coffee in one of the lovely little cafes scattered along the street and have a look in the many amber jewellery shops. It’s a very romantic street, great for a walk in the evening when all lightens up. Have a glass of wine in a spot like Literacka square, surrounded by charmingly decorated, colourful old houses. The Poles used to trade grains and amber against bricks from Flanders here so the whole old town has a Flemish character to it.
St. Mary’s Church is a Roman Catholic church built during the 14th century. It is the largest brick church in the world. The massive Gothic building takes centre stage in the city and is an interesting architectural object both in its exterior and interior. One of the interior highlights is a huge wooden 15th-century astrological clock. It is strongly advised to climb the 400 steps to the top of the church’s tower, from where a beautiful view of Gdansk is revealed.
A relatively new place to explore in Gdansk, the European Solidarity Centre showcases the history of the shipyard’s workers union “Solidarnosc” and its leader Lech Walesa who later became Polish prime minister. Starting off with a strike for better wages this movement eventually contributed to bring down the Soviet Union!
You can feel a change in atmosphere within the building itself. To be honest it’s overwhelming and deeply moving. It is spectacular in both its design. The building is made of steel and its design is meant to resemble that of a ship, which makes it also a worthwhile visit for all architecture lovers.
This landmark and latest museum, inaugurated in 2017, stands on a quarter flattened in the war. It makes sense that Gdansk should have a museum of this calibre because the Invasion of Poland began here on the 01st September 1939. Many of the museum’s 2,000 exhibits were donated by families that were caught up in the conflict, putting a human face on the devastation. The exhibitions are designed in an unorthodox way and so are difficult to describe in a paragraph. There are many immersive walk-through installations which leave a deep impression on every visitor.
Afterwards you can make the brief trip to the Westerplatte peninsula that curves around the final bend of the Dead Vistula river. Here you set foot on ground zero for the Second World War.
A documentations centre is under construction now (Dec, 2018). We recommend taking a boat ride there then you’ll also be able to see also large parts of Gdansk working wharf.
Fancy some more than the Top 7 things to see in Gdansk?
Head to the beach resort town of Sopot. It is 15 minutes away by train or taxi. It’s one of Poland’s most popular seaside resorts also known as the Ibiza of the East. Sopot has plenty of bars and clubs packed with party hungry visitors in the summer. But with its beautiful beaches set along the golden coastline and an impressive pier that jetties out into the sea Sopot has its charm in the winter too.
So, when are you going to Gdansk?
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