BEST of Gdansk
Updated: Jun 6
Gdansk is a lovely seaside city on the Baltic Sea. Many visitors to Poland overlook it in favor of more popular destinations such as Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw. However, the trip north is well worth it. Gdansk can be visited in one day on the quickest itinerary. However, if you want to get the most out of your visit, plan on staying at least two to three days. This gives you enough time to explore the old town, visit two of Poland's best museums, and eat your heart out at incredible restaurants. You can also go on day trips. Visit Sopot and Gydnia for Baltic beach time or Malbork for one of Europe's largest castles.
Discover with us:
What not to miss?
The Main Town Hall can be found on Dlugi Targ, next to the Neptune Fountain. Look for the green, Gothic clock tower to know you've arrived. Climb to the top of the tower for the best view of Gdansk. From here, you can see the entire length of Dlugi Targ, across the Motlawa River, and, on a clear day, all the way to the Baltic Sea. The Gdansk History Museum is also housed in the Town Hall and is well worth a visit for history buffs.
St Mary’s Church
St. Mary's Church dominates Gdansk's old town. It is one of the world's largest brick churches. In beauty and grandeur, it ranks low among churches and cathedrals. After WWII, the church's interior was whitewashed, concealing the frescoes beneath and giving it a rather drab, forlorn appearance. Climb the 408 steps to the top of the bell tower for another spectacular view of Gdansk. It's a long, thigh-burning climb to the top, but it's well worth it if this is your thing.
Neptune's Fountain, one of the city's most distinctive landmarks, is another well-known landmark in the Long Market. If the mermaid statue is Copenhagen's symbol, then Neptune's Fountain is Gdansk's. The Fountain was built in the 17th century when the mayor and city councilors wanted to erect a more significant monument for the city. They came up with this beautiful mannerist-rococo-style statue, one of the most beautiful of its kind.
The Golden Gate Bridge is located at the western end of the street. Looking down at Dlugi Targ, you can see cafes, shops, and the iconic Town Hall tower. During the day, this can be a congested area. However, it is quiet and peaceful at night and early morning.
The iconic Gdansk Crane, an example of a medieval port crane and a great reminder of how prosperous the port city was back in the day, is one of the unique pieces of Medieval architecture that can still be seen today in Gdansk. The crane is said to have been built as early as the 14th century and to contain a medieval lift mechanism capable of lifting 4-ton loads to a height of 11 meters, demonstrating how inventive people were back then. The crane is located on the beautiful waterfront along the Motlawa River and has since been converted into a maritime museum where you can learn more about Gdansk's history.
What else to visit?
If you want to walk around and relax, Długie Pobrzeże Waterfront is a popular Gdansk spot for locals and tourists. Długie Pobrzeże Waterfront area, located along the Motlawa River, is full of excellent restaurants and cafes where you can indulge. You can have an excellent local meal at Gdaski Bowke, a traditional Polish restaurant serving regional specialties and craft beer, a perfect spot to enjoy the city's vibe while you're here.
It is the most visited tourist destination. It should be noticed during a visit to Gdansk because of its history, multitude of monuments, unique climate, and the sound of music played by street musicians. The Royal Route was named after the function it served centuries ago. Polish kings used this road to enter the city. The royal retinues spent hours pleasing the royal eye with tightrope walkers, street acrobats, and knight fights as they entered the Upland Gate and through the Golden Gate, which opens Duga Street. The kings listened to the mayors' speeches from here.
WW II Museum
As I mentioned earlier, Gdansk was a significant turning point in world history and where World War II's Western Front officially began. I highly recommend visiting the Museum of the Second World War if you want to learn more about this period. This modern interactive museum is regarded as one of the best in the country, and it will take you on a journey through the events that led up to WWII, as well as how they affected the rest of Poland from then until its liberation.
In Gdansk, you can also visit WW2's ground zero, the Westerplatte peninsula, which is located right on the Baltic Sea and is regarded as the actual site where Nazi Germany and Poland first collided, sparking World War II. The famous Battle of Westerplatte took place here, and old barrack ruins and guardhouses are still standing.
Jelitkowo Beach & Park
Jelitkowski Park, located on the border between Gdansk and Sopot, dates from the late nineteenth century when the area became popular with Gdansk residents as a place to relax. There are still some old fishermen's houses on its outskirts, and the Oliwski stream enters the sea through a small bridge on its southern side. You can get there by trams 2, 6, or 8 from the center of Gdansk, or you can do what the locals do and ride or walk along the promenade from Sopot.
How to travel there?
Getting to Gdansk should be straightforward. You can get to your destination using a variety of modes of transportation. If you plan a trip around Poland, taking the train to Gdansk will undoubtedly be the most efficient mode of transportation. Direct rail connections are available to Warsaw, Krakow, Bydgoszcz, Pozna, Katowice, Wroclaw, Szczecin, and Olsztyn. The most convenient option is to take trains from Warsaw, which run every hour during the day. The journey from Warsaw takes between 2 hours 47 minutes and 3 hours 39 minutes, depending on the training standard.
Another popular mode of transportation in Poland is line buses. The FLIXBUS line is the one with the most connections.
Gdansk is also served by an international airport, Gdansk Lech Wasa Airport. Flying to Gdansk from the most prominent Polish cities such as Warsaw, Kraków, Pozna, Wroclaw, Katowice, and Lublin is possible. LOT Polish Airlines operates these connections via Warsaw.
Some will undoubtedly travel to Poland by car. If you choose a convenient route, this mode of transportation will run smoothly. As a result, we recommend taking the national road S7 from Warsaw. It is a modern and convenient expressway where passengers do not have to pay tolls. When departing from cities such as ód or Toru, you can take the equally modern A1 highway.
When to travel there?
If your itinerary includes Gdansk or Gdynia, the best time to visit these cities is between May and September. During these months, the average temperature is 25ºC in July, the warmest month, and around 30ºC in January, the coldest month. The oceanic climate of Poland's northern region causes rain to fall almost all year. The highest rainfall rate, however, occurs in July and August, with July being the wettest month with the highest temperature. The temperature drops significantly the rest of the year, between October and April.
What amount of money will you require for your trip to Gdansk? You should budget around z175 (40€) per day for your vacation in Gdansk, as this is the average daily price based on other visitors' expenses. Previous visitors spent an average of z66 (15€) on meals for one day and z27 (6.21€) on local transportation. In addition, the average hotel cost in Gdansk for a couple is z173 (39€). So, a one-week trip to Gdansk for two people costs, on average, z2,456 (555€). All of these average travel prices were gathered from other travelers to assist you in planning your travel budget.
Where to eat?
Pierogi at Pierogarnia Mandu Oliwa
Are you finding the best Pierogi in Gdansk? No, it must be the best in Poland! Pierogarnia Mandu – Oliwa has a chance to make it to the list of one of the best Pierogi (Polish dumpling) restaurants in Poland. The restaurant is close to the European Solidarity Centre, only about a 10 or 15 minutes walk. Cute decor, warm atmosphere, cheap prices, and most importantly, incredibly delicious! There are many varieties, but I chose Pierogi with stewed venison with pepper.
Familia Bistro Garbary
It's right next to Pyra Bar, you guys. Familia Bistro is a small shop that is decorated in the style of a cafe. The shop is ideal for couples, with reasonable prices and a menu that includes not only Polish cuisine but also Lithuanian, Latvian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian dishes. The menu is also limited. Each cuisine has one or two dishes. Eastern and Central European cuisines are very similar.
St Dominic’s Fair
The St Dominic's Fair in Gdansk is one of Europe's most significant commercial open-air events. It was founded in 1260 by Pope Alexander IV and has been held annually in the streets of Gdansk since - with a brief break during and after World War II. In 2022, St Dominic's Fair began on July 23rd and lasted three weeks, ending on August 14th.
FETA – International Street Theatre Festival
It is worth meeting before the Saint Dominic Fair at the increasingly popular event in Gdansk. Every year in July, FETA, or the International Street Theatre Festival, takes place. Four days of varied and emotional staging and always an effective event closing are worth seeing and experiencing in person. The FETA Festival will undoubtedly pique the interest of many viewers.
We've reached the end of the article about Gdansk. This city has a fantastic atmosphere, and we believe you will love it as much as we did! In the meantime, you can read other articles on our blog. How about Krakow or Warsaw? Remember to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!