When you visit popular travel destinations like Warsaw, you have certain expectations. But when it comes to lesser-known destinations, you never know what to expect. Destinations like Gdansk never fail to surprise its visitors.
Located in northern Poland, Gdansk is a bustling city thanks to its connection to the ocean waters. Although much of the town was destroyed by war, Gdansk is fast rising as one of the most significant destinations in the Baltic cities.
In the city, you’ll see a massive medieval harbor crane and lots of ambers, which you’ll find on the shores of Gdansk beaches. Catch gorgeous views of the city climbing to the top of St. Mary’s Church.
If you’re already in Poland, then getting to the city is a breeze. The city is home to its own train station, and the best way of getting to the city is to travel by train.
If you’re coming from outside Poland, Gdansk has its own well-equipped airport. Upon arrival at Gdansk Airport, visitors can now book a train ride to their final destination anywhere within the city.
For comfort and convenience, book a private airport transfer directly to your destination. With a private transfer, you don’t need to worry about finding a space to hang on to while lugging with your suitcase everywhere you go. Choose a private transfer of choice, and you’ll be out of the airport within minutes of arrival.
Best Gdansk Attraction to Visit
With new museums, attractions, shopping, and many more, you’re bound for a swell time holidaying in Gdansk. If you’re pushed for time, this list will guide you on the top Gdansk attraction to visit.
1. St. Mary’s Basilica
The magnificent Mary’s Basilica is an iconic structure that dominates Gdansk’s old town. It is one of the world’s largest Roman Catholic Churches dating back to 1343.
Rumors have it that the church contains more red bricks than any other church in the world. Indeed, it is an unmissable attraction in Gdansk. A climb to the roof offers matchless panoramas of the city and beyond. Make sure you climb to the top of the tower, the stress is worth it.
Before taking the over 400 steps to the top of the bell tower, take a few moments to explore the interior of the church. The interior boasts ancient relics. The most popular being the 500-year-old astronomical clock, three-dimensional cryptic of the Last Judgment, and a wooden pieta.
Gyddanzyc Wikimedia Commons
2. European Solidarity Centre
In this newly built, well-laid-out museum located close to the Solidarity Monument, visitors can gain more insight into the historical events of the Polish people and anti-communist opposition in Poland and Europe. On getting here, the first thing you’ll see is the Monument of the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970, built in honor of the over 40 people who lost their lives in 1970.
The major highlight of the ESC is a grand exhibition that takes visitors through the history of Solidarity and events that took place during WWII. Visitors from Hungary, Germany, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic will find interesting pieces and exhibitions that relate to them.
The museum has something for everyone, including younger visitors – the Playroom Department. It’s a must-visit for every visitor, regardless of whether you’re a museum enthusiast. Your time in the museum will last for about three hours. For the most remarkable tour experience, make sure you visit ESC in the early hours of the day before the museum gets crowded.
3. National Museum
Gdansk’s National Museum is one of the top places to visit in the city. Access to the museum attracts a small fee. However, Fridays are usually free for everyone.
So, if your visit falls on a Friday, then you’re in luck because it’s absolutely free. The museum boasts some of the finest paintings you’ll find in Poland.
One painting that draws millions of people annually is The Last Judgment, locally known as Sad Ostateczny. The painting, which dates back to the 15th century, was done by a German painter. This is, unarguably, the most valuable exhibit in the museum. Besides, the museum boasts many exhibits and artworks dedicated to both local and national history.
4. Dlugi Targ
Dluigi Targ, popularly known as the Long Market or Royal Way, is the most popular street in Gdansk. It is no more than 500 meters long so that you can get from one side of the street to another within 10 minutes.
Don’t just walk through it; take a moment to explore some of the finest spots in Gdansk just along the way. The street is usually crowded during the day but surprisingly serene at night.
Just as you walk through it, you’ll find café, shops, restaurants, and other top attractions, including the Golden Gate and the iconic Main Town Hall tower. Other places worth seeing include Neptune’s Fountain and a museum called Artus Court.
5. Neptune’s Fountain
Located in the heart of Dlugi Targ (Long Market), Neptune’s Fountain is an iconic symbol of Gdansk. This impressive structure has been in existence since 1633.
Ordered by the Mayor of Gdansk, Bartlomiej Schachmann, the fountain is one of the most photographed parts of the city. It would be hard to miss as you take a stroll through the city center.
Around the fountain are tourists posing and taking photos of themselves. In most cases, it’s always hard to find a great spot due to the many camera-wielding tourists that surround the fountain.
6. Town Hall
Take a trip to the Main Town Hall to see firsthand breathtaking 17th-century interiors. The hall holds a rich history that shouldn’t be missed. The Town Hall is visible as you walk through Long Street, Gdansk’s main thoroughfare.
Today, the hall has been transformed into a history museum, making it a great place for history lovers. For unparalleled panorama, climb to the top of the tower. The Main Town Hall has gained popularity for its replica of a set of 37 beautiful concert bells.
7. The Crane
The Crane is located on the bank of the Motlawa River, right next to the National Maritime Museum. Though no longer functioning, the Crane itself is a beauty to behold and worth visiting.
The black building is a testament to the historic relationship this great city has with the sea. Built-in 1444, this is the oldest Crane in the whole of Europe. It was used many years ago to load cargo into ships. Take a walk under the Crane to see what it’s made of. The sight is impressive.
8. Motlawa River
A walk along the banks of the Motlawa River is just as nice as a stroll through Long Street. The riverbank is lined with stores selling marine products, lovely seafood restaurants, the maritime museum, amber and crystal vendors, floating cafes, and many more. For the best experience, take a walk down both sides of the waterfront.
9. PGE Arena Gdansk
It no news that Gdansk is the World Capital of Amber, hence the reason why the stadium built for the prestigious UEFA Euro 2012 event, well known as one of the most magnificent football stadiums in the world, has a similar resemblance to an amber.
The stadium modeled after a ship’s frame tells you more about the maritime traditions of the city. Built-in 2011, the match between Gdansk Lechia and Cracovia was the first to be played in the stadium.
The stadium hosted its first international match between the host, Poland, and visitors, Germany – a game that ended 2: 2. During the UEFA EURO 2012, the stadium had more than 160,000 fans who visited from different parts of Europe to show support for their team.
10. Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers
The northern edge of the Old Town in Gdansk’s has its name stamped in the history books of the city. It is home to the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers.
Formerly known as the Lenin Shipyards, this attraction was built to honor the worker’s struggle in December 1970. The name, Solidarity, was chosen for the trade union, which constitutes the shipyard workers.
The trade union became recognized by the government despite the harsh treatment, and persecution the majority of its members had gone through.
No other place can be as rewarding and fulfilling as Gdansk. Other cities may just look like Gdansk. Its strategic location and its years of history have shaped the city to what it is today.
More so, the town holds a lot of mysteries; it features its own unique atmosphere making it impossible for one to mistake Gdansk for another destination.
Gdansk is a thriving center of science, sports, culture, and entertainment. The city draws thousands of tourists annually who come to explore what the world’s capital city of amber has to offer.
The city has been recommended by many travelers, most notable being the renowned British guidebook publisher – Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Travel, as one of the world’s must-visit destinations.
Gdansk is safe, entertaining, and tourist-friendly.