With the transformation that has occurred in the lively maritime town of Gydnia, it is hard to believe that some eight decades ago, the city was a small village. Today, the city is a popular tourist destination, ideal for visitors who want to relax at the beachside and enjoy maximum fun, thanks to its many entertainment opportunities, superb clubs, and restaurants.
Gdynia is one of the youngest cities in Poland with proximity to two other towns, Gdansk and Sopot, which together forms the Tricity, locally known as “Trojmiasto.”
As a seaside port, Gdynia becomes a popular resort for tourists in the summer months. The best part is that there’s something for everyone regardless of the season. Here’s a guide on the top things to do in Gdynia.
1. Emigration Museum
Poland has one of the world’s largest populations of Diaspora, and the best place to get more insight about it is at the Emigration Museum. In the interwar period, this Modernist maritime terminal at French Quay was the spot where many locals hopped on the train, intending to never return to their homeland.
Opened to the public in 2015, the Emigration Museum features an extensive collection of pictures, motion pictures, sound recordings, personal items, and firsthand testimony of locals. A visit to the museum will give you more insight into the reasons and how thousands of poles decided to move abroad to destinations like Australia, Brazil, and the US.
Andrzej Otrebski Wikimedia Commons
2. ORP Blyskawica
Gdynia has a strong maritime history, so it is wise to visit at least one of the ships that played a significant role in building this rich history. Built by the J. Samuel White shipyard on the Isle of Wight, ORP Blyskawica destroyer is the world’s oldest preserved ship of its kind.
The Polish Navy used the vessel during the Second World War. Besides, the Bylskawica Destroyer prides itself on being the only Polish Navy vessel to be awarded the Virtuti Militari Medal.
Today, it has been transformed into a museum, with proximity to the Gdynia harbor. A tour of the ship museum takes you to see the anti-aircraft guns, depth charges, torpedo, engine rooms, the radio rooms, and more.
Antoni Dubowicz Wikimedia Commons
3. Gdynia Aquarium
Being a city by the seaside, the waters of the Baltic Sea is home to an extensive number of marine creatures, and the Gdynia Aquarium offers visitors a glimpse into the rich collection of sea wildlife that this city has to offer.
No doubt, this attraction is ideal for people of all ages, but it appeals more to kids. The aquarium is home to over 1,000 fish species, reptiles, and amphibians. This modern family attraction is just a few walking distances away from the ship museum.
4. Dar Pomorza
This is another impressive ship museum located by the Gdynia harbor. Maintained by the Polish National Maritime Museum, the Dar Parmorza was built in 1909.
The ship sailed to Great Britain in 1920 for war reparations and was used by France for training purposes. In 1935. It became the first ship donning Poland’s national flag to travel around the world. It was transformed into a museum in 1983. Climb on board to witness firsthand the ship’s intricate design.
Zeglarz Wikimedia Commons
5. Gdynia Beach
If you love the outdoors, Gdynia will satisfy you to the fullest. Located right in the city center is the magnificent Gdynia beach. The main beach is a place you don’t want to miss out on visiting on a warm day. Clean water and a long stretch of sand make this spot a perfect place to relax and get wet.
On the northern tip of the beaches are cafes and restaurants with outdoor tables. It is just located close to a wooden pier from where you can enjoy the views. One of the things that you shouldn’t miss is watching the sunset. Find yourself a great spot and take in the views.
6. Kosciuszko Square
Located in the heart of Gdynia, Kosciuszko Square is dotted with beautiful stalls, restaurants, shops, and a breathtaking fountain. It is an ideal spot for an evening stroll. The square is dedicated to Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a national hero who championed the revolution against Russia in 1794.
From here, you can quickly get to the South Pier, where the famous museum ships are located. Overlooking the square are the Polish Navy’s command building and modernist tenement houses, which dates back to the 1930s. Other attractions within walking distance from the square include the theatre, aquarium, marine, and cinema. You can never get enough of this place.
7. Museum of Gdynia
If you’d like to learn more about Poland’s newest city, the Museum of Gdynia has got you covered. Inside you’ll find a series of exhibitions that talk about the fascinating history of this beautiful city. Some of the items on display cover designs, cultural history, architecture, and education.
You’ll find lots of artifacts with great details about the early years of Gdynia. Also, you’ll find items like posters, school certificates, maps, marriage certificates, passports, and restaurant menus – all giving accounts of the people who lived in the city during the interwar. On the second floor is an exhibition space which now serves as an art gallery.
8. Kamienna Gora Gdynia Funicular
For a spectacular view of the city and the Baltic Sea, take the funicular to the top of Kamienna Gora – a hill in the city center. The free funicular that takes visitors up and down the hill is the latest addition to the city’s attraction.
The 115 meters track can take up to 12 people at once to the top of the hill and back. It is worthy of mentioning that the funicular is unmanned, so passengers are the ones who operate it. Get here for sunset for the most stunning views.
Whether you’re visiting the city for a few days or longer, Gdynia surely has something new to experience. With this guide about the places to visit and things to do in the city, planning your trip to Gdynia will be easy and hassle-free.
Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.