Located on the northern coast of Poland, the historic city of Gdansk is one of the most beautiful seaside cities in Poland. With a beautiful rich heritage and history that makes this city a perfect place to visit for a weekend city-break.

I’ve always wanted to visit Poland, but with so many amazing cities and natural parks to see, I found it really hard to choose – until I ‘discovered’ the quaint city of Gdansk.

After what felt like an eternity of waiting, we finally got around to booking our tickets, choosing our location and deciding on the best places to see in this relatively small Polish city.

Why go there?

Poland has such an established network of international flights that it makes traveling to the city relatively easy – even if it’s just for the weekend.

Flying from London was around €50 (return) but don’t think this is the only way to travel to Gdansk.

The city is served by Europe’s railway network and is easily accessible if you are planning to visit as part of a wider exploration of Europe.

Where to stay in Gdansk

Gdańsk has such a vibrant mix of places to live. While we were there we knew we wanted to stay in a period property, which was really typical of historic Gdansk. Soon we used the power of the interwebs to find places to stay Airbnb.

After some searching, I found a lovely apartment for the weekend, which dates back to when Gdansk was part of the Free City of Danzig, an autonomous city-state similar in size to some picturesque micro-states. Europe that I really want to explore more.

The apartment was beautiful, I think I actually let out a squeal when I walked through the door – it was stunning.

Travel within Gdansk

After conducting a brief exploration of the city, I soon realized how walkable Gdansk is – we actually walked the entire central strip of the city in a few hours. Public transport is relatively cheap, fast and easy to find.

I wish I had known this before we arrived. For some reason, I thought a rental car would be a good idea (don’t ask me why) but we only used it for our transportation to and from the airport.

I would only really recommend getting a car if you want to explore the surrounding coastline (which, by the way, is stunning)!

8 things to see in the city

While in Gdansk, we were able to visit some amazing places and with the weather on our side – we had the most amazing few days! Here are some amazing places we would recommend visiting while visiting:

1.) Look at the colors of The Old-Town

The city’s historic center is a great place to start your exploration, with some stunning architecture heavily influenced by Germanic and Polish traditions.

The colorful streets of Daluga Street are a unique place to wander even for a few hours. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the hundreds of gargoyles lining the city streets – some scary, some majestic and some downright adorable!

Old Town has such great character, making it one of my top places to spend a sunny (or snowy) afternoon. Just remember to wrap up warm with the latter! 🙂

2.) Go Amber Shopping on Mariaca Street

Amber is part of Gdansk’s heritage. It seems to be everywhere and has a heritage that goes back hundreds of years when locals would (and still do) make some of the most intricate and beautiful jewelry in all of Eastern Europe.

Baltic amber was highly valued for its beauty. Much of the amber in the Amber Room in Kaliningrad, Russia was actually sourced from the Bay of Gdansk – demonstrating the historical value and valuable nature of this natural resin.

3.) European Solidarity Center

A relatively new place to explore in Gdansk, the European Solidarity Center showcases some of the region’s history.

Take an hour or so, wander around and learn a lot about the region. You can really feel the change in atmosphere within the building itself, a 45 meter high cross stands proud as a reminder of the many lives lost in the region.

4.) See Koshiol Mariak

It doesn’t happen on purpose, but somehow Yaya and I always visit church on Sundays when we travel. And, whether you’re religious or not, Koshiol Mariak is an absolutely stunning place to visit.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even climb the tower for a few euros – which offers some great views across the city.

5.) Dlugie Pobrzeze

Head a little north (about 100 meters) from the old town and you come to the Motlava River area.

This stunning embankment is a great place to see some of the historic buildings in Gdansk. One thing I really wish we could have done is a boat tour through the area, which seemed like a great way to explore some of the other areas around Gdansk… then again, there’s always next time 🙂

6.) Zhurav Crane

The only fully restored and largest reconstruction in the world, the Zhurav Crane is worth a visit. This medieval crane dates back more than 500 years, having been rebuilt due to the horrors of World War II.

The Zhurav Crane is open to visitors during the summer months and is completely free on Saturdays.

7.) Greek Gods in Poland

Located in Gdansk’s popular Long Market area, Neptune’s Fountain is unmissable. In the last century, it represented Gdansk throughout Eastern Europe.

Despite his roots in Greek mythology, the ‘god of the sea’ would be hard to miss.

8.) Beach fun in Sopot

The spa town of Sopot, just 10-15 minutes away by train or taxi, is one of Poland’s most popular seaside resorts, with an impressive pier that juts out into the sea.

Although we visited in winter, Sopot is still worth a visit to witness the beautiful beaches (even if you see a storm from afar). If you’re lucky enough to visit in the summer, take a towel, some sun-block and your buckets and spades to enjoy the golden sandy beaches of this amazing beach.

Read more: Best places to visit in Poland

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