Gdansk is interesting in every season!
How can you spend time in Gdansk?
Gdansk is amazing in every season. There is no doubt about this. The city has a special atmosphere in early December, when the first Christmas decorations appear and a thin layer of snow often covers the street. The shop windows, restaurant decors and the Christmas Fair also contribute to the magical atmosphere.
Is it worth visiting Gdansk in December? The answer is definitely yes! This city offers a number of attractions for both youngsters and adult visitors and many ways to spend time, from active entertainment, to strolls around the city, to relaxing over a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine. Just book your stay and visit Gdansk for a wonderful winter experience.
You can start by visiting one of the two Gdansk ice rinks: on Plac Zebrań Ludowych square by Oliwa Gate or at Hala Olivia. They run skate rental and sharpening services, or you can just bring your own skates and only pay the admission fee. There are tourist attractions nearby, including the Góra Gradowa Hill in central Gdansk and the Oliwa Cathedral in the Oliwa district.
Enthusiasts of physical activity will discover many more options. One of these is the Tricity Landscape Park. While few people visit it in the winter, with its moraine hills and rolling landscape it's actually an excellent spot for cross-country skiing. If you'd like to try some winter swimming in the Baltic Sea, check out the beach in Gdansk Jelitkowo. People take up winter swimming for two reasons: to have fun and to stay healthy. Remaining in cold water for too long can be taxing for your body, however, so be careful and warm yourself up as soon as you get out of the water.
If you're up for something lighter, check out the Sopot Aquapark. You can test your swimming endurance or just have fun on the water slides (there are multiple slides of various sizes, both for children and adults), you can also splash down the wild river, jump on the water trampoline, or try out some of the other activities on offer. When you get tired, hop into the whirpool for a water massage or have a spa treatment.
Łysa Góra in Sopot shows that skiing is possible not just in a city, but in a seaside city. An excellent place for family fun, Łysa Góra slope is well-suited for advanced skiers and for beginners, who can sign up for skiing lessons. Click here for more details. If the winter in the Tricity turns out to be a mild and snowless one, try the SKIMONDO all-season slope where you can ski for 4 kilometres in 10 minutes at an attractive price. Skiing aside, you can also visit Sobieszewo Island to go for an unforgettable cod fishing trip at sea. The departure time is quite early in the morning, but a fresh catch is definitely worth the inconvenience. Sea shanties, a brisk wind and a large dose of iodine are guaranteed!
How about a sleigh ride? This is another idea for outdoor fun. Maybe this year we'll be lucky enough to have a true winter and snow will stay on the forest paths for longer. Tabun Centre, scenically located right on the Otomin Lake just 7 km from the city centre, offers conventional sleigh rides and evening rides with torches that make the forest look even more magical than it looks during the day. After the ride, you can sit by the bonfire and drink a cup of hot tea. Click here for more details.
Brief respite before Christmas
A stroll along the seaside is always an attractive option. You can choose the distance depending on the weather and your mood. It's just 3 kilometres from Gdansk Brzeźno to Jelitkowo, but if you feel like going further, you can continue for another 3 kilometres to Sopot, stroll out onto the pier, and then walk the final 13 kilometres from Sopot to Gdynia. The distance might seem daunting at first, yet the beautiful views, stunning cliffs and fresh air will reward your effort. There's a good chance of seeing seagulls and swans on the beach, so don't forget to bring some plain bread.
If you'd rather simply enjoy the pre-Christmas atmosphere, take your family to the Great Elf Factory or visit the Christmas Fair.
The Christmas Fair is one of the largest wintertime attractions of Gdansk. It starts on 3 December and runs for almost three weeks, until 23 December. Visitors can taste traditional Polish dishes served for Christmas Eve dinner, and buy small gifts and souvenirs, not all of them Christmas-themed. There is also an ice rink and merry-go-rounds nearby, and the fair programme features a Santa Claus visit and carol singing. Click here to learn more about the fair.
The Great Elf Factory will run at the Amber Expo centre from 28 November until 21 December. During the 2.5-hour tour, children can visit a real Santa Claus village! As in the previous four years, the factory will have a ton of attractions that will even surprise returning visitors. Children will learn the secrets of an elf's work, visit 10 points of interest, meet Santa Claus, and finally get a diploma and a small gift. Parents can enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack at the Amber Side restaurant, or just have fun with their kids.
Take a piece of the Tricity home!
It's a great feeling to sit down at the Christmas Eve table while listening to popular Christmas hits. Make this year even more special with the music of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot, which has been working on a Christmas album arranged for string orchestra and jazz trio. It will include well-known and much-loved songs from the pop cultural repertoire.