What to do when visiting Gdansk
Gdansk is a city with over 1000 years of history. It can boast countless attractions and is worth visiting no matter the time of year or weather. Below we want to list just some of things to see and do. They are the real “musts” of Gdansk.
Attractions in Gdansk - museums
As a very old city, Gdansk has a long and fascinating history. Over past ages it was the richest city in the whole of Poland. It had two periods of being a Free City too. And since everyone knows the longer the history, the more events accumulate, museums have been built to tell the story of the City of Gdansk.
Gdansk is the city where II World War broke out, in the morning of the 1st September 1939. If you are interested in this period of history, we recommend you visit the Museum of II World War. Located conveniently just 10 minutes’ walk from the heart of Old Town it holds an impressive number of exhibitions which cover not only the Polish part of the conflict, but a war as a whole. You can easily learn many interesting things about the war in Pacific for example.
Another spot you just can’t omit is the European Solidarity Centre. Yes – again it’s a place full of history, just more recent one. It depicts the fight of Poland and other communist bloc countries for freedom, from the USSR. It shows, in an interactive and detailed way, a key timeline: birth and activity of the most famous movement – the Solidarity.
Enough with pure history for a moment. As mentioned before there’s a plenty of museums to choose from. One of the most frequently visited is the Museum of Amber. Located in an old Tower which used to be a part of city walls it holds thousands of amber lumps that come in all forms and colors but also items made with this fine resource.
Don’t forget about the Museum of Gdansk. It’s not one but actually several museums including: Uphagen’s House, Main City Hall and some of the best preserved granaries housing historical expositions.
what to do in Gdansk
If you are not a fan of museums or have just visited them and don’t know what next, let us help you a bit. When in the Old Town area it’s definitely a good idea to visit Shakespeare’s Theatre. Gdansk was the first city outside of England to erect such a structure 400 years ago. The old building doesn’t exist anymore, but a new one – a modern design by Renato Rizzi from Italy, was built. It can boast an opened roof and a stage made with all the requirements of classical Shakespearean time.
Don’t forget to have a look at Gdansk from bird’s perspective. To do that you can choose several points. The easiest and most accessible one is on the Hail Hill (or Góra Gradowa). It grants a great panorama of the Old Town. In addition you can climb the Tower of St. Mary’s Basilica (82m tall – warning, it’s a bit demanding climb) or the tower of the Main Town Hall. There’s also a Ferris wheel (55m tall) on Ołowianka Island. With good weather you can see as far as the town of Hel on the peninsula.
Alternatively it’s always a great idea to just stroll by the beautiful tenement houses and find relaxation in one of the countless cafes and restaurants. Exploring the city this way is really rewarding. Don’t forget to visit Piwna and Mariacka streets when talking a walk!
Just remember – everything you see on the way is a reconstruction, as the city was completely burned down in the year of 1945. Rebuilding all of this is quite an achievement, isn’t it?
Gdansk - where to go
If you have some more time it’s highly recommendable to visit beautiful park in Oliva district. You can get there with a tram and the ride from the city center takes just 30 minutes. Not only does this amazing, green place has a cathedral with original, 300 hundred years old and fully functional organs, but it is also located just 10 minutes’ walk from yet another viewing point on Pachołek hill. Otherwise the park is full of trees, flowers, streams and ponds. There’s even a waterfall!
Once in Oliva you should also visit Olivia Star – the tallest building in northern Poland. Trust us – you can miss it. It sports a great panorama point with restaurants, 130 meters above the ground!
Last but not least, let’s go back to history. See for yourself the very place where the Second World War begun – the Westerplatte. You can still see bunkers that housed the heroic defenders of Polish Army. You can reach it with a bus or even better – with a ship. In summer it goes from the Green Gate to Westerplatte every hour. It’s also a great chance to admire the shipyard from completely different, normally inaccessible perspective.
Ahh… – one more thing. If the weather is good you just can’t skip going to the beach. Gdansk has many long, wide and sandy beaches – perfect spot for relaxation but also an active rest time.
We hope that this article is a good hint on what to do, especially if you have 2 or 3 days, which is a normal time-span for an ever popular city break. See for yourself – explore Gdansk, discover and most of all – have fun!