Top 10 Things Gdańsk
Gdańsk, or Danzig, is a proud coastal city in northern Poland. It boasts a unique, multi-cultural legacy both Polish and German. To help you get a taste of what Gdańsk has to offer, we prepared a list of 10 places anyone should see when visiting the town. There is something for everyone and even something extra at the end!
1. Długi Targ
“The Long Market” is the uncontested number one of the most interesting things to see in Gdańsk. Despite being only 500 meters long (which is about ten minutes of a lazily paced stroll), it is packed with breathtaking architecture and dazzling sights. Once you get there, you will understand why the richest citizens wanted to live here. There is so much content crammed into this small market square! You could come back for weeks and still experience something new and exciting. Witness the Green and Golden Gates, behold the Artus Court and Town Hall. Get a selfie next to Neptune Fountain!
2. Mariacka Street
Less glamorous and shiny than DługiTarg, Mariacka Street is no less charming. Often considered the best example of Gdańsk’s signature art style. It proudly displays some of the best-preserved old school gothic architecture, including the famous gargoyle pukers. Make sure to look for them when you get there! Mariacka Street is a perfect choice when you want to get cozily sidetracked, exploring shops and other wonders tucked in there. There is probably a no better place than Mariacka Street if you are looking for amber in Gdańsk.
3. European Solidarity Center
Gdańsk has a special place in the modern history of Poland. It played a critical role in it regaining its freedom. European Solidarity Center is dedicated to celebrating the “Solidarność” movement. It doubles as both an amazing library and a museum of science and culture. Visit if you want to learn more about the history of the “Solidarność”, or if you are interested in one of many cultural events and happenings hosted there. There is always something uplifting going on there, so check what is currently on the menu. ESC exhibitions are consistently amazing. There is also a section dedicated to children, embracing the ideas of teaching teamwork through play.
Another historical landmark if Gdańsk, it might be the most iconic of them all. It is a reminder of the time when Gdańsk was a hub of all the Baltic trade, making the city into mercantile and economic powerhouse. The crane was used to load and transfer cargo of the ships. It could lift 4 tones up to a height of 11 meters. The oldest and the most powerful building of this sort in the medieval world. Today, it functions as a museum and an exhibition. Visitors will be explained the secrets of the mechanism that made it so strong and well relevant into the 19th century, and learn everything there is to know about port life in Gdańsk.
Would you like to visit this place? Check our tour
The only man-made island in Poland, Sobieszewska Island is 11 kilometers of pure beauty. If you are tired of the city and want to reconnect with mother nature, take a water taxi to Sobieszewo. Your body will thank you for breathing in the iodine-rich air. Here, you will be able to enjoy some of the prettiest beaches in Poland. If you are not in a mood for a splash, you might stroll around the forest instead. The island will make you relax and forget that you are just a dozen kilometers away from the center of the 6th biggest city in the country.
Westerplatte is an important historical landmark. It was where the first battle of the eastern front of World War II took place. Today, it is revered as a monument to the bravery and heroism of the Polish soldiers, who fought until the end despite overwhelming odds. To honor and learn about their sacrifice, visitors can walk a historical trail taking them around the peninsula. It consists of ten stops and takes about two hours to complete.
Would you like to visit this place? Check our tour
7. Museum of the Second World War
Opened for visitors in 2017, the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk aims to capture the fate and struggles of individuals caught in the ravages of the most devastating conflict in human history. The driving vision behind this museum was to present the suffering of casualties of war in a way that would resonate with the European and foreign perspectives. It focuses less on battles and military history, and more on the everyday lives of civilians during the occupation. This ambitious project offers one of the biggest exhibitions in the entire world, consisting of 5000 m^2. Touching, effective and powerful. You will never forget it.
8. St. Mary’s Church
One of the top three largest brick churches in the world, St. Mary’s Church is one of the crown jewels of Gdańsk. Uniquely, it served as both Roman Catholic and Lutheran church during different (and sometimes, overlapping!) periods of its history. An absolute must for anyone interested in gothic architecture. You can access it through one of the seven gates. Thanks to its enormous size, it is believed to hold up to 25000 people at once! Continuing the theme of enormousness, it hosts a gigantic and complex clock. According to the legend about its origins, the clockmaker responsible for its creation was blinded. This way, he could never try to make a better clock!
9. Amber Museum
Gdańsk is considered “the capital of Amber” for a reason. Want to know why? Visit the Amber Museum! Here, you will be able to learn the history and importance of the amber trade. You will be able to appreciate the finest amber jewelry. Interested in how it is all made? You can learn that too. Amber Museum boasts a very unique atmosphere, largely due to its location. Who would expect an exhibition dedicated to amber to be spread between a Prison Tower and a Torture Chamber, of all places? In fact, if you are interested in the story of the buildings itself, there is an extra, separate exhibition hosted about them, too!
Located in the very center of Gdańsk, Hevelianum is a combination of a science center and a recreational park. It integrates the historical landmarks into a modern structure, encouraging both adults and children alike to explore the world of science and history together. A fantastic way to spend some quality family time. Named after Jan Heweliusz – an amazing astronomer and one of the most brilliant citizens of Gdańsk to ever live. To honor his heritage, Hevelianum constantly organizes interactive exhibitions and experiments. Learning through playing is fun, especially when done in such a beautiful environment.
11. BONUS: STUTTHOF CAMP
While not located in the city proper, Stutthof Camp is only 34km east of it. Anyone interested in seeing the World War II history should consider visiting it when in Gdańsk.
Here you can find all the details you need to fit a tour to Stutthof Camp into your holiday schedule.