Last updated on September 24, 2019
Gdansk is a lovely Polish city located in the north of Poland which forms part of the so-called Tricity region. It is located on the Baltic sea cost which makes it a perfect location, especially during the summer months.
The history of Gdansk goes as far back as the 10th century. The first written records originate from year 999. In the city, you can find the influence of many cultures. Throughout its existence it belonged to many different countries. It was Polish, it was German (previously called Prussia), it was even independent. This is what makes this place so unbelievably interesting and worth visiting.
I went there last year with my husband and my mom and therefore I want to mention to you a few places that you should not miss during your visit there. So, let’s start the list of the top 11 things to do in Gdansk!
The Royal Way
The story of the Royal Way goes back to the times when Poland was still a kingdom. Polish kings liked to visit Gdansk as it was bringing them a lot of tax revenues from rich trade merchants. Because of the huge tax incomes they were bringing, the city dwellers would be negotiating more and more privileges with the king knowing that they were too important for him to reject the requests.
When the king of Poland travelled from Warsaw to Gdańsk, he would enter the city through the Brama Wyżynna (Upland Gate). After that, he would continue through the Złota Brama (Golden Gate) and reaching ulica Długa (Long Street) and Długi Targ (Long Market). Some of the main sights on the way are the Golden Gate, the Torture House, the Prison Tower and Neptune’s Fountain.
The European Solidarity Center
If you are interested in history and especially in a history of what was happening after the II World War and how some countries managed to get rid of the communist occupation, this place is a MUST.
This museum, located in Gdansk, is focused on, so-called, Solidarity movement. Solidarity was a trade union and civil resistance movement that was the main opposition against the communism in Poland. Lech Walesa was one of the main faces of this organisation. The museum was opened in August 2014.
This is, in my opinion, one of the top things to do in Gdansk.
Another place that needs to be visited by history lovers. This is where World War II started. Westerplatte is a peninsula in Gdansk where in 1939 the Polish Military Transit Depot was located.
Beginning on 1st September, the German army attacked the Depot which gave a start to one of the biggest wars in European history. The city managed to hold for 7 days and until now serves as an inspiration for the Polish army.
Nowadays, at the highest point of Westerplatte, there is a memorial to the “Coast Defenders”. It was erected in 1966 and made of 236 granite blocks rising to 25 metres.
I guess some of us think that beach is only nice during summertime, however, in my opinion, it is also a great place for some autumn and spring strolls 🙂 And Jelitkowo Beach with its length is a perfect place to do so.
During summer you can enjoy beautiful sandy beaches and great food. During other months you can enjoy some stunning nature and a healthy environment. This beach has a clean ribbon of fine sand backed by a chain of parks and curving for several kilometres up the coast to the west.
St. Mary’s Church
This stunning gothic church is considered one of the top attractions in Gdansk. The church was built in the 14th century and is one of the three largest brick churches in the world.
The church was partially damaged during World War II, however, the majority of the artworks survived as they were transferred outside of the city. The reconstruction of the damaged parts started straight after the war, in 1946.
Make sure you go inside and check out such items as the astronomical clock from the 1460s or high altar raised in 1510s.
Museum of World War II
I guess the name suggests very well what is the main theme of this place 😉 It is a great place for adults and children to learn more about the events during the Second World War. You can check more information directly on their website that is also available in English.
The museum is new and modern. It was only opened in March 2017. Many of the museum’s 2,000 exhibits were donated by families that were caught up in the conflict, putting a human face on the devastation.
All year long there is a standard museum available for its visitors but on top of this, the museum prepares for you some temporary exhibitions. The standard ticket price is 23 PLN for an adult. If you want to visit a temporary exhibition you normally need to pay an additional 5 PLN.
The Main Town Hall
Gdańsk Main Town Hall is a historic building located in the Gdańsk Main City borough of Śródmieście. It is one of the finest examples of the Gothic-Renaissance historic buildings in the city, built at the intersection of the Long Lane and Long Market, in the most popular part of Gdańsk.
The Town Hall was designed by the Dutch architect in the middle of the 16th century. The building was very heavily damaged during the war but thanks to the immense efforts its reconstruction finished already in 1952.
In my personal opinion, this is one of the coolest streets in the city and therefore definitely one of the top places to visit in Gdansk. The street retains some fine architecture masterpieces. Go and look, for example, for some gargoyle heads. Because of its beauty, the street is often used as a shooting spot for some period movies.
In addition to that, of you are an amber fan, this is probably the place with the best amber shops in the city. The street is also a great place for some food lovers. You will find here some nice little restaurants with their tables that are located in some cute places.
This beautiful area next to the waterfront is definitely a place to go for a stroll. This is where in the past the whole unloading and uploading of the ships took place.
Nowadays, Long Embankment is a perfect place if you want to buy some souvenirs or eat something delicious. The places normally offer outdoor seating with a nice water view. You can also take some short boat trips there.
Dlugi Targ Square
The square together with Dluga street is probably the most crowded place in Gdansk with a lot of tourists from all over the world. And, if you have ever been there you probably know why 😉 This vibrant square with its stunning architecture is a must-see for people who come and visit Gdansk.
The number of coffee places and restaurants will also not leave you thirsty or hungry. You can have some rest after the whole day of strolling or maybe you simply want to start your day there with some delicious breakfast.
Organized Tours in Gdansk
And finally, if you do not want to see Gdansk on your own or maybe you want to experience it from a slightly different perspective, you could book some of the organized tours which are worth considering!