Gdansk & Sopot

Collage of historical harbour with the abundant architecture and spa resort
with a fantastic beach.


Gdansk - the maritime and amber capital of Poland, also known as the town of Lech Walesa whose solidarity movement overthrew communism. The town has the thousand years history and used to be a jewel of the Hanseatic League. Conveniently situated at the mouth of River Wisla, on the main trade route, in the 14th and 15th centuries, the town of Gdansk grew to be one of the biggest and richest Baltic ports. The Old City with its big buildings and burgher houses built in the style of the North European Renaissance by master-builders from Flanders and the Netherlands are decorated with characteristic ante thresholds. The streets do not converge in the market place, but run down towards the River Motlawa and the old Gdansk harbour together with Dlugi Targ (Long Market) which plays the role of the city's main market.

The Old Town of Gdansk is lined up with richly ornamented old merchant houses including the Gothic town hall housing the Historical Museum of Gdansk and the Artus Court -the heart of cultural and commercial life in the old Gdansk. The symbol of Gdansk is The Neptune Fountain. The Crane on the Motlawa river was the biggest port crane in the medieval Europe. The Gothic St. Mary`s Church is the largest old brick church in Europe. Worth seeing is also a memorial to the shipyard workers killed in the 1970’ riots, a symbol of the fight for freedom. Nearby, in the Gdansk Shipyard area, the workers' protest movement Solidarity started. With their fight, the Tri-City workers triggered the social and political changes which brought about freedom and democracy to Poland and Central Europe. In 2014, the European Solidarity Centre was opened - a state-of-the-art cultural institution that honours our greatest civic success - the victorious Solidarity movement. It is a museum that commemorates the revolution of Solidarity and the fall of communism in Europe. Another interesting sight in Gdansk is the Shakespeare Theatre built on the site where, in the 17th century, there was the only Elizabethan type theatre building outside of the British Islands.

Recommended tours from Gdansk:

  • Westerplatte - WWII – it is where on the 1st September, 1939, at 04:47 AM, WWII kicked off when a German Panzer ship "Schleswig-Holstein", supposedly in Polish waters on a goodwill visit, fired on Polish troops stationed on this peninsula;
  • Sztutowo - another place connected with the Second World War is the former Nazi concentration camp Stutthof, put into operation on the 2nd September 1939, where in the gas chambers, crematoriums and prisoners barracks about 85 000 people perished;
  • Malbork- the biggest medieval castle in Europe [registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List] - the former seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. Taken by Poland in 1457, it became a residence of the Polish kings. The stronghold consists of a group of 13th - 15th century Gothic fortified edifices. Now as a museum, it contains a gallery of medieval sculpture, collection of 15th - 17th cent. weapons, valuable collection of amber, ancient coins and medals. The most attractive chamber of the complex is a summer refectory;

Sopot - the most famous spa and seaside resort known for fantastic Art Nouveau eclectic villas from the 19th and 20th century. The Northern Baths are a good example of old spa buildings. One of the Sopot`s attractions is the longest wooden pier [512 m]. Sopot hosts a number of various events including sailing races, tennis tournaments, horse races and a worldwide famous International Song Festival organised in the greenery of the Forest Opera. Nearby, you can visit Oliwa Cathedral - worth recommending for its 18th century organ.

Gdynia - the most modern harbour in Poland. The attractions of the city are two museum ships - the frigate Dar Pomorza and the destroyer Blyskawica.