Gdansk, the diamond of the Baltic sea, the city of freedom and in my opinion one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. A 9th-century village managed to cope with the difficulties, even though it was destroyed in World War II, emerged from its ashes to enchant every traveler who visits it. With a rich history, beautiful architecture, cosmopolitan atmosphere and with a friendly inhabitant, it is a city that is worth your time to visit.
Through this article, I will guide you to this amazing Polish city, let us get started.
How to get to Gdansk
My trip to Gdansk was during my stay in Poland so I took the bus route with the well-known Flixbus, big, comfortable, green buses that travel around Europe at very affordable prices and is a money value solution. There are many ways to get to Gdansk. If your departure is from Greece, the choice is of course by air. On the other hand, if you decide to combine your trip to Gdansk with another trip to Poland, there is also the option of the train, the bus and of course the car if you decide to rent one.
Exploring the Old town of Gdansk
Arriving in the city, the first stop is Dluga Street, with the beautiful majestic golden gate welcoming you and leading you to the old town, where you immediately see the beautiful architecture, the bright colors, the beautiful ornate designs on the facades of the buildings, the next to each other, which is also a special feature of Gdansk. This beautiful scenery view leaves you with no choice but to stop for a moment and admire the beauty of the city around you. Paved streets, shops on both sides of the street for food and coffee, street musicians, painters, sellers give another beautiful aesthetic to the already magic landscape and that’s only the beginning of our tour around Gdansk.
Moving on to Dluga Street, we reach the Dlugi Targ, and the City Hall of Gdansk, which is now the city’s history museum, a beautiful building and a very interesting museum that allows you to get to know the history of the city, especially during World War II but also climb up to the bell tower and admire the Dlugi Targ from above. At the Dlugi Targ is the statue of Neptune, one of the most famous and most insta-friendly sights of the city that every tourist wants to photograph.
At the end of the Dlugi Targ we reach the Green Gate and there the landscape changes because we are transported to the part of the city by the water, which at first glance reminds us of Amsterdam, the canal of the river Motlava that crosses it, the triangular houses make you think for a while you are in a different city.
Walking along the river you can enjoy your coffee or a delicious meal at various beautiful cafes and restaurants there. One of the café-restaurants I visited, and which I recommend is Ostro, an Italian restaurant with a menu for all tastes. From breakfast to dinner and with a small outdoor area that allows you to eat your meal or enjoy your coffee with the cool air and the view of Motlava to accompany you, if the weather is good, taking a break before continuing with your tour of Gdansk.
Along the river, we will find many gates that each lead to a different part of the city. The gate of St. Mary is the first gate at the street near the Motlava river and will lead us to Mariatcka Street, the second most beautiful street in Gdansk with some picturesque shops such as Mariacka Café and shops that sell the treasure of Baltic, which is no other than Amber. Beautiful small and large shops that sell various items from beautifully refined jewelry to office items with gemstones. Continuing to Mariatcka we reach the Church of Our Lady of Gdansk, which was named after the street, a beautiful, imposing brick church, which also allows travelers to climb about 400 steps and be on top to enjoy Gdansk.…from above. There in the streets of the city, there are many beautiful attractions such as the Royal Chapel, the Fountain of 4 quarters, with one lion on each side, which during spring and summer months is open and is a beautiful “station” to relax, enjoy the view of the Chapel and the coolness from the cold water of the fountain. The church of St. John, which is now a cultural center that organizes various events such as concerts.
From the gate of St. John, we return to the road next to the river where there are two well-known museums of the city related to its maritime history.
View from Motlava River
The “Soldek” Museum is located on a ship built after World War II and is part of the National Maritime Museum, as is the famous Crane of Gdansk. Walking along the river you will see the Gdansk AmberSky Wheel on the other side, and it is ideal for those who would like to see this part of the city over the Motlava river. There are many places to eat, drink but one of the places I loved and highly recommend is Riverside by Pilsner, which has very affordable prices, good food and a great variety of beers and if you are lucky you can hear some live music. Also, a worth visit place is the Wawel Cafe, a well-known cafe famous for its chocolate, the paradise of chocolate lovers, as you can find chocolate and not only sweets, chocolate drinks but also chocolates from the chocolate workshop in Poland.
The Lion Mascot of Gdansk
Something that impressed me in Gdansk was its “Mascot”. The small mascot lion that can be found in various parts of the city is called Hevellion. A small metal lion named after the Polish astronomer and scientist John Hevelius, where his statue is located next to the city’s watermill where one of the lions is located. Also, some places you can see this little mascot are the sailing club on the Motlava River or at Gdansk Airport.
Ending this article, you can combine your trip to Gdansk with visits to other cities in Pomerania district such as Sopot, Gdynia and explore the beauties of Tricity or Trojmiasto as they call it in Polish.