Poland off the Beaten Path: Gdansk
Poland is a highly underrated destination for travellers that offers a little something for everyone; whether you’re looking for picturesque countrysides, modern cities full of history or idyllic seasides. Home to 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites and a rich cultural history, Poland offers its visitors a truly unique and safe experience. In this series, we’ll look at 5 of Poland’s top destinations and give you tips on how to make the most of your visit to this beautiful country. Today, let’s get into Gdansk.
As cities go in Poland, Gdansk is as historic as it comes. Prior to WWII, control of the city often changed hands between German and Polish control. During WWII, the city was nearly flattened due to excessive bombing and was later rebuilt after the city fell under soviet/communist power. Then, a peaceful rebellion in the 80’s led to the downfall of the communist rulers.
Today, Gdansk is a melting pot of architecture and culture. The famous port has opened up the city to not only the Baltic sea and the rest of the world, allowing foreign influence to come in. Gdansk is a ‘tri-city’ area, with coastal Sopot and Gdynia a stone’s throw away. Gdansk is a truly unique Polish destination in that it offers history and beauty along with sun, sea and sand! Fancy visiting Gdansk for free? Find out how, here.
Gdansk airport is conveniently located nearby to the city centre, making it super convenient for travellers. Airlines such as RyanAir and Wizz Air, offer regular direct flights here.
Where to stay:
Many visitors to Gdansk can get the Old Town and New Town confused. The Old Town is primarily residential, whereas the New Town is where many of the sites are located. So to stay in the centre of the action, look into the New Town. The Granary islands offer a blend of old and new architecture and affordable spaces for longer stays. Alternatively, Sopot offers a coastal retreat. Located a short distance from Gdansk, you can stay by the sea and pop into the main city for visits.
With so much to do in Gdansk, here are our top 5 popular and lesser known things to do:
1: On your bike
Gdansk is an excellent city to explore. Both for its beauty, but also because it’s so flat. So pack your walking shoes, or if you fancy it – hire a bike. There are even dedicated bike lanes for cycles throughout the city. You can see the harbour, cycle nearby nature trails or wander Dlugi Targ – the Long Market or Royal Way. It’s home to colourful buildings, great bars and cafes and sites such as Neptune’s Fountain, Golden Gate and the Town Hall Tower.
2: Malbork Castle
This is the first of 2 castles that will make this list. Malbork Castle is one of the largest castles in the world. Not only is it affordable as attractions go, it offers a unique insight into both Poland’s and the church’s history. Get lost amongst its long corridors and amazing artwork.
3: Lapalice Castle
This is as off the beaten path as it gets. The build on this castle began in 1979 and was abandoned due to lack of funds. Due to be demolished in 2006, it never went ahead. Today, this renaissance style castle stands as a reminder of the eccentric artist who lied on construction plans when wanting to build a house. It even has an area for what appears to be space for an indoor pool. We strongly advise against stepping inside the castle.
4: Hit the Beach
There are so many beaches to choose from! Popular spots include Brzezno, Sopot and Gdynia which are found along the balic sea. Here you’ll find sand beaches with various resorts, bars, cafas and museums. For something a bit more secluded, you can also visit Sobieszewo Island – it has a long coastline and a bird sanctuary.
5: St. Catherine’s Church Tower
What’s better – seeing a city from a landmark and missing the landmark itself, or having the best of both worlds? St Catherine’s church tower offers an amazing view of the city and is also home to an impressive exhibit containing weapons and historical artifacts. Plus, the climb is unique when compared to most towers – the steps are wide, made of metal and the climb is illuminated by colourful neons.
Ready to get lost in Gdansk? Angloville offers an amazing chance to visit Gdansk for free, all while meeting the locals and immersing yourself in their culture! You can view our upcoming programmes here or contact us today for more info! (links will need to be updated for Gdansk).