Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Gdańsk, Poland

  • Published 2022/07/10

Most people often miss out on Gdańsk while visiting Poland.

But this old port city situated along the Baltic Coast can be a visual treat, too.

Decorated with a rich history, Gdańsk has flourished gradually over the years.

The Old Gdańsk city has been rebuilt to its core, and the new one is filled with delicious restaurants, historical monuments, charming museums, and many other attractions that you will love.

It’s high time you explored this underrated destination.

Here are the best things to do in Gdańsk, Poland:

Walk along the Royal Way

Top view of Royal Way

Chichebombon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Between the two massive gates that guard the city lies the Royal Way or Trakt Królewski, regarded as the most important horizontal road of Gdańsk.

In the 1400s, the road served as the entryway for Polish royalty visiting the city.

Royal buildings in Royal Way

MoLarjung /

The Royal Way happens to be the most mesmerizing street in Gdańsk, and it still gives off a royal vibe to this day.

The entire route is almost 500 meters long, and half of it falls through the main street of Gdańsk, Ulica Długa.

Shops and buildings on the Royal Way

MoLarjung /

Don’t forget to take plenty of photos for your Instagram, as the spot is exceptionally picturesque.

You’ll spot a lot of historic houses and attractions along the road.

Take Snaps of Neptune’s Fountain

Beautifully decorated bronze statue at Neptune's Fountain

Boris Stroujko /

Neptune’s Fountain is one of the most iconic attractions in Gdańsk.

It will lie on your route as you walk along the Royal Way.

Abraham van den Blocke built this icon in 1615, and it has been standing strong since then.

Detailed art in Neptune’s Fountain

Wirestock Creators /

When royalty visited the city, they stayed in luxurious cottages or townhouses that showed them a view of this fountain.

It is said that the statue shows Neptune bowing his head down as a sign of respect.

Water sprayinng from Neptune’s Fountain

Marco Scuderi /

The statue is beautifully decorated with several ornaments, such as cherubs and fishes.

Neptune’s Fountain is made of bronze and is quite hard to miss when walking along the street.

Visit the European Solidarity Centre

Exterior of European Solidarity Chamber

Andrzej Otrębski, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is an important place concerning Gdańsk’s history.

Situated in the dock area along with the Solidarity Monument, the European Solidarity Centre plays an important character.

Colorful water fountain at European Solidarity Centre

Robson90 /

If you are not well aware of its history, you can easily head inside and learn all about it.

This museum and library complex held its operating ceremony on August 31, 2014, the anniversary of the signing of the Gdańsk Agreement, which took place in 1980.

Exhibits at European Solidarity Centre

r.nagy /

The site is quite informative and will surely fill you in on many interesting facts related to the city’s rich history.

Wander around the Beautiful St. Mary’s Basilica

Red brick exterior of St. Mary's Basilica

Patryk Kosmider /

A massive Gothic architecture that dates back several centuries, St. Mary’s Basilica is an attraction not to be missed.

The vast basilica ranks among the three most famous brick churches in the world.

It can presumably hold about 25,000 people.

Intricate architecture at St. Mary’s Basilica

Patryk Kosmider /

St. Marcy’s Basilica was nearly destroyed in the aftermath of WWII.

Fortunately, to this day, some of the most valuable items in the church remain unaltered.

A stone pietà of Gothic design still stands from the 15th century, and a clock established in 1460 can still be seen here.

Golden altar of St. Mary’s Basilica

wjarek /

You have to climb a lot of stairs if you want to visit the main monolithic tower.

At the top, you will be rewarded with the best views of Gdańsk.

Do take many photos of both the interior and the exterior of the famous church.

Remember Fallen WWII Heroes at Westerplatte

Tall stone pillar at Westerplatte

kallerna, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This part of Gdańsk played a significant role during WWII.

The League of Nations placed a Polish military group here, and Germans eventually captured these soldiers.

Ruins in Westerplatte

leszczem /

They were not left with enough supplies, and they did not have any possible way out of the place.

After going through terror for almost a week, they were left with no other option than to surrender.

Aerial view of Westerplatte

Patryk Kosmider /

Fast forward to the present day, the Westerplatte peninsula has been restructured with a museum that contains the heroic tales of war heroes.

You can still see some ruins there right in their places.

Look around

Entance of Oliwa Cathedral

Jarek Fethke /

Oliwa Cathedral is a breathtakingly beautiful structure made entirely of marble.

The church is located in an isolated place about 10 kilometers away from the central area of Gdańsk.

Altar of Oliwa Cathedral

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Oliwa was built in the 14th century and boasts some of the finest works of Baroque art.

You cannot find this style anywhere else.

Display of saint's paintings and statues at Oliwa Cathedral

Radowitz /

If you happen to find yourself in the cathedral’s vicinity in the middle of one of their recitals, take the opportunity to step inside and witness a heavenly performance.

Buy Gifts at the Amber Museum

Display at Amber Museum in Gdańsk

Amber Museum in Gdańsk , CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gdańsk has a rich history related to ambers.

The Baltic Coast is well known for its rich amber deposits, and they improve the city’s economy to a large extent.

Exhibits at Amber Museum

r.nagy /

If you want to gift someone something truly unique, a souvenir from the Amber Museum serves as a great option.

The museum showcases a fascinating mix of modern and ancient pieces of art.

Arpan Bhatia /

Female clothes with gemstones at Amber Museum

The works resemble that of the 16th to 18th centuries and will surely take your breath away.

Enjoy St. Dominic’s Fair

People walking in St. Dominic's fair

Pumeks, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can consider yourself lucky if you get to visit Gdańsk in the summer.

The streets are the liveliest at this time.

They are all lit up, live music performances take place, and several stalls are set up along the streets.

Eateries at St. Dominic’s Fair

Robson90 /

Every element makes St. Dominic’s Fair unique, and it is something you cannot forget so easily.

The atmosphere is almost too good to be true.

St. Dominic’s Fair is held throughout Gdańsk, and its main festivities occur in the city center.

Performers performing at St. Dominic’s Fair

AngelaGrant /

You can find a lot of delicacies in the food stalls on the streets.

This festival is a great way to feel in touch with the locals.

Walk on the Sand at Jelitkowo Beach

Beach at Jelitkowo

Nightman1965 /

Jelitkowo Beach is a fantastic place to take in views of the Baltic Coast.

The coastline is smooth, with heaps of sand and the sea waves washing up at your feet.

Cobbled path leading to Jelitkowo Beach

Wierzchu /

You can take a walk along the sandy shore to rejuvenate your soul.

If you want to know how it feels to bike against the sea breeze, you can do that here, too.

People enjoying at Jelitkowo Beach on a sunny day

Karolis Kavolelis /

There is a path just for cycling.

There are parks and trampolines for your kids to enjoy if they get bored!

See the Antiques of the Museum of the Second World War

Exterior of the Museum of the Second World War

Patryk Kosmider /

The Museum of the Second World War was constructed to pay respects to the soldiers who fought for freedom until their last breath.

This is one of the newest additions to the city’s stunning collection of museums and architectural structures.

Entrance of Museum of the Second World War

Agnieszka Rybkiewicz /

Since being set up in 2017, it has become one of the best places to see in Gdańsk.

Families donated items left by their predecessors, who gave their lives away in the terrible war.

These are now displayed in the museum.

Exhibits inside the Museum of the Second World War

r.nagy /

The beauty of this museum is so nostalgic that one can only feel it.

It cannot be described in words as its charm is beyond sentences.

Be Amazed by the Gdańsk Main Town Hall Interiors

Interiors of Town Hall

Аимаина хикари, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gdańsk Main Town Hall is one of the city’s structures with a fantastic location and can be spotted without any difficulty.

However, what’s truly amazing about this place is its interior.

A couple of architects from Denmark designed and built this hall.

Exterior of Gdańsk Main Town Hall

Mrugas PHOTOgraphy /

You might not notice it at first glance, but if you bend your head enough, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the structure of Sigismund II Augustus at the top of the Main Town Hall.

He was the monarch when the tower was built during the 26th century.

When you step foot inside, you will be able to experience a history museum of great significance.

Catch a Glimpse of the Golden House

Outside view of the Golden House in Gdańsk

lindasky76 /

The Golden House might be the most fascinating work of art in all of Gdańsk.

It stands in the Long Market area, quite close to Artus Court.

The structure is a beautiful combination of beautiful gold and white.

It was specially constructed for Jan Speyman, who happened to be Gdańsk’s mayor in the 17th century.

It is an incredible structure that deserves attention.

Several figurines and engravings of historical figures make the structure all the more interesting.

Take Photos with the Street Art in Zaspa

Wall painting at  Zaspa

Andrzej Otrębski, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gdansk’s Zaspa area is the place to go if you want to view the best street art in the city, although there are many more sites to see it.

Zaspa has the world’s most extensive mural collection located in a small space.

Wall art behind the SKM  Zaspa train station

Almondox, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a bit out of the way, but the SKM train will have you there in no time.

This residential area consists primarily of apartment buildings and is virtually awash with colorful paintings.

Painting on a building at  Zaspa

Andrzej Otrębski, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1997, as part of Gdansk’s 1000th birthday celebrations, a mural depicting two well-known Poles, Lech Wasa and Pope John Paul II, on one of the city’s walls.

More than 50 murals have been painted since, in addition to an annual street art event and a collection dubbed “Monumental.”

Gaze at Gdańsk’s Iconic Crane

Gdańsk Crane

Jana Janina /

Gdańsk’s Crane is an incredibly large piece of machinery and an icon of the city.

It is located along the banks of the Motlawa River, where the Long Embankment lies.

The Crane has been there since the Hanseatic League.

Snow covered pedestrian walkway outside Gdańsk's Crane

egotripone /

It was used to lift heavy objects from the river and was operational until the 19th century.

Groups of men worked on its wheel as it pulled up objects that weighed a few tons.

The Crane now stands as a tourist landmark and is maintained by the National Museum.

Peruse Different Shops along Długie Pobrzeże (Long Embankment)

Scenic view of Długie Pobrzeże with river, buildings, and walkway

Longfin Media /

This quay served as Gdask’s port of call before it was moved to the mouth of the Dead Vistula River in the 19th century.

There is a watergate at the entrance to each street that runs perpendicular to the river.

A ship sailing on the river at Długie Pobrzeże

Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It served as a defense in the old days.

Ancient-time maritime charm is conjured by these seven gates, old warehouses on the other side, and narrow gabled dwellings facing the ocean.

Night view of Długie Pobrzeże

Ponaker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

However, the docks here had a bad reputation in earlier times, when criminals roamed the quayside, but the sight is now quaint.

If you’re looking for a place to eat outside, this famous tourist route provides many options.

Walk around Mariacka Street

Beautiful view of the Mariacka Street

kavalenkau /

The Royal Way is not the only beautiful street in the heart of Gdańsk.

Mariacka Street, also known as St. Mary’s Street, is just as picturesque.

View of the Mariacka Street on a snowy day

Patryk Kosmider /

Have a lovely stroll around the street and check out the different shops, where you may be able to find a lot of gifts.

There are also a lot of stalls and quaint cafes if you want to sit down and have a drink.

The cobblestone streets will transport you back to ancient Europe.

People walking on the cobble stoned path at Mariacka Street

Piotr Wytrazek /

Admire the City Views from the Amber Sky

Night view of Amber Sky

Jurand38 /

One of Gdansk’s most popular attractions, Amber Sky, is located on the island of Oowianka.

You’ll get Gdansk’s bird’s eye perspective from the top of this 50-meter Ferris wheel.

When did it open to the public? As of December 2018, it had relocated and was available to the public once more.

The 15-minute ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Compared to other perspectives, this one has a longer opening time (until midnight on the weekends), allowing you to enjoy the panorama both in daylight and at night.

Shop at the Long Market

Long Market street, Gdańsk

kavalenkava /

While walking along the Royal Way, you will see the Long Market or Dluga Targ.

It is a famous market in Gdańsk that is just lovely to look at and explore.

Outdoor restaurant at Long Market

Patryk Kosmider /

The road is pedestrian-friendly and does not allow cars.

The Long Market is the ideal place to visit if you want to go on a pleasant evening stroll, eat, or shop for souvenirs.

People walking around the Long Market

wjarek /

Visit Most Miłości (Love Bridge) with Your Significant Other

Most Miłościis in Gdansk

Shevchenko Andrey /

Taking a trip with a loved one? Most Miłościis a great place to hang your love locks.

A 14th-century bridge was solely used for its primary function until its lovely setting was discovered.

Today, this is a popular spot for couples to express their undying devotion by pinning love locks to the wall as a token of their love.

Love locks in Love Bridge

kaate /

You may also see the House of Sailors’ Guild (which now houses a restaurant) and the Great Mill from the bridge.

The Old Town Hall, a Renaissance edifice from the 16th century, is located on the other side of the bridge.

In the 17th century, the renowned astronomer Johannes Hevelius sat on the Old Town Council as its Lord. In the little area in front of the town hall, you may discover a lovely memorial.

Final Thoughts

Gdansk is a popular vacation spot for water sports lovers and those interested in the city’s historic architecture.

Gdansk, a beach city on Poland’s northern coast, is one of the country’s most beautiful.

This city has a long history and a rich legacy ideal for a terrific getaway.

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