Gdańsk (German & many English language publications: Danzig), is the largest city and capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship in northern Poland. A strategic and highly influential port for nearly a thousand years, Gdańsk was a stronghold of the Teutonic Knights, and later became an influential city within the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages.
Largely destroyed in the Second World War, Gdańsk was splendidly rebuilt in the aftermath as one of Europe's most beautiful port cities. Today, Gdańsk has a population of 460,000, and is Poland's largest northern city, drawing numerous visitors into its historic city centre, its outstanding museums, and to its expansive beaches spread along the coast of the Gulf of Gdańsk, making it a popular summer destination for many Poles and foreign visitors alike.
In addition to tourism, Gdańsk is also the republic's principal seaport, handling large amounts of imports and exports from the city's harbour. The city, along with neighbouring Sopot and Gdynia to the north, is part of the Tricity (Polish: Trójmiasto), an urban conurbation of nearly 750,000.
As Poland's main northern port at the mouth of the Vistula River, Gdańsk is a key departure and arrival point for visitors and trade along the Baltic. especially to and from Scandinavia. Along with trade, shipbuilding was a key signature of the city's economy in the past. While trade remains a key component to Gdańsk's economy, the shipbuilding industry has declined in recent decades, giving way to tourists seeking the historical charms and scenic nature of the Pomeranian coast.
The Golden Gate and the Long Lane is a central part of the city.
First recorded as a settlement in 997, Gdańsk was likely founded by Duke Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty, capitalizing on Baltic trade routes as well as establishing a Piast presence on the Pomeranian coast. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the town expanded to the north and south as it outgrew its original borders. As Piast Poland politically disintegrated due to inheritance issues, the town became one of the centers for the independent Duchy of Pomerelia. Under its duke, Swietopelk II, Gdańsk was granted Lübeck city rights in 1235 as German-speaking merchants took up residence in the growing town. By the end of the 13th century, Gdańsk was reincorporated into the reformed Polish kingdom under Przemysł II. A conflict between Poland and Brandenburg in 1308 led to the intervention of the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic military order that had established a political presence to the east in Prussia. Originally allied with Poland, the Knights turned against their former allies and seized Gdańsk, insinuating a massacre of many of the town's residents.
Under the Teutonic Knights, Gdańsk (then increasingly known by its German name of Danzig) was consolidated into a monastic state. Initially stagnating under the order's religious militarism, the Knights realized Danzig's importance to Baltic seagoing trade could no longer be ignored. Teutonic controls over the town were relaxed by the mid-14th century, as the town was allowed to join the Hanseatic trading alliance. Now within the Hanseatic League, a degree of prosperity arrived, yet discontent with Teutonic rule remained under the surface. 53 of the region's prominent nobles and clergymen in 1440 formally signed into the Prussian Confederation, a group opposing the rule of the Teutonic state. After the Thirteen Years' War's conclusion in 1466, which saw Polish forces defeat the Knights, the town was reincorporated back into the Polish kingdom, although endowed with significant autonomy.
By the 16th century, ethnic Germans constituted a majority in Danzig, with Slavic Polish and Kashubians a minority. Despite initial suppression by the deeply Catholic Polish state, Danzigers largely embraced Protestantism as the Reformation spread from northern Germany. During this period, one of the high points of the Renaissance in Poland, Nicolaus Copernicus visited and worked in the city, with the abstract of his work, Narratio Prima published first in Danzig in 1540. Danzig's prosperity, however, would be severely interrupted by both the Thirty Years' War and the Swedish Deluge between the 1630s to 1660, causing the city to decline. Danzig faced yet another crisis in 1734 when besieging Russian and Saxon soldiers forced the city into a humiliating surrender after the city sided with Stanisław I over Augustus III during the War of the Polish Secession. Danzig fiercely resisted the First Partition of Poland by the nearby Kingdom of Prussia in 1772, though it was later annexed by the Prussians in the Second Partition of 1793. Briefly a Napoleonic client state from 1807 to 1814, Danzig remained in the Prussian kingdom, and later the German Empire, for over the next hundred years. Under Prussia and Germany, Danzig industrialized, becoming a key German commercial port.
With the collapse of the German Empire and the rapid creation of the Second Polish Republic at the end of World War I in 1918, tensions between the new Weimar and Polish governments ran high as both groups laid claims over Danzig. Concurring with ethnic Polish uprisings against Weimar German rule in Silesia at the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles forcibly split Danzig from the rest of Germany, establishing a semi-independent Free City of Danzig administered by a high commissioner from the League of Nations with an elected local assembly. The treaty additionally established a customs union between the free city and Poland, as well as giving Poland rights over all railways within the free city's territory. In response to the treaty and semi-international rule, the German majority rapidly grew deeply critical of the free city's creation, resenting its political separation from Germany. Popular anger spilled into a wave of anti-Slavic sentiment felt throughout the city in the 1920s and 1930s, targeting the city's Polish and Kashubian minorities. The Nazi Party gained an electoral foothold over the city beginning in the early 1930s, whose regional platform called on the unification of Danzig with the rest of the Third Reich.
The opening salvos of World War II began at Westerplatte, on the city's outskirts, on 1 September 1939 when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein attacked the Polish military battery there. The Nazis quickly stormed the city, although they met fierce resistance from Polish units, particularly at the city's Polish Post Office. Many members of the city's Slavic minority of Polish and Kashubians were forcibly arrested and executed afterwards. During the war, the German concentration camp of Stutthof, located 34km (21 mi) east of Danzig in the present town of Sztutowo, served as the the killing ground of an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people, many of whom were ethnic Poles and Jews. By the war's conclusion in 1945, Danzig was largely in ruins and occupied by the Soviet Red Army. Approved during the Yalta Conference, Danzig (now under its Polish name Gdańsk again) was annexed by Poland. The city's ethnic German majority were expelled at the war's conclusion, leaving the city open to Polish resettlement.
Under communism, Gdańsk became a major shipbuilding centre and port for the Eastern Bloc. Dissatisfaction with the regime was particularly strong in the city and elsewhere in Pomerania, manifesting itself visibly with popular protests against severe price hikes in 1970. In Gdańsk, shipyard workers were gunned down by police and army units. Despite the clampdown, mass protests against price spikes surfaced again in 1976. In 1980, responding to the Lenin Shipyard's firing of worker Anna Walentynowicz for participating in a non-governmental worker's union, Solidarity (Solidarność) was organized to protest the regime. Led by electrician Lech Wałęsa, the Catholic-inspired labour union quickly spread across the country, forcing the Polish government to enact martial law in 1981. Despite efforts to contain the movement through police and military means, Solidarity grew only more emboldened by the draconian response, forcing the government into negotiations by 1989 which eventually led to the peaceful downfall of the regime later that year.
Following the end of communism, Gdańsk opened its doors to the world, and has in recent decades become a growing tourist attraction. While remaining one of the Baltic's most important port cities, Gdańsk has benefited highly from its charming historic old town streets, many museums, and its excellent access to the popular coastline of the Baltic.
Visitors can find a tourist information kiosk at the city's rail hub Gdańsk Główny. There is also a kiosk opposite the Town Hall (Ratusz Głównego Miasta) and another one on the main street, Długi Targ 28/29, next to the Green Gate (Zielona Brama). There is also a tourist information centre at Lech Wałęsa Airport.
Bus 110 connects passengers from the airport to Wrzeszcz train station. Bus 210 & N3 connect passengers from the airport to Gdańsk Główny train station (the main station and closer to the centre). All buses are local buses and can take 35-50 minutes depending on traffic. The fare is PLN3 if a ticket is bought from a ticket machine, news stand or Bilety shop, and PLN3.40 if the ticket is bought from the driver. Although the ticket has a picture of a tram on it, it's also valid for the bus. Make sure to get on in the right direction at the airport, because the bus goes in two directions from there.
On the way to the airport, the bus picks up on the other side of the road, near the front of the Scandic hotel (look for the signs that have the 110 on them). From the tourist office in the tunnel, turn left, walk until you are outside and head right, go up the stairs, turn right, and the bus shelters will be in front of you.
Avoid the unofficial rip off taxis who will pounce on you as soon as you have cleared security, unless you know how to deal with them. A taxi to or from the airport and the city centre should cost around PLN50-60 but will cost more in the evenings or at weekends. Taxi drivers will be waiting in the arrivals hall offering fixed price transfers, PLN60-70 is not unreasonable for a late evening (after 22:00) transfer to the centre of Gdansk.
Przewozy Grupowe provides safe and comfortable airport transfers in Chrysler Town and Country vehicles to your selected hotel in Gdańsk, Sopot or Gdynia and in the Pomerania region 24/7. An airport transfer one-way costs PLN100 for a group up to 6 people. email@example.com ☎ +48 53 353 30 33
Most travellers arriving by train will use the city's main railway station, Gdańsk Główny, a beautiful brick 19th century structure located just a few minutes east of the city centre, and is one of the train hubs for Pomerania. Gdańsk Główny handles rail traffic from national carrier PKP, regional operator Przewozy Regionalne and Tricity carrier Szybka Kolej Miejska, or SKM. Visitors should be aware that PKP and Przewozy Regionalne operate joint selling windows, and will have ticketing machines for both of their companies. PKP and Przewozy Regionalne's ticketing system is separate from SKM, who operates from separate selling windows. Visitors should also not be confused that platforms 3, 4 and 5 are near exclusively reserved for Tricity SKM trains.
PKP operates long distance trains to other cities in Poland and throughout Europe. Visitors can buy a ticket either from a window or a ticketing machine. It is highly advised to purchase a ticket before entering a train. As many ticketing agents do not speak English, it is advisable for write the name of your destination on a piece of paper and show it to the agent. Foreigners trying to pronounce the name of Polish destinations often cause confusion.
Przewozy Regionalne is Poland's regional train operator, generally handling passenger travel to other areas in the province or in the immediate vicinity outside of the Tricity. Tickets can be purchased by window agents or by machine.
SKM operates frequent commuter train service between Gdańsk,Sopot and Gdynia, 35 minutes away. SKM trains are often painted blue and yellow to distinguish them from PKP and Przewozy Regionalne carriages. Tickets can be purchased from a vending machine at the platform or from SKM's ticket office. Never enter these trains without a valid ticket and remember to validate your ticket before boarding as ticket controls checking passengers tickets are frequent. As a rule, tickets are valid for travel by one specific type of train only. Do not try to travel on a student ticket unless you have an ISIC student card, even if they sell you the ticket. The ticket inspector will likely ask for your student card; if they find a normal student card, they will likely refuse you.
At present, the Pomeranian provincial government is constructing a new rail line, the Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna, which will provide a direct link between Gdańsk Główny, Wałęsa Airport, Gdańsk's western suburbs, and Gdynia. The line is not expected to become operational until 2015.
Gdańsk is linked to the Polish highway network by the A1 motorway (E75), connecting the city with Toruń and Łódź to the south. Near the intersection of provincial highway DW226 just south of the city, the A1 turns into the S6 expressway, which continues northward, forming a western bypass around the city and continues onwards to Gdynia. Gdańsk is additionally connected from the southeast by the S7 expressway, linking the city to Elbląg and will eventually provide a continuous expressway-level connection to Warsaw and Kraków in the coming decade.
The city's main bus station is Dworzec PKS, located just behind the main railway station on ul. 3 Maja. Gdańsk is well-connected to provincial and domestic bus networks, with PolskiBus, Eurolines and Ecolines maintaining connections to the city. Additionally, a slew of smaller bus carriers operate to the city from other parts of Pomerania and throughout the country, many of which can be researched via the internet by e-podroznik.pl.
Gdańsk is a frequent destination for ferries travelling on the Baltic Sea, particularly with connections to Sweden. Polish ferry operator Polferries sails passengers Gdańsk and Nynäshamn, located south of Stockholm, with an average sailing time of 19 hours. Swedish competitor company Stena Line operates passenger and vehicle service between nearby Gdynia and Karlskrona in southern Sweden, with an average sailing time of 11 hours.
One of the modern PESA vehicles from Gdańsk's tram fleet.
Gdańsk's city centre is relatively compact, with nearly all major attractions accessible on foot. Visitors wanting to explore the further reaches of the city can use the city's excellent public transport system, ZTM Gdańsk. Usually coloured red and white, trams and buses are cheap (PLN3 per hour of network travel) and frequent throughout the city. Tickets can be purchased from machines usually placed next to stops. Locals are keen to help with directions but always ask several people and see if they agree.
In addition to road and rail transport, ZTM Gdańsk also operates two water trams lines (F5: Żabi Kruk to Westerplatte; F6: Targ Rybny to the National Sailing Center). The water trams operate between the beginning of May to the end of September. Tickets for the water trams are PLN10).
Gdańsk's main attractions are mainly confined to the Śródmieście district, the city's central quarter. Within Śródmieście, many locations are subdivided into the Main Town (Główne Miasto) and the Old Town (Stare Miasto). Several major attractions are also outside of the immediate city centre.
The Neptune Fountain in the Long Market (Długi Targ).
The Long Bridge (Długie Pobrzeże) embankment along the Motława River.
The SS Sołdek moored on the Motława River.
Main Town Hall standing over the Long Lane (Ulica Długa) at night.
Long Lane (Ulica Długa), . One of Gdańsk's most popular places for tourists, the Long Lane has been one of the city's most principle streets since the Middle Ages, flanked by the Golden Gate on one end and the Green Gate on the other. All throughout the Long Lane are numerous restaurants, cafes, shops, and impressive Mannerist and Dutch-inspired architecture.edit
Long Market (Długi Targ)). Located between the end of the Long Lane and the Green Gate, this impressive square was once home to Gdańsk's elite in previous centuries, and is today a popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike. edit
Main Town Hall (Ratusz Głównego Miasta), Długa 46/47, ☎ +48 58 767 91 00, . Mo closed, Tu 10:00-13:00, We 10:00-16:00, Th 10:00-18:00, F-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 11:00-16:00. A Gothic-Renaissance building dating to the 14th century that formerly housed the city's government, this structure was expanded and remodelled over the next four centuries, becoming the structure seen today. Badly damaged in World War II, architects made Herculean efforts to save the town hall from certain demolition, repairing the building to its former glory. Today, the building hosts a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk; its 50m (164 ft) tower is open for tourists in the spring and summer months, providing spectacular views of the city.PLN10/5. edit
Artus Court (Dwór Artusa), Długi Targ 43-44, ☎ +48 58 767 91 80 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Mo closed, Tu 10:00-13:00, We 10:00-16:00, Th 10:00-18:00, F-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 11:00-16:00. Taking its name from the legendary King Arthur, the Artus Court was the meeting location between knights, merchants and aristocrats in the Middle Ages and early modern era. Constructed in Dutch-inspired Mannerist architecture dating to the early 17th century. The structure was rebuilt after damage from World War II, and is today a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk.edit
The Maiden at the Window (Panienka z okienka), ul. Długi Targ 43. Located atop the New Jury House, a Gothic and Baroque home for the city's merchant class situated next to Artus Court on the Long Market, the Maiden at the Window appears from its upper portal every day at 13:00. The Maiden's automated figure, turning and looking at crowds below, represents Hedwiga, a beautiful 17th century young Gdańsk woman imprisoned by her evil uncle within the building. The 1891 novel The Maiden at the Window by Polish novelist Jadwiga Łuszczewska has since crystallized Hedwiga's image for generations of Polish readers.edit
Neptune Fountain (Fontanna Neptuna). Situated in the center of the Long Market, the Neptune statue dates to 1549, while the fountain originates from 1633. Hidden away and miraculously surviving World War II intact, the fountain has since become a popular meeting point in the centre of the Main Town.edit
Żuraw Crane, ul. Szeroka 67/68, ☎ +48 58 301 69 38 (email@example.com), . Tu-Su 10:00-16:00. Built between 1442 to 1444, the Żuraw is one of the best intact cranes from medieval Europe. Along with handling cargo arriving on the Motława River, the Żuraw also acted as a city gate and a defensive fortification. Today, the Żuraw is a prominent tourist attraction belonging to the National Maritime Museum.5zł. edit
Long Bridge (Długie Pobrzeże). This long embankment along the Motława River is lined with picturesque brick buildings, apartments, and moored vessels. The embankment is a popular location both day and night for visitors.edit
Golden Gate (Brama Złota). Built between 1612 to 1614 to replace an earlier 13th century city gate as the brainchild of Abraham van den Blocke, a Flemish architect who lived in Gdańsk in the early 17th century, the gate was constructed in a Dutch Mannerist style. The gate was destroyed in the last stages of World War II by Soviet shelling, yet was completely rebuilt in the 1950s. Today, the Golden Gate is a popular attraction at one end of the Long Lane.edit
Green Gate (Brama Zielona), ul. Długi Targ 24, ☎ +48 58 307 59 12 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa-Su 10:00-17:00. Situated between the Long Market and the Motława River, the Green Gate was built between 1564 to 1568 as the residence of the Polish monarchy in Gdańsk. Inspired after Antwerp City Hall, the building was designed by Reiner van Amsterdam and represents the enormous Dutch and Flemish influence on the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, the Green Gate serves as one of the branches of the National Museum in Gdańsk.PLN10. edit
Golden House (Złota Kamienica). Another one of Abraham van den Blocke's creations, the Golden House was built between 1609 to 1618 for the city's merchant elite. Long considered one of the city's most beautiful homes, the Golden House includes statues of two Polish kings, as well as four statues of Cleopatra, Oedipus, Achilles and Antigone waving at people below from the roof.edit
St. Mary's Street (ul. Mariacka). A narrow cobblestone medieval street in the heart of the Main Town, this street is entirely surrounded by old apartments, many of which are still residences or converted into pleasant restaurants and hotels.edit
St. Mary's Gate (Brama Mariacka). Situated at the beginning of St. Mary's Street looking out at the Long Bridge embankment and the Motława River, St. Mary's Gate is a late Gothic brick structure dating to the 15th century. Destroyed in 1945 during heavy fighting between German and Soviet forces, the gate was meticulously rebuilt in the 1950s. Today, the gate stands as one of the buildings for the Gdańsk Museum of Archaeology.edit
SS Sołdek, ul. Ołowianka 9-13, ☎ +48 58 301-8611 ext. 327, . The first ship built in Poland after World War 2, the Sołdek was launched in 1948, becoming operational in the following year. In her over thirty years of service, the Sołdek hauled 3.5 million tons of cargo across Europe's seas before becoming a museum ship in 1985. Today, the Sołdek is part of the National Maritime Museum, moored along the quayside of the Motława River in the city centre.edit
Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre (Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski), ul. Wojciecha Bogusławskiego 1, ☎ +48 58 304 00 20 (email@example.com, fax: +48 58 322 08 45), . Built over the site of a 17th century theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre opened to the public in 2014. Commemorating the historical legacy of Shakespeare in Gdańsk, whose plays were regularly performed in the city during the early 1600s, the theatre also includes a fully retractable roof. Performances are regularly scheduled in the theatre, in both Polish and English.edit
Uphagen House, ul. Długa 12, ☎ +48 58 301 23 71 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mo closed, Tu 10:00-13:00, We 10:00-16:00, Th 10:00-18:00, F-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 11:00-16:00. The Uphagen House was purchased by prominent city merchant Johann Uphagen in 1775. The house was passed among successive generations until it became a museum in 1911. Before the Red Army entered the city, German historians wisely removed its furnishings and interior for safekeeping before the home was destroyed in fighting in 1945. Lovingly restored in the 1990s with its original interior, the Uphagen House is an excellent venue for visitors to see upper class life in Gdańsk in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Uphagen House is a department of the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk.edit
Old Town Hall (Ratusz Starego Miasta), ul. Korzenna 33/35, ☎ +48 58 301 1051 (email@example.com, fax: +48 58 301 1957), . M-Su 10:00-18:00. Constructed between 1587 to 1595 in Dutch Mannerist architecture, the Old Town Hall served as the home for the city's municipal government in the early modern era. Among those who worked in the building was astronomer, brewer, city councillor and mayor Johannes Hevelius. Miraculously surviving World War 2 virtually intact, the Old Town Hall is today the home of the Baltic Sea Culture Centre.edit
Great Mill (Wielki Młyn), Wielkie Młyny 16. Built by the Teutonic Knights in 1350, this pre-industrial mill harnessed canal-directed water power to process countless tons of grain and flour for centuries, used continuously until the end of World War II, when the mill was destroyed. Rebuilt in the 1960s, the mill has since become a small shopping center. In 2014, a new fountain was installed in front of the mill.edit
Polish Post Office Museum (Muzeum Poczty Polskiej), ul. Obrońców Poczty Polskiej 1/2, ☎ +48 58 301 76 11 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Sa & M closed, Tu 10:00-13:00, We 10:00-16:00, Th 10:00-18:00, F 10:00-16:00, Su 11:00-16:00. Although an unceremonious building today, this Polish Post Office has been collectively seared into Polish historical memory due to the events of September 1939. Meant originally to serve the Polish postal service within the predominantly German-majority Free City of Danzig, the post office acted as the Polish government’s presence in the semi-independent city state. The building came under attack from German units during the Nazi invasion. Against overwhelming odds, its postal workers fought off its attackers for several hours before capitulating, with its survivors summarily executed by the Germans afterwards. Today, the Polish Post Office is an extension of the Gdańsk City History Museum, as well as a national memorial to its courageous and indefatigable defenders.edit
Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970 (Pomnik Poległych Stoczniowców 1970), Plac Solidarności. Built during a brief political thaw in 1980, this towering memorial commemorates striking shipyard workers killed by police and army units during coastal strikes in 1970. The memorial was the first of its kind in the communist world to visibly commemorate victims of the regime.edit
St. Mary's Church towers over the Main Town's rooftops.
St. Mary's Church (Bazylika Mariacka), ul. Podkramarska 5, ☎ +48 58 301 3982 (email@example.com), . One of the largest brick Gothic churches in Europe and supposedly the largest brick church in the world, nearly 20,000 people can fit inside the impressive St. Mary's. Dominant over Gdańsk's skyline since its completion in 1502, St. Mary's has since become one of the iconic landmarks for the city. A scene of the religious and political upheavals of the city for nearly 500 years, St. Mary's was partially destroyed during fighting in World War II, though has since been lovingly restored. Within St. Mary's is its ancient astronomical clock, dating to the 1460s.edit
St. Nicholas Church (Kościół św. Mikołaja), ul. Świętojańska 72, ☎ +48 583 013 577, . Dating to the 13th century, with extensive additions made in the 14th and 15th centuries, St. Nicholas Church has long since been one of the homes of the Dominican Catholic order in Gdańsk.edit
St. John’s Church (Kościół św. Jana), ul Świętojańska 50, ☎ +48 58 301 10 51, . This Gothic church, dating to 1360, was originally prohibited by height restrictions placed by the Teutonic Knights, who did not desire taller structures than their own castle. Originally a Catholic church, the church became Protestant in the 16th century. Many of the city's merchants and trading guilds invested in constructing and maintaining altars inside. During World War II, the church was engulfed by fire, though miraculously, its walls stood intact and much of its priceless religious artworks were removed for safekeeping beforehand. Repaired and refurnished between the 1990s and 2000s, St. John's today is an exhibition center and performance auditorium for the Baltic Sea Culture Center.edit
The Royal Chapel (Kaplica Królewska).
Royal Chapel (Kaplica Królewska), ul. Św. Ducha 58, ☎ +48 58 301 39 82, . Overshadowed by St. Mary's Church, the Royal Chapel was built between 1678 to 1681 to serve as a house of worship for Gdańsk's Catholic minority, who during the 17th century were largely outnumbered by the city's predominantly German-speaking Protestant population.edit
St. Catherine's Church (Kościół św. Katarzyny), ul. Profesorska 3, ☎ +48 58 301 15 95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A Gothic brick structure built between 1227 to 1239, St. Catherine's is the oldest surviving house of worship in the city. Beginning as a Catholic church in the Middle Ages, St. Catherine's switched services to Protestantism during the Reformation, a situation lasting until 1945 when Germans were expelled from Gdańsk, becoming Catholic again thereafter. During the modern era, fires in 1905, 1945 and most recently in 2006, have destroyed large portions of the church, yet renovations have thankfully restored the church to its medieval splendor. St. Catherine's is also home to the world's first pulsar clock, which was installed in 2011. It's clock tower is also home to the Tower Clock Museum.edit
St. Bridget’s Church (Kościół św. Brygidy), ul. Profesorska 17, ☎ +48 58 301 31 52 (email@example.com), . Originating from the 1390s, St. Bridget's was built by the Bridgettine Convent, followers of St. Bridget of Sweden. Destroyed during fighting in 1945, St. Bridget's was left a ruin until local Catholic religious leaders began an effort to rebuild the holy place in 1970, with renovations lasting until 1987. The church became a frequent site for prayer by activists within the Solidarity movement, and is today historically connected to anti-communist activities from the 1980s. Today, visitors to St. Bridget's can appreciate its monumental amber altar, as well as its memorial to Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Solidarity-sympathetic priest murdered by the communist internal security service and today considered a martyr by the Catholic Church.edit
Oliwa Cathedral, Biskupa Edmunda Nowickiego 5 (Oliwa Park), ☎ +48 58 552 47 65 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This beautiful cathedral, with its origins dating back to 1186, dates largely back to the end of the 16th century. Among its many paintings and sculptures are the tombs of the Dukes of Pomerania from the Middle Ages. The Treaty of Oliva, which brought a diplomatic end to the Swedish Deluge, was signed on the grounds of the cathedral in 1660. Oliwa Cathedral is also home to one of the oldest and largest pipe organs in Poland.edit
Shrine of Our Holy Pregnant Mother (Sanktuarium Matki Bożej Brzemiennej), ul. Matemblewska 67 (Gdansk Matemblewo), ☎ +48 58 347 79 07 (email@example.com), . Located in the Matemblewo district of Gdańsk, this unique shrine is one of the few of its kind in the world depicting a pregnant Virgin Mary. For Roman Catholics, the shrine is a place for prayer, particularly for pregnant mothers.edit
Gdańsk Lighthouse (Latarnia Morska), ul. Przemysłowa 6a, ☎ + 48 58 760 1642 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Standing on the opposite shore from Westerplatte, the Gdańsk Lighthouse dates from 1893, and is described as a twin structure to the 1872 Cleveland Lighthouse in Cleveland, Ohio. Falling into disrepair in the 1980s and 1990s after being replaced by more modern facilities, the lighthouse was restored in the early 2000s and is now a museum. The lighthouse also includes a time ball falling every day at noon, 14:00, 16:00 and 18:00.edit
Gdańsk Zoo (Zoo Gdańsk), ul. Karwieńska 3, ☎ +48 58 552 0042 (email@example.com), . One of the largest zoos in Poland, the Gdańsk Zoo is located in the Oliwa district of the city.Children: PLN10; Adults: PLN20; Little zoo: PLN2. edit
Highland Gate (Brama Wyzynna), Wały Jagiellońskie 2A, ☎ +48 58 732 7041. Built by Flemish-Polish architect Willem van den Blocke in 1588, the Highland Gate is an impressive stone gateway standing at the southwest entrance of the Main Town, with Latin inscriptions carved into its edifice. The gate miraculously survived World War II virtually intact. Today, the gate is part of the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk.edit
New City Hall (Nowy Ratusz). Built between 1898 to 1901, the building was originally the commanding headquarters of the Prussian garrison in Danzig during the imperial German era. During interwar period, the building became the executive office of the League of Nation's high commissioner for the Free City of Danzig. Used by the German military during the war, the building subsequently became the main location of the Students Club, originally a youth arm of the Communist Party, though later became a sanctuary for anti-regime discussion and activity. During this period, the building becoming affectionately known as the "Żak." Since 1999, the building has housed the Gdańsk City Council.edit
The Westerplatte Memorial.
Westerplatte, ul. Mjr. H. Sucharskiego, ☎ +48 58 343 6972 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Etched into world history, Westerplatte is the location of the opening exchange of salvos of World War 2 when. in the early morning hours of 1 September 1939, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein engaged the Polish coastal battery and military transit depot on the narrow Westerplatte Peninsula, a crucial chokepoint at the mouth of the Dead Vistula leading into Gdańsk's harbour. The Polish defences withstood the Nazi sea and land assault for six days before surrendering on 7 September. Today, Westerplatte is a national memorial and museum site dedicated to its stoic defenders, and is one of the few locations in Poland to retain its original German name. The site is maintained by the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk.edit
Wisłoujście Fortress, ul. Stara Twierdza 1, ☎ +48 58 351 2244 (email@example.com), . Mon-Sun: 09:00-16:00. Situated on the Westerplatte Peninsula on the Dead Vistula 8km (5 mi) from the city centre, the old Wisłoujście Fortress dates from medieval times, though the present star-shaped fortification dates largely from the 17th century as it served to protect Gdańsk from a surprise naval attack. Today, the fortress has been partially restored, with its tower and circular brick walls intact, and is today administered by the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk.edit
The European Solidarity Centre (Europejskie Centrum Solidarności).
Amber Museum (Muzeum Bursztynu), Zespół Przedbramia ulicy Długiej (Within the Fore Gate), ☎ +48 58 301 4733 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . During the medieval and early modern eras, Gdańsk's position as an important Baltic port made it a natural conduit for the region's amber trade. Made from the fossilized resin from coniferous trees dating back 40 million years ago, amber served as a valuable commodity for merchants and craftsmen, making it into jewellery and amulets. The Amber Museum documents the city's connection to this precious fossilized resin, and is a department of the Historical Museum of Gdańsk.edit
Archaeological Museum of Gdańsk (Muzeum Archeologiczne w Gdańsku), ul. Mariacka 25/26, ☎ +48 58 322 2100 (email@example.com, fax: +48 58 32 22 111), . Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa-Su 10:00-17:00. Located next to St Mary's Street on the Motława River's embankment, the Archaeological Museum details historical findings both within and around the city. Also included within the museum is its lookout tower, providing views around the river embankment.edit
Tower Clock Museum (Muzeum Zegarów Wieżowych), ul. Wielkie Młyny 0 (Within St. Catherine's Church.), ☎ +48 58 305 6492 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The Tower Clock Museum is located within the tower of St. Catherine's Church, showcasing clock mechanisms dating back to the 15th century. The tower also provides excellent views of the city center. The museum is a department of the Historical Museum of Gdańsk.edit
European Solidarity Centre (Europejskie Centrum Solidarności), plac Solidarności 1, ☎ +48 50 619 56 73, (email@example.com), . M-F 08:00-16:00. Opening in 2014, the impressive European Solidarity Center is a modern five-storey structure detailing the history of the anti-communist Solidarity movement, along with resistance movements to the other communist regimes throughout the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Aside from acting as a museum, the center also includes a research library and a conference center.edit
National Museum in Gdańsk (Muzeum Narodowe w Gdańsku), ul. Toruńska 1, ☎ +48 58 301 7061 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +48 58 301 1125), . Part of the Polish National Museum system, the National Museum in Gdańsk is centrally located at the Green Gate, and has several other branches located throughout the city. Showcasing Polish and Pomeranian historical art and history for the last several hundred years, the National Museum is an excellent location to view part of the nation's historical and artistic soul.edit
Museum of the Second World War (Muzeum II Wojny Światowej), ul. Długa 81-83, ☎ +48 58 323 7520 (email@example.com, fax: +48 58 323 7530), . Scheduled to open in 2015, this museum will document the historical account of the Second World War, particularly from the Polish perspective, as the global conflict's first shots were on the outskirts of the city in September 1939. Presently, construction is underway on its sizeable future home by the port, yet in the meantime the museum offers exhibitions in other locations.edit
Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk (Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Gdańska), ul. Długa 46/47, ☎ +48 58 767 9100 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Spread across several locations throughout the city, the Historical Museum chronicles the over 1,000 years of Gdańsk's history. The museum's main facility and offices are located within the Main Town Hall in the Long Market.edit
National Maritime Museum (Narodowe Muzeum Morskie), ul. Ołowianka 9-13, ☎ +48 58 301 8611 (email@example.com, fax: +48 58 301 8453), . Times vary from venue to venue.. This expansive museum is located along the quayside of the Motława River, operating exhibits within the granery buildings, the Żuraw Crane, the SS Sołdek, and the Maritime Culture Centre. Detailing Poland's relationship with the sea, the museum additionally operates venues in Gdynia, Hel, Tczew and Kąty Rybackie.edit
Island Art Institute (Instytut Sztuki Wyspa), ul. Doki 1/145 B, ☎ +48 58 718 44 46 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . One of Gdańsk's modern art galleries, located on the former grounds of Gdańsk's shipyardsedit
Swim in the sea, Stogi (take the tram ([http://ztm.trojmiasto.pl/rozklady/rozklady/rozklady/rozklady/linia-3.html 3], [http://ztm.trojmiasto.pl/rozklady/rozklady/linia-8.html 8], ...) to its final stop at Stogi Plaża), . Often cold. The Stogi beach is large, has quite clean and fine sand, lifeguards, and several food stands and barsedit
Gdańsk is a prominent center for higher learning in Pomerania. Several large universities are located within the city, with many of them offering English language courses. For interested or prospective students, research their respective faculties first to see if the studies you desire are offered in English or in another language if you are not fluent in Polish. There are also several Polish language learning schools in the city for foreigners.
Gdańsk is sometimes called the Amber Capital of the World. The surrounding area is the richest known source of this semi-precious stone, and the product can be found in many of the city's shops. The ones containing insects are much more expensive.
Galeria Bałtycka, al. Grunwaldzka 141, ☎ +48 58 521 85 50. Mon-Sat: 9:00-21:00, Sun: 10:00-20:00. One of Gdańsk's largest shopping malls, the Galeria Bałtycka includes nearly all the big brand shops, along with supermarket Carrefour.edit
Galeria Przymorze, ul. Obrońców Wybrzeża 1, ☎ +48 58 785 98 50, . Mon-Sat: 09:00-21:00, Sun: 10:00-19:00. Located north of the city center towards Sopot, the Przymorze includes many big brand shops and a cinema.edit
Galeria Morena, ul. Schuberta 102A, ☎ +48 58 766 94 00, . Mon-Sat: 09:00-21:00, Sun: 09:00-20:00. Situated west of the city center, the Morena is a large shopping mall offering the usual assortment of shops and inhouse restaurants.edit
Alfa Centrum, ul. Kołobrzeska 41C, ☎ +48 58 769 40 00, . Mon-Sat: 09:00-21:00, Sun: 10:00-20:00. A large shopping mall in the north of the city, with a cinema.edit
Centrum Handlowe Auchan Gdańsk, ul. Szczęśliwa 3, ☎ +48 58 769 87 09, . Mon-Sat: 09:00-21:00, Sun: 10:00-20:00. A shopping mall west of the city center, near the intersection of the S6 expressway and provincial highway DW501.edit
Galeria Sztuki Kaszubskiej, ul. Św. Ducha 48 (near St. Mary's church: one block left when facing church entrance), ☎ +48 50 300 59 78, . Hand-embroidered items in traditional and contemporary Kashubian designs and colours, including clothing, tablecloths, napkins, curtains, and other regional folk art souvenirs.edit
Bar Neptun, ul. Długa 33/34 (at the middle of the Long Lane)), ☎ +48 58 301 49 88 (email@example.com), . Mon-Fri: 07:30-19:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00-18:00. A milk bar serving hearty Polish meals at affordable prices.edit
Kmar Bar Mleczny, ul. Pomorska 84 (a 10-minute walk from the Oliwa SKM train stop), ☎ +48 58 556 34 69 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 07:00-23:00 daily. A great local milk bar that serves people living in a nearby block of flats. Delicious, cheap, full of local flavor, and (very unusual for Poland) open most of the day.edit
St. Mary's Street (ul Mariacka) is a popular dining and lodging location in the Main Town.
La Cantina, ul. Dębinki 7d/1 (up from Neptune Fountain), ☎ +48 58 342 42 90 (email@example.com), . 10:00-22:00 daily. Located away from the city center near the medical university, La Cantina offers visitors Italian cusine.edit
Goldwasser, ul. Długie Pobrzeże 22 (on the waterfront just behind Długi Targ), ☎ +48 58 301 88 78 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +48 58 301 12 44), . Hearty Polish and Kashubian meals served with goldwasser. The restaurant also offers hotel rooms for visitors.edit
Pierogarnia U Dzika, ul. Piwna 59/60 (on Piwina), ☎ +48 58 305 26 76 (email@example.com), . One of the best pierogarnia (Polish dumpling kitchens) in the city, this location is a large restaurant with outside seating on the street behind the Long Lane. Dzik is Polish for "boar", signaling to visitors that boar skins and stuffed animals abound in the restaurant. Try the specialty pierogarnia dzika (wild boar with dumplings ) at around 22 zł, other fillings also available. Beer 9 zł. edit
Soda Cafe, ul. Chmielna 103/104 (across the river after Długi Targ), ☎ +48 58 305 12 56 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tasteful orange interiors and very tasty food. Try the "Walking on the Moon" goose breast for 21 zł. The lower level night club is open from 19:00 "until the last guest leaves". Expect plenty of dance music from the early 1990s, but the punters are up for a good bit of jigging and it's definitely a good laugh with the drink prices not expensive at all.edit
Swojski Smak, ul. Heweliusza 25/27, ☎ +48 58 320 19 12 (email@example.com), . Good value Polish, Kashubian, and Italian cusine, in a nicely decorated venue.edit
Restauracja Filharmonia, ul. Olowianka 1 (in Philharmonia Baltica building), ☎ +48 58 323 83 58 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 12.00-22.00 daily or until the last guest. Molecular cuisine in a modern riverfront building shared with the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, with a great view on the Motława River, and excellent service too. There are no vegetarian dishes.~100 zł for 3-course meal. edit
Gdańska, ul. Św. Ducha 16, ☎ +48 58 305 76 71 (email@example.com), . An entertaining place to visit. The rooms are filled with antiques according to the principle less is not more, and the waiters are dressed in stately fashion.From 18-100 zł. edit
Targ Rybny (Fish Market), ☎ +48 58 320 90 11 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . . An excellent fish restaurant just set back from the town ferry terminal, Next to the Hilton. Good range of dishes and high quality, popular with families during the day, need to book in the evenings especially weekends. Fresh oysters and lobsters with a bottle of Chardonnay - 500 zl for 2, but also many reasonable priced options. *Kubicki Restauracja, ul. Wartka 6 (next to the Hilton Hotel), ☎ +58 301 00 50, . Excellent food and friendly staff. Book in advance for a tableeditedit
Gdańsk is often associated with goldwasser, a root and herbal liqueur that has been produced since the 16th century. and is considered today as the city's official alcoholic drink (although a variety of German and Polish companies produce it now). Based from vodka, goldwasser is creamy and consists of small flakes of 22 or 23 karat gold floating in its bottles. One of the most popular brands is the German-produced Danziger Goldwasser. Cheaper yet well-made alternatives include Gdańska Złotówka or Złota Woda.
Gdańsk's other popular drink before the Second World War was Stobbes Machandel, consisting of juniper vodka. After the expulsion of ethnic Germans, it was rejected and somewhat forgotten due to association with the Wehrmacht's presence in the city, yet today has been staging something of a comeback. There is a special ritual to be followed while drinking a shot of machandel by taking a dried plum as a snack.
Brovarnia Gdańska, Szafarnia 9 (on the other side of the river next to the old city), ☎ +48 58 320 19 70 (email@example.com), . An atmospheric brewpub located within a restored 18th century granary next to the Gdańsk Marina.Beer: 10 zł. edit
Buffet, Doki 1 (entrance through the Historic Gate at pl. Trzech Krzyży), . 12:00-23:00 daily. A lively club and bar on the premises of Gdańsk's famous shipyards, with nteresting interiors harkening back to the communist era. Parties.edit
Yellow Submarine, ul. Długi Targ 39/40 (near the Neptune Fountain), ☎ +48 58 301 22 33 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Beer 8 zł for .5l and żurek soup 9 zł. The Yellow Submarine includes a pulsating nightclub downstairs in the evening, yet during the day, the venue is a great place to catch the sun with a refreshing Tyskie.edit
Cafe Kamienica, ul. Mariacka 37/39, (email@example.com), . Mon-Thr, Sun: 11:00-23:00, Fri-Sat: 11:00-01:00. Reviewed by Lonely Planet, the Kamienica offers coffee and cakes on the atmosphereic St. Mary's Street.edit
Bar Sphinx, Długi Targ 31/32, ☎ +48 58 346 37 11. A popular bar on the Long Market.Beer: 9 zł. edit
Cafe Absinthe, ul. Św. Ducha 2 (in the theatre building, on the square), ☎ +48 58 320 37 84 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A small bohemian bar, open nearly 24 hours, frequented by artists, actors, and eccentric locals among others, often getting crowded with people dancing on tables or on the bar. Truly a sight to behold on busy nights.edit
Loft, ul. Młyńska 15 (near Jacks Tower), . A nice late bar, gallery and club with no entry charges, free food after 23:00 (weekends), good music and good young crowd.Beer: 6 zł, tatanka 8 zł. edit
Old Gdansk Beer Pub & Caffe, ul. Piwna 56/57 (in the heart of the Main Town), ☎ +48 69 422 51 00, . 12:00-02:00 daily. A relaxed bar and cafe with music and atmosphere.Beer: 9 zł, snacks 5-10 zł. edit
Dom Harcerza, ul. Za Murami 2-10 (200 m east of the Long Market), ☎ +48 58 301 36 21 (email@example.com), . Simple but very clean and tidy rooms. Singles at 50 zł, double at 120 zł. Generous breakfast offered by the café in the back at 9 zł. edit
Gdańsk University of Technology, ul. Traugutta 115 (Take a bus 115 or 199 from Gdańsk Wrzeszcz railway station), ☎ +48 58 347 15 97 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 50 zł/single room, 70 zł/double. edit
Old Town Hostel, ul. Długa Grobla 7, ☎ +48 58 351 31 31 (email@example.com), . Beds ranging from 40 zł/8 bed dorm, to 150 zł/double room. Free internet and breakfast. edit
Wolna Chata Hostel, ul. Krzywoustego 8, Oliwa (SKM from Gdańsk Główny to Gdańsk Oliwa station, once off the train head in direction Droszyńskiego street, then on the roundabout cross the street and go straight ahead for about 4 minutes and the hostel is on the left), ☎ +48 50 012 18 09 (+48 58 746 33 51, firstname.lastname@example.org), . Free internet and breakfast.From 36 zł/night - please refer to website for up to date prices. edit
Hotel Willa Litarion, ul. Spichrzowa 18, ☎ +48 58 320 25 53, . This small modern hotel is in the centre, just 150 m from the Długi Targ market. Comfortable, carefully arranged rooms with bathrooms have: TV, telephone, free wireless internet.Prices begin at 255 zł per night. edit
Hotel Parnas, ul. Spichrzowa 27, ☎ +48 58 320 12 75, . A quiet, small and elegant hotel run by an older gentleman. Rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated. In the heart of the city. Prices from 300 zł per night. edit
Villa nad Potokiem, ul. Potokowa 21E, ☎ +48 58 348 03 41, . Small B&B in quiet area of Tricity Landscape Park protection zone. Comfortable rooms with a bathrooms, internet connection, TV. Friendly atmosphere created by young couple who run the place. Prices from 140zł per night. edit
Qubus Hotel Gdańsk, ul. Chmielna 47/52, ☎ +48 58 752 21 00 (email@example.com), . Opened in 2009, the Qubus Hotel Gdańsk offers richly equipped rooms with a breakfast, free internet access and view of the Motława River and the Old Town.edit
Hotel Wolne Miasto, Św. Ducha 2, ☎ +48 58 322 24 42 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +48 58 322 24 47), . Helpful staff and central location. 200+ zł. edit
Hotel Novotel Gdansk Centrum, ul. Pszenna 1, ☎ +48 58 300 27 50 (H0523@accor.com, fax: +48 58 300 29 50), . Located in the city center on Ołowianka Island.edit
Hotel Królewski, ul. Ołowianka 1, ☎ +48 58 326 11 11 (email@example.com), . Located on Ołowianka Island, the waterfront Królewski overlooks the Main Town's quayside across the Motława River with tasteful rooms and apartments.280+ zł. edit
As in other crowded older European cities, usual precautions against pickpockets should be taken to safeguard your belongings. Gdańsk is largely a very organized and safe city, with frequent police patrols around most of the crowded areas. Violent crime is very rare in Gdańsk and throughout Poland. However, if an emergency should materialize, visitors can call the all-purpose emergency number 112 on their phone. For a better specification of the kind of emergency service being requested, people can dial 999 for an ambulance, 998 for a fire emergency, and 997 for the police.
Some areas of Gdańsk are known for petty theft, particularly the Dolne Miasto and Orunia areas at night. Economically neglected, it is best to avoid these areas with lots of cash on hand. However, both of these neighborhoods are seldomly visited by tourists.
Gdańsk's position on the Baltic coast and good transportation links enables tourists to get out of the city to explore many of its interesting surroundings.
Sopot — Gdańsk's immediate northern neighbor, Sopot is the smallest of the Tricity municipalities, yet packed with interesting sites, including a lively city center, excellent beaches, stately hotels, and the longest pier in Europe.
Gdynia — Gdańsk's twin city is the second largest in the province, home to a major port in its own right, as well as a large naval base.
Puck — located near the foot of the Hel Peninsula north of Gdańsk, Puck is a relaxed, ancient coastal town of beaches and a photogenic marina.
Hel — a popular location for city dwellers in the Tricity to escape to, Hel is located around 100 km (62 mi) from Gdańsk on its similarly-named peninsula. Famous for its resorts, beaches, bars and campers, Hel can be reached by road, rail, or alternatively by ferry across the Gulf of Gdańsk.
Sztutowo — situated just east of the city near the Vistula Split, Sztutowo is the site of the Stutthof Concentration Camp, a major center for the Nazi Holocaust against Jews and ethnic Slavs.
Elbląg — located in nearby Warmia-Masuria 60 km (37 mi) to the east, Elbląg is a historical city in Poland's north. Largely destroyed in World War II, Elbląg's Old Town has been meticulously reconstructed, a process that continues into the present day.
Frombork — a seaside medieval town near the Russian border 89 km (55 mi) east of Gdańsk, Frombork is often associated with Nicolaus Copernicus, who extensively lived and worked in the town.