Hel is city on the end of Hel peninsula in Poland. It is surrounded by the sea from all sides beside the peninsula and therefore a perfect water sport center. The settlement was first mentioned in the early Middle Ages and its inhabitants lived on piracy. In 1266 Hel received its town charter which was affirmend in 1378. From 1454 until the Second Polish Partition in 1793 Hel was a private property of the city of Gdansk. After World War One Hel was the biggest Polish fishing harbour and defended itself for other one month against the German invaders in the beginning of World War Two.
From Gdańsk by bus, train or ferry. There is an international airport and harbour in Gdansk.
The only way on land you can take is along the peninsula. The city is pretty small so you can get on foot everywhere. The main road is the Ulica Wiejska with a lot of cafes, bars and souvenir shops. Its fine buildings are from the 19th and early 20th century. The south boulevard leads from the old military harbour to the new harbour, where tourist ships leave for a trip on the sea.
There is an interesting fishing museum in the 15th century gothic St. Peter and Paul Church. From the top of the church´s tower you have a wounderful view other the city, the beaches and the sea. The museum opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.
At the south boulevard there is a seals´ basin of the Gdansk University. There are performances for tourists but the goal of the basin is to grow the seals and to set them free. The seals are fed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
An open-air-museum of the Polish Navy can also be visited from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You are allowed to enter the exhibits.
In the pine forest north-west of the city there are old WWII trenches and bunkers. You can climb right into the bunkers, but look out for the barbed wire strung along the ground in some places.
The white sandy Big Beach is situated in the north of the city near the pine forest. A big lighthouse of brickstone can be climed. It was a place of severe fighting between the German invaders and the defender of Hel in September 1939. There is a beautiful view from the top.
Bike hiring (ulica Kaszubska 6 and ulica Lesna 10c).
Hel Summer Festival (July to Summer).
Souvernir shops are along the Ulica Wiejska. Amber is a typical souvenir from hel.
Kasyno Garnizonowe is a fine inexpensive restaurant. Dancing on Saturdays. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fish restaurants and pubs along the Ulica Wiejska (all with fried fish and beer):