About Gdansk

Skylines and views

Views from St Mary's Church

City center part 1:
Main Town (old part)
  City center part 2:
  City center part 3:
Stare Miasto
"Main Town" - Glowne Miasto
St Mary's Church
Dluga, Dlugi Targ
Town Hall, Golden Gate
Green Gate, Prision Tower
Targ Weglowy, Mariacka
  River Motlawa
Olowianka island
Green Gate
  "Old Town" - Stare Miasto
Central Station/Station area
St Catherine's Church,
Wielki Mlyn, Hevelius square
Madison Mall,
Highrises, Other churches

European Solidarity Centre

Three Crosses Monument
Solidarity Museum

  Outskirts   Lech Walesa Airport

Gdansk by night

Old Town, Dluga, Station area



ABOUT Gdansk

Population: 461 000 (metro 1 081 000)
Other names:
Tallest building:
Centrum Biurowe Neptun (85m)
Region: Pomerania
Founded year (city rights):
262 km²
Year visited:

Gdansk is Poland's 6th largest city and is part of Tricity, that is Poland's 3rd largest metropolitan area, and consist of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot. Gdansk is the largest of these 3 cities. It is situated in the Northern part of Poland, with a port near the Baltic Sea and close to the mouth of the river Motlawa, that flows through the city center. River Vistula's branch Martwa Wisla flows through the North part of the city. Historically Gdansk is a very important port city with a dark history; it was one of the important Hansa cities (trade cities at the Baltic sea), the first shootings of World War II took place at Westerplatte in the outskirts of the city and at the Post office. The invation of the Nazis was one of the main reasons that WWII started. Tthe strikes that lead to the end of the Polish communist regime, lead by Lech Walesa, took place in a shipyard near the city center. The modern Solidarity museum and the Three crosses monument have been built there, now a popular attraction for tourists. Gdansk is the historical capital of Eastern Pomerania. It has been ruled by both Germans and Poles, since it is situated near the West Slavic and Germanic medieval lands. Between the two world wars (1920-39), Gdansk was called the Free city of Danzig, and was a semi-autonomous city-state, then inhabitated primary by ethnic Germans (95%). The minorities, Poles and jews, were discriminated, or sent to death in concentration camps! Sometimes you still can see the spelling Danzig,that is the German name. After the end of WWII in 1945, most Germans were replaced by Poles. Gdansk has been partly independent or autonomous several times through history. For example, it was also called Danzig as a free region 1815-1920, within the Kingdom of Prussia, later the Prussian Province.

The Old Town is filled with museums, restaurants and historical monuments. The main street is the pedestrian street Dluga with its square Dluga targ, where you find many of the interesting sites, many historical building in different styles (especially renaissance but also baroque and gothic) can be found here. St Mary's Church is the tallest and most prominent church in Gdansk (it is the largest brick church in the world), and is together with the Town Hall the tallest building in the city center. St Mary's Church offers fine views of the city center (we walked the 400 steps to the observation point).

The central station is situated at the edge of the city center, nearby is 3 modern highrises and a recently built shopping mall called Madison. Most of the historic buildings are in the city center. In the outskirts you will mostly find monotonous highrise areas filled with dull commie blocks, shopping malls and some villas. Even though the city center is flat, you will immediatly discover several very hilly areas, when going to the airport by bus. Once you leave the city, you will also discover that it is much much larger then it appears in its very compact historical city center.

The city is trafficated by red and white buses, and trams. Most of them are pretty modern. Blue commuting trains takes you to Gdynia or Sopot within less then an hour. The airport is called Lech Walesa and is where we arrived. We took a bus to the central station, had dinner at the station's KFC and then walked, after dark, to our centrally located apartment hotel.


Since Gdansk is situated in the northernmost part of Poland, it is easy to reach from Sweden. The lowfare airline Wizzair, a real scam company, has low price tickets to Gdansk from Malmö, however I don't recommend to fly with them since they take hidden fares at the airport. They refuse to let you on the flight if you haven't checked in online, something they didn't give information about, and you have to pay an extra fee that is more then the whole plane ticket to fly home! I could tell you hundreds of stories from passangers that where fooled by Wizzair but this is about Gdansk and not about some criminal lowfare airline!

We stayed for 2 whole days and 2 half days in the Tricity area, we spent most of the time in Gdansk, except for one day when we went to Gdynia and Sopot. The train to these bordering cities was just a few zlotys and take less then an hour to get there. Gdansk is a very nice city to visit, with impressive historical building in its very compact and walkable Old Town. At the end of the Old Town, there is a nice riverfront at the river Motlawa with open air restaurants. The September day (Sep 11th) we walked through Gdansk it was sunny and clear skies. The prices are also good, much cheaper then in Sweden, though it can get pricy at the most fashionable restaurants (almost as pricy as in Sweden) but in general most stores and restaurants have a very good value for money for tourists.

We stayed at the Kamienica Zacisze, a small apartment hotel right in the heart of Gdansk, Ulica Ogarna, a parallel street to Ulica Dluga and just a few minutes away from most of the sights. It was incredible value for money, for only about 100 euros for 3 nights and 2 persons you get a whole apartment with fashionable furniture -some in old style, a modern kitchen, marble toilet with shower, a bedroom and views over St Mary's Church and the City Hall from the window. It is only reachable from a courtyard, the building has 5 floors with an elevator luckily. The only downside is that it is self service with no restaurants or other facitilites, and almost no staff, they were not the most friendly (they didn't say anything to us upon check in, just gave us a paper to sign and a key). In general, Poland is not exactly the country of service and politeness, people are not rude but they are very introvert and don't say much at all. Partly that could be because they are not used to speak English.

The museums we visited were the Solidarity Musuem (about Lech Walesa, the revolution and the strikes) and a small toy museum. We also tried to visit the merchants house Villa Uphagen but it was closed by unknown reason, and they didn't open the door (despite it was during opening hours). Since the city center is very walkable, and since we stayed in the old town, we could walk everywhere; the only time we had to use a train or bus was when leaving Gdansk or going to the airport.

We also visited the beautiful resort town Sopot and the modern harbour city Gdynia, both also part of the Tricity metropolitan area.