Visiting a new city? Don’t know what to do first? This Top Ten will take you through places that might not necessarily be on the average city tour, but are defiantly somewhere you should visit. If you’ve only got a few days or a whole week, these suggestions will show you the very best places to visit in the city.
Gdansk is a beautiful city located in the northern polish state of Pomerania, with its Old Town dating back to medieval times. The city is unique in that its architecture isn’t particularly polish, its been influenced by centuries of maritime industry, making for a very interesting trip. Whether you want to explore the Old Town with its quaint shops and wander its cobbled streets, or whether you want to sample some infamous Polish vodka, Gdansk is the place for you!
1. Explore ul. Długa
The main street in the Old Town, ul. Długa really is like something from a postcard, with its colourful buildings, cobbles and lots of little cafes, souvenir shops and stores selling amber. Take a walk from Brama Wyżynna (Golden Gate) all the way down ul. Długa to the river, passing the Ratusz Głównego Miasta (Town Hall) and Fontanna Neptuna (Neptune Fountain).
With every flavour ice cream possible, oodles of cakes and great coffee, this ice cream parlour is great for if you want a pit-stop whilst exploring the city. Try the rurki (rolled waffles) with fresh whipped cream, they’re a speciality of the company and really tasty!
Find out more here: http://grycan.pl/eng
One of my favourite spots in Gdansk, and not just for the vodka! The Pijalnia chain has bars in more than 5 polish cities, all offering drinks for 4zł (including numerous flavoured vodkas, beers, soft drinks and even tea and coffee!) and food for 8zł (including hot dogs, herring, pork belly and other polish delights). A total MUST if you’re visiting Gdansk – or any of the other cities – you will find a great atmosphere, friendly locals and lots of alcohol!!
(4zł equivalent to £0.70, 8zł equivalent to £1.40 – February 2016)
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/Pijalnia-Wódki-i-Piwa-178848655498407/
4. Walk along the river Motława
Walking along the river Motława gives you a sneak peek into Gdansks maritime past. Its best to cross the Stagiewna bridge onto Wyspa Spichrzów (Granary Island) to get an uninterrupted view of the Old Town riverside and the infamous Crane. Walk around the island and across another Stagiewna bridge to walk alongside the marina. At the end of the short walk you will find prom motława, a ferry which will take you the some 50m back across the river to the Old Town.
The ferry runs every 15 minutes, costs 1.50zł (£0.26 February 2016) and takes approx. 1 minute.
5. Pierogarnia U Dzika, ul. Piwna/Kozia
When people think of polish food, the first thing that normally comes to mind is pierogi (dumplings) and this restaurant specialises in them! Found only a few minutes walk from the main street, Pierogarnia U Dzika has every kind of savoury and sweet dumpling imaginable.
The półmisek łasucha platter below includes 36 dumplings and costs 68zł (£11.60 February 2016)!
Find out more here: http://www.pierogarniaudzika.com/szefkuchnipoleca.html
6. Hala Targowa, Pl. Dominikański 1
Built in a neo-classical style in the 1890s, this market hall sells everything from fresh meat, clothes, electronics and dairy products. Built on the site of the oldest churches in Gdansk, the foundations can be seen in the basement along with a small museum.
Opening hours- mon-fri: 09.00-18.00, sat: 09.00-15.00, sun: closed
7. Bazylika Mariacka, ul. Podkramarska 5
Dating from the 14th century, St Mary’s Church is believed to be the largest brick church in the world. It can hold around 25,000 people and although the inside isn’t all that ornate, the whitewashed walls and ceilings highlight just how vast it is. You can climb the observation tower for panoramic views of the city.
The tower costs 6zł pp (£1 February 2016) and is only accessible in the summer months – be sure to take some water, there’s around 400 steps!
Find out more here: http://www.bazylikamariacka.pl
8. Pyra bar, ul. Garbary 6/7
My favourite cafe/restaurant in probably the whole of Poland!! Found just off the main street, it offers very versatile yet traditional polish menu (mainly based around potatoes). When I visited, we had food there 3 times in 24 hours! Sounds crazy, believe me I know, but honestly it offers such a variety of reasonable dishes that I couldn’t pass it up. Everyday it has a different soup (the beetroot is really nice) and around 10 different potato dishes…. see photos below of the potato casseroles, potato pancakes, potato cakes and jacket potatoes to name just a few!
Find out more here: http://www.pyrabar.pl
9. Ratusz Głównego Miasta, ul. Długa 46/47
Nearly completely destroyed after WWII, the Main Town Hall has been restored with extreme care and now houses the Gdansk History Museum. With painted ceilings and elaborate furniture, the town hall and its museum are well worth a visit. You can also climb the tower in summer months.
The museum is closed on Mondays but open every other day of the week at a cost of 12zł (approx. £2.00 February 2016) with free admission on Tuesdays.
Find out more here: http://www.mhmg.pl/en
10. Explore the Old Town back streets
Take a walk down one of the many side streets and you will find hundreds of individually painted buildings in every different style thinkable. Particularly good streets are ul. Szeroka and ul. Ogarna.
Stop for a drink at one of the bars on the riverside – I would recommend the Viennese Hot Chocolate from Restauracja Baryłka on a cold or windy day.
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