Gdansk Travel Guide
Why? Choose to travel to Gdañsk, which is Poland's
major historic trading port, if you want a holiday filled with
visual delights. The best thing about a holiday in Gdañsk is
strolling the streets of the old quarter to admire the beautiful
buildings, which were sympathetically restored after being laid to
waste by bombing raids during World War II. Gdañsk also has
a lively waterfront area where tourists congregate in pavement
cafes and excellent restaurants.
When? Summer is the best time to travel to Gdañsk, when the weather is warm (sometimes even hot), although take a jumper for the cool evenings. Winters are best avoided as they can be frigid, wet and the sun is seldom seen.
Who for? A holiday in Gdañsk is for anyone who enjoys an interesting, relaxing city break, or is interested in exploring Europe's great historic cities. It is now possible to travel to Gdañsk on low cost flights which makes this intriguing Polish city accessible for people from all walks of life.
More Info: Find out how to travel to Gdañsk, what to do and how to get around when you get there by consulting our Gdañsk travel guide, which is updated frequently to ensure the most current information is available.
Vistula River, Gdansk © Polish Tourist Board
Gdañsk is an important port, situated at the mouth of the Vistula River on the Baltic Sea, and throughout its history has been a major trading centre. It is the best known of the Tri-City complex that it forms with the modern seaport of Gdynia and the fashionable beach resort town of Sopot.
Its turbulent history includes the rule of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century, who then lost it to Prussia, and after the first shots of World War II were fired at the nearby Polish garrison Westerplatte, it came under occupation of Nazi Germany in 1939. Like many Polish towns, Gdañsk lay in ruins after the war, but it was meticulously rebuilt over a 20-year period, returning it to its former glory. The interesting architecture and beautiful painted buildings are part of the town's historic charm.
The richest architecture is visible in the historic quarter of the Main Town. Its main thoroughfare, known as the Royal Way, is spectacular. Lined with magnificent buildings featuring beautifully painted facades and entered through grand stone gateways at either end, this was the route along which the Polish Kings paraded during their visits. The most splendid façade in town belongs to the Golden House, one of Gdañsk's most impressive buildings, along with the Town Hall and Artus Court. In front of the Court, the gathering place of the old merchants, stands the Renaissance-style Neptune's Fountain. Along the waterfront with its fashionable restaurants and cafes, the huge Gdañsk Crane dominates the promenade, the largest crane in medieval Europe and today housing the Maritime Museum.
Parallel to the Royal Way is Gdañsk's most picturesque street, Mariacka Lane, lined with quaint 17th Century burgher houses with decorative steps and iron railings. The gigantic St Mary's Church towers over the city and offers splendid panoramic views.
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