Travel blog

What we've seen. What we love.

GDANSK - HISTORY & SIGHTS

Europe's Best Destination Nominee of 2017

Gdansk is competing with 20 other cities for the title of the Europe's trendiest destination of 2017. Between January 20 and February 10, everyone can vote here for their favourite.

Prepare for your trip with our full Travel Guide to Poland.

The contest takes place every year since 2009. It is organized by European Best Destinations - an organization based in Brussel which aims at promoting culture and tourism in Europe.

Founded in the 10th century, Gdansk is one of the oldest cities in Poland. It has long and complex history with multiple periods of German, Polish and autonomous rule.

On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland at Westerplatte, just outside of Gdansk. This marked the beginning of World War II. Gdansk was soon after annexed to Germany.

City of Freedom

In the 1980s, Gdansk was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement. Under the leadership of Lech Walesa, it played a major role in bringing an end to communism in Poland and eventually the collapse of the "Iron Curtain" and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The rusty-looking building of European Solidarity Centre was opened in 2014. It stands next to the entrance of the old shipyard. The museum is definitely worth visiting to learn more about the anti-communist movements in Poland and Central Europe.

Wealthy merchant city

Gdansk has long been an important industrial center, seaport and shipbuilding town. It developed greatly during the Middle Ages as a member of the Hanseatic League. You'll see architectural resemblance to cities such as Riga or Rostock.

The Baltic Gold

The city is also known as the "World Capital of Amber", as the majority of the world's amber deposits lie along the Baltic coast. The Amber Museum has a fascinating collection of this gem. Here you can also learn about the old amber trading route and the origin of amber.

You won't be able to miss the galleries as you wander the streets of the old town. Go to Mariacka Street if you want to shop for some beautiful amber jewellery.

The Tricity

Together with neighbouring Sopot and Gdynia, Gdansk forms a large metropolitan area known as Tricity - or Trójmiasto in Polish. Each one of these towns has its own unique character, and each is worth seeing.

Gdynia is a fairly new city with modern architecture. It's an important seaport.

Sopot is a charming spa town popular with artists. It is famous for the longest wooden pier in Europe.

All three cities are conveniently connected with the Fast Urban Railway (SKM - Szybka Kolej Miejska), reachable within 20-30 minutes from one another.

TOP