Updated: May 12, 2022
During my long life I have witnessed many trends that lasted once more and once less. When it comes to traveling, the so-called city break, i.e. a short 2-3 day trip to a given city is gaining popularity. As I reside in the city of Neptune on a daily basis, and I really think, that it is one of the most beautiful polish city, I often get questions like "Gajdek, we are planning a weekend trip with my wife to the Baltic Sea, what is worth seeing in Gdansk?".
In this post, I will focus on interesting places that are at least worth visiting, while in Gdansk. Here are the TOP 9 tourist attractions in city, which you should be able to see even during a short "city break". I chose them, so that they are no so far from each other and even with a dwarf step you can go around them in one day.
All the below places to visit in Gdansk can be found here.
Neptune - symbol of Gdansk
Number one could not be different, because it is an absolute symbol of the city and an absolute leader, when it comes to the monuments of Gdansk, with which tourists like to take a selfie. The fountain was cast in 1612 in the place of the former well. The figure of Neptune was to symbolize the city's relationship with the sea. Due to the conflict with Sweden, the fountain did not start operating until 1631. Today, Neptune accompanies the city in its greatest events, it is here, that fans of the local Lechia go every time the team is successful. Not that there were too many of these successes. And every new year’s eve in its vicinity, crowds of those who prefer outdoor celebrations gather in Gdansk old town.
St. Mary's Basilica - a great example of gothic art
The largest Gothic church in the world is undoubtedly a place that we should see, especially since its view from the adjacent narrow streets makes a huge impression. The construction of the basilica was completed in 1502, and it took ..... 156 years. This is a huge period of time, even for long-lived dwarfs. If we do not have claustrophobia and are not afraid of physical exertion, I recommend climbing the 82-meter church tower, to get it, you have to climb 409 steps. I will not cheat you, I did this route myself in my friend's pocket. From this perspective, the Main Town Hall looks beautiful, at the top of which we can admire the gilded figure of Sigismund II Augustus. Interestingly, during the last renovation, the so-called a time capsule containing a collection of items related to Gdansk was installed there.
Upland gate - beginning of the Royal Route
Gdansk is famous of its gates. This is very useful, especially when you want to shelter from the rain. It is located in so called "Gdansk old town". There are three of them in my ranking, but I think that if you have time, you should not limit yourself to my suggestions. The most famous of the gates is the Upland, which served not only a defensive function, but was a kind of "welcoming". It was through it, that rulers who visited their Pearl of the North entered the city. So if you want to feel like a king, you must visit this monument of Gdansk from 1588.
Artus Court - a branch of the Gdańsk museum
It would seem that the legend of King Arthur only influenced England. Nothing could be more wrong – places intended for the richest inhabitants were created all over Europe, which were named after the famous knight. It was no different in Gdansk. The fraternities organized ceremonial meetings and receptions in the Manor, enriched with performances by musical bands, theater troupes, singers, and with time bookstores and painters exhibited their goods here. Today, the building supervised by the Gdansk Museum is open to the public. So if you want to feel the atmosphere of those years, you should visit this interesting place.
A long walk made you hungry or thirsty? Here are some places I recommend - link
The Museum of the Second World War - a must-see not only for history freaks
The youngest attraction in my post, and yet it already has a number of fans and positive reviews from visitors from all over the world. The primary goal of the museum is to disseminate knowledge about the Second World War. The institution does it not only in an accessible way, but also attractive to younger guests. The museum building itself is a small work of art. Designed by the famous architect Daniel Libeskond, it refers to the panorama of Gdansk with its shipyard cranes. In my opinion visiting this place is one of the best things to do in Gdansk.
European Solidarity Center - museum of solidarity
Another museum worth visiting in Gdansk. Its shape, resembling a rust-colored ship, is impressive. Inside, on an area of 3,000 square meters, nearly 2,000 objects are waiting for us, depicting the history of Solidarity's struggle for the fall of communism. The museum also houses a library, research center and…. a special playground for children. Nobody will be bored there. If you are visiting Gdansk for the first time, the legendary Shipyard Gate No. 2 and the Monument of the Three Crosses should be must-have places to visit. Fortunately, these objects are located next to the ECS museum.
The Golden Gate - beginning of Dluga Street
As I have already written, Gdansk stands by its gates. Here is another ... Gold. This name has been in force since the 1940s. Earlier, in reference to the street where it is located, the gate was known as Long Street Gate. The building was built in 1612 and to this day has the form of a triumphal arch. Passing through the gate, we have the opportunity to see photos showing how much the city was damaged in 1945. The photos are accompanied by fragments of poems by the Gdansk poet Zbigniew Szymanski, emphasizing the horror of war and those times.
Crane - another point on the list of symbols of Gdansk
Time for an attraction that, to appreciate, you need to see from a further perspective, preferably on the other side of the Motlawa River. The Gdansk Crane at the time of its creation, i.e. in 1444, was a kind of 3-in-1. This is due to the fact, that one structure was to perform three functions: a shipyard crane, a defensive fortification and a sea gate (as if the gates were not enough ...). Today, the building is on well-deserved retirement, but it is still the largest medieval loading machine in the world. It is also like a symbol of "the old town" or the main city, to be precise. For me, the Crane has a special meaning, because some ingenious person created a model of it dedicated to the dwarfs. Yes, yes - it's not a joke. If you look closely, you will find a little Crane made in a scale of 1: 100.
Mariacka Street - the most beautiful street in Poland
Although hardly anyone suspects me of it, I am a very emotional dwarf and this street is in my opinion the most romantic in Gdansk. Whenever I meet a lady dwarf - I arrange my first meeting with her right here. The atmosphere of this place is influenced by the fact, that the street is closed - from the west by St. Mary's Church and from the east by St. Mary's Gate and the tower of the Archaeological Museum. Which makes it a kind of separate world. Additionally, Mariacka Street, as the only street in Gdansk, has retained all its entrances, i.e. terraces with stairs leading up to the entrances to the buildings. I like to sit on these steps from time to time and listen to the bustle of the street, looking for the stars. For me it is one of the best places, that you need to visit, if you stay in Gdansk.
Amber Museum -beautiful amber collection
When I think, that I am already old, I like to visit the Amber Museum in Gdańsk - the opportunity to admire the exhibits from 40 million years ago somehow rejuvenates me. Being in the city center, you cannot miss this place. We find here over 1000 exhibits, which places this collection as one of the largest in the world. Currently (after the transfer), the museum is located in the building of the Great Mill in Gdańsk. The facility itself, located on the Radunia canal, is an attraction itself, as this mill, erected by the Teutonic Knights in 1350, was the largest in medieval Europe.
I hope you will soon share your impressions from your visit to Gdansk with me. If you are looking for ways to make this trip even more attractive, I recommend you the help of my friend Krzysiek. He created passionate route around Neptune's castle that you can use via your smartphone.
The Most in Gdansk - an ideal route for those who have little time. 5 points and five stories about places that everyone in Gdańsk should see. The description of the route and the possibility of its purchase are available at this link.