Day 1: Gdansk Old Town
Part of the charm of Gdansk is its small size. This means that the old town is easily walkable, as all the main sights are within touching distance of each other.
Piwna Street & St Mary’s Basilica
Start your day on the peaceful street of Piwna. Wander along the cobbled avenue, sip a coffee at the many cafes, and visit the cute souvenir shops. It’s the perfect place to sit outside one of the restaurants, people watching and admiring the beautiful architecture in summer. There’s plenty of places to try a typical ‘pierogi’ (polish dumpling) here too!
Four Quarters Fountain
Opposite the Royal Chapel is the Four Quarters Fountain. The fountain is a contemporary piece of street art created to show where the old four quarters of Gdansk once met. On a hot summer’s day, people are cooling down in the fountains of water!
Mariacka Street was almost completely destroyed during WWII and has been restored to its former glory. Thus, the architecture is stunning and has some unique features, such as the ornate gargoyles found on many of the rain gutters.
Check out the grand houses, gold gilding, and stunning paintwork, with the Uphagen House as the absolute eye-catcher. This was an 18th-century merchant’s house reconstructed after the war and is now part of the main Gdansk City Museum.
Dlugi Targ Street
Continue to walk along Dluga Street until it runs into Dlugi Targ Street (the Long Market). This is the street where the main market of the city once was. It is quite busy and touristy, but it is still worth walking along to admire the beautiful architecture.
Neptune’s Fountain in Gdansk
At the beginning of Dlugi Targ, after coming off Dluga Street, is the most iconic statue in Gdansk: ‘Neptune, the God of the Sea’. The bronze statue is iconic to the city and is popular among visitors. If you are visiting during Christmas, this is also the spot for the huge Christmas tree with twinkling lights.
The fountain sits in front of Artus Court, a beautiful building which is now part of the Gdansk History Museum. Its white brick facade sits beautifully between the vibrant pinks, yellows, and oranges of the surrounding mansions, making it a great setting for photographers.
Motlowa River & The Holy Spirit Bridge
The Motlowa River runs through Gdansk and out to the Baltic Sea. The lovely promenade along the river has many incredible restaurants. It’s a lively place with many boats and ‘pirate’ ships coming in. It’s even possible to do a history tour by kayak along the river, which is a great way of viewing the buildings from a different vantage point.
The interesting new footbridge (2016) lights up at night and twists and rotates when it opens or closes for passing boats. It’s located HERE.
The Crane, Gdansk (Zuraw)
Another iconic symbol of Gdansk is the Crane. This building was once a port crane, used to remove cargo from ships. During the war, like many other buildings in Gdansk, it was destroyed. However, it was later returned to its former glory in the 1950s and now houses the National Maritime Museum of Gdansk.
Day 2: Outside Gdansk
Jump in your car, a bus/tram, or on a water ferry, and head out towards the Baltic coast for all of day two’s activities.
First, make a stop at the phenomenal memorial of Westerplatte, located on a peninsula off the Baltic Sea. This was where the first battle of WWII took place. Now an impressive stone column stands here as a memorial to the soldiers who died. Here’s an in-depth tour to learn even more about the history.
Vistula Mouth Fortress (Wisloujscie Fortress)
On your way back from Westerplatte, further inland, visit this circular fortress. From above, the circular building sits on top of a star-shaped green bank, surrounded by a moat. The shapes and symmetry of this incredible building are a must-see and a surprising find in Gdansk.
Get there: Driving, bus 106, or in the summer via the F5 water tram.
Discover stunning white beaches with crystal clear water that gives it an almost Mediterranean feel, apart from the colder water ;-) ! Walk on one of several nature trails alongside white cliffs and lush green forest and enjoy this slice of Polish wilderness.
Restaurants in Gdansk
Gdansk has a great selection of restaurants. These were our favorite places to eat:
- Lao Thai
- Ostro (Italian)
- Guga Sweet & Spicy (Vegan)
- Familia Bistro Garbary
- Machina Eats and Beats
- MANNA 68
- Dom Sushi
Getting To & Around Gdansk
Gdansk has its own international airport, so it’s possible to fly directly into the city from other European destinations. If you are coming from Krakow or Warsaw, there is also the option of taking the train. This can be done in roughly 7 hours from Krakow or a shorter 3-hour journey from Warsaw. The best option, for both nature and the city, is to travel by car on a Poland road trip itinerary.
All the best things come in small packages, and Gdansk is no exception. The city is small and perfectly formed so that you can see all the main sights within a 30-minute walk. If you’re wishing to venture further outside the city, there are good public transport options.
Where to Stay in Gdansk
Stay anywhere inside the old town to soak up the charming atmosphere of the historical city and be close to all the top things to do in Gdansk.
We stayed at Hotel Hanza, a contemporary hotel located right on the waterfront, right next to the iconic ‘Crane’ building. This is a good option for a nice outlook over the harbor.