Welcome to Gdańsk

Situated in the North of Poland on the Southern side of the Baltic Sea. The city of Gdańsk is the capital of Pomeranian Voivodeship district and joins the nearby conurbations of Gdynia and Spa town of Sopot to form a metropolitan area known as Tricity – Gdynia-Sopot-Gdańsk.

The city is associated around the world with the Gdańsk shipyard, Lech Wałęsa, the birthplace of Solidarity and the struggle for freedom from communism which he led in the 1980’s. The skyline is dominated by the majestic cranes of the shipyard serving as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by so many.

Today the city is a blend of beautiful historic buildings, trendy riverside cafes and shops, modern shopping centres and outstanding cinema theatres. All located in the neighbourhood of thick forest areas and wide sandy beaches.

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Walking is one of the best ways to enjoy the main sights. The Post Office at Obrońców Poczty Polskiej where World War II started and the memorial to those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle for Polish independence near the shipyard are poignant reminders of the past and well worth a visit.  A gentle stroll down the riverside development reveals an attractive mix of ships, shops and excellent restaurants offering a wide range of good wholesome food at a fraction of UK prices. Look for the outstanding speciality fish soups.

If you are feeling energetic and have an hour to spare the climb to the top of 82m high tower of St. Mary’s Basilica which is the largest brick built church in Europe. The views are outstanding and climbing though the upper parts of the church provide a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the magnificent building.  

The region is well known for its production of Amber jewellery and Mariacka street in Gdańsk offers a diverse range of shops and stalls in featuring amber at excellent prices.

A 20-minute drive to the resort of Sopot reveals an outstanding pier stretching far from the shore and a town centre neatly presented. Hot chocolate at E.Wedel café is a heavenly treat.

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Shopping is a more relaxing experience than the UK with attractively presented, spacious, centres without the hassle of bustling crowds and having a great selection of shops. CLIF in Gdynia has a grand piano in its atrium. A common feature was the incredibly diverse food and varieties of fruit juices. If you have never tasted cherry and apple juice give it a go as it is most refreshing.

No trip to the Baltic is complete without a swim in the unspoilt Baltic Sea. Miles of soft sand with clear water and waves to enjoy body surfing or swimming are amongst the best in Europe.

Although English is widely spoken it is definitely worth learning a few basic phrases such as “Prosze” for please and “Djenkue” for thank you. It will give you a sense of satisfaction and is really appreciated by locals who recognise that Polish is a difficult language to speak for people from England.

A great destination that is easy to get to by plane from Luton or East Midlands Airport. Enjoy!

Joanna Gulbińska, Martin Westall

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