Gdańsk, Poland

Gdańsk, Poland

Baltic port has been overlooked by travellers in favour of
Poland’s more popular tourist spots, but Gdańsk’s elegant
, rich heritage and exquisite seafood is starting
to catch the eyes of eager travellers. Potter about the colourful
streets, wander along the scenic harbour, or head to the World War
II bunker-turned-nightclub, Bunkier Klubogaleria – Gdańsk is a city
filled with as many surprises as a Polish pierogi dumpling.

Don’t miss…

Don’t be fooled by Gdańsk’s pretty seaside facade – the city has
a convoluted political past. Notoriously known as the place where
WWII began, head to the Museum of the Second World War to learn
about the city’s bloody past. Go on a Tuesday for free entry to the
main exhibition, but make sure you linger outside to admire the
building’s architecture, which has become an iconic feature of the
city. Formed of three sections, the building represents the three
notions of time: past, present and future.

Who to take with you

A history buff. As well as the Museum of the Second World War,
Gdańsk hosts a myriad of other historical institutions, such as the
National Maritime Museum or the European Solidarity Centre. If you
visit in summer, be sure to check out the Soldek Ship. Moored in
the port, the ship has been turned into a museum to provide
visitors with a glimpse of life living and working on a freight
ship in post-war Poland (claustrophobics, we’d recommend sitting
this one out).

When to go

The summer months are an ideal time to visit Gdańsk. Famous for
dockside beer gardens, bask in the sun with a Polish craft beer or
stroll along the river.

Most likely to bump into…

Gdańsk is famous for amber – or Baltic Gold, as it is locally
known. In the middle of the city lies Ulica Mariacka, a street
brimming with artisan stalls selling amber jewellery. Although much
of the jewellery is genuine, you’re likely to bump into some
faux-amber vendors and stalls. Look out for shops with The Amber
Chamber of Commerce (KIGB) or the International Amber Association
(IAA) certificate when you’re shopping to avoid disappointment.

Essentials to bring with you

A camera. The streets of Gdańsk are filled with an accumulation
of architecture influenced by its varied Polish, German and Slavic
inhabitants. Look out for the stone gargoyles that decorate
buildings in the Old Town and the
street art
covering communist-era blocks of flats in the Zaspa

How to get there

You can fly straight into Gdańsk Airport in just over two hours,
with return flights under £40 – save your money for all the pierogi
dumplings you can get your hands on.

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