Amsterdam, Hamburg, Bruges. At times, Gdansk reminded me of each of these cities with its gable rooftops, canals and modern precincts. It’s unlike any Polish city I’ve visited before. You’ll find hipster cafes like in Amsterdam, fresh fish like in port city Hamburg and old town style like in Bruges.
Gdansk has a character of its own of course. It’s old, it’s new, it’s colourful. It’s a busy port city, it’s quiet and it’s touristy. It feels quite German yet classic Polish at the same time. It’s a city of contradictions. There’s a lot going on in a small area but even more along the entire Baltic Sea Tricity area.
I say Gdansk is the perfect Polish weekend break but you could easily spend so much more time in the region. I’d be happy to use it as a digital nomad base for a while.
I won’t go into too much detail on things to do in Gdansk as, to be honest, I spent most of my time inside working, but in general, here a few highlights.
- Discover the different towns, the Main Town, Old Town, Osiek and Young Town.
- Walk through the various city gates, the Upland Gate, Golden Gate and Green Gate.
- Join the crowds on Dlugi Targ (Long Market) where you’ll see the Fountain of Neptune, Arts Court and one of the Town Halls (there are multiple town halls!).
- Shop for Baltic Sea amber on Mariacka Street where you’ll also find specialty coffee and the best cakes I’ve ever had in my life.
- Walk along the embankment of the Motlawa River to the medieval Crane, one of the symbols of Gdansk.
If you have time take day trips to Sobieszewo Island, the very interesting Malbork Castle and the other two cities of Poland’s Tricity urban area, Sopot and Gydnia.
Of course, there’s so much more to see. Unlike some tourist office sites, Visit Gdansk has a lot of useful information to help plan your weekend or city break. I suggest visiting their site if you’re planning your own trip. If you want to know where to stay in Gdansk, the Puro is always a good choice when in Poland or read my detailed neighbourhood guide for more accommodation options.
I might be biased because I love all things Polish but Gdansk is a vibrant, fun city to visit with excellent historic and coastal areas for exploring, a cool waterside development and surprisingly good food. Being a compact, affordable city it’s perfect for a weekend break and with cheap flights from the UK, the Nordics and Western Europe on Wizz Air it’s ridiculously easy to get to.11