Gdansk: TOP 12 attractions worth seeing

Gdansk is the largest Polish port city. It has grown on the seaside and prospered from the Middle Ages to the present day. Although not the country's main tourist hotspot, Gdansk's preserved historical spirit and its proximity to the sea still attract travelers. We have compiled a selection of locations for you that will help you get acquainted with the city and see it from a new perspective.
11 october 2023
АВТОР: Kybukevykh Khrystyna
5 min

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Kybukevykh Khrystyna
editor tripmydream

The Royal Route

The historic part of the city center simply captivates with the beauty of its architecture. We're talking about Gdansk's main artery - the Royal Route. This road was used by Polish monarchs when they visited here. The road got its name in 1457 when King Casimir IX of Poland entered the city.

The Royal Route stretches along Long Street and Long Market, and it is here that the largest number of historical attractions are concentrated. Throughout the route, houses are painted in bright colors and adorned with fountains.

St. Mary's Church

The Basilica of the Holy Virgin Mary in Gdansk is astonishing and even somewhat daunting with its stern monumentality. Construction began in 1343 and took almost 160 years. The length of the cathedral is over 100 meters, and the height of its vaults is about 30 meters. It is the largest Gothic structure in the city, the largest brick church in Europe, and one of the largest European churches in the world.

That this place is definitely worth including in your itinerary for Gdansk!

Golden House

The Golden House in Gdansk is known to everyone. It is one of the most beautiful architectural creations of the city. The house was built for Mayor Speymann, a wealthy merchant, generous patron of the arts, and his wife Judith.

Built in 1609 according to the design of Abraham van den Block, this building gained its popularity due to its rich frontal facade. Interestingly, the sculptural decorations for it were initially ordered from Italy, transported by sea, and sank along with the ship during transportation. Therefore, they were replaced with decorations intended for the rear facade. It is hard to imagine, looking at all the splendor of the "Golden House," what masterpieces were forever buried in the sea abyss.

By the way, there is a legend about the house, indicating that sometimes the spirit of the beautiful Judith Speymann wanders the corridors and whispers, "Act justly, fear no one."

Photo author - tripadvisor

The Crane

The symbol of the city is the Gdansk Crane, adorning the local waterfront, dating back to the 14th century. This technical marvel dates back to the time when Gdansk was in the Hanseatic League - it could load four tons of cargo, lifting it to a height of 11 meters.

The crane has long ceased to be used for its intended purpose, nevertheless, its unique appearance has so captivated the residents and guests of the city that now every traveler wants at least to take a photo with it.

Main Town Hall

We are used to the fact that the most important places for tourists are the quarters of the old part of the city. And in Gdansk, two historical centers coexist peacefully: here, in addition to the Old Town, there is also the Main City. Therefore, in Gdansk, there are two town halls! Although some experts believe that there are three of them! The most important one is the Main Town Hall.

The building of the town hall was built in 1486–1488 by Henryk Hetzel. In 1556, the town hall was destroyed by fire, and then rebuilt. The current appearance of the town hall was acquired in the XVI–XVII centuries. Currently, the city's historical museum is located here.

Long Embankment

Before the 19th century, when the port of Gdansk was relocated to the mouth of the Dead Vistula River, all unloading and loading of arriving ships in the city took place on this embankment. Along the embankment are "water gates" designed to protect the entrance to each street perpendicular to the river.

In addition to the gates on the embankment, there are old warehouses and narrow houses with pointed roofs, located along the water. All this creates a pleasant atmosphere for walks and allows you to see what this place looked like in old times.

Museum of the Second World War

History enthusiasts will undoubtedly find plenty to do in Gdansk. We recommend visiting the Museum of the Second World War, opened in 2017 in the area of the city that remembers the horrors of the war well.

More than 2,000 exhibits are sponsored by families whose fates are forever intertwined with those terrible events.

Museum of Amber

Gdansk holds the title of the world capital of amber, so we recommend dedicating part of your city walk to delving into the history of the extraction of this semi-precious stone.

The Museum of Amber features a modern multimedia exhibition. Here, thousands of exhibits from not only Poland but also from around the world are gathered. Both antique and contemporary pieces by modern artists are displayed here.

Jelitkowo Beach

If, after several days in the big city, you feel like immersing yourself in the embrace of nature or simply lounging by the sea, head to the local beaches.

The nearest one is located on the Jelitkowo embankment, northwest of the Old Town. This sandy beach is lined with clean, soft, and fine sand. It stretches for several kilometers along the coast to the west, and along the entire beach, it is surrounded either by rows of trees or entire parks.

And a cobblestone bike path runs along the waterfront.

You can book a hotel in Gdansk with up to -65% discount on the website

Photo author - exploregdansk

Amber Sky Ferris Wheel

Not just big, but the largest Ferris wheel in Europe is located in Gdansk.

It is called Amber Sky and reaches a height of 55 m. A ride on this attraction will definitely leave unforgettable impressions, a dose of adrenaline, and from the height, you'll be able to enjoy stunning views of the city and the Gdansk Bay.

Malbork Castle

Malbork is the largest brick castle in the world - a must-see for anyone visiting Gdansk. Since the 13th century, when it was built by the Teutonic Knights, the castle served as the residence of the Teutonic Order, then Polish kings, survived capture by Prussian troops, and in the 20th century, it was a pilgrimage site for the Nazis. During World War II, the castle was almost completely destroyed. The meticulous work of its restoration lasted several decades and was completed only in the 2000s.

The castle's territory covers over 20 hectares. To leisurely explore the chapels, towers, drawbridges, fortification walls, room mazes, exhibitions of amber, coins, military equipment, you will need at least 3 hours. After the tour, you can step outside the castle walls and take a photo of it from the banks of the Nogat River.

European Solidarity Centre

Solidarity is a trade union civil resistance movement. To better understand what the Solidarity movement is, you can visit six exhibition halls at the European Solidarity Centre. The exhibition offers not only informational but also visual material so that you don't get overwhelmed with facts and figures.

You will get acquainted with key figures, learn about the philosophy underlying Solidarity, and how this movement quickly spread to other Soviet satellite states.

Don't forget to purchase travel insurance before your trip!

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