Gdansk is a stunning city located in northern Poland that lines the Baltic Sea. There is a ton of things to do in Gdansk from admiring the unique and quirky architecture, to strolling the city streets, to soaking in the history, and much more. It is a city that is often ignored because many visitors of Poland head to Warsaw or Krakow, however, Gdansk has a charm and magic to it that is unmatched.
If you are a fast traveler, Gdansk can be explored in one day. However, if you want to see more of the city and delve into some additional adventures, two or three days is suggested. This way you can have enough time to really see the city and even take a day trip!
For anyone thinking about heading to Gdansk, the answer is GO! This is such an amazing and unique city that will charm you around every corner. If you love history and architecture this place is clearly for you.
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15 Things to do in Gdansk, Poland
In This Post
Stroll The Length of Dlugi Targ
Dlugi Targ is also known as The Long Market and is one of the most lust-worthy streets in Europe. This street is also the most notable attraction in Gdansk and for good reason. The whole street is around 500 meters long and walking from one end to another takes only 10 minutes. However, within those 10 minute, you will be exposed to a ton of beauty.
The buildings that line this street are all brightly colored and full of unique designs and stunning details. Walking down this street truly feels like you have stepped into a fairy tale. Plus this street is home to various other notable attractions in Gdansk, so stumbling upon them is very easy.
Beyond the stunning architecture of Dlugi Targ, the street is also lined with various shops, cafes, and restaurants. This is the perfect place to get a coffee and enjoy the views of the window or find a sweets shop to grab a bite and eat while you walk.
Admire THE Neptune Fountain
Neptune fountain is a hot spot in Gdansk that you can find at the end of Dlugi Targ. Within an open square, you will see the famous statue standing proudly. It is a wonderful sight to see and the surroundings make it even more special. The fountain was only a statue of Neptune until 1633 when it was converted.
This fountain was dismantled during World War Two to be hidden among the other treasures of the city. It was brought back to its place in 1954 where it collected dust and pigeon droppings until it was brought to its current state in 2012.
View Gdansk City Hall
The city hall in Gdansk is a large building that stands out amongst all the others. It can be found along Dlugi Targ right beside Neptune Fountain. The building is made out of orange bricks and stands meters taller than all the others in the area. Its brick material is quite different from the pastel-colored buildings around it which makes it really pop out.
You can also go to the top of the tower and view the city from above!
Stare in Awe at St Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church is one of the most dominant features of the Old Town in Gdansk. It is a towering brick church that is said to be one of the largest brick churches in the world. The exterior and interior of the church are not the grandest and beautiful church in the world, but its size is worth the viewing.
What is great about St. Mary’s is that the church has a clock tower that is over 400 steps to the top that offers stunning views of the whole city. Heading up to the top is well worth it for panoramic views that are well worth the long walk to the top.
Walk Along Dlugie Pobrzeze (Long Riverside)
A walk along the waterfront and Motlawa River is the perfect midday stroll to calmy and peacefully view Gdansk. This walk is just as good as the walk along Dlugi Targ, and if you prefer small crowds you might even enjoy this more. I recommend walking down both sides of the river because both sides offer something unique and beautiful to admire.
If you have limited time or just want to walk along the most lively side, I suggest you walk along Dlugie Pobrzeze. This is the street with all the brick houses and where you can find a plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops.
See the Crane Along the River
While walking along the riverside you will most likely walk past the hulking Crane, also called Zuraw. Hundreds of years ago this crane was used to load cargo into ships that entered the river. Today, it still stands proudly as a symbol of the important trading days in Gdansk.
Soak in Mariacka street
Mariacka Street is one of the coolest and most beautiful streets in Gdansk. The street is lined with beautifully colored houses and the whole street is full of shops and restaurants. This is also the best place in the city to shop for amber as almost every store on the street is full of unique amber jewelry and artifacts.
More so, here you will find oversized porches that spill onto the cobblestone and some of the oldest architecture in the city. If you are looking for the perfect place to get a coffee or glass of wine this is the right spot to do so. It is less busy than the long street but every bit as beautiful.
Vodka is Poland’s national spirit, which makes the vodka here some of the best in the world. Therefore, tasting the different types and flavors while in Gdansk is a must. A vodka tasting tour is the best way to experience the tastes of the country and offer an introduction to the world of Polish vodka.
Explore the Charming Side Streets
There are so many beautiful streets in Gdansk, beyond the most popular and frequented streets. It is very worthwhile to walk around some of the side streets in the city to experience their beauty. What’s best about walking the side streets is that you get to see the architecture without the obstruction of other people. More so, the restaurants and bars on these streets are cheaper than on the touristy ones.
Go on a River Cruise
A river cruise is the perfect way to learn about Gdansk’s maritime history. The cruise will take you on a leisurely journey on the Baltic Sea to Westerplatte. The cruise takes place in a pirate ship and takes off from the historic Crane along the waterfront. This is a very unique Gdansk experience and a super fun experience to have! The ship is called the Black Pearl Ship for reference.
See the Gdansk City Sign
The Gdansk city sign is located along the waterfront and is the perfect place for a photo. When I visited the “A” was under construction, however, when the whole sign is in working condition it leads to a beautiful sight. Be sure to head here to see a different side of the river and get the perfect tourist photo.
Eat Dinner Along the Waterfront
Motlawa River in Gdansk’s is lined with a ton of interesting buildings and tasty restaurants, which makes it a top place to eat at during your visit to the city. On both sides of the river, you will find restaurants with views of the beautiful architecture that serve amazing dishes.
I highly suggest you try one of the traditional dishes of the city while soaking in the stunning surroundings.
Indulge in Fresh Polish Perogies
Perogies are one of the most famous Polish foods and in Gdansk, you can find fresh, tasty ones all around. Don’t know what Perogies are? They are dumplings filled with different ingredients boiled or fried until they are cooked. Indulging in some fresh perogies in the country they were created is an unmatched experience. Find a restaurant that serves perogies and try them with a few different fillings.
Explore the Mall
The mall is not the first place you think to visit when exploring a new city, however, the mall in Gdansk is very beautiful. There is actually a river that runs right through the mall and various shops to explore. They also have a MAX restaurant in the mall which is AMAZING.
Additional Information on Gdansk
Is Gdansk Safe to Visit?
Yes, Gdansk is an extremely safe city to visit. It is one of the most liberal cities in Poland which attracts an abundance of youth to visit. There are also frequent police patrols around the crowded areas of the city.
When to Visit Gdansk
Gdansk is the perfect place to visit all year long! If you visit in the summer the streets with being much busier but the weather will be warmer. The winter can get chilly in Gdansk (around 0 degrees), but the streets are less busier and the city is still alive with light and things to do.
Read More: How to Spend a Weekend in Prague
Where to stay in Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk is a pretty small city and the best way to see everything is by foot. Staying in the city limits is easy, I have listed two great hotels below but you can also look on the map for a more visual hotel view!
As you can see there are a ton of things to do in Gdansk. Although Gdansk isn’t the most popular tourist destination in Europe its beauty and charm are truly something you need to see. If you are planning a trip to Poland be sure to add Gdansk to your visit list.
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Sandra Papas says
I was impressed by how lovely the cities in Poland are. We didnt get to Gdansk but this makes me wish we did! It looks like a fairly wealthy city. Was it largely undamaged during the war perhaps?
Dana Howard Freeman says
Great post. Very informative. I have not been to Poland. When I do though I am going Vodka tasting 🙂
Linda (LD Holland) says
On the travel wish list! Would love to visit Poland. And will need to make sure that Gdansk is on the travel plans. I love strolling in cities like this with colourful buildings with status and fountains everywhere. I am not sure I have ever seen an orange church before! We will definitely walk along both sides of the river. Or maybe take a river cruise. Hubby would want to try the vodka tasting. But I am always up for pirogies.
I love Gdansk, its a great city to go out for food and drink. I been here twice but for sightseeing, a day or two was enough for me. And in the middle of winter with the wind of the Baltic Sea made it a cold one! I love the history here also (even though some of it was bad). Very informative post and a great guide for first time visitors.
Jamie Italiane says
My friend just asked for my advice about what to do in Poland. I’ll forward this along to him.
Carol Colborn says
Gdansk, Poland…didn’t even know it existed. Your photos are awesome and very inviting, especially the charming side streets.
Poland really has a lot of charm. We were just in Warsaw and I really enjoyed my time there. I love Polish food! And the Polish vodka 🙂
Michael Hodgson says
Dining on pirogies, yes please. Vodka tasting … well if I must, though my preferences lean toward gin or whiskey. Would definitly want to visit during warmer months though … looks rather damp and cold otherwise.
Sage Scott says
Since we have A Neptune Fountain in Kansas City, it would be nice to see THE Neptune Fountain in Gdansk. And because I live in the City of Fountains, I’m a big sucker for fountains.
Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions says
I always learn so much from reading your posts! Gdansk looks stunning, and I would get off the plane/train/whatever ready to try a plate of Perogies! Having not yet been to Eastern Europe, I’m always fascinated by the architecture there. I could spend hours on Dlugi Targ and would be sure not to miss St. Mary’s Church.
Runaway Ann says
Funny fact: Pierogi is already plural 😀 Pierogies is double plural 😀 but those are so tasty that you can double the amount you eat them 😉
Bea Adventurous says
Thank you for sharing your 15 ideas!
Gdansk is definitely a great place to just wander and take in the amazing buildings and so on!
Thank you once again, I hope to go back to explore more one day!