The city of Gdańsk is one of the most beautiful in Poland. Among its many delights are unique architecture, white sand beaches, the largest port, a power plant converted into a symphony hall, trendy night clubs, interesting summer festivals , UNESCO sites, museums, and gourmet cuisine served in stylish restaurants.
Gdańsk is more than 1,000 years old and part of a larger area called Tricity, an urban complex extending along the Bay of Gdańsk including cities of Sopot and Gdynia. The Polish spirit is strong here. The Poles regained their independence in 1918, after a century and a half of occupation, and it took them less than 10 years to build one of the greatest ports on the Baltic Sea. Gdańsk is where the strikes of 1970, 1980 and 1988 brought down the communist system. In 1980, Lech Wałęsa led the strike at the Lenin Shipyard that started the Solidarity social movement. Walesa later became the president of Poland and won the Nobel Peace Prize.
AROUND THE CITY
The architecture and displays of cultural heritage in the Tricity area are impressive, in spite of wartime destruction. The Main Town in Gdańsk is a classic example of a Hanseatic (coastal trading) town. The narrow façades of picturesque Mannerist houses line streets that were once lively with traders from many countries. Several museums feature displays that illustrate northeastern Poland’s rich and colorful history. The National Museum houses a collection of old paintings and other crafts. The splendor of apartments once occupied by Gdańsk’s aristocrats is displayed in the Gdańsk History Museum. Exhibitions of maritime culture can be viewed at the Central Maritime Museum.
The Neptune Fountain is on Długi Targ Street, and behind it is the Artus Court, once the center of political life and merchant societies. Also nearby is the Gothic Main Town Hall, which houses a collection of Gdańsk carved furniture. Just off a narrow stone-paved street is Mariacka (St. Mary’s) Basilica, the largest brick Gothic church in Europe.
Restaurants in Gdańsk feature every variety of cuisine — from seafood to meat-based to vegetarian. Here you can sample sophisticated meals based on traditions from the Middle East, Asia to original recipes from old Gdańsk cuisine and of course delicious Polish cuisine. The waters off the Polish Baltic Sea coast are rich in herring, cod, salmon, eel, turbot and flounder, so seafood specialties abound in the Tricity area. Beer that has become popular throughout Europe has been brewed in Gdańsk for centuries.
Other local specialties include Goldwasser, a clear herb liqueur infused with gold flakes; Piołunówka, a modern version of absinthe; and Dzika Pszczoła (Wild Bee), a honey vodka made with forest herbs.
For an in-depth, off-the-beaten-path exploration of Gdańsk and Pomerania region join Poland Culinary Vacations on our “Coastal Cooking in Pomerania and Gdańsk” culinary and cultural vacation. We usually offer two trips to select from per year. Click here for day-by-day itinerary and vacation details. See you in beautiful Gdańsk, Poland!