I use affiliate links on my blog. When you click on my links, I may make a commission. Thank you!
Where To Visit In Gdansk
Gdansk is a picturesque seaport town. The narrow, cobblestone streets hark back to a bygone era, with their old-world charm. This Medieval Polish city has a long history, sometimes turbulent, with many artistic and architectural sites to visit and explore.
Neptune’s Fountain Is The City Symbol
On Długi Targ (Long Market), near the Artus Court is Neptune’s Fountain. This nautical monument is a symbol for port city of Gdansk. This bronze masterpiece was built in 1615 by artist and sculptor, Abraham van den Blocke. A bit of an outsider, since his parents were Flemmish, van den Blocke was born and raised in Poland. Neptune’s Fountain, a Mannerist monument, was not installed until nearly two decades after he completed this work.
The iconography is the reason why this piece of art is so iconic to Gdansk. This is the stance of the Romans sea god, Neptune. The body is sculpted with Neptune bowing his head slightly, in a sign of deference. Beneath the basin of the fountain includes fish and cherubs. These are universal symbols identifying that this is a sculpture of the god of the sea. Originally, Neptune’s Fountain was sculpted as a nude. But since 1988, Neptune is now more modest, with a fig leaf covering his private parts.
The Most Beautiful Building In Gdansk
The Golden House is considered so beautiful, it is called the most beautiful building in Gdansk. Designed by Neptune’s Fountain sculptor, Abraham van den Blocke, Golden House was built in 1609 for Jan Speyman. He served as mayor in the early 17th century but had to wait nine years for his abode to be completed.
Located at the popular Long Market, it is considered Gdansk’s most beautiful building. Because of the gold and white facade, the name “Golden House” is the perfect name for this stunning Mannerist-style building. This ornate building includes pilasters with 16 different busts that represent the Polish kings. In addition, on top of its balustrade, are full-sized classical figures. These figures include Achilles, Antigone, Cleopatra and Oedipus. They are all sculpted to look down at those viewing this magnificent building from the street.
St. Mary’s Basilica
St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdansk is one of the three largest churches in the world. This amazing red brick structure can hold up to 25,000 worshippers at the same time. Built in 1379 in the Gothic Style, St. Mary’s Basilica contains more red bricks than any other church in the world. They built the church where the original wooden structure once stood. Located in the popular Ulica Piwna area, this Roman Catholic church was used by both Catholics and Protestants alike.
After WWII, this historic church needed some major reconstruction, but the valuable contents inside were miraculously saved. St. Mary’s highlights include two must-see treasures. The first is an astronomical clock from the 1460s, and the second is a 15th century, Gothic, carved stone pietà. Furthermore, make sure to note the high altar raised in the early 16th century.
See Original Fahrenheit Thermometer
Although most of the world now tells temperature in Celsius, in central Gdansk you can see temperature read in Fahrenheit on the one and only original Fahrenheit Thermometer. Gdansk was Daniel Fahrenheit’s home town. You can find this treasure on the Długi Targ, just opposite Neptune’s Fountain.
Historic WWII Site
History buffs know World War II began in Gdansk, On September 1, 1939, Hitler’s troops attacked Westerplatte. This was at the Polish Post Office in Gdańsk and in the nearby town of Tczew. Even now, 81 years later, you can visit the Westerplatte peninsula, and get close and personal with the destruction from the battle of Westerplatte.’
In addition, check out the outdoor museum. Furthermore, you can learn about the timeline and events that led to what turned out to be the beginning of WWII. Be sure to also visit the peace monument.
Where To Eat And Drink In Gdansk
Eating and drinking in Gdansk involves game and fish with sturdy potatoes and forest mushrooms. Make sure to drink like a local and try the beer and schnapps. Where should you try some Polish specialties?
Polish Cuisine Complete With Microbrew
Ready to dig right into Polish cuisine? Located at the Hotel Gdansk is Brovarnia. This roomy hotel restaurant is located in an updated 17th-century granary and managed to survive WWII. Metal tubing runs along the walls. They have a microbrewery right on site, so make sure you try the black beer before your meal.
Some of the classic Polish dishes you may try may include dumplings with goose, dried plum sauce and forest mushrooms. Or eat clean with Jurrasic Salmon with beetroot-black currant mousse and quinoa.
Eat Fresh and Local Gdansk Style
Be sure to visit Gdanski Bowke, before the 2020 UEFA Europa League Final. The restaurant name is charming. The name means the Gdansk drunkard.This is from Polish folklore. The restaurant motto is: “Work like a captain, play like a Bowke.” The interior is nautical, with old brick walls and dark wood. But, the menu is vibrant, featuring fresh and local food. In Gdansk, fresh and local means fish and game, with a Polish twist.
Some of the menu items you may want to try include traditional stewed cabbage with several different types of meat, mushrooms and wine. If you are looking for fish, they offer such treats as Halibut on chestnut puree served with fried carrots and spinach, sweet potatoes in black currant sauce. They even feature soups, like hearty Baltic Salmon soup. After your meal is complete, enjoy the Polish tradition of washing it down with one of their over 50 choices of schnapps.
Visit Beer Street
If you are looking to enjoy a beer and hang out with friends, Gdansk will satisfy all types of beer enthusiasts. In Gdansk’s old town area, check out the 30 bars at Ulica Piwna. Ulica Piwna fittingly means Beer Street in English. This is a place to hang out and debate which team is really the best.
What Activities To Enjoy In Gdansk
Gdansk is a Medieval port city. There is plenty of red brick, nautical themes and lovely strolls through this quaint city.
The Royal Way
One popular Gdansk activity is to walk where royalty first strolled in Gdansk. The Royal Way is King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon’s route in 1457, This walk takes you along Ulica Długa (Long Street) and continues on to Długi Targ (Long Market). Ideally, you should start out in the west, at the Upper Gate. You will end up at at the Green Gate.
If you love castles, then visit Malbork Castle, the largest red-brick castle in the world. This Gothic treasure is only about an hour south of Gdansk. Built in the the 13th century, the Malbork Castle was located at the seat of the Teutonic Knights Order and the capital city of Order’s State.
Once upon a time, a Tuetonic castle was more than a home. A fortress surrounded the structure. They used over five million bricks to build Malbork Castle and the fortress, making it a historic marvel. Malbork Castle has never been occupied, nor taken over.
What will you see when you visit Malbork Castle? The tour will include the Grand Masters Palace and the Great Refectory. There are many Medieval artifacts inside of the castle. Malbork has an extensive collection of weaponry and armor. Be sure to take time to see the latest castle exhibition and to explore every nook of this castle.
There are many tours with a private guide available. Check at your Gdansk hotel.
Enjoy The Sun and Sand
Take a day away from the city and spend it basking in sand and sun. First choice is the pier and quiet beach area in Brzezno. Next, if you still want to party, Gdansk beach style, head out to Sopot. Lastly, you may want to start your day by watching the sunrise at Stogi.