How to Spend 3 Days in Gdansk
Three days in Gdansk allow you to explore the city thoroughly, taking in Old Town, the shipyards, its Tri-City neighbors of Gdynia and Sopot, and plenty of food and drink. Besides Malbork Castle, you can head into the country, cruising the Elblag Canal, exploring unspoiled Kashbuia, or touring World War II sites. This is how.
Day 1: Castles and Cuisine
Gdansk boasts a history stretching back more than 1,000 years. Don’t miss the chance to explore its photogenic Old Town, with cobbled streets and historic houses. Choose from a wealth of tour options, from walking tours to hop-on hop-off buses. Highlights include the Old Town Hall, Golden Gate, and Neptune’s Fountain. St. Mary’s Church boasts an intricate astronomical clock, engineered in the 15th century. Spend the afternoon exploring Malbork Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a guide. Founded in the 13th century by the warrior monks known as the Teutonic knights, it’s one of Europe’s largest brick structures. Head back to town to hit the city’s food scene on a tasting tour. Besides cheese, sausages, and cured meats, Poland offers fare from pierogi dumplings and potato pancakes to tangy soups and stews—as well as an epic array of cakes.
Day 2: A Tale of Three Cities
With Gdynia and Sopot, Gdansk forms a large metropolitan area known as Tri-City. Spend the morning discovering its neighbors. Sip mineral water at one of Sopot’s historic spas or stroll its charming parks; fuel your Instagram with a snap of the eye-catching Crooked House. In Gdynia, take in Kosciuszki Square or tour a historic battleship. Back in Gdansk, squeeze in at least one of the essential sights that gave the city a starring role in recent Polish history. It was in Gdansk’s shipyards that an electrician named Lech Wałęsa founded anti-Communist trade union Solidarity, starting a freedom movement that would see him democratically elected as president. Explore the shipyards on a tour or visit the European Solidarity Center, a museum devoted to the Solidarity story. Wrap up with a classic Gdansk experience: a sunset cruise along the waterways that thread through this port city’s historic heart.
Day 3: Into the Wild
You have three main options for your final day in Gdansk: Kashubia, a region home to a unique minority culture; the Elblag Canal, which includes the unique experience of riding a boat up a grassy hill; or World War II sites. History buffs pay their respects at the Stutthof concentration camp, where Nazi Germans put Jewish people and Polish freedom fighters to death, and Westerplatte, where one of the war’s first battles was fought. Engineering geeks and families adore the 51-mile (82-kilometer) Elblag Canal, which links a series of lakes. Cruises always include the slipways, where boats ride uphill as if on a funicular railway. A kayak tour of Kashubia’s unspoiled meadows and pristine landscapes is a great option for active types. Finally, say goodbye to Tri-City by discovering its vibrant nightlife: Take a vodka tour, visit a craft brewpub, or (in summer) hit one of Sopot’s throbbing clubs.