Gdansk in one day

written by Maciek Bogdanski

Gdansk in one day – what to see in Gdansk?

It is not possible to visit Gdansk in one day. However, if you don’t have more time, undoubtedly, you should visit the city centre.  If you’re wondering what to see in Gdansk, here you can find a suggested route which let you see the most important places. This will lead you to Dluga Street, Dlugi Targ, Motlawa River or Mariacka Street. One day is not enough to enter all the places, so you will need more days to visit them inside. If you just sightsee very fast from outside, the route should take you about 2–3 hours.

Gdansk in one day - suggested route
Gdansk in one day – suggested route

Gdansk in one day – Wyzynna Gate

Firstly, we start in front of the Upland Gate (Brama Wyzynna) which is one tram stop away from “Dworzec Glowny” – the main train station.

Gdansk in one day - Wyzynna Gate
Gdansk in one day – Wyzynna Gate

The Upland Gate is the renaissance XVI century gate which used to be the main entrance to the city and the beginning of the Royal Route. It formed a part of a row of fortifications. Now, inside you can find a tourist information office where you can get a free map of Gdansk. It also serves as a meeting point, so don’t be surprised if you see people standing there without any obvious reason.

Then we go towards the Long (Dluga) Street. If you are in Gdansk during summer, you probably go by the fountain with small parts of amber. You can try to find some pieces and take them home as a small souvenir. On the right side you can see the Prison Tower and Torture Chamber, nowadays, the Museum of Amber and an exhibition about prison and torture.

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The building was a part of fortifications until the end of the 14th century. Then in 1604, after rebuilding, it became a prison and torture chamber. The variety of colours to be seen on the brick wall is the sign of many reconstructions. Until the 19th century, many executions and punishments took place in front of the entrance to the prison tower (the east side). You can still see the remains of the pillory at the height of the gate on the right side (you can see it in the picture above).

One day in Gdansk – the Great Armoury and Golden Gate

On the left side, 100 m from the Prison Tower and Torture Chamber, there’s the Great Armoury which was totally destroyed during the Second World War. Nowadays, there are some art exhibitions and events organized by the Acadamy of Fine Arts. The building looks stunning from Piwna Street.

Gdansk in one day - the Great Armoury
Gdansk – The Great Armoury

We’re going further to the Golden Gate, which leads us to the Long Street (Dluga). When you pass through the gate, look at the pictures on the walls. That’s what Gdansk looked like after the Second World War. It was completely destroyed, so many buildings you can see nowadays are reconstructed from scratch.

One day in Gdansk - Gdansk ruins after the Second World War
One day in Gdansk – Gdansk ruins after the Second World War

Gdansk in one day – Dluga Street

Long Street and Long Market streets function as the main square in Gdansk with the town hall and important buildings around. As you walk from the Golden Gate towards the Green Gate, you pass by beautiful tenement houses. The most significant is Uphagen’s House (Dom Uphagena) on the right – now an important museum. Between Long Street and Long Market Street, there’s the Main Town Hall with clock tower and Neptune’s Fountain. You can climb the tower, which is not so high but has a nice view of Mariacki Church. Next to the fountain, there is the Arthus Cort (Dwor Artusa). It served as an exchange for the well-off townsmen and visitors – now it’s also a museum.

One day in Gdansk - you can't omit Dluga Street
Dluga Street in Gdansk
One day in Gdansk - Neptune's fountain
Gdansk – Neptune’s fountain

Gdansk in one day – Motlawa River and Mariacka Street

Next, we go through the Green Gate and then go to the left to walk next to the Motlawa River. There is a ferry tram stop and trams to Westerplatte/Wisloujscie and Stogi/Sobieszewo leave from here. Go a few steps ahead – from the bridge, there is the best view of the river bank.

One day in Gdansk - Motlawa River
One day in Gdansk – Motlawa River

Then we go to the Dlugie Pobrzeze Street along the river. On the other side, you can see newly built hotels and apartments. Until 2016 there were still postwar ruins of granaries used to store food for Gdansk, but now there is not much left. We continue our walk and turn left to St. Mary’s Street (Mariacka), which is believed to be the most beautiful street in Gdansk. It’s really charming with its gargoyles (not a lot of them survived in other parts of Gdansk) and a row of terraces. Just behind the gate, on the left, there’s an entrance to the Archeological Museum. Along the street, you can find small jewellery shops with amber and some restaurants. Before the Second World War, many streets in Gdansk looked like Mariacka, now it’s one of the few that left.

Gdansk - Mariacka Street
Gdansk – Mariacka Street

Gdansk in one day – St. Mary’s Church

At the end of the street, you can see the enormous St. Mary’s Church (Kosciol Mariacki). Completed in 1502, this gothic church is one of the two or three largest churches made of brick in the world. It’s 105m long and 66m wide. The basilica is open the whole year from 8:30 until 17:30 (18:30 May-September), the ticket costs 4 PLN (outside peak season the entrance is free). You can also climb the tower to see the panorama of Gdansk (8PLN for a normal ticket, which includes also visiting the church).

Gdansk in one day - St. Mary's Church seen from Piwna Street
Gdansk in one day – St. Mary’s Church seen from Piwna Street

After visiting the church, have a look at Piwna Street, which is full of restaurants, bars and cafés which makes it a good place to have a short break or go back in the evening for a drink. At the end of the street, you can see again the Great Armoury.

Gdansk in one day - the Great Armoury
Gdansk in one day – the Great Armoury

Then we go back to Dlugie Pobrzeze Street through Swietego Ducha Street, where you can see the Fountain of four quarters.  It stands in the place of an old well, where the four quarters of the Main City met. Between the fountain and the St. Mary’s Church there is a Royal Chapel. It’s one of two baroque churches in Gdansk, built in the XVII century as a provisional Catholic chapel since Mariacki Church was then Protestant.

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Motlawa river bank again

The Wooden crane

As we go back to Motlawa River, you will pass by the Wooden Crane. It was used to load and unload the ships coming to Gdansk. It’s the biggest and the oldest extant crane in the world. Workers walking inside the big wheel turned it around and thus the crane worked. If you’d like to know more, you can enter inside. Going further on the other side of the river docks “Soldek” – the first ship (steam bulk carrier) completely built-in Poland after the Second World War. Now it’s a museum. Behind the ship, you can find the National Maritime Museum and on the left side there’s a concert hall, “Filharmonia Baltycka”.

Gdansk in one day - footbridge to olowianka
Gdansk in one day – footbridge to Olowianka

The Swam Tower

We continue our Gdansk in one day trip till footbridge, passing the Swam Tower. It was built to protect the Teutonic Knight’s castle, once located in this area. After repelling the Teutonic Knights and destroying the castle, townsmen rebuilt the tower to protect the town from outside. Now we cross the footbridge to Olowianka Island. If you have more time, you can go to the Museum of the Second World War and the Post Office Museum. The latter is also a museum dedicated to the Second World War. Or we continue our walk on the island and go to Szafarnia street, pass by the marina and go to Granary Island with new hotels and a big wheel AmberSky.

Gdansk in on day - Museum of the Second World War
Gdansk in on day – Museum of the Second World War

For now, we end our walk on Green Bridge, from where you should obligatorily take a photo of Motlawa River and the Crane if you have not taken it earlier.

Gdansk in one day – Afternoon walk

You’ve seen the most important part of Gdansk, but what to see in Gdansk if you have a couple of hours more?

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In the afternoon it’s a good idea to go to the hill “Gora Gradowa” with the millennium cross on top, near to the main bus station. From there you can see a wide panorama of Gdansk – the old town and shipyard area. You can also have a walk around 19th century Fort next to Gora Gradowa. Nowadays, the buildings host interactive science and educational Hewelianum Centre – the perfect place to have fun not only for kids.

One day in Gdansk - afternoon suggested route what to see in Gdansk
One day in Gdansk – afternoon suggested route

Before getting to Gradowa Hill, you can sightsee a bit more. We start at Wyzynna Gate, the same place you started in the morning. Go towards St. Nicholas Church on Swietojanska Street. The church is really worth visiting inside, entrance is free. Next to the church, there’s an old market hall. A few years ago, it was restored, and now you can buy clothes and food there. There’s also a small market outside with vegetables and fruits.  On the opposite side of the street, there’s a Jacek Tower. It’s the highest fortification tower remaining in Gdansk.

If you go straight ahead, you will pass by St. Catherine Church on the right side. It was the oldest church in Gdansk, but unfortunately, in 2006 the church was destroyed by fire. Reconstruction is still going on. On the left side you can see the Great Mill, now the beautiful Amber Museum. Next to the mill, there’s a small park with a fountain. Let’s go left and have a walk in the park. You’ll pass by the Jan Heweliusz monument – he is looking at the sky map painted on the building. Heweliusz was a very famous astronomer and mathematician. Behind the monument, there’s the Old Town Hall.

Gdansk in one day – European Solidarity Centre and Gradowa Hill

Our next stop is Solidarity Square next to a shipyard area. There’s a Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers and the newly built European Solidarity Centre (ECS). If you’d like to learn more about “Solidarity” and Lech Wałesa, don’t miss ECS. It’s a good place to get to know the history of the Polish strike again communism in the 80s better. It’s a newly built interactive museum, and you can spend half a day there. 

What to see in Gdansk in one day - visit  European Solidarity Centre
What to see in Gdansk in one day – visit the European Solidarity Centre

Finally, from ECS we go to our destination – Gradowa hill. From there you can see the places you visited during the day. Enjoy the panorama of beautiful Gdansk! 

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Here we end our Gdansk in one day trip. You’ve seen the most important places, and we hope you liked it, and you’ll go back someday to see more.

How to spend 2 days in Gdansk

On your second day in Gdansk, consider spending more time in the city centre – visiting the Old Fortifications in Dolne Miasto or going to Oliwa District.

We’ll be glad if you share your impressions about our city – what was the best, maybe there’s something you didn’t like and what surprised you?

Leave us a comment.

And don’t forget to check Top things to do in Gdansk.

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Teeranuch Sorrak January 13, 2020 - 7:47 pm

really useful

Thank you so much , Im going to Gdansk this weekend

admin January 13, 2020 - 8:09 pm

Thank you:)


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