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, without a doubt 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: Dluga Street, Dlugi Targ, Motlawa River or Mariacka Street. One day is not enough to enter to 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 – Wyzynna Gate
First of all, we start in front of the Upland Gate (Brama Wyzynna) which is one tram stop away from “Dworzec Glowny” – the main train station.
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’re going 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 home as a small souvenir. On the right side you can see the Prison Tower and Torture Chamber, nowadays the Museum of Amber and exhibition about prison and torture.
The building was a part of fortifications until the end of 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 19th century many executions and punishments took place in front of the entrance to the prison tower (the east side). You can still see remains of 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 really beautiful from Piwna Street.
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 totally destroyed so many building you can see nowadays are reconstructed from scratch.
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 important 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 in which is not so high but has a nice view of Mariacki Church. Next to the fountain, there is a and Arthus Cort (Dwor Artusa), that served as an exchange for the well-off townsmen and visitors – now it’s also a museum.
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 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.
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 in one day – St. Mary’s Church
At the end of the street, you can see 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 whole year from 8:30 till 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).
After visiting the church have a look at Piwna Street which is full of restaurants, bars and cafes what 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.
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 and the St. Mary’s Church there is a Royal Chapel. It’s one of two baroque churches in Gdansk, built in XVII century as a provisional Catholic chapel due to the fact that Mariacki Church was then Protestant.
Gdansk in one day – Motlawa river bank again
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 of 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 of the left side there’s a concert hall “Filharmonia Baltycka”.
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 Post Office Museum (it’s also museum dedicated to the Second World War), but we continue our walk on the island and go to Szafarnia street, pass by marina and go to Granary Island with new hotels and a big wheel AmberSky.
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 had 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?
In the afternoon it’s a good idea to go to the hill “Gora Gradowa” with 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.
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, nowadays closed. 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 Jan Heweliusz monument – he is looking at 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’s area. There’s a Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers and newly built European Solidarity Centre (ECS). If you’d like to learn more about “Solidarity” and Lech Walesa, don’t miss ECS. It’s a good place to get to know the history of Polish strike again communism in the 80s better. It’s a newly built interactive museum and you can spend half a day there.
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!
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.
We’ll be glad if you share with 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 for free.