Have you decided to visit Gdansk? Having come to Gdansk, what should you do? Gdansk is a lovely little city, if you want “to watch flowers while riding on horseback”, just one day is also enough. Right near Gdansk there are both Sopot and Gyndia which are convenient on the go. Just choose the right activity, then Gdansk is like a treasure chest, digging forever but still find something to do. I suggest that you should stay at least 4 days when visiting Gdansk – including half a day to the world’s largest medieval castle Malbork as I wrote in this previous post. So, what to do in Gdansk, Poland (Gdansk what to do)? Let’s check out our suggested 10 top things to do in Gdansk and best things to do in Gdansk, top and best places to visit in Gdansk as well to find out the answer!

Beautiful city of Gdansk with colorful red tile roof houses.
Mariacka, amber street.
Malbork Castle | best things to do in gdansk

Now, I’m going to make a list of the top, best and must-dos when visiting Gdansk.

Top things to do in Gdansk: Wandering aroundn the Old Town (also known as Long Market – Długi Targ)

Aerial view of the Old Town of Gdansk

Basically, visiting the old town is an obvious must do and top things to do in Gdansk when you come to Gdansk in particular and everywhere in the world in general. I have visited many cities in Poland. It must be said that Gdansk is one of the cities with the most beautiful old town in Poland. Formerly a market place for the inhabitants of Gdansk, stretching from the city gate by the river to the Neptune statue of the Royal Road (Royal Way). The whole colorful street with buildings built in semi-Bazytine architecture will surely make you satisfied! Along this road, there are also countless cafes, shops for you to stop and watching street scene and people pass by. (But if you come in summer, I’m afraid it’s just full of people).

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Gdansk street scene | best things to do in gdansk
Cobblestone streets
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Best things to do in Gdansk: Continue to admire the Royal Way

Poseidon statue marks the royal street of “the rich” | best things to do in gdansk

The Royal Way begins with a fountain with a bronze statue of the god of sea Neptune (Poseidon) established in the 17th century by a Dutch artist, and extends all the way to the bank of Motlawa River. This street is the center of the old town, surrounded by colorful old buildings and houses, some dating back to the 14th century. These include the Golden Gate, the Prison Tower & Torture Chamber. It is said that it was from the Neptune fountain that produced the Goldwasser (a liqueur with gold flakes). If you are a drinks connoisseur, you may know that Goldwasser is of German origin. But this is not strange because most of the time Gdansk self-governing is very pro-German. Visiting Gdansk you should read a bit about its history. That’s very interesting.

The Neptune statue
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What to do in Gdansk: Turn to Mariacka Street, which sells amber stones and is a bar and pub paradise

“Golden” street – where amber stone is sold | top things to do in gdansk

Mariacka Street is located right next to the Long Market, is a bar and pub paradise (mostly for tourists, but rest assured not being ripped off), and many shops selling amber stone (You can take advantage of buying because firstly, the prices in Poland are always cheaper than in other countries, secondly, they are all genuine).

Mariacka is quite short, going from one end to the other can take only 10 minutes, but the scene is very beautiful and surreal. Mariacka is already very beautiful during the day, but I highly recommend you to visit it at dawn when the sun has gone down but it’s not completely dark yet, extremely magical!

Gdansk what to do: Strolling along the banks of the Motlawa River

The Motlawa riverbank scene is like in Copenhagen | top things to do in gdansk

Gdansk is a prosperous port city located right next to the Motlawa River. It is because of this favored location that during the Cold War, when Poland was under the influence of the Soviet Communist bloc, Gdansk in particular suffered enormous financial losses due to the loss of autonomy and because the disparity was too large between the two periods, when it was still economically independent and the period under the influence of the Soviet Union where Gdansk was the first force for economic autonomy in the Communist bloc, leading to the Solidarity movement (Polish trade union) that began the collapse of Soviet Union.

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At dusk
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Vibrant at night

Top things to do in Gdansk: Riding Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl ship and admiring the city from the water (The Black Pearl – Czarna Perla)

The infamous “black pearl” ship | top things to do in gdansk

You definitely must try this pirate ship cruise! Admiring Gdansk from the water is extremely shimmering. The ship itself is very beautiful, the design is true to the classic ship style. Moreover, the cruise tour is about two hours extending from the port of Gdansk, passing through the container yard where the Solidarity movement began, until the place where World War II began. On the boat there will be a lyrical Polish live music performance.

One-way fare is about 20 or 30zl or something (under 10 euros). Two-way is 45/50zl (a little more than 10 euros). They also provide food and drink, but you have to ask for more. Please visit this website for more detailed information.

Best things to do in Gdansk: European Solidarity Centre

I am a museum addict, and have also had the opportunity to visit many museums in Europe. And I must say that the museums of Eastern/Central Europe in general and of Poland in particular are particularly excellent, especially on the subject of history (Art Museum, of course, not as good as Western Europe and the low land of Netherlands). There are 3 notable and famous museums in Gdansk. All of them are definitely worth visiting. One of the three is the The European Solidarity Centre, focusing on the movement for economic autonomy led by the leader Lech Walesa (Lech Walesa is now the name of the airport of the city also). Gdansk was the site of the first self-determination strike demonstration that started the collapse of the Soviet Communist bloc. The most special thing is that this movement is completely non-violent!

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This museum is huge, lots of zones, extremely detailed information. You need at least 3 hours to explore here (it took me 4, 5 hours, because it was so interesting). Ticket price is about 20zl (about 5 euros), regular ticket, for students is 15zl. This is the price with the audio guide included. I must say that one of the great things about Poland is that, the museum systems are extremely efficient, full of interesting information and no tour required – very economical.

During winter (October to April), the museum is only open until 4-5pm. Summer open until 7pm. Please choose your time. The museum’s website is here.

Address: pI. Solidarności 1, 80-863 Gdańsk, Poland
Hours: 10AM–5PM/Saturday; Sunday: 10AM–6PM/Tuesday: Closed
Founded: November 8, 2007

Best things to do in Gdansk: Museum of the Second World War

Museum of the Second World War | top things to do in gdansk

The second of the must-visit museums in Gdansk is the World War II museum (Museum of the Second World War), with an extremely detailed and complete amount of information, gathered with modern helping guide tools, diverse and precious artifacts, huge collections, presentation and arrangement are very impressive to visitors! I really like history, my major also focuses on history a lot, but history is a difficult subject… However, studying history through museums is always very effective. It even works especially well with the Polish museums!

Visitors tour the exhibitions at the Second World War Museum in Gdansk. | what to do in gdansk

You can also get the audio guide when buying tickets, only 5zl. However, I don’t think it’s necessary. The information in the museum is extremely complete! No need for Audio guide, you already need at least 3 hours already to visit.

Free admission on Tuesdays. Please click here if you want more details.

Address: plac Władysława Bartoszewskiego 1, 80-862 Gdańsk, Poland
Hours: 10AM–6PM/Monday: Closed
Opened: March 2017

Top things to do in Gdansk: “Pub Crawl”

One of the lovely vintage style pubs on Mariacka street | what to do in gdansk

“Pub Crawl” is a particularly popular fun activity among young Polish people. “Pub Crawl” means going from one bar to another and drinking until you got drunk. Of course, you should not drink too much if you go alone (even if you go with friends). But enjoying the atmosphere of “Pub Crawl” in Poland is very unique experience.

There are two “pub crawl” areas with many interesting bars and pubs, one is Mariacka Street in the Old Town. As I said above, this is a street with many amber stores. But in the evening, when the amber shops closed, it is a pub, bar paradise. Mostly only tourists come here. Beer is neither too expensive nor particularly good. I have tried most of the bars in the old town (Stare Miasto) in general and Mariacka street in particular. The quality of the beer is about the same.

The second area is Nowe Miasto, ie New Town (roughly translated as New Town). Frankly, nothing special. Basically, the West is like that, the Old Town is a tourist area, the indigenous people often flocking to the New Town to live, both to accommodate the population and to avoid expensive prices. But if you go to Pub crawl here, you will feel more attuned to the locals. And the beer is much better too.

What to do in Gdansk: Watching Shakespeare’s plays

Inside The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre | what to do in gdansk

Gdansk has a theater that specializes only in Shakespeare plays. This theater is very beautiful, bold with quaint style. When I watched it, it was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, extremely lovely and excellent. Please try it at least once!

Please visit this page to check events schedules and ticket prices!

Address: Wojciecha Bogusławskiego 1, 80-818 Gdańsk, Poland

These are the best things to do in Gdansk, top things to do in Gdansk which I participated in and especially recommend you to try when traveling in Gdansk. Now I will list some notes that I think need to talk to you.

Bonus

1. Above, I mentioned the two of the three best museums in Gdansk, but do not mention the third museum, the National Museum (Address: Toruńska 1, 80-822 Gdańsk, Poland/Hours: 11AM–6PM; Monday: Closed). If you’re not a fan of medieval gothic art, you don’t need to visit it, because most of the styles are pretty… about the same. Moreover, I have to say that if you want to admiring beautiful medieval paintings, let go to Italy. Like Giotto’s collection in Siena church, for example!

National Museum | what to do in gdansk

2. If you want to have a panoramic view of the whole city, go up to the tower of Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The bell tower of St. Mary Basilica.

3. In July (entire this month) there is the St. Dominic’s Fair. Then, Gdansk will attract artisans from all over the world. At that time, the whole streets will be filled with craft workshops, theaters continuously perform, cultural and musical events will take place one after another, especially tourists flocking! It’s not an exaggeration to say that little Gdansk at that time was as crowded as Venice during the carnival season, so please think carefully before coming to this time!

St. Dominic’s Fair | what to do in gdansk

Gdansk guide: Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Gdansk you can refer to

Gdansk tram | best things to do in gdansk

Happy traveling, check out more Poland travel guide here and Gdansk guide here.

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