Gdansk has these two great historical figures, J.Pablo II and Pope L. Walesa. Therefore, it's well worth a visit. The city was completely rebuilt after the 2nd World War, in 1923 over 95% of the population was German, but after World War the Soviets destroyed more than 90% of the city and the Germans were kicked out. Gdansk has the largest brick church in the world (according to all of the guidebooks from the city that proudly recite this fact) and several notable buildings.
Gdansk in Polish or the way I like more, Danzig (in German), is a city completely impregnated with the political history of twentieth century Europe. A walk through its streets reveals the convoluted situations experienced by the Polish people, with clear signs of the German domain, and later the Soviet. Its strong personality can imagine knowing what the ancient city state was like, even minting its own currency. In order to appreciate the romantic and decadent buildings and streets it's great to for a little stroll and to go shopping.
Halfway between Sopot and Gdansk is the magnificent cathedral. It's famous for its impressive organ with hundreds of pipes and figurines that dance WHILE music sounds to alert the hours. Dozens of tourists come to watch when they music plays. It's one of the biggest tourist attractions in Gdansk, plus it has an interesting story, which is told on a plaque at the entrance. It will provide interesting historical data of the enclosure.
Sopot is a seaside town in northern Poland. It's also one of the most famous and poshest towns in the country, renowned for its beaches, hotels and spas. In the summer visitors include artists and TV presenters who come and stay in the most expensive hotels in Poland. It has the longest wooden pier in Europe, which is more than half a km long! Along with Gdynia and Gdansk, it is part of what's called the "Tricity" as they are close together. In summer the streets and terraces are crowded. They have many shops, restaurants and shopping centers and are an ideal place to stroll and, if you have more money, you can enjoy their luxury hotels in front of the beach.
The Słowiński Natural Park (in Polish Słowiński Park Narodowy) is a natural park with giant dunes, in northern Poland, on the Baltic Sea, near Gdansk and designated by Unesco Biosphere Park. It has an area of over 100 km2, which is mostly water. The forest park is mostly pine. The exit to the sea is breathtaking and especially the views from the top. The views are even better from the dunes, the largest is 30 metres high! Jumping down from them is one of the most repeated tourist attractions and offers the view of the fall is impressive. Although costs have increased, I repeated a few times. It's definitely a place worth visiting, especially during May's hot weather. It's nice to walk barefoot through the dunes and walk around the rest of the park. The walk is about 5 km from the start to the beach. You can rent bicycles and electric cars (if I remember correctly, each way cost just over € 4. Gdansk is worth a visit if you can spare the time.
A UNESCO World Heritage since 1997, Malbork Castle was built by the Teutonic Order as a military fortress. Built in a Baltic Gothic style, it is the world's largest castle built of brick and is situated on the right bank of the river Nogat. It was founded by the Order of Teutonic Knights in 1274 with the name of its patron saint, the Virgin Mary. The castle is the largest Gothic fortress in Europe and was built to be the headquarters of the Teutonic Order in the fourteenth century, after World War II. Malbork is composed of three different sections, the high, medium and low castle, separated by moats and towers. The castle came to house 3,000 soldiers. The castle's outer walls surround an area of 210,000 m². It's really impressive and the views from the highest tower are spectacular. From the other side of the river, there is a panoramic view of the entire castle. The best way to get there is by train to Malbork and, once there, ask for the "Zamek" in Polish.
The crane is one of the symbols of the city, originally dates back to the fourteenth century. It´s present strangely shaped appearance dates back to 1442-4. It was driven manually using pulleys that could lift up to 2 tons. It measures 27 meters and had to be fully restored because of a fire in 1945. Needless to say, it had to be restored again after World War II.
Gdansk Town Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, if not the most, it's very stylish and elegant. The first thing you see is the clock that stands out from all other buildings in the street. The Museum of History of Gdansk is inside, so it's beautiful outside and inside, then beside it is the Fountain of Neptune.
This small village of 520 inhabitants, located 39 kilometres from Gdansk, has a curious Kashubian open air museum. Kashubian is an ethno-historical region in northern Poland, currently home to only 5,000 casubos, who speak casubo, a language from the Slavic family, but still different from Polish. This museum consists of various parts, and carefully explains this regional ethnic group's lifestyle. Its attractions include a table made from a single tree trunk (which holds the Guinness record) and an upside-down house, where everything is upside down and after entering, people get dizzy and disoriented. It's quite an experience! The best way to get there is by car as it's not close to the town and is very difficult to find public transportation that goes directly to the museum.
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the largest brick church in Europe. It was built in several stages between 1343 and 1502. Inside we find many baroque and medieval artworks. The white interior walls are all very high, so the images, altarpieces and of course the awesome organ are what give the interior some color.
This beach in northern Poland is a very special place; on one hand there is the Baltic coast and on the other, a large lake, so the population lives on a land line that lies between the two. This beach, like most Polish beaches, has very fine sand and the water is very cold. I went in June, the sun was strong enough and I even got burnt, but in the evening you'll need to wear a jacket. In summer it is a busy place, full of tourists. June is the ideal time to visit, it's not too crowded and you can enjoy it properly. The town nearby (with little more than 1000 inhabitants) also has a forest just before you reach the beach, a lighthouse (the most famous attraction here, even when you know about the wild boars that roam through the village!) I enjoyed my stay there, I had a very special day, the weather was fantastic and the place too. The sunsets here are beautiful. Take a bus from Elblag if you don't have a car.
Gulls are animals typical of coastal areas, and their sound is heard from every corner of Sopot. When you approach the center of Sopot pier, you can see them quietly flying around looking for food. They are really big, especially the size and somewhat grayish wings. As these birds aren't afraid of the passerby, you can feel free to contemplate them from close range. They are so characteristic of the place that they're in the badge of Sopot. Sopot beach has fine golden sand and although the water is a bit cold, it's one of the most visited beaches by tourists from all over Poland. Although the most well know area of the place is its wooden dock, the largest in Europe, with an area of 650 meters, 450 of which are on the water, so you can dive into the water while walking half a kilometer into the sea! The view of the coast and sea from the end of the pier is beautiful. People go there to relax, walk and even have a drink as near the end of the pier there is a pub. However, if the wind is strong it's somewhat difficult.
It is one of the three cities that form the Tricity, just as Gdynia and Sopot. It is the ugliest of the three because it is basically a port city. But you definately have to visit the port and see the sailboats there. During winter there is so much moisture in the Creek that the cold is really unbearable! The Marine Military Academy has its headquarters there. Although not as pretty as the other Sopot is very close and worth a visit with not wasting any time. There are many malls and markets where they sell everything and cheaper than in Sopot. The clostest area to the port contains a lot of pubs and restaurants which are open mostly during summer.
Just outside the village passing Gdynia and Sopot is Orłowo. It's accessible by train, linking Gdansk with Gdynia. Orłowo Gdynia is a quiet residential neighborhood. It is recommended for its sandy beach and cliffs called Redłowo where the forest reaches the seafront. Orłowo Gdynia also has footpaths and a wooden footbridge to stroll along, although there are occasional snack bars, it's normally quiet and peaceful. It is perfect if you are stopping in Gdynia and you don't know what to do one afternoon
The ship Dar Mlodziezy replaced the ship Dar Pomorza as the training ship of the Polish Navy. If you are lucky enough to see it in the port of Gdynia, when it is not going around the world, you'll see it's gorgeous! All painted white, with its name in gold and the shield with the Polish eagle. It was built in Gdansk shipyard in 1982. It has room for 176 people, 40 crew members and 136 cadets.
The city center of Sopot is not very large, but the city has beautiful houses residential neighborhoods, some even seem like palaces. They are owned by the wealthy people of Poland such as actors, politicians and TV presenters. There are are no problems with space. Some houses are made from stone and some from wood but they are all large and have gardens and the beach is close but not too close. I don't think it's an impediment to be a little distance from the beach.
Sopot is the "poshest" city throughout Poland, It's the 'summer' city and beach of excellence with luxurious hotels with spas, bars on the beach and good restaurants. It also has some interesting monuments to see and among them is the old lighthouse, which was built between 1903-1904. During the summer it is open for tourists, as the views from the top are very nice.
The city of Gdynia represents the sea, not beach (this would be the city of Sopot) but as Marina. This is the port where the Polish navy dock and rest when they arrive. At the end of the harbor, before falling into the sea are two monuments, one dedicated to the writer and sailor Joseph Conrad and the other sailors who died at sea. Represented by giant metal sailboat sails. I was lucky the sun came out while I was there and saw the rainbow behind the monument, beautiful.