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A Peek Into Gdansk Old Town

Quick… What do you associate with “Gdansk”?

Until we visited recently, we thought of the city as home to the shipyards where Lech Walesa rallied some 17,000 Polish workers in 1980 in a 17-day strike.

That gave rise to the Solidarity trade union and an anti-communist movement that triggered the collapse of communism in Europe.

Gdansk Old Town

We didn’t associate “Gdansk” with an Old Town that could be so pretty.

But the history of Gdansk stretches back many, many centuries.

Gdansk Old Town

Gdansk Old Town is hugely colorful.

Photos of Gdansk Old Town, Poland

Everything is splashed with color – fountains, gabled merchant houses with ornate doorways, one of the largest Gothic brick churches in the world, decorative gates, a waterfront walkway lined with cafés and even a gigantic medieval crane.

Gdansk Old Town

Seeing Gdansk Old Town today, it’s quite unbelievable to learn that 90% of Gdansk (known at the time as the “Free City of Danzig”) was destroyed in World War II.

But Poland set about to restore its Baltic port city, and Gdansk Old Town was rebuilt during the 1950s and 1960s.

We only had one day in Gdansk.

You could spend more time.

Neptune Fountain in Gdansk Old Town

But now that we’ve visited, we no longer associate “Gdansk” just with its shipyards, the famous strike and the man (Walesa) who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to free Poland from communism.

We now also associate it with a lovely Old Town in Europe.

Indeed, Gdansk is one of the reasons to visit Poland!

What to see in Gdansk, Poland

Check out these photos of Gdansk Old Town.

Don’t they make you want to go?

Gdansk Old Town is one of the prettiest towns in Europe!
Carved doorway in Gdansk Old Town
Gdansk Old Town
Gdansk Old Town
Detail on Gdansk Old Town building
Gdansk at night

Experience more of Europe!

Dresden (Germany): What to do in Dresden? Gape at the treasure in the historic Green Vault museum. See the beautiful Zwinger Palace. Bicycle along the Elbe River. And more!

Porto (Portugal): Is Porto worth visiting? And how do you avoid the crowds?

Mallorca (Spain): Check out the best things to do in Mallorca – from hiking to swimming at ravishing beach coves to touring historical manor houses.

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

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Photo credits: 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!


Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. I love Gdansk. It has this amazing Old Town architecture, plus it's located by the sea and it's close to Sopot, another Polish seaside town I like (there's a really nice pier there).

Janice and George

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

Sopot sounds, well... interesting! We had to Google it, since we hadn't heard of the town before. Here's what Lonely Planet says about it: "Sopot is about moneyed Poles flashing their cash in ritzy eateries standing alongside old Polish literary-themed cafes."


Sunday 20th of November 2016

Pretty pics! We're planning on spending time in Poland in the first half on 2017, maybe a couple of months using Krakow and Warsaw as bases. But we'd like to see Gdansk, have heard nothing but good things about it.


Janice and George

Sunday 20th of November 2016

Boy, you two sure get around! We've heard good things about the rest of Poland too - you're sure to enjoy it (along with Gdansk). We look forward to reading your posts!

Moira Lauren

Thursday 10th of November 2016

Great pictures. Beautiful place and what an amazing history.

Janice and George

Thursday 10th of November 2016

Yes, there's a lot of history to Gdansk. It's also the place where WWII started - when a German battleship in the harbor opened fire against Poland.


Thursday 10th of November 2016

I didn't imagine it would be so attractive either but your post has made me want to visit plus my hubby's Mother was Polish and he's never been either.

Janice and George

Thursday 10th of November 2016

So, you have good reason to visit Poland one day :-).

Irene S. Levine

Thursday 10th of November 2016

Never been to Gdansk but it looks like a very beautiful place to visit! Love your photography~

Janice and George

Thursday 10th of November 2016

We were surprised to find the Old Town was so pretty - didn't even know there would be an Old Town until we visited...