The port city of Gdansk on Poland's Baltic sea coast is one of Europe's hidden gems. With it's bright medieval architecture, abundant natural beauty and affordable prices, thousands of tourists come to visit Gdansk every year.
This bustling pedestrian street is popular among tourists and is lined with bars, restaurants and colorful buildings.
The Catholic church has many beautiful renaissance paintings inside and on occasion hosts free organ concerts for visitors.
This science center has interactive exhibits and is located in an abandoned 19th century fort by the central train station.
The 17th century fountain, named after the Greek god of water, is surrounded by quaint cafes and historic houses.
Located near Park Oliwa, this zoo has a variety of woodland and jungle animals.
Years ago, this long street was the main market of the city. Today, it's one of the most popular thoroughfares for visitors. Beautiful architecture and a number of hip restaurants and bars make this a must-see during your time in the city. You should keep in mind, though, that the prices will be a bit higher than in less touristy areas. That said, the area is worth a visit for the Golden House alone. Stroll through the streets and look for a facade with 12 intricately carved scenes from Poland's past.
This storied peninsula is the site of the beginning of the Second World War. As you make your way to the area, you'll pass monuments that commemorate the events of the Invasion of Poland. Polish authorities have chosen to keep certain historic areas of the park in the condition that the Battle of Westerplatte left them in, making it a top choice for those who are interested in European history. One of the guardhouses has been changed into a museum, which is open to guests throughout the year.
This award-winning building is the place to go if you'd like to learn about Solidarity and the various opposition movements that sprang up in Central and Eastern Europe during Communism. As you enter, you'll note the incredible design which won the international architecture competition. Exhibits in Polish and English trace the history of the Polish opposition, detailing the sacrifices made by ordinary people in the face of totalitarianism. It's an inspiring place and an absolute must for anyone who wants to understand Polish (and European) heritage.
The Żuraw w Gdańsku is simply one of the most incredible historical sites in Poland, if not in all of Europe. This medieval crane hails back to the 15th century, when it was the largest crane in the world. As you visit, you'll learn about the surprising and innovative technologies that allowed early crane operators to lift over 4,000 pounds using only human power. Today's version is a complete restoration -- the original was bombed during the Second World War. It's been converted into a museum that details the history and progression of the shipping industry in Europe.
If you're visiting with children, you simply must visit the Centrum Hewelianum. This science museum has dozens of hands-on, interactive exhibits that make it easy for kids to wrap their heads around topics in ecology, military history and science. The museum has an earth elevator and a hurricane zone in addition to virtual reality cannons. It's fun for the whole family.
The best time to visit the city is in the late Spring and Summer months between May and August, when the weather is mild and there are a plethora of outdoor concerts, festivals and cultural celebrations.
Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport is the city's international airport located 12km outside of the city center. One-way tickets from London to Gdansk start at PLN100.
The Gdansk Glowny Train Station has daily routes to other European cities. A fare from Gdansk to the Polish capital of Warsaw costs roughly PLN70.
The A1 motorway connects Gdansk to the southern Polish cities of Toruń and Łódź.
GoEuro and PolskiBus both offer routes from various European capitals to Gdansk starting at PLN20.
Celestin Residence is a medieval house situated in Old Town, with room prices starting at PLN200 a night.
Stare Miasto - The old town of the city has many museums dedicated to the city's medieval architecture and shipyard past.
Oliwa - This green district of Gdansk houses the Oliwa Cathedral, Oliwa Park and Gdansk Zoo.
Główne Miasto - This area is popular with tourists for its open-air markets, beautiful bridges, arches and boutique shopping opportunities.
There are many buses, trams and trolleys in Gdansk. Passes can be bought at the kiosk stations, with a single ride ticket costing PLN3.2.
The starting tariff of taxis in Gdansk is PLN6, with an average fare around the city center around PLN15.
Daily rental vehicle prices start at PLN50 and can be picked up at either the airport or one of several downtown Gdansk locations.
The Long Lane pedestrian street is popular among tourists for its bars, restaurants and small local shops selling traditional Polish crafts and souvenirs. Madison Shopping Gallery is the most central and popular mall.
Tesco and Piotr i Pawel are the two main supermarkets for food shopping. A dozen eggs costs PLN6.2.
Pierogarnia Mandu serves traditional dumplings among other local Polish dishes in the Oliwa district. Average meal prices cost between PLN20-PLN25.