Old town of Gdańsk


There is no doubt that Gdańsk is one of the most interesting Polish cities. In this beautiful Hanseatic city you will find the world’s biggest brick church, a magnificent market square and a unique mast crane.

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It’s best to start exploring the Old Town of Gdańsk from the east side. If you do so, you’ll go through the Green Gate (Zielona Brama) towards the Long Market (Długi Targ) and you’ll see the impressive architecture that makes you think of Amsterdam, and the silhouette of the city hall.

Nowadays, the city hall is a museum presenting its remarkable interiors – it was here that the city council made the most important decisions in the history of Gdańsk.

Quite close to the city hall you will find the Neptune fountain, the ‘patron’ of the city (Greek and Roman gods should probably not be called this way) that has been standing here since 1633.


In the background of Neptune you can see Artus’ House – a very wide building built by the merchant guild. The city elite wanted to have a place of amusement where only the richest ones could come to enjoy the pleasures of life. People ate, drank, held parties, but never negotiated! Nowadays there is a museum inside the building – come here for a visit so that you can feel like a wealthy patrician.

To the right of Artus’ House you will see the Golden House – probably the most detailed facade in the whole Old Town. According to a local legend, the owner of the house, Johann Speymann ordered both the façade and the rear side of the building in Florence. Unfortunately the façade sank in the Mediterranean Sea whilst being transported to Gdańsk which is why the poor owner was forced to use the rear side as a façade…

The narrower part of the main route is known as the Long Street (ulica Długa). There you will find for example Ciuciu, where you can buy hand-made candies. During the summer half-year you can watch a show presenting the manufacturing process of those colorful sweets displayed every hour on the hour. Why not buy a couple of them for a present?

In the end of the Long Street you will find the Golden Gate, where you can find for example pictures of Gdańsk taken straight after the second world war. Nowadays it’s hard to believe that 80% of the Old City was wiped out in 1945. Luckily it was rebuilt after the war. See what it looked like in the past!

North of the Golden Gate you will find the Great Armory – one of the most magnificent buildings in the Old Town. It was built in 1605 in order to protect Gdańsk against attacks from Sweden – one of Poland’s greatest in the 17th century.

After leaving the Great Armory go down the Piwna street (Beer street would probably be a more exact translation) towards St. Mary’s church – the world’s biggest brick church built between 1343 and 1502. Its area is approximately 5000 square meters – come in and let the majestic medieval building fascinate you (during winter time admission is free, from spring to autumn you need to pay a small fee). The most interesting items in the church are the astronomical clock (if you have been to the Strasbourg cathedral, you’ll know what we mean), the copy of the painting Last Judgment by Hans Memling and the grandiose main altar.

Behind St. Mary’s church its easy to find the street of St. Mary – probably the most beautiful street in Gdańsk. Here you can go back in time and imagine what the whole Old Town must have looked like about 100 years ago when all the bourgeois houses used to be equipped with small terraces at the front. The terraces were tore down as car traffic was introduced in the Old Town.


St. Mary’s street leads to the Long Quay – the waterfront of the city. On the other side of the river you can see ruins of bombed grain storehouses that remained after the war. If you look to the left you will see a very strange object – the Mast Crane. It was used as a gate and its mechanism is fascinating – inside there are two treadmills where harbor workers had to walk to lower or lift a rope with an attached hook. 


These are only a few examples of sughts from the old town of Gdańsk. Explore the city to be enchanted by the charm and atmosphere of Gdańsk.

Looking for more inspiration? Here you go:


How do you get to the city of Gdańsk? It's as easy as pie: take the plane to Gdańsk and rent a car at the airport. You can, of course, take your own car and travel with the ferry to the continent. Book accommodation directly in the heart of the city. Don't forget to take care of your travel insurance!

Region: Pomorze.

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