11 instantly instagrammable spots in Gdansk

22nd August 2018 No Comment

Have you been to Gdansk yet? If not, it’s definitely somewhere you should add to your ‘top places to visit in Europe’ list or whatever you have that’s similar! It’s a fairly small city, with a population of around 450,000 and is located on the Baltic coast, right in the north of Poland. Gdansk is the third city I’ve visited in Poland and it’s been my favourite by far. The city centre is fairly compact and walkable, and it’s generally really colourful and beautiful, with lots of traditional architecture for your eyes to feast on.

As such, I thought it would be great to share the 11 most instagrammable spots I discovered during the few days we spent in Gdansk. As a quick aside – Gdansk is a coastal city and historically it’s where lots of shipyards were located (and there still are quite a few there today). In fact, when we visited in June and I sent some photos to my Mum, the first thing she said was “well that looks different to when we saw pictures of Lech Walesa at the shipyards in the news”. She was of course, referring to a time before I was born, so things in Gdansk have changed quite a lot in a few decades. Don’t worry though, these photos aren’t of local industrial sites!

And just before I share the photos, a brief history lesson relating to the above reference (because I always love a place with character and a back story!).  For those of you unfamiliar with the history of Gdansk and general Polish politics (as most of us probably are): Lech Walesa was President of Poland from 1990-1995. Prior to that, he was a key player in strikes that took place first in the shipyards of Gdansk, and then across the wider country. He was such an instrumental activist during this time that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 ‘For Freedom to Organize behind the Iron Curtain’.

Now you’ve had your daily dose of history, on to my top 11 insta spots in Gdansk! Some of these have already made it onto my grid and others are pending… but it’s been great going through my photos again so look out for some more of these on my insta soon for the ultimate Polish travel inspo:

1. Zielony Most

Or in English: green bridge (disclaimer: I’m putting all my faith in Google maps for accurate translations of all the places in this post). We crossed this bridge every day to get to the Old Town from where we were staying, and it simply has a stunning view of the docks and buildings behind.

2. Old Town (view from the Town Hall/Gdansk Historical Museum)

I find this architecture incredibly beautiful, and the Old Town in Gdansk is full of buildings like this. Insta tip: go up the steps outside the Town Hall to get some more height and a better angle for the buildings compared to the street.

3. Gdansk Town Hall

Where I took photo number 2 (spot those familiar buildings to the left of this photo?). The Town Hall was rebuilt after a fire in the 1500s and then again after it was nearly completely destroyed in WWII. It’s the 2nd highest building in the main city, after St. Mary’s Church and is home to the Gdansk Historical Museum.

4. Most Milosci

One of the biggest surprise insta spots that we stumbled across on the way to the train station one day. A love locks bridge with a stunning restaurant in the background – I definitely couldn’t pass up this photo op!

5. The Old Town

OK so maybe this is cheating because I’ve already put in a couple of  ‘Old Town’ spots, but it’s too stunning to only allow one photo spot in this post! Get yourself a drink in one of the many restaurants/bars in the centre of Gdansk and take all the photos to spread the wine and travel love!

6. Sopot

I did mention that Gdansk was on the coast, so here’s the beach! Not exactly what most of us would think of straightaway when we imagine a trip to Poland, but if you want some sea and sand then you can take a local train to Sopot from Gdansk. Well worth a visit if you want a break from the city.

7. The Pirate Ship

Well, Gdansk actually has two resident pirate ships, believe it or not. This was definitely one of my holiday highlights. The pirate ship does a round trip from the docks by the Old Town to a WWII monument in a place called Westerplatte. And you even get to see some real shipyards during the voyage!

8. The Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk

This is one of those buildings that at the time, you have absolutely no idea what it is, but you know it’s beautiful and you have to get a picture. This building houses the Academy of Fine Arts and it seems to be another one of those that you stumble across as you wander around the city. It’s located just off the main part of the Old Town, at the end of Piwna (another great street for restaurants).

9. Gdansk Marina

This was one of the first views we had of Gdansk, so it’s safe to say we were sold on the city right from the start. I always love boats and marinas, and I like this spot because you can also see the ferris wheel in the background. We didn’t have time to go on it on this trip, but maybe next time!

10. Paulo Gelateria

This really was a Catherine classic, if you will. I mean, does anyone else decide they want a certain type of food (in this case, ice cream) and then head straight to TripAdvisor to read the reviews and select the top option (in this case, a gelateria)? And then you drag a load of other people halfway across the city to find this one place that then seems to not be located exactly where Google maps told you it would be? And then you eventually find it and to your utter relief it lives up to the hype? This was one of those times. I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t have chocolate ice cream but offered me mushroom ice cream as an alternative (we thought this was lost in translation but then our Polish friend confirmed it was, in fact mushroom ice cream they were selling). But we had these gorgeous Oreo concoctions instead, which more than made up for that! If you like to take photos of food in mason jars, this is the spot for you in Gdansk.

11. Vodka shots

And finally, would this post be complete without including a shot of shots? I don’t think so. In case you didn’t hear, Poland is famous for its vodka and honestly, I think this is the cheapest food/drink item we purchased during our whole trip as Poland does have tourist prices everywhere these days. The wooden shot trays and fruity coloured vodkas look great for a photo! The place we went to is called Restauracja Swojski Smak, which was recommended by a friend.

Have you been to Gdansk? What was your favourite place to visit? If you haven’t been yet, then hopefully this will help you decide to add Gdansk to your list of places to go!