The Perfect 1, 2 or 3 Days in Gdansk Itinerary

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by Olivia Ellis

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Mapping out a great 1, 2 or 3 days in Gdansk itinerary is a great addition to any trip to Poland. It is a beautiful and unique city located on the Baltic coast offering a relaxing, delicious, and interesting weekend getaway.

It’s unfortunate that Gdansk receives a small amount of tourists in comparison to other cities in Poland such as Krakow or Warsaw, as it’s an incredibly special city to visit.

As Poland’s principal port city, Gdansk offers an interesting history, beautiful architecture, and a quaint city center.

How Many Days in Gdansk?

As a major city on Poland’s Baltic coast, it is understandable that you’d be wondering how many days to spend in Gdansk in order to see the highlights, get a good feed for the city and not feel too rushed.

If you’re short on time and only have 1 day in Gdansk, you can explore the highlights of the city – including Gdansk’s picturesque historic center – eat a few delicious meals in the city and perhaps take a boat cruise on the Motlawa River.

With 2 days in Gdansk, you’ll be able to visit and wander the city at a much more leisurely pace, take a boat cruise along the Motlawa River, and learn further about the city, its history, and culture in one of Gdansk’s wonderful museums.

This is the perfect amount of time if you’re hoping to get the most out of the city without exploring further outwards of the city.

If you’re able to spend 3 days, you’ll have the time to do everything in both one and two days, but also visit an area/city near Gdansk, further enriching your visit to this unique part of Poland.

City of Gdansk
City of Gdansk

Getting To & Around Gdansk

If you’re planning on flying into Gdansk from another country in Europe, Gdansk has its own airport that conveniently offers routes to quite a few European and other Polish destinations.

Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport is located about 12 kilometers from the city center and offers public transportation to the city center from the airport.

Public transportation options are either train or bus, and both bring you directly to the city center. By train or bus, expect a 20-40 minute ride depending on your chosen mode of transport.

If you prefer to forego public transportation and take a taxi from the airport to the city center, a taxi is still an affordable option. You can also organise a transfer in advance.

Gdansk Glowny, the city’s main train station is also located centrally and has direct routes to most major cities in Poland (including Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Poznan), giving an affordable and convenient mode of transport if you’re visiting Gdansk to/from other Polish destinations. You can view train schedules here.

While Gdansk is Poland’s 4th largest city, the city center is quite compact, making it an ideal city to visit if you enjoy a charming, walkable atmosphere.

On the contrary, if you like to take advantage of public transportation during your travels, you can also explore Gdansk using its efficient public transportation system. The city’s public transportation system is well-developed, quick, and affordable, and consists of trams, buses, and suburban trains.

If you’re planning on using a fair amount of public transportation as well as visiting Gdansk’s main attractions, a great option to save money is to purchase the Gdansk Tourist Card.

A 24-hour tourist offers discounts and free admissions to museums, cultural and entertainment sites as well as discounts to local restaurants and other top attractions in Gdansk. Longer pass options are available as well, further increasing the cost-efficiency of your trip.

Exploring Gdansk
Exploring Gdansk

1, 2 or 3 Days in Gdansk Itinerary

Day 1 – Gdansk Historical Center

A visit to Gdansk’s historical center is truly a well-preserved step back in time. The streets are lined with beautiful, colourful buildings, many of which have been carefully restored to their original grandeur.

The city’s rich history is on display everywhere, from the intricate facades of the many merchant houses to the soaring heights of the medieval churches.

You’ll find that, unlike other major European cities, Gdansk only has a small number of tourists, giving the feeling that you’re alone among locals in such an enchanting and unique city.

Dlugi Targ (Long Market)

The perfect spot to begin is in the city’s historic center, more specifically the “Długi Targ” or Long Market – the main market square in the heart of Gdansk.

The Long Market is located on Ulica Dluga (or Long Street) which is easily the most recognisable street in Gdansk and is a bustling pedestrian street that begins at the Golden Gate and ends at the Green Gate, lined with colorful merchant houses, cosy cafes, and shops of all sorts for visitors and locals.

At the center of the square, you’ll notice the impressive Neptune Fountain, dating back to the 17th by Flemish Architect Abraham van den Blocke. Gdansk has had a strong Dutch influence and you’ll notice this while wandering throughout the old town, with Dutch architecture at the forefront of the buildings and homes.

You can also take in the historic main town hall on this street, which is home to the Museum of Gdansk – a history museum that can help you learn more about the city.

Another option to learn more about the city is to take part in a walking tour of the city. Walking tours are an excellent way to explore the beautiful and rich city of Gdansk.

Guided tours such as this walking tour typically start in the heart of the Old Town and take you on a journey through the city’s rich history, architecture, and culture with a knowledgeable local guide to give you a local perspective of the city.

All in all, there is no doubt that the Long Street and Long Market are some of the best places to visit in Gdansk.

Ulica Dluga
Ulica Dluga

Motlawa River Waterfront

On the opposite end of the Long Market, you’ll find yourself at the “Green Gate”. The gate is part of a three-story building that was built in the 16th century as a residence for Polish monarchs and is the middle point between two parts of the city; the elegant center, and the vibrant Motlawa River Waterfront.

The Motlawa River Waterfront is a picturesque and atmospheric part of the city that offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy a drink or dinner while taking in the idyllic riverfront scenery.

The colorful merchant homes that line the river date back to the 16th and 17th centuries and create a charming setting. The contrast between these historic buildings and the sleek modern architecture nearby reflects Poland’s commitment to preserving its past while embracing the future.

Motlawa River Cruise

A riverboat tour in Gdansk is a popular way to explore the city’s waterways and see its major landmarks from a different perspective that’s not possible on foot.

The tour such as this 45-minute cruise usually starts at the Motława River near the Old Town and takes you on a scenic route past historic buildings, bridges, and shipyards.

Taking a boat tour down the Motlawa is a great way to learn about the city’s history and architecture while enjoying a relaxing ride on the water. You’ll find a variety of boat tours that cater to different preferences and needs, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your desires.

Motlawa River Waterfront
Motlawa River Waterfront

St. Mary’s Church

Another must-visit spot in the historic center is the impressive St. Mary’s Church. Built in the 15th century in Gothic style architecture, St. Mary’s Church is one of the largest brick churches in the world.

The church has been damaged and restored several times throughout history, including during World War II, but has always stood as a symbol of resilience for the people of Gdansk. The church’s interior is decorated with beautiful frescoes and stained-glass windows, while the exterior boasts intricate details and sculptures.

St. Mary’s Church is also home to an impressive 15th-century astronomical clock, which still functions today.

For impressive views of Gdansk, a must-do is to walk up the 405 steps of the church’s bell tower to experience Gdansk from an entirely different level, with views going beyond the city and over the Baltic region. This is one of the best things to do in Gdansk.

While visits to the church itself are free, there is an admission fee to climb the bell towner with varying visiting hours, so make sure to check daily hours in advance before visiting.

St. Mary's Church
St. Mary’s Church

Day 2 – Gdansk’s Museums

If you’re spending 2 days or a weekend in Gdansk, then plan to spend the second day exploring some of Gdansk’s most famous museums and learning a bit more about the history of this fascinating Polish city.

Gdansk is renowned for its fascinating and distinctive museums, and the next stop on your Gdansk itinerary will be at one of these interesting locations.

The Amber Museum

Poland is known for its cultivation of amber, and the perfect spot to learn more about this integral part of Poland’s stunning export is to head to the Amber Museum. The Amber Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the history and cultural significance of amber.

The museum is located in a beautifully restored Gothic building in the heart of the Old Town and features an extensive collection of amber artifacts, and jewelry.

You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the origins and properties of amber, as well as its use in art, religion, and trade throughout history.

The museum has varying open hours, so it’s important that you check opening hours before visiting.

The Museum of the Second World War

Located in Gdansk, you’ll find one of the most important museums in the world dedicated to World War 2, The Museum of the Second World War.

The museum’s exhibits cover the entire span of the war, from its causes and outbreak to its aftermath and legacy, and feature a wide collection of artifacts, documents, photographs, and media that provide visitors with a detailed and immersive understanding of the war and its impact on the world.

The Museum of the Second World War is a thought-provoking museum in Gdansk that offers visitors a comprehensive understanding of the war and its impact on the world.

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours here in order to really take in the exhibits in the museum and to get the most out of your visit. This is really something that should absolutely be on your list of you’re seeing Gdansk in 2 days.

The Museum of the Second World War
The Museum of the Second World War

European Solidarity Centre

If you have time or energy after the previous two museums, then consider heading to the European Solidarity Centre. This is a relatively new museum in Gdansk and it covers the history of solidarity and resistance movements against the communist regime in Poland.

This is a great museum to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the city’s more recent history or are interested in learning about Poland under communism.

Day 3 – Malbork Castle or Gdynia

If you’re seeing Gdansk in 3 days, you may be ready for a change of scenery by day 3 as the city center is quite small.

In this case, the perfect way to spend your third and last day in the Baltic Polish region is by heading out to one of the nearby areas on a day trip to further enrich your visit.

Malbork Castle

One of the best day trip options from Gdansk is to the largest castle in the world, Malbork Castle.

Malbork Castle was built in the 13th century and was originally home to the Teutonic Knights, a religious order of Crusaders. During World War 2, almost half of the castle was destroyed and has now been restored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The castle itself is a full-day experience, from wandering the gardens and taking in the fortified castle’s Gothic exterior, to exploring the castle’s courtyard and museum’s interiors.

Due to the size of the castle, the castle is open for exploring different routes of grounds and castle on different days.

Because of this, if you’re hoping to explore the castle in its entirety or specific parts of the castle, I highly suggest checking in advance to make sure that your desired areas to explore are open. Ticket costs also vary depending on the extent of the castle your chosen route entails, with reduced ticket options and free visit days available.

Malbork is easily reached by train from Gdansk Glowny (Gdansk Central Station) in around 30 minutes to an hour depending on the train you take. You can also take an organised tour.

Malbork castle
Malbork castle


Gdansk is part of a tri-city region in Northern Poland, along with the cities of Gdynia and Sopot. All cities are independent, with their own governments, but all three cities live and work among each other with extremely well-connected public transport.

While Sopot is an incredible city to visit in the summer due to its renowned beaches, the longest wooden pier in Europe and summer nightlife, we’re going to focus on visiting Gdynia from Gdansk.

There are plenty of things to do and see in Gdynia, from exploring its naval history at the Gdynia Naval Museum and the ORP Błyskawica warship to strolling along the famous waterfront promenade. If visiting throughout the summer, you can also enjoy a day of relaxation at one of the many sandy beaches or take a dip in the sea at the popular Jelitkowo Beach.

If you’re particularly keen on arts and culture, the Museum of the City of Gdynia and the Musical Theatre offers important insights into the city’s history and contemporary cultural scene.

The Museum of Emigration is also a great option for a visit to Gdynia, as Gdynia was a major port of emigration in the early 20th century. The Museum of Emigration tells the story of the many Polish emigrants who left their country to start a new life abroad.

To get to Gdynia, the best mode of transport is by train. There are regular departures with a journey time of 30-40 minutes depending on the train you take. You can also take an organised tour.

Wooden pier in Gdynia
Wooden pier in Gdynia

Where to Stay in Gdansk

Celestin Residence – This hotel is a great place for mid-range visitors to this coastal Polish city. There are a number of rooms (and even some apartments) on offer, and there is also parking for those with a car and breakfast available each morning.

PURO Gdańsk Stare Miasto – This swish and modern hotel is great for those who want a high-end stay while visiting Gdansk. They have a number of swanky rooms to choose from along with a perfect location for exploring all the city has to offer.

Dom & House – If you’d like to have your own apartment while visiting Gdansk, then this aparthotel is a great option. There are a number of fully-furnished apartments on offer, a great location for exploring the sites, and amenities like on-site parking and a swimming pool to enjoy.

Hostel Mamas & Papas – Budget and solo travelers to Gdansk will love this cool hostel in the center of the city. Offering both dorms and private rooms, they have great common areas and a wonderful social atmosphere making it easy to meet other visitors to this Polish city.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Gdansk hotels!

The city of Gdansk is truly a Baltic treasure, with delicious food, charming streets and architecture, and interesting cultural sites and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or your next stop on a Poland itinerary, there’s no doubt that you’ll fall for this beautiful city.

Are you planning a trip to Gdansk? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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