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Like a mini-state all to itself, Gdańsk has a unique feel that sets it apart from the other cities in Poland. Still referred to by Germans as Danzig, the city has had a complicated history, with its position on the dividing line of German and Slavic cultures. Centuries of maritime ebb and flow as a port city; streets of distinctively un-Polish architecture influenced by a united nations of wealthy merchants who shaped the city’s past; the to-ing and fro-ing of Gdańsk between Teutonic Prussia and Slavic Poland; and the destruction of WWII have all bequeathed this seaside city a special atmosphere and a ‘must-see’ for all visitors to Poland’s Baltic coastline.
Though an old city with a tumultuous past, and the historic scars to prove it, time spent in Gdańsk is to wander the narrow, cobbled streets of the Main Town, to gaze in wonder at the Architecture styles that range from Classical, to Baroque and even some Gothically-designed buildings and churches. Meander along its historical thoroughfares lined with characterful cafes, amber shops and intriguing museums.
If you’re after rich culture, delicious and unique cuisine, beer that can hold its own against nearly any in the world, architecture you can lose yourself in and immaculate outdoor opportunities, do not waste another second overlooking Gdańsk.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN GDAŃSK
- The Rynek - this square-shaped pedestrian medieval marketplace is filled with shops, bars, restaurants.
- Delicious Beer - Poland is known to many as a vodka stronghold but it is their centuries-old, tried and true beer that will surprise travellers and keep them occupied for many an afternoon.
- Hearty Food - Once you drink the beer, you then must sample the the Pierogi (Meat, potato and cheese filled dumplings) and bigos (cabbage and bacon-laden stew) that will fill you up on the cheap.
- Fascinating history - The European Solidarity Centre, which tells the story of Lech Walesa and his fight to take on the oppressive communist government.
- Tour the town of Zakopane at the foot of the Tatra Mountains which features both awe-inspiring views and a range of activities.
Photo credit : Getty Images
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