Travel to Poland’s happy place, Sopot, where you can take in the sea air and relax on the longest wooden pier in Europe. A small fishing village until the 20th century, Gdynia was rapidly built into Poland’s largest and busiest sea port after World War I. As a result, it’s mainly a very modern city. The most significant older attraction is the 13th-century St. Michael the Archangel Church. Two museum ships in the harbor, a destroyer and a frigate, are also popular with visitors. Gdynia has a thriving cultural life and in September hosts the annual Polish Film Festival, sometimes called the “Polish Cannes.”
While it lacks the 1,000 year history of its better known neighbor, Gdynia is a wonderful example of a 20th century city with its construction covering the Art Deco period of the 20s and 30s, the Socialist era of post-war Europe and the modern designs of the post-communist Poland. The city can offer beautiful beaches and walks, some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the Tri-city as well as a fiercely proud population still shaped by the time not so long ago when Gdynia was viewed as the true Polish city on the coast.
In the afternoon, visit Sopot, situated 25 minutes drive from Gdansk.
Sopot, Poland’s most elegant seaside resort in eastern Pomerania, is close enough to Gdansk to allow for spontaneous sightseeing and shopping trips. In the first years of the 20th century, Sopot was a favorite spa of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. After World War I, the Casino of Sopot filled the coffers of the free city of Danzig. Wealthy aristocrats and citizens of Danzig, Berlin and Warsaw flocked to the still-existing Grand Hotel built in 1926.
Sopot’s main attraction is Europe’s longest wooden pier, 1,690 ft long and dating from 1928. The sandy beaches, sea promenades and a major wellness complex with a luxury hotel attract many visitors. Sopot also hosts the Sopot International Song Festival, Europe’s second largest after the Eurovision Song Contest.
We will also visit Oliwa, home to the twin-spired Cathedral that houses what was once the largest organ in the world.