I have great news for you: Gdansk is totally doable in 24 hours.
I spent 4 days in Gdansk on a solo trip during winter. One of the reasons I chose Gdansk for an extended winter weekend break was because there were only a few attractions to visit, all within walking distance of each other. Also, according to my Polish pal, Gdansk is one of the best cities to visit in Poland.
Many of my previous holidays have involved cramming multiple activities into a short space of time, so my trip to Gdansk was strategic. I wanted a slow, relaxing holiday where I could sleep in, wander the streets, eat a lot of traditional Polish food and explore.
I rented an apartment in the city centre- the perfect location for exploring Gdansk.
My itinerary for what to see in Gdansk in one day covers everything from eating out, to the must-see attractions. You will leave Gdansk feeling satisfied that you’ve experienced everything this quaint city has to offer.
I’ve also written a guide on the best places to eat in Gdansk if you’re interested in a foodie holiday in Gdansk or more options on places to eat and drink (which I totally recommend).
Are you spending longer in northern Poland? I also recommend visiting Hel, which has some of the best beaches in Europe and is close to Gdansk. You can catch the water tram or the train from Gdansk!
What to see in Gdansk in One Day: An Itinerary
1. Grab a coffee at Drukarnia [1 hour]
Start your day with a coffee at Drukarnia Cafe, which is known for having some of the best coffee in Gdansk! They also make smoothies (which is what I indulged in for breakfast one morning) and have cakes and sandwiches. Pretty lights line the staircase, which leads to a comfy loft. Drukarnia is also vegan-friendly and has a lot of tasty options.
2. Shop for amber on Mariacka [30 mins]
Once you’ve had your fill for the morning, head outside and shop for some amber (also called ‘Baltic gold’) jewellery. Poland is known for its amber, which is sourced from the Baltic sea. Gdansk is the only Polish city that touches the Baltic sea, so amber is abundant and incredibly cheap! To give you an idea, I bought myself two sterling silver rings and a pair of earrings for 130 PLN.
The merchants open their doors around 10am.
3. Wander Długa Street and the Gdansk Marina [1.5 hours]
Dluga Street is the main street you have no doubt seen in many photos of Gdansk. The tall, colourful buildings are reminiscent of Amsterdam, but in my opinion, have prettier colours! There are many cute cafes and touristy shops to explore, and snapping a photo in front of Neptune Fountain is a must.
The Gdansk Marina is located at the east end of Dluga Street. Admire the beautiful boats along the marina, as well as a few other interesting attractions. I recommend crossing the bridge, taking a left and walking in a circuit around the marina. You will eventually reach the Napis Gdansk (Gdansk Inscription), and cross the bridge to take you to Swan Tower (a Gothic tower that used to be a part of the city fortifications).
4. Visit St Mary’s Church and Mariazka Tower [1 hour]
St. Mary’s Church (or the ‘Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary’) is a Roman Catholic church that dates back to the 14th century. Entry is free, and inside there are a variety of beautiful sculptures.
Also located inside is a tower; at 78 metres tall, it contains over 400 steps!
For only 10 PLN you can climb to the top of the tower, which has brilliant views over the city of Gdansk.
5. Eat polish donuts from Stara Pączkarnia [30 mins]
Every time I walked past this donut shop there was a long line- so that is telling! The donuts here are so delicious I actually visited this donut shop three times. Rose is the most traditional Polish flavour, but I also recommend trying snickers and bueno.
Three donuts cost around 10 PLN.
6. Visit the Museum of Second World War: ‘Muzeum 1939’ [3 hours +]
Did you know that World War II started in Gdansk? Germany attacked the Polish military base at the Westerplatte Peninsula on September 1, 1939, after Poland refused to surrender Gdansk.
I’m more interested in Scottish history, however I was completely blown away by the Museum of Second World War! This is an absolute must-see, even if museums aren’t your thing. This modern museum only opened in 2017, and the architecture itself is impressive. The interactive technology is outstanding- strap on a headset and you have a birds-eye view of Gdansk, quite literally allowing you to step-back to war time.
The museum is filled with military equipment, including American and Soviet tanks, and everyday objects and personal memorabilia (including Josef Stalin’s tobacco pipe!). You could spend an entire day here as there is so much to see, so allow yourself at least 3 hours to catch a glimpse of most of the exhibitions.
Normal tickets cost 23 PLN. On Thursday’s, entry is free!
Opening hours: Monday – closed; Tuesday-Friday 10am-7pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-8pm.
7. Go to a pierogi restaurant for dinner [2 hours +]
If Poland does one thing right- it’s food! Finish your day by sampling some traditional Polish cuisine- pierogi, aka dumplings. Pierogarnia Mandu is known for having the best pierogi in Gdansk, and has two restaurants: Pierogarnia Mandu and Pierogarnia Mandu Centrum.
I suggest trying the Goose pierogi with Cranberry sauce, or the more traditional Polish pierogi with cheese.
After dinner, wash down your pierogi with Grzane Wino (Mulled Wine), piwo (beer) or vodka (Zoladkowa and Wyborowa are lovely Polish brands). I recommend having a drink at Browar Piwna, which has a great view of Piwna street!
And there you have it- my quick guide on what to see in Gdansk in one day. Make sure you check out my other articles on things to do in Gdansk.
Do you have any other recommendations on what to see in Gdansk in one day? Drop a comment below!