Hi lovelies! Welcome to part two of my first wonderful day in Gdańsk. If you haven’t already seen it, my previous post describes the lovely start to my holiday and the mini surprise that greeted us! In this post, I wanted to share some of the little streets of Gdańsk, which we discovered on our first day. After a delicious breakfast, a wander around the Christmas market, and a stop for mulled wine in a hyggelig hotel bar, we were ready to continue exploring the Old Town, or Stare Miasto as it’s known in Polish. By the time we finished our mulled wine, the snow sadly disappeared and the sun came out, but at least it meant that we were able to walk around to see more of the city.
Almost every European city has a main square and this is Gdańsk’s version of one, only, as the name implies, much longer. So essentially, a market rectangle! On our way back from the Christmas market, we had to make a stop at the Neptune Fountain, the most famous fountain in Poland. Next to it was a huge Christmas tree draped in traditional decorations, with a wooden nativity scene in front of it. The buildings here are just so beautiful and artfully designed; I love that they are all different, which stops them from looking like they belong in a toy town. There’s a really well-known one here, called Dwór Artusa, just to the left of the fountain I think. Even though it was on our list of places to see, we didn’t actually end up going in as we just ran out of time.
Turning off ul. Długa, the long street linking the Christmas Market and Długi Targ, brought us to a little side street known as ul. Piwna. The name of this road essentially translates to Beer Street, aptly so as this is where lots of hipster bars and cafes are located. We found the indoor Christmas craft market at one end, with lots of cute handcrafted gifts, and at the other end towards the main square is the beautiful and grand St. Mary’s Basilica.
This narrow cobbled lane is lined with historic townhouses and steps leading up to them, most of which have been turned into little jewellery shops selling amber, Gdańsk’s little treasure. Stepping onto this street felt like entering a whimsical world full of eccentric touches, miles away from the main square and everyday life. It was my favourite place that we came across in Gdańsk, so much so that I ended up returning several times. St. Mary’s Basilica is tucked away at one end, and at the other end of the lane is the Brama Mariacka leading to the riverside.
This long street stretches across the riverside of Gdańsk’s old town and is lined with traditional seafood restaurants. I can imagine it to be a very popular spot in the summer to gaze out onto the river over lunch on one of the outdoor terraces. It was so refreshing walking along the river, and it made a nice change from the main square and the many narrow streets of the old town. There’s also something really nice about being in a typically summery place during winter.
All of that walking around called for another festive drink, so we stopped at Gdański Bowke, a really cosy traditional restaurant with a ye olde feel. It was really quiet and calm, and the waiter was so friendly that he even put Christmas songs on for us to add to the festive hyggelig vibe. We left feeling very merry and decided to have a rest in our hotel before heading back out to see the Christmas market at night!
It was the perfect first day exploring the streets of Gdańsk, the weather crisp but sunny, and with plenty of stops to warm up in between sightseeing. I liked how we got to know this area of the city quite quickly so that we could return to our favourite parts later. As the old town of Gdańsk is quite compact, it was easy to fit it into one day. How do you like to explore a new city? Do you like your first day to be packed full of sightseeing or do you prefer to slowly discover areas throughout your stay? Let me know below and don’t forget to check out my previous posts about my festive city break in Gdańsk.
Keep your eyes peeled for some more travel posts, including an outfit one, which I think you will like!