European Solidarity Center (Polish: Europejskie Centrum Solidarności) is situated in Gdańsk shipyard. The exhibition and the newly built museum are really impressive. The museum chambers are filled in with historic exhibits, modern multimedia equipment and artistic installations all about Polish aspirations to be a free country at the end of the 20th century. It is not a quiet place as while walking from exhibit to exhibit we can hear real historic recordings. The museum has seven main chambers at two floors of the new building. Sightseeing takes about 2h.
World War II began with Germany’s attack on Poland at the Polish military base at Westerplatte on September 1, 1939 and it’s therefore, appropriate that the remarkable WWII museum (Polish: Muzeum II Wojny Światowej), opened in March 2017, should have been built in Gdańsk where everything started. A conflict that claimed the lives of an estimated 55 million people is a both a huge and complicated story to tell. The museum grounds cover almost 2.5 acres, while the building covers 26,000 square meters. In total there are over 2,000 exhibits on display spread over three narrative blocks: ‘The Road to War’, ‘The Horrors of War’, and ‘The War’s Long Shadow’. This is divided into 18 thematic sections, which is reflected in the layout of the exhibition rooms. Sightseeing of the museum takes at least 3 h.
The Old Town in Gdańsk is one of the prettiest and the best maintained Old Towns in Poland. Every year it is a magnet for uncounted masses of tourists. It is an excellent place to visit at every season of the year. One of the main advantages of Gdańsk Old Town is its concise size, everything is in walking distance, and a great cluster of historical buildings in this area. We will find here: St. Mary’s Basilica, Churches of St. John, Nicholas and Bridget; Golden, Green and Upland Gates, Main Town Hall, famous Neptune Fountain, Artus’ Court, Great Armoury, St. George Brotherhood Mansion, Torture House with Amber Museum, Crane, Market Hall, and lots of other historical buildings at so called Kings Road which consists of Długa and Długi Targ Streets (long and Long Market Streets). Gdańsk Old Town is an amazing place at all seasons also inviting with many top class restaurants and cafes for all those who get cold during sightseeing.
The Museum of Emigration in Gdynia (Polish: Muzeum Emigracji w Gdynii) was opened in 2015. It is located in the historic maritime station at 1 Polska Street. Since 1933 the building was used to serve the emigrant movement and it was the place from where hundreds of thousands people started their journey into the wide world. The museum exhibition tells the story of emigration from Polish lands since 19th century until current times. The modern, multimedia exhibition shows the scale of Polish emigration and highlights the value and role of Polish Diaspora around the world. Thanks to the exposition, viewers will have the opportunity to make a journey across time and continents to see how everyday life looked like and where people travelled. The museum is also an archive of emigrant stories, more than 200 life testimonies were gathered from famous and also ordinary Polish emigrants. The museum has also already gathered 4000 objects connected to the topic. The museum area is almost 6 thousand square meters. Among other museum attractions there are a cinema, book store, restaurant and café, all in unique, industrial scenery of the maritime station.
Experiment Science Center (Polish: Centrum Nauki Experyment) is still fairly new as it was opened in 2013 and it is located at 96/98 Zwycięztwa Avenue in Gdynia. It is an unusual place as all the exhibitions there are fully interactive. They present science topics in a funny, interesting and enjoyable way. The center area is 3 500 m2 and you will find here about 120 interactive exhibits. The main exhibitions include: a water world, a tree of life, human mission, invisible forces and a virtual world of Leorado da Vinci’s inventions. Apart from the exhibitions the center also has a wide offer of additional activities for both individuals and groups such as workshops, lectures, meetings and classes which ideally complement a visit in the center. Although, Experiment Center is fairly new at Gdynia’s map, it is definitely worth visiting.
Amber Museum (Polish: Muzeum Bursztynu) is one of the newest museum in the Tricity. It was opened in 2000 and covers a few-centuries-long tradition of extracting and processing of amber in the area of Żuławy Wiślane. The museum is located in a unique Gothic-Renaissance Długa street gate vestibule and a prison tower. Amber museum exhibits the way amber is made, its properties as well the methods of extraction and processing and how they changed along the years. Apart from the museum tourist can enter the gate tower to admire Gdańsk panorama.
The new and modern Maritime Culture Centre is located just by famous Gdańsk’s Crane. It hosts 2 interesting permanent exhibitions. “Boats of Peoples of the World” is located on the second floor of the Maritime Culture Center. Visitors can see 41 boats from around the world. There are boats from Norway, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, Panama, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, Vietnam and Samoa. Most of them have been donated by seaman. Guided tours for “Boats of Peoples of the World” lasts 60 minutes, starting at the top of the hour, and can take a maximum number of 50 people per hour. The interactive exhibition “People – Ship –Ports” consists of five parts. The first one, “The Sea – environment and technology" shows how a whirlpool and tsunami are born, how solar cells work, as well as see the northern sky constellations. On the second exhibition, “Ship structure”, the visitors can feel like a real captain. By visiting the part "Working in a port" guests learn the secret life of a port, get to know how a container terminal operates and what can be loaded into a container. The Fourth part tells about daily life at sea, the life of a sailor. The last part of the exhibition shows underwater archaeology.
Shakespearean Theatre (Polish: Teatr Szekspirowski) is situated in the very heart of Gdańsk Old Town at 50/51 Długa Street and it gives viewers opportunity to enjoy theatre in its Elizabethan version. The construction of the theatre took place from March 2011 till September 2014. Wooden, bright and warm interiors are created inside massive, modern, brick construction. The roof can be opened in 3 min and plays can be watched in open air. The theatre hosts maximum 600 spectators, depending on a stage and audience setup. Both stage and audience can be manipulated so, the stage can be either in the middle or on the side of the theatre. The building is a headquarters of the annual Shakespeare’s Festival. Still, it operates all year long as a versatile culture institution, educational institute and conference center. The usable area of the building is 8 000 square meters. A participation in one of plays is an unforgettable experience.
It is the largest and most modern water park in northern Poland. It has been operating since July 2016 and each year it increases its offer with new leisure and active entertainment zones. Here you will find the first rotating slide in Europe – AquaSpinner! Another unique attraction is a 60-meter long extremely exciting slide, to the paradise aquarium with real sharks. Additionally, you will find there castle pool, pirate bay, river expedition, wave pool, family slide, water slide, water volcano, different saunas and much, more more. All day of fun for everyone!
Malbork is a picturesque town in the north of Poland about 60 km from Gdańsk by Nogat river banks. The main touristic magnet of Malbork is Teutonic Knights Castle of the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (Polish: Zamek w Malborku). The construction of the castle started in 1278 when the knights come to Malbork area. The city was called Marienberg then. This is why in 1997 it was enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List. The interesting fact about the castle is that the construction of it started as early as 1278 and now the castle is the biggest brick construction of this kind in Europe. It was built for 40 years and during its construction 12 thousand rocks and 3.5 million handmade bricks were used. When you plan visiting Malbork Castle you should have about 3 to 4 hours of free time to see all three parts of it with a guide and then stroll a little bit on your own.
Summing up, Gdansk and Tri-city has much to offer even during winter and tourists can easily avoid blistering cold, even in the middle of a winter season and enjoy world class works of art and fascinating exhibits that witness over one thousand years Gdansk’s captivating history. We greatly advice to visit the capital of Pomerania also in winter, when there are not so many tourists as in warmer months and enjoy its cultural and historical heritage. If you are interested in visiting any of the above sites, just contact one of ITS Poland group coordinators, that will deal with all the necessary preparations and trip details for you.
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska