Some small ships may dock at Oliwskie Pier in the New Port of Gdansk (about four miles from the town center). or dock in the city of Gdynia at the Pomorskie pier, about a 45-minute ride from Old Town Gdansk, but within walking distance, about 10 minutes, to the city center of Gdynia itself.
Most larger cruise ships however dock at the Francuskie Pier (shown below) in Gdynia, which is in a industrial part of the port and has no facilities. It is about a 30 minute walk to town and the train station.
Plenty of taxis are available. Cruise shuttles are offered to the city center at 8 Euro per person.
Printable map of Gdynia to take along.
Printable map of Gdansk to take along.
Cruise schedule for Gdansk
Cruise schedule for Gydnia
Watch a destination video.
Gdynia is a young, but quickly expanding port situated right by the seashore, offering many tourist attractions as well as splendid shopping opportunities and a lot of entertainment. The city was founded as a Polish harbor in 1926. Because of its unusual location, you will easily catch great views of the sea and beautiful scenery, and also find long promenades, beautiful waterfronts, marinas and yacht clubs.
Virtually everyone continues on to Gdansk (Danzig to German speakers) by cruise bus or public train. The dock is about 2 miles from the train station. On disembarking, walk 100 meters to the right to catch one of the many local taxis. A full taxi with four passengers should cost about 16-20 Zlotys (about $5-$6 US should be enough) from the dock to the station.
At the Glowna train station in Gdynia do not go to the line of ticket windows that you see when you go in. This is for long distance trains only. You instead have to go to a kiosk on the side where there is a person behind a window and get your ticket there. ATM's are available. It costs 4 zloty ($1). Better yet, get two - one for your return trip too. There are 2 to 3 trains per hour to Gdansk.
If you find yourself faced with long queues in the train station then you will be pleased to hear you can hop on the desired train and buy a ticket direct from the conductor. You will pay a small surcharge for this (approx 15zł), and credit cards are now accepted. Travelers are expected to greet others in their compartment with a curt ‘dzień dobry’, and it is taken as given that a male passengers will help females or the elderly with any heavy baggage.
You need to stamp your ticket before you get on. There are yellow machines all over for you to do this. There is a fine if you get caught without it.
Get off at the Gdansk Glowny stop. There are several Gdansk stops but this will get you closest to the town center.
Taxis at the Francuskie Pier in Gdynia: Use only those that are associated in a "corporation" (look for phone number and a logo on the side and on the top). There are a few taxis lined up inside the port gates, which charge 5 Euro to Gdynia Center, 15 Euro to Sopot, 30 Euro to Gdansk center. Or you can rent a taxi for 30 Euro per hour. Outside the port gates the rates are about 20% lower. 100 euro for a cab for a 5 hour trip is about the going rate. Make sure your driver speaks some English.
All of these spots can easily be enjoyed in this timeframe:
Oliwa Cathedral. The 110 pitch organ is truly unique for eye and ear. A 20 minute recital is given at10, 11, noon and one PM Mon-Fri Free. A must hear and see.
Gdansk old center: Enjoy a hour or two in the beautiful old town, masterful restored. Do not forget to visit the Solidarity Monument, showing the troubled 20st century Poland had to endure.
Sopot: A very upscale beach resort, with a truly Grand Hotel and a lively beach and pier area.
Gdynia itself: Has enough for your taxi driver to show you.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here
Gdansk is very easy to navigate on foot.
With its origins going back to the 10th century, prewar Gdansk -
or Danzig as it was known then - was forged by years of Prussian and
Hanseatic domination. The battles to liberate the city in 1945 resulted
in almost total destruction.
Gdansk's historic center was rebuilt with great reverence; today it represents one of the richest and most lavish complexes of architectural relics in Poland. Entering the historic quarter is like walking straight into a Hansa merchants settlement. Huge stone gateways guard both entrances to the main thoroughfare. The well-proportioned tower of the town hall makes a powerful impact and the main square is surrounded by stately mansions. One of the most prominent buildings is Artus Court, formerly the residence of Gdansk's rulers. Gigantic St. Mary's Church reputedly is the largest brick church in the world, able to accommodate 25,000 people.
Gdansk Historical Museum
The museum is located inside the impressive Town Hall. The lavish decor almost upstages the exhibits.
This museum features a model of every ship produced in the local shipyards since 1945. It is housed in the massive and largely original 15th-century Gdansk Crane once powered by human power, walking on a treadmill.
National Art Museum
One of Gdansk's major highlights is this museum. It boasts a varied collection of fabrics, chests, gold and silverware, as well as a tremendous amount of local Gothic art and sculpture. All are redolent of the town's former wealth. The museum's most prized possession is Hans Memling's colossal Last Judgment, the painter's earliest known work from 1473.
Sopot has a great geographical location - lying between the beautiful woods of the Tri-City Landscape Park, and the numerous sand beaches of the Bay of Gdańsk. Sopot is known for its sanitaria many artists and endless quantities of tourists, who mainly visit the city during the summertime. Monte Casino Street (ul. Bohaterów Monte Cassino) is the center of Sopot, a pedestrianized promenade.
Shop for crystal, silver and embroidered linens. Gdansk is especially known for amber (look out for fakes). which can be bought unset or, more often, crafted into silver jewelry. The major shopping area is the historic center of Gdansk. Most shops are open 7 days a week
The legal tender in Poland is the Polish złoty (zł, PLN). Poland is expected to adopt the common European currency Euro (€) in ca. 2020, but it can be used to pay in many bigger shops ("hypermarkets") even now. Remember to always check the conversion rates though!
Non-Polish speakers will find that most of the younger generation (35 and under), speak, or at least understand, English reasonably well.
No Wifi or internet at the Francuskie Pier.
Free wireless access at Pomorskie pier.
Free wifi in all the old town of Gdansk.
Shopping hours Mon-Fri 1000-1800/2000 and Sat 1000-1300/1600. ‘Night shops' open 24 hours. Supermarkets and department stores are usually open daily 1000-1900.
January 1: New Year's Day
Easter Sunday and Monday (first Sunday after the first spring full moon)
May 1: Labour Day
May 3: Constitution Day (on the anniversary of May 3, 1791 Constitution proclamation)
Corpus Christi: On Thursday of the ninth week after Easter there are processions with white-dressed children, attended by hundreds of people.
August 15: Assumption of Virgin Mary, Polish Army Day (on the anniversary of the victorious battle of 1920 against Russian army fought on the outskirts of Warsaw)
November 1: All Saints' Day
November 11: National Independence Day (Poland regained independence in 1918 after 123 years of partitions)
December 25, 26: Christmas
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