Gdansk is one of the most amazing cities to visit in Poland and a wonderful travel destination for a citybreak. But once you are done with exploring all the awesome things to do in Gdansk it’s worth staying a few extra days in the city and using it as a base for some day trips from Gdansk.
There are a few awesome places nearby you surely don’t want to miss! Interesting cities, beautiful nature, the largest castle in the world, or important historical sites – these all can be easily visited as Gdansk day trips!
Since Gdansk is the main city in the region most of the places are easily reachable by public transport, making them super easy to visit. Below you can find the best places you can discover as day trips from Gdansk.
Table of contents
Day trips from Gdansk
Sopot, together with Gdynia, is probably the easiest day trip from Gdansk. The town is literally glued to Gdansk and you can easily get there by train (they depart every few minutes) or walk along the beach.
Sopot is known mostly for its pier – the longest wooden pier in Europe (with a total length of 511 meters), but the city has more to offer. Since it’s a spa town you will find there plenty of beautiful old houses hidden in the backstreets – the best way to discover them is to just wander around the town.
The main pedestrian street – Bohaterów Monte Cassino – connect the train station with the seaside and is the major hotspot in Poland to see people and be seen. That’s also where you can see the funky Crooked House.
Sopot also has impressive architectural spots like the lighthouse or Grand Hotel. Sopot is a perfect place to chill out, relax at the beach, and to feel the seaside vibe of the summer holidays.
Gdynia is the westernmost part of the Tricity area, easily reachable from Gdansk by train. The city developed rapidly at the beginning of the 20th century and today you can admire there the best examples of modernist architecture in Poland.
Even if there are no major tourist attractions in Gdynia, the city is such a pleasant place to visit. Along Kościuszko Square you can see some of the most impressive Polish ships, including Polish Navy ship ORP Błyskawica or Dar Pomorza – a full-rigged sailing ship built in 1909.
For years Gdynia has been an important sailing departure point from Poland and today you can learn more about Polish emigration in the very interesting Museum of Emigration. It’s a bit away from the center (located in the former Maritime Station) but definitely worth a detour.
Gdynia also has a really good street art scene so if you are into murals you will surely appreciate the city.
If you are looking for a bit calmer area then head to Orłowo – part of Gdynia where you can see cliffs, walk a small pier, and buy fresh fish right from the fishermen’s boats.
You might want to visit Sopot and Gdynia with a tour – click here for details.
The name “Hel” always brings a smile to foreign travelers but despite the devil’s name (and the bus no 666 serving the town), this is such a great place to visit.
The town of Hel is located at the very end of the Hel Peninsula, surrounded by the Baltic Sea from the three sides. Originally it dates back to the 12th century but the town was burned down and flooded and the current town is from the 15th century.
Due to its strategic location, Hel played an important role at the very beginning of World War 2 and still today you can explore numerous military objects strewn around the area (some of them are in ruins though).
Hel Peninsula is also a wonderful place for a relaxing day at the seaside since it has some of the most beautiful wide and sandy beaches in Poland. This is a popular holiday destination but even at the peak of the summer season, it’s not difficult to find secluded areas at the seaside.
Getting from Gdansk to Hel isn’t difficult, you can either take the train or, in the season, there are ships connecting these two places (click here for details).
Besides the town of Hel, there are a few other towns and villages along the peninsula that you might stop at: Jurata, Jastarnia, Chałupy, Kuźnica or Władysławowo.
Malbork Castle, located some 60 km away from Gdansk, is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Poland and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, this is the largest castle in the world when measured by land area and a great example of the medieval brick castle.
Starting from 1278, the castle was built in a few stages and actually consists of three castles – High, Middle, and Lower ones. Originally, it belonged to the Teutonic Order, German Catholic crusaders who have conquered the area of Old Prussia and wanted to settle in the area. They named the castle “Marienburg” as a tribute to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Over the centuries Malbork Castle was in the possession of the Teutonic Order, Polish Kings, Prussia and eventually, after World War Two, Poland again.
Today you can visit the castle and explore its all corners – you can be sure your jaw will drop more than once, that’s how magnificent this place is. It’s better to reserve the whole day for visiting Malbork as the castle and its grounds are really large and you might want to see everything.
The best view of the castle is from across the Nogat river – you can admire Malbork Castle in its full grandness from there and see why it is such a unique place.
Getting from Gdansk to Malbork is easy with frequent trains, the journey takes around 40 minutes one way. The main train station in Malbork is located around 15 minutes walking from the tickets office.
You might also want to visit Malbork castle with the tour – click here for details.
If you are looking for a nature getaway from the hustle and bustle of Gdansk there is no better place to visit than the Kashubia region, known for its beautiful untouched landscape, lakes and forest, and its own language (the only official language in Poland besides Polish).
The area is best explored by car as public transport isn’t always the best in the region and with your own vehicle, you can discover more places. There are also tours from Gdansk available – click here for details.
My favorite place in Kashubia is Wdzydze Kiszewskie where you can visit the oldest open-air museum in Poland, showing the old architecture typical for the Kashubia region or enjoy lakes surrounding the village. But there are so many places to visit in Kashubia: Kościerzyna, Kartuzy, abandoned castle in Łapalice, Bytów, and many more.
You can learn more about Kashubia and what to see and do there here on the website of the regional tourism organization.
Elblag and Elblag Canal
Even if Elblag is one of the oldest cities in Poland, dating to the 13th century, you won’t find many major attractions there. The city was badly destroyed during World War 2 and the pretty old town you can visit today is rather tiny and rebuilt but still very pleasant to wander around.
The main reason to visit Elblag is the cruise on the Elblag Canal that starts in the city. This is an outstanding engineering masterpiece from the mid-19th century and one of the Seven Wonders of Poland.
What makes it so special is the system of inclined planes between the different levels of the canal – it feels like you are drifting on grass! The cruise from Elblag to Buczyniec takes over 4 hours and along the way, you will pass Lake Drużno and five inclined planes.
If you still have time on your day trip from Gdansk you might also go to a nearby town Frombork known also as the “Jewel of Warmia”. You will find there plenty of attractions, including the 700-year old Gothic cathedral, the place of the final rest of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
Stutthof concentration camp
Since World War Two has started in Gdansk you can find many reminders of those tragic events all over the area. One of these places is the Stutthof concentration camp, the first concentration camp in Poland, established only a day after the Nazi’s invasion of Poland, on 2nd September 1939.
During almost 6 years of operation, there were around 110.000 inmates here (Jews, Poles, and political prisoners of various nationalities), more than half of them died.
Today you can visit the Stutthof Museum, learn more about the place, and see the remnants of the concentration camp. It’s not the easiest place to visit (like Auschwitz and other Nazi camps) but it’s important to learn about what happened during World War Two to avoid history repeating itself.
You can visit Stutthof with the tour from Gdansk – click here for details.
Final thoughts on Gdansk day trips
As you can see above, it’s worth planning a trip to Gdansk not only for the city itself but also for all the amazing places you can visit nearby. The choice of possible day trips from Gdansk is really wide and everyone should find an interesting option there. Be sure to give yourself some extra days in Gdansk for these day trips, you will not regret it!
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