Sopot, Poland is one of the most popular resort towns on the Baltic Sea coast and a popular holiday destination. You can easily visit Sopot as one of the day trips from Gdansk as well as spend some more time there, enjoying its vibrant atmosphere and sandy beaches.
But there are more things to do in Sopot than just relaxing and I’m more than happy to share them all with you here in this Sopot guide.
Where is Sopot, Poland
Sopot is located in the north of Poland, right on the Baltic Sea coast. This town of almost 40.000 inhabitants is part of the so-called Tricity, with Gdansk on the east and Gdynia on the west. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is located 350 km away from Sopot.
How to get to Sopot
Sopot is very well connected with the rest of the country with numerous train connections serving the city. The main railway line of northern Poland goes via Sopot and you can get here directly from all the largest cities in Poland: Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, Szczecin, Olsztyn, Poznan, Lodz, and more.
You can also fly to Sopot from numerous destinations all over Europe. The Gdansk airport which is located only 15 km away from Sopot is a great getaway to this whole interesting region. You can book the transfer from Gdansk airport to your accommodation in Sopot here.
If you plan to visit Sopot as a day trip from Gdansk or Gdynia you can easily use one of the SKM trains which depart every few minutes, connecting all three cities. The train station in Sopot is located only a short walk away from the main pedestrian street – Monciak – and some 10-15 minutes walking to the beach.
Or, if you are short on time, you can visit Sopot on a tour from Gdansk that also covers Gdynia. Here are highly-rated, recommended tours:
Where to stay in Sopot
If you decide to stay in Sopot overnight or simply spend your holidays here, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. However, if you plan to visit Sopot in the summertime it’s best to book a place to stay in advance – this is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Poland and good accommodations sell out quickly.
Here are some recommended places to stay in Sopot:
- Bayjonn Boutique Hotel (9.1/10)
- Sheraton Sopot Hotel (8.9/10)
- Rezydent Sopot MGallery Hotel Collection (9.0/10)
- and many more!
Things to do in Sopot
And here, without any further ado, are the best things to do in Sopot.
Take a walk on the pier
The biggest attraction of Sopot and the place you simply can’t miss when visiting Sopot is the pier. This is actually the longest wooden pier in Europe, with a total length of 511,5 meters (458 of which are above water).
This is a truly charming place, popular among all the tourists who visit Sopot (hence it can get crowded on sunny days, especially in the summertime). Besides the beautiful views you can admire from the Sopot pier, the walk along has also healing purposes – the further you go, the more iodine you can inhale.
The first pier in this location was built in 1827, back then it was only 31,5 meters long. Over the years the construction was rebuilt and extended, the current one dates back to 1927-1928.
The new pier was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the original one and the 25th birthday of Sopot. At first, it served as the local harbor but once Sopot gained its importance as a spa town, the pier was used mostly by those who came to Sopot for health reasons.
Today this is one of the biggest attractions of the whole Tricity area and one of the must-visit places in Poland. From the pier, you can admire beautiful views of the historical Grand Hotel as well as parts of nearby Gdansk and Gdynia.
To enter the pier you need to pay a small fee. The ticket office is located in the pavilions on the right side.
Climb the lighthouse for the best view of Sopot
I believe this is the most overlooked of all the things to do in Sopot. The historical lighthouse, located only a few steps away from the entrance to the pier, isn’t very popular among tourists yet it offers some amazing views of the area, probably the best ones in Sopot.
To get to the top you need to get through the small souvenir stand (where you pay the entrance fee) – it’s easy to miss the entrance so look for the signs. You need to walk up around 120 stairs but the view from the top is definitely worth it.
You can see the whole city of Sopot, a big part of the Gdansk Bay, and beyond. The floor used as the viewing platform is also the one where the light is installed.
The lighthouse in Sopot has a rather unique history. Originally, at the very beginning of the 20th century, the structure was built as the chimney for the newly opened Balneological Institute and only many years later, in 1975, it was eventually renovated and changed for its new purpose – the lighthouse.
Currently, due to the decrease in the focal length of the light (from 17 nautical miles to 7), the building isn’t officially the lighthouse anymore but still gives light at night.
Walk down the pedestrian “Monciak” street
The famous “Monciak” (officially “Bohaterów Monte Cassino street”) is one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Poland, with something going on all day long. It’s fully pedestrian, connecting the area near the main train station with the seaside (near the pier).
This is where you will find most of the bars, restaurants, clubs, shops, and more. And of course, people, always strolling Monciak since this is the place to see and be seen.
I personally try to avoid this place since I’m not a big fan of crowds but I still try to walk it at least once every time I visit Sopot and that’s what I recommend doing too.
See the Sopot crooked house
One of the reasons why it’s worth strolling Monciak is to see the most unique building in Sopot – the crooked house. It was built in 2004 and is part of the small shopping center, you can enter it at Bohaterów Monte Cassino 53.
This is really one of the craziest-looking buildings you can see in Poland, it was even named one of the weirdest-looking buildings in the world.
Feel the vibe of old Sopot
Sopot was a popular resort already at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries and still today you can easily find the charm of the old times.
If you are tired of busy Monciak you can find a perfect alternative in Kościuszki, Skłodowskiej-Curie, or Haffnera streets that can transfer you back in time. That’s where you can find some of the most beautiful villas in Sopot, built over a hundred years ago, rich in details that can impress still today. That’s also where you will not find many tourists and where you can feel the vibe of old Sopot and understand the undeniable charm of the place.
Enjoy the beach
Despite all the Sopot attractions, the town is first and foremost the seaside destination, and the majority of visitors come here to enjoy the beach. There is around 5km of sandy beach in Sopot, the further away you will go from the pier, the less crowded it will be.
I personally prefer the beach on the open Baltic Sea, not at Gdansk Bay (the water is too calm for me here) but still, it’s a good place to relax at the beach, sunbathe and simply have a good time.
Walk along the beach to Orłowo
One of my favorite things to do in Sopot is to walk along the beach, either directly next to the water or at the nice walking path just next to the sandy part. You can walk towards Gdańsk or Gdynia and I recommend the second option.
While Jelitkowo (part of Gdańsk closest to Sopot) is nice, it’s just another nice beach area, popular, especially among locals.
When going towards Gdynia, after some 5 km walk you will reach Orłowo (that’s already part of Gdynia), with another pier, beautiful cliffs, and a small harbor where you can buy freshly smoked fish. The walk to Orłowo is really pleasant too, through the forest and a bit wilder kind of a beach. To go back to Sopot you can either walk back or catch the SKM train.
See the beautiful Grand Hotel
One of the most impressive buildings in Sopot is Grand Hotel, the monumental structure you can find near the pier, next to the beach. It was built in 1924-1927, as the copy of the Grand Hotel from Szczawno-Zdroj (one of the prettiest spa towns in Poland, located in the southwest of the country, in the Lower Silesia region).
The hotel was planned as the resting place for the guests of the nearby casino and from the beginning, it was aimed mostly at high-class visitors. Before World War 2 it was the most expensive, the most luxurious, and the fanciest hotel not only in Sopot but in the whole Free City of Danzig.
Over the years numerous world-famous people stayed here: Marlena Dietrich, Jan Kiepura, Greta Garbo, and Fidel Castro, just to name a few, Grand Hotel was also used shortly as Hitler’s headquarters at the beginning of WW2.
Today this is still one of the fanciest places to stay in Sopot. If you would like to stay here overnight – you can book a room here.
Visit Sopot Museum
If you would like to learn more about Sopot and understand why it was such a popular and desired holiday destination in the early 1900s you should visit Sopot Museum, located in the beautiful villa right next to the beach.
The house itself is stunning and worth taking a closer look at – it was built in 1903 for the local merchant and art collector Ernst August Claaszen. Inside you will find numerous artifacts from the town’s history as well as see the interior of the old villas from Sopot.
Go for day trips
Sopot is one of the most popular day trips from Gdansk but if you decide to spend your holidays here you can do the reverse and use the town to explore more of the surrounding region.
Only a short train ride away you can visit Gdansk (one of the most stunning cities in Europe) or Gdynia (the masterpiece of modernist architecture). A bit further, but still perfectly doable by train, you can visit Malbork with its amazing UNESCO-listed castle, the biggest castle in the world. Or you can take the boat and visit Hel which is a great place to see not only for its funny name but also a beautiful beach and numerous WW2 remnants.
If you are looking for articles about a specific destination – check out the map with all the articles I’ve published (and their locations). There are many articles about Poland that you might find useful when planning your trip there.
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