Our weekend in Gdansk was 3 nights/4 days and to be truthful that was a little too long.
Yes it was lovely to spend time with the mister and not be at work but in truth Gdansk is a
one trick pony for a tourist.......albeit that trick is, in parts, pretty and cheap and interesting....which is what we tend to go for on our 'why not?' city breaks.
We treated ourselves to a lovely car/driver combo from the airport to the hotel when we arrived and I always enjoy the journey in to a City from the airport as, apart from being glad that I am no longer on a plane (I am a nervous flyer) the sight of the outskirts of any City is usually very interesting and I'm always eager to see the countryside. As we approached our hotel the driver pointed across the water and said 'and there is the old town..' and it was quite obvious that the old town is a small area of the very ordinary eastern european inner town that has been presented as aged and historic after having been decimated in the war....so what exists now is a new old town. A pretty waterfront with plenty of places to eat and drink (and you get a lot of bang for your buck in Gdansk), helpful locals and mainly pedestrian areas.The old town is the main focus of tourism and the tall painted houses reminded me slightly of Amsterdam.
We had intended to climb the tower of St Mary's Church, as we think the City view would have been worthwhile, but sadly it was closed when we visited, although in the Church, the Astronomical clock and one of the most lifelike images of Jesus on the Cross we had ever seen (if he had opened his eyes it would not have surprised us) were worth seeing. Once you have ambled around the main 3 or 4 streets, each of which is lined with little stalls selling baltic amber, then there is really not a great deal to see. We did take the train to Sopot, further along the coast on one day, which is fun as using local trains and buses and going outside the touristy main town is a very good way to see the everyday normalness of a place. Our hotel receptionist was very friendly, but quite puzzled when we enquired about going to Sopot, and smilingly told us that there was nothing there to see apart from the pier, of which the locals are very proud. Sopot was quite small and seemed to be just one not too big main street leading to a long pier.
We went, we walked, it rained, we got wet....but it was funny and quite a lovely few hours.
The things that I really remember about Gdansk are how I loved to see all the mistletoe in the trees, the beautiful bronze lions, seeing the Shipyard solidarity memorial, how really tasty and cheap all the food was, the friendliness of the people, all of whom spoke english, the many stalls of amber, the amount of building work that is going on at the moment, and especially the scandinavian couple in the room next to ours who had very noisy sex all weekend long...in fact the noises they were making were unbelievable and quite unusual...and started at 5am in the morning....at one point we wondered if we should call a paramedic or at least the zoo to see if they wanted the escaped animal that seemed to be with them....... seeing them down at breakfast in the morning was fascinating.....no wonder they had enormous breakfasts....had to keep their strength up.
It seems as if the City is in the ' before stage' of a tourist influx.....they are starting to build and spruce themselves up. Would I suggest Gdansk as a weekend trip to anyone.... possibly not....one night and day passing through would be enough I suspect, although if all you wanted to do was eat and drink for a few days, then there is lots of choice and Kubicki is a really smashing restaurant.