Poland’s port city, situated on the Baltic coast, is relatively new in comparison to some of its Baltic cousins, having emerged in the interwar years of the 20th century. As a result, Gdynia has a contemporary feel, with Modernist and Functionalist architecture displayed across the city, including the Museum of the City of Gdynia. With its sandy beaches and coastal forests, Gdynia quickly became a popular beach resort, as well as having famously been Poland’s embarkation point for emigrants to America. Gdynia is part of a Tricity metropolitan area of northern Poland, which also comprises cities Gdansk and Sopot, situated on the coast of Gdańsk Bay.
Why cruise Gdynia
The port of Gdynia is the only port in Poland that can accommodate larger cruise ships entering the Baltic sea. Cruise passengers stopping over in Gdynia can take advantage of the resort’s beautiful waterfront, the Long Market lined with cafés and boutiques and its historic old town, before heading to nearby Gdansk, the largest city in northern Poland. Gdynia features on many cruise lines’ Baltic itineraries, including Norwegian Cruise line, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean, to name a few.
What to see and do in Gdynia
The Emigration Museum in Gdynia opened in 2015, but has already made an important mark on the city. The museum displays more than 200 years of Polish emigrations and recounts the migrations and fates of millions of Polish people. A fascinating and worthwhile experience.
In the heart of Gdynia, just a few minutes from the city centre, lies a vast white sand beach, which is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike during the summer. Make sure to take a stroll along the seafront promenade, along which you’ll pass the aquarium and harbour. Another highlight is the Byłskawica Destroyer, which today stands as a ship museum but was used by the Polish Navy during WWII and is incidentally the only Polish Navy vessel to be given the Virtuti Militari medal – Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism and courage.
Football is the most popular sport in Poland, with more than 40,000 Poles playing it regularly. Gdynia’s vast stadium, the home ground of local football team Arka Gdynia, seats 15,000 football fans and is a great place to watch a match, with a lively and exciting atmosphere.
Kosciuszki Square is situated in the central point of Gdynia and is marked by the Three Masts Monument, an impressive landmark designed by Wawrzyniec Samp, and also features a fountain. The square is a great spot for people-watching and enjoying an ice cream in the summer. Nearby the Three Masts Monument is the Joseph Conrad monument, a tribute to the Polish writer, whose seafaring background influenced his many works, including the acclaimed Heart of Darkness.
Gdynia market is the perfect place to mix with the locals and pick up some Polish produce. The market is housed indoors in what is called the Hala Targowa and sells food and drink, clothes and other miscellaneous items.
The top of Kamienna Gora or Stone Mountain in Gdynia provides great views of the city and the active among you can walk up, or else you can take a train. At the foot of the mountain sits the Gdynia Film Centre, a hub for budding filmmakers and film enthusiasts. It showcases some of the most acclaimed Polish films, as well as hosting photography exhibitions, discussions with filmmakers and workshops. Along with a three-screen cinema studio, inside you’ll find a café, bookshop, art gallery and restaurant.
Need to know when travelling to Gdynia
Getting around in Gdynia
The majority of larger cruise ships dock at Francuskie Pier, which is about a 30-minute walk from the town and train station. Meanwhile, smaller cruise ships either dock at Oliwskie pier in the New Port of Gdansk, or at the Pomorskie pier, roughly 10 minutes away from Gdynia’s city centre. Cruise shuttles are offered to the city centre and there are also plenty of taxis.
When to go to Gdynia
The best time to visit the seaside resort is between May and September, although be warned that the beach can get crowded during the summer months.
While being part of the EU, Poland continues to use its own national currency, the złoty.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don't need a visa to enter Poland.
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