Gdynia — City from the Sea

Fountains in Gdynia
  • Gdynia

    Ninety years ago, Gdynia was a sleepy village nestled on the Gulf of Gdansk. But times have changed, and the city now is an essential center of commerce as well as a thriving tourist destination.

    Gdynia is a 30-minute drive from Gdansk. Upon arriving, you’ll be rewarded with many entertainment options, including sports, shopping, restaurants and clubs.

    The city is located among seven hills, which makes it an ideal spot for cycling, and there’s no shortage of other outdoor activities: tennis, beach volleyball, golf.

    Thrill-seekers who enjoy the brisk breeze and cool water will want to try scuba diving, kite surfing or swimming — in frigid winter water if you dare. Other extreme sports include hang gliding, ballooning and dog sledding.

    Several attractions and events appeal to people who like historic ships and sailing vessels. The annual Gdynia Volvo Sailing Days event, held in late July and early August, attracts the best sailors in the world.

    History buffs should visit two ships on display -- the frigate Dar Pomorza (The Gift of Pomerania), built in 1909, and the World War II destroyer Blyskawica (The Lightning). The city also has an Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium that allows visitors to deepen their understanding of the sea.

    Music festivals and clubs draw thousands of tourists to Gdynia. Summer always starts with the Open’er Festival, voted one of the 100 symbols of Poland by the Kocham Polskę (I Love Poland) foundation. Numerous local jazz clubs like Poklad, Jazz Café Scena and Ucho thrive as well.

    The Ladies’ Jazz Festival is graced by famous artists such as Stacey Kent, Patricia Barber, Dianne Reeves and Dionne Warwick. Other popular festivals include the Blues Festival and Globaltica, a World Culture Festival.

    Gdynia is relatively young city; construction of the seaport began in 1921. For people who enjoy architecture from the 1920s and 1930s, the city has many buildings of interest.

    Visitors usually come in summer and relax on the long sandy beaches. Although the city is a major shipbuilding area, it also has a bustling city center. Gdynia has been called the most prosperous Polish city, partly due to its proximity to the major urban centers of Gdansk and Sopot.

    With so much to see and do, now is the time for a weekend getaway to this thriving seaside city.