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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Gdansk is a city in Poland in Europe’s Baltic region. The city sits on the mouth of the Vistula River at the Baltic Sea. The big industry of Gdansk is shipbuilding and shipping, and Gdansk has two major ports for these and other industrial activities.  

Gdansk was the Polish city that Adolph Hitler demanded be handed over to Germany. When Poland refused, Hitler invaded Poland and this sparked off World War II. The invasion of Poland began on September 1st, 1939, and Gdansk was returned to Poland again in March of 1945. It was in Gdansk where Lech Walesa raised the flame that signalled the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of communism.

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Why visit Gdansk ?

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Tour the History

Sits on the mouth of the Vistula River

Since then, the old town of Gdansk has been cleaned up and rebuilt and is now bustling with fabulous shops and restaurants, bars and nightclubs, hotels and historic homes made in the Burgher style. Gdansk is now a wonderful place to visit and has many things for tourists to enjoy.  

You won’t want to miss visiting Oliwa, a suburb of Gdansk. Oliwa is home to several parks and a wonderful zoo where you can spend an entire day. Don’t forget your digital camera because you will pass the beautiful, historic Oliwa Cathedral built in the 13th century as a Cistercian shrine. The cathedral burned to the ground and was reconstructed in 1350, so even the newest part of this historic architecture is very, very old.  

After a day at the zoo, you can head over to Sopot for some of the best nightlife in the tri-state area. And since you’ll be partying all night at the beach (yes, the nightclubs are all very near the beach), you’ll want to pack your swimsuit and watch the sun rise on the warm sands of Sopot’s beaches.  

After Sopot, head over to the dunes in Leba. The Polish Dunes at Slowinski National Park are actually just outside of Leba, but you can hop on a bus or rent a bicycle and get there easily. Leba is the hotspot for tourists and Polish sun worshipers, so be ready for lots of people, some more nightlife and a boardwalk full of fun. If you want to be alone on the beach, take a short walk away from Leba in either direction and the beach will seem all yours.  

For another day of beach fun in the sun, head over to Hel, a peninsula on the Baltic Sea. Hel is another touristy place where you can find all sorts of souvenir shops and café dining, but you won’t want to have lunch at a café in Hel; stop off at a beach vendor for a Zapiekanka (a hand held pizza sort of meal) and finish with a Gofry for dessert (a waffle dessert with chocolate and whipped cream). Take your meal out to the beach and watch the windsurfers play. Later, you could give windsurfing a try for yourself. Hel boasts of having the best windsurfing in the world.

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