Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Gdynia in Poland, along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Gdynia is located in the northern part of the country, on the Baltic sea next to Sopot and Gdansk. What used to be a small fishing village has developed into a popular summer destination and a city with almost 250 000 residents, making it the 12th largest city in Poland.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the best places to visit in Gdynia as well as interesting facts and attractions that shouldn’t be missed while visiting the city.
The abandoned Hotel Zdrowie is a very unique attraction that has recently become a popular spot for photographers and street artists. Many walls of the former hotel have been used as canvases and turned into artworks.
The site also overlooks the Baltic Sea and is one of the most scenic abandoned buildings in the country. The former sanatorium is not maintained and is left to decay so watch out for safety issues like broken glass or unsafe windows, doors, and staircases.
In the summer, Gydnia Beach is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing and offers all the infrastructure you would expect. There are sunbeds for rent and many cafes and restaurants are dotted along the beautiful promenade.
The beach is also very wide and the perfect place for kids to play in the sand. Gydina’s marina is located close by and visitors of the city beach can enjoy interesting views towards the steady coming and going of boats, luxurious yachts, and even big cruise liners.
The Orłowo Pier is a recreational wooden pier located in the little village of Orłowo a few kilometers south of Gydnia. It offers great views of the coastline and the surrounding nature.
There are many benches set up on the pier, allowing for plenty of rest, fresh air, and a gorgeous panorama. The Kępa Redłowska nature reserve is located between Orlowo and Gydnia and is adjacent to the pier.
This makes walks from Gydnia to Orlowo very attractive for nature lovers as plenty of untouched, wild nature can be explored here.
The Emigration Museum is dedicated to the Polish emigration during the last 200 years. The museum is located in the facilities of the Maritime Station, a former transit building that hundreds of thousands of people used to leave the country.
This museum is renowned all over Europe and has won several awards such as the Živa Award of the Best Slavic Museum. The site explains the various backgrounds of the people leaving the country including their fate before and after emigration.
Additionally, it displays the different character of emigration during the various centuries. Especially interesting are the stories of the many famous emigrant Poles that achieved great things in science, sports, or business
Torpedownia is the name of a central facility of German torpedo research during the Second World War. It was built a few hundred meters off the shore and was built both ontop as well as under the water, as an assembly hall and test facility and shooting range used to launch torpedos.
It used to be connected to the mainland with a small railway transporting goods across a bridge, unfortunately, this bridge has collapsed a long time ago and today the Torpedownia can only be reached with a boat.
The site is completely abandoned and not used today. It is possible to access the site but it’s not recommended as the integrity of the structure is questionable.
Skwer Kościuszki (Kościuszko Square)
The Skwer Kościuszki is one of the most popular meeting points of the residents of Gdynia. It features several beautiful fountains and is surrounded by many important commercial buildings including hotels, restaurants, shops and more.
The square is often used to have some minutes of relaxation as it offers many benches and other seating opportunities. This area is also a perfect place to start exploring the harbor and beach promenade of the city as the square is located right next to the water.
Kamienna Góra Gdynia Funicular
Gdyniar offers a scenic funicular railway that takes visitors to a hill overlooking the Hel peninsula and the Baltic Sea. The Kamienna Gora reaches a height of 96 m and the climb towards it takes only two minutes.
The funicular features modern, glass gondolas that offer breathtaking views all around the surroundings. Visitors who want to get more active can also take the stairs and pathway to the hill instead and get some exercise climbing the scenic Kamienna Gora.
The ORP Błyskawica served the Allied forces during the Second World War and is considered the oldest still existing destroyer-class ship in the world. It is the pride of the Polish fleet and took part in many wartime operations.
It was part of a Polish Naval detachment serving under control of the British Admiralty and featured in the rescue of the encircled British forces in Dunkirk. In 1976 the powerful battleship was turned into a museum allowing visitors access to its interior.
The ship is still largely unchanged from its days of service in the Second World War, the only difference being the addition of some educational material used to inform its guests about the ship and its wartime history.
The Dar Pomorza is another interesting museum that is located in a historic ship. The Dar Pomorza is a full-rigged sailing ship and was built in 1909. It served as a training ship in various countries.
The ship was initially built by Blohm & Voss and was later given to Poland as a war reparation after the First World War. The ship traveled around the world in the 1940s and later featured in various expos and sailing competitions.
In 1983 the Dar Pomorza was finally turned into a museum ship and today offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the world of sailing. Despite its age, the ship is perfectly maintained and a really beautiful sight.
The Naval Museum is set in a modern building and was inaugurated in 2018 to celebrate the re-creation of the Polish Navy. The museum is dedicated to the history of Poland’s naval forces and it educates visitors about the beginnings of Poland’s Navy in the aftermath of the First World War to the modern-day.
Gdynia’s Naval Museum offers many artifacts, stories, and information boards to illustrate many aspects of the wartime operations during the Second World War. The naval bombs and torpedoes found here were used during the war and are a chilly reminder of the brutality of war. Beautiful wooden models of famous ships can also be found here.
Kepa Redlowska & Klif Orlowski
The Kepa Redlowska and Klif Orlowski are a real natural highlight of the area. This nature reserve is located just south of Gdynia and is the best place in the area for people in search of peace and tranquility.
The cliffs connecting the lush forests of the reserve with the beach are a spectacular backdrop when enjoying the sand and water of the Baltic Sea. The cliffs also feature several viewpoints from which hikers can overlook the sea.
The Open’er Festival is a famous music festival that takes place on the beaches of Gdynia. It is considered one of the biggest of its kind in Poland and was initially launched in Warsaw before moving to the Baltic coast.
The festival won the prize “Best Major Festival” of the European Festival Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2019. The festival features several stages and regularly welcomes some of the biggest names of the music industry.
In recent years the list of artists performing here included: Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, the Arctic Monkeys, Rihanna and many more. Many different music genres are present here, it doesn’t matter what music you are into, you will love the festival.
The Gydnia Motor Museum offers car lovers a paradise full of historic automobiles from the 20th century. The venue hosts many fantastic vintage cars including the Ford-T, considered the first mass-produced passenger car.
It also features different Buick models including the one driven by Al Capone himself. Additionally to the fascinating old cars, many documents are depicting historic automotive technology as well as photographs of many interesting rallies and old road maps portraying different stages of the road network of the past.
Church of St. Michael the Archangel
The church of St. Michael the Archangel is an interesting construction consisting of a red-brick nave and a wooden church tower. It is located close to the sea just a few meters north of the city center of Gdynia.
The building is surrounded by a cemetery that is home to some of the most influential residents of the city. The church is not a major tourist hotspot and offers peace and serenity. The property of the church also features many memorials of the dark times of the Second World War.
Centrum Nauki Experyment
The Centrum Nauki Experyment is an interesting attraction for families with children. The site is unique as it is not a classical museum but more of a gallery offering many hands-on exhibits that can be used for experimenting.
The interesting natural science exhibits allow playful contact with aspects like human anatomy, gravity, light and water. Many different phenomena of everyday life are explained here and turn your kid’s natural curiosity into a great learning experience.
Interesting facts about Gdynia
- It was the center of Oksywie culture during prehistoric times.
- In 1789, there were only 21 houses in Gdynia.
- The city was known as Gdingen in German.
- Gdynia received city rights in 1926 and has since then grown into one of the largest cities in northern Poland.
- Gdynia Film Festival has been held annually since 1974.
- The city of Gdynia has a population of 246,348 according to the latest estimate.
- Gdynia covers an area of 136 km2 (53 sq mi).
Want more recommendations on things to do in Gdynia, Poland? Leave a comment below!