Euro 2012 Host Cities – Gdansk, Poland
The city of Gdansk is a markedly un-Polish type of city. Centuries of contact with the sea as a port city has made it something of mini-state all to itself with streets and architecture more influenced by the various nations of wealthy merchants who lived here in the past, rather than the overall aesthetic of the country at large. Gdansk has always been a pivotal port-city in the region, having been fought over for centuries by the region’s major powers, all of this attention, destruction and reconstruction has created a special type of atmosphere which is enjoyed by millions of visitors each year.
If you count yourself amongst those who will be visiting Gdansk for the football matches, make sure that you make some time to walk around the narrow cobble streets of the Main Town, and take in the atmosphere dotted with red-brick churches.
The streets are lined with slender yet grand buildings which may hide interesting cafes and a variety of small shops, and of course quite a few museums as well.
Being a port city, those who love the sea can enjoy pleasure-boat cruises, as well as checking out the dockside beer gardens and enjoying the maritime view from the comfort of one of them.
Once in Gdansk, or any other Polish city for that matter, you may be wanting to go out for breakfast but keep in mind that many Polish restaurants don’t open for breakfast, however something that you may want to try out is an old-fashioned milk bar, Bar Mleczny Neptun – these types of establishments were quite wide-spread during the Communist era as a way of providing cheap meals for workers.
Similar to Warsaw, the central part of modern-day Gdansk is a very well maintained representation of what the city would’ve looked like in its 17th century heyday.
Some old buildings have survived in Gdansk, as opposed to Warsaw, the 14th century St. Mary’s Church being one good example of this. The thing looks a bit out of place thanks to its medieval bulk but it does feature a high tower which you can climb for views of the city.