See also: wikimania manual.pdf — a downloadable pdf document about Gdansk, which has general information about prices, attractions, transportation, and consulates. (Courtesy of Kristen Powell and James Owen at the Wikimedia Foundation).
The millennium-old Gdańsk is the sixth largest Polish city, forming a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdynia and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity(Trójmiasto), with a population of over 800,000. Gdańsk itself has a population of 458,053 (2006). It is the richest historic site among the Baltic cities. Most of the attractions are several centuries old (although it should be noted that many did not survive World War II intact and were rebuilt afterwards). These are located along the Droga Królewska (The Royal Tract), in the Main Town and the Promenade.
Restored houses, whose original designs date back to the 16th and 17th century and which used to belong to the patricians, imbue the city with a specific spirit. Among these is the Uphagen House, where a department of the Historical Museum of Gdańsk is located, as well as the Gothic-style Old Town Hall.
The Długi Targ (Long Market) - in the 13th century a merchants' route - is the home of the Fountain of Neptune, the city's symbol, as well as Dwór Artusa (Arthus' Court), Złota Kamienica (Golden House) and Nowy Dom Ławy, where daily at 13:03 (as well as at 15:03 and 17:03 in the high season) one can see a 17th-century damsel peering out of one of the windows!
The island of Ołowianka hosts the building of the Baltic Philharmonic Theatre as well as the Central Maritime Museum of Gdańsk (Wikimania's venue), located in buildings adapted from 19th-century power and heating plants and visible from the Old Town's promenade.
One of the most frequently visited streets of the city's Old Town is Piwna Street, with its numerous cafés and clubs. There is also a nearby Ewan Cabaret - a local counterpart of the Parisian Moulin Rouge.
The city is also the home of the Teatr Wybrzeże, which - together with the National Theatre in Warsaw and Teatr Stary in Kraków - forms the core of the Polish theatre world. Nearby, on the Targ Drzewny (Wood Market), one can find the statue of Jan III Sobieski, and Korzenna Street houses the Old City Hall, where richly-ornamented chambers as well as the old Mayor's office can be visited. An Irish pub is located in the Hall's basement.
Another place worth mentioning is the Gdańsk Shipyard, where the fight against real socialism had one of its major chapters written. The square in front of the Shipyard is the place of the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers commemorating the first three shipbuilders who died in December 1970. In August 1980 the shipyard was the birthplace of the Solidarność labour union and freedom movement (please note that 2010 will witness Solidarity's 30th anniversary - the celebration of freedom in the political sense, which might additionally be accentuated by the celebration of free culture in the very same city), which will be commemorated by the Europejskie Centrum Solidarności (European Solidarity Centre), planned to be built by 2013 and forming a complex of museum and conference facilities. Currently the exhibits for the Centre can be viewed in the underground rooms of the National Board of "Solidarność" Labour Union, located in Wały Piastowskie Street.
Among other tourist sites there are Westerplatte, where the World War II began, and the Cathedral in Oliwa, where baroque organ concerts are played.
Gdańsk is also a popular tourist destination because of its numerous beaches, piers, cultural events and coastal attractions, which attract young and old alike.
- More information about Gdańsk from Lonely Planet
- More information about Gdańsk from Wikitravel
Gdańsk is located on the Baltic, and temperatures are mild in the summer. In July, the mean maximum temperature is 21.0°C (69.8°F); the mean minimum temperature is 13.3°C (55.9°F).
Mean total precipitation is 66.7 mm; mean days with rainfall are 13.
Weather information can be gotten from Worldweather.org, the BBC, or weather.com
Currency and electricity
The złoty (PLN, or zł) is the currency of Poland. It is subdivided into one hundred groszy (gr). The coin denominations currently in use are: 1 gr, 2 gr, 5 gr, 10 gr, 20 gr, 50 gr; 1 zł, 2 zł and 5 zł. The banknotes used are: 10 zł, 20 zł, 50 zł, 100 zł and 200 zł.
Currency exchange may be done through banks or currency exchange offices (called kantor in Polish). The rates at the exchange offices are usually more favourable than at the banks. Exchange offices are easily available at the Gdańsk airport and the railway station, as well as throughout the city. American dollars, Euros, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, Czech korunas, Hungarian forint, Japanese yen and Swedish krona are all widely exchanged, as well as most other currencies.
Numerous ATMs located throughout the city can provide Polish złoties to virtually any credit or debit card holder, due to being part of international ATM networks such as Euronet, Cirrus/Mastercard and Visa PLUS. Most credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops, cafés and restaurants, the most popular being Visa, Visa Electron, Maestro and Mastercard. However, there is normally a minimum spend level required (generally about 20 zł) for card payments to be accepted.
Travellers' cheques are not commonly accepted, but can be exchanged for cash at most banks.
Poland uses a 230 Volt/50 Hz electricity grid.
Nearby events and festivals
- the Opener rock festival will be held in nearby Gdynia from July 1-4, 2010.
- FETA experimental theatre and art festival, from July 15-18 2010.
- More festivals: Gdansk-life.com
this information courtesy of the Wikimania planning team, CC-BY-SA