Sopot is a charming seaside town in Poland, off the Baltic coast and a short ride away from the bigger port city of Gdansk. Don’t let it size dupe you as there is much to do here. Here are my top picks:
- Walk the longest wooden pier in Europe: Yes, in a world of superlatives, Sopot holds its own. Wooden and within Europe, conditions apply. Built in 1827, this pier still serves as a quiet & peaceful walkway into sea. Fancy private boats with funky names dock here. An ominous looking ‘pirate ship’ also comes by every once in a while, ferrying passengers on a 40-minute tour around the bay. There’s a restaurant at the end serving patrons. Go up to the deck for a nice wide shot of the entire pier as well as the beach.
- Enjoy the beach: You are at the seaside so get on & take a stroll by the edge of the water, watch kids make sand castles, and feed the birds. Oh, the birds! There is a big flock of swans at the Sopot beach and they know you’re looking 😉 Walk below the pier to observe the strong support structure from below. It makes for an interesting photo point, too.
- Promenade along Monte Cassino: The main street of Sopot is a slightly sloping path perpendicular to the beachfront. It is lined with restaurants serving various cuisines, from local delicacies like potato dumplings to the omnipresent pizza. And the quintessential souvenir shops. Make sure to take a picture outside the crooked Krzywy Domek, quite an unusual building on the exterior, although nothing special from within. Walk further along a park and a historic tower, onto the big square of Skwer Kuracyjny, from where you head up to the pier.
- Enjoy a ‘lody’, Polish for ice cream: While you are walking along the main street or the beachfront, enjoy a flavorful treat at one of the many hole-in-the-wall ice-cream shops. Such a relief on a warm day in June when we were in Sopot. At a couple of euros apiece, you can gorge half a dozen of those, never mind the calorie count when you’re on vacation 😉
- Take a ride through Park Północny: A little beyond the Sopot beach lies a harmonious little patch of green with clearly marked bike paths. Hiring a bike is economical at €5 an hour. You could also enjoy a trike ride or glide along on a skateboard under the green canopy of the park. Along the opposite side of the Pier, you will pass by many cozy beach side residences, hotels and restaurants that will make you want to hang out a little while longer.
Have you been to Sopot? What did you like best?