London Stansted to Gdansk Airport
The city of Gdansk is situated at the mouth of the Wisla and Motlawa rivers on Poland's Baltic coastline. The city is probably most famous as the birthplace of Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement which helped bring about the end of Communist rule in the Eastern Bloc, but Gdansk is also widely regarded as being the Poland's second most beautiful city after Krakow.
Flights between London Stansted and Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport are operated by Ryanair. The airport is located around 10km (6 miles) from Gdansk city centre. Gdansk Airport is also convenient for the other Polish cities of Sopot, 10km (6miles) away and Gdynia, 23km (14 miles) away. The 110 and B bus routes operate between the airport and Gdansk city centre, a single ticket costs 4.2PLN (£1 is approximately equal to 5.5PLN). There is a taxi rank next to the passenger terminal's main entrance. Taxis are operated by Taxi Plus, the fare to the centre of Gdansk is around 40PLN although this is 50 percent more at night time. Be wary of unlicensed taxi companies.
Places of interest in Gdansk include:
- National Museum. The highlight of this museum situated in a former Franciscan monastery is Hans Memling's masterpiece the 'Last Judgement'. This work of art has had a long and eventful history. On its way to England in 1473 it was stolen by Gdansk pirates and later, in the 20th century, it passed to and fro between the Soviets and Nazis before finally ending up in Gdansk in 1956. The museum also houses Flemish art, 18th century Polish paintings and a small collection of China.
- St Mary's Church. At 105 metres long and up to 65 metres wide, St Mary's is Europe's largest brick-built church. For a fantastic view over Gdansk you can climb the 405 steps of this Gothic church's 82-metre high tower.
- Town Hall (Ratusz). The town hall was originally constructed in the 14th century but rebuilt in a renaissance style after it was destroyed by fire in the 16th century. Inside the hall is part of the Gdansk History Museum, the highlight of which is the magnificent Red Chamber with its Baroque ceiling paintings.
- Roads to Freedom. Situated in the Gdansk shipyard where the Solidarity movement began, this exhibition uses a series of films, slides and photographs to trace the history of this groundbreaking trade union. Starting in the 1950s with the early struggles against Soviet occupation, the story continues through the strikes of 1980 and the following period of martial law right up to Solidarity's final victory in 1989.
- Memorial to the Defenders of Post Office Square. On September 1, 1939, in one of the first battles of World War II, postal workers attemped to defend Gdansk against the Germans but were ultimately defeated when their post office was set on fire. Those who survived the battle were subsequently sent to concentration camps or were executed. Inside the restored post office is a museum dedicated to the workers.