t is Itinerary Sopot – My Travel Story and Blog

SOPOT

Itinerary



Suggested Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
June, August to September


My Thoughts on Sopot


Sopot, in northern Poland, is a lovely town on the Baltic Sea. It is merely 30 minutes from Gdynia and Gdańsk, which form the Tri-City metropolitan area also known as the Royal Route. Contrary to my suggested duration, I actually stayed a blissful 10 days at the Sheraton Sopot right on the famous wooden pier overlooking the Baltic Sea. In light of the fact that we were in a pandemic - August - September 2021, a 10-day quarantine was required only for travelers with 'positive' COVID-19 test results. Since I was negative, I was free to roam around the country. Poland is deemed a "safe zone' for the Corona virus, and anyone visiting from Poland is exempt from the stringent COVID-19 requirements applied or adhered to by most countries. Beautiful Sopot is known for many things, one of them being the longest wooden pier that extends into the Bay of Gdańsk. It is also famous for its health spas, its sandy beach and its amazingly fresh seafood. My first observation on arriving here, was that I was the ONLY black human present in this town. As in, the only one. It wasn't until day 9 that I stumbled across another black human, an African American man. I had to contain myself, as well as refrain my body from jumping all over him. I also noticed that I was the only one wearing a mask outside of my hotel? In any case, I was here to eject (which I couldn't do at home in the United States), and to recover from the horrendous year 2020 slash the earlier half of 2021. I was here for quiet contemplation; for good food and for much needed sleep. And no, in case you were wondering, it's not the same at home. Seeing the Crooked House, a surreal building modeled after some fairy-tale illustrations and trying delicious Polish cuisines were some additional highlights Poland had to offer. Weather-wise, it rained 7 out of my 10 alloted days, but not enough to put a damper on my vacation. The sun came through when it mattered most. This is Sopot! - a TE highly recommended destination. Remember to click on all pictures on this page to reveal additional photos or useful links. 

Airports to Fly Into


  • Gdańsk Lech Walesa Airport (GDN)
  • (Distance from GDN Airport to Sheraton Sopot Hotel: 19 minutes. Distance from GDN Airport to Old Town in the City Center by car: 30 mins. Click on photo to get airport website and travel information)

Where to Stay


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SHERATON SOPOT Hotel
Powstancow Warszawy 10 Sopot, Poland 81-718 +48 58 767 10 00

My number one pick and TE Spotlight always reflects where I stayed in each city and/or country. The Sheraton Sopot Hotel, a five-star hotel located right on the famous wooden pier overlooking the Baltic Sea was my humble abode for 10 rejuvenating days. This hotel is smack in the center of all the action and only a ferry ride away from the city of Hel. It is also an uber ride away from Gdańsk and Gdynia which form the Tri-City. Sheraton Sopot hotel is also right by the beach and only steps from the famous Monte Cassino street. It is conveniently located a mere 10-minute walk from the main train station; while Old Town, as well as Gdańsk Airport are just 30 minutes away. There are several restaurants on site such as Restauracja Polskie Smaki. Polskie Smaki is the only place in Sopot with the local Polish cuisine that prepares seasonal dishes using locally-sourced ingredients from all over the region of Kaszuby. For dine-in or in-room service, there are a few more restaurants that could cater to your pallette. All amenities needed to make ones' stay extremely comfortable are also present at the Sheraton Sopot Hotel. This hotel gets a worthy thumbs up from TE.

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OTHER SUGGESTED PLACES TO STAY IN sopot:

Sofitel Grand Sopot (0.5 miles from city center)
Powstancow Warszawy St 12, 81-718 Sopot, Poland +48 58 520 60 00

Radisson Blu Hotel, Sopot (1.2 miles from city center)
Bitwy pod Plowcami 59 Sopot, Poland 81-731 +48 58 766 60 00

Hotel Rezydent (2.4 miles from city center)
Plac Konstytucji 3 Maja 3, 81-704 Sopot, Poland +48 58 555 58 00

(Side Bar Information: Airline utilized - Delta Air (Operated by KLM). Currency: Polish Zloty. Currency Exchange: $1 = 3.96 PLN. Distance from Gdańsk Airport to Sheraton Sopot Hotel: 19 minutes respectively. Taxi fair from Gdańsk Airport to Sopot City Center: $12 to $15 (50 PLN - 60 PLN) respectively. For more hotels in Sopot, please visit the world wide web).

Where and What to Eat


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Karczma Irena

For authentic Polish cuisines, head to Restaurant Irena. This Polish restaurant is located on Fryderyka Chopina 36, 81-786 Sopot, Poland, and is walking distance from the Sheraton Sopot hotel for agile walkers. This vintage villa turned guest house slash restaurant offers upmarket dining, as well as a woodsy pub that's really dim and gives off low-key village vibes. Don't expect a lot of smiles, not even from diners or waiters, but definitely expect good food. Try their Polish specialty - Crisp Duck with marjoram, baked apples, red cabbage, fried potatoes, cranberry sauce and beets salad. So delish. Price: $$

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Seafood Station Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Sopot offered many amazing dining options. Another one of my favorites happened to be the Seafood Station Restaurant and Oyster Bar located on Dworcowa 7, 81-704 Sopot, Poland. This casual venue restaurant that specializes in a variety of seafood offerings including shrimp, crab, fish and oysters will have you coming back for more. It's was almost bothersome on how addicted I was becoming and how hung up I was on their seafood. I also discovered that Sopot offers the largest "in size" oysters I've ever encountered, my entire life. It didn't matter what restaurant you went, their Oysters were quite ginormous. Be that as it were, Seafood Station offered some of the freshest seafood I'd encountered in a while. Their spicy calamaries were so good, I had to dine here three times of my 10 days in Sopot, with one take-away encounter. I highly recommend trying this restaurant when in Sopot. Price: $$$

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THAI THAI restaurant

I cannot rave enough about this restaurant which really should have taken the number spot on my TE highly recommended restaurants. Thai Thai located on Bohaterów Monte Cassino 63, 81-767 Sopot, Poland was the best Thai restaurant I'd ever tried since Bangkok, Thailand. Their Thai food was sinful and delicious and addictive. Extremely addictive. I had dinner here, almost every night. Besides the usual suspects you'd find in a thai restaurant, Thai Thai, also offred oysters on their menu that were mind-blowing and shockingly larger than life. Even bigger than Seafood Station Resataurant and Oyster Bars'. You'd find it difficult to believe you're still in Europe, in Poland for that matter. Every TE traveler that ventures into Sopot must dine at Thai Thai. It offers a welcome break from Poland's extremely rich, delicious, and fatty cuisine. Price range: $$-$$$

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Blekitny Pudel

When in Sopot, endeavor to try out Restaurant Blekitny Pudel located on Bohaterów Monte Cassino 44, 81-759 Sopot, Poland. It is the Oldest Pub in Sopot and a very popular spot to wine and dine on ones' visit to Sopot. It's usually packed to the brim but it was imperative to stop by for some pierogi, which are Poland's most well known comfort food, especially at the oldest joint in town. Its interior is quite dated and it is decorated to full capacity with an assortment of sorts - all old, random, and quite interesting. In its own eclectic way, it offers up some familiar charm and dated sophistication. This restaurant transports you to way back in time to some degree. Sit inside and marvel at the assortment of dusty collectibles, or sit outside to take in the fresh Sopot air while you people watch. In any case, TE recommends trying their beef Pierogi. Price: $$

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PIEROGI & OTHER POLISH STAPLES 

When in Poland, one must indulge in as many Polish delicacies one can get their hands on. From Pierogi - Poland's most famours comfort food which contain either meat, vegetables, cheese, fruits, or chocolate, to other Polish comfort foods such as Kiszka Ziemniaczana, better known as Chicken Potato. These are a rare traditional treat derived from Belarusian cuisine. They are time consuming to prepare, but are worth the trouble for their phenomenal taste. Also try Poland's Potato cake, popular in Podlasie and Suwalki regions but can also be found in food stalls in Sopot. The main ingredients being raw potatoes, bacon and onions. Kartacze, also called Zeppelins, are prepared from cooked or raw potatoes and stuffed with plenty of ground meat. They are all impossible to resist and extremely tasty. They could serve as snack options throughout your day, or as a main meal depending on your level of appetite. Lastly, do not renege on trying their fermented cucumbers, as well as Zurek - a fermented soup usually served with hard boiled egg and made from sour rye. These can all be found at any food stand, kiosk or Polish restaurant in Sopot, Poland. Price: $ - $$ 

What to See and Do



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Sopot Pier


The Sopot Pier is a major attraction when visiting this beautiful resort town. It is on the Gdask Bay and was built as a pleasure pier, as well as a mooring point for cruise boats. This pier is the longest wooden pier in Europe and stretches into the sea from the middle of Sopot beach, a very popular venue for recreation, public entertainment, a plethora of restaurants, health walks, events, as well as a mooring point for cruise boats and water taxis. It is 511.5 meters stretch and opened in 1827. A definite must see.

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Bohaterów Monte Cassino


One of the most famous streets in Sopot is Bohaterów Monte Cassino. This entirely pedestrian area is the main street of Sopot which runs west to east from Aleja Niepodlegoci, near the railway station, to Plac Zdrojowy, near the seafront and pier. There are some residential properties surrounding the street, but you'd mostly encounter souvenir shops, restaurants, clubs, cafes, upcoming artists and street performers. In season it is the most popular place visited by tourists in the Tri-City. Walk or stroll its entirety to discover many interesting facets.

Sopot Lighthouse


Sopot Lighthouse has been in existence and operating since 1977. It was initially a viewing tower but is now a beacon of light used by Polish merchants who are at sea, as well as a vantage point to admire the pier and the surrounding town of Sopot. It can also be accessed from Kuracyjny Square. 

Sopot Beach


Sopot Beach has got to be the longest beach I've encountered next two the stretch of beaches I witnessed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. it is located on the northern coast of Poland near Gdansk. Sopot Beach is famous for its white sands, shops, restaurants, and other cultural events and happenings. There is no denying its legendary status. It is the main attraction and one of the main reasons tourists flood Sopot. It is insanely long, and stretches for miles, it is clean and boasts an almost powdery sand texture. It is known for its healing and restorative properties, and has enchanted visitors for hundreds of years as a result. It cannot be missed.

Balneological Resort


Balneological Resort aka Zakład Balneologiczny in Sopot, is Sopot's Magical Spa Water. Sopot happens to be situated at 750 meters above St. Wojciech (or Adalbert) spring; the waters from which flow up into the center of the town. They are reportedly as saline as those of the Red Sea, which makes them about 4 times as salty as the waters of the Baltic Sea. Their properties contain 4.3% bromide, natural brine, which also contains a significant amount of potassium, magnesium and iodine. Its spa water has attracted visitors for over 200 years. It was these factors that encouraged Jean Georg Haffner to settle in Sopot at the end of the Napoleonic Wars instead of returning to his native land of France. This precipitated the construction of what is now Poland's premier health and leisure resort.

Statek Pirat


Statek Pirat is a boat tour which happens to also be a tourist attraction in Sopot. This 40 minute sightseeing cruise starts at the end of Sopot pier and explores all around the Gdansk Bay. There's dining and drinks onboard, as well as a talkative controversial pirate. The boat takes you to the Cape of Good Taste apparently, where polish and European cuisine expose their very quintessence. The restaurant is a covered board, which also tempts its visitors with cold, delicious, white head beer. Try it only if time permits.

State Gallery of Art


State Gallery of Art was established in 1952 and renamed the State Art Gallery in 1992. This gallery located in Sopot, was part of the cultural rebirth of the city following WWII. It was conceptualized from the Festival of Fine Arts which was inaugurated in 1948. It features the exhibitions of artists and a wide range of modern and traditional art forms from Poland and abroad.

St. George Roman Catholic Church


St.George Roman Catholic Church aka the Garrison Church of St. George is little church located at Tadeusza Kociuszki 1 81-881 Sopot Poland in the heart of Sopot, off Bohaterów Monte Cassino street. It features lovely stained glass, a stately entrance and is quite wonderful to behold. The parish was once a civil-military base. The patrons of the parish are St. George and our lady of Czestochowa. Czestochowa is an icon of the Mother of God, according to legend. The face of the Mother of God also known as the Black Madonna. This church is one of the most famous, religious centers or revered shrines in Poland and in Central Europe.

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Northern Park


Northern Park was one of my favorite discoveries while visiting Sopot. It is an expansive wooded coastal path with sea views, biking or hiking trails, roller blading opportunities, access to the Sopot forest, picnic corners, access to Sopot's insanely long beach, an array of restaurants, and shops at every junction. One could walk for hours until they eventually arrive at Gdańsk. This fascinating gem should not be missed.

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Kuracyjny Square


Kuracyjny Square is a resort square right next to the Sheraton Sopot. This square is a central location where all the action happens and where you'd also find Skwer Kuracyjny - an event venue, a mini farmer's market with vendors, food stalls, ticket booths and much more. Its park attracts many tourists, and it's a great spot to people watch, or walk through to gain access to Northern Park. From this square, you can access the coastal lines of the Baltic sea with sandy beach or gain entry into the Sopot Pier, the longest wooden sea pier in all of Europe. On the territory of the square you'd find public events, concerts, entertainment, outdoor ice skating rink in the winter, and it morphs into a center for every New Year Eve's celebration.

Krzywy Domek


Krzywy Domek is a whimsical and unusually shaped building in Sopot. It is about 4,000 sq meters and also house the Resident shopping center. It was constructed in 2004 and was designed by Szotyscy and Zaleski, who were inspired by the fairytale drawings or illustrations of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg. It can be entered from either Monte Cassino or Morska Streets. When headed to St. James Cathedral, from the Sopot Pier, you'd find it on the right hand side.

Wojtek - Soldier Bear


Be vigilant, or you'd be sure to miss Wojtek, Sopot's famous soldier bear perched high behind St George's church on a rocky patch on Bohaterów Monte Cassino - a street named after the battle in which he played an important, iconic role, in the story of the Polish Army's modern history. The statue of Wojtek the Soldier Bear, as he is now known, has a permanent home there overlooking this street. There's an interesting story behind this orphaned Syrian brown bear cub that makes for fascinating reading.

City to See Nearby
(Gdynia, Poland)

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The Destroyer


When in Gdynia, you must stop by to admire the ORP Byskawica (Lightning) aka The Destroyer. This Grom-class destroyer served in the Polish Navy during World War II. It is the only Polish Navy ship to have been decorated with the Virtuti Militari, Poland's highest military order for gallantry, and in 2012 was given the Pro Memoria Medal. It is preserved as a museum ship in Gdynia today and is the oldest preserved destroyer in the world. Also take in the open air musem.

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Gdynia Pier & Waterfront


Albeit Gdynia has very few to offer, it is one of Poland's main ports and an attraction to add to ones' itinerary. Molo Południowe. It is one of the main locations that attracts tourists into the city of Gdynia. This pier is the perfect location for long walks, leisurely strolls, lounging to take in the sea breeze, or just exploring that naval history that surrounds you. Soviet-era stainless steel maritime memorial the Pomnik Zagle (Sails Memorial) representing masts and sails as a memorial to Polish mariners is impossible to miss on arrival to Gdynia's pier. There is a modernist and art deco vibe to this port which differs from the other two Polish ports. Gdynia and its maritime heritage will keep you fascinated for the duration of your visit.

Gdynia Sign


At Gdynia's waterfront, you'll find the iconic sign mostly featured by all cities or countries I've been privy to see. It's a great spot to stop for pictures to commemorate ones' visit to Gdynia. 

Kebab King


When hunger sets in Gdynia, try Kebab King for the most delicious gyros. There are a lot of restaurants to dine at on the pier, but Kebab King was a tasty, very affordable option of them all. 

Dar Pomorza


Also in Gdynia is the Dar Pomorza. The Dar Pomorza is a Polish full-rigged sailing ship built in 1909. It is now preserved in Gdynia as a museum ship. She has served as a sail training ship in Germany, France, and Poland. Dar Pomorza won the Cutty Sark Trophy in 1980.

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My Favorite Moments & Quotes


Being in Sopot rendered a feeling of being reborn after the deadly COVID-19 lockdown and ongoing pandemic. Leaving the United States and arriving Poland was what my soul needed. The air in this city seemed cleansing from the inside out.

- Lynda 'Kechy

I am thankful for heavens that in all my instincts I stood Polish.

- Friedrich Nietzsche

One Pole is a charmer; two Poles a brawl; three Poles well, this is the Polish Question.

- Voltaire

Gdynia, one of the tri-cities in Poland threw me for a loop. It harbored a modernist vibe and seemed a bit extra-terrestial. There were Naval ships, masts, and pirate boats on the pier. It felt a bit eerie, yet it possessed a beautiful ambience that hung over the waterfront like a cloud.

- Lynda 'Kechy

This homage has been rendered not to me - for the Polish soil is fertile and does not lack better writers than me - but to the Polish achievement, the Polish genius.

- Henryk Sienkiewicz


There are many reasons why you should visit Poland, but a few of the important ones are that the country is cheaper compared to its neighbours, and it is safe if you are traveling solo.

- Anonymous

Being in Sopot rendered a feeling of being reborn after the deadly COVID-19 lockdown and ongoing pandemic. Leaving the United States and arriving Poland was what my soul needed. The air in this city seemed cleansing from the inside out.

- Lynda 'Kechy

They say Poland is the Mexico of Europe. I don't know what that means, but I like it. 

- Chris Pontius

You are in a country that comes and goes, where the people have been mistreated but rarely oppose. Borders have changed by rulers from afar, although sometimes closer than neighbourhoods are. Their religion is sacred and the heavens smile down, but the history they keep will lead you to frown.

- Sean F. Hogan, Painting Angels

It has been said that Poland is dead, exhausted, enslaved, but here is the proof of her life and triumph. 

- Henryk Sienkiewicz

TIPS TO REMEMBER WHILE VISITING SOPOT

1. Every visitor to Poland must have a valid passport to enter. U.S. citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business stays of up to 90 days. There is a six months passport validity requirement for U.S. citizens entering Poland like most countries.

2. The European Union is facilitating travel within Europe with the EU Digital COVID Certificate, a digital pass for EU and U.S. residents who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, tested negative for the virus, or have recovered from it will be needed upon entry to or exit from Poland.  

3. Before arrival to Poland, one must have their record locator. Go on to the Polish website klp.gov.pl to fill out the 'passenger locator form' with all the pertinent details needed prior to your departure date. You will need your name, date of birth, flight information, hotel or accomodation details, as well as your arrival date. One would not be allowed to board their flight without producing a copy of this record locator form which will house a verification code. 

4. An excellent resource is the U.S. State Departments detailed website travel.state.gov or copy and paste this link for country specific COVID-19 requirements.
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/requirements-for-air-travelers-to-the-us.html or https://www.afar.com/magazine/when-will-we-be-able-to-travel-to-europe

5. Fully vaccinated travelers (meaning it has been at least 14 days since their second dose if two doses were required) entering Poland, including those from the U.S., are exempt from an otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine. Visit www.gov.pl or copy and paste https://www.gov.pl/web/coronavirus/travel on your url browser for full details on requirements before embarking on your trip to Poland.

6. Sopot is quite a small resort town and one can attempt to sightsee by walking, or taking a short uber ride to some of its sites. HOHO's aren't readily available in this town, but a ferry can be taken to other neighboring towns or tri-cities.

7. When visiting Poland or other countries, remember to have credit cards with no foreign transaction fees in your possession such as American Express or a credit card that garners points; particularly, if you are a points junkie like me. Saving on all those fees goes a very long way. Credit cards are accepted everywhere, such as hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, etc. When visiting open air markets or private shops, be sure to have plenty of cash.

8. Download maps.me and rome2rio.com to offer directions in and around the city with or without WIFI connection.

9. Get a SIM card for international calls to stay connected with family and friends abroad when free WIFI isn't available.

10. The currency of choice in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN). Always remember to withdraw a country's currency at the ATM machine located INSIDE the airport upon arrival or at the baggage claim area. This will help eliminate any fraudlent attempts or prevent you from utilizing an ATM machine that has been compromised. Also, you'll get better exchange rates from your bank, a much lower bank fee in exchange, and you'll save some money while eliminating Bureau de change fees, commisions and/or questionable exchange rates.

11. Always have a copy of your passport on you. It's imperative to have this on hand for any unforeseen circumstances, especially when changing your countries currency to Euros.

12. Try to take advantage of any cities or countries near the country you are visiting. For instance, consider taking the ferry to Hel which is roughly 30 minutes away from Sopot. Gdynia and Gdańsk are only 20 minutes from the resort town of Sopot, so these should definitely be added on to your itinerary. They can be explored by day for a few hours. Krakow and Warsaw are train rides away roughly 3.5 hours away. Take advantage of this. Some of these cities or countries nearby can be crossed off your life or bucket list on one trip. This translates to savings. Carpe diem (always seize the moment).

13. Depending on when you are visiting, you'd need an umbrella, sunblock, sunglasses, sweater, a jacket, the usuals. So bring these items with you depending on the season and time of year you'd be visiting Poland. Try to  ignore the inconvenience of having them in your luggage. In Europe, you just never know. Chances are you may and/or definitely need them. 

14. As always while visiting other countries or cities, wear comfortable shoes, choose appropriate clothing for the climate, weather and/or region. Be mindful, be modest, be aware, be alert, and be kind. Always try to adapt to each countries ideals and requirements in-lieu of imposing your own.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SOPOT, POLAND:

Poland was amazing in many ways, even though its inhabitants were quite unfriendly and borderline cold. Yet, there was no denying the beauty its cities possessed. It's quite fascinating that Poland is largely underrated and flies beneath most travelers' radars. They are tremendous amounts of things to do, sites to see and restaurants to dine in. Sopot in particular is world famous for its spa, beaches, its cuisine, the world renowned wooden pier and much more. The sounds of true connection (POST-COVID) were lost amidst this shuffle; and just saying hello or seeing a smiling face were few and far between if not non existent. Having written that, I still appreciated Sopot and all it did for me. I needed the rest, the healing and the jump-start. Poland poffered all of these and more. But being there, reminded me that I missed human touch, friendly hellos, the chits and the chats, and impromptu, meaningless banter with complete strangers. I missed the sparks in peoples eyes, the warmth in peoples hearts, and unrequited connections of passing energies. A greeting, maybe a nod, anything would have sufficed, but I cannot take away the beauty Poland possesses amidst its miry ashes. Smiles that were once lost, would someday be found again.