Discover the Best of Poland’s Coastline: Why Sopot is the Ultimate Holiday Base
Poland is a country full of surprises, and its stunning coastline is no exception. With its miles of sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to this part of the world in search of sun, sea, and sand. We recently spent a week exploring the Polish coastline and decided to make Sopot our holiday base. This charming town offers the perfect blend of city life and coastal tranquillity, making it the ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing escape.
One of the great things about Sopot is its location. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Gdansk, so if you’re looking to explore a little further afield, you can easily do so. But at the same time, you’re surrounded by nature, with forests to cycle in, plenty of parks to stroll through, and the beach just a minute away.
The History of Sopot, the Charming Polish Seaside Resort
With its long sandy beaches, charming architecture, and lively atmosphere, it has long been a favourite destination for travellers looking to escape the city and unwind in a more relaxed setting. But despite its popularity, many people may not be aware of the rich and fascinating history of this charming seaside resort.
The history of Sopot dates back to the 14th century when it was just a small fishing village. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Sopot began to develop as a popular holiday destination when wealthy residents of Gdansk began building summer houses and villas in the area. At the time, it was fashionable for the wealthy to escape the city and spend their summers in the more salubrious atmosphere of the seaside.
In the late 19th century, Sopot’s popularity as a holiday destination really took off, thanks in part to the opening of the first hotel in the town, the Grand Hotel, in 1827. This was followed by a number of other hotels, guesthouses, and boardinghouses, which together helped to establish Sopot as one of the most fashionable holiday destinations in the region.
Over the next few decades, Sopot continued to grow and flourish, attracting visitors from all over Europe. In 1894, the town’s famous pier was built, which quickly became a favourite spot for strolling and fishing. This was followed by the construction of the famous Crooked House, a quirky and whimsical building that remains one of Sopot’s most recognizable landmarks.
During the early 20th century, Sopot experienced a golden age, with the town attracting artists, musicians, and writers from all over Europe. The town’s vibrant cultural scene, along with its stunning beaches, made it an attractive destination for holidaymakers and artists alike.
However, Sopot’s popularity was short-lived, as the town suffered greatly during both World War I and World War II. After the war, the town was rebuilt and once again became a popular holiday destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. Today, Sopot continues to thrive, with a thriving tourist industry and a thriving cultural scene.
Discover the Best Things to Do in Sopot Beach, Poland
Sopot Beach, located on the Polish coastline, offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy beaches, explore the parks and forests, or immerse yourself in the bustling nightlife, Sopot has something for everyone. Here are our top picks for things to do in Sopot Beach:
Soak up the sun on the long, clean sandy beach
There’s no denying this is the main attraction and the reason people consider visiting Sopot. It’s a long, clean almost powdery sand beach, with lots of amenities. You can literally walk for miles or just sit at a beach cafe and enjoy the breeze while drinking a cocktail.
Enjoy the serene forest walks
Sopot’s parks and forests are perfect for a scenic bike ride or a leisurely walk. Keep an eye out for the well-maintained bicycle trails and avoid getting lost in the sand as we did.
Visit the quirky Crooked House
This unique building is one of Sopot’s main attractions and is worth a visit. Inside, you’ll find cafes and shops, but the facade is what will leave you in awe. By night, it transforms into a lively nightclub.
Admire the stunning Church of St George (Kościół Garnizonowy pw . św. Jerzego)
This is surely the highlight of Sopot, nice architecture with great details situated in the heart of Sopot. Inside its impressive stained glass provides a shower of coloured lights that at the right time of day should be amazing.
Stroll along the longest wooden pier in Europe
Very long and one of the first places we went to while getting to know Sopot. We didn’t actually go to the pier that day as you need to pay to go there, so we decided to visit when we used the boat to go to Gdansk. It’s apparently the longest wooden pier in Europe not that the title makes any difference, the truth is walking on these wooden piers is quite enjoyable and somewhat romantic.
Take a bike tour
Spend an afternoon biking here and we loved it, it was a chance to take all the family to a couple of far away beaches while enjoying the forest trails. We did get lost and found ourselves cycling in the sand so make sure you follow the road.
Try your hand at windsurfing
We love watersports and wanted to try windsurfing here, in the end, we only managed to get one board as everything was booked but we can tell that it was all booked probably due to the low prices of rentals here. They have many water sports activities so you can undoubtedly find something for you, just make sure you do book it early in the morning.
Marvel at the beautiful lighthouse
I don’t think I have ever seen a lighthouse like this, it’s a beautiful tower that could be from a palace. The architect constructed a lighthouse and a viewing tower
as a way to conceal a chimney for the boiler that heated the spa waters, quite creative.
Explore nearby Gdansk and Hel
One of the reasons we chose Sopot was its proximity to Gdansk which would allow us to visit the city but at the same time stay in a more relaxed environment. We went by train and returned by boat so it was not boring and allowed us to see things from land and sea. Gdansk is a must-see if you are in the area of course, but you probably already know that. Hel is another popular destination, you can get there by train or boat if you are interested in visiting this peninsula. It’s a nice small narrow place that makes an excellent day trip. The village is touristic but it makes for a nice walk around the picturesque houses.
Experience the vibrant nightlife
Sopot comes alive at night, with streets crowded with bars and nightclubs. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a wild night out, there’s something for everyone in Sopot’s bustling centre.
Where to stay?
Sopot is full of great options from the cheapest to the most luxurious, check some of them out here:
What to do in sopot when it's raining
The Aqua Park Sopot is a nice option as it's a good indoor option. If pool is not your thing then why not a visit to the museum or better yet the Forest Theatre for a show.