Sopot is a seaside spa resort city in Poland. Sopot and two nearby cities, Gdańsk and Gdynia, are often referred as Tricity (Polish: Trójmiasto). It is a smallest of the three and the most affluent on average, attracting the rich and famous from the local area (who tend to settle there), and from Poland, Europe and elsewhere, who come over for vacations or maintain a pied-a-terre there.
Sopot has an impressive history, but remains small and committed to its original mission of leisure. Being locked between the larger Gdynia and Gdańsk and being able to take advantage of their big-city infrastructure, it retains its small-town charm and remains a very popular seaside destination in Poland.
HistoryThe first written record of Sopot date back to the 13th century, and has been popular as a summer residence of the local elite for centuries. It has been a property of the Order of Cistercians of Oliwa since 1283 until 1772, when it was annexed by Prussia.
It was not until 19th century, however, that Sopot took its present form. In 1808, a French physician named Jean Georg Haffner came to Sopot with Napoleon's retreating army and decided to settle there, and marry a local woman. He immediately recognized the resort potential in the local area, and started to organize appropriate facilities first in Gdańsk and later in the centre of modern-day Sopot, constructing the first pier and the Resort House, and creating the park that surrounds today's pierhead. Haffner is recognized as the father of modern-day Sopot and celebrated throughout the city.
Sopot quickly became a fashionable spa on a European scale, accessible by the seaport of Gdańsk and the railway line to Warsaw and Koszalin, built in 1870. It was granted city rights in 1901 by the German Emperor, and was at the forefront of adopting modern leisure facilities: spas,ind, a horseracing track, tennis courts and a casino. When the Grand Hotel was completed in 1927, along with the final pier extension, Sopot gained its complete form it was to retain until the new millennium, in the meantime becoming a part of Poland again. In the 2000s, much effort was put into restoring Sopot's heritage, including the reconstruction of the Resort House, conservation of the pier and a major restoration effort at the Grand Hotel.
By planeThe TriCity's passenger airport is the Lech Walesa Airport in Gdańsk, offering a wide range of direct flights and connections, including intercontinental hubs.
Almost all the long-distance trains calling to Gdańsk and Gdynia stop at , the only railway station in Sopot, in the middle of the city. Local SKM trains run between Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot at high frequency, stopping at the same station.
By boatSopot has no port, but you can use the ferry connections from Gdańsk and Gdynia to other Baltic sea ports. There is also a marina next to the pier for those coming in their own, smaller vessel.
By roadFollow the directions to Gdańsk or Gdynia and either enter the TriCity ringroad and take the exit marked Sopot. You can also drive through Gdańsk or Gdynia to Sopot as their street systems are well interconnected. The main thoroughfare is called Aleja Niepodległości in Sopot, Aleja Zwycięstwa in Gdynia and Aleja Grunwaldzka in Gdańsk, all three being parts of a continuous road no. 468.
Sopot has no public transportation of its own, but it is served by some bus lines extending from Gdańsk and trolleybuses from Gdynia. There are three SKM stations in Sopot: Sopot Główny, Sopot Kamienny Potok near the northern border with Gdynia, and Sopot Wyścigi in the South of the city, close to Gdańsk and next to the Sopot Hippodrome.
Sopot is very compact and walkable. Being not much over 4 kilometres across, it can be traversed within an hour, and most points of interest are closer apart than that. The distance from the railway station to the pier and beach should be a leisurely 20 minutes walk.
MoloA beautiful wooden pier, that boasts to be the longest in Europe
Heroes of Monte Cassino streetWalkway always full of tourists and artists
Krzywy DomAn unusually constructed building in the Bohaterów Monte Cassino Street
Opera LeśnaAn open-air venue in the nearby forest for various musical events
LighthouseAn old and defunct lighthouse from where you have a view from the top on the Sopot pier and the marina
North ParkA park for longer walks and areas for biking and rollerskating - also refreshments to go are available
Trójmiejski Park KrajobrazowyA forest landscape park surrounding Tricity good for recreation on the open-air
- bike in the nearby Tricity Landscape Park
- swim and relax in Aquapark
- have a meal in many fashionable restaurants and caffees in the Monte Cassino Street
- play minigolf next to the beach
- party in many clubs, bars and discos
- leisure and sports
- windsurfing club
- catamaran school
- ski slope
- bicycle paths
- Handmade jewellery - You can buy in small street shops and street markets handmade bracelets, necklaces, rings and earings made of amber and other minerals.
- Sopot Street Market - open on Tuesday and Friday every week, close to Sopot Wyścigi Railway Station. You can buy there fresh fruit and vegetables, antiques, old jewellery, and fashionable clothes and gadgets.
Meta Restaurantphone: +48 58 5512360address: ul. Wybickiego 48-50Italian cuisine, reasonably cheap, cosy and quiet
- Bar Przystań - a fish bar situated by the sea, 1km east from the pier. The best fried fish in town.
phone: +48 58 551 45 81address: ul. Bohaterów Monte CassinoChic, modern lounge/bar. Some of the better food in town, nice atmosphere, great drinks.
Bar Kinski (ul. Tadeusza Kościuszki 10) is only a short stroll away. You should not be put off by the unimpressive entrance up a pitch-black flight of stairs to the first-floor. Housed in the building where the explosive actor Klaus Kinski was born, it is dark and atmospheric with cubby-holes to enjoy a drink in with friends. There are also various souvenirs and photos from Kinski's acting career. The bar also has small sun terraces where you can watch the action on the street below.
phone: +48 500 77 55 57address: ul. 3 Maja 345 minutes walk to centre and train station, nice area, close to the beach.
Family Friendly Home Villa Lipowaphone: +48 791 640 745address: ul. Lipowa 93 min. walk to centre and train station, typical Sopot apartment house with a pinnacle built 1904, 5 min. to the beach and pier.
- Hotel Opera Spa
- Hotel Miramar'
- Best Western Vila Aquila Hotel
phone: +48 58 5206000address: ul. Powstańców Warszawy 12/14Beautiful garden, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and views of the sea. It is near the pedestrian boulevard and molo, but the crowds thin out around the hotel.
- Sheraton Sopot Conference and Spa
- Hotel Rezydent Sopot
- Bayjonn Hotel
- Hotel Haffner
- Hotel Zhong Hua
- Gdańsk Bay is berth to the Pomeranian metropolis of Gdańsk, with a beautiful old town and the biggest Gothic brick church worldwide. Nearby are the sea resort and port of Gdynia with the biggest Baltic port, and a smaller sea resort called Puck.
- Vistula Bay is home to the sea resort and medieval town of Frombork with the grave of Nicolaus Copernicus, the medieval town of Elbląg, and the sea resort Kadyny with one of the best European studs.
- Kashubian Coast with the biggest dunes in Europe in the Słowiński National Park and the sea resorts of Rowy, Łeba, Jastrzębia Góra, Rozewie and Władysławowo.
- Hel Peninsula has several sea resorts: Chałupy, Jastarnia, Jurata and Hel.
- Krynica Morska - a sea resort on the Vistula Peninsula.