Formerly Danzig, Gdańsk is situated on the Baltic coast of northern Poland in the region of Pomerania. Poland’s principal seaport, the city has had a complex political history, with periods of both Polish and German rule as well as two spells as a free city. Gdańsk was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which, under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa, played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule across central Europe. Nowadays, the Old Town has been scrubbed clean, and its cobblestoned streets are lined with picturesque burgher houses and gothic churches.
Gdańsk forms a so-called “Tri-City” with Gdynia and the Baltic beach resort town of Sopot, which has a population of about 40,000 people and is 20 minutes by train from Gdańsk. A fashionable seaside spa town during the late-19th and early-20th centuries, Sopot derives much of its character from its art nouveau townhouses and villas.