A weekend trip to Gdańsk to visit the Christmas Market was a Christmas gift to ourselves. The beautifully decorated Long Lane (Ulice Długi) was Gdańsk’s gift to us.
Arriving in Gdańsk on a foggy Friday night, we checked in to our hotel and then headed out to the Christmas Market. The most direct route to the Market was through the Green Gate (Brama Zielona). We entered this four-story, four-arched, 6-meter-plus-thick gate from the more-modern River Motława side and exited into the reconstructed Long Market (Długi Targ) and Long Lane (Ulice Długi).
Gdańsk’s Long Market, a stunning Christmas jewel
We’ve been to Gdańsk once before (I’ll share that story another time) so we expected the Neptune Fountain, the main town hall and the open plaza. What we didn’t expect were the Christmas decorations. The Long Market, impressive and beautiful naturally, was a gleaming Christmas jewel. Every lamppost on the street was dressed with greenery and lights. Next to the Neptune Fountain, that symbol of Gdańsk, was a 3-story tall, densely decorated and beautifully illuminated tree. On the other side of the Neptune Fountain, the main town hall was completely lit and towered over the Christmas tree.
After soaking in the Christmas tree we meandered down the Long Lane, enjoying the decorations, and finally made it to the Christmas Market (photo in gallery above). By the time we arrived, it was closed for the night. We didn’t care; we were still talking about that tree and the gorgeous Long Market.
Gdańsk’s Christmas Market in the light of day
The next morning we went back to the Christmas Market. In the light of day the decorations along the Long Lane had lost their luster, so we made good time. Moseying through the stalls of food, gifts, wine, clothes and tourist tchotchkes we guesstimated that this market had about the same number of vendors as Riga’s Christmas Market but was occupying a larger space, so it seemed larger.
Lunch at the whirligig
Having seen the whirligig illuminated the night before, we decided to have lunch there. Rosemary had żurek, a soup made of soured rye flour and meat (usually pork), served in a bread bowl. I had a long slice of bread topped with fried onions, sausage and sauerkraut. We washed down our lunch with mulled wine.
After lunch, we strolled through the rest of the Old Town.
That evening, after dinner with friends and walking the dog, we went back to Neptune Fountain and the Long Market to revel in the lights one more time before heading home the next morning.