Every sea country has place, called “summer capital”, in Lithuania it is Palanga, Latvia – Jurmala, Estonia – Parnu, Poland actually gives advantage to Sopot.
Sopot has one of advantages to other seaside places – it is sheltered by forested area and Hel peninsula, so it makes water warmer than in other places in Baltics. What is more, it is easily connected with not so far places as historical port of Gdansk, full of sightseeing things, former Teutonic Order capital Malbork or Gdynia. This region is quite enjoyable destination in Poland.
Favorite thing: Just before you reach the pier, you'll find yourself in Plac Zdrojowy, a nice green square with benches, ice-cream stands, cafes and restaurants. It's another place to hang around, if you're bored with the sea view. You see people of all ages there: teenagers, young people, families with little children, older people who come to Sopot's health spas... We sat there for a little while and I got a kick out of a funny water sprinkler in the shape of a flower as it "danced" to the pressure of the water. The square is surrounded by an arcaded wall and there's a lot to explore under the arcade. There was a temporary internet cafe by wp.pl, one of the most popular Polish websites and free e-mail providers. Click for the other photos here.
Favorite thing: Being an old seaside resort, Sopot has lots of nice houses and old villas. Peek into the side streets as you walk along the Monciak, and look up for some architectural details. You'll see some cute additions like the one in the picture. We call them "fillings", just like in a tooth. Sopot has quite a few of these. On my last short visit I didn't have the time to go to the area of Sopot farther away from the beach. That's where the nice old villas are, good idea to stroll that way.
Favorite thing: The Monciak pedestrian area is popular among artists who display their works there: drawings, waterpaints, oils, ceramics, etc. You can also have your portrait sketched right on the spot - gee, I've seen these artists in many places, also outside Poland. Street musicians also hope for some income in the Monciak. This teenage girl in the other picture was second youngest street performer I've ever seen - only a 9-year-old violinist in Krakow beats her!
Favorite thing: The pier is Sopot's most popular place for outdoor events, pop music concerts, marketing promotions, etc. With the crowds of people there, they are bound to get some interest. I saw a cha-cha class in a big tent sponsored by one of the coffee companies. The whole area was filled with cha-cha tunes which put everybody in good mood. You could enter the tent and participate in the class provided you bought two sachets of flavoured instant coffee... Yuk, I abstained and watched from a distance. There's noting like real coffee :-)
Favorite thing: Sopot is not a place to hurry arround in, especially when you get to the pier. Lots of people sit down on the benches in the pier or go our to the pier's narrow arm for more privacy. Just sitting there and breathing in the sea air feels good. Or you can go to the tip of the pier's arm to watch seagulls or the people on the crazy banana ride... Whatever you do there feels good! And there's enough trains back to Gdansk so no worry :-)
Many people about in Sopot to enjoy the sunshine and streetlife.
Shops were open, I even bought a CD with a Polish pop singer.
We felt like snacking and bought this wonderful dried thin sausage to nibble on while we walked around.