Sopot enjoys a fantastic location sandwiched between the TriCity Landscape Park and the Bay of Gdansk.The town has a reputation for it’s Bohemian atmosphere, attracting many painters, poets, musicians and actors. It is also a popular holiday destination for many Poles and is known as the party capital of Poland !
Sopot’s arty social scene dates back to before the War when the town was a playground for Prussian nobility and aristocrats. It quickly became known as a spa resort. Since that time the casino, racing track and countless bars and discos continue to draw visitors from all age groups.
The main thoroughfare is Monte Cassino Street. This pedestrianised street is filled with restaurants, shops, trendy bars and discos and leads right down to the sea front. One of the main attractions here is the Krzywy Dom or Crooked House. Looking like one of Dali’s dripping clocks this building looks like it’s melting in the midday sun. Inside you may be surprised to find there are many elegant but affordable shops, restaurants and bars.
Monte Cassino Street leads right onto Sopot’s most famous sight-it’s wooden pier or molo. Said to be the longest wooden pier in Europe it seems to be just as popular today as it was 50 years ago. Compared to piers at English seaside resorts the Sopot Molo is virtually commercial free making it extremely popular for people who love to take part in the Continental social phenomenon known as the Promenade.
In most parks and pedestrianised boulevards you will see hundreds of Poles simply strolling along enjoying the view and stopping every so often to chat to people they may know. It seems to be an ageless tradition as old couples, smooching teenagers and families all take part.
The Sopot Molo is ideal for the Promenade and offers stunning views of the Sopot coastline. The beach fronted Grand Hotel can clearly be seen from the pier as well as the cliff at Orlowo.
The hotel, which was built in the 1920’s, has now been refurbished and it’s original art nouveau style has attracted such illustrious guests as Charles De Gaulle, Giscard D’Estaing, Fidel Castro, the Shah of Iran and one unwelcome guest……..Adolf Hitler.
The Old Lighthouse on Pl. Zdrojowy offers some of the best views in the area. Access is from near the pier.
The Opera Lesna is unique to Sopot. The Opera Lesna is an ampitheatre built inside a picturesque forest with great acoustics due to it being located in a natural valley. This venue has been wowing audiences since the early 1900’s and this modernised venue can now comfortably seat 5000 people. The Opera Lesna is also the home of the annually held Sopot music festival which showcases the best of Polish musical talent as well as some major international stars. In it’s history the stage has welcomed the likes of Shirley Bassey, Johnny Cash, Annie Lennox, Chris Rea, Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston and many more.