Gdańsk is a city where a concrete jungle and broadly understood crème de la crème of business blend with culture, mutually enriching each other. One of the recent trends in this aesthetics is arranging post‑industrial public spaces in such a way to preserve their ‘rusty’ character and highlight their potential at the same time. It’s no coincidence that most of them concentrate around the historical Gdańsk Shipyard, which is often regarded by the young as a cradle of the new city with a brand new character.
Elektryków Street, located within the Shipyard, has initiated this movement in the city to some extent. It covers two hundred metres of all-night parties in the surroundings of bricks, pipes and concrete, illuminated with yellow lights, which create a dark, damp and intriguing atmosphere around the place. Especially with all those post‑industrial buildings guarding the street from each side. What’s more, just like in American Block Party, those who gather on Elektryków Street form a kind of community, sharing the banner of culture and freedom.
There’s a lot going on here from Friday to Sunday. The attractions include outdoor morning breakfasts, food trucks serving diverse dishes, and evening concerts of Polish and foreign artists, performances, street theatre, and a mini skatepark.
Another must‑see is 100‑cznia* located nearby. It can be said that the idea for the project has its origins in recycling. The building is made of welded metal containers, which house bars, various art galleries and food spots. The organisers bet on diversity – apart from the concerts and dance parties, there are also film screenings on the containers, tattoo studios and even spots for designer shopping. Like Elektryków Street, 100‑cznia is bustling with life mostly at the weekends, both in the morning and in the evening.
An alternative to these spots is Garnizon, open all year round, located near the Galeria Bałtycka shopping centre. This historical building used to house barracks and now it has become a vibrant town within the city.
The space has been restored and gained a new, charming look thanks to the combination of modern designer elements and the historical context of the place. Garnizon meets all conscious and unconscious needs of its potential customers. The spots you can’t pass up include, among others, Sztuka Wyboru, a café and bookshop popular with the locals, Stary Maneż, a music club holding concerts of top artists of Polish alternative music, and Noce i Dnie – for those who are after clubbing. After a nourishing meal in one of numerous restaurants, you can burn calories on a climbing wall located nearby or in a dance studio. What’s more, there are a slew of hair salons and beauty parlours in Garnizon, in case you get a sudden craving for manicure. There are also a lot of alternative entertainment options, for example, an escape room in Enigmat Escape and Fantomatyka – a pub where you may try out Virtual Reality technology, as well as play console and board games.
*- The name of the place is a word play. The word ‘Stocznia’ [the Shipyard] is written as ‘100’ [read in Polish as ‘sto’] and the ending ‘-cznia’.