Each city has its own DNA made of unique places and creative people – artists, restaurateurs, artisans. Together with USTA Magazine, we trace genetic codes of each PURO city (Wroclaw, Tricity, Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow, Lodz) as part of the “OKO na…” / “An EYE for…” series that blends art fair, workshops, and artistic interventions in the spaces of PURO hotels. Recently, we had the pleasure to hold one of such events in PURO GDAŃSK and used the opportunity to showcase the potential of TRICITY. We asked Monika Brzywczy, the editor-in-chief at USTA, for her recommendations on where to look for seaside gems and spots with mouthwatering food.
What is the potential of Gdansk, of Tricity? What do we know and what is yet to be discovered?
I find it difficult not to resort to the sea and say that the closeness to water gives a special freshness to Tricity. The continuous flow of fresh ideas is possible thanks to the presence of the Baltic Sea and the resulting relationships with producers, businesses, and tourists from all over the world who enter the harbor in Gdynia or Gdansk every day. For example, huge companies are more and more willing to open their branches in the new part of the Oliwa district and so are smaller businesses and creative concepts. Importantly, some nationally and internationally successful brands have been founded in Tricity, with Atomy and Seaside Tones being only two of the many. The pace of life in Tricity is by no means as fast as it is in Warsaw, but the multicultural atmosphere of the region makes it uniquely colorful and open to difference.
Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia – smells, flavors, connotations.
If only we could break up with a prevalent assumption that Gdansk stands for historic buildings, Sopot for parties, and Gdynia for ships, we would be able to look at the three cities from a totally different perspective. Why not do it? Gdansk, for example, has a landscape park in its center that spreads over morainic hills and provides the one-and-only chance to enjoy the forest in the middle of the metropolis. If you want to discover the artistic side of Sopot, do so in Spatif and Sfinks – legendary bars popular among local bohemians – or follow the steps of two men from Roman Polanski’s legendary short film Two Men and a Wardrobe. Last but not least, Gdynia boasts fine examples of modernist architecture surrounded by spots with delicious food and exquisite coffee.
Where to go in Tricity? Cafes, shops, and sense-nurturing spots you can’t afford to miss.
Apart from the already-mentioned places, there are some other spots in Tricity you simply can’t overlook. One of them is Wrzeszcz where a beautifully renovated Wajdeloty street boasts such gems as Kurhaus – serving delicious coffee and craft beer – or House of Seitan where you can eat some traditional meals, for example potato pancakes with goulash or a chop with braised cabbage… in their vegan versions. If you have a sweet tooth, go to Umam and try a dessert that resembles a piece of art or, if you want something savory, go to a tiny bistro Nie/mięsny located in Gdynia’s Dolne Miasto and revel in flavors straight from Tel Aviv. There are two places frequently referred to as iconic – Café Cyganeria in Gdynia, open since 1946, and a slightly younger – yet with equally artistic roots – Sopot-based Dwie Zmiany. When arriving at Gdynia Main Station, don’t forget to look up and enjoy the cosmic paintings adorning the canopy as well as wall mosaics. Good third-wave coffee is served in Drukarnia and Leń in Gdańsk and Tłok in Gdynia. In the evening, treat yourself to something stronger in Flisak ’76 – a bar with a rich history located next to a stunning tenement house where a dormitory is currently located. Before you leave Tricity empty-handed, look for well-designed items and designer souvenirs in Sztuka Wyboru – a complex of buildings on the premises of the former garrison where contemporary architecture harmoniously blends with marvels from the turn of the 20thcentury.
Hotel rooms full of surprises…
Held recently at PURO Gdansk, “An EYE for TRICITY” offered plenty of attractions not only in the lobby, but also in hotel rooms where artistic installations were showcased for guests to enjoy. The first room offered a chance to get “Lost in Translation” …and find a reconstructed shot with Bill Murray inspired by the movie. The second room featured Marina Abramovic’s “Artist is present” performed by Katarzyna Szugajew, offering guests a chance to maintain an eye contact with the artist while in the hotel bed. The magic of Christmas was tangible in Christmas Wonderland – a room offering a true "x'mas experience"! Guests had a photographer at their disposal and could later print photographs at the reception desk. Those overwhelmed with excitement were invited to the fourth room where they could relax and feel like the princess (and the prince!) and the pea.
What does PURO have that other hotels don’t?
Phenomenal design is what distinguishes PURO from other hotels. It’s really nowhere else to be seen. PURO lobbies, restaurants, and rooms are decorated with original and meticulously-selected furniture. We like PURO for its comfortable beds, young and quick-witted staff, bars serving excellent cocktails, and restaurants with original cuisines. We love the idea of a hotel lobby with a table as its heart – full of inspiring and thought-provoking magazines and albums – inviting both work and relaxation. What we appreciate the most, however, are carefully-compiled collections of art that reflect the character of each PURO location.
In your opinion – what is the best way to discover the city?
Every occasion and every moment give us a perfect opportunity for discovery. And it doesn’t really matter if you live in a given place or only happen to visit it for a day or two. All you need is an open mind and time, be it an hour, to become a flaneur, embrace spontaneity, and embark on a seemingly aimless journey of discovery.
Planning to discover Tricity, wishing for advice? Take a look at PURO Mag features and USTA guides to make sure you don’t miss out on anything!
Head photo: Seaside Tones