Another day, another afternoon spent climbing church towers in search of the best views. This time we’re in Gdansk at St. Mary’s Church aka the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 405 step climb is not for the faint of heart (or for those scared of heights), but view is worth it. Honestly though, is it ever not? Keep reading for more information about the church, tips for visiting, plus photos and more.
VISITING ST. MARY’S CHURCH IN GDANSK
These days I haven’t been doing much planning when it comes to trips. I kind of like the freedom that comes with showing up, having nothing to do, and going where the wind takes us. One afternoon while we were exploring the pretty streets of Gdansk, we stumbled upon a large church in the middle of Old Town. Churches notoriously have the best views and St. Mary’s Church was the tallest building around, so we popped in to take a look.
Sure enough, there’s a viewing platform at the top of the tower.
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It costs 10 PLN ($2.71 USD) to embark on the steep climb. The first part is the hardest – a narrow spiral staircase that you’re certain will never end, but then after about 150 steps it opens up into the attic of the church, and a less challenging staircase.
CLAUSTROPHOBICS AND ACROPHOBICS
If you’re claustrophobic or acrophobic, you might want to rethink the climb. The spiral staircase is tight and it only goes one way so there’s no turning around once you start. If you’re afraid of heights, the second half of the staircase might trigger you as there is a very steep drop down the tower.
THE VIEWING DECK
When you finally reach the observation deck, you’ll be standing at the top of the “Crown Jewel of Gdansk,” and the 360 degree view is incredible. While St. Mary’s Church offers the best birds eye of Gdansk’s Old Town, it’s unfortunately not the most conducive for photos. There is a tall railing (chest high) that wraps around the small viewing platform, so I had to shoot above my head for some of these shots. Nevertheless, I still felt it was worth the small fee (and a solid workout) to get a different perspective of the city.
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ST. MARY’S CHURCH
A ticket to the viewing platform includes admission into the church.
St. Mary’s Church is the largest brick church in the world and inside, you’ll find an astronomical clock, 300 tombstones, 31 chapels and the largest stain glassed window in Poland.
ST. MARY’S CHURCH VISITOR INFORMATION
Adults PLN 10 ($2.70USD)
Discount ticket (children and students) PLN 5 ($1.35USD)
*A ticket for the viewing platform includes admission to the church.
April 9:00am – 7pm
May 9:00am – 8pm
June – August 9:00am – 9pm
September – November 9:00am – 6pm
December – March 10:00am – 4pm
*The last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
ul Podkramarska 5
For more information visit the churches official website here (needs to be translated).