Some 11km northwest of city centre, the sleepy Gdańsk suburb of Oliwa began life as a small Slavic-Pomeranian settlement that grew around a Cistercian monastery established in the latter half of the 12th century. After a long period as a religious centre and a few catastrophes along the way including substantial devastation caused by the Swedes in 1626 and again in 1656, Oliwa settled down to a peaceful and prosperous life, becoming an independent city from 1874 until 1926. Escaping major damage during WWII, Oliwa is home to around 20,000 people as well as a number of beasts living in the city’s superb zoo. It’s also the proud owner of one of Gdańsk’s best parks and most interesting sights as well as home to the wonderful organ recitals in the Cathedral. You can read more about Oliwa in our feature.

The easiest way to get to Oliwa from Gdańsk city centre is to take the Tri-City commuter train (kolejka or SKM) which runs from Gdańsk Główny station and stops at Gdańsk Oliwa (the 6th stop). Alternatively you can take trams 2, 6 or 12 from outside the main train station. Oliwa can be reached by car in about 20 minutes from central Gdańsk.

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