THE POWER OF CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS
Sopot is a unique city that is often referred to as a city of artists or culture. This is a city of inspiration and home to many artists.
Sopot is very interesting for both locals and visitors alike. There is a strong calendar of cyclical events such as the MUNDUS CANTAT International Choir Festival; the Festival of Polish Radio Theatre and the TWO THEATRES Polish Television Theatre Festival; the Sopot Film Festival; the SOPOT CLASSIC International Music Festival; the LITERARY SOPOT Festival; the Festival of Documentary Theatre and Artistic Residency Sopot – Fiction as well as the Sopot Jazz Festival. The diversity and intensity of the Sopot’s cultural offer makes it comparable to any other city in the country.
Aside from the cultural offer in Sopot there are also the Forest Opera; the State Art Gallery; Sopot Museum and SOPOTEKA, the city’s modern media library. Sopot has 3 theatre stages – the Theatre on the Beach, the Wybrzeże Theatre Stage and the BOTO Theatre. There is also a 19-piece string orchestra in the city – the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Sopot. Based in the historic Sierakowski Manor House, the Society of Friends of Sopot also complements the city’s calendar of events.
Sopot is constantly expanding its cultural offer and its achievements in the promotion of culture and art have been recognised with numerous awards and top rankings. Proportionately, Sopot has one of the highest cultural and art offerings for its residents in the country and the team of the Res Publica Foundation has recognised Sopot as a city in which creators of culture have the best conditions for development.
The cultural offer of Sopot is constantly developing so the city can continue to be called one of the most cultured cities in Poland.
Theatre on the Beach
The Theatre on the Beach (Teatr na Plaży) is a theatre stage combining the formula of a commercial theatre with that of a municipal theatre, which you will find located on the edge of the beach, in the Northern Park in Sopot. The theatre in its new form was created in 2013. During the summer months the Agnieszka Osiecka Atelier Theatre stages performances here.
The theatre itself is a stage with an auditorium for 90 seats, while the foyer houses the Atelier Club and a rehearsal room where art classes and workshops take place.
In the theatre apart from commercial performances, the company also stages its own cultural projects and stages performances, which are later included in the permanent repertoire. Despite the fact that the Theatre on the Beach does not have its own company of actors, the performances are staged with the participation of invited guests or in co-production with other theatres or NGOs.
Museum of Sopot
The Museum of Sopot is located in the historic Villa Claaszena which dates to 1904. On the ground floor you will find rooms decorated with old art and furniture which have been recreated using archival photographs from the early twentieth century, to show the villa as it looked when it was a family home. Currently, the villa is open to the public as a permanent display of historic burgher interiors.
The upper floor of the villa has various exhibition halls. The museum presents temporary exhibitions devoted to various aspects of the history of Sopot every year.
- Villa Claaszena – reconstruction from 1904-1924
- The exhibition “Silence before the storm. Summer 1939 in Sopot”
Fishing Harbour and Museum of Fishing
Address: Plaża przy ujściu Potoku Karlikowskiego
Apart from the stalls with their fresh and smoked fish, you’ll also find a small museum of fishing down at the charming Fishing Harbour. The brightly painted fishing boats standing on the beach are one of the most photographed scenes in Sopot. It is also worth visiting the nearby Fishermen’s Square (Plac Rybaki). It was here that a small fishing community was moved from close to the pier in 1914, due to the growing number of visitors the increasingly popular resort was attracting.
Address: ul. Haffnera 63
The fort is a remnant of a fortified settlement which existed from the 8th to the 10th centuries and is Sopot’s oldest artefact. Bordered by the Grodowy and Kamienny streams, the fort is located on a wooded hill, on top of which there is a courtyard with dimensions of 45 x 49.5 m, surrounded by ramparts. Since 1998, a small open-air Skansen has operated here under the supervision of the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk. Festivities and educational meetings are organized here, promoting the history and cultural artefacts of the early Medieval Pomeranians. In 2011, at the foot of the fortified hill, an exhibition and educational pavilion was opened. The museum is suitable for children of all ages and there are regular attractions such as archery, weapon and Celtic dancing displays.
State Art Gallery
The State Art Gallery presents various artistic phenomena with around 25 exhibitions of contemporary and classical art each year in galleries covering a combined total space of over 1,200m2. The gallery cooperates with galleries and museums throughout Poland and the world and aims to demonstrate the most important phenomena of Polish and foreign art in order to reach the widest possible audience. Its success has been recognised with a top three ranking for contemporary art galleries in Poland from the Polityka magazine.
Previous exhibitions have included paintings by Jacek Malczewski from the collection of the Lviv National Gallery; works by Georges Braque and the work of Ivan Aivazovsky. Among the other artists who work can be seen at the gallery are those by Alina Szapocznikow, Artur Żmijewski, Katarzyna Kozyra, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Robert Kuśmirowski.
The State Art Gallery organises art workshops for younger visitors. They are a great option for children to spend time, while developing creativity and manual skills.
Address: ul. Moniuszki 12
A truly wonderful venue, Sopot’s covered amphitheatre, which is found in a hollow in the lush woodland surrounding the city, is widely recognised both at home and abroad as one of the most outstanding musical venues in Europe thanks in no small part to its superb acoustics. Now with seating for 5,000 people, over the years the audience of the Forest Opera have been entertained by some of the biggest names in music, including James Brown, Charles Aznavour, Whitney Houston, Annie Lennox, Sir Elton John, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams, Sting and Simply Red.
The Forest Opera is also the home of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Sopot, a string orchestra which has performed in the most important concert halls in Europe.
In addition to the exceptional concerts and cultural events it hosts, the Forest Opera also organises special events, workshops and shows for children. The Forest Opera is surrounded by forest, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
It is an ideal place to awaken the creative activity of children.
Address: Plac Dwóch Miast 1
Sopot has one of the most advanced sports and entertainment facilities in Europe - the Ergo Arena. Located on the border of Sopot and Gdansk, the modern construction can hold 11,000 with standing room for 15,000 spectators. The design of the facility allows a whole range of sport competitions to be hosted here. Volleyball, basketball, handball, martial arts and, interestingly, the ability to present hockey, motor sports or even windsurfing, make this a very special venue. In 2014, ERGO ARENA hosted the IAAF Indoor World Athletics Championships and regularly hosts the highest quality musical events and theatrical performances. The comprehensive technical facilities available also allow you to organise conferences, business meetings, fairs, banquets, galas or other less conventional events.
Sopoteka is a branch of the Sopot Library. This newly created and very modern multimedia library consists of several zones, among which you can find a computer workshop, music stands, a reading room with beach baskets and quiet workplaces and a children's corner with consoles and colourful blocks. The heart of Sopoteka is the multifunctional hall that plays host to cinema, theatre, a meeting place for authors, poetry readings, music workshops and lectures on travel and history. Sopoteka, with its natural, light wood; beach baskets and cushions; e-books, audiobooks and traditional printed books; its technology and people provides visitors with culture, education and entertainment both in an everyday sense and with special occasions with exalted visitors. A place which does not overwhelm but inspires with its modernity is the perfect way to describe Sopoteka.
Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday, between 9.00 and 20.00.
Address: Sopot Centrum, poziom +2, Tadeusza Kościuszki 14, 81-704 Sopot
Phone: +48 58 551 27 06
Sopot Jazz Festival (June)
Sopot Jazz Festival is one of the oldest jazz festivals in Poland. The guiding principle of the festival is an adherence to high quality, authenticity and the originality of the music which is performed. While preparing the event, we place special emphasis on creating an ambitious program which presents artists from around the world, both those with established popularity and those whose introduction to the Sopot festival stage provides a breath of fresh air. Our choices are designed to favourably influence the contemporary image of jazz as a dynamically developing global music and to help facilitate contacts and mutual intercultural understanding.
Since 2016, curators have been responsible for the artistic program of the festival. The curator of the 2016-2018 edition was Greg Osby - an American saxophonist, composer, producer and teacher.
In 2019, the festival will take place from 11-13.10.2019, and its curator will be Rainer Kern.
The closest date is: 2019-06
Sopot Film Festival (July)
The Sopot Film Festival has taken place annually in Sopot since 2001. At the festival the ‘Parasolnik’ statuettes are awarded in various film categories. Until 2008, the aim of the festival was to present the productions influenced by the achievements of the digital world of the 21st century - Internet cyberspace, new trends in design, fashion, usable space, global television and other inventions of our century. In 2009, the Sopot Film Festival changed its formula. After 8 editions of the international competition short and medium-length films, the organizers broadened the competition by adding full-length films.
The festival program includes numerous film screenings, exhibitions, workshops, discussion panels, meetings with artists, silent cinema and film activities in the urban space. The festival presents a cross-section of world cinema, with a focus on Polish cinematography, the latest and most outstanding international productions and masterpieces from cinema classics. Every year, the program features films shown and awarded at major film festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam, San Sebastian, Sundance, Toronto and Gdynia.
The closest date: July 2019
Sopot Festival (August)
The 2018 edition of the Sopot Festival, which took place from August 14-16 at the wonderful Forest Opera (Opera Leśna), featured over 60 performers, including 14 from abroad. Special guests were, among others Anastacia, James Arthur, Aloe Blacc and Welshly Arms and the audience heard iconic hits such as ‘Live is Life’ by Opus, ‘You’ by Ten Sharp, ‘I've Been Thinking About You’ by Londonbeat, ‘Mr. Saxobeat ‘ by Alexandra Stan and ‘Hollywood Hills’ performed by Sunrise Avenue.
The Polish music scene was represented by, among others Edyta Górniak, Kayah, Andrzej Piaseczny, Natalia Szroeder, Sars and Michał Szpak while some big anniversaries were celebrated by bands like Bajm, Lady Pank, Big Cyc and Blue Cafe.
The closest date is: 2019-08