Hel is a city at the end of Hel peninsula in Poland. It is surrounded by the sea and is a water sport center. The settlement was first mentioned in the early Middle Ages and its inhabitants lived on piracy. In 1266 Hel received its town charter which was affirmed in 1378. From 1454 until the Second Polish Partition in 1793, Hel was a private property of the city of Gdansk. After World War I, Hel was the biggest Polish fishing harbour. It defended itself for one month against the German invaders at the beginning of World War II.
- From Gdańsk by bus, train or ferry. There is an international airport and harbour in Gdańsk.
The only way to get there on land is along the peninsula. The city is pretty small so you can get on foot everywhere. The main road is the Ulica Wiejska with a lot of cafes, bars and souvenir shops. Its fine buildings are from the 19th and early 20th century. The south boulevard leads from the old military harbour to the new harbour, where tourist ships leave for a trip on the sea.
- 1 Museum of Fishery (Muzeum Rybołówstwa), Bulwar Nadmorski 2. 10:00-18:00. In a 15th century Gothic St. Peter and Paul Church. From the top of the church tower you have a wonderful view other the city, the beaches and the sea. 10/6 zł.
- 2 Museum of Coastal Defense (Muzeum Obrony Wybrzeża), ul. Helska 16. Very interesting blockhouses, exhibits and a narrow gauge railway. 12/7 zł.
- 3 Seal Sanctuary (Fokarium), ul. Morska 2, ☎ . Part of the Gdańsk University. There are performances for tourists but the goal of the basin is to grow the seals and to set them free. The seals are fed at 11:00 and 14:00. During the summer at 16:30 too. 5 zł.
- 4 Lighthouse (Latarnia Morska), Bałtycka. May-September, daily: 10:00—19:00. 41,5m tall lighthouse open for visitors from May till September
- In the pine forest northwest of the city there are several World War II trenches and bunkers. You can climb right into the bunkers, but look out for the barbed wire strung along the ground in some places.
- The white sandy Big Beach is situated in the north of the city near the pine forest. A big (41,5 metres) lighthouse of brick stone can be climbed. It was a place of severe fighting between the German invaders and Hel defenders in September 1939. There is a beautiful view from the top.
- Bike hire (ulica Kaszubska 6 and ulica Lesna 10c).
- Hel Summer Festival (July).
Souvenir shops are along the ulica Wiejska. Amber is a typical souvenir from Hel.
- Fish restaurants and pubs along the ulica Wiejska (all with fried fish and beer):
- Kutter, Ul. Wiejska 90.
- Checz Restaurant, Ul. Wiejska 107.
- Fiszeria Restaurant, Ul. Wiejska 100.
- Maszoperia Restaurant, Ul. Wiejska 110.
- Pub Armada, Ul. Wiejska 83.
- Pub Captain Morgan, Ul. Wiejska 19.
- [dead link] Pub Stella Maris, Ul. Wiejska 89.
- Lots of rooms and flats for hire.
- Horyzont Villa, Ul. Adm. Steyera 14C. You can take your pets with you.
There are a lot of other sea resorts along the Hel 34 km long and 300 to 3000 m wide peninsula, from east to west Jurata, Jastarnia, Kuźnica, Chałupy, Władysławowo, Chłapowo, Rozewie and Jastrzębia Góra. You can get to Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia by ferry.