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Sopot - the Pearl of the Baltic Sea

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Sopot, with its safe and clean sandy beaches stretching along 4.5 km, is the most famous of all Baltic southern coast seaside resorts. Since World War II it has been the cultural centre of the Tri-City which attracts tourists with its Sopot International Song Festival. But Sopot has more to offer to leisure-seeking tourists: its sandy beaches, trendy bars, restaurants, clubs and discos with thriving nightlife.

Molo SopotMoreover, Sopot is a reputed spa visited by  over two million tourists and holidaymakers every year who often call it ''the Pearl of the Baltic'' and ''the Riviera of the North.'' The city's top attraction is a wooden pier (Molo) which with its 515.5-metre length is the longest wooden pier in Europe. It is a must on a tour of the Tri-City as it is here that during the summer season one can meet many a celebrity.

Moreover, the pier is the favourite summer strolling destination.It is also a mooring point for water taxis and cruise boats heading for Gdynia and Gdansk. The furthest point of the pier is the vantage point from which one can enjoy a magnificent panorama of Sopot and the Gulf of Gdansk or watch the sporting events held in the Gulf of Gdansk like: the Windsurfing Baltic Cup, the Sopot Triathlon and the World Sailing Championship. In winter at the pier entrance there is a skating rink.

The street leading to the pier and the sea-front is the principal street of Sopot – Bohaterow Monte Casino Street (dedicated to the Monte Casino Heroes), Monciak for short. It is also referred to as the most famous pedestrian precinct in Poland. From spring to autumn it changes into a promenade lined with belle epoque floral kiosks, cafes and restaurants with open-air gardens, pubs, galleries and shops open till late at night. Monciak is also an entertainment centre as two Sopot cinemas: the Baltic cinema (20 Bohaterow Monte Casino Street) and the Polonia Cinema (55/57 Bohaterow Monte Casino Street) are situated here. What is more, in summer the street turns into a venue for street musicians, theatres and artists. The Crooked House, situated at 53 Monte Casino Street, housing pubs, shops and restaurants adds to the street attractiveness.

Opera Lesna - Sopot FestivalApart from the pier and the promenade, Sopot is renowned for the Forest Opera (Opera Lesna) which is one of the most beautiful European amphitheatres with a superb sound quality. Covering the area of 4 ha, it can seat up to 4,400, whereas the orchestra pit can comfortably accommodate 110 musicians.It is here that the Sopot International Song Festival, which ranks second in European Song Festivals to Eurovision Song Contest only, is held attracting thousands of tourists every summer.

Once, Eastern block musicians used to perform here. Nowadays the world-acknowledged singers and bands come to the Sopot International Song Festival. So far the Corrs, Whitney Houston, Bryan Adams, Garou, Jose Feliciano, Annie Lenox, Vaya Con Dios, Patricia Kaas, Scorpions, Simply Red, to mention but a few, have performed here. However, from 1922 to 1942 a Richard Wagner Festival used to take place here. This was an event of international renown, which made Sopot known as the ''Bayreuth of the North.'' To continue this pre-war tradition, the Opera Festival is organised at the Forest Opera in July and August. Other festival are also held here.
 

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