Frederick the Great said that whoever controlled Gdansk would be ‘more master of Poland than any king reigning there’. Gdansk was largely obliterated at the end of the war by the RAF and the Red Army. A centuries-long timeline of this open city by the sea dominated for the most part by German and Flemish speakers had been cut. More old-school options include the Belle Epoque swish of Podewils and Hotel Gdansk, in an old grain store on the water. Local storyteller Jacek Gorski leads one through Lower Gdansk, a compelling neighbourhood with ramparts, waterways and former factory sites being imaginatively transformed.