The bulk of Gdansk’s lively performing arts scene is made evident in the numerous festivals that flood its calendar , the bulk of which fall in the summer.

What better place to start a list of these events than with the Gdansk Musical Summer , which takes place from June to August.  Held in a stunning amphitheater just off the Motlawa River, the Organization of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Hall ensures its concerts are top-notch by inviting the leading performers and conductors in modern classical music to participate in the festival.

Another summertime music favorite is the International Festival of Organ Music.  Hosted inside the Oliwa Cathedral, the church’s organ has been knocking out Baroque favorites along with lesser-known compositions for nearly fifty years.  Seated beside one of the best organs in Europe—coupled with enchanting décor and good acoustics—the organ player, who may be fingering two separate instruments simultaneously, is backed by trumpets and angel bells as part of an overall attempt to bring about a most divine musical experience.   

Every Friday in July and August, St. Mary’s also puts on spectacular organ performances that are definitely worth checking out.

Theatrically, the Sense of Humor Festival
, which also takes place in the summer—about a week in late June/early July—stages some of the best comedic entertainment you are likely to find in Eastern Europe.  There are numerous cabarets, satirists, artists, and other performers swarming Gdansk at this time, as this event is one of the most popular in the city.

The FETA International Festival of Open Air and Street Theater
is a July assemblage of jugglers, clowns, mimes, stilt walkers, and circus dancers, and a wide array of cultural performers, and the ten-year-old Shakespearean Festival, held in various venues across Gdansk, features the bard’s masterpieces as acted out by some of the best actors in Poland.

For a full list of theatrical venues in Gdansk, click here .