Gdansk is the Polish maritime capital with the population nearing half a million. It is a large centre of economic life, science, culture, and a popular tourist destination. Lying on the Bay of Gdansk and the southern cost of the Baltic Sea the city is a thousand years old. With its Hanseatic tradition, it has for ages played a major role in the commercial relationships between Northern and Western Europe on the one hand, and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe on the other hand. Today, Gdansk is the capital of the Pomeranian province and an important administration centre. Always hospitable, Gdansk invites visitors to its charming lanes and historic interiors, bathing grounds on the sea and sailing courses, comfortable hotels, elegant restaurants, and cosy cafes. The city has several theatres, a philharmonic hall, opera house, outdoor summer musical stage, three multi-cinema complexes and several smaller cinemas, frequented youth clubs, pubs, and discos. Its numerous museums, concerts, fairs, exhibitions, and street theatrical events complete the broad spectrum of the city's cultural offer. Everyone will find something of his/her liking, irrespective of the interests or mood.