Toruń was one of the luckiest cities in Poland. Unlike many other Polish towns, it was not destroyed during the WWII. It has preserved almost intact its medevial spatial layout and numerous Gothic buildings. It’s on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and a list of Seven Wonders of Poland. Visiting it feels like going back in time.
It is also the birthplace of a great Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (in Polish – Kopernik), who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe. The publication of his book “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres” is considered a major event in the history of science. You will find many “Kopernik” signs all over the town. One of the two gingerbread factories is called “Kopernik”. You will find their shop next to Dwór Artusa.
There are many colourful and well preserved stylish burgher houses in Toruń.
The town is also known for its large student community. It is said that every fifth inhabitant of Toruń is a student. You can feel the young vibes in town – lively bars (with cheap alcohol) and lots of cafes make the city attractive to tourists of all ages.
Fun fact: there is a large Japanese community living in Toruń thanks to companies such as Sharp which are located in the city. I have heard that the Japanese love european beautiful architecture, so no wonder why they eagerly chose Toruń as a place to live.
If this doesn’t convince you yet to pack you bags and spend a weekend in Toruń, here is a list of awesome things you can do over there:
1/ Stroll down the cobbled streets, take pictures of beautiful old town houses and soak in the classy atmosphere. This is how people used to live in the past, perhaps even before the World War 2. Just imagine that!
2/ Look carefully and you find old signs in German on the walls. They date back to the 18th or 19th century, when Toruń belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia, during the Partitions of Poland.
3/ Enjoy a tea break and go back in time at Dwór Artusa cafe.
3/ Walk along the Vistula river bank, soak in the sun and admire the views.
4/ Make your own gingerbread according to the traditional recipe at gingerbread museum Żywe Muzeum Piernika. Toruń is renowned for its delicious pierniki (gingerbreads), which have been produced there since the Middle Ages. The recipe was kept secret for years.
5/ Climb up one of many observation towers and enjoy panoramic views of town and river. We climbed up the tower of Church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist (also known as Toruń Cathedral), but you can also climb up the Town Hall or Water Tower (Wieża Ciśnień).
6/ To end your day, try gingerbread beer (no pic here, it was so good I forgot!)
Have you been to Toruń? If yes, what would you add to the list?