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Toruń

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Kuyavia-Pomerania : Toruń
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Toruń [1] (Kashubian: Torń, German: Thorn) is a beautiful, medieval city in North-Western Poland, situated on the Vistula River. Its architecture has managed to escape bombing, and as such represents one of the only examples of true gothic architecture in Poland. Still reasonably off the radars of most European travellers, one can expect to have an amazing Polish experience here without the nightmares of a million and one interail travellers.

One of the capitals of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodship (since 1999), previously the capital of the Toruń Voivodship (1975-1998) and the Pomeranian Voivodship (1921-1939), the city is located near the Geographic Center of Europe.

Toruń's medieval Old Town or Starowka is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Toruń is a birthplace of world famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. The house where Copernicus was born and the chapel where he was christened are still standing in the city. From Middle Ages town is known for its gingerbreads.

Statue of violinist in old town

In all, as of the last census (2004), it has 208,386 inhabitants.

Get in

By plane

There is an international airport in the nearby town of Bydgoszcz. Ryan Air [2] operates a daily service from the UK at budget rates.

More flights go from Warsaw: Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport [3]: For those travelling from Warsaw serviced by Polski Express. See also routes/timetables [4].

By train

The Polish State Railways [5] has train connections from Warsaw and Gdansk as well as Poznan, Łódź, Katowice and Olsztyn.

Torun's main railway station, Torun Glowny is situated on the other side of the river Vistula, meaning you will need to cross the bridge to get to the town. On foot this will take you about 35 minutes. You can also get into town via:

  • Taxi - There will be a plethora waiting outside the train station
  • Bus - Buses number 22 and 27 run directly to the old town. These depart from both sides of the railway station, however the kiosk for actually buying tickets is on the south side of the station. Take the bus two stops to Plac Rapackiego (You'll also notice the old town as you cross the bridge - it's the stop that immediately follows the bridge). You may need an additional ticket if carrying a large bag.

By car

You can easily get there by car from Warsaw, Gdansk (A1) and Poznan.

By bus

Many international connections (see Poland::By bus).

Get around

Torun's old town is quite small, and has no mass transit within it's walls. Consequently, walkin garound the old town is your best (and only) option. Outside the old town, there are plentiful buses and trams, while taxis are quite cheap.

To get further afield car hire can be found for around 100zl a day.

See

Town Hall in Toruń
  • In 1473 the world famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Toruń. There is a museum dedicated to him and his work in the Old Town, ul. Kopernika 15-17.
  • Toruń's medieval Old Town or Starowka is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, known as gothic pearl.
  • Town Hall - located on Old town square (Rynek Staromiejski), one of the most beautiful gothic town halls in Europe. The tower of the building is opened for tourists.
  • Torun Cathedral - Gothic church where astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was christened.
  • Leaning tower - part of old Toruń defence wall system.
  • Medieval granaries. There are lots of beautiful examples of granary architecture.
  • Excellent panorama from left bank of the river Vistula.
  • Toruń is famous for it's gingerbread. You can have a go at making your own in the traditional fashion at the gingerbread museum, Rabianska street.
  • Piwnice Radio Observatory [6], a radio observatory with two dishes (diameters: 32 metres and 15 metres) at Piwnice

Do

  • See everything in the Starowka or Old town, including the Krzywa Wieża, Ratusz, both Old and New Town Squares, Dwor Artusa, just to mention a few.
  • Town Hall. Visit town hall, Ratusz in Polish. Today museum locates there. Despite its many treasures it is however not too rewarding for foreign visitors as it is almost entirely explained in Polish. Translations are very sparse or non-existent. The Museum consists of Gallery of Gothic art, Exhibition of old Toruń 1233-1793, Exhibition of Toruń coins, Court hall, Hall of Polish kings etc. Town Hall tower is opened for tourists. Beautiful view opens to the old town and surroundings from the tower.
  • Events, entertainment, culture in Torun - updated daily (also in English): [7]

Buy

There are many shops, boutiques in old town. You can buy there everything - clothes, souvenirs, jewellery, music, food, drinks, vegetables and fruits (on New Town market), etc.

  • Galeria Copernicus, [8]. Large shopping centre, 40 min walk from old town, reachable by bus number 15.
  • Dom Towarowy. shopping centre located in medieval house on old town square.
  • Specialized gingebread shops "Toruńskie pierniki"

Eat

At warm times of year Toruń's old town is full of street cafes, restaurants where you can eat or drink outdoors and enjoy the medieval atmosphere. Some cafés are located on the bank of river Vistula, and at least two are on boats on the river. Different dishes - traditional food and fast food, drinks - beer, soft drinks and ice cream are offered there. If you are a football lover there are many street cafes where you can watch a game on TV while drinking good Polish beer.

  • Toruńskie Pierniki - Toruń is legendary for its gingerbread. You must try it.
  • "Manekin" restaurants - delicious, huge, naleśniki (filled crêpes) with a large choice of fillings for only about 10 PLN each. It can get quite busy at peak times, but you'll be warned if there will be a long wait. The staff are friendly and helpful and the restaurants have a nice ambiance. The restaurant on the old market square (Rynek Staromiejski) is particularly nice.

Drink

Drinks from all over the world, including Polish beer and vodka, in the cities are many clubs and bars, including Pod Aniolem, Niebo, Togun, Grota, Beka, Kuranty, Szwejk and many many others.


Sleep

There are plenty of hotels in the city, ranging in standard from 1 up to 4 stars. Many of them are located in the strict downtown. There is currently only one Hostel.

  • Bulwar (****) [9], Bulwar Filadelfijski 18 (Old Town)
  • Mercure Helios (****), Kraszewskiego 1/3 (within 0.5km from Old Town)
  • 1231 (****) [10], Przedzamcze 6 (Old Town)
  • Solaris (***) [11], Panny Marii 9 (Old Town)
  • Filmar (***) [12], Grudziądzka 37 (within 1 km from Old Town)
  • Spichrz (***) [13], Mostowa 1 (Old Town)
  • Polonia (***) [14], pl. Teatralny 5 (Old Town)
  • Petite Fleur (***) [15], Piekary 25 (Old Town)
  • Pod Czarną Różą (***) [16], Rabiańska 11 (Old Town)
  • Retman (***) [17], Rabiańska 15 (Old Town)
  • Gotyk (***) [18], Piekary 20 (Old Town)
  • Trzy Korony (**) [19], Rynek Staromiejski 21 (Old Town)
  • Hotelik w Centrum (**) [20], Szumana 2 (Old Town)
  • Central Hotel, Hotel Pod Orłem [21] - reasonably priced but sometimes noisy
  • Heban
  • Kopernik [22], Wola Zamkowa 16.

Budget

  • Orange Hostel. Located in the old town, 5 minutes walk from the river. ul. Prosta 19. +48 56 652 00 33. Dorm beds from 30 PLN per night.

There is also quite big camping open from 28th of April: [23] (location: [24])

Get out

  • Chełmno - beautiful well preserved medieval town in 40 km north from Toruń.
  • Chełmża - old small town with a lake beach. 15 km.
  • Golub-Dobrzyń - former Teutonic Knights' Castle, 40 km east from Toruń
  • Szafarnia - Frederic Chopin museum, 45 km east from Toruń
  • Ciechocinek - famous Polish spa, 25 km south from Toruń
  • Biskupin - archaeological reservation of the Lusatian Culture settlement (650-550 year BC), 90 km from Toruń


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