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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.

As of the last census in 2004, Torun has 208,386 inhabitants.

Get in

By plane

The nearest aiports that offer commercial flights are in Bydgoszcz (60 kms), Poznan - Lawica airport (140 kms) [2], and Warsaw - Okecie airport [3] (230 kms).

By train

Polish State Railways [4] operates train connections to Torun from Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Łódź, Katowice and Olsztyn.

Torun's main railway station, Torun Glowny is situated across the river Vistula from the city. To walk into town takes 35 minutes. Alternatively, buses #22 and #27 run directly to the old town. These depart from both sides of the railway station; however, the kiosk for 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.

Torun Miasto is another railway station which is smaller but situated much closer to the old town. Not all trains stop there, but if your train does then getting off at Torun Miasto is the simplest solution.

By car

Highway A1 runs between Torun and Gdansk.

By bus

There are many bus connections to Torun, and the bus station is just a short walk from the Old Town. (see Poland::By bus).

Get around

Torun's old town is quite small, and has no public transportaion system. Walking around the old town is your best option. Outside the old town, there are plentiful buses and trams, while taxis are quite cheap. To get further afield, cars can be hired for around 100zl a day.

See

Town Hall in Toruń
Statue of violinist in old town
  • Nicolaus Copernicus Museum, ul. Kopernika 15-17 (Old Town). Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Toruń in 1473.
  • Ratusz Staromiejski (Old Town Hall), Rynek Staromiejski 1 (on Old town square (Rynek Staromiejski)). One of the most beautiful gothic town halls in Europe. 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. Climb the tower for a beautiful view!
  • Baj Pomorski Theatre (Teatr Baj Pomorski), Piernikarska 9, [5].
  • Cathedral of SS. Johns (Katedra świętych Janów), ul. Żeglarska, [6]. Gothic church where astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was christened. On its tower hangs Tuba Dei bell from 1500, one of the largest Medieval bells in Europe.
  • Leaning Tower. Part of old Toruń defence wall system.
  • Medieval Granaries.
  • View from left bank of the Vistula River. Excellent panorama from left bank of the river Vistula.
  • Bydgoskie Przedmieście (Bromberger Vorstadt), (west of the Old Town). Mostly residential district build in the late 19th and early 20th century. It comprises many monuments of architecture, as well as a city park and zoobotanical garden.
  • Przedmieście Świętej Katarzyny (Wilhelmstadt). Built in the late 19th and early 20th century east of the Old Town, is a specific combination of residential and military architecture. St. Catherine's church is located at Wilhelmstad's main square; with its over 80 meter high tower it still remains the highest building in Toruń.
  • Teutonic Knights Castle Ruins, ul. Przedzamcze, [7]. 10 am - 6 pm. An outdoor museum. The castle is almost completely destroyed except for one tower and a dungeon that you can set foot on. Admission: 2 zl.
  • Dybowski Castle Ruins, opposite the river and small walk from the bridge. An old skeleton of what is left of the old Castle, built by Polish king Władysław Jagiełło (Jogaila) in 15th century. You can explore the ruins at your own leisure and walk the walls.
  • Fortresses (12), (Some are located close to old town, others like the forth fortress are just outside the city).
  • Motoarena Toruń. The biggest and most modern purpose build speedway stadium in the world, in use since 2009. It is one of the sites for FIM Speedway Grand Prix since 2010.
  • Piwnice Radio Observatory, (Piwnice). A radio observatory with two dishes (diameters: 32 meters and 15 meters).
  • Krzywa Wieża (The Leaning Tower), ul. Pod Krzywą Wieżą. Old watchtower, built in 13th century as a part of Medieval fortification of Toruń. Soon after beeing built it leaned out due to ground instability.
  • Dwor Artusa (Artus Court, Artushof), Rynek Staromiejski 6, [8]. Monumental building on the place of medieval Artus Court in the end of 19th century. Now it hosts cultural centre.
  • Ethnographic Museum, [9]. A open-air museum showing the folk architecture of many regions of Poland. Includes a windmill.


Do

A list of events, entertainment, culture in Torun - updated daily (also in English) can be found online: [10]

  • Make Gingerbread @ Gingerbread Museum, Rabianska street.

Buy

There are many shops, boutiques in old town selling clothes, souvenirs, jewellery, music, food, drinks, vegetables and fruits (on New Town market), etc.

  • Galeria Copernicus, (40 min walk from old town, reachable by bus #15, 19, 21, 30, tram #2), [11]. Large shopping centre
  • Dom Towarowy, Rynek Staromiejski 36/37 (in houses on Old Town Square). Shopping center
  • Toruńskie pierniki, Rynek Staromiejski 6, Żeglarska 24. Specialized gingebread shops.


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. Various dishes - traditional 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.

Toruń is known for its gingerbread (Toruńskie Pierniki). You must try it.

  • Leniwa (Pierogarnia), ul. Ślusarska 5 (close to New Town Market), +48 564775403, [12]. 8-16 PLN.
  • Manekin, ul. Wysoka 5, Rynek Staromiejski 16, +48 566522885, [13]. 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 will 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.
  • Metropolis (Restaurant & Bar), ul. Strumykowa, ul. Podmurna, [14].
  • GreenWay (Restaurant & Bar), ul. Łazienna 13, [15]. vegetarian / vegan food for reasonable price :) nice location

Drink

Bars

  • Beka.
  • Grota, Rynek Staromiejski 24 (north side of the Old Market Square, underneath the Orange shop). Friendly bar staff and locals, reasonable prices and an excellent range of spirits (including a terifying assortment of wódkas!) makes this an excellent place to quench a thirst you may work up exploring Toruń's Old Town
  • Kuranty.
  • Niebo.
  • Szwejk.
  • Togun.

Cafés

  • Kona Coast, ul. Chełmińska (near Old Town Market Place), [16].
  • Dom Czekolady, ul. Szeroka 38, [17].
  • Atmosphera, ul. Panny Marii 3 (near Old Town Market Square, opposite the St. Mary church), [18].

Sleep

Private Rooms

In Toruń if you would like to stay in one of the historic buildings in the old town, it is possible to rent a furnished apartment for the night from a local family. Go to the tourist information centre and ask them for a phone number, or have them call on your behalf if you don't speak Polish. It was less that 80 zloty per night during the summer in 2010.

Budget

  • Camping Tramp, [19]. Open spring & summer.


  • Fort Yorck, Chrobrego 86 (5 km from downtown), [20]. In a 19th century Festung Thorn fort.
  • Orange Hostel, ul. Prosta 19 (in the Old Town, 5 minutes walk from the river), +48 56 652 00 33, [21]. Dorm bed: 30 PLN.


Mid-range

  • Central Hotel, Hotel Pod Orłem, [22]. reasonably priced but sometimes noisy
  • Etap, Popiełuszki 2a (within 0.5km from the Old Town). 1-star hotel
  • Gotyk, Piekary 20 (Old Town), [23]. 3-star hotel
  • Heban, Małe Garbary 7 (Old Town). 3-star hotel
  • Hotelik w Centrum, Szumana 2 (Old Town), [24]. 2-star hotel
  • Kopernik, Wola Zamkowa 16 (Old Town), [25]. 2-star hotel
  • Petite Fleur, Piekary 25 (Old Town), [26]. 3-star hotel
  • Pod Czarną Różą, Rabiańska 11 (Old Town), [27]. 3-star hotel
  • Polonia, Teatralny 5 (Old Town), [28]. 3-star hotel
  • Retman, Rabiańska 15 (Old Town), [29]. 3-star hotel
  • Solaris, Panny Marii 9 (Old Town), [30]. 3-star hotel.
  • Spichrz, Mostowa 1 (Old Town), [31]. 3-star hotel
  • Trzy Korony, Rynek Staromiejski 21 (Old Town), [32]. 2-star hotel
  • B&B, Leona Szumana 8 (Old Town), [33]. 2-star hotel

Splurge

  • 1231 Hotel, Przedzamcze 6 (Old Town), [34]. 4-star hotel
  • Bulwar, Bulwar Filadelfijski 18 (Old Town), [35]. 4-star hotel
  • Mercure Helios, Kraszewskiego 1/3 (within 0.5km from the Old Town). 4-star hotel
  • Filmar, Grudziądzka 37 (within 1 km from the Old Town), [36]. 4-star hotel.

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Get out

  • Warsaw
  • Gdansk
  • 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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