Torun, Poland

Toruń, located along the meandering banks of the Vistula River, emerges as a captivating gem within Poland’s rich cultural tapestry. This enchanting city, renowned for its medieval allure, is a testament to the intricate fusion of history, architecture, and art. A journey to Toruń is a pilgrimage to a world where cobblestone streets whisper tales of centuries gone by, and the air resonates with the spirit of discovery and enlightenment. In this comprehensive guide, we will embark on an exploration of Toruń’s fascinating facets, from its historical significance to the practical nuances that make a visit here an unforgettable experience.

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Torun, Poland
Toruń is a beautiful city in northern Poland.

Toruń stands as a picturesque city celebrated for its renowned gingerbread, captivating medieval architecture, and its deep-rooted connection to the esteemed astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Brief History of Toruń

Toruń was founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Order. Originally not situated in this location, the city was compelled to relocate due to recurring floods. In a short span of time, the Teutonic knights constructed their castle here, leading to the development of the Old Town and the New Town. Today, Toruń is one of Poland’s Seven Wonders and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

An Overview of Toruń

Toruń is located on the Vistula River in the Kuyavia-Pomerania Province of Poland. It is about 150 kilometers from the Baltic Sea and 200 kilometers from Warsaw. The city has a population of about 200,000 people. It is a historic city with a well-preserved medieval Old Town. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also home to a number of other historical landmarks, including the Nicolaus Copernicus Museum, the Town Hall Tower, and the Teutonic Order Castle.

Every year Toruń is visited by more than 1.5 million tourists.

With its labyrinthine cobbled streets, resplendent Gothic architecture, and meticulously preserved city walls, Toruń offers a window into the past that is at once palpable and immersive.

Where is Toruń, Poland

Located in northern Poland’s Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Toruń is perched on the banks of the Vistula River. The city is about 150 kilometres from the Baltic Sea and 200 kilometres from Warsaw. Its strategic position has made it a significant trading and cultural hub throughout history.

Toruń is located on the Vistula River in the Kuyavia-Pomerania Province of Poland.

How to Get to Toruń

Getting to Toruń from Warsaw and Other Major Polish Cities

Almost all major Polish cities have direct trains to Toruń. Most of these trains are operated by PKP (Polish State Railways) and Arriva PCC (within the Toruń region). The central train station in Toruń is Toruń Główny, though it’s not located in the city centre and doesn’t have the opulent appearance of typical central European train stations. There are 12 direct trains from Warsaw to Toruń every day, but not all of them operate daily. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes, costing around PLN45. For the latest schedule, fares, and online ticket purchase, you can visit this website.

Upon arriving at Toruń Główny, you can transfer to buses 22, 25, or 27 to reach the city centre. The bus ride takes about 5 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at any kiosk. If you opt for a taxi, the cost is roughly PLN15.

Alternatively, you can also take buses operated by different companies between cities. Do try the bus service from Warsaw to Toruń by Flixbus.

Here’s a list of commonly-used words that may be helpful when communicating with the locals about getting around.

Dworzec kolejowy Train station
BiletTicket
Kasa biletowaTicket counter
Pociąg osobowy (Os)Regional train which stops at almost all stations
Pociag pospieszny (Pos)Long distance express train

Self-Driving

The best way to visit Toruń is by renting a car. In fact, we believe that self-driving is one of the best ways to explore the entire country of Poland. Renting a car in Poland is not only affordable but also provides a comfortable way to get around. There are several parking lots outside Toruń, so you can easily find a parking spot and walk into the city.

Parking lots: Parking Podziemny(Google Maps)| Secure parking PZM(Google Maps)

› You can read more about Driving in Poland on our website via this link.
› If you’d like to hire a car, be sure to compare car rental prices via Rentalcars.com to get the best deals.

What to Plan for Your Trip to Toruń

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Toruń:

  • The best time to visit Toruń is during the spring (May-June) or fall (September-October). The weather is mild during these months, and there are fewer tourists.
  • If you are planning on visiting Toruń in the summer, be sure to book your accommodations early. Toruń is a popular tourist destination, and hotels can fill up quickly.
  • Polish is the official language of Poland, but English is widely spoken in major cities.
  • Toruń is a relatively affordable city to visit. You can find good food and accommodations for a reasonable price.
  • Be sure to try some traditional Polish food, such as pierogi (dumplings), gołąbki (stuffed cabbage leaves), and bigos (hunter’s stew).
  • Toruń is a safe city to visit, but be sure to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against petty theft.
The view of Vistula River.

Top Attractions in Toruń

Toruń boasts a wealth of attractions that capture its historical and cultural essence. Here are a few of the top attractions in Toruń.

Old Town of Toruń

At the heart of it all lies the Old Town, an architectural marvel adorned with resplendent Gothic masterpieces that echo the city’s rich history. The Old Town of Toruń is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a well-preserved medieval city with narrow streets, colourful houses, and many historical landmarks. The Copernicus Monument stands as a tribute to one of the world’s most celebrated astronomers, echoing the intellectual and scientific prowess that has woven itself into Toruń’s narrative.

The Old Town of Toruń is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ratusz Staromiejski

The Ratusz Staromiejski (Old Town Hall) is a Gothic town hall in Toruń, Poland. It is one of the most important landmarks in the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town hall was built in the 14th century and has been rebuilt several times since then. It is now home to the Muzeum Okręgowe (District Museum) and offers panoramic views of the city from its tower.

Additional details about Ratusz Staromiejski:
› It is one of the largest brick town halls in Europe.
› It has a 40-meter-tall tower that offers panoramic views of the city.
› It is a popular tourist destination and is often featured in films and television shows.

Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
› Museum (1.5 – 30.9) 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; (1.10 – 30.4) 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
› Town Hall Tower (1.11 – 31.3) 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; (April & October) 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; (1.5 – 30.9) 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Museum PLN21; Tower PLN21; Museum + Tower Combo Ticket: PLN35

Ratusz Staromiejski stands as an architectural masterpiece at the heart of Toruń’s historic charm.

Pomnik Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu

Pomnik Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu (The Copernicus Monument) in Toruń honours Nicolaus Copernicus, a famous astronomer from the city. Located in the heart of the Old Town, the monument captures Copernicus in a contemplative pose, holding a celestial globe, symbolising his groundbreaking heliocentric theory. The statue reminds us of his clever ideas and the importance of learning.

The statue shows him with a globe, representing his important discovery about the solar system.

Planetarium. W. Dziewulskiego

Planetarium. W. Dziewulskiego was opened in 1953 and is named after Władysław Dziewulski, a Polish astronomer. The planetarium has a dome with a diameter of 23 meters and can seat up to 200 people. It offers shows on a variety of astronomical topics, including the solar system, the stars, and the planets. The planetarium also has a space observatory that is open to the public on clear nights.

Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
› Tue-Thu 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM; Fri and Sun 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM; Sat 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Exhibition PLN12; Screening PLN19. Get your tickets here.
* The planetarium is wheelchair accessible. *

Planetarium. W. Dziewulskiego

Bazylika katedralna św. Jana Chrzciciela i św. Jana Ewangelisty w Toruniu

Bazylika katedralna św. Jana Chrzciciela i św. Jana Ewangelisty w Toruniu, also known as the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, is a magnificent architectural marvel in Toruń. With its striking Gothic design, the cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and religious significance. The twin towers reach towards the sky, offering an awe-inspiring sight against the backdrop of Toruń’s Old Town.

As you step inside, the interior captivates with its intricate details, soaring columns, and vibrant stained glass windows. This sacred space serves not only as a place of worship but also as a symbol of Toruń’s enduring heritage and spiritual legacy.

The cathedral is indeed very large and majestic.
The interior of the cathedral is among the most luxurious and elegant in Poland, and even the stained glass is rare in Poland.

Krzywa Wieża w Toruniu

Krzywa Wieża is a captivating and distinctive architectural anomaly. Translated as the “Leaning Tower,” it stands as a reminiscent of Pisa’s iconic tower, leans at a slight angle due to the uneven settling of the ground beneath it. Despite its inclination, the tower retains its remarkable Gothic architecture, making it a compelling addition to Toruń’s historic skyline.

Krzywa Wieża promises a whimsical and memorable experience

Panorama Torunia

This attraction is often forgotten, so it’s kind of “off the beaten path.” The location is quite hidden, and it seems there is no public transportation that goes directly there. Therefore, visitors usually walk or ride bicycles to get here. There is a parking lot near the observation deck, so driving there is also a good option. The most important thing is that you can fully take in the view of the old city on the opposite bank. It’s recommended to come in the evening and stay until just before sunset when the scenery is especially beautiful.

The spectacular view from Panorama Torunia

Teutonic Castle Ruins

This castle was built in the 13th century on the site of a former defensive settlement. The castle has a horseshoe shape. The former inhabitants were 12 knights and a commander representing the power of the Teutonic Order in these lands. In 1454, the residents of Toruń launched an uprising against the Teutonic Order. They took over the castle and demolished it. Today, the only remains of the castle are Gdanisko, the former latrine tower, and picturesque ruins. The ruins are a venue for many concerts, festivals, and competitions.

The Teutonic Castle Ruins in Toruń are a glimpse into the past.

What not to miss when visiting Toruń: Toruń Gingerbread

Toruń Gingerbread (pierniki toruńskie) is a traditional Polish gingerbread that has been made in the city of Toruń for centuries. It has a long and rich history. The first mention of Toruń Gingerbread dates back to 1380, and it quickly became a popular delicacy throughout Poland and Europe. Toruń Gingerbread was even presented as a gift to Polish leaders, artists, and others who have distinguished themselves in Polish society, and to Polish kings.

Toruń Gingerbread is made with honey, flour, spices, and eggs, and is known for its distinct flavour and chewy texture. It is often decorated with intricate designs, and it is a popular souvenir for tourists to the city.

Getting Around Toruń

The best way to get around Toruń is on foot. The Old Town is small and easy to walk around. If you wish to explore outside the Old Town, you may consider renting bicycles or taking a taxi.

Where to Stay in Toruń

A range of accommodations, including hotels, hostels, and apartments, await your selection in Toruń. For budget-conscious travellers, several hostels nestled within the Old Town provide excellent value. Alternatively, if you seek a more opulent experience, the city centre boasts an array of hotels featuring spa facilities and other premium amenities.

Luxury

Hotel ETER
$ $ $

Mid-range

Solaris
$ $

Budget

B&B Hotel Toruń
$

What to Take Note of When Visiting Toruń

  • The Old Town of Toruń is a pedestrian zone, so you will need to walk or take a taxi to get around.
  • There are a number of churches and cathedrals in Toruń, so be sure to dress modestly, especially when visiting churches and other religious places. Avoid wearing revealing clothing and opt for attire that covers shoulders and knees.
  • As you explore Toruń’s history, respect its heritage by following local customs, embracing the past’s significance, and enjoying the city’s modern energy.
  • Being considerate of noise in residential areas and showing cultural awareness enrich your experience of Toruń’s unique character.

Visiting Toruń as a Muslim

For Muslim travellers, exploring the historic beauty of Toruń offers a unique opportunity to experience the city’s charm while respecting cultural and religious preferences. While Toruń may not have a significant Muslim population, the city is increasingly aware of the importance of catering to diverse needs. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your visit while adhering to your values.

  • While Toruń may not have a large number of mosques, some cities in Poland do have mosques that you can consider visiting for your prayers. It’s recommended to research the nearby cities and their facilities in advance. Additionally, some larger hotels in Toruń may be able to provide you with a private space for prayer upon request.
  • Although Toruń’s dining scene may not be predominantly halal, you can still find suitable options. Look for seafood and vegetarian dishes at local restaurants, which are likely to align with your dietary preferences. While Toruń may not have dedicated halal restaurants, larger cities in Poland, like Warsaw and Kraków, offer more choices.
  • Immerse yourself in Toruń’s vibrant cultural scene. While not directly tied to Islam, cultural exploration can offer a unique perspective on the city’s history and heritage. Visiting museums, exploring local crafts, and participating in cultural events can enrich your understanding of Toruń’s diverse identity.
  • Researching in advance will help you locate prayer facilities, suitable dining options, and any specific needs you might have. Connecting with local Muslim communities or forums can provide you with valuable insights from those who have traveled to Toruń before.
  • It’s heartening to note that while Toruń’s Muslim population may not be prominent, the city’s efforts to accommodate diverse needs reflect an inclusive mindset.

You can also read more tips about travelling in Poland as a Muslim here.

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