14 Best Things to Do in Torun, Poland (+Map)

Spared from the enormous destruction of World War II, Torun’s utter charm and history remain intact. Away from Krakow and Wroclaw, a traveler can truly feel like one as they blaze their path through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town.

The streets, which all lead to the impressive Old Town Square, can be read like a book. They tell the stories of the Teutonic Order, the Middle Ages and a trading network stretching all over the globe. Not to mention some fella named Nicolas Copernicus.

Set on the shores of the Baltic Sea, one of the best things to do in Torun is walking through the Old Town. As you stroll from the cathedral to the leaning tower, you’ll be able to take in the cultural ambience best at a slow pace. It also opens the door to smell the aromas of gingerbread. A culinary tradition as storied as the Old Town itself.

In this post, we’ll cover:

14. Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural traditions and heritage of diverse ethnic groups at Torun’s Ethnographic Museum. One notable exhibition, “The Secrets of Everyday Life”, depicts the lifestyles of villagers and town residents 100-150 years ago.

Visitors can engage in interactive experiences like visiting an old barber shop and learning about traditional disease treatments. Exhibits also showcase historical clothing, food, work, and celebrations.

The true hidden gem of the visit lies in exploring the outdoor area. Here you’ll find preserved or reconstructed houses from the Pomerania and Kuyavia regions. Knowledgeable guides are available to provide insights into the purpose of each building and can even show you through the interior of the mill.

13. House of Torun Legends

House of Torun Legends

A unique blend of interactive museum and theater, The House of Legends in Torun is a must-visit attraction, especially for families. Within its Gothic basement, visitors encounter six installations tailored to various age groups.

This offers an entertaining introduction to Torun’s legends in an interactive and lively setting. Each legend unfolds through play-acting. They invite participants to don medieval armor, dress up, engage in “battles” on the river, and even experience being locked up in a jail cage.

Take note that while primarily tailored for Polish speakers, the staff at the venue are exceptionally accommodating to English speakers. They make efforts to communicate in English when feasible and provide English print-outs for descriptions of each legend.

12. St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary's Church

Standing as a remarkable Gothic structure, St. Mary’s Church was constructed by the Franciscans in the late 13th century. While its exterior appears austere and understated, the interior is the opposite. Inside, you’ll find tall, slender stained-glass windows, intricate painted Gothic vaulting, and a prominent golden altarpiece.

In adherence to the Franciscan rule of poverty, the church lacks a tower but features three relatively small ave-bell towers instead. Inside, visitors encounter wooden stalls dating back to the early 15th century, a meticulously crafted pulpit, organs, medieval paintings, and epitaphs commemorating prominent Toruń families.

Notably, in 1636, Anne Wasa, sister of Polish King Sigismund III Vasa, was laid to rest within its walls.

11. Cosmopolis Fountain

Cosmopolis Fountain

A captivating spectacle, Cosmopolis Fountain illuminates the sky with entrancing displays. Designed in homage to Nicolaus Copernicus’ groundbreaking work, “On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres”, the fountain symbolizes the heliocentric system.

Its granite board features a Latin inscription and a diagram depicting the orbits of planets. The fountain’s 100 spouts, representing orbits, shoot water into the air, with the central nozzle symbolizing the Sun reaching a height of 5 meters.

During summer evenings, visitors can witness mesmerizing performances, blending water, light, and sound. Colorfully illuminated water streams dance to music, accompanied by film scores and the specially composed piece, “Cosmopolis,” by Krzesimir Dębski, tailored for the Toruń fountain.

Taking a break by the fountain offers a wonderful opportunity for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat away from the city.

10. Torun Cathedral

Torun Cathedral

It’s arguably the most impressive Gothic cathedral in Poland. Torun Cathedral is a beacon of medieval splendour and a preservation of its rise under Teutonic rule and the patronage of the Polish King.

The Torun Cathedral dates back to the mid-13th century. But like all works of art, it continued to be improved for over 200 years. One of the highlights of the cathedral is the captivating main altar, which took almost five years to complete. The adjacent walls are awash with eye-catching baroque and rococo influence.

Continue to find the medieval font where Copernicus was baptized. Then lay your eyes on the odd one-hand Rafters’ clock before spotting Tuba Dei Bell, a bronze, silver and gold trumpet from the year 1500.

9. Teutonic Castle Ruins

Teutonic Castle Ruins

Connected to Torun’s city walls, the Teutonic Castle Ruins are the oldest in Poland. They were once the base of the Knights, who, in return for Christianizing the region, were able to create an envious trading center.

By stepping beyond the defensive walls, you’ll be granted a look into what life would have been like for the Order. Subterranean caverns are open to explore. Period actors provide the space with a relevant atmosphere, weapons are wielded, authentic cuisine is on the pot and medieval crafts are for sale.

Travelers can explore further to find the Leaning Tower, ancient gateways and old halls. Some of which hosts movies.

8. Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

No, this isn’t an amusing rip-off of that awkward tower down in Pisa. Torun’s Leaning Tower, Krzywa Wieża, originally constructed in the 13th century, was a vital piece of the city’s defensive network.

Thanks to its cumbersome look, like something out of Diagon Alley, the tower becomes enveloped in myth. The reality that the soil base was weak clay, doesn’t create headlines. Instead, the reason the tower leans is that of one sinful Teutonic knight.

You see, this rapscallion fell in love with the daughter of a local merchant. They kept it secret too. It broke the monastic rules. The woman was sent for 25 lashes and the man had to build a tower that represented his mistakes. See? Much more interesting!

7. City Walls

City Walls

Trade has always been a centerpiece of life here in Torun. Merchant trade routes stretched from this port town across the Baltic Sea as far as the Middle East. The need for defensive structures, such as the City Walls, was paramount.

The walls were first developed in the 13th century and further expanded through the Middle Ages. The necessity passed, however, and much of the walls were taken down in the 1800s.

Today, you can wander the south side of the Old Town to discover what’s left, including nine towers and three gates. The remnants of the past are fascinating, with many harboring inscriptions and small puppet decorations.

While at the top of the walls, you can enjoy some fabulous views across the Vistula River.

6. Planetarium


Thanks to Nicolas Copernicus, Torun will always be linked to the stars above. Travelers can explore this connection while enjoying incredible astronomical shows.

In the Old Town, the building’s exterior fits right in with the surrounding architecture. However, the rotunda shape and dome make the Planetarium instantly recognizable. Once you wander inside, the Old Town is left behind and you find yourself in the world of planets.

The Planetarium’s enormous projector screens allow you to be immersed by a world beyond Earth. The dome becomes an artificial sky with over 6,000 visible stars. But it’s not just that, you’ll also enjoy solar eclipses, Moon cycles, spot your favorite constellations and uncover a world of nebulas.

5. House of Nicolas Copernicus

House of Nicolas Copernicus

Nicolas Copernicus, the Man Who Loved the Earth, forever changed the way we perceive the universe. His heliocentric model helped show that the Earth was not the center of the celestial system. Today, his birth home, the House of Nicolas Copernicus, immortalizes his life.

Travelers will be able to step into his home and discover much of his life in medieval Poland. Within, you’ll find period furniture and the era’s merchant culture. While interactive exhibits help you understand the man who helped spearhead a scientific revolution.

Replicas of Copernicus’ 15th and 16th century instruments are on display. These include his quadrant, triquetrum and astrolabe. In addition, you’ll find the best collection of memorabilia from his life alongside original copies of his written work.

4. Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall

A highlight of Torun’s Old Town Square, the Old Town Hall, is an immortal image of the city’s medieval hub. Embellished in Gothic design, the hall was originally constructed in the 13th century. But in the latter years of the 14th, the hall’s iconic tower was added, under the command of the Teutonic Order.

Just like its surrounding squares, the hall quickly became a cultural pillar. While also playing host to societal elites and Polish royalty. The history and tales in every section, create an enticing experience for travelers.

Torun’s well-preserved heritage is on full display. Visitors will uncover artisanal artifacts from throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. In addition, the Grand Hall gallery showcases portraits of iconic figures and the Royal Hall celebrates the best of local artists.

Afterwards, you can replace one great view with another, from the top of the clock tower.

3. Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus

Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus

Set in front of the Staszic Palace is the Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus. The famous astronomer is immortalized in a bronze statue, created in the early 19th century.

Appropriately, the man who showed the earth revolves around the sun is holding our celestial system with the sun in the middle. He’s adorned in an academic robe and also points towards the sky above.

The beautiful yet simple celebration for Copernicus’ life work provides a poignant moment for all who see it. As you stand alongside the statue and adjacent fountain, it’s quite entrancing to think this is a man, and a town, who helped change the course of human history.

2. Old Town Square

Old Town Square

Right in the heart of Torun, all roads lead to the Old Town Square. The medieval market square has been the center of local life since the 1200s. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, if you’re wondering where to start your Torun travels, then head here.

The delightful square allows you to jump into Torun life. Sometimes bustling, sometimes quiet, you can both enjoy the atmosphere and pick up your bearings. The square is surrounded by some of Torun’s most renowned landmarks, from the Old Town Hall to St. Mary’s Church.

Beyond the popular spots are some local creations, full of life and myth. These include the monument to the beloved comic character Filus, the Frog Fountain and the Rafstman statue. The latter, shrouded in local legend.

1. Living Museum of Gingerbread

Living Museum of Gingerbread

In Torun, the tradition of gingerbread making stretches back to the 14th century. You can learn a little bit about this tradition at the Home of Nicolas Copernicus (which seems off-brand, but I digress). However, the Living Museum of Gingerbread has all bases covered.

As trade routes across the Baltic and, as far as the Middle East were established, gingerbread became a delicacy in high demand. The historic factory, now home to the museum, grew with this evolution and rise in popularity.

Visitors will embark on a fascinating adventure through the factory’s many eras. You’ll check out one of the first industrial ovens, discover medieval markets, and see how gingerbread moulds have changed over time. Finish up with a workshop that allows you to bake your own treats.

Best Time to Visit Torun

Torun Climate

As it is not yet too known to European tourists, even in the busy summer months Torun shouldn’t get too crowded. Lots of daytrippers do pour in though from other cities nearby.

While July and August see the largest amount of visitors due to the holidays, May, June and September are all super lovely months to visit. This period is the warmest and sunniest but also rainiest, with temperatures averaging 18 to 23°C (64 to 73°F).

There is a very nice feel about its old streets and squares with lots of people dining outdoors at their cafes and restaurants. Countless concerts and exhibitions are also put on as part of the Artus Jazz Festival and Days of Torun City Festival.

The rest of the year is relatively quiet in Torun, though a small Christmas market takes over the Old Town Square in December. Apart from this, April and October are still good months to visit as temperatures stay around 13°C (55°F). All the spring flowers and autumn leaves brighten up its otherwise rather dull days.

Where to Stay in Torun

Torun Hotel

Staying in Old Town Torun, Poland offers a journey back in time to the medieval era. This charming town, sitting along the banks of the Vistula River, highlights well-preserved Gothic architecture, cobbled streets, and a rich history.

Accommodation choices range from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels, with some lodgings even housed in historic buildings.

Hotel 1231, a boutique 4-star hotel, occupies two buildings – a 13th-century Old Mill and a 14th-century infirmary, near the ruins of the Teutonic Castle. The hotels are linked by an underground passageway. Each air-conditioned room at Hotel 1231 is elegantly furnished, featuring a Smart TV, free Wi-Fi, and views of Old Town Toruń.

Alternatively, Hotel Gotyk places you in the heart of the city, just steps from the Copernicus House. This hotel offers free Wi-Fi, rooms equipped with a refrigerator and TV. Guests will have access to an on-site restaurant. This has three rooms and two summer terraces, ideal for unwinding with a meal or drink after a day of exploration.

How to get there

Torun Tram

For travelers contemplating their transportation options to explore Torun’s, rest assured that the city is easily reachable by plane, train, bus, or car.

If you choose to journey by air, the closest airport is Bydgoszcz Ignacy Jan Paderewski Airport (BZG), just 53 kilometers away. From there, taxis, buses, or trains will connect you to Torun.

Prefer rail travel? Torun hosts two stations, Torun Glowny and Torun Miasto, linking to major Polish cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk. Several bus companies also offer routes from various Polish cities and neighboring countries.

Schedules and tickets can be conveniently accessed online through platforms
like FlixBus.

Map of Tourist Attractions in Torun

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