Bydgoszcz - what to do in Bydgoszcz?

daria

06 November 2019

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What to do in Bydgoszcz

Bydgoszcz is the 8th largest city in Poland, with around 360,000 inhabitants. It has four universities, several large companies such as PESA (a tram and rail car manufacturer) and a large NATO training facility at which soldiers from all around the world are based. However, what distinguishes Bydgoszcz from other cities is the relaxed atmosphere, abundant green spaces and a river at the heart of the city. A lot has changed in recent years and now citizens of Bydgoszcz are proud to call this place home!

Why not come for a walk?

Discover Bydgoszcz Old Town in 10 steps

1.

The Old Marketplace – this former market square today serves as an important city landmark. On the west side is the town hall, and directly in front of it sits a monument built in 1969 to commemorate the victims of the Second World War. Originally, this monument was specifically dedicated to the loss of Jewish lives in the Warsaw Ghetto but due to the social climate at the time, it was erected in Bydgoszcz.

Old Marketplace

2.

Master Twardowski – the legendary sorcerer

The legend has it that a long, long time ago Bydgoszcz was visited by a well-known sorcerer by the name of Master Twardowski who became immortal by signing the pact with devil with his own blood. To commemorate the stay of the great sorcerer in Bydgoszcz, his figure is shown in the window of tenement house no. 15 twice a day at 13:13 and 21:13. Don’t miss him, he may just fulfill your dreams!

TIP: Looking for more magic, should try ‘Devil Węgliszek’s Magic Rocks’ also known as Bydgoszcz cookies. You will find them at the Tourist Information Office and in the Katarynka Café at 4 Batorego Street.

Master Twardowski - the legendary sorcerer

3.

Old Port and “Man Crossing the River” – city landmarks

If there is one picture to be taken in Bydgoszcz, it will definitely be the view of the Old Port. The characteristic sculpture of a man crossing the river was created in commemoration of Poland’s entry into the European Union. The figure has been balancing over the water for the last dozen years and only twice in this time it has been taken down (once for renovation, and once as a result of damages done by a drunk tourist).

TIP: If you have a chance, it’s definitely worth visiting Bydgoszcz in May or June when the SlackLine Games are taking place. In this unique championship participants race 12m above the river surface, on 30m long web spread in the heart of the city.

Slack Line Games

4.

The Red Castle also known as the Polish Mail

Located at 6 Jagiellonska Street (but also visible from the Old Port) is an impressive redbrick building that now serves as the regional headquarters of the Polish Mail. In olden days, the building was the only place in the town where one could communicate with the rest of the world by sending a letter or making a phone call. Although the building only dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, the Polish Mail had existed in this place 100 years prior.

TIP: Look at the Clock on the tower at the junction of Pocztowa Street and the Old Port. If you look carefully enough, you can spot icons of a mail and a telegraph which have been preserved from the old times.

Polish Mail

5.

Market hall

In the place of the former Evangelical church, a modern market hall was established in the early 20th century. Already 100 years ago, one could visit the hall to stock up on fish, seafood and fresh crayfish. The new indoor establishment gave an end to fish stalls which used to be located at the nearby Fish Market.

Currently, the hall is waiting for a new owner which will hopefully bring new life to the space.

6.

Mill Island

Wyspa Młyńska is a 6-hectare green oasis in the heart of the city. After many years of renovations, it is now regarded as the most beautiful place in the Old Town. Situated in the central part of the island is large redbrick Rother’s Mill. The island is also home to many museums and art galleries such as the Archaeological Collections Museum, European Money Center, Modern Art Gallery and a gallery of a well-known painter of the turn of the 19th and 20th century – Leon Wyczółkowski. Alternatively, you can have dinner with a ‘Venice view’ at one of the restaurants located on the island.

TIP: For great views of the city and island, take an elevator to the top floor of the Modern Art Gallery (located in the Red Granary).

TIP: On Saturdays there is no admission fee to enter the museums!

Mill Island

7.

Small and large chair – be childish

On the Island, just behind the playground, there is an installation of two chairs. Try climbing onto the larger one to feel the struggles of a baby – to which this is a great challenge.

These chairs were installed by the mobile Museum of Childhood when it visited Bydgoszcz.

TIP: There is a bench near the chairs that was designed by the winning student of a design challenge organised by one of the local universities (UTP). The idea of the competition was to reward projects that combined practicality with original design aesthetics.

8.

Just like Venice

100 years ago, Bydgoszcz Mill Island was built like a Polish Venice.

On the section of Brdy Młynówka surrounding Młyńska Island there was once a distillery, sawmill, tannery, chocolate factory and even laundries operating here. Some of these small buildings, factories and houses even had their own marinas and water garages where boats were moored. Unfortunately, over the years the island has lost its unique Venetian character. Gondolas can no longer access the river as the current is too fast, so all that is left is to enjoy “little Venice” from a view and appreciate its interesting industrial history.

Venice in Bydgoszcz

9.

The cathedral – small but stunning

St. Marcin and Mikołaj Cathedral is a Gothic building erected in the 15th and 16th centuries. What is special about it is its unusually colourful interior. At the main altar there is a picture of the Mother Mary that is said by some to grant miracles. An interesting fact is that the Mother of God in the painting has a gentle smile, which is unusual for the works from this period. The painting’s eyes also follow your every step (so be careful!). All this being the works of an unknown painter. Take a closer look and try to spot the figure in the lower left corner which represents the commissioner of the painting. On either side of the painting stand the patrons of the church: Saint Marcin and Saint Nicholas.

Open: from morning service till 7 PM

The Cathedral

10.

The view from the river

One of the best ways to spend a summer’s day in Bydgoszcz is to take a cruise on a water-bus. You can choose between two routes, each of which take about 80 minutes. Tickets are available directly from the captain before departing. Solar powered ships also run from the beginning of May to the beginning of September.

Watertram in Bydgoszcz

Extra step (for steps' lovers)

If you enjoy heights and don’t mind climbing stairs, visit water tower – it’s the heighest point in the city from which you can get a great view (maybe you can even point out all the places you’ve already checked off your list?).

Water Tower in Bydgoszcz

More at www.visitbydgoszcz.pl

If you want to book a private tour see our tours in Bydgoszcz www.tastytours.pl/bydgoszcz