The Polish city of Toruń has a fantastic medieval charm to it. The main tourist area, the old town, is well preserved and historically significant. Its small and compact meaning you can see a lot during a short time here. Hence I have designed a Toruń 1 day itinerary to show you the highlights of this lovely city.
Historically Toruń has been an important city in Poland, as both a trade and cultural centre. Notably the city escaped the destruction of World War 2, despite being occupied by Nazi troops. This means it is one of the best places in Poland to see medieval architecture, and the city is full of gothic buildings. Whilst very popular with domestic tourists, it doesn’t yet have the levels of international visitors that other cities like Gdańsk receive.
Getting to Toruń and getting around
Poland has a great affordable railway system and there is a station in Toruń. Therefore I definitely recommend using the train to reach here whilst you are exploring Poland. The train here from Warsaw takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes, and from Gdańsk 2 and a hour hours. There are services from elsewhere as well, such as Wrocław and Poznan. You can check out https://www.polishtrains.eu/ for train times and tickets.
The main train station here, Toruń Główny, is south of the old town, which is where all the tourist attractions in Toruń are. If you decide to walk you can cross the Vistula River via the large bridge, it will take you around 25 to 30 minutes to walk to the old town. There are also buses that run there, tickets are pretty cheap. Otherwise you can try a taxi.
If instead you plan to travel to the city by bus, check out Flixbus as they have plenty of options from within Poland.
Once in the old town, everything is within walking distance. Its a small compact area with plenty of food and accommodation options within it.
Toruń 1 day Itinerary
Teutonic Castle Ruins
A great way to start this Toruń 1 day itinerary is with a visit to it’s Teutonic Castle Ruins. A Germanic Catholic order, the Teutonic Knights once ruled a large swathe of land in this area, particularly along the Baltic coastline. This was not necessarily to the liking of the local populace though, and in 1454 the Polish townspeople of Toruń rose up in rebellion. They totally destroyed the castle here, leaving it essentially as pile of rubble, and you can see today how good a job they did. There honestly isn’t much left and it’s clear to see where reconstruction work has been done to stop what little remains crumbing away. However it’s still well worth a visit, particularly for it’s historical context as their rebellion actually kickstarted the Thirteen Years War between the Teutonic Knights and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.
Toruń has a whole host of religious buildings in it’s old town, so it’s worth visiting a few to see bith their architecture and inside decorations. St. James’ Church isn’t too far from the castle ruins, so it’s a good one to head to next. It’s been there since the 14th century so has a great medieval feel to it.
Nearby you can find the Former Lutheran Church, which dates from 1824. It’s not actually used for worship anymore, but is still a cool building to check out. Once you are back into the main part of the old town you can see the Church Of The Holy Spirit, which has a prominent position off the main town square. Nearby is the grand St. Mary’s Church too.
The Leaning Tower of Toruń
There are some old defensive walls to be found in Toruń, and along them you can find the Leaning Tower of Toruń. It was built in 13th century as a defensive tower and was used so right up until the 18th century, when it became a women’s prison. These days it’s a tourist attraction to check out as you explore this Toruń 1 day itinerary. You will find it in the south-western corner of the city. I don’t the picture I have does it justice as it looks a lot more crooked in real life!
Should you want to see more of the defensive walls, then this southern part of the old town is where to find them. Nearby you can also spot the Monastery Gate, which is an old fortified entrance to the city. Along from there is also the Sailor’s gate and the Bridge gate, as well a some parts of the walls you can walk around.
The Old Town Hall
At the centre of the old town is the Old Town Hall. It’s a grand building, originally from the medieval ages but reconstructed and restored several times since. Today it hoses the main department of the District Museum in Toruń. It has a fantastic collection that is worth taking your time to explore. It has a great range, from medieval gothic artwork right up to post 1945 Polish modern art. Personally this is my favourite part of this Toruń 1 day itinerary. I really enjoyed seeing all the artwork on display and getting a look at how it developed over the centuries. I found the collection of stained glass made in Toruń workshops in the 1300 and 1400’s particular impressive. Hence why I’ve chosen a picture of this to represent the museum.
After you’ve visited the museum you can then climb the Old Town Hall’s tower to get some great views over the city.
Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus
Right by the town hall you will find the Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus. He was a Polish astronomer who was born in the city, and is famous for formulating a model of the universe that placed the sun at it’s centre, rather than the Earth. His book ‘De revolutionibus orbium coelestium‘ is cited as beginning the Scientific Revolution, which was vital in developing modern scientific understanding. Naturally the city is very proud of him and his statue is very prominent in the square here.
As you follow this Toruń 1 day itinerary, look out for Toruń’s statues. They are dotted around the old town area and definitely add to it’s charm. A popular one is found on the north-east at corner of the old town square. Filuś is the companion professor Filutek, and they were cartoon characters published in the weekly Polish magazine ‘Przekrój’ during the communist era.
Another popular one is the Donkey statue, which on the south-east corner of the main square. In medieval times criminals used to be tied to a wooden donkey here, so this serves to remember that.
There are several more so see which ones you can find!
So far this Toruń 1 day itinerary has shown you around the city and covered many of it’s attractions. However should you still have time to spare, there are also a host of museums to choose from.
Toruń is actually famous for it’s gingerbread, and has 2 museums to choose from should you want to learn more. Personally I visited the Museum Of Gingerbread. It doesn’t take long to explore and has some interesting insights into the production and sale of gingerbread here. Alternatively the other museum is also supposed be good, it’s named The Living Museum Of Gingerbread.
I’ve already covered the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument in this Toruń 1 day itinerary, but if you want to learn more about him then head to the Nicolaus Copernicus House. It’s dedicated to his life and has a lot of information about him and his works.
Alternatively check out The Museum of the History of Toruń. It’s a city museum all about life here, from the medieval ages right up to World War 2 and beyond. It’s interesting to see how the city changed throughout the years, and how the population adapted to the changes. Whilst the collection isn’t as good as that in the Old Town Hall it still offers a good look at life here.
Thanks for reading this Toruń 1 day Itinerary!
I recommend visiting the city as part of a wider trip, so please check out my Poland 2 week itinerary.
For more European destinations you can check out my archives here.
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