HOW TO: TORUŃ IN A DAY


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE, GINGERBREADS & UBIQUITOUS FIGURE

OF NICOLAUS COPERNICUS. WELCOME TO TORUŃ!


Little did I know just how many criminal novels are placed in Toruń - a paradise for lovers of gingerbreads and fans of Nicolaus Copernicus - before I had started to search them. Nonetheless, noone can convince me to change my favourite one of them, titled Umarli tańczą by Piotr Głuchowski which starts a series of stories about the character named Robert Pruski.

5:00 AM
One of my worthwhile ritual when travelling is to watch at least one sun rise in a country I visit for the first time. To do it in Toruń, I recommend you to go to the view point located on the other side of the Vistula River.

Do you belong to those avid, antimorning people who can’t wake up early without wanting to cry? Let’s face it, don’t struggle to go to bed early a day before to don’t make next morning a challenge when rising. Other solution - don’t go to bed at all.

No matter what you choose - it is worth it.

You’ll give me a pretty general vote of thanks later.


6:00 AM
Choose the occasion of being on the other side of the river to sightsee ruins of Dybowski Castle which dates back to the XV century. At its time, it was a strategic military point and the place of important political events. Today you can see here the exterior walls still preserved in good condition and entrance gate which surrounds the courtyard. Of course, it is not so spectacular as Neuschwanstein Castle, but entrance is free. To be honest, Dybowski Castle was let itself to exist. But thanks to that, one of pros is sightseeing available 24/7 and the possibility to seighsee it surrounded by dense fog settled down upon the ruins.


8:00 AM
Probably you expect some recommendation about cosy and unique place for breakfast. Unfortunately, there won’t be any. Most restaurants are open in Toruń at 10:00, and at least those which I honestly believe to be woth visiting.

In my opinion best solution is to book breakfast at place you are going to overnight. Otherwise, till 10:00 neither food nor drink will pass you lips.

Of course, there is always an option named McDonald’s.

9:00 AM
Perfect time for seightseeing!

Once I had a quite little walk round the Toruń Old Town, I continue to repeat it at least every second week. Walk alone or in companion along streets always allows me to satisfy myself during as with a warm summer day so with cold, autumn day with sharp wind and a fine rain beating upon face. And what is the most important, I always find something that hasn’t flashed across my eyes yet. That is why my best advice to you is: during sightseeing of Toruń look carefuly at the walls to don't miss ceramic figures decorating different corners of the town.


It is quite difficult to hide that Toruń is a kingdom of monuments and statues ranging from the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument, the Statue of Filus, the Donkey (town’s pillory) to the Toruń Dragon. I am not a fun of them, the same as of churches, but they are full of funny, urban legends passed on from generation to generation.


Among them one which sent a warm to my heart is Filuś dog guarding his master's belonging (hat & umbrella). He thanks his egzistance to Zbigniew Lengren who created him and his master (Professor Filutek) as main characters in comic strip published for over 50 years on the last page of Przekrój magazine.

As it is within my knowledge, wiping Filuś’s provides one with luck ;)


Other Toruń’s monument catching my eye is the Toruń Dragon. According to some record found in Toruń Archive, it was seen in Toruń by pedestrians in 1746 r., and based on their words was about 2 metres long.


And of course, Nicolaus Copernicus Monument which raised to the symbol of Toruń (it would be a sin to skip it). Let’s pretend it is a time of student festiwal in Toruń, named Juwenalia. During that time of the year the silhouette of Nicolaus Copernicus is dressed to being different figure.

At that time of the year it makes a lot of wonder to tourists looking for the monument. Probably they have a deep respect for the extraordinary qualities, but not seeing moustached and bearded Nicolaus Copernicus.

Thus, their question gived to random pedestrians usually runs as follow: ‘Where is the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument. Shouldn’t it be placed here?’. And their wild eyes with a questioning stare… all spoke of a wonderment.


11:00 AM
Make your way into the Old Town Hall which is the main secular construction of Toruń. It is a gothic building, and one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in central Europe. You can climb it up every day. During summer time (from May to September) it is open from 10:00 to 20:00 o'clock. Normal ticket costs 11,00 PLN, and reduced ticket – 7,00 PLN. It gives the same breathless view during a sunny day with clear sky, as well as windy day with foggy-strapped streets.

No use to deny it.


After little more than half of an hour you should reach the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with well-preserved Gothic edifice.

During my first stay in Finland I found out some indications of mutual Polish and Finish history. That day - the day I spent second day in Turku – I visited Turku Castle that comes back to me in a flash every time when I pass walls of the Church. And it is all like a dim dream when I look back on it – thinking, thinking, thinking a night and a day.

HERE I tell you more of my stay there and give some advice about spending a day.


To predudice your next question which probably will appear when you set your eyes on a round dome at the time of leaving the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary: No, it is not a museum, but a prison. Yes, prison. And it is placed in down town of Toruń.


Later, take a challenge to stay straight by resisting your back at medieval defensive tower, named the Leaning Tower. As you can easly guess, it thanks its name to the very singular tilt.


2:00 PM
When 2 p.m. struck, visit Pierogarnia Stary Toruń to try your best baked dumplings ever. I can assure you about it. I tasted it many times, and never being dissapointed. And what distinguish that place the most is the possibility to compose your dumplings by yourself to have on your plate mix of their sort.


3:00 PM
A walk of a minute takes you to Chełmińska Street, where is placed Lenkiewicz Cafe-Cocktailbar-Confectionery. If you still have place in your stomach, stand for a while to buy there ice creams. But I need to worn you – the queue can be long.. sometimes very long as if 20 people in row or even more.


Than, go along to the end of Chełmińska and Żeglasrka Street till you’ll see for yourself the moment that you set eyes on old, high building made of red brick, that is, Church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, known as Toruń Cathedral.


One of vertical street to it is Kopernik Street. There you find The Copernicus’ House which belonged to the family of the great astronomer named Nicolaus Copernicus.


4:00 PM
There is one think connected strongly with Toruń – gingerbreads. On the Toruń Old Town you can find some official shops wherein you can find these delicious sweets as well as The Livin Museum of Gingerbread where you can make your own gingerbread. I am a strong fun of the Living Museum of Gingerbread, but I recommend it only to Polish folks.

Little did I know about that place before inviting there a friend of mine who is Portuguese. It has been, till that day, my eventful place in Toruń. I draw it in details HERE.

By the way, I am on the point of telling you that spending time there doesn’t give so much fun for foreigners as for Polish does, because even organizer claims the possibility to take part in English-performance, they lead it at the same time as Polish one with the priority of the second language.

But what can we hope to do?

Even though, maybe it is only my wry approach to it or maybe my train of reasoning is not very apropriate. But I think it is a sense of the importance of the subject, thus, for more opinions visit their Facebook page and try it on your own.

Nonetheless, I would be grateful for your opinion about that place on a comment box below.


5:00 PM
Go to the river. From that part of Toruń you can see well preserved town’s walls, including The Brisge Gate, The Convent Gate (also named the Holy Spirit Gate) and The Sailors' Gate.


Lucky you if you meet the possibility to ride the river by boat named Katarzynka II driven by a married couple. Sometimes there is a need to wait till group of 10 people will be collected. However, as for as I am concerned, it has never taken more than 10 minutes.

When in boat, I always get lost in my thoughts.


Time in boat doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes. Next half of hour you can spend, especially if being a fan of walls, on sighseeing ruins of Toruń Castle.


Here a melancholy walk of a couple of minutes will sooner or later bring you to a high wooden building. This building which looks like an old, oak wardrobe, named Baj Pomorski, it is a theatre with spectacular architecture.

Unique, perfectly unique!


7:00 PM
I have never eaten as good dinner as I did in Loft Restaurant. Everyone will find something to himself here. Only one friend of mine grumble for not enough gluten free meals. Other place well visting is Róże i Zen. In my opinion it is the most romantic cafe-restaurant in Toruń.


9:00 PM
When you still have strength to do something active, take a walk round the same bricks to discover night nature of Toruń.

When you visit Toruń in August, you may meet the possibility to attend Bella Skyway Festival – the festival of lights. BTW, it is going to start next week from 22th to 28th August, 2016.

10:00 PM
That very night let the curved and half-shadowed walk to leed you to the Kraina Piwa Pub. They have wide range of beer assortment from different part of the world.


Hope I throw you some light on ways of spending a day in Toruń.

I still miss mobile app using augmented reality technology that can replace tour guide which shows Toruń’s wonders. As I know well, there aren’t hardly any. And I think that the case certainly grows in interest.

But I must leave that request to the future.

If Toruń pass your journey, drop a line to tell me you are coming.
If possible, I will eagerly join your tour.

PHOTOS BY Róża Błaś