The best things to do in Bydgoszcz

  1. Things to prepare before going to Bydgoszcz
  2. Costs of living in Bydgoszcz
  3. Save money in Bydgoszcz - Tips for living in Bydgoszcz on a student budget
  4. How to get to Bydgoszcz - Getting to Bydgoszcz by train, plane, car or bus
  5. Bydgoszcz neighborhoods - The most important districts of Bydgoszcz
  6. Accommodation for students in Bydgoszcz - Top tips and pieces of advice
  7. Public transport in Bydgoszcz - Getting around Bydgoszcz
  8. Nightlife in Bydgoszcz - Night club guide and going out in Bydgoszcz
  9. Where to eat in Bydgoszcz - Polish cuisine and gastronomy in Bydgoszcz
  10. Polish cuisine - The gastronomy of Poland and traditional dishes
  11. The best things to do in Bydgoszcz
  12. The best things to do in Bydgoszcz - Museums
  13. The best things to do in Bydgoszcz - Churches
  14. Where to relax in Bydgoszcz
  15. Cinemas and Theatres in Bydgoszcz
  16. Day trips from Bydgoszcz - Places to visit and excursions around Bydgoszcz
  17. Festivals in Bydgoszcz - Festivities and celebrations calendar
  18. Bydgoszcz In 2 Days - What to see in Bydgoszcz in 2 days

Bydgoszcz is the capital of Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship (province). Located in northern Poland, Bydgoszcz is influenced by three important nearby Polish regions: Kujawy, Pomorze and Wielkopolska. The city’s history dates back to the 13th century. It was an important center for the grain trade thanks to its rivers: Brda and Vistula. One of the most important moments in the history of the city was the opening of the Bydgoski Canal in the 18th century and the new train connection with Berlin in the 19th century. Since then Bydgoszcz had seen rapid growth and economical development. For centuries it was considered an industrial city, now it’s an up-and-coming city which is continuously changing, and becoming a great place to live, and full of interesting spots to discover. So let us take you on a trip around Bydgoszcz and discover its hidden treasures!

Must see in Bydgoszcz:

  • Mill Island (Wyspa Młyńska)

The most popular spot in Bydgoszcz. Mill Island is a green space with a wealth of culture just next to the Old Town. The island is surrounded by the Brda River and Młynówka Canal. You can enjoy the beautiful view at the Opera Nova on the other bank of the river. On the other side of the island there is a place called Bydgoszcz Venice. Of course you can’t compare this place to the world famous Italian city, the name just denotes the fact that the buildings are constructed on the waterfront. Mill Island is the place where all the most important cultural events take place. There are several museums, click here for more information. If you want to find out what’s going on in Bydgoszcz, just go to Mill Island and see for yourself! Whenever the weather is nice, people flock to this area.

  • The Old Town (Stare Miasto)

The Old Town is located just next to the river. The history of this place dates back to 1346, when King Casimir the Great founded the city. The central point is called Old Market Square. It’s surrounded by buildings mostly from the 19th century. The big white building is the City Hall, where the Mayor of Bydgoszcz’s office is. In the background you can see the cathedral. There are two monuments on this square. One of them is the Bydgoszcz Land Fight and Martyrdom Monument, which commemorates the victims of the German occupation during the Second World War. Today it’s a popular meeting spot, you will often hear people say “let’s meet by the monument (Polish: spotkajmy się pod pomnikiem)”. Another much smaller, but still charming monument is Children Playing with Goose Fountain, situated in front of the Bydgoszcz Main Library.

In the Old Town area you’ll find a lot of restaurants, cafés and pubs. This is the best place in Bydgoszcz to spend some time with your friends or family. The most important streets in the Old Town are Długa Street (the longest street in that area) and Mostowa Street, which leads to the bridge and to the Gdańska Street. Only two minutes away from the Old Market Square there’s Mill Island.

  • Brda River

Brda River is of much importance in Bydgoszcz. The Brda river goes through the whole city, and the water network system is symbolic for the citizens of Bydgoszcz. It looks different in different parts of Bydgoszcz, more natural on the outskirts of the city, and more urban in the central parts, where you can find nice boulevards alongside the river. There are several locks on the river and the Bydgoszcz Canal, some of them are pretty old and may be interesting to see.

All of downtown and Old Town is focused around the river. The best area to walk by the river starts from the three bridges near the train station, continuing on to the center - Stary Port with the most impressive waterfront - and all the way down the river until Pomorski bridge. When you pass the bus station, you will reach the sports centerŁuczniczka Arena, Artego Arena and the ice rink (still under construction). All of these sport facilities are located in the middle of the park just next to the river.

The water is so clean, that you can go fishing in the center and even go swimming (but only during special events, don’t do it unsupervised)! There’s a run called Woda Bydgoskain which all participants actually swim in the river. The race follows a tradition which begun before the Second World War, and it is the only swimming competition of its kind in Poland. You can go kayakingon Brda River - in order to do this, visit Marina on the Mill Island, where you can also rent out paddleboards etc. The Bydgoszcz Marina building, built in 2012, won several prizes for the best building of the year in Poland. We also have a River Crossing World Championshipthat takes place in May, just next to the Tightrope Walker statue. It basically involves participants from different countries trying to cross the river whilst balancing on a tightrope, which hangs about 10 meters above the surface of water. Come and enjoy Bydgoszcz Slackline Games! Quite impressive to see! Follow the event on Facebook.

Throughout the summer we have outdoor classical music concerts, just by the river, in the amphitheater next to the Opera Nova. It is called Rzeka Muzyki (The River of Music) - if you are interested, you can read more about it here.

The most interesting river themed activity and one of major tourist attractions in Bydgoszcz is taking a cruise on the Water Tram. You can read about all the details here

The most “busy” days on the river are in June, when the Bydgoszcz Water Festival "Ster na Bydgoszcz" takes place. You can read more about it here…

  • Bydgoszcz Canal (Kanał Bydgoski)

A canal connecting Vistula river and Oder river, part of the international water route E70, which connects Poland with Germany on the west, and Baltic States on the east - a very important part of the the Bydgoszcz water network (Bydgoski Węzeł Wodny). The oldest part of the canal now serves as a park and a green oasis in the middle of a city. You can walk there, ride a bike or have a picnic. Sit on a bench, listen to the sound of the big fountains and enjoy a stunning view of the old, XIX-century buildings reflecting in the water. It’s a beautiful place all year round (autumn is my personal favorite with all the colors), make sure you don’t miss it!

  • Granaries along Brda River (Spichrze)

The most recognisable symbol of Bydgoszcz. Three centuries old, Prussian granaries dominate a view from the bridge in the Old Town. Their distinctive silhouette has become the logo of the city. Now there’s a museum about the history of the city (read more here). Standing at the bridge, you may notice an intriguing statue, balancing on the rope above the surface of the water. It’s a new tourist attraction in Bydgoszcz, called Tightrope Walker or the Man crossing the River. Over the last 20 years, the iconic view from the bridge has been complemented by “new granaries”, which are the mBank buildings. On the opposite side of the river you can see the neo-Gothic building of the Main Post Office.

  • Gdańska Street

A long shopping street full of remarkable architecture, where you’ll find a lot of examples of art nouveau in the area (Cieszkowskiego Street, Mickiewicza Street). At the beginning of the Gdańska Street there is the Drukarnia Shopping Centre. Later on you will see one of the most impressive and richly decorated buildings in Bydgoszcz - Hotel pod Orłem. Pay attention to architectural details, including the statue of an eagle on the top of the hotel. Going further down the street to the north we reach Plac Wolności (Square of Freedom) -described below. Gdańska Street eventually leaves the city and leads us to the Myślęcinek Forest Park.

  • Plac Wolności (Square of Freedom), Potop fountain

This is an important square in the downtown area of Bydgoszcz, next to the Gdańska Street. This square is surrounded by impressive 19th century architecture: the monumental Church of St. Peter and St. Paul and the tenement house at Gdańska 27 and Plac Wolności 1 (which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bydgoszcz). The square is just next to The Kazimierz Wielki Park. The biggest attraction in here is the Potop fountain- a big monument containing a few human-sized sculptures, covered in pouring water. “Potop” in Polish means “flood” or “deluge” and the whole fountain refers to the deluge myth from the Bible. We can see a dramatic scene of people and animals struggling against the water. Just behind the fountain begins the green part of the park, with very old trees and two small lakes, where you can see swans and ducks. It’s literally in the middle of the city, just next to the main streets, but at the same time it’s very quiet and calm. I really recommend this place if you want to relax but don’t have much time.

  • The music district

Aside from water and sports, Bydgoszcz is also the city of music. The city has long musical traditions. We even have a whole area, which is connected with music. We call it “Dzielnica Muzyczna”, which means “The music district”, which is located only 10 minutes from the Old Town. It’s like a different city, very quiet and relaxed. The few noises you hear from time to time are very pleasant: you can hear the classical music sounds from students of the Musical School as they practise. In the middle of the district, there’s the Pomeranian Philharmonic, which is famous for its unique acoustics. In front of the building you have Dancing Fountains. In the summer there’s a big show going on in there every evening, incorporating water, light and sound. Make sure you see it! In the same area there’s the 100 year old Jan Kochanowski Park, which has been recently renovated, and is full of flowers and birds. In the middle you’ll find The Archer Lady Statue (Łuczniczka), which is considered (after the Granaries) as the city’s symbol. But that’s not the only sculpture in there, you can find several others, commemorating famous artists and composers. The music district is also the seat of the Polish Theater. In the neighborhood there is an old botanical garden (next to UKW main campus) and the idyllic residential area of Sielanka - a realization of the modernist Garden City concept.

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