You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of this Polish city. Bydgoszcz is one of the lesser destinations to visit in Poland, but that doesn’t take it off the list of the best cities in Poland. Getting to its top attraction is easy and convenient. If you’re planning your next trip to Poland, map out a day or two to explore this beautiful city.
Nicknamed the ‘Venice of Poland’, Bydgoszcz is home to lots of beautiful attractions, picturesque river banks and colorful architecture that are bound to have tourists happily snapping away. And because it doesn’t attract many tourists like Krakow or Wroclaw, you may find that locals are more inclined to lend a helping hand.
What is there to see and do when you visit? In no particular order, here are the top 10 things to do in Bydgoszcz.
1. Old Market Square
Hosting regular concerts, events and public gatherings, the Old Market Square is the center of social life in Bydgoszcz. Visit during summer, pick a nice seating spot in one of the bars or pavement cafes with a chilled bottle of beer or a finely brewed coffee whilst watching the world go by.
Take in the stunning views of the square surrounded by 18th-century tenement houses. Be sure to check out the Town Hall, St Martin and St Nicholas Cathedral.
2. Museum of Soap and History of Dirt
If you’re interested in something a bit different from the norm – you’re in luck. Museum of Soap and History of Dirt lives up to its name. The museum takes visitors through the history of how the first soap was made. Here you will find answers to the following questions
- Who was the dirtiest king in history?
- What was the first soap made of?
- What are the steps in making your own soap?
One of the museum’s major highlight is that the first washing machine powder Persil was manufactured here. No other place has much history about soap and how it’s made than the Museum of Soap and History of Dirt. Definitely, you’ll have fun doing so. For a chance to explore this museum, book your English-speaking tour in advance as they get sold out quicker than you think.
Pit 1233 Wikimedia Commons
3. Brda Riverfront
Start your tour of Bydgoszcz here. This beautiful waterfront is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the city including the half-timbered granaries.
Take a cruise along the river to admire the city’s beautiful sight from a different ankle. For more adventures, you can either walk or cycle along the towpath to explore the beautiful architecture.
4. Water Tower
Built in 1900 the Water Tower is located in a park in the Szwederowo district. The tower now a monument houses a museum which holds detailed information about the city’s turn of the century water supply network.
Other collections in the museum include archival photos, wooden water pipes and vintage bathroom and toilet fittings. Want to see the city from above? Climb to the top of the 60 meters high tower.
5. Bydgoszcz Cathedral
Within proximity to the Town Hall and Market Square is Bydgoszcz Cathedral. Thanks to its massive size, the cathedral is easily recognizable.
Dating back to the 14th century, what you’ll find inside the church will amaze you. The brightly colored walls, detailed vaulted ceiling and the Baroque high altar are a spectacle. An iconic site in the city; do not miss a trip to this cathedral.
6. Mill Island
If your primary reason for visiting Bydgoszcz is to take a stroll around its riverfront and learn more about its rich history, then Mill Island is the right place to be.
Just as the name implies, the island is dotted by granaries and old mill buildings that have been transformed into museums. Many people visit the island to relax in its wide-open green spaces. Spend the day paddling out in the waters in a rented rowboat.
7. Town Hall
Yet another impressive sight, the Town Hall is located on the west side of the Old Market Square. Built in the mid 17th century, the Town Hall was never designed for this purpose.
In its early days, the building originally served as a Jesuit College for more than 100 years before its transformation. At the time, the college was not only the city’s largest building but also its first place of higher learning. The college became a town hall in 1878 – a period when the city was flourishing.
Krzysztof Golik Wikimedia Commons
8. Man Crossing the River
Possibly the most photographed in Bydgoszcz, ‘Man Crossing the River’ is a statue suspended by a single cable across the Brda River.
This piece of sculpture of a naked man holding a pole and two arrows celebrates the day Poland became a part of the European Union in 2004. This beautiful piece of art was designed by Jerzy Kedziora.
Renowned for being the largest urban park in the country, Myslecinek is an amazing place to visit. Covering more than 800 hectares, the park is dotted with ponds, lakes, trees and many more.
Here, you’ll find locals who come here to enjoy its peacefulness. During winter, the park makes an ideal spot for skiing. The park is at its busiest in summer, as it plays hosts to lots of attractions including a family-friendly amusement park.
10. Opera Nova
Visit Opera Nova to see a world-class performance. This is one of the most modern theaters in the country. Officially opened in 2006, the building stages a mix of operas, ballet, musical, operetta, concerts and other performances. This is a must-do for any culture vulture.
Many people typically see Bydgoszcz as unappealing, but a trip to the city will show you the exact opposite. The only way to find out is to experience the city firsthand. So is Bydgoszcz worth visiting?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES! Why not plan your trip to this wonderful city before its beauty becomes something that the whole world would like to see. Now, you can still enjoy the authentic side of Bydgoszcz to the fullest