Things to do in Bydgoszcz – Poland

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path travel destination in Poland, then Bydgoszcz should definitely be on your list. Located in the northern part of the country, Bydgoszcz is a vibrant and historic city with plenty of things to offer for travellers of all interests.

For history buffs, there are numerous historical sites and landmarks to explore, from the stunning Old Town and its medieval architecture to the iconic Bydgoszcz Cathedral. The city is also home to several museums, showcasing everything from local art to the history of the region.

But Bydgoszcz isn’t just for history lovers. The city has a bustling nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. Families with children will find plenty of fun activities to do, from visiting local parks to exploring Bydgoszcz’s cultural events. And if you’re in the mood for some shopping or culinary exploration, Bydgoszcz won’t disappoint.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bydgoszcz is a historic and vibrant city in northern Poland.
  • There are numerous historical sites and landmarks to explore.
  • There are several museums, showcasing everything from local art to the history of the region.
  • Bydgoszcz has a bustling nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.
  • There are plenty of fun activities for families with children.
  • Bydgoszcz has great shopping and culinary exploration opportunities.

Exploring Bydgoszcz’s Historical Sites

Bydgoszcz is a city rich in history, with a number of monuments and landmarks dating back to the Middle Ages. Exploring the historical sites in Bydgoszcz is a must for any visitor to the city.

Old Town

The Old Town of Bydgoszcz is the heart of the city’s history. Its cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and charming squares make it a favourite destination for tourists. One of the most significant landmarks in the Old Town is the Church of St. Martin and Nicholas, which dates back to the 15th century.

Historical SiteDescription
Old Market SquareThe largest square in the Old Town, surrounded by historic buildings and home to the Old Town Hall.
Mill IslandA historic complex of granaries and mills that once served as the economic hub of the city.
Fordon Village MuseumAn open-air museum showcasing the traditional architecture and way of life of the region.

Bydgoszcz Canal

The Bydgoszcz Canal is a 19th-century waterway that connects the city to the Vistula River. Its construction was a significant achievement in engineering history, and it still serves as a vital transportation route today. Visitors can take a boat tour of the canal to experience the historic waterway firsthand.

“The Bydgoszcz Canal is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the engineers who built it. It is a must-see for anyone interested in industrial history.”

Bydgoszcz Fortress

Originally built in the late 17th century, the Bydgoszcz Fortress was expanded in the 19th century to become one of the largest military complexes in Europe. Today, visitors can explore the underground tunnels and casemates that were once used to defend the city.

  1. The North Fort
  2. The South Fort
  3. The Canal Fort
  4. The Mill Island Fort

Bydgoszcz Museums: A Cultural Exploration

Bydgoszcz boasts a rich cultural heritage, and its museums offer a glimpse into the city’s fascinating past. There are numerous museums to visit, each with its own unique charm and offerings.

Muzeum Okręgowe im. Leona Wyczółkowskiego

The Leon Wyczółkowski Regional Museum is a must-see for all art enthusiasts. It is home to an impressive collection of Polish art, including sculptures, paintings, and drawings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored 18th-century granary, and offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere for visitors to appreciate the art on display.

Muzeum Kanału Bydgoskiego

The Bydgoszcz Canal Museum is dedicated to the history and significance of the Bydgoszcz Canal. The canal played a significant role in the development of the city and was considered an engineering marvel when it was constructed. Visitors can learn about the history of the canal, how it was built, and see artifacts from the canal’s early days.

Muzeum Farmacji

The Pharmacy Museum is housed in a restored 16th-century building and provides a unique glimpse into the history of pharmacy in Poland. The museum’s exhibits include old pharmacy equipment, books, and medicinal herbs. Visitors can also see a recreated alchemist’s laboratory and learn about the process of creating medicines in the past.

Muzeum Piśmiennictwa i Muzyki Kaszubsko-Pomorskiej

The Kashubian-Pomeranian Literature and Music Museum is dedicated to the traditions and culture of the Kashubian-Pomeranian region. Visitors can learn about the dialect, music, and literature of the region through exhibits and interactive displays. The museum also hosts regular concerts and events to showcase the region’s rich musical heritage.

Whether you are interested in art, engineering, medicine, or culture, Bydgoszcz’s museums have something to offer. A visit to these museums is not just an educational experience, but also an opportunity to appreciate the city’s heritage and cultural richness.

Vibrant Nightlife in Bydgoszcz

When the sun sets on Bydgoszcz, the city comes alive with an energetic nightlife scene that caters to all tastes. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back evening with friends or a wild night out, Bydgoszcz has got you covered.

One of the most popular areas for nightlife is Mill Island, which is home to a range of bars and clubs. Here you’ll find everything from intimate jazz bars to bustling nightclubs, with live music and DJs playing until the early hours of the morning.

If you’re a fan of craft beer, then head to one of Bydgoszcz’s many pubs and breweries. They offer a range of local and international beers, as well as traditional Polish snacks, such as pierogi and kielbasa.

If cocktails are more your thing, then pay a visit to one of Bydgoszcz’s stylish cocktail bars, where talented mixologists create delicious drinks using local ingredients and spirits.

Brief Introduction to Nightlife Hotspots

For a fun night out with friends, we recommend heading to Tawerna Różana, a popular bar with a large outdoor seating area and a wide selection of beer, wine, and spirits. If you’re looking for something more upscale, then check out the exclusive 4 Elements cocktail bar, which offers a range of unique cocktails and a stylish atmosphere.

For a truly unforgettable experience, make your way to the famous Opera Nova, which hosts a range of concerts and shows throughout the year. With its grand staircase and stunning interior, this is the perfect place to experience Bydgoszcz’s cultural scene while sipping on a glass of champagne.

Whatever your taste, Bydgoszcz’s vibrant nightlife scene is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So get out there and explore!

Best Tourist Sites in Bydgoszcz

Bydgoszcz is home to a range of must-visit tourist sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural and historical heritage. From stunning landmarks to vibrant museums, here are some of our top recommendations for the best tourist sites in Bydgoszcz:

Mill IslandA picturesque island in the heart of the city, home to historic mills and beautiful parks
The Old Market SquareA charming square surrounded by stunning architecture, bustling with cafes and restaurants
Fordon ZooA fantastic family-friendly attraction showcasing a range of exotic animals and rare species
The Opera NovaA grand opera house with a stunning interior, hosting world-class performances and events
The Leon Wyczółkowski District MuseumA fascinating museum housing the works of acclaimed Polish artist Leon Wyczółkowski

These are just a few of the many amazing tourist sites that Bydgoszcz has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply exploring the city’s vibrant atmosphere, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting destination.

Best Places to Stay in Bydgoszcz

If you’re planning a trip to Bydgoszcz and wondering where to stay, we’ve got you covered. The city boasts a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference.

Cheap and Cheerful:

If you’re travelling on a tight budget, we recommend checking out Hotel Ikar, which offers simple yet comfortable rooms at an affordable price. Another great option is the Campanile Bydgoszcz, which offers modern rooms and a central location.

Hotel NamePrice RangeLocation
Hotel Ikar£20-£40 per nightCity Centre
Campanile Bydgoszcz£30-£60 per nightCity Centre

Luxury Living:

If you’re looking for something more upscale, there are several high-end hotels to choose from. The Hotel Bohema offers luxurious rooms and suites, as well as a spa and wellness centre. The City Hotel offers elegant rooms in a historic building with an unbeatable central location.

Hotel NamePrice RangeLocation
Hotel Bohema£100-£200 per nightCity Centre
City Hotel£80-£150 per nightCity Centre

Regardless of where you choose to stay, Bydgoszcz offers visitors a warm welcome and a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and taste.

Best Places to Eat in Bydgoszcz

When it comes to dining in Bydgoszcz, visitors are spoiled for choice with a diverse range of cuisine available. From traditional Polish food to international dishes, there is something to suit every palate and budget.

If you are looking for a fine dining experience, Trattoria Rucola is a must-visit. This Italian restaurant serves some of the best pizza and pasta in town, with an extensive wine list to match. For those who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, Kuchnia u Doroty is a cosy and homely Polish restaurant that offers hearty and authentic dishes.

The Best Milk Bars in Bydgoszcz

If you are looking to try traditional Polish cuisine at an affordable price, head to a milk bar. These canteens have been a staple of Polish food culture for decades and serve up delicious and filling dishes. Mleczny Start is a popular choice, with a variety of dishes including pierogies, schnitzel, and bigos.

For a modern twist on traditional Polish cuisine, Stryszek is a trendy restaurant that offers a fusion of Polish and European flavours. The menu changes frequently, depending on what is in season, but you can expect dishes such as wild boar with roasted vegetables and beetroot soup with smoked salmon.

“When it comes to dining in Bydgoszcz, visitors are spoiled for choice with a diverse range of cuisine available. From traditional Polish food to international dishes, there is something to suit every palate and budget.”

If you are in the mood for something sweet, head to Cukiernia Sowa for some of the best cakes and pastries in town. The cosy café has a relaxed atmosphere, and the staff are always friendly and welcoming.

For a truly unique experience, Hopium is a craft beer bar that offers a range of beers brewed on-site. The industrial-style décor and laid-back atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a night out with friends.

With so many great dining options available, make sure to indulge in the culinary delights that Bydgoszcz has to offer.

Exploring Bydgoszcz’s Local Parks

Bydgoszcz is not just a city of history and culture, it is also a city of greenery and open spaces. As you explore our charming city, make sure to take a break from the hustle and bustle and visit some of these local parks:

Park NameDescription
Mill IslandA beautiful island park in the middle of the Brda River, surrounded by historic buildings and museums. Perfect for a picnic, a jog, or a stroll.
Myślęcinek ParkThe largest park in Bydgoszcz, with vast green spaces, lakes, and playgrounds. Ideal for families with children and those seeking outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Mill Island is a must-visit for any tourist, with its stunning views and rich history, while Myślęcinek Park is a great choice for anyone looking to enjoy some greenery and fresh air away from the noise of the city.

Other notable parks in Bydgoszcz include the charming Slowacki Park, the tranquil Forest Park of Culture and Recreation, and the scenic Bartodziejski Park. Each of these parks offers a unique experience and atmosphere, so be sure to take some time to explore them all.

Natural Wonders: Bydgoszcz’s National Parks

Bydgoszcz is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in Poland. The city is surrounded by national parks and nature reserves that are a must-visit for those seeking to explore the great outdoors.

The Brda River Valley Landscape Park

The Brda River Valley Landscape Park is one of the most popular national parks in Bydgoszcz. The park covers over 6300 hectares and is situated along the Brda River, making it an ideal location for water-based activities such as canoeing and fishing. Visitors can also explore the park’s beautiful forests and fields on foot or by bike.

The Tuchola Forest National Park

The Tuchola Forest National Park is a vast wilderness area that covers over 400 square kilometers. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including wolves, deer, and wild boars. Visitors can explore the park on foot, bike, or horseback, and there are also plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and fishing.

The Zaborski Landscape Park

The Zaborski Landscape Park is a protected area that spans over 14,000 hectares. The park is known for its beautiful forests, meadows, and lakes, which are home to a variety of birds and mammals. Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, go fishing in the lakes, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning natural scenery.

Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Bydgoszcz’s national parks and nature reserves are sure to impress.

Brief History of Bydgoszcz

Bydgoszcz is a city steeped in history, with its origins dating back to the 10th century. Over the centuries, the city has faced many wars and invasions, but has managed to preserve its unique character.

During the Second World War, the city suffered heavy damage, but was eventually rebuilt and restored to its former glory. Today, Bydgoszcz is a vibrant and bustling city, known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning architecture.

Getting Around Bydgoszcz: Transportation Options

When it comes to getting around Bydgoszcz, visitors have several options to choose from. The most popular and convenient mode of transportation is the train, which connects the city with major destinations across Poland. Bydgoszcz Glowna is the main railway station, and from here, visitors can easily reach other parts of the city.

Trains in Bydgoszcz

The train system in Bydgoszcz is efficient and reliable, making it a popular choice for visitors. The PKP Intercity and Arriva companies operate most of the trains in the region, with frequent services to Warsaw, Gdansk, and Poznan. Visitors can purchase tickets at the station or online.

Another option for train travel in Bydgoszcz is the regional trains, which operate within the Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodeship. These trains are less expensive than the intercity trains and connect smaller towns and villages in the region.

Other Transport Options in Bydgoszcz

In addition to trains, there are several other transportation options available in Bydgoszcz. Buses operate throughout the city, with a comprehensive network of routes connecting different neighbourhoods. Visitors can purchase tickets on the bus or at designated kiosks.

Taxis are also widely available, with several companies operating in the city. Visitors can hail a taxi on the street or book one in advance through a mobile app or by phone. Car rental is another option for those who prefer to explore the city at their own pace.

Finally, Bydgoszcz is a walkable city, and many of the main attractions are located close to each other. Walking is a great way to experience the city’s vibrant atmosphere and explore the local neighbourhoods.

Exploring Bydgoszcz’s Cultural Events

Bydgoszcz is a city bursting with vibrant cultural events that cater to all interests and ages.

Music Festivals

Music enthusiasts will enjoy the city’s annual Bydgoszcz Jazz Festival, featuring top jazz musicians from Poland and around the world. Another must-see event is the Operalia Festival, which celebrates opera and classical music.

Film Festivals

Cinephiles can revel in the city’s many film festivals, including the Camerimage International Film Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious events of its kind in Europe. The festival showcases the work of international cinematographers and offers film screenings and workshops.

Theatre and Dance Performances

The city is home to several theatres and dance companies that showcase a variety of performances throughout the year. One popular venue is the Opera Nova, which stages opera, ballet, and drama performances in a stunning modern building.

Cultural Celebrations

Visitors can experience the city’s traditional cultural celebrations, such as the Bydgoszcz Water Festival, which features a colourful parade of watercraft on the Brda River. The annual Bydgoszcz Bread Festival celebrates the city’s rich culinary heritage and offers visitors the chance to taste traditional bread and pastries.

With such a diverse range of cultural events, Bydgoszcz truly has something for everyone.

Bydgoszcz for Families: Fun Activities for Kids

If you’re visiting Bydgoszcz with children, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy.

We recommend starting with a trip to the Bydgoszcz Zoo, which is home to over 300 species of animals from all over the world. Kids will love the chance to see elephants, tigers, bears, and other exotic animals up close.

Another great destination for families is the Myślęcinek Park, which is one of the largest parks in Poland. It’s an ideal place for a family picnic, with plenty of open spaces and play areas for kids. The park also boasts a mini zoo, a planetarium, and a small amusement park with rides and games.

If your kids love science, head to the Exploseum, a unique museum that’s located in a former military explosive production facility. Here, they’ll learn about the history of explosives and see demonstrations of how they were made.

Aqua Park

For a day of water fun, check out the Aqua Park, located close to the Bydgoszcz City Center. The water park offers multiple swimming pools and water slides, as well as saunas and a gym for parents.

Finally, don’t miss the Panorama of the Battle of Bydgoszcz, a massive panoramic painting that depicts one of the largest battles of the First World War. Kids will enjoy exploring the detailed diorama, which features life-sized models of soldiers and their equipment.

With so many fun activities for kids, Bydgoszcz is the perfect destination for a family vacation.

Bydgoszcz’s Shopping Scene: Retail Therapy

If you love shopping, Bydgoszcz has plenty to offer. From chic boutiques to bustling marketplaces, there’s something for everyone. The city is especially famous for its artisan crafts, including hand-painted ceramics and traditional wood carvings.

Old Market Square

Located in the heart of the city, Old Market Square is a must-visit for any serious shopper. This historic marketplace has been trading since the Middle Ages and is full of character, with charming, pastel-coloured merchants’ houses lining the streets. You’ll find everything here, from fresh produce and flowers to handmade souvenirs and clothing.

Galaxy Bydgoszcz

If you prefer a more modern shopping experience, head to Galaxy Bydgoszcz. This huge mall is home to over 200 shops, as well as a cinema, bowling alley, and restaurants. You’ll find both popular high street brands and designer boutiques here, as well as a range of electronics and home goods stores.

Mill’s Island

For a unique shopping experience, visit Mill’s Island. This picturesque island in the middle of the Brda River is home to a vibrant arts and crafts market, where local artists and artisans sell their wares. Browse a range of handmade goods, from jewellery and clothing to pottery and leather goods.

So whether you’re looking for traditional souvenirs or the latest fashion trends, Bydgoszcz’s shopping scene is sure to delight.

Bydgoszcz’s Local Cuisine: Culinary Delights

One of the best ways to experience the culture of a new place is through their local cuisine. Bydgoszcz has a rich culinary heritage that is a must-try for anyone visiting. Here are some of the traditional dishes that you should not miss:

Traditional DishDescription
Kujawski SmalecThis is a traditional pork fat spread that is served with bread. It is usually seasoned with spices and onion.
PierogiThis is a type of dumpling that is filled with various ingredients such as potato, cheese, meat, or fruit. It can be boiled or fried and is served with toppings like sour cream or fried onions.
BigosThis is a hearty cabbage and meat stew that is cooked slowly with spices. It is usually served with bread or potatoes.
Kotlet SchabowyThis is a type of breaded pork cutlet that is similar to a schnitzel. It is often served with potatoes and vegetables.
ŚledzikThis is a traditional herring dish that is usually marinated in oil, vinegar, and spices. It is often served as an appetizer with bread.

If you have a sweet tooth, then you will love the local desserts. Try the gingerbread cookies called Pierniki, or the poppy seed cake called Makowiec. Wash it all down with a shot of vodka or a glass of beer from one of the many local breweries in Bydgoszcz.

Many restaurants in Bydgoszcz serve traditional cuisine, but some of the best places to try it are the local milk bars called Bar Mleczny. These inexpensive eateries offer home-cooked meals at affordable prices. You can also visit the local markets to buy fresh produce and ingredients to cook your own meals.


Bydgoszcz is truly a hidden gem in Poland that offers an eclectic mix of historical landmarks, diverse museums, natural wonders, and a vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities or retail therapy, this city has something for everyone.

During your visit, make sure to explore the local cuisine and try out traditional dishes such as pyry z gzikiem or kiszka ziemniaczana. You can also indulge in some retail therapy at one of the many shopping districts or immerse yourself in the cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year.

With a rich history and beautiful local parks, Bydgoszcz is a city that can be easily explored with a mix of walking and public transport options. Don’t miss out on the national parks and nature reserves that offer visitors a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Overall, Bydgoszcz is a destination that should not be missed. We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into what this beautiful city has to offer and that it inspires you to plan your next visit to Bydgoszcz.


Q: What are some of the must-see tourist sites in Bydgoszcz?

A: Some of the top tourist sites in Bydgoszcz include the Old Market Square, Mill Island, and the Bydgoszcz Opera.

Q: Are there any local parks in Bydgoszcz?

A: Yes, Bydgoszcz is home to several beautiful local parks, such as Park Kazimierz Wielki and Park Jana Kochanowskiego.

Q: What transportation options are available in Bydgoszcz?

A: Bydgoszcz offers various transportation options, including trains, buses, and taxis. The city is well-connected and easy to navigate.

Q: What are some family-friendly activities in Bydgoszcz?

A: Families visiting Bydgoszcz can enjoy fun activities such as visiting the Exploseum Interactive Museum or exploring the Zawisza Bydgoszcz Stadium.

Q: Where can I find the best places to eat in Bydgoszcz?

A: Bydgoszcz has a vibrant culinary scene, and some of the best places to eat can be found in the Old Market Square and the Mill Island area.

Q: Are there any national parks or nature reserves in Bydgoszcz?

A: Yes, Bydgoszcz is surrounded by stunning national parks and nature reserves, including the Wda Landscape Park and the Tuchola Forest.

Q: What historical sites can I explore in Bydgoszcz?

A: Bydgoszcz is rich in historical landmarks, such as the Old Town Hall and the Bydgoszcz Cathedral, which are worth visiting for their architectural beauty.

Q: What cultural events and festivals take place in Bydgoszcz?

A: Bydgoszcz hosts a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the Bydgoszcz Music Festival and the International Film Festival.

Q: Where can I go shopping in Bydgoszcz?

A: Shopaholics will enjoy exploring the shopping districts in Bydgoszcz, such as the Galeria Pomorska and the Focus Mall, where they can find a wide range of shops and boutiques.

Q: Can you recommend some places to stay in Bydgoszcz?

A: Bydgoszcz offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Some popular choices include Hotel Pod Orlem and Hotel Słoneczny Młyn.

Q: What is the brief history of Bydgoszcz?

A: Bydgoszcz has a rich history dating back to medieval times. It has been influenced by various cultures and played a significant role in Polish history.