The Ultimate Guide to Bydgoszcz

Bydgoszcz City is one of the most underrated cities in Poland. It is not as well known as other tourist destinations like Krakow or Warsaw but you will be hard-pressed to find another city that offers so much in terms of culture and history.

The old town area is filled with historic buildings, cobblestone streets and charming cafes while many museums showcase Poland’s past struggles through various periods of time.

Bydgoszcz. City embankment along the river at sunrise

However, if you are travelling through Bydgoszcz then it might be worth spending some time outside its borders too. The city’s surrounding areas are just as beautiful and offer a completely different experience.

If you are interested in spending some time in Bydgoszcz then we have put together this Bydgoszcz City guide to help you plan your trip. We have included information on some of the best places to visit, activities to do while you are there and even some local cuisine that is worth trying!

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

How to get to Bydgoszcz

Getting to Bydgoszcz is a breeze, thanks to the Bydgoszcz airport and its proximity to the city. Bydgoszcz Ignacy Jan Paderewski Airport is only a 10 minute drive into the centre. Alternatively, there is a bus route that directly takes you from the terminal into Bydgoszcz.

There are also a number of options for getting into the city by train, bus or car. If you are driving yourself, the roads are well-maintained and free of congestion. There is a train station, Bydgoszcz Błonie, that connects to many of the other beautiful cities to visit in Poland nearby

How to get around Bydgoszcz

In Bydgoszcz, you have plenty of options for getting around. The city is small enough that you can pretty much walk everywhere, but if you would rather not hoof it, there is also public transport available.

There are buses, trams and trains that will take you anywhere in the city. If you do not feel like walking at all, there are always taxis available as well.

For those visiting Bydgoszcz on business or who want to explore more of Poland on their travels, then renting a car is an option as well. There are many car rental companies in the city centre which offer cars starting from €14 per day.

The best time to visit Bydgoszcz

The best time to visit Bydgoszcz is from May to September as this is when the warmest weather will welcome you. Temperatures can reach a pleasant 20 degrees celsius, however, be aware that May, June and July can be rainy too.

If you visit during the winter months of December, January and February then expect cold weather. However, there is still plenty to do in Bydgoszcz, as it is a year-round destination with plenty of things to see and do. Temperatures can get as low as -3 degrees celsius so ensure you bring a big warm coat and wrap up warm.

Christmas is always a special time to visit Bydgoszcz. The streets are lit up with Christmas lights and there are plenty of festive activities to partake in. The annual Christmas markets are held around the Old Town and are a must-see.

There are live performances, music and lots of stalls selling delicious Polish food, drinks and crafts. You can also find plenty of handmade gifts here such as wooden toys and beautiful glassware.

Bydgoszcz, Poland - Evening on Old Market Square in Bydgoszcz.

What to expect in Bydgoszcz

Bydgoszcz is a city known for its history, architecture and culture. The city’s history can be dated back to the 11th century when it was built to protect the crossing over the Vistula River.

Consequently, this town has since been influenced by many different cultures over the centuries. As you stroll through Bydgoszcz today, you will find architectural styles from all periods of history intermingling. A striking style to look out for is Art Nouveau which was popular in the 1900s.

The language spoken in Bydgoszcz is Polish but you will also find many people who speak German and English. The currency used is the Polish zloty. The city’s climate is a pleasant one. The summers are warm and humid and the winters are cold but not too harsh.

Bydgoszcz is the eighth-largest city in Poland. It is located in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, which makes it a part of the historic region of Pomerania. Bydgoszcz has been an important centre since the Middle Ages and remains so today as one of Poland’s largest cities.

Things to do in Bydgoszcz

There is plenty to see and do in Bydgoszcz. The city has a rich history, with many historical buildings and monuments that are worth visiting.

The city has plenty of museums, galleries and theatres to visit too such as Opera Nova. The city also has a number of parks and green spaces to enjoy and are worth exploring. For example, the Botanical Garden is a great place to relax.

Bydgoszcz Old Town

The main attraction of Bydgoszcz City is its Old Town. The architecture is fascinating as there are many old buildings and monuments that give off an elegant feel.

You will also find restaurants serving traditional Polish food as well as bars with live music performances. The Old Market Square sits in the Old Town and is oblong in shape.

It features The City Hall on one side with St. Martin and St. Nicholas Cathedral located nearby. You will find many locals and tourists taking a stroll through the Old Town on a daily basis.

The Old Town is an excellent place to visit if you want to get a feel for what it was like living in Bydgoszcz during its golden era.

Bydgoszcz, Poland. View of Old Market (Stary Rynek) square with flowers on foreground

The Brda River

A great place to go for a walk, jog or bike ride and enjoy nature at its finest! Do not forget your camera so you do not miss any photo opportunities!

The Brda River is a small tributary of the Vistula River that runs through Bydgoszcz and has a length of 245 kilometres. There are many activities to be enjoyed around this area, in and out of the water. You can hire kayaks to paddle along the river for a short trip or a longer period of time.

There is also an opportunity to catch a water tram, which can be great for sightseeing and gaining an alternative perspective of the city.

The Water Tram is a major tourist attraction in Bydgoszcz. Thousands of tourists cruise along its waters every year, so they can enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of their host city.

The water tram used to be a regular form of public transport, today it is used more for sightseeing purposes. You can decide to enjoy a couple of routes which each show you different attractions of the city.

BYDGOSZCZ, POLAND. Old Town by the Brda River. Bydgoszcz, Poland. Stary port embankment with Granaries, the architecture of the city of Bydgoszcz.

Places to visit in Bydgoszcz

The city has lots of attractions that are worth visiting as part of your trip. There are plenty of museums and art galleries, as well as various historical sites.

If you want to see some impressive architecture then head over to the Bydgoszcz Cathedral which is an imposing Gothic-style building that dominates its surroundings.

Bydgoszcz also offers plenty of shopping opportunities, so if this is something that interests you then do not forget your credit card for the shops.

Mill Island

Mill Island is a small island in Bydgoszcz that is surrounded by the Brda River. It is an ideal place for a relaxing walk or just to sit and enjoy the scenery. You can also hire boats from here and go on a trip around the island or take yourself further down the river.

This is a great place to go if you are looking to see some of the city’s history. It was built in 1790 and its buildings have preserved their old-world charm.

There are many restaurants and cafes located here, so if you are feeling hungry then this is the perfect place to stop by! If you are feeling something sweeter, why not check out one of the ice cream parlours?

There is a beautiful park here called Skwer na Wyspie Młyńskiej which is a great place to go if you are looking for some peace and quiet or just want to sit back and enjoy the surroundings.

Bydgoszcz, Poland - Architecture of Mill Island in Bydgoszcz city at Brda river, Poland

Opera Nova

Opera Nova is located in the heart of Bydgoszcz, on a bend of the river Brda overlooking Mill Island. From almost anywhere you can see its distinctive architecture standing tall above all other buildings.

The opera house was established in 1956 and is one of the 10 opera houses in Poland today. Opera Nova is a very large building and therefore is the only opera house of its size in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship.

Doubling up as musical theatre and a place for the Bydgoszcz Buratino Puppet Theatre, the cultural building has many uses.

The opera house has been the centre of Bydgoszcz’s cultural life for over 50 years and plays host to many large-scale operas and musicals. The building itself is very modern in its design, with a sleek glass frontage.

Bydgoszcz, Poland - Dusk on Brda River with Opera Nova in background.

What to eat in Bydgoszcz

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Bydgoszcz. If you are looking for local cuisine try some pierogi (potato dumplings) or gołąbki (stuffed cabbage).

There are also plenty of bars where you can try Polish beers and wines at reasonable prices too. With lots of places to eat, there is something for every taste.

If you are willing to eat slightly outside of the convenient city centre for traditional polish cuisine, then Restauracja Czosnek i Oliwa. It is a highly-rated establishment where you will find dishes such as traditional polish mushroom soup and pork neck.

Shrimp Bistro is recommended for its Mediterranean influences and Italian and seafood cuisine. Located just off the Old Market Square it is centrally located and easily accessible. If you are looking for something a little further overseas, King Fu Fusion is an excellent Japanese and Sushi restaurant.

Fried dumplings stuffed with potato and meat (pierogi) sprinkled with bacon and parsley and sour cream on wooden table, top view, copy space.

Where to stay in Bydgoszcz

The most popular hotel and hostels are located in the centre of Bydgoszcz. The city is affordable and therefore a good option for backpackers. The Old Town is definitely the place to stay if you want to be close to all the attractions.

If you are looking for something a little more modern, there are also plenty of hotels and hostels located in Bydgoszcz such as the modern Softly Residence.

If you are looking to stay out of the centre then Przystan Bydgoszcz is a highly-rated hotel that is located on Mill Island. A great place to stay if you are after a different experience to staying in the city centre.

Alternatively, why not look to stay out in the suburb of Śródmieście. There is a lot of cool stuff going on in this area, which boasts baroque-style mansions housing vodka bars and traditional pierogi cafes. With its repurposed mills now hosting trendy eateries, it will give your Instagram feed that perfect post.

city landscape avenue against the background of tenement houses, Bydgoszcz

Tours to do in Bydgoszcz

There are plenty of tours to do in Bydgoszcz that will help you get the most out of your time in the city. If you are interested in learning about Bydgoszcz’s history, start off with a visit to Mill Island. This historical area is filled with beautiful buildings and museums that depict life all those years ago.

Do not forget about the water tram tours! The vehicles themselves were built by Prussian engineers. They are still being used today so make sure not to miss them while visiting Bydgoszcz.

If you are looking for a more active experience, take a walking tour through Old Town! This area is filled with shops selling traditional Polish goods as well as restaurants serving delicious Polish cuisine. There are also many parks and squares where locals gather on nice days to relax and socialize.

Undercover City Games: Bydgoszcz

This tour of the city will take you on a game walk through the area’s most important landmarks. Instead of following a guide on your next walking tour, try putting yourself in the role of an undercover agent trying to solve a mystery.

It is very interactive and is a great alternative to your guided tours. Recommend for children too, the Undercover City Game is a good way to educate and engage a young family.

The route takes you around the highlights of Old Town, helping you solve clues and complete spy tasks as part of a game. Players will also get to see some lesser-known areas along with more famous sights.

Bydgoszcz, Poland. View of old half-timbered buildings on embankment of Brda river at dusk

Private tour of the best of Bydgoszcz – Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local

The local cuisine in Bydgoszcz is a delight, and one of the great joys of travelling is trying new foods while abroad.

Our fun and entertaining tour guide will make this a memorable experience for you. The experience is filled with sightseeing, visiting local popular hangouts and trying Polish cuisine!

This Private Tour of Bydgoszcz – Sightseeing, Food & Culture is an excellent way to sample the city and immerse yourself in history and culture. The tour is 4 hours long so you will have a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Bydgoszcz, Kujavian-Pomeranian - Modern Arts Museum of the Regional Museum on the Mill Island in Bydgoszcz historic old town.

Day trips from Bydgoszcz

In addition to the Bydgoszcz attractions we have already mentioned, there are plenty more day trips you can take from your base in this city.

These include cities such as Torun and Poznan. Torun is an hour’s drive and is famous for its medieval Old Town and cathedral.

An extraordinarily well-preserved example of a large medieval European trading centre and administrative complex. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is worth the visit if you are staying in the area for a while.

Poznan is a two-hour drive away from Bydgoszcz and is the fifth-largest city in Poland. Famous for its Renaissance-style buildings in its Old Market Square, it also has a host of universities meaning it hosts a great nightlife.

On your day trip to Poznan make sure you go and see the town hall’s clock that features mechanical goats that butt heads at noon.

Evening panorama of Old Town of Torun seen from the Vistula, Poland


Bydgoszcz is a city in northern Poland known for its rich history and innovative modern additions. It boasts fantastic art and architecture as well as a reputation for being a cosmopolitan, modern place in Poland. Bydgoszcz is a wonderful city to visit and it is easy to get there.

The city offers plenty of attractions and great shopping options, so you will be sure to have a fun time while in Bydgoszcz.

The city has a lot of history and culture which makes it a great destination for people who want to learn more about Poland.

If you want to go on some day trips while in Bydgoszcz, there are plenty of options for that too. Whether you are an avid traveller or just looking for something new and exciting, visiting Bydgoszcz, Poland should definitely be on your bucket list!

Recommended tours in Bydgoszcz

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

Similar Posts