Once one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Central Europe, Toruń was founded by the Teutonic Knights and is still rich with their architectural legacy. It’s also famous for being the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, whose house still stands. Now a friendly university city, with bars and cafés sprinkled throughout the compact streets, Toruń combines lively nightlife with a status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The highlight of Toruń is the mansion-lined Market Square (Rynek) and its fourteenth-century Town Hall, now the District Museum (Tues–Sun: May–Sept 10am–6pm; Oct–April 10am–4pm; 10zł), with a fine collection of nineteenth-century paintings and intricate woodcarvings. South of the Rynek at ul. Kopernika 15/17, the Copernicus Museum (same hours as District Museum; 10zł), in the house where the great man was born, contains a fascinating model collection of his original instruments as well as facsimiles of the momentus De Revolutionibus and a selection of early portraits. The large, Gothic St John’s Cathedral (Mon–Sat 8.30am–7.30pm, Sun 4.30–7.30pm; 3zł), at the eastern end of ul. Kopernika, has a tower offering panoramic views over the city (April–Oct only; 3zł extra). Further northeast lies the New Town district, its opulent commercial residences grouped around Rynek Nowomiejski.