Toruń and gingerbread go hand-in-hand. The medieval city in Northern Poland has been known for its particular type of gingerbread, Toruńskie pierniki, since the Middle Ages. Today, pierniki is one of the most popular Polish food products both in Poland and abroad. The cookies come in several different distinct shapes. A popular variety is the katarzynka made of six circles joined together. The main and original pierniki factory, the Kopernik, has a store outside the town’s square where they sell everything from complex gingerbread “pictures” to chocolate-covered, jam-filled pierniki hearts.
But, Toruń has more to offer than just gingerbread. The city also features beautiful gothic architecture, museums, lively cultural events, and a great culinary scene. Having visited Toruń myself when I was in Poland, I can say that it is a city you will want to stop by if you take a trip to the homeland.
Although people often mistake Poland for a cold place, in the summer it gets quite warm, making for a great time to visit Toruń. The cafes and restaurants will put out the patio and outdoor seating, and you can drink wine and eat dinner outside on the square. When visiting Toruń, be sure to purchase some pierniki to take home with you, and also visit the Pierniki Museum where you can witness demonstrations of the gingerbread being made.
Toruń is also the home of the Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus. You’ll want to visit the Copernicus house, a museum that is situated where Copernicus once lived.
In addition, you can tour the remains of the city’s medieval fortified walls and gates. Small sections still exist as well as the Leaning Tower, which was a fortified tower that made up the wall system.
You cannot fly in and out of Toruń easily, so it is suggested that you fly to Gdańsk or Warsaw and take a train or the Polski bus (the Polish Mega Bus) into the city. However, the sights and the experiences as well as the delicious pierniki are definitely worth the trip.