If you’ve spent your time in Poland jostling with the crowds in Kraków or wandering Warsaw’s sprawling boulevards, then Toruń will come as a revelation. This magnificent walled Gothic town on the banks of the Vistula should be high on every traveller’s list, especially as its delights seem low on everyone else’s, leaving visitors to revel virtually unrestricted in its wealth of historic buildings and city defences, all of which WWII left mercifully untouched. The entire town is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site for being an unusually well-preserved example of a medieval European trading and administrative centre.
Beyond architecture, Toruń is also well-known as the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543). His name (Mikołaj Kopernik in Polish) is all over the town, and you can even buy gingerbread shaped in his image. This other Toruń icon – its pierniki (gingerbread) – is famous across Poland.