Churches RESTAURANTS BARS _ CLUB by fjzhxb


									RESTAURANTS American
00, It's no surprise to find the best restaurant inside Bydgoszcz's best hotel. This place is brand new, but you wouldn't know it stepping inside. Not unlike being sucked into the pages of a 19th century novel Weranda comes with a grand piano, polished gramophones and a panoply of visual diversions that could well have been liberated from an auction house. So it's a bit of a shocker to peruse the menu, an edgy, high-class effort which presents numerous dilemmas for anyone with a gold-plated card; kobe beef, lobster and kangaroo are symbolic of your choices, and it's unlikely to find anything but Rolls Royce eulogies gushing from the jaws of satisfied diners. But that's not all. On the 3rd floor discover the Black Diamond restaurant, a pitch dark experience where waiters in night vision goggles serve curious diners. A four course meal here costs 100 zlots, with the chef making custom made surprises based on the customers likes/dislikes. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. (42-190zł). PTAUEXSW

Oliwka F-6, ul. Jagiellońska 96 (Słoneczny Młyn Hotel), tel. (+48) 52 561 31 00, It's no surprise to find the landmark Sloneczny Mlyn hotel also housing one of the finest eateries in the region. The setting is classy and sumptuous but at no point intimidating, and that's largely thanks to a staff who make diners at home whether they're wearing collars and cufflinks or trainers and polo shirt. To dine here almost feels like dinner on a luxury liner, and the menu hides modern Mediterranean treasures which include numerous seafood dishes - all beautifully presented judging by a quick look round. Conclude the evening by repairing to the cocktail bar, a rouge like effort whose principal claim to fame lies in a choice of some two hundred vodkas. By local standards you'll be paying top-band prices, but the results make amends for any holes in the bank balance. Q Open 07:00-10:00, 12:00-23:00. (29-78zł). PTAUGBW Truly impressive and a right result if you want class and substance without being overawed by unnecessary formalities. Ok, so to fit in takes more than a uniform of sackcloth, but what you'll find throughout is an atmosphere of understated elegance, and a clean design featuring padded white chairs, soft cream colours and gilt framed prints from the turn-of-the-century - and we don't mean the millennium. On the menu it's artistically presented hits like steak tartar, and duck with mushroom sauce, and the chaps in the kitchen have gone that extra yard by providing a small range of dishes for your treasured cherubs - chicken, chips and ketchup, for instance. QOpen 10:30 - 23:30. (25-62zł). PTAIEXSW

glass and weird plants lend a distinctly space age aesthetic to this shopping mall restaurant, and while you may be suspicious of taking dinner in a retail centre it must be noted you won't find a more experimental menu in town. Sushi is the big draw here, though the menu also extends to fusion style offerings served on glass squares by local lookers. Some of the flavours get lost in translation, but the Tom Kha soup with coconut is every bit as good as it should be. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. (15-60zł). PTAUGSW

ging sofas, junk and lampshades, this place is just typical of the Bydgoszcz style, with an interior design that's not far removed from an antique store. Students, they just love it, and 7 Days gets seriously blurry as out-of-sync dance steps are executed to sounds of the 70s. Lined with fake doors and windows the walls in Amsterdam have you thinking you're treading down a dark, narrow alleyway, while wobbly high chairs and beaten-up tables bring to mind the brown cafes the Dutch are so famous for. Scruffy and charismatic in equal measure this is one of the top bars in town, with an atmosphere that really heats up with the more you drink. QOpen 08:30 - 02:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. PX

Kubryk I-1, ul. Podwale 3, tel. (+48) 52 321 27 01,
Karaoke, discos, shanty nights, and bouts of impromptu tuneless singing - Kubryk has them all, occasionally simultaneously. Filled with model boats above the bar, and fishing nets on the walls, this is where the locals head too to live out their pirate fantasies. QOpen 14:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 14:00 - 05:00. PEXW


DIRECTORY & SHOPPING Pharmacies Everything you need for minor medical needs, English-speaking staff and a museum out the back. QOpen 08:00 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00.

Weranda C-5, ul. Konarskiego 9 (Hotel Bohema), tel. (+48) 52 560 06

Kurkuma C-6, ul. Jagiellońska 1, tel. (+48) 052 321 01 70. Lots of neon,

7 Day Pub D-3/4, ul. Chodkiewicza 19a, tel. (+48) 052 374 10 20. Sag-

Apteka Pod Łabędziem B-5, ul. Gdańska 5, tel. (+48) 52 322 01 87,

Amsterdam H-2, Stary Rynek 16, tel. (+48) 888 71 97 19, www.amster-

Middle Eastern
Baalbek I-2, ul. Magdzińskiego 1, tel. (+48) 52 349 35 18, www.baalbek. pl. This place is Sphinx-on-the-run; a quickie, cheapie Middle Eastern themed joint where a battalion of Basia's serve up late night soakage to post-pub night owls. Of note is the ordering system - queue up at the counter, place your order and then take a number - hold onto it at all costs or you'll screw up the whole setup. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Sat 10:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 02:00. (8-36zł). PXSW Sphinx I-2, ul. Magdzińskiego 18, tel. (+48) 52 321 54 48,
Shoarmas, gyros, pizza and steaks all served with an accompanying dollop of cabbage amid an interior of plastic trees and multi-coloured lanterns. The authenticity is there to be questioned: here's a Polish chain serving the food of the pharaohs with recipes, according to the sign above the door, coined by a bloke called Tom Maltom. But don't let that put you off your dinner, Sphinx is cheap, cheerful and has the ability to hit your daily calorie count in one fell swoop QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:00. (19-47zł). PTAXS This is the live music venue in Byd, and features a stage, guitars melded into walls and plenty of trumpets and pics of Hendrix. Cocktails here are killer, with drinks like Purple Rain and House of the Rising Sun enjoyed by a sing along crowd of sloshed music fans. Q Open 16:00 03:00. PAUEW

Lizard King D-6, ul. Jagiellońska 39/41, tel. (+48) 052 554 35 60,

Post Office (Urząd Pocztowy) I-1, ul. Jagiellońska 6, tel. (+48) 52 322 32 51, The huge neo-Gothic post office building was built between 1883 and 1885. Traces of German writing can still be found over one of the doors on the river side of the building, and to top it all you can even better you can post a letter inside. Q Open 24hrs

Oranżeria C-5, ul. Gdanska 18, tel. (+48) 52 376 42 30, www.villase-

London Pub H-2, ul. Długa 16, tel. (+48) 52 321 00 69, www.publondon.

Cafés Operating since 1946 the Adam Sowa chain is something of a local hero, and that's on account of cracking ice cream, snacks and cakes. Either take a seat under the yellow awning to watch the human flotsam drifting past, or head inside where this place opens into two rooms - one an uninspired café-style setting with glass counters and grumpy grans, the other a charming little winery with vaulted ceilings and dried flowers. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 22:00. PTAEXSW 52 322 72 27, A sunny, romantic space with lots of plantlife, mottled pink colours and an ambiance that's Mediterranean in style. A great spot at all hours things kick off early with breakfasts, and throughout the day you'll find light bites and salads served up by a willing staff who do wonders for the good reputation of Bydgoszcz. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Fri 09:00 - 24:00, Sat 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 11:00 - 23:00. (16-28zł. PTAXSW

Cukiernia Sowa I-1, ul. Mostowa 5, tel. (+48) 52 366 11 00, www.

Bar Skalar B-5, ul. Gdańska 14 (Pod Orłem Hotel), tel. (+48) 52 583 06 03, Penetrate the Pod Orłem Hotel to reach this bar, where bow-tied serfs mix cocktails for the high and mighty. Featuring a stained glass roof, polished brass fittings and a formal, fin-de-siecle atmosphere, this venue is as decent place as any to enjoy the finer things. Find a pool table hiding through a side door, and even better, staff who will serve you hours before (or after) they officially should. QOpen 19:00 - 02:00. AUW Cegielnia ul. Długa 36, tel. (+48) 052 321 20 62, Good news if you like bricks, the design in ‘the brick factory' is limited to bricks, bricks, sofas, bricks, bicycles and some bricks. Amazingly, however, this place manages to work, and that's down to an excellent selection of lager sourced from the Krajan brewery, as well as happy hours that see the price of drinks fall to three zlots. Not surprisingly, local students like that.

pl. If you haven't had enough of brick cellars by now then visit London, a bar whose only discernible link to the English capital is the sneaking smell of rising damp. The locals absolutely love this place, and you'll find a crowd of all ages crammed around the bar, possibly distancing themselves from the amateur dart players missing their target. Things are quieter in the back, where you'll find a narrow room fitted with wooden seats, television and… that's it. QOpen 14:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 14:00 - 05:00, Sun 15:00 - 02:00. EX

Public internet access
Kawiarnia Internetowa B-5, ul. Dworcowa 17, tel. (+48) 52 328 61 QOpen 09:00 - 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. Trip C-6, ul. Św. Floriana 22, tel. (+48) 52 349 38 22, www.trip.bydgoszcz.
pl. A fine riverside bar and club for students on two floors featuring a small dancefloor plus an upstairs space packed with pool tables. A small terrace by the Brda finishes things off nicely, but be warned that club nights here are very difficult to get into unless you can prove you're a real student. QOpen 18:00 - 04:00. Closed Sun. 03. A few machines tucked away in a small building at the back of a courtyard.

Mózg B-5, ul. Gdańska 10, tel. (+48) 52 345 51 95,

Food & Drink
Erdmann G-2, ul. Długa 2, tel. (+48) 52 379 16 32. The wonderful smell
of fresh bread inside a small bakery that looks like it hasn’t been decorated for decades. A classic shop and a great place to pick up a wide range of rolls and loaves of all descriptions. QOpen 05:00 - 18:00, Sat 05:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.

Smak I-1, ul. Mostowa 4 (first floor), tel. (+48) 52 339 08 03, www.

Restauracja Oranżeria Cafe H-2, ul. Jana Kazimierza 3, tel. (+48) Found up a curvy stairwell Smak is a modern looking space that's generally accepted as being one of the best meals to be found in Bydgoszcz. The menu is pretty experimental for this part of the globe, and the food arrives quickly and without incident. Take a window seat for views of Bydgoszcz scurrying around outside. Q Open 13:00 - 23:00. (29-59zł). PTAUESW

and an equally distressed-looking mannequin sat at a bar complete with a number of sizzling hotplates dedicated to the purpose of making pancakes. Fillings run the gamut from savoury to sweet with a few vegetarian options as well. There's wine and friendly service too. A great idea and a perfect place for an alternative snack any time of day. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 23:00. (4-15zł). PTAGSW Toruń's got its gingerbread and, so it seems, Bydgoszcz has its pancakes. This particular pancake den can be found up a flight of wobbly stairs and is decorated with lots of dragons on the walls and a scary-looking reptile in a fish tank. The pancakes on offer are plentiful, and like the town's other pancake restaurant there's a decent wine list to compliment. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. (5-14zł). PGS

Manekin B-6, ul. Focha 14, tel. (+48) 52 349 39 76. Lots of distressed pine

Cytadela H-2, Stary Rynek 14, tel. (+48) 888 71 97 19,

Pod Papugami C/D-5, ul. Staszica 1, tel. (+48) 52 376 53 71, Found in close proximity to the Musical Academy Pop Papugami is as refined as Bydgoszcz dining gets, with an entrance flanked by wrought iron lampposts, and a pretty pink interior filled with gilt-framed mirrors and ticking clocks. Your choices include boar, duck and lamb, cooked to standards that are reflected by the higher than average price tags. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00. (15-65zł). PTAXSW Inside a beautifully restored granary complete with water wheel sloshing away in the entrance, Stary Port 13 is a smashing venue featuring lots of grilled animals, fish swimming in a stream and wooden decoys at every turn. Tremendously popular, though you have to question the owners decision to block out the riverside views with rustic contraptions. Completely worth the visit, and as such don't be surprised to find all the tables taken. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (20-80zł). PTAES

Stary Port 13 I-1, ul. Stary Port 13, tel. (+48) 52 321 62 08, www. Fall out of Amsterdam next door and you'll find yourself falling down into Cytadela below. Enter via an arched brick ceiling to find a small cellar bar where Spike Lee music jostles for position with Mike Leigh furniture. A decent little venture this one, with a friendly welcome part of the price. QOpen 17:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 02:00. P

Wackier places you won't find and that's if you can find it. Take a turn up ul. Parkowa from ul. Gdanska and head around to the gated entrance at the rear of the block. Mózg is the beatniks choice, and it's here you'll find the local thesps and groupies holding court around battered fittings consisting of exposed pipes, portraits of poets and leaning lampshades. Cloaked in smoke and undistinguishable babble this is a slice of Kraków inside a city not necessarily known for its alternative culture. Better still is when live bands with names like Potty Umbrella or Strange Attractor take to the stage to provide the evening's noise. QOpen 18:00 - 02:00. AEW

Clubs You may have seen the club limo growling around town; don't be fooled, the latest club in Bydogszcz is no red carpet affair, rather a routine looking venue which heats up spectacularly once the local lookers enter the frame to showcase their latest dance waggles. The music menu changes with the night, though the undiscerning crowd seem oblivious to anything coming from the DJ den - they're here for a good night, and care not what's thumping out of the speakers. QOpen , Fri 20:00 - 03:00, Sat 20:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. PE

Awangarda I-1, ul. Stary Port 21, tel. (+48) 664 90 22 12, www.klubawa-

Gifts & Souvenirs
Cepelia C-5, ul. Gdańska 17, tel. (+48) 52 322 17 28, Everything folk-related from tapestries to wooden statuettes to a small selection of the more usual tourist detritus. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Galeria Alix H-1, ul. Jezuicka 26, tel. (+48) 52 322 25 39, Stuffed full of mostly tasteless art good for starting a fire with and little else, Galeria Alix’s one notable exception is a small range of good value black and white sketches of the city. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Galeria Najpiękniejszego Szkła Polskiego H-2, ul. Długa 39, tel. (+48) 52 321 25 41. A wide range of glassware, 90% of it Polish, from vases to bowls to glasses to decanters. Mostly conservative, there are a few radical hidden surprises, all of which make for the perfect gift or souvenir. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.

Smok I-1, ul. Kręta 3, tel. (+48) 52 321 04 05, Neighbouring

Buena Vista I-1, ul. Mostowa 4, tel. (+48) 52 339 08 00, The triple floored Buena Vista features an international menu of steaks and even some quasi-fusion attempts. The results range from good to great, while the seasonal terrace is the perfect people watching space - take a seat and let your head swivel away like a periscope. Inside it's all clean, minimal furnishings, a vast open kitchen, and local playboys treating their pinup blondes to a night out. Find the 'trattoria' restaurant on the ground floor, and upstairs a more upmarket space accessed by some spiral stairs - it's the same menu, but a more formal atmopshere, and some cracking sunset views to boot. QOpen 17:00 - 21:30, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 22:30. Closed Mon. (22-59zł). PTAUESW

El Jazz I-1, ul. Kręta 3, tel. (+48) 52 322 15 74, You'll recognize this place by the dragons head above the entrance. Decorated with Triffid style plants painted on the walls this venue comes equipped with a kid-sized dance floor in the middle, a bare bones beer hall in the back, and a toilet that has been used by one student too many. The jazz nights here are the stuff of legend, so keep an eye out for the posters around town. QOpen 16:00 - 01:00, Fri 16:00 - 03:00, Sat 16:00 - 04:00. E Part of the art nouveau Villa Secesja, Gdanska 18 couldn't be more different from the elegant hotel if it tried - here's a slick, modern interior featuring black painted brickwork, high-backed leather seats and an interior filled with number plates and motorbike pics - possibly in tribute to the local obsession: speedway. QOpen 16:00 - 23:30. PAW

Pub Merlin H-2, ul. Zaułek 4, tel. (+48) 52 322 87 70. A subterranean bar featuring the obligatory brick walls, stale smell and pony-tailed barman discussing Dungeons & Dragons. It's good enough for the students, and you'll find a number of them in here, usually honing their darts skills while balancing a lager in the other hand. QOpen 14:00 - 02:00, Sat 14:00 - 04:00, Sun 15:00 - 02:00. PW Pub Zamek H-2, ul. Długa 24, tel. (+48) 691 20 24 22, www.pubzamek. A bar with a chivalrous theme, featuring an axe embedded in the bricks, chain mail and a series of courtly banners lining the walls. The interesting odors suggest years of spilt beer and hedonism, though nowadays it seems customers are limited to startled drinkers who've stumbled in by accident. QOpen 17:00 02:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 03:00. Closed Mon. PW

Buena Vista Club I-1, ul. Mostowa 4, tel. (+48) 52 339 08 00, Head down the curving stairwell on your left to enter Buena Vista's contribution to nightlife, a well-aired basement dotted with sofas, sleek decorative touches and the longest bar we've seen in Bydgoszcz - granted, a small plank could finish second in that competition. Save yourself for the weekend when this place fills out with local supertalent. QOpen 17:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon. PAUEBW
pl. Guarded by a galaxy of grinning bald gentlemen Euphoria's door policy ensures a comfortable evening in a bright red club featuring a round dancefloor and bar plus a separate chill-out room. A predominantly 20-something crowd flit about to the dulcet tones of predictably mainstream pop music. QOpen 19:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 19:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. PAEW

08, A brand new shopping mall housing 50 stores, close to the Rynek and built on the site of a former print-house, hence the name. Smaller and less of a choice available than its rival over at Focus Park, this mall still has some good shopping opportunities in a beautiful building which has been designed to remember the history on the place it occupies. QOpen 09.00 - 21.00, Sun 10.00 - 20.00. Focus Mall D-6, ul. Jagielońska 39-47, tel. (+48) 52 554 35 00, www. Bydgoszcz’s international standard shopping mall situated 15 minutes walk from the Rynek opened in April of 2008. Located on the site of what was once the city’s municipal abattoir the centre is one of a series of similar developments in Poland which incorporate modern shopping and entertainment facilities within renovated historical buildings. The beautifully restored red brick buildings are complimented with a state of the art 2-storey shopping mall which along with parking for over 900 cars also boasts a cinema city entertainment complex as well as cafes and restaurants including an OTO sushi bar. Major brand stores such as Mango, Zara and H&M are all present and the country’s best supermarkets, Alma, have a store on the ground floor. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. Galeria Pomorska ul. Fordońska 141, tel. (+48) 52 582 55 00, www. The largest shopping complex in Bydgoszcz, albeit several kilometres to the east of the centre, with over 90 shops selling everything from clothes to cameras. Also find a few restaurants (including a branch of the the excellent North Fish fish and chip restaurant) plus a large bowling alley. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Real ul. Kruszwicka 1, tel. (+48) 52 326 36 00, Close to the city centre, a large shopping centre complete with the usual array of designer clothes shops, restaurants and the huge Real hypermarket. QOpen 08:00 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00.

Gdanska 18 C-5, ul. Gdańska 18, tel. (+48) 52 376 42 30, www.villase-

Euphoria C-5, ul. Gdańska 15, tel. (+48) 691 39 36 73, www.euphoriaclub.

Drukarnia (The Printer) J-1, ul. Jagiellońska 1, tel. (+48) 52 321 38

pl. A great looking place with each dining room effecting its own identity; why not dine in a lavender coloured room filled with flowers and steel, or an Olde Worlde chamber complete with vintage radio. The menu has a couple of surprises, such as the Oriental Shashlyk and the ‘Mexican meal', though on the whole features well prepared Polish and European meals that won't dent the pocket. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 19:00. (12-35zł). AXS

Smoking or non-smoking
...nowhere in your guide does it mention the huge quantities of awful tobacco smoke produced by even a handful of customers in many establishments (in Krakow). There were quite a few times when we visited highly rated places in your guide and had to turn around and walk out again…and I’m a smoker! Richard Bowen, Scotland Entering a bar or restaurant can be a risky business these days for both smokers looking to enjoy their habit and for non-smokers who wish to enjoy their meal, drink or coffee and newspaper without having to breathe in someone else’s fumes. This is particularly true of Poland where you face a number of issues. Many places will claim to have non-smoking sections but the size of many of these places, notably in Krakow, the passion for nicotine which still exists here and the plain poor segregation make these completely useless. To confuse matters some businesses are also adopting complete bans on smoking ahead of expected legislation already in place in other parts of the new EU such as Latvia. In order to clarify this we have adopted a new set of definitions and symbols,which are included at the end of each review, as regards smoking

Hollywood 66 C-4, ul. Gdańska 66, tel. (+48) 52 321 11 04. Get your kicks on Gdańska 66 in the company of a giant plastic Oscar, film projectors and a flimsy looking kino-themed interior that looks like it was put together in under a minute. It doesn't look too inspiring, and the menu is absolutely nuts; choose from dishes going under the name of ‘King Kong', ‘Cornflakes Chicken' and ‘Bogart Salad'. We had a ‘Donald Pizza', and were surprised to get a cracking meal for little more than 15zł. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. (13-36zł). PAS Medea H-2, ul. Jezuicka 16, tel. (+48) 52 322 78 18, A girly café/restaurant with a couple of underground rooms kitted out with flowering trees painted onto the walls, puffy silk tablecloths and gangs of old dears getting tanked up on Irish coffee. Enjoy dishes like ‘pork sirloin in hunters sauce' while golden oldies get piped into the background. This is as close to sitting inside a wedding cake as you'll ever get. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. (24-45zł). PAXS

3 Światy ul. Piotra Skargi 13, tel. (+48) 052 323 11 31, www.3swiaty.

Jack I-2, ul. Długa 65, tel. (+48) 52 372 98 81, Judging

Dolce Vita I-1, ul. Podwale 2, tel. (+48) 52 321 57 57, www.dolcevita. in. Set just off the market square this fab pizzeria comes fitted out in country cottage style with all the bare bricks and garlic cloves you would imagine, while a wood-fired oven is the source of what the majority of locals consider to be the best pizza you'll find in town. There are over 30 types available as well as a comprehensive menu of Italian staples and a kids' menu featuring 'Bambino' portions. Also at (A-4) ul. Fredry 1. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (18-70zł). PTAXSW
Bydgoszcz gets. Step through a courtyard to access Oregano, a big white room stingily decorated with black seats, a couple of shrubs and some lamps dangling from the ceiling. The menu is modern Italian, and while the servings are scanty it has to be said, the food is very good indeed. As dusk settles wasp-waisted blondes serve on-tap Peroni to a carefully sculpted crowd. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:30 - 21:00. (20-43zł). PTAUBXSW

Karczma Kujawska ul. Konna 14 (Myślęcinek), tel. (+48) 52 339 77 17, Unfortunately featuring a Polish-only menu but still worth visiting as most of the waitresses speak at least a little English, this fabulously decorated traditional Polish restaurant features colourful flowers painted on the walls and a menu featuring bigos, potato pancakes and a good range of salads. A long way north out of town but well worth the effort. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. (15-40zł). TAUISW Karczma Młyńska H-1, ul. Mennica 1, tel. (+48) 52 345 57 86 ext. 25, Occupying an old waterfront mill Karczma Młynska features a wooden terrace hanging over the river, and an interior of antlers, tapestries, bear skins and tools. It's all very Wind in the Willows, and as if to prove it they've even got giant mice sitting in prams. The menu is the full-on country cottage affair, featuring oddities like ‘Soplica's krukle of pork', ‘rustic salad' and ‘grey dumplings'. Play safe with the ribs and you won't be disappointed. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (17-50zł). PTAEBXSW

by the celebrity ‘we drank here' photographs Jack is acquainted with more than a handful of movers and shakers. And so he should be. The maddest pub in Bydgoszcz, possibly, the best pub in town, certainly. Set out on the fringes of Old Town this is a place with personality; from a wall of antique clocks to battered books tottering on shelves, this bar looks every inch a winner. Visually it's a pleasure, and the classic leather armchairs allow for plenty of opportunity to take it all in. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 04:00. PIEW An interesting looking bar/club featuring exposed black brickwork (something of a theme in this town), giant black and white prints, wrought iron furnishings and some weird red recliners. Good fun, on the right night, with a crowd that encompasses every social class in Bydogszcz. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 02:00. PAUEXW pl. An astonishing living museum of junk. Pitch black, and full of steps and wobbles, the underground Kredens comes stuffed with sewing machines, wonky lampshades, metal machinery and thrift store detritus. QOpen 16:00 - 03:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 06:00. EBW

La Salsa H-2, ul. Zaułek 11, tel. (+48) 500 17 80 03, www.lasalsa.byd- Salsa doesn't come from Mexico of course, but who cares after the first eight cocktails? Featuring plenty of sombreros, candles sticking out of tequila bottles and South American flags this basement club comes alive in the evenings when the locals arrive to point their cod pieces in time to watered down Latin beats. QOpen 18:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 18:00 - 04:00. PEX

Vanila Club A-3, ul. Zygmunta Augusta 20, tel. (+48) 52 322 58 51, www.vanila-

Klub Restauracja Kuźnia C-4, ul. Gdanska 67, tel. (+48) 52 321 31 70, A squirming mass of dripping bodies await in Vanila, an enormous club practically opposite the train station. Laser and disco lights flash over lads dressed as Eminem, while the chap in the DJ den delves into his bag to pick out mainstream dance anthems. QOpen , Fri 21:00 - 03:30, Sat 21:00 - 04:30. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. ARE

Oregano H-2, ul. Długa 27, This is as edgy as

Meluzyna C-4, ul. Gdańska 50, tel. (+48) 52 327 42 05, www.meluzyna. Super game dishes, served up inside a subterranean room filled with Mucha prints, grandfather clocks and simpering butlers polishing glasses. The toilet could do with an update, but if you survive that challenge you'll have an enjoyable visit. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (22-85zł). PTAXS

Kredens G-2, Wełniany Rynek 8, tel. (+48) 52 373 24 34, www.kredenspub.


This restaurant or bar has a complete ban on smoking on the premises This restaurant or bar has a smoking section on the premises

On the water
Barka I-1, Rybi Rynek, tel. (+48) 52 321 31 28, Two
converted barges, Manta and Nastassja, moored on the Brda provide everything from table football to bar snacks to live music. Featuring a total of four spaces from a wooden deck to a classic cane furniture affair, the choices here are almost unlimited. Perfect for a lager at dusk, or lurching about like a gibbon until considerably later on. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00. EBXW

If we use neither symbol this indicates that the old rules apply in that smoking is permitted on the premises and even if there is a designated no smoking area we have deemed it completely useless anyway.

First recorded mention of Bydgoszcz, or Budegac as i t was then known, can be traced back to 1238, though it’s thought the area you find yourself standing in was settled as early as the 11th century. Her strategic position on the Brda River made Bydgoszcz an important trading point, and by 1252 a customs house was in operation. The Teutonic Knights arrived in 1327, staking their own claim to the city. Their occupation didn’t last long, and in 1343 the town was back with the Poles as part of the Kaliski Treaty. It’s at this time things started really hotting up for Bydgoszcz. April 19, 1346 saw the city granted its civic rights by King Kazimierz the Great, meaning it could officially build schools, establish a public bath and earn revenue from the river. In layman’s terms, this marked the birth of the city. The following year saw foundations laid for the castle, and construction begin on the town’s first church. The city continued to prosper and by the end of the 15th century it’s thought about 15% of the boats traversing the Wisła were using Bydgoszcz as their principal home. But bad times were around the corner, and in 1655 the Swedes stormed into Poland burning and looting any thing they could lay their mitts on. Bydgoszcz was not exempt from their fury, and the town took a right battering. The city seemed to be right out of luck, and over the following hundred years the population was decimated by outbreaks of cholera, typhus and plague. So much so that by the time Bydgoszcz was handed to the Prussians as part of the 1772 Partition of Poland only 1,000 people were listed as residing in the city. It was down to the Prussians to kick the town out of its slumber, and this they did with zeal. Craftsmen, traders and clerks flocked into the city, and within the first year of Prussian rule the decision to build the Bydgoszcz Canal was rubber stamped. Six thousand workers flooded into the city to dig the canal, and what a job they did; by 1774 the 24.7 kilometre project was complete, and at quite a cost - an estimated 2,000 laborers died in the process, most falling victim to dysentery. Although its success was far from immediate the canal was proof of Bydgoszcz’s revival. Still, ethnic tensions continued to linger and these came to a fore in 1794 when Poles rose in unison in what was to become known as the Kościuszko Uprising. For two weeks the city was under Polish control, but as with most Polish revolts it was to ultimately end in glorious failure. The flag on top of the town hall changed once more though at the start of the 19th century. The year 1807 saw Napoleon marching eastwards on his way to take on the Russians, and the subsequent Franco-Prussian Treaty ensured Bydgoszcz fell under the jurisdiction of the Independent Duchy of Warsaw. But Napoleon’s failure on the plains of Russia saw the city once more returned to the Prussians and there it would remain for nearly another century. The Industrial Revolution heralded dramatic developments for both the people and city. It was to become the HQ of the Prussian Rail system, while factories and warehouses sprang up like a rash of blackened toadstools. The city gas plant was unveiled in 1860, and by 1896 electric trams were ringing their way down the streets. By the turn of the century 50,000 people were living in the city, making it the fast growing urban area in Prussia. Symbolic of this golden age is the Pod Orłem hotel on ul. Gdańska 14. Designed by Józef Święcicki the hotel opened for business in 1896, with its elaborate neo-Baroque flourishes making it the flashest building in town. But the Poles were getting restless and more and more anxious to stamp their identity on the city. They finally got their chance to reclaim what was rightfully theirs with the end of WWI. With the German Empire in complete disarray ethnic Poles across what is now Western Poland rose up in arms in what was to become known as the 1918-1919 Wielkopolska Uprising. The Germans fought doggedly, but were finally forced into peace talks in June of 1919. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles they were forced to hand over Bydgoszcz to the Poles, heralding a rapid Polonization of the city. The city lost over 80% of its German population, and the natives set about reinventing the cultural and social fabric of the town.

World War Two marked the darkest chapter of the city’s history. When news of the invasion first filtered through German civilians were massacred by the Poles, and fierce battles were fought at the Bydgoszcz Bridgehead. The superior firepower of the Nazis swamped the Polish defences and on September 5th, 1939, it was the swastika that fluttered over what the Germans would know as the city of Bromberg. Arrests and executions became standard under the new regime, and it’s estimated that between 10-15,000 locals died during the war, the bloodiest of these massacres occurring on December 31, 1939 when 1,500 civilians were shot in cold blood. Six years of hell came to an end when the Red Army rolled into town on January 27, 1945, though true liberation was still a long way off. The forced adoption of communism brought with it new challenges, and while Bydgoszcz prospered as a seat of science and learning discontent with the new system simmered. This exploded into action on November 18, 1956 when the radio station was stormed by locals. This outburst of popular opinion – and many like it across Poland – was brutally suppressed, and the continual decline in living standards sparked a fresh wave of protests in 1981. Inspired by Lech Wałęsa’s Solidarity movement workers across the country downed tools and went on strike. The declaration of Martial Law bought the nation to heel and the government set about stamping out instances of subversion. Dissenters and sympathizers were arrested and imprisoned while Jerz y Popieluszko, a Solidarity-suppor ting priest, was murdered by security services in 1984 having just conducted a fiery sermon in Bydgoszcz. His funeral in Warsaw was attended by 250,000 people, and the spirit of protest continued to linger. Finally in 1989, in the face of continued opposition, the government agreed to hold partially free elections. Solidarity swept the board and the ruling communist system collapsed. Today, with EU membership in the bag and a bright, bold government in place, things have never looked better for both Bydgoszcz and Poland.

Forced to live somewhat unfairly in the shadow of neighbouring Toruń, Bydgoszcz boasts a tantalisingly diverse and surprisingly excellent choice of places to poke your nose in and generally enjoy. The inside of the Cathedral is worth the trip alone, plus there's scores of intriguing museums, a lovely canal and the fascinating story of the Bydgoszcz-born mathematician who shaved three years off the end of WWII and almost certainly prevented nuclear war in Europe. Read all about these fabulous things and more besides within these pages.

WHAT TO SEE Built between 1924 and 1938 to a design by the acclaimed Poznań architect Adam Ballenstaed, this vast building supposedly resembles Rome's more famous Pantheon, and is one if the sightseeing highlights of any trip to Bydgoszcz. Capable of holding up to 12,000 people, the enormous interior is dominated by an immense neo-Classical dome, which at 65 metres dominates the surrounding skyline. Built with a repeating circular design, the church features two naves, one inside the other, supporting a dome containing over one hundred caissons, each intricately decorated with beautiful flower motifs. The main altar was designed by Wiktor Zin, complete with a representation of the crucifixion and an image of Saint Vincent after whom the church is named. Bursting with colourful mosaics and some exquisite stained glass, the church was badly damaged by fire by the retreating Germans in January 1945, and the reinforced concrete masterpiece wasn't fully restored until 2003. The church also is famous for its large choir, active in the city since 1928. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. No visiting during mass please.

Pharmacy Museum (Muzeum Farmacji) B-5/6, ul. Gdańska 5, tel. (+48) 52 322 01 87, Located in the back of a working pharmacy notable as being the third ever pharmacy in the city, this small private museum features several rooms tracing the history of the pharmacy as well as a miscellany of pharmacy-related exhibits. Highlights include a glass cabinet full of swans (after which the pharmacy is named) and a fabulous room full of scary-looking pots and pans that once made potions for healing the sick. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 08:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Groups of over 10 people by prior arangement. Admission free. Photography Museum (Muzeum Fotografii) A-4/5, ul. Królowej Jadwigi 14, tel. (+48) 52 567 00 07, A rather lacklustre affair featuring a few cameras and one or two average photographs, this mildly interesting diversion belonging to the city's School of Economics is commendable for operating as a place of education. As well as the aforementioned displays, the Photography Museum also runs a series of photography courses and competitions. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission 4/2zł. The Granary (District Museum) (Spichrze (Muzeum Okręgowe))
I-1, ul. Grodzka 7-11, tel. (+48) 52 585 98 10, www.muzeum.bydgoszcz. pl. Housed inside the three remaining granaries dating from the 18th and 19th centuries located on the bank of the Brda in the old town, find a peculiar collection of both temporary and permanent exhibits relating to the city. The tour begins with on the top floor, where a lift zips you to a room dedicated to temporary exhibits. From there make your way down the steps to find the story of Bydgoszcz laid out. Included are a collection of seals, scrolls, pots, none of which come labeled in English. The connecting room deals with 20th century Bydgoszcz, and displays number surviving rubble from the synagogue (demolished by you know who during WWII), as well as more maps, photos and clothing. Also of note is a section dedicated to print designs, while the corridors and stairwells linking the rooms feature black and white photographs of Bydgoszcz through the ages. QOpen 09:00 - 16:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission 5/3zł ((ticket for all departments of the District Museum 8/5zl).

Schinkel. A neo-classical extension was added at the end of the 19th century, while 1912 saw the completion of a ballroom born from the pen of architect Henry Spier Poznan. The outer buildings hold just as much fascination, and include a smaller rococo style palace with spectacular views of the Wisla. Debt and political exile saw the palace pass from the hands of the Mostowski family into those of the Germans, where it remained firmly up until the end of WWII. With peace came a new role, that as a centre for deaf children, though privatisation and post Iron Curtain changes have seen the complex emerge once more as a lordly manor featuring a hotel, conference rooms and exhibition space. The surrounding gardens aren’t to be missed either, and feature the neo-Romanesque tomb of the Alvenslebenów, century old oaks, landscaped parks and even the original mosaic flooring of a chapel which once stood by the gate.

WHAT TO SEE Wacky Bydgoszcz
Pan Twardowski H-2, Stary Rynek 15. Pan Twardowski was a Polish sorcerer along the lines of Faust who entered into a pact with the Devil in exchange for magic powers. There’s a number of different interpretations of the story of Pan Twardowski, but the basic idea is that he was a 16th century nobleman from Kraków, who on entering into a deal with Satan tried to outwit him by wording their contract in such a way that his soul could only be taken to Hell from Rome, a city Pan Twardowski had no intention of visiting whatsoever. Our hero soon rose to fame and acquired immense wealth through his influence with the Polish Court, but was finally outwitted by the Devil who abducted him in an inn called Rzym, the Polish name for Rome. Pan Twardowski is alive today, living on the Moon with his sidekick, whom he once turned into a spider. Before his sudden and unexpected departure from the Earth, Pan Twardowski was rumoured to have spent some time in Bydgoszcz, living at Stary Rynek 15. Nowadays known as ‘Pod Zgorzelcem’ (The Inn Under the Fire), the building took its name from an incident in 1560 when Twardowski agreed to help the buildings owner get planning permission for an extension to his pub. But the devilish pact that Twardowski had drawn up with the inn keeper accidentally came into contact with holy water, and as a result burst into a ball of flames. Today Twardowski’s fleeting presence is celebrated by a statue of him found in the upstairs window of the building. At 13:13 and 21:13 daily, a series of cogs and wheels shuffle him outside to the sound of strange music and evil laughter where he takes a bow, waves and goes back inside. One superstition is that if two lovers kiss during this time they’ll be in love for eternity.
rich mix of styles from Baroque to Gothic, original and/or particularly old parts include some 15th-century fragments in the courtyards of ul. Pod Blankami, a 30m-long stretch of wall dating from the 17th century along ul. Wały Jagiellońskie and the remains of a moat and medieval tower near the building at Nowy Rynek (New Market Square) 3-5. Receiving extensive renovation courtesy of some of Germany's most prestigious 19th-century architects, the old town was know for a while as Kleine Berlin, and today is the focus of the city's summer social life. At its centre is the Stary Rynek (Old Market Square), a lovely open space surrounded by gabled buildings and the huge 17th-century former Jesuit college, now the headquarters of the city's Municipality. Running east to west along the southern side of the old town is the pedestrianised ul. Długa, now lined with shops and bars and once the main Jewish trading street where Kaszik the barber and Lewin the antique dealer famously and somewhat controversially worked on Saturdays. Painter Maksymilian Piotrowski lodged at number 22, and if you believe the locals the pub formerly housed in the cellars once served King Jan III Sobieski. The 19th century synagogue, destroyed in 1940, once stood on ul. Wały Jagiellońskie 2, while next door number four is home to the Bydgoszcz magistrates court. It was here that the Nazis conducted their first mass execution of local intelligentsia, shooting 180 enemies of the regime on September 5, 1939. Further on a plaque at number 12 honours Mayor Leon Barciszewski who could once be found living here. Barciszewski was killed by the Nazis on Spetmeber 11, 1939, and you'll find a statue of this Lenin lookalike just before you reach the bridge on ul. Mostowa. Lastly, for a glimpse of classic Poland, don't miss the turreted Market Hall at the far end of ul. Magdzińskiego. Built in 1904 this neo-Gothic brick building houses stalls of various quality and curiosity and is surrounded by an open air market where traders hawk everything from family heirlooms to purple tracksuits. Inside the spectacular Forest Park of Culture, Bydgoszcz's small zoo opened in 1978 and until recently was the only zoo in the country containing entirely native species. Now boasting around 300, the zoo offers a mildly interesting diversion for half an hour or so. Of particular interest among the bears and geese is the mini zoo, opened in 1994 for the purpose of both entertaining and educating local children. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission 6/4zł.

St. Vincent de Paul's Basilica (Bazylika Mniejsza św. Wincentego a Paulo) D-5, Al. Ossolińskich 2, tel. (+48) 52 322 53 52, www.bazylika.

unremarkable building with an extraordinary story hidden within its plain concrete walls, Poland's first church to acquire a building permit from the post-WWII communist authorities is nothing much to look at, but is nonetheless steeped in fascinating contemporary history. Built between 1976 and 1984, the church was originally dedicated to all the Poles who gave up their lives for their faith and country but who were never beatified. Consecrated in 1986, and at the time Bydgoszcz's unofficial Solidarity church, this was the site of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko's (1947-1984) last ever Mass. Popiełuszko was a fiercely anti-communist cleric whose words and actions made him a prime target for the security services, who built a false case against him that led to his arrest in 1983. Uproar ensued and he was soon released, but his troubles were far from over. An attempt to murder Popiełuszko on October 13 the following year ended in failure, but on his way from this church to Warsaw on October 19 he was kidnapped, tortured and murdered. His body was found in a nearby reservoir 11 days later. National outrage soon followed, and the perpetrators and one of their superiors were subsequently convicted of the crime. Father Jerzy Popiełuszko's funeral on November 3, 1984 was attended by an estimated quarter of a million people, among them Lech Wałęsa. Q Open by prior arrangement.

Church of Mar tyr Brother s (Kościół Św. Polskich Braci Męczenników) ul. Popiełuszki 3, tel. (+48) 52 361 15 72. A wholly

Places of interest
Little Venice G-1/2. Close to the confluence of several notable Polish waterways, the centre of Bydgoszcz is dissected by the River Brda and the Bydgoszcz Canal. Perhaps a little more like Cambridge than Venice after which the locals like to compare it to, Bydgoszcz is nevertheless very much the product of its waterways. Both the Brda and the canal run right through the centre, with a few restaurants and bars to be found gracing both their banks. The Bydgoszcz Canal is particularly interesting. Built between 1773 and 1774, the 24.7km stretch of water has a total of six dams and is connected to the River Noteć, a fact that means it's possible to travel all the way to Berlin from here by water. The canal was built by some 6,000 German and Czech workers, of whom an estimated 2,000 died of dysentery and fever during the process. Just east of the old town is Mill Island, a once thriving area of museums, mills, and a mint. The latter came about on April 19, 1346 on the same day the city received its municipal rights, and was from 1627 until 1644 the only mint in the Kingdom of Poland. Now attracting some much needed investment, plans are afoot to return the island to its former glory. Most of the remaining buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

it is to obscure the view of the Cathedral from Stary Rynek, this controversial bronze statue was unveiled in front of a crowd of 100,000 people on September 5, 1969, almost 30 years to the day after the so-called Bloody Sunday of September 3, 1939, when the German army organised a mass action of terror against the Polish population of the city. At almost eight metres high, Franciszek Masiak's extraordinary work represents a group of people about to be executed, relating to the murder of 40 Poles on this very spot during September 9 and 10, 1939.

Bydgoszcz Battle & Martyrdom Monument (Pomnik Walki i Męczeństwa Ziemi Bydgoskiej) H-2, Stary Rynek. Allegedly sited where

Marian Rejewski
The vital role played by Polish exiles during the Battle of Britain in 1940, who represented one in eight Allied pilots and whose Polish Air Force 303 squadron shot down the most German aircraft of any RAF squadron, is today common knowledge. A lesser known Polish contribution towards the Allied victory in 1945, and one of equal if not more significance to the battle fought in the air, is the battle that took place inside one of Poland’s greatest minds to crack the German Enigma code. The successful cracking of Enigma and the subsequent use of its intelligence at the famous Bletchley Park in England is believed to not only have shortened the war by some three years, but almost certainly to have saved Europe from a nuclear catastrophe. And it all began in Bydgoszcz. Enigma was first cracked in Poznań in 1932 by a newly-married Bydgoszcz-born mathematician named Marian Rejewski. Working for Polish Military Intelligence with two other young Poles, Rejewski (1905-1980) made the first vital Enigma breakthrough using a mathematical theorem since described as ‘the theorem that won World War II’. On the day before the German invasion of Poland the young mathematician and his two colleagues fled Poland to Romania before going first to France, with whom the Poles had worked closely on Enigma in the past, and then on to England. Rejewski worked with British Intelligence on Enigma throughout WWII, making a huge contribution to the Allied efforts. With a young wife and young daughter in Poland, Rejewski returned to his homeland in 1946 where he lived a life of secrecy about his Enigma past, never revealing anything to the communist authorities, who hounded him constantly for number of years, and forced to work in a series of menial jobs. In 1973, six years after Marian Rejewski retired, a book was published in France revealing Poland’s contribution to Enigma. Rejewski became an unwitting superstar, receiving a plethora of posthumous awards including the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and a War Medal 1939-1945 from Great Britain. Living in retirement in the Polish capital, 74-year-old Marian Rejewski died at home from a heart attack on February 13, 1980. He was buried with military honours in Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery. There are three main Rejewski sights in Bydgoszcz. A plaque bearing his image can be found on the front of the building he was born in at ul. Wileńska 6, there’s a small Rejewski exhibit inside the city’s Military Museum, and a statue of the man sat next to an Enigma and working on a mathematical puzzle can be found on ul. Gdańska, opposite McDonald’s. Rejewski’s status as a national hero wasn’t enough however to deter the local moron or morons who’ve attacked the statue on more than one occasion, first stealing the pen in Rejewski’s hand in 2005, and in 2006 the book he’s holding.

Church of St. Andrew Bobola (Kościół p.w. Św. Andrzeja Boboli)

I-2, Pl. Kościeleckich 7. Situated on the old towns right flank is St Andrew's, a looming neo-Gothic wonder built between 1900 and 1903. Designed by Berlin architect Heinrich Seeling it originally served the Evangelical community before being claimed by the Catholic church in 1946. The 48 ton Sauer organ dates from 1905 and is allegedly one of the finest in town, hence the numerous organ recitals you'll regularly find performed here.

Crossing the River I-1, Most Sulimy-Kamińskiego. Unveiled on May 1, 2004, the day Poland joined the European Union, Jerzy Kędziora's intriguing monument perched precariously on a wire over the Brda weighs in a just over 50kg and is now considered to be the main symbol of the city. At first glance the statue, which is supposed to represent EU membership, looks a little wobbly, but is actually saying to the world that there's no turning back. Built along a likeness of the designer's son, the balancing boy is accompanied by a single swallow.

Parks & Gardens
"Myślęcinek") E-1, ul. Gdańska 173-175, tel. (+48) 52 328 00 09, www. Covering some 800 hectares of glorious forest and meadow land north of the city centre, the spectacular Forest Park of Culture offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do. Originally a series of individual park lands, the park became one large entity in 1970, and is a hugely popular place during the summer. As well as enjoying peaceful walks through woodland and picnics on the grass, the park also contains a zoo, marvellous botanical gardens, a horse riding centre, a three-kilometre narrow gauge railway track and even a small ski slope to keep people coming here in the winter. Also find a few cafés scattered about and the traditional Karczma Kujawska restaurant at the far northern end. To get there take tram N°1 or 2 from ul Gdańska north to the final stop. The park is immediately to the north across the road. Q Open 10:00-17:00. Closed Mon. From November open 10:00-16:00. Closed Mon. University Botanical Gardens (Ogród Botaniczny Uniwersytetu Kazimierza Wielkiego) D-4. As well as a superb botanical gardens at the far Forest Park of Culture (Leśny Park Kultury i Wypoczynku

Old town H-2. The construction of Bydgoszcz's old town began at the start of the 15th century, although much of it was destroyed during the Swedish Deluge in the middle of the 17th century. Still retaining its medieval eliptical shape and now a

Canal Museum (Muzeum Kanału) ul. Nowogrodzka 3, tel. (+48) 52 321 57 70, Opened on September 29, 2006 and located inside Bydgoszcz's Secondary School N°3, this modest museum celebrates the man-made waterway that links the city to Berlin. Exhibits include old photographs, paintings, sailors' uniforms and other canal-related paraphernalia. Note the museum will be closed from July 1st to September 1st. QOpen 08:30 - 15:30. Closed Mon, Sat, Sun. Admission free. District Museum (Muzeum Okręgowe) B-5/6, ul. Gdańska 4, tel. (+48) 52 585 98 14, The former Poor Clares convent that's also played the part of a hospital is now the main branch of the city's District Museum. On the ground floor find a bizarre collection of treats from tea services to religious art to coins. QOpen 09:00 - 16:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission 5/3zł (ticket for all departments of the District Museum 8/5zl). Military Museum (Pomorskie Muzeum Wojskowe w Bydgoszczy)
E-2, ul. Czerkaska 2, tel. (+48) 52 378 20 26, www.muzeumpmw.cen. As well as a fascinating collection of militaria in the garden, this museum, a couple of kilometres north of the city centre showcases exhibitions in three other categories. Surprisingly good, the squat little building's highlights include some early examples of war machines from the 6th to the 8th century and some exceptional examples of contemporary Polish war art. Also find a small display dedicated to the city's Enigma code-breaking war hero, Marian Rejewski. QOpen 09:00 - 15:30, Wed 09:00 - 17:30, Sun 10:00 - 13:45. Closed Mon, Sat. Admission 5/2.5zł, Sun free.

Out of town
Once you’ve wrapped up with Bydgoszcz don’t forget to explore it’s surroundings, where sights range from the ‘Polish Pompeii’ to 20th century military bunkers.

Church of the Poor Clares (ss. Klarysek) I-1, ul. Gdańska 2, tel. (+48) 52 345 62 08. This lovely red brick Gothic church with a few Renaissance touches was built between 1582 and 1602 on the site of a previous wooden church and hospital. Officially named the Church of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary, it is known locally as the Church of the Poor Clares as it was the home of the Order of the Poor Clares from 1619 until 1835. The building was turned into a warehouse and later a fire station during the Prussian occupation of the city. Renovated at the end of WWI and reconsecrated in 1923, the church now functions as the city's main garrison church, serving the 10,000 or so military personnel stationed in Bydgoszcz. Of the church's many wonders, of particular interest is the early 17th-century distemper ceiling inside the nave, featuring 12 polychrome panels of beautifully executed flower designs. Q Open 07:00 - 19:30, Sun 08:00 - 19:30. No visiting during mass please. St. Mar tin & Nicholas Cathedral (Katedra św. Marcina i Mikołaja) H-1, ul. Farna 10, tel. (+48) 52 322 45 86, www.katedraby-

Biskupin Bydgoszcz's oldest remaining church is a truly exquisite example of the so-called Vistulan Gothic style, and is, in a word, breathtaking. Parts of the building date back to middle of the 15th century, and the exterior is worthy of more plaudits than many comparable churches, but what really sets this church apart from the rest is its glorious interior. Those who've visited St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków will recognise the design instantly, and that's hardly surprising as the amazing colours that cover the walls and ceilings are credited to an original idea by none other than Poland's creative genius Stanisław Wyspiański, although the actual design is believed to have been dreamt up by one of Wyspiański's students, Stefan Cybichowski. Painted between 1922 and 1925 by Henryk Jackowski, the polychrome masterpiece has its roots in the modernist ideas of the Młoda Polska (Young Poland) art movement, who aimed to present a truly Polish vision of the world and who did a truly remarkable job of it here. Unmissable, the combination of Gothic architecture, Baroque altars and outrageous colours simply has to be seen to be believed. QOpen 07:30 - 18:30. No visiting during mass please.

23 18, Inside a cute little white house, this very different museum devotes its energy into researching the history of Polish refugees after WWI as well as the Polish diplomatic service between the wars. Much of the information is on display, including copies of several important peace treaties as well as a recreation a Polish dimplotic mission of the time. In Polish only, this really is for experts or very rainy days. QOpen 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Mon, Sat, Sun. Admission free.

Museum of Dilpomacy & Polish Refugees (Muzeum Dyplomacji i Uchodźctwa Polskiego) D/E-5, ul. Berwińskiego 4, tel. (+48) 52 346

northern end of the city's Forest Park of Culture, this city-centre botanical gardens is a nice place to wander around whether plants are your thing or not. Originally set up in 1930, the Botanical Gardens have changed hands several times and are now owned by the university next door. Officially an arboretum, a fact that protects it by law, the gardens contain some 420 species of trees and shrubs from Poland and abroad. Arranged into themed areas, among them endangered species, medicinal plants and edible fruit trees, highlights include ginkgo, turkey oak, katsuras from Japan and the wonderfully names ostrich fern. The gardens also feature a few botanical-related buildings as well as ponds and bridges. Primarily a scientific and educational institution, the gardens are open to the public (until November anyway), although many of the gates are often locked. The main entrance is at ul. Niemcewicza 2. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. From November to April 30 open only to groups who have pre-booked entrance Admission free.

In 1933 an eagle-eyed school master spotted wooden stakes sticking out of some lakeside reeds and like a conscientious citizen went to investigate. What he had inadvertently stumbled on was to become known as the Polish Pompeii: a Lusatian fortified settlement dating from the early Iron Age. Excavation work was launched the following year, and carried on under the request of Himmler once Poland fell to Germany. Situated just south of Bydgosczcz Biskupin has since become a popular symbol of patriotism, proof to many that Poland has always proudly defended its borders against the Germans. Today the wooden fortress has been fully reconstructed and is open throughout the year as an open air museum. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 significant strategic emphasis was placed on the capture of the Bydgoszcz bridgehead, a series of fortifications which safeguarded Poland’s western flank. Defended by the 15th Wielkopolska Infantry Division the network of trenches and bunkers came under sustained attack on September 3, 1939, and after a day of fierce fighting the Poles were forced to retreat towards Bydgoszcz in the face of overwhelming odds. Today the ten kilometre trail of bunkers make for an interesting day out, and includes an open air museum consisting of reconstructed trenches and observation posts. Officially opened by surviving veterans on September 15th, 2005, the trail begins at the town of Zielonczyn - a thirty minute train ride from Bydgoszcz - and concludes at the town of Osowiec. There’s 17 bunkers in total, all of them in differing states of disrepair, as well as five information boards detailing the story of the siege. The bad news, however, is they’re a real bugger to find. Prevent getting lost by purchasing a copy of Janusz Uminski’s excellent ‘Bydgoszcz Guide’, which features an invaluable map of the area. Bear in mind the route is tough work on a sunny day, and bring tough boots, plenty of water and a fearless attitude to fighting through brambles.

Bydgosczcz Bridgehead

and accessed by road 80 to Torun, the Ostromecki Park and Palace complex offers visitors a stunning glimpse into the ways of the other half, and is guaranteed to impress anyone with a passing interest in the historical architecture of the 19th century. Composed of a variety of buildings the largest palace of the lot was built between 1832 and 1848, at the behest of Jacob Martin Schoenborn and son Gottlieb, and was in all likelihood designed by Berlin architect Charles Frederick

Zespół Pałacowo - Parkowy Situated three kilometres east of Bydgoszcz,

Zoo E-1, ul. Gdańska 173/175, tel. (+48) 52 328 00 08, www.zoo.

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Thank God for online booking. Walk into a foreign travel broker and it’s odds on they wouldn’t know how to spell Bydgoszcz, let alone pronounce it. Or what it was, for that matter. It’s impossible to open a holiday supplement without Kraków or Gdańsk eyeballing you in the face, and even Warsaw gets nice things printed about it nowadays. But Bydgoszcz, let’s be fair, sounds more like a crossword gone wrong than a tourist destination. First off, you’ll want to know how to get your mouth round the name – it’s Byd-gosh-ch. Secondly, you’ll be wanting to know what lies in store. And here’s the good news; it’s a belting city you’ve arrived in. Chopped into ribbons by the Brda and Wisła rivers, not to mention the Bydgoszcz Canal, it’s a scenic town of waterways, island, bridges and barges. It’s certainly not the Venice of the North, no matter what the locals claim otherwise, but that’s not to say Bydgoszcz doesn’t stand out in its own right. Just 45km from its more famous rival Toruń, Bydgoszcz was first mentioned in 1238 and hasn’t looked back since. The home, rightfully or otherwise, of the Teutonic Knights, Poles, Prussians and Germans over the centuries, Poland’s eighth biggest city grew on the back of its aquatic pedigree into an important centre of trade and commerce. Bristling with red brick Gothic architecture, restored riverside granaries and Art Nouveau masterpieces it’s a magnificent little city, and one that surprises all who make the trip. Best of all, it’s summer, meaning you can admire the lot from a ringside seat in a beer garden. As always we welcome all comments and suggestions. Send your thoughts and witticisms to Have a great summer.

Bydgoszcz bus station is a very basic affair with a single-story building set next to some run-down platforms. Inside you'll find a ticket office, shop, left luggage (06:00-21:00, Sat, Sun 06:00-20:00) and toilets (04:00 - 23:00) but no ATM. The nearest is at ul. Jagiellonska 34. A Tourbus office can give you information and sell you bus tickets. While closer to the market square than the train station it is still a good 20-30 minute walk away. Trams travel down ul. Jagiellonska and take about 5 minutes. Tram number 4 will drop you at the bottom of ul. Gdanska from where the square is a 2 minute walk away. Trams 3 or 8 continue straight on and you should get off on ul. Focha.

Dworcowa. If you're using a taxi then you'll find chariots standing to the right of the main entrance. These will usually charge you about 15zł to get to the old town, though you can make a considerable saving by phoning ahead. A-3, ul. Zygmunta Augusta 7, tel. (+48) 52 518 52 60, Q Open 24hrs.

BASICS Tourist information
Grodzka 7, tel. (+48) 52 585 87 02, Set in a handsome old building metres from the square at the foot of the Kaminskiego Bridge, the Tourist Information office now has improved facilities and information. Offering advice in Polish, English and German the very friendly people here will be happy to help you with booking accommodation, maps, guides (including In Your Pocket), events calendars as well as a range of Bydgoszcz souvenirs. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00, Sun closed.

Olimpic Bowling Center F-7, ul. Toruńska 59 (Hala Łuczniczka), tel. (+48) 52 328 90 50, QOpen 14:00 - 24:00, Thu 14:00 - 02:00, XL Bowling ul. Fordońska 141 (Galeria Pomorska), tel. (+48) 52 346 66 70, QOpen 10:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00. Prices
40-80zł per hour/per alley. Fri 14:00 - 03:00, Sat 14:00 - 04:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. 1 hour 40-80zł per alley.

festival organised for the 6th time in Bydgoszcz. Journalists are competing for the Gran Prix named in honour of world famous Polish heavyweight international reporter Ryszard Kapuściński. Besides the gong the winner gets 3000€ - all funded by the President of Bydgoszcz. There is also 1500€ for the best short report, up to 20 minutes - interesting stuff. Q Admission free.

Bydgoszcz Główna Train Station (Dworzec Bydgoszcz Główna)

Municipal Tourist Information Office I-1, ul.

23.10 Friday - 25.10 Sunday

Car rental
Avis Al. Jana Pawła II 158 (Airport), tel. (+48) 601 35 48 09, www.avis. pl. QOpen 08:00 - 23:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Sun Open on request. Hertz Al. Jana Pawła II 158 (Airport), tel. (+48) 693 93 05 96, www.hertz. Q Open Mon, Fri 09:00 - 13:00, 19:00 - 23:00, Wed 15:00 - 23:00, Tue,

Landscape Without You - Czesław Niemen
G/H-1, Opera Nova , ul. Focha, tel. (+48) 52. 325 16 55. A cyclical event this year in Bydgoszcz presenting works of the greatest artists of Polish music who aren't among us anymore. In the past we have paid tribute to Krzysztof Klęczon, Miczysław Fogg, Anna Jantar and Grzegorz Ciechowski, but this year's choice is the late great mighty Czesław Niemen. He was a multi-instrumentalist with a 4,5 octave voice and a perfect undestanding of the role of poetry in music. Expect artists of the calibre of Andrzej Piaseczny, Andrzej Nowak of Raz Dwa Trzy, Janusz Radek, Małgorzata Ostrowska, Hey, Justyna Steczkowska, Wojciech Waglewski or Lipali.

Cinema City Focus Park I-1, ul. Jagiellońska 39-47, tel. (+48) 52 554 37 77, Q Box office open 09:30 - 22:30. Tickets 15-27zł. Cinema-Theatre Adria (Kino-Teatr Adria) D-7, ul. Toruńska 30, tel. (+48) 52 371 27 39, Q Box office open 08:30 - 15:30, Multikino A-5, ul. Focha 48, tel. (+48) 52 552 38 10, Q Box office open depending on repertoire. Tickets 15-27zł.
Tue 08:30 - 21:00, Sat, Sun depending on repertoire. Tickets 12zł.

Bydgoszcz Główna Bus Station D-6, ul. Jagiellońska 58, tel. (+48) 703 30 03 50, Q Ticket Office Open 06:00-20:00, Sat, Sun 07:00-20:00.

Arriving by car
Bydgoszcz is reachable by road from all major cities but as with much of Poland the roads are either in poor repair or undergoing a huge rebuilding/expansion program. From whichever direction you approach the city, you should keep your eyes peeled for 'CENTRUM' signs. This will bring you into the area around the Rynek or New Opera buildings. From there it is a bit of a lottery finding your way into the very central area. Keep your eyes peeled for signs for 'Rynek'. There is parking in the central area but you will need to buy a ticket at one of the machines. Guarded parking is available and some hotels also offer this service to guests.

Thu 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 08:00 - 11:00, 18:30 - 21:30, Sun 08:30 - 12:00. National ul. Dworcowa 94 (Hotel Brda), tel. (+48) 665 30 17 05, www. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Sat, Sun Open on request.

Public transport
A total of 40 bus and eight tram routes plough the streets of Bydgoszcz, of which the latter are by far the most convenient. Tickets can be bought from kiosks around the city or straight from the driver. Don't forget to validate your ticket in the machine when you board. Annoyingly, bus and tram stops are marked on most maps by not at the actual stops themselves, making getting off at the right one a risky business. That aside, trams particularly make getting to and from the central area pretty straightforward. Tickets cost 2.60zł for a single journey ticket. Note that a single journey means a trip on one tram or bus not a point to point journey. One hour tickets cost 3.60zł and an all-day ticket 12zł. Note that there are no concessions for foreigners. The fine for travelling without a valid (or validated) ticket is 130zł. Plain clothes ticket inspectors travel the lines and regularly ask to see your ticket. They are obliged to identify themselves.

Basic data
Territory Poland covers an area of 312,685 square kilometers and is the ninth biggest country in Europe. It borders the Baltic Sea and seven countries, namely the Baltic Sea (528km), Belarus (416km), Czech Republic (790km), Germany (467km), Lithuania (103km), the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad (210km),Slovakia (539km) and, Ukraine (529km). Longest River The river Vistula (Wisła) is Poland's longest river at 1,047km and flows through Kraków and Warsaw before reaching the Bay of Gdańsk (Zatoka Gdańska). Bydgoszcz sits on the Brda river which reaches the Vistula at Brdyujście. Highest Point The highest peak is Rysy (2,499m) in the nearby Tatra Mountains. In comparison Kraków's landscape is flat and the city lies 219m above sea level. Population (2007) Poland 38,126,000 Kraków 756,267 Wrocław 634,630 Gdańsk 456,658 Katowice 314,500 Warsaw 1,702,139 Łódź 755,251 Poznań 564,951 Bydgoszcz 363,468 Sopot 40,666

November 2009
05.11 Thursday - 07.11 Saturday

BWA C-5, ul. Gdańska 20, tel. (+48) 52 339 30 50, www.galeriabwa. 10:00 - 18:00, Fri 12:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 11:30 - 16:30. Gallery of Folk and Outsider Art (Galeria Sztuki Ludowej i Nieprofesjonalnej) H-2, Stary Rynek 18, tel. (+48) 52 322 22 36, www.wok. 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission free.
Closed Mon. Admission 6/3zł.

Student Jazz Festival

3 Maja C-5/6 Aleje Ossolińskich D-4/5 Aleje Powstańców D/E-4 Artyleryjska B/E-2/3 Asnyka D-4/5 Babia Wieś C/D-6/7 Batorego H-2 Bernardyńska J-1/2 Berwińskiego D/E-5 Bocianowo B/C-3 Bolesława Chrobrego B-4 Chocimska C/D-3 Chodkiewicza D/F-3/4 Chopina E-5/6 Chrobrego Bolesława B-4 Cicha E/F-3 Cieszkowskiego C-4 Czartoryskiego A-5/6 Czerkaska E/F-1/2 Długa H-2 Dwernickiego E/F-2 Dworcowa A/B-3/5 Farna H-1 Floriana, św. C-6 Focha, marsz. A/B-5/6 Fredry A/B-4 Garbary A-5 Gdańska B/E-1/5 Gimnazjalna C-5 Grodzka I/J-1/2 Grottgera A-5 Grudziądzka G-2 Hetmańska B/C-3/4 Jagiellońska I/J-1 Jana Kazimierza H-2 Jastrzębia F-4 Jezuicka G-1 Kącik A-5 Kamienna E/F-3 Karłowicza E/F-6 Kasprowicza D-5 Kaszubska C-3 Kilińskiego F-3/4 Kołłątaja C-5 Konarskiego, ks. C-5/6 Kopernika D-5 Kordeckiego, ks. A-5/6 Kościeleckich pl. I/J-2 Kościuszki C/D-3/4 Kościuszki T. pl. C-3 Kozietulskiego E/F-3/4 Krakowska E-6 Krasińskiego C-5 Królowej Jadwigi A/B-4/5 Ku Młynom G/H-1 Kujawska C-7 Kwiatowa B/C-4 Lelewela F-3/4 Leszczyńskiego A-7 Libelta C-5 Lipowa B-4 Łokietka Władysława A-4 Ludwikowo A/B-1/2 Łużycka F-5/6 Magdzińskiego B-6 Magdzińskiego I-2 Malczewskiego, ks. H-1 Marcinkowskiego B-5 Markwarta, ks. D-5 Matejki B-4 Mazowiecka B/C-4 Mennica G-1/2 Mickiewicza D-4 Moczyńskiego C/D-5 Modrzewiowa E/F-1 Moniuszki E-5 Mostowa H/I-1 Naruszewicza A-5 Niedźwiedzia H-2 Niemcewicza D-4 Nowodworska A/B-7 Nowy Rynek G-2 Obrońców Bydgoszczy B-5 Ogińskiego E-5/6 Ogrodowa B-3 Orla A-7 Paderewskiego D-4 Pestalozziego F-6 Piastowski pl. B-4 Piotrowskiego M. D-5/6 Plater E., F-4 Pocztowa I-1 Pod Blankami G/I-2 Podgórna A-7 Podolska B-5 Podwale I-1/2 Pomorska B/C-3/5 Poniatowskiego E/F-4 Powstańców Warszawy C/E-1 Poznańska A-6 Przy Zamczysku I-2 Racławicka B-3 Reja C-5 Rejtana A-4 Reymonta D-5 Rumińskiego D-6 Rycerska B-3 Rynkowska A/B-2 Sielanka D-5 Sieńki, ks. D/E-5 Sienkiewicza B-3/5 Sieroca B-7 Skargi, ks. C-5 Skłodowskiej-Curie Marii E/F-5 Skorupki, ks. A-7 Słowackiego C-4 Ślusarska A/B-4 Śniadeckich A/C-4/5 Sobieskiego A/B-3/4 Sowińskiego B-3/4 Spichlerna I-1 Sportowa E-5 Stary Port I/J-1 Stary Rynek H-1/2 Staszica C/D-5 Sułkowskiego E/F-1/4 Św. Trójcy A-5/6 Świecka B-3 Świętojańska C-4 Szenwalda D-5 Szymanowskiego D/E-5 Teatralny pl. H-1 Terasy A-7 Toruńska C/F-7 Traugutta B/C-7 Ugory A-7 Unii Lubelskiej A-3/4 Urocza D-6 Wały Jagiellońskie B-7 Warmińskiego B-5 Warszawska B-3/4 Wąska G-2 Wełniany Rynek G-2 Wiatrakowa B/C-7 Wielkopolskich E/F-4 Wierzbickiego, ks. G-2 Wileńska B-4 Władysława Łokietka A-4 Wolności pl. C-5 Wyczółkowskiego E-5/6 Wyspiańskiego D-5 Zamojskiego D-4 Zaścianek C-3 Zaświat B/C-1/2 Zaułek H/I-2 Zbożowy Rynek I-2 Zduny B-4/5 Żółkiewskiego B-3 Zygmunta Augusta A/B-3

Guarded Parking C-6, ul. 3 Maja 6 (City Hotel), tel. (+48) 52 325 25 00. Guarded Parking C-6, ul. Jagiellońska 23, tel. (+48) 52 322 46 87.

Fri open always one hour before performance. Tickets also available at Promotion and Audience Service Department open 08:30 - 15:30. Closed Sat, Sun. Tickets 10-75zł. Polish Theatre (Teatr Polski) D-4, Al. Mickiewicza 2, tel. (+48) 52 339 78 12, Q Box office open 12:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Sat, Sun. Open always one hour before performance. Tickets 15-30zł. The Pomeranian Philharmonic (Filharmonia Pomorska) C/D-4/5, ul. Andrzeja Szwalbego 6, tel. (+48) 52 321 04 67, Q Box office open 14:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Open always one hour before and after the performance. Tickets 12-100zł.

Arriving by plane
Bydgoszcz has a sparkling new airport set on the edge of the forest less than 5km south of the city centre. Ryanair operates routes to the UK, Ireland and Germany and Bydgoszcz is also home to a small airline, Jetair ( which connects the city to Warsaw. While air traffic is on the up, the airport can be a ghostly empty place at many times during the day. Arrivals and departures are both handled on the ground floor of the small terminal building so whether you are coming or going the distance from the plane to the terminal is minimal. On the main ground floor area find toilets, a small café, newspaper shop, currency exchange and ATM. There is an airport information desk which although primarily there to help with flight information is happy to give you advice on getting to town etc. Upstairs find a café and little else. Bus No 80 leaves from outside the main exit and goes to the city centre. Buy a ticket from the driver for 2.60zł. Taxis can be found parked outside after flights arrive. Assuming the meter is set correctly, expect to pay between 15zł and 20zł to get to the city centre, a journey which should take no more than 10-15 minutes if there is no traffic. Make sure the taxi is clearly marked and has the fares advertised in the rear window.

Opera Nova G/H-1, ul. Marszałka Focha 5, tel. (+48) 52 325 15 02, www. Box office open 15:00 - 18:30, Sun 16:00 - 18:30. Mon,

C-4, The Academy of Music, ul. Słowackiego 7. A festival organised for mucic academy jazz students from the whole of Poland. As well as student-lecturer duos from Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Katowice and Poznań there will be musicians from Le Mirail University of Toulouse. It's all about being given the chance to perform in front of a live audience in professional locations. The biggest gig will take place in the Pomeranian Philharmonic (ul. Andrzeja Szwalbego 6, C/D-4/5). John Abercrombie with Jarosław Śmietana, Ed Schuller and Jacek Pelc will perform on 7th November at 19:00. Q Admission free except concert in Philharmonic. Tickets 10/15zł. Available at Artistic Branch of The Music Academy (ul. Słowackiego 7, room 2A, Open 08:00 - 15:00, Closed Sat, Sun).

5.11 Thursday - 7.11 Saturday

The most useful and trustworthy taxis are the companies we list and you should keep an eye out for them. The airport has an agreement with one of the trustworthy companies and you will see them waiting outside when you arrive. There are taxis sitting just outside of the train station to the right but we cannot vouch that all of them will be honest at the sound of a foreign accent. If one of the recommended companies cannot be seen we suggest that you either agree a price with the driver beforehand or call one of the numbers provided. It is not uncommon for a taxi driver to agree a price with you and then to drive without the metre on so as not to declare it. While Bydgoszcz taxi companies have yet to embrace mulit-lingual answering services, the ones we used were pleasant enough and managed to work out where we wanted to be picked up from. The important information they need is your location e.g. dworzec - train station and your name. Fares start at 6zł for the first kilometre, with a further tariff of about 1.80zł/km after that. Most taxi drivers are honest, although it's unlikely you'll find one who speaks English. Having your destination written down can be very useful. Typical prices are 20zł for the journey from the airport to the Rynek (Market Square), 17zł from the train station to the Rynek and 14zł from Zawisza Athletics Stadium to the Rynek. At night and on Sundays price are 50% higher. Radio Taxi Z , tel. (+48) 52 196 22. Taxi MPT Łuczniczka , tel. (+48) 52 191 91.

Blues & Folk Festival

A-5, Academic Space of Culture, ul. Garbary 2, tel. (+48) 52 585 15 05. Last year this event was called the Bydgoszcz Blues Festival; the change of name is a reflection of the rise of American folk included in the festival's programme. Come along and hear a wide range of blues genres: pre-war acoustic blues and folk but also contemporary electric blues. A must for all fans! Q Ticket prices and time were undecided at press time. Please check website for updates as they happen.

December 2009
06.12 Sunday - 12.12 Saturday

Local time Poland is in the Central European (CET) time zone (GMT+1hr). When it's 12:00 in Warsaw it's 11:00 in London, 12:00 in Paris and Berlin and 19:00 in Tokyo. Polish summer time (GMT+2hrs) starts and ends on the last Sundays of March and October. Twin Towns of Bydgoszcz Czerkasy, Hartford, Kragujevac, Krzemieńczuk, Mannheim, Ningbo, Pawłodar, Patras, Perth, Reggio Emilia, Wilhelmshaven, Pitesti

October 2009
18.10 Saturday

The Patron's Shoe & Bydgoszcz Autographs
H-1, Stary Rynek, Fordon. In Poland 6th December is a big deal. It's St Nicholas' day and Santa makes an early appearance leaving sweets in children's shoes. It's also a time for presents with early Chrismas fairs held in Polish cities and Bydgoszcz is no exception. Bygoszcz Autographs is actually a collection of signs made by people who have done a lot to promote the city. Anyone can nominate a person of their choice. Then the jury judges if they should be included in this hounourable company. Bydgoszcz's patron saint is St Nicholas and that's why local confectioners always prepare something special for December 6th - shoe shaped ginger cakes, hence the patron's shoes. Hmmm... Q Admission free.

Speedway Final Grand Prix
E-5, BKS Polonia Stadium, ul. Sportowa 2. The final competition of this year's individual world championships. It was supposed to be in Gelschenkirchen but the riders refused to race on the awful Veltins Arena surface. Bygoszcz's gain then and the locals are very happy - speedway is a big deal in this part of the country. Aussie Jason Crump is leading but facing stiff competition from Emil Sajfutdinow of Russia and Polish star Tomasz Gollob who seems to be running into form just at the right time - he won the last meeting in Italy and moved into second place overall.QEvent starts at 19:00. Tickets 60-500zł. Available at PSD Ruch, (Galeria Pomorska, Fordońska 141, Open 09:00-21:00, Sunday 10:00-20:00).

Thinking of paying for your tram ticket with one of the 100zł notes in your pocket? Think again. Small shops, newsagents, public toilets, even the occasional fast food franchise and bar, will refuse to break a large note for you. As annoying as coins can be, do carry small change for such moments. Notes come in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 złotys, and there are 1, 2 and 5 złoty coins. One złoty equals 100 groszy which come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy coins. Currency can be exchanged at airports, hotels, banks and anywhere with a sign proclaiming it to be a Kantor and you will also be able to withdraw currency at a bankomat using your ATM card.

Słoneczny Młyn

Bus Station

Hotel Kuźnia

I.Paderewskiego Bydgoszcz Airport

Villa Secesja

420 m

280 m

140 m



Bydgoszcz_miniguide_10-2009.indd 2


Bydgoszcz I.J. Paderewski Airport Al. Jana Pawła II 158, tel. (+48) 52 Bydgoszcz I.J. Paderewski Airport Al. Jana Pawła II 158, tel. (+48) 52
365 46 50, 365 46 50,

Water tram
A fun way of getting across Bydgoszcz as well as an interesting adventure in itself, Bydgoszcz's water tram operates four times a day (less during weekends and on public holidays) in both directions along the Brda from Astoria in the west to Tesco in the east, stopping three times along the way including in the old town at Rybi Rynek. Built in the German town of Warnemünde in 1908, the 14.85m craft spent a short time under water at the end of WWII before being rebuilt at the Gdańsk shipyards. Modernised and named Bydgoszcz in 2000, the boat comes with a sun deck and snack bar and is a great way to see the city. The water tram website at www. is in Polish only but comes with an easy to understand map and timetable. Q Open till the end of October, service resumes in May.

January 2010
28.01 Thursday


October 2009 - March 2010 October 2009 - March 2010 Complimentary copy Complimentary copy

20.10 Tuesday - 01.11 Sunday

Bydgoszcz Jazz Festival

The Australian Pink Floyd Show
F-7, Łuczniczka Hall, ul. Toruńska 59, tel. (+48) 52 376 22 00. Known for their stonking Pink Floyd covers, these antipodean chaps bang out the best of Gilmore and Waters hits to a background of dazzling lasers and swooning lights. Q Concert starts at 20:00. Tickets 100-170zł. Available at

Arriving by train
Arriving in Bydgoszcz on a train through endless abandoned factories is a depressing affair that does no justice to the city centre that awaits. The main train station, Bydgoszcz Główna, is about 1km northwest of the old town. Facilities are few and far between. On alighting from your train head down into the subway and follow the herd to the Hala Głowna (main hall). On your way you'll spot a couple of newsagents which are capable of selling you public transport tickets as well as top-up cards for your phone. If it's an emergency situation then make use of the toilets found in the underpass. You'll pay 1.50-2zł regardless of the condition you'll find the WC in. The main hall contains an ATM, as well as more newsagents, a train info point (some English spoken) and a 24hr food cabin right outside. To get to the centre head out of the doors and to the bus stop straight across the road on ul.

Generally speaking toilets in Poland come marked with a circle for women, and a triangle for men. Some restaurants and bars still charge a nominal fee for use of their facilities - no matter how much cash you've already spent in the establishment. This is a practice also used in train stations and most public conveniences. Keep small change handy.

I-1, El Jazz, ul. Kręta 3, tel. (+48) 52 322 15 74. The first staging of the Bydgoszcz Jazz Festival took place in 2003 as a way of reviving the jazz festivals organised in the 70s. So far the guest list has included Poles like Urszula Dudziak, Tomasz Stańko and Włodzimierz Nahorny as well as American stars Billy Harper, Al Foster and Vincent Herring. Q Tickets 15-60zł. Available at Pomerania Philharmonic's box office (Open 11:00 - 13:30, 14:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun) and El Jazz (Open 16:00-01:00, Fri, Sat 16:00-03:00) and before the concerts.

February 2009
09.02 Tuesday - 10.02 Wednesday

Pedro's Cup

21.10 Wednesday - 24.10 Saturday

Camera Obscura

D-4, Polish Theatre, Al. Mickiewicza 2, tel. (+48) 52 339 78 12, www. For those not in the know the Camera Obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings onto a screen. It's also a TV report

F-7, Łuczniczka Hall, ul. Toruńska 59, tel. (+48) 52 376 22 00. This athletics meeting is held at the 6100 capacity Łuczniczka venue. Last year's was considered the most interesting Polish meet since January 2005 with world class results in women's pole vault, men's shot put and high jump from Polish and visiting stars.QTicket prices and time were undecided at the press time. Please check website for updates as they happen.

WHERE TO STAY Upmarket The accommodation sector in Bydgoszcz leapt forward last year with the opening of Bohema, a stunning boutique effort that’s got everyone talking. Located minutes from the square, rooms are decorated in a classic style with ornate trimmings and classical flourishes. With top-hatted bellboys, antique globes and their own private cellar this is simply as good as it gets in Bydgoszcz, and now with a full-fledged spa up-and-running. Q23 rooms (11 singles 360 - 550zł, 9 doubles 450 - 650zł, 3 apartments 700 - 1000zł). PTHARUFLG KDCW hhhhh

Focus E-1, ul. Modrzewiowa 1, tel. (+48) 52 346 00 96, www.hotelfocus.

Writers: Alex Webber, Sco Assistant Editor: Karolina Montygierd-Łojbo Research: Paweł Perwejnis, Joanna Kortas, Katarzyna Burzyńska Events: Klaudia Mampe Design: Tomáš Haman Photography: Alex Webber, Rentapocket Cover: Dominika Żurek In Your Pocket would like to thank the staff of the City Government’s Promotion and Culture departments for their help in producing this guide.

Bohema Hotel & Spa C-5, ul. Konarskiego 9, tel. (+48) 52 560 06 02, Located next to a sports stadium in a pleasant part of town, Focus is clinical to say the least, but the rooms are more than fine, featuring cool colours, showers only and free internet connections. Extras include conference facilities, fitness centre and a sauna. Q36 rooms (28 singles 149 - 195zł, 28 doubles 175 - 219zł, 2 triples 219 - 269zł, 2 quads 259 - 299zł, 4 suites 199 - 249zł). THAFDXW hh

Publisher: WIYP Sp. z o.o., ul. Paderewskiego 1, 81-831 Sopot. Tel. 058 555 08 31, Printing: CGS Published: 15,000 copies, 2 times a year Maps Agencja Reklamowa POD ANIOLEM Rynek Główny 6, Szara Kamienica 31-042 Kraków, tel./fax 012 421 24 48 Sales & Circulation Sales Director: Małgorzata Drząszcz 0606 749 676 Distribution: Bartosz Matyjas 058 555 98 18

City Hotel C-6, ul. 3 Maja 6, tel. (+48) 52 325 25 00, pl. Decent business class accommodation in the city’s new commercial district, rooms are neat and tidy, coming with the usual business class fixtures and fittings plus the rarity that is potted plants. Extras include minibars, wireless internet that needs to be paid for, Pay TV and better than average conference facilities. A bit on the expensive side, take advantage of the weekend rates or get your company to pay the bill. Note that all rooms have air-conditioning. Q 168 rooms (97 singles 250 - 490zł, 67 doubles 300 - 610zł, 2 suites 350 - 750zł, 2 apartments 460 - 930zł). POTHA RUFLKDXW hhhh Pod Orłem B-5, ul. Gdańska 14, tel. (+48) 52 583 05 30, Nothing to do with Orbis, even if the front door says otherwise. This is the best hotel in town, and kitted out with a turn-of-the-century classic ambiance; here it’s all parlour plants, bow-tied flunkeys and hundred year history. The rooms are as sumptuous as you’re ever going to find in Bydgoszcz and come with mini-bars, Pay TV, internet access and all the required trimmings. Q75 rooms (39 singles 400 - 440zł, 32 doubles 490 - 560zł, 4 apartments 590 - 750zł). THAR UFKDXW hhhh Słoneczny Młyn F-6, ul. Jagiellońska 96, tel. (+48) 52 561 31 00, fax
(+48) 052 561 32 00, A beautiful riverside effort set inside a converted 19th century mill. Set to emerge as the top hotel in the city the Sloneczny Mlyn has wow factor aplenty, from a shimmering crystal light stretching from the lobby to the ceiling, to a top notch spa for a bit of afterhours pampering. The four separate floors have apparently been designed to evoke the different seasons, and the hotel comes with plenty of bursts of art deco splendour. It’s this nod to the past that adds atmosphere to an otherwise sparkly, modern hotel, and further pluses include one of the better restaurants in town. A grand experience, for sure. Q96 rooms (3 singles 277 370zł, 84 doubles 350 - 466zł, 8 suites 429 - 627zł, 1 apartment 528 - 704zł). PTHAULGKDW hhhh

Hotel Kuźnia C-4, ul. Gdańska 67, tel. (+48) 52 321 31 70, A decent mid-table affair with spotless furnishings, flatscreen TVs and bathrooms so new they could have been installed yesterday. The city suffers from a lack of lodgings in the centre, so Kuznia is a welcomed addition to a city still under-represented in the hotel field. Q14 rooms (12 singles 145 - 195zł, 12 doubles 210 - 280zł, 2 triples 240 - 320zł, 2 quads 270 - 360zł, 2 apartments 225 - 400zł). THAUFGKDW hhh Maraton C-1, ul. Powstańców Warszawy 13, tel. (+48) 52 341 12 11, This quintessential budget Polish business-class hotel is newish, clean, basic and with a slightly clinical feel to it. The uncluttered rooms come with satellite television, free cable and wireless internet and adequate bathrooms. Excellent value if you don't mind the slightly awkward location. Q56 rooms (53 singles 160zł, 51 doubles 220zł, 2 triples 270zł, 1 quad 340zł, 2 apartments 300zł). THARULKDXW hhh

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Millenium ul. Szosa Gdańska 43 (Osielsko), tel. (+48) 52 360 54 00, www. Not bad at all, though with this location a set of your own wheels will definitely come in handy, a helicopter even. Set inside a low-level modern buildings, fixtures and fittings here are brand new, and of the mass-packed generic style found in three stars the world over. Rooms come appointed with minibar, satellite TV and internet access, and joined with bathrooms you could eat your breakfast off - not a given in this city by any stretch. Q31 rooms (2 singles 145 - 180zł, 29 doubles 170 - 220zł, 2 suites 210 - 240zł). HARUGKDCW hhh
pl. At the far northern end of the Forest Park of Culture in-between the botanical gardens and a horse-riding centre, Pałac features the smell of perfume everywhere, thousands of pictures on the walls and ostentatious antique furniture. Whereas many of Bydgoszcz's hotels are just badly located, this one has its advantages being in a truly lovely albeit distant location. The rooms feature everything necessary for a comfortable stay, plus there's a decent bar and restaurant as well. Q15 rooms (5 singles 230zł, 8 doubles 280zł, 2 suites 310zł). THAULGKW hhh


Pałac ul. Konna 10 (Myślęcinek), tel. (+48) 52 328 00 12,

Villa Secesja C-5, ul. Gdańska 18, tel. (+48) 52 376 42 30, Bydgoszcz is finally getting the hotels it deserves, and you won’t find many better deals than the art nouveau Villa Secesja. The rooms, while at first appearing modern and minimal feature great details from the fin-de-siecle; vintage phones, period prints and funky lights with beads dripping from them. The overall effect is gorgeous, with chequered flooring leading to a sweeping stairwell that takes you to your room. Of course, in line with modern times you’ll find wall-to-wall wifi, Sat TV and a highly lauded restaurant. Q7 rooms (1 single 250 - 300zł, 6 doubles 300 - 380zł). PHAGKW Zespół Pałacowo - Parkowy ul. Bydgoska 9 (Ostromecko), tel. (+48) 052 364 64 11, Live the life of an oligarch by booking into here, a beautifully restored baroque mansion set amid landscaped gardens. The halls and chambers really are quite something, featuring intricate ceiling art, huge fireplaces and other such aristocratic touches. Bedrooms are a little less extravagant in style, but are furnished with immaculate modern fittings that have been carefully selected to blend in with the classical style. Certainly a place for a special weekend. Q22 rooms (13 singles 200zł, 7 doubles 250zł, 2 triples 300zł). THAULGW

Pegaz F-5, ul. Sklodowskiej-Curie 10a, tel. (+48) 52 341 51 15, fax (+48) 052 341 51 15, Just yards away from one of Bydgoszcz's stadiums, meaning you've got every chance of running into some obscure local sporting celeb. Operating since 1981 the Pegaz is your standard Bydgoszcz experience, with a staple generic style and a team of cleaners wholly committed to ensuring there isn't a mark in your room. Q10 rooms (2 singles 135zł, 6 doubles 175zł, 2 triples 230zł). HALW hh Bydgoszcz's only old town hotel offers a decent welcome and lodgings a stones throw from all the action. The more expensive rooms are a decent size and all come equipped with private bathroom and TV. They've got the price to value ratio bang on, as is the location. Q29 rooms (16 singles 180 250zł, 12 doubles 250 - 350zł, 1 apartment 350 - 500zł). THAKXW hh

Ratuszowy H-2, ul. Długa 37, tel. (+48) 52 339 84 00, www.hotelra-

(+48) 052 322 88 70. Owned by a pleasant and sentimental Bydgoszcz patriot, the Centralny has been putting people to bed since it first opened its doors in 1876. The rooms are a jumble of styles and standards from unrenovated bargains without televisions to more modern affairs in coffee and cream colours. Quirky extras include a small exhibition of things found in the hotel over the last 130 years, an in-house car rental service and the occasional fancy opera and dinner evening. Q34 rooms (11 singles 108 - 138zł, 19 doubles 165 - 218zł, 2 triples 315zł, 2 quads 308zł). Breakfast 12zł. TK hh

Centralny Bydgoszcz A-4, ul. Dworcowa 85, tel. (+48) 52 322 88 76, fax

Mid-range A great big tower of a hotel with standard rooms coming with free wifi internet, upgraded bathrooms and a fast laundry service that gets the job done for minimum outlay. With 205 rooms to their disposal this is the biggest hotel in the city, and as such popular with block bookings. Q 205 rooms (129 singles 130 - 390zł, 76 doubles 240 - 440zł). THAR ULGKDW hhh

Brda A-4, ul. Dworcowa 94, tel. (+48) 52 585 01 00, www.hotelbrda.

Hostel 24 E-3, ul. Lelewela 35a, tel. (+48) 052 346 78 35, www.hostel24. Hostelling never used to be like this. Those on a budget can now rest easy in spotless digs that make use of pristine white colours, hardwood floors and modern fittings. Everything here is spotless, with accommodation including en-suite facilities, wifi and televisions. Q32 rooms (28 singles 100 - 130zł, 28 doubles 110 - 140zł, 4 triples 165 - 210zł). 68 dorm beds 50-70zł per person. Breakfast 12 zł. TALGW

6.10.2009 11:28:07

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