Regional cuisine, the biggest City Forest in Europe and pearls of the Neo-gothic architecture. Or maybe regatta in the city centre on Ukiel Lake and sightseeing from a yacht deck? All of this can be enjoyed in Olsztyn, a city with the population of 170 thousand, where Nicolaus Copernicus left his trace almost half a century ago.
The Old Town in Olsztyn is not big and can be seen in its entirety during a slow Sunday walk. You can set out from the only remaining city gate, commonly referred to by the citizens of Olsztyn as High Gate (Wysoka Brama) – on the map you can find it under the name “Main Gate”. The next stop is Castle of Warmian Bishops, where you can enjoy a free walk around the courtyard and take a picture of the famous Prussian Baba – one of the symbols of Olsztyn made in the Middle Ages that most probably, despite its name, depicts a man – a warrior.
Closer to stars
While strolling along the city, you will certainly come across facilities related to the prominent astronomer. It will be a true treat to visit the Museum of Warmia and Masuria which hosts, as a part of permanent exhibition, a unique display devoted to Copernicus. The exhibits include, among others, an astronomical experimental table made by this outstanding astronomer. At the junction of Zamkowa and Okopowa streets, you can sit next to Nicolaus Copernicus on a famous bench dedicated to him, and take a souvenir photo. It is said that rubbing the nose of the statue brings happiness and prosperity.
The flavours of Warmia and Masuria
Olsztyn is filled to the brim with interesting places serving local delicacies, such as Cudne Manowce restaurant located in the Old Town, Chrobrego Street. Lovers of rustic style will enjoy the characteristic interior design: full of the colour white, wood, and handicraft elements. A la carte menu includes dishes such as karmuszka (a kind of thick soup), dzyndzałki – beef dumplings with skrzeczki (greaves), pikeperch from a pan or nettle lemonade, all of which draw from the local tradition and, what is important, were made on the basis of regional products, about which you can read in the menu.
Urban style art
Fans of street art can spend a weekend looking for murals in the city. Every year, Olsztyn Street Art Garden festival allows young artists to present their works, while the most interesting project is exhibited in the public space. As a result, you can see, among others, a hybrid of a man and a dog on the wall of a building in Jasna Street or a three-dimensional historical image made on one of the tenement houses in Pieniężny Street.
On the other hand, you will definitely stop and admire the mysterious geometric composition located along the street in the vicinity of the Museum of Modernity. There are more sites where you can enjoy murals – and for sure it is an interesting alternative to traditional sightseeing.
Seen from a yacht
Gdynia has the sea, Zakopane – mountains, while Olsztyn can boast 16 lakes that attract enthusiasts of water attractions and resting on the beach. If you are looking for a place with developed recreational facilities, an ideal place will be the bathing area by Ukiel Lake. The city beach is located in Jeziorna Street and entices with its developed catering establishments located along the shoreline.
Fans of sailing can moor their boats at Słoneczna Polana marina (Sunny Glade) (good news for drivers – you can find a large, free car park nearby). A trip with friends can be completed with a barbecue on Piaszczysta Plaża (Sandy Beach) in Pstrowskiego Street (Skanda Lake), which is located on the outskirts of Olsztyn.
Before leaving, you should definitely visit Manufaktura Sztuki (Art Manufacture) – a shop and gallery with original souvenirs run by passionate owners. You can buy there authentic folk art referring to the history and culture of Warmia and Masuria. It is said that hand-made objects made of ceramics, glass or wood have “something that can be called the spirit of Warmia“. Everything is spiced up with a century-old cash register from 1939 and a door that used to be part of the old mill’s equipment. The place enchants with its unique atmosphere, and therefore it is difficult to leave it without buying any souvenirs. Manufaktura is located in the Old Town, in 1 Staromiejska Street, entrance by High Gate.
The capital of Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship will be enjoyed by both travellers, who like to discover the historic part of the city, and admirers of lazy walks in the streets of the old town. Another satisfied group will be lovers of regional cuisine, who will be able to rediscover the true taste of a well-made fish or venison. What is more, Olsztyn has also something in store for its inhabitants, as it is experiencing a period of growth, with more and more interesting places appearing on its map.
Good to Know
Olsztyn-Mazury Airport is located in the town of Szymany. It is located about 60 km away from the centre of Olsztyn – a trip that takes less than an hour by railbus or car.
A night at hotels in Olsztyn for two people with breakfast costs between PLN 250 and 450, depending on the standard.
Olsztyn has a city bike rental system. You can rent bicycles in around 20 points using an application. Cycling for the first 30 minutes is free.
IN THE AREA
a city known for the only Higher Police School in Poland located approx. 50 km from Olsztyn. There is also a branch of the Museum of Warmia and Masuria, where one of the permanent exhibitions is Masurian tiles. The museum is open all week except Mondays. A normal ticket costs 7 PLN.
country music has been played here every year for over 30 years. The fans of the legendary Piknik Country (Country Picnic) festival come to Czos Lake to enjoy themselves for three days in the specially prepared area of the western town – Mrongoville.
touristic pearl of Mazury and the sailing capital of Poland. The city is swarmed by tourist in the summer, when yachts lovers come here enchanted by the Land of Great Masurian Lakes. In the centre, you can find a sailing village with numerous attractions and facilities for guests.
Olsztyn - Masuria Airport is located in Szymany 10 km from Szczytno and 58 km south of the city of Olsztyn, province` s capital. From the airport to Olsztyn you travel by bus (Airport – OLSZTYN (City Train/Coach Terminl, stand no 9) thr. PASYM and SZCZYTNO or by railbus.