Nicknamed the city of sport, Bydgoszcz is hopping with activity all year round. From races on the water to land competitions, the festivals and celebrations of the city’s heritage are endless. Boasting impressive facilities and some hall-of-fame stadiums, Poland’s city on the river is a sports fan’s paradise. Here’s our guide to the best sporting events in Bydgoszcz.
Held in the very centre of the city, the annual swimming competition attracts people from all over to watch as participants battle it out on the river Brda. Competitors choose from three different distance points and race against the currents in chase of the cup. In the heat of summer, swimmers will complete either 650 metres, 1600 metres or 2,800 metres to the cheers of enthusiastic crowds from all over the region. Due to the city’s ecological investments, the river water is perfectly clean and ideal for splashing around in during the warmer months. An event gradually gaining more and more international recognition each year, Woda Bydgoska takes places on the 15th August every year and with its electric, inclusive atmosphere, takes a spot in the top five sporting events in Bydgoszcz.
As the biggest triathlon in Poland, the event attracts around 5,000 competitors and takes place each year over the 6th and 7th of July. The race has three levels of difficulty for both professional and amateur contenders to choose from. Take on a quarter, half or one eighth of the distance and swim, run and bike across the city in the hopes of claiming the cup or the award for the most versatile triathlete. For those wanting to participate in teams, there is a separate section to sign up for and also a quadrathlon. Whether you fancy getting involved or just want to take in the atmosphere of the day, the triathlon is definitely not to be missed.
Running since 1992, the Great Rowing Regatta in Bydgoszcz has been gaining more and more prestige worldwide every year. Attracting rowers from the likes of Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and even the famous Oxford and Cambridge teams, the regatta is one of the most important sporting events on the city’s calendar. Rowing eights with coxswain, the race is usually held at the course in Brdyujscie, the arena for many important competitions nationwide. Known as Wielka Wioslarska, this is a great event to mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in the rich sporting culture that dominates the history of Bydgoszcz.
The Water Festival or Stern a Bydgoszcz as it is more commonly known, takes over Mill Island every year over the course of a weekend in June. Heaving with sailors, supporters and friends, the banks of the island come alive for two days straight as the community and visitors alike come together to celebrate the city’s prime location on the Brda river. The location in itself is enough of a reason to join in the festivities. Situated in the Old Town, it is the centre of culture and recreation in the city. A truly enjoyable day out for the whole family, the Water Festival is without a doubt one of the best sport events in Bydgoszcz.
A great one for sports fans and history buffs alike, The Sport Gallery offers a unique opportunity to wander through the city’s active hall of fame. Depicting the roots of the city’s sporting heritage, the gallery is located in office building of the Zawisza Stadium and is managed by the ZAWISZA Sports Complex. Relive the emotions and memories of Bydgoszcz’s great glory days by taking a guided tour of the exhibit and sit in on a lecture by an athlete guest speaker. Open to the public from Monday to Friday, this museum captures the local culture and is perfect for all ages. A worthwhile trip, The Sport Gallery is definitely one to add to your list of what to do when you visit Bydgoszcz.
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Flights to Bydgoszcz
- Lucy Norris