In Braniewo, Copernicus experienced difficult times in January 1520, after the accession of the city by the Teutonic Knights, when as a deputy of the Warmian bishop Fabian Luzinski he negotiated with the Grand Master of the Order. He was certainly here also in August 1538 for a visit with the newly elected bishop Jan Dantiscus, and in June 1541 at a council with the mentioned bishop.

Braniewo is the oldest town of Warmia (it obtained city rights in 1254) and its first capital (1250-1341). Until the end of the 18th century it was also the only Warmian seaport. The rebuilt Gothic church of St. Catherine still stands in its center. Only the gate tower has survived from the episcopal castle. Other monuments of Braniewo are the following churches: Holy Cross (18th century), of the Holy Trinity (16th century, currently a Greek Catholic church) and St. Antoni (19th century), as well as the Jesuit college, St. Catherine's monastery and the Marian granary (17th century).

The Pasłęka River flows through Braniewo, then into the Vistula Lagoon, which creates favorable conditions for water sports. The town lies on the Green Velo East of Poland Cycling Trail, which in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship has 395 km (and in the country a total of nearly 2000 km).