Nowy Sącz (no-vi sonch), the economic and cultural centre of the Sącz region, is a laid-back town with a large main square and a few decent attractions, most notably its large skansen. It can also be a good base for further exploration of the surrounding countryside.
Founded in 1292 and fortified in the middle of the following century by King Kazimierz III Wielki (Casimir III the Great), Nowy Sącz developed rapidly until the 16th century, thanks to its strategic position on trading crossroads. As elsewhere, decline in the 17th century gave way to a partial revival at the close of the 19th century. Nowy Sącz grew considerably after WWII, and its historic district has been largely restored over recent years.