The chief administrative and industrial centre of southeastern Poland, Rzeszów is a surprisingly elegant, medium-sized city boasting some fine museums and historic sights, and dining and drinking scenes enlivened by a large student population. Altogether it’s a highly recommended sojourn if you’re looking for some more urbanised fun to balance out your treks in the mountains. It’s also a transport hub, meaning you’re likely to pass through in any event.
Rzeszów started life in the 13th century as a remote Ruthenian settlement. Granted town rights by Casimir III in the mid-14th century, it grew rapidly in the 16th century when Mikołaj Spytek Ligęza, the local ruler, commissioned a church and a fortified castle. It later fell into the hands of the powerful Lubomirski clan, but this couldn’t save the town from subsequent decline.