The chief administrative and industrial centre of southeastern Poland, Rzeszów is a surprisingly elegant medium-sized city boasting a handsome square lined with some great clubs, restaurants and hotels, all enlivened by a large student population. 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. As far as stopovers go, this is the most promising around.

Rzeszów started life in the 13th century as a remote Ruthenian settlement. 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.