Rzeszów – Kraków’s Quiet Neighbour

The small city of Rzeszów (I still have no idea how to pronounce it – Che-sof I think!) lies to the east of the extremely popular city of KrakówIn May I was passing through on my way to Ukraine, as it’s small airport is served by Ryanair – hurrah! The border crossing is just one hour away by bus.

I decided to stay in Rzeszów on my return from Lviv, as I didn’t want to get stuck at the Ukraine border and potentially miss my flight back to Edinburgh. To be honest, I didn’t even read up on Rzeszów so I had no idea what to expect – I had imagined it would just be a dull modern industrial city. As you can see below, I was quite wrong!

P1020025 P1020023The sun kissed market square (Rynek) is the centrepiece of the Old Town and looks absolutely splendid. This “Mini Krakow” – as it’s known locally is flanked on the west side by the impressively ornate Town Hall. The Square is immaculate, after spending a week in a somewhat filthy Ukraine I was astounded not to see a single bit of litter or graffiti in Rzeszów’s Old Town.

P1020014 P1020022Rzesow2

The Market Square is the social hub of the city, with countless bars and restaurants lining three sides of the square. My favourite place was Stary Browar Rzeszowski  – the first microbrwery in Rzeszów. They serve 4 home brewed beers as well as homemade Polish dishes. Their speciality is their XXXL feasts, fit for a King and his soldiers! Alas I didmn’t have my army in tow so I settled the mixed pierogi, which were absolutely delicious! I hadn’t had pierogi since living in Canada 4 years ago so this was the perfect place to try them again and watch the sunset over the square.

The tourist office, located next to the town hall, is brand new and will soon feature tours of the underground vaults that run beneath the town square. Unfortunately they were yet to be opened when I visited in May but as far as I know they were meant to be ready for summer 2015.

P1020020 P1020017Beyond the Market Square there are busy shopping streets and quiet residential areas. The town council have really done a superb job of improving the town for locals and visitors. What I thought was an ordinary fountained turned out to be a Multimedia Fountain – at night the fountain is lit up with the latest LED technology and lasers shoot up in to the sky. All of this is in sync with an impressive musical performance.

Multimedia Fountain

So if you looking to spend a night or two in one Poland’s quieter cities, I would totally recommed Rzeszów. It’s a refreshing break from the maddening crowds of Krakow and alot cheaper too. The town is clearly looking to make a dent in Poland’s flourishing tourism industry and I believe it will continue to attract more visitors in the future.

Get there: Rzeszów Airport is served by Ryanair, LOT and Lufthansa. Destinations include Dublin (€20), London (€15) and Oslo (€15). Rzeszów train station has direct trains to most major Polish cities, as well as connections to Lviv and Kiev. Buses depart for Polish cities as well the Ukraine border
Stay: I stayed at the imaginatively named Hostel Rzeszów. It’s a ideally located on Market Square above a cool antiques shop. It’s clean, friendly and offers WiFi and breakfast. (€10)
Eat: Get your fill of inhouse beer and hearty Polish food at the Stary Browar Rzeszowski (€1.75 beer and €3.50 for Pierogi). I also had one of the most awesome, juicy burgers at the new Burger Store. They have taken a leaf out of the gourmet burger craze in the UK and have burst onto the scene in Rzeszów. (€4.50 for Cheese + Bacon burger)

14 Comments

  1. Oyster
    31/08/2015 / 11:14 PM

    It certainly does look immaculate! How clean and peaceful it looks! Lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.lifeismyoyster.com

    • 01/09/2015 / 1:42 PM

      I know, I was really surprised – and the food as well, it was all just fanastic! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. nibblesipwander
    01/09/2015 / 4:17 PM

    I love that they have their own microbrewery. Sign me up!

    • continentaldrifters
      03/09/2015 / 10:40 AM

      And who knew a microbrewery can cook up some dam good food as well 🙂 It’s awesome.
      Safe travels and thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. 01/09/2015 / 4:25 PM

    I’ll be honest… I have neve heard of rzeszow before But it looks so peaceful.. and only the fountain deserves a visit )
    Nice post, nice photos.. Thank you!

    • continentaldrifters
      03/09/2015 / 10:39 AM

      The fountain is really cool, they do live concerts as well in sync with the fountain, so i’d love to go back to see one of them.
      Thanks for visiting 🙂

  4. 01/09/2015 / 9:12 PM

    Oh wow, I’ve never heard of this town but it’s great to see a different part of Krakow. I can definitely seeing that it would attract more tourists in the future. I would love to see this place before it does though. What a great find!

    • continentaldrifters
      03/09/2015 / 10:38 AM

      I reckon Poland is probably full of towns just like this, I’d love to spend a few weeks on Poland along. Although I may come home with heart problems and a slight alcohol problem – the food and drink is just too good! 😀
      Appreciate you taking the time out to comment 🙂

  5. 03/09/2015 / 8:22 AM

    Great to know. I was not familiar with this town but Krakow is on my bucket list!

    • continentaldrifters
      03/09/2015 / 10:37 AM

      You may need to take a breather after busy Krakow, so I definitely recommend Rzeszow! Thanks for reading Melody!

  6. 06/09/2015 / 2:38 PM

    Good to know about this alternative to Krakow as I’d never heard of it – it actually looks really pretty and charming.

    • 06/09/2015 / 7:17 PM

      Thanks for the comment Andrew, really nice spot for a couple of days. And the locals have time to chat to you – unlike Krakow!

  7. 06/09/2015 / 11:10 PM

    wow, very nice town, didn’t have idea of this! Need to visit it, it is just 200km from where I live now! Thanks for the tip!

    • continentaldrifters
      07/09/2015 / 11:04 AM

      Thanks for the comment Julius! You should definitely pay a visit, and go to the brewery for a feast of meat and beer 🙂

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