There are plenty of things to do in Rzeszow that will keep you busy during your trip to this lovely Polish city.
Rzeszow is easy to explore, affordable to visit, and not packed with tourists. Even in the summer there weren’t any crowds and it was peaceful to walk around.
The city itself is beautiful, picturesque, and worth visiting if you’re in this part of Poland. There are a number of reasonably priced options for accommodation. It’s possible to visit for just the day or you could spend a few days exploring.
A full-two days in the city was more than enough to get a feel for it. In the future I hope to return to check out the local Christmas market!
In this post I want to share with you some of my best recommendations when it comes to what to do in Rzeszow. This way you’ll know how to most effectively spend your time on a visit to the lovely capital of Subcarpathia.
The Best Things to Do in Rzeszow, Poland
It was back in 1354 when the city finally received its city rights, and gained the ability participate in local and international trade, apply taxes to goods traveling through town, and decide on its own laws and regulations.
Over the years Rzeszow has gone through quite a lot of turmoil, with it being the focus point on quite a few battles in the region, but these days it’s a cultural and metropolitan center in the heart of South-Eastern Poland.
Take a look at the Wikipedia article on Rzeszow for a better look at the history of the city, otherwise, here are some of the top things you’ll want to check out during your visit:
The Rzeszow Old Town Square
In the center of the old town is the Rzeszow Old Town Square.
Like many cities in Poland, the square is the heartbeat of the old town area. It’s lined with different local restaurants, cafes, bars, and small shops.
Look at the historic residential houses surrounding the square. Don’t they look rather old? They’re beautiful, but unfortunately the majority of them were built in the middle of the 19th century.
In 1842 a fire ravaged the old town. The fire destroyed almost every building standing in the square. Before that the historic old town square had buildings standing from the 15th century.
The square itself takes on the shape of an irregular rectangle, slightly different than the typical square layout it had in the past.
This is the best spot in Rzeszow to grab a beer, something to eat, or to browse some local shops. During the summer live music and other events are held here on the weekends.
The Old Town Hall
The picturesque Rzeszow Old Town Hall is the focal point of the old town square.
It was built during the 16th century and was one of the few buildings lucky enough to survive the fire. Over the years it has undergone countless renovations.
Today, the town hall has a neo-gothic architectural design. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in Rzeszow.
The most recent renovation that gives it the appearance you see today was completed in 1898. Heavy restorations having been underway quite often since 1966 until present day.
The cafe and restaurants out front offer the best view of the town hall while giving you a comfortable place to relax.
Inside the town hall is more information about the city and some helpful tourist maps. It’s also possible to arrange a guided tour.
Be sure to check out the different coats of arms from the sister cities of Rzeszow at the main entrance.
The impressive Rzeszow Castle is one of the most impressive attractions in Rzeszow.
The current castle complex was built by 1906. Many different defensive structures have stood in the same spot since the 16th century.
Until 1981 the castle was used as a prison. Today, the castle is home to a museum, restaurant, and some city offices.
Surrounding the castle are stone fortifications. These are some of the only remaining parts of the original structures from the 17th and 18th centuries.
There is a lovely park and a nice trail that lead you around the castle. Don’t miss the row of beautiful historic houses on the opposite side of the trail right beside the castle.
Maja street runs through the center of the old town. It’s the main pedestrian promenade in Rzeszow.
The street is lined with small, historic residential buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th century. Many of these buildings are home to different local shops, restaurants, and cafes.
After World War II, unfortunately many of the buildings underwent renovations. These were designed to give the buildings a less extravagant appearance to fall in line with the communist architectural style at the time.
Along Maja Street are a number of churches, a school, a convent, and some of the best Rzeszow museums.
As it runs right through the city center, you’re bound to stumble onto Maja Street. Take your time to explore the pedestrian promenade and see what you can discover in the surrounding side streets.
Monument of the Revolutionary Deed
Across from the Hotel Rzeszow is the Monument of the Revolutionary Deed. This impressive monument is strategically placed near one of the busiest intersections in town.
This enormous, imposing concrete structure was built as a dedication to the individuals that participated in the conflicts Rzeszow was involved in historically.
There is a lot of debate in Poland as to the opinion of this monument. Many locals prefer something more modern and fitting to the current political atmosphere.
The monument itself was built and installed in the 1970s. It’s a popular meeting place for locals and a great place to relax after exploring the city.
The Multimedia Fountain
Beside the Rzeszow Castle is a small park with a unique fountain known as the Multimedia Fountain.
During the day the park and the fountain are quite nondescript. It’s a a quiet and relaxing area to check out on the outside edge of the Old Town.
However, at night the park transforms into something simply magical. The fountain goes through an interesting display of water aerobics and bright lights.
It’s hard to put it in words, but the brightly colored fountain display is mesmerizing and unique. I’ve never seen a multimedia fountain display like this before anywhere else.
It’s great to sit down in the park and watch the light show while enjoying the sounds of the babbling water as a dances across the fountain jets.
The fountain and small park are located right beside the Rzeszow Castle. During the summer he light show starts at 21:00 and continues for a few hours. Be sure to get there after dark if you want a chance to see the display in the best setting.
The Old Cemetery
Occupying a significant area of space in the city centre is the Old Cemetery.
You might not be interested in visiting local cemeteries, but it’s something I love to do when I’m travelling.
At the Old Cemetery you can explore the different grave stones, crypts, and other unique burial sites. These are from the families of local people that have been buried in the area since 1910.
While 1910 was the official opening date, and there are tombstones and grave sites dating back to the end of the 18th century.
The reason is because of the imposing rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that didn’t want locals using the property and filling it up with their deceased relatives.
Entrance to the cemetery is completely free. The Old Cemetery in Rzeszow is the perfect place to explore to avoid the tourists and get a taste of local history. It doesn’t hurt that the cemetery is beautiful either!
How to Get to Rzeszow
Getting to most cities in Poland, including Rzeszow, is simple. This is thanks to the extensive rail and coach bus network across the country.
By bus, there are connections with just about every city in Poland. Most routes will transfer in either Krakow or Warsaw.
For this I recommend Polski Bus. This is Poland’s national bus line and they offer the best prices for most routes.
For the train, you can check timetables and routes on the PKP Polish Rail website.
It’s also possible to reach the city from Lviv, with a direct bus on Leo Express.
Is Rzeszow Worth Visiting?
To be completely honest, my girlfriend and I wanted to go to Lublin. Unfortunately, due to the holiday weekend, there wasn’t any accommodation available.
At the time we were living in Lviv and decided to head to the nearby town of Rzeszow instead. This quaint and picturesque Polish town completely surprised me.
In my opinion, it’s definitely worth it to visit Rzeszow. It’s a great place to explore if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and discover somewhere in Poland that’s not loaded with tourists.
With cities like Lviv, Zamosc, and Lublin nearby, too many people overlook Rzeszow.
Although it isn’t loaded with different attractions and things to do like other small towns in Poland, it’s still worth checking it out. One or two days is more than enough time to thoroughly explore the best that the city has to offer.
Where to Stay in Rzeszow, Poland
There are a surprising number of great hotels in Rzeszow. During our visit we stayed at the Hotel Rzeszow.
This hotel is located at the edge of the city center. It’s a relaxing 5 to 10 minute walk to reach the Old Town Square.
The rates are reasonable and for two nights we spent just $45 per night.
Many of the rooms at this hotel have an incredible view of the surrounding cityscape. The train station or bus station is also 5 to 10 minutes away on foot.
More Poland Travel Information
Hoping to explore other cities and small towns in Poland? Check out the helpful guides here on StefanRTW: