In Summer 2020, we flew out to Poland for a friend’s wedding which was taking place in his home town of Sandomierz. It was quite a last minute holiday for us as, although we had known about the wedding for a while, we assumed it would be cancelled due to COVID. We only found out that it was still going ahead just 4 weeks before hand. Because of this, we didn’t have time to come up with an itinerary and took it all in our stride. We’ve now put together a guide of how to spend a weekend in Sandomierz based on our experience!
The closest airport to fly into is Rzeszow which is about an hour’s drive outside of Sandomierz. There is a bus and a train that can take you into the town; however we didn’t actually experience either option in the end as Lukasz (the groom) kindly picked us up. In Sandomierz there is a bus station fairly centrally with links to lots of places including Krakow. There’s also the option of taxis, however the old town is small enough to be able to get around on foot.
Whilst we were here, we stayed in 2 different hotels – Willa Pod Brama and Willa Halina. The rooms in Willa Halina were really lovely and spacious and had all of the amenities that we needed which felt nice and homely. It was about a 10 minute walk (involving a lot of steps) to get to old town, and we felt very safe and welcomed. The breakfast was lovely and freshly cooked for us, when we needed it early in the morning. Willa Pod Brama was a lot more ‘upmarket’ and the rooms looked a lot plusher. The breakfast included was delicious and the evening food in the restaurant was worth paying for! It was a more expensive stay here but that’s because it’s perfectly located just outside the old town.
What to do
A lot of our time in Sandomeirz was taken up by the wedding (or recovering from it) and so we only really had one full day to explore the beautiful town
Underground tunnels – Under the town of Sandomierz lay medieval passageways; some of which used to be used by merchants for storage. Why not take a guided tour and learn some more about the history.
Market – In the streets just off the main square of the town, there are lots of little souvenir shops and boutiques to explore, as well as a little market. It isn’t huge but it has some stalls with homemade crafts, knickknacks, clothing and toys.
Opatowska gate – When you first enter the old town you will likely go through the Opatowska gate. It’s almost 700 years old and is in great condition, enough so that you can climb to the top and enjoy the amazing views from the platform at the top!
Where to eat
On our first day in Sandomierz, we stopped for a nice lunch at a lovely place recommended by Lukasz. Widnokrąg is a restaurant on the edge of the old town which has a little outdoor area as well as the inside restaurant and bar, and gallery. The food here was very good and reasonably priced; the waitresses here were lovely and despite the COVID situation, they made us feel very welcome.
As already mentioned above, Willa Pod Brama has a restaurant underneath which is definitely worth visiting. It’s quite a pricey place in Sandomierz however compared to England, it was still relatively cheap for what we had! Scott had steak tartar, guinea fowl and a cheesecake pudding; I had a tiger shrimp salad, duck and a chocolate pudding. All of this, as well as 2 bottles of wine which we shared, came to just £75.
One of the places that we visited a couple of times is a place called Lipidarium which is in the very centre of the old town, in the main square. It’s got an outdoor seating area made up of painted old pallets, and the tables all have little pepper plants in the middle. The drinks here were SO cheap. Scott and I sat here drinking one afternoon for a few hours whilst we spontaneously booked our holiday to Lithuania (which had to be changed to Rome last minute due to COVID restrictions). We had about 5 pints each and a shot of raspberry honey vodka and it came to just £15… That’s £15 for 10 pints and 2 shots! Not only was it cheap here but it also served good, easy food and was a great spot to sit and people watch.
The wine in Poland seemed to be similar prices to England, however the food and beer brings the overall cost down considerably
After the long weekend in Sandomierz, we got a bus into Krakow to spend the next 5 days exploring the city. We would 100% recommend visiting so if you want some tips for your trip, take a look at our time in Krakow.