If you're not planning on traveling onward to Zamosc, the town of Tarnów (pronounced tar-nohv), about 80km (50 miles) east of Kraków, is probably your best opportunity to see a well-preserved example of Renaissance town planning as practiced in the 16th century. Borrowing from the Classical period, the idea behind Renaissance town design was to achieve balance and harmony through symmetry. In Tarnów's case, that resulted in an oval-shaped Old Town, with the Rynek and Town Hall (Ratusz) at the center, and main arteries radiating from there. Each part of town was given over to a specific purpose, and the core surrounded by walls and fortifications.
Tarnów is not as well preserved as Zamosc. Part of the town walls were pulled down over the years and insensitive new buildings intrude on the overall effect, but enough of the older structures, including the dominant Town Hall, remain to lend a strong impression to how life was lived in the late Middle Ages.
Tarnów is also a significant stop on Jewish heritage tours. In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, the town's Jewish population was around 25,000, making it the fourth-largest concentration of Jews in this part of Poland, after towns like Kraków, Lublin, and Lwów. Here, as nearly everywhere else, during the war, the town's Jewish population was subjected to draconian and humiliating rules, mass killings, confinement in tightly guarded ghettoes, and finally deportations to extermination camps. There are few, if any, Jews left today, but the streets to the immediate east of the Rynek, including Zidowska (Jewish St.), appear little changed from the old times and still recall something of former Jewish life here.
Tarnów makes a convenient overnight stop, with good transport connections to both Kraków and Lublin. Hotel and restaurant facilities are not yet up to the highest Polish standards; but city fathers are looking to attract more visitors, and the future is certain to bring further improvements. The countryside here is especially pretty, and if you have your own wheels, it's worth heading out to the village of the Lipnica Murowana to see the UNESCO-listed St. Leonard's church.