Poland’s third city Lodz rose to fame thanks to the textile industry, although you’re more likely to find boutiques and specialist shops now. In fact Lodz is home to longest commercial street in Europe on Piotrkowska Street. Aside from the malls and markets, there is also a wealth of architecture in the city that dates back to the 14th century; think exquisite palaces, chapels and cathedrals. There are also more museums, galleries, parks and festivals than you could ever explore on one trip.
Walk the length of Piotrkowska Street
This street, located right in the center of Lodz is well known as the longest commercial Street in the entire continent of Europe. Stretching for nearly 5km it also serves as one of the main attractions. The street stretches from Liberty Square all the way to Independence Square. You will find numerous bars and restaurants as well as pubs on Piotrkowska Street. During the Nazi occupation of World War II the street was briefly renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse. It is certainly worth visiting not only for its iconic status but also the historical buildings dotted along the street such as the White Factory which houses the Textile Museum, the 1833 Ludwik Geyer’s Mansion and Lodz’s own take on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
Explore the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Poland doesn’t have a great deal of Orthodox architecture, however the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a rare and fine example. Completed in 1884, the cathedral is located on Klinskieho 56. The structure was part of the Russian Empire and like many other cathedrals of the same name throughout Europe (there is one in Tallinn and Sofia) it was named after Alexander Nevsky who was the Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church
Soak up the greenery in the city Parks
The dedication of Lodz to a green environment is impressive. The city boasts over 34 parks. 11 of these are considered national monuments. Overall Lodz is considered among the greenest of all Polish cities. Europe has several notable city forests, of which the Lagiewnicki Forest is located right in Lodz. There are several notable parks including the Lodz Hills Landscape Park. Not only is it just a short bus ride from the Academy of Art and its natural landscape makes for a wonderful environment where visitors can take walks or ride bicycles. Another great area where one can ride bikes is the Lagiewnicki forest. In the summers it is home to Arturowek a popular attraction with visitors to the city. Also worth mentioning are Old city Park Palm House where travellers should make a stop at the impressive botanical gardens.
Catch one of the local Festivals
When visiting make sure to take advantage of the rich cultural heritage and the city. There are plenty of festivals that take place through the year. In September you can participate in the Four Cultures Festival which celebrates the four nations responsible for the construction of the city. If you are visiting in November and you are into extreme sports check out the Explorers Festival where extreme sports and tourism combine. In May you can get an opportunity to take in the international Festival of Photography which has its events inside old factories and villas. The atmosphere that is created by these unusual settings is quite impressive. Other festivals that travellers may be able to attend depending on the time of year that they visit include the Design Festival the Film festival the festival of music producers and unique offerings like International Festival of Pleasant and Unpleasant Plays.
Learn the history at the Lodz Museums
For those interested in museums and art galleries the city offers plenty that one can visit. Included in these is what is considered the first of the modern art museums in the entire continent of Europe. The Muzeum Sztuki or simply ‘MS’ is open every day except for Monday. Admission to this museum is free on Thursdays. If you are interested in learning about some of the notable individuals who originated from the city you can visit the Myzeum Historili Miasta Lodzi. This museum is also open for a few hours every day but Monday. One will be able to view exhibitions that are dedicated to notaries like Julian Tuwim and Artur Rubenstein. If you just happened to be visiting for the summer you will also be fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the Detka. There is also the File Museum, the Textile Museum and the curious Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture.
Lodz Geography – Lodz is in central Poland and was first settled in the 14th century. With a population of over 740,000 inhabitants this is the third largest city in Poland, after the capital city of Warsaw and second city Krakow. Thanks to the city’s industrial past, Lodz is often compared to the great British textile city and is often dubbed the ‘Manchester of Poland’. It is also said that the industrial relics are reminiscent of areas of Detroit, Buffalo, and Cleveland in the USA.
Enjoy opera and ballet in the city
Visitors with an interest in opera, operetta and ballet can visit the main Lodz opera house, the Teatr Wielki, aka Grand Theatre. First opened in 1967, the theatre has 1,070 seats and has regular performances throughout the year.
Radegast train station
The Radogoszcz station (German: Bahnhof Radegast) built originally between 1926 and 1937, is a small historic railway station in Łódź, Poland; also referred to as the loading platform in Marysin, a neighbourhood in the Bałuty district of the city. During World War II the station was situated just beyond the boundary of the Łódź Ghetto – one of the biggest Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe. Radegast was the main railway link of the Ghetto to the outside world, used predominantly for the Holocaust transports.
The Cemetery at the Bracka Street in Lodz was established in 1892. About 160 000 people are buried there. Today the Cemetery has an area of 39,6 hectare. In more than 100 years of the history of the Cemetery many meritorious for our city and its history people like known rabbis, fabricants, physicians, politicians, social activists etc were buried at this Cemetery. Their tombstones often show high class of stone and metal craftworks.
Also here are buried victims of one of the most tragic events in the history of the mankind – Holocaust. On the part of the Cemetery called “Ghetto Field” some 43 000 victims from the Ghetto Lodz, who died from hunger and consumption, are buried there. On their graves seldom we can see a matzeva. To keep the memory about them, the Foundation cleaned this area in the years 2004 – 2009. In spite of other works on the Cemetery, Ghetto Field was the most important and crucial to restore so, that the few still living descendants of the persons buried there, could put the matzeva on the graves of their love ones, and the Ghetto Field would receive the character of the military cemetery, as it in fact is.
Loose a few hours at the Manufaktura Shopping Mall
This unique shopping mall is a must for all shopaholics. The Manufaktura is somehow shoehorned into Ogrodawa and Drewnowska streets. It is by far the largest mall in town and is a converted factory. This renovation was subject to some uproar from locals when it was initially commissioned however there has been a generally positive response to the beauty of the end result as well as the economic impact it has had since its construction. Also within Manufaktura is a hotel, art gallery, cinema and museum.
Lodz, the former textile industry empire, today is a city of modern technologies, creative enterprises and grand events. It is a metropolis where a landscape of industrial architecture mixes with silhouettes of office buildings, production halls, culture and sports buildings.
A small settlement, that in 1423 was granted civic rights, was thriving at the beginning of the 19th century. Lodz became one of the Europe`s biggest and fastest growing textile industry centre. At that time, a new identity of the city - a promised land and a city of many cultures was created. In Lodz people of different nationalities and religions shared the same dream of a success. Despite the differences they were able to build the city together.
Today Lodz is still attracting business due to its central location, proximity to the capital, investors-friendly policy of the municipality, scientific and human resources. Lodz authorities undertake many actions in order to improve the city attractiveness - develop the airport, invest in new roads and quality of railway infrastructure. Our city choose investors from the sector of business process outsourcing, IT, house appliances manufacturing, logistics and accounting. In recent years well-known companies have located their business in Lodz: Infosys, Indesit Company, BSH, Gillette, Fujitsu Services and Hutchinson.
Lodz constitutes a good example of revitalization processes. A few years back architects and designers brought back to life historic industrial complex of Izrael Poznański and changed it into Manufaktura - a modern trade and entertainment centre. Nowadays the biggest challenge for the city is the renovation of historic thermal power plant EC-1 together with modernization of the area which is to become a New Centre of Lodz.
The revitalization processes and good atmosphere for creativity are conducive to development of new culture-based branches in Lodz: design, fashion, film and other audiovisual arts. These new trends, comprising artistic talents, business and modern education are supported and promoted in common strategy, known as Lodz creates. Postindustrial areas become space for new festival centers, ateliers, boutiques, studios and original clubs.
Lodz offers a number of entertainment and recreation venues. At famous Piotrkowska street many events and celebrations take place. You can find here also a plenty of pubs and clubs. Those who like green areas can spend their time in one of over 30 parks, go to Łagiewniki - the biggest urban wood in Europe or have fun at Fala - a modern aquapark. Atlas Arena, a multipurpose hall, one of the biggest building of this kind in Poland, is the pride of the city. Thanks to its existence Lodz can host the concerts of the world`s biggest artists, sports games and grand fair events.
Lodz’s selection of drinking establishments ranges from gritty student pubs for downing pints to fashionable and trendy places to sip a cocktail and people-watch the nouveau riche and fashionable. The greatest majority are placed around the most central blocks of ul. Piotrkowska.
Thanks to its active and sophisticated student population, Lodz’s nightlife rivals some of the best places to dance in Europe. Put away any thoughts of Poland being old, grey and communist and put on your dancing shoes to start partying.