Lodz is one of the biggest cities in Poland, with more than 700,000 inhabitants. Since the 19th century, Lodz has always been an important industrial textile centre, often called the Polish Manchester, because of its many factories and its location on the crossroad of important European trade and transport routes.
From World War II until about 20 years ago, Lodz was Poland's most miserable and grey city. Now the city has changed. Old brick factories have become home to new hotels, museums and lofts. And buildings like the old power station are now the Art and Science Centre with a Planetarium and a viewing platform in one of the chimneys.
Lodz is considered the city of four cultures: Polish, Jewish, Russian and German. These four nations build Lodz in the 19th century and have lived together ever since, creating a fascinating culture with their customs and traditions. Lodz was also known as one of the most important Jewish centres in Europe before World War II.
Lodz isn't just for tourists... it's for everyone. One of the coolest things about Lodz is that there is nothing just for tourists. Lodz is authentic. Every attraction which is in Lodz is a place where locals go.
The most famous entertainment and shopping centre located in a complex of old factory buildings.
The longest commercial shopping street in Lodz with many restaurants, pubs and shops. It is a street where locals do the celebration pub crawl with their friends, after graduation or a promotion.
The problem is that Piotrkowska is very long (4 km long) and some internal spaces off Piotrkowska have a few pubs clustered under one address. So, if you have a drink in each of them, you won't go far. However, if you have problems with finding your balance on your way, a bicycle rikshaw will happily escort you to another pub or home.
OFF Piotrkowska It is a place where people who work in fashion, design or other other creative fields hang out. It's probably currently the most trendy place to be in the whole of Poland. This is where you will find in quirky cafes, restaurants, exhibition spaces, art galleries and showrooms
If you want some space and time on your own, have for a picnic at one of many parks in Lodz or head on a rented bicycle to Arturowek , Europe's biggest forest within a city's limits.
Lodz has one of the best art scenes in Poland and is the home of the Lodz Film School which educated artists like Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieslowski and more. So, if you want to see what shaped the minds of the great Polish directors, just take a long stroll through the streets of the city.
Lodz also has a great Philharmonic Orchestra which performs at least once a week during concert season. You can find many interesting museums in Lodz, including the Contemporary Art Museum, Factory Museum and more.
Lodz is designed on a rigid grid system, with the main streets running north to south and east to west. The city's axis is Piotrkowska street, and any road off of Piotrkowska or parallel to it would be the best place to stay in the city. Piotrkowska itself can be a bit too loud for a hotel.
The rigid grid makes it easy to navigate the city, plus it's very easy to rent a city bike or a scooter to commute in Lodz. And if you don't want to walk or cycle, Lodz has great public transport build-up from trams and buses.
I love Lodz not only because it's my home town but mostly because it has real character. From it's roots as an ugly industrial town, it's now one of the trendiest places in Poland to visit. I hope to see you somewhere on Piotrkowska Street sometime soon.