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.
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.