Łódź is the third-largest city in Poland, located 130 kilometers southwest from Warsaw and steeped in history from its presence in the textile industry.
Renown as the center of the Polish textile business, Łódź’s wealth was marred by the Great Depression and World War II and the city is still undergoing rebirth and renovation.
Visitors to Łódź will observe this regenerating city has a strong Jewish heritage and a scope of attractions to interest all visitors such as Art Nouveau buildings, mills, lovely parks and a film industry background being home to film studios and the famous National Film School.
What to see
Museum Sztuki (Museum of Modern Art) has one of the largest collections of avant garde and contemporary art in Poland. With an emphasis on Polish works, embrace the rich collections of paintings, sculpture and photography that are mixed with foreign art and decorative objects including china and furniture.
Just north of the city, escape the hustle at the wooded Lagiewniki Park. The park is the largest forest within municipal borders in Europe and is a perfect place to walk beside ponds, picnic and horse ride or cycle the many forest trails.
Housed in a four-storey industrial building dubbed the ‘White Factory’, the Central Museum of Textiles is where visitors can learn about the vast history and technology of textiles in Łódź. The fascinating exhibits include cotton spinning tools, knitted fabrics, tapestries and weaving machinery.
What to do
Ulica Piotrkowska is one of the longest commercial streets in Europe (almost 5 kilometers) and decked out with bars, cafeterias, retail stores, street sculptures and Art Nouveau architecture. Check out the Łódź ‘Walk of Fame’ – a Hollywood-inspired section of pavement outside the Grand Hotel with handprints from notable Polish film stars and directors. Afterwards, drive 15 minutes to the Muzeum Kinematografii (Museum of Cinematography) to view extensive collections of Polish film memorabilia and cameras all housed in a stunning palace.
Culture aficionados should ensure they book a seat at the Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre). Łódź’s opera house will not disappoint with performance schedules including classic and contemporary opera and ballet.
Join the locals ordering some garlic-infused kielbasa (Polish sausage) from a delicatessen or butcher at Balucki Rynek, a covered market with produce and meat vendors in the Jewish district.
Nearby things to see and do
Twenty five minutes’ drive from Łódź is the township of Zgierz which is a good stop off point for numerous hiking trails and in winter months you can ski at Ski Park Malinka. A further half hours’ drive from Zgierz you can visit the Łęczyca Royal Castle. This 14th century Gothic fortification has been extensively reconstructed due to centuries of damage from burning from the Teutonic Knights and occupations during the Swedish Deluge. The castle is part of local legend where folk lore says Boruta the Devil lives at the castle.
Located 40 kilometers northwest of Łódź is the town of Tum (close to Łęczyca). Tum is best known for its 12th century granite Romanesque Collegiate church that has been reconstructed due to fire and World War II damage and is based on the Wawel Church in Kraków.