48 hours in Lodz
Five top things to see and do on a short break to one of Poland’s most vibrant cities
There are many great things about Lodz – and we’re going to tell you about them but for now, let’s talk about the city’s name. Did you know it’s pronounced „wooj.”?
The Polish ‘Ł is a unique letter and can be a bit of a tongue twister for non-Polish speakers, but it’s close to the English „w” sound. The ‘ó’ is pronounced like an English ‘oo,’ and the Polish ‘dz’ letter combo is pronounced like an English ‘j’ or ‘dge’ as in ‘ledge.’ We don’t get too hung up on stuff like that but it’s cool when visitors make a tiny effort to use a few words or phrases or correct pronunciation. Don’t worry, we won’t giggle if you get it wrong – we’re a friendly lot!
So, you have booked a city break to Lodz and you’re wondering what to do when you get here. Don’t spend hours trawling hundreds of websites or asking folk on TripAdvisor, here’s a definitive list of the best things to see and do – especially if time is tight. These are our top picks and our suggestions as to what you really should not miss if you want to get a flavour of this wonderful, dynamic (and often overlooked) city.
This is the main artery of the city and an iconic landmark of Lodz. No trip would be complete without spending a few hours strolling along this famous thoroughfare. Most of the top things you’d want to do can be found on Piotrkowska Street. It feels rather inadequate to call it a street – it’s over 4 km long! It’s the beating heart of the city and an obvious meeting place for both visitors and locals. It’s one of Lodz’s most celebrated attractions.
This lively, colourful promenade is bursting with life and packed with bars, cafes, restaurants, shops and it’s a haven for lovers of street art. You will even come face to face with statues of some of our most famous artists. It doesn’t really matter when you visit either – Piotrkowska Street is a year-round happening with lots of cool fairs and festivals taking place here. Festival of Street Art, Songwriter Festival, ‘Hokus Pokus’ magic festival and Light Move Festival are just some of the fun events that descend upon this bustling spot.
If you do nothing else, at the very least see this.
You know when you are trying to describe someone to another person and they ask “who would play them in a film?” Well, if you need an instant reference point for Lodz, it is often described as the Manchester of Poland. Sort of a blend of old world charm but hip and trendy with an undeniable rich industrial heritage. Many of the city’s historic factories have now been repurposed and used as modern event spaces or cultural hubs but the buildings are still there as a constant (and proud) reminder of the city’s industrial past.
One such space that you should make time to visit is the award-winning Manufaktura.
One of the city’s biggest spaces, it’s the former Izrael Poznanski factory and this glorious old building now houses over 300 shops, restaurants, museums, a cinema, a bowling alley and much more. It even has its own square, complete with fountains where concerts and events take place. It’s a great place to go if you want everything under one roof -especially if it’s a rainy day.
Another impressive landmark that is worth a visit is EC1. The building incorporates many of the industrial elements that define the architecture of the city. The EC1 complex, formerly a prominent power plant, houses amazing exhibitions and installations and curious visitors and tech fans will love the Centre for Science & Technology. Here you can discover the secrets of the Universe in this incredible multimedia attraction. The complex also houses a planetarium which is one of the most advanced projection cinemas in Europe, showing fascinating astronomical shows and scientific performances. Young explorers will love ‘The Street of the Elements’ exhibition. It’s a great way for them to discover the world of science through play.
Museum of Lodz
Apart from the stunning architectural beauty of this magnificent mansion, the Museum of Lodz is a great place to find out more about the city. Here you can learn all about the industrial history of Lodz in this opulent landmark that was built for textile magnate, Izrael Poznanski – one of the richest factory owners of the 19th Century. It’s worth a visit.
Any film buff visiting the city will love the movie associations with Lodz. Affectionately known as ‘HollyLodz’ – it’s the Polish equivalent of Tinseltown. Did you know that one of the oldest and most famous film schools in the world is here? Among its alumni is Roman Polanski. The school isn’t open to the public but you can visit Lodz Film Museum instead. It’s full of interesting exhibits, old film equipment, posters, stage design and tons of fascinating memorabilia.
Lodz also has its very own ‘walk of fame’. Alley of the Stars is modelled on the Hollywood version and has over 60 stars dedicated to the movers and shakers of Poland’s film industry. The streets of Lodz have been the set for many a film or television series.
There you have it; fashion, film, science, and enough bars and restaurants to keep you fed and watered for a few days.
‘Wooj’ you like to come and see it for yourself?
How to get here:
Or by train – direct rail connections from major cities such as Warsaw, Krakow, Gdańsk and Wrocław.
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