Loving Lodz

Piotrkowska

Piotrkowska, Łódź, Poland

At 4.9 km long, Piotrkowska street is the longest shopping street in Europe, though to be honest, the most interesting parts are the section north of Piłsudskiego leading up to Plac Wolności. The activity on Piotrkowska street has dies down over the past decade since shopping malls havce drawn crowds away, but it is still a very pleasant walk down very smooth, newly re-surfaced paving with great shopping options from traditional Polish-style souvernir shops to big brand reduced-price outlets, to very good art shops (worth a visit just to look around), and in the summer, the street is lined on both sides with pop-up beer patios for a relaxing drink. The one-time visitor will be surprised to see that the brass statues dotted around along the street all have shiny polished noses: local tradition has it that if you rub the nose of one of the statues you will one day return to Łódź.

Off Piotrkowska

Off Piotrkowska, Piotrkowska 138/140, 90-062 Łódź, Poland

This derelict factory area that no-one would go near only 5 years ago, has been bought up and re-imagined as a trendy hipster foodie paradise. Prices are reasonable, food is delicious, and evenings see floods of international students and young professionnals sipping local-brew beers and african cocktails.

J Mir Skyscanner

Drukarnia Sklad Wina & Chleba

Piotrkowska 138/140, Lodz 90-062, Poland

An excellent restaurant in the Off Piotrkowska neighbourhood, Drukarnia make their own delicious bread among other fresh, interesting and very tasty food options. Good for breakfast, lunch, and evening drinks, including Polish beers.

SPÓŁDZIELNIA

Piotrkowska 138/140, 90-062 Łódź, Poland

Another popular restaurant in the Off Piotrkowska neighbourhood that's a frequent gathering-place for locals in the area. The big recommendations here are the burgers and the salads.

Park Źródliska I

Widzew, 91-001 Łódź, Poland

Slipt in half lengthwise, this must be the best curated park in Łódź, and has won national awards for its beauty. This is a real haven of peace and careful landscaping where squirrels and woodpeckers can frequently be spotted, . The larger half of the park includes a children's playground, and closer to the center there is a cafe that specialises in home-baked cakes that is well worth visiting, particularly with children as it includes a play-room.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Łódź

Łąkowa 29, 90-554 Łódź, Poland

By far my favourite holtel in Łódź, mixing the quality/luxury feel of Andels and the reasonable prices of the lower-market offering from the town center. Perfectly placed within a 15 minute walk from Piotrkowska and well served by public transport, the views over Pońatowskiego Park are breathtaking all year round (as long as you are on the right side, the wrong side's view is rather disapointing). A little known fact is that if you look at the hotel's facade from a distance, the slightly differently shaded grey windows form a pixelated still from the first film ever made in Łódź.

Park im. J. Poniatowskiego

Polesie, 91-001 Łódź, Poland

A sprawling wooded park with a peaceful duck pond, a large children's playground, tennis courts, and paths twisting a turning around bushes and trees to hidden gardens and ideal picnic spots.

PTAK OUTLET

Żeromskiego 8, Rzgów, Poland

Far, far out of the way, and only served a few times a day by public transport, this, if you can get to it, is really bargain paradise. Everything from already reasonably-priced Polish standards to big American brands hold shop here with everything on the shelves going for between -30 to -70% off RRP. There is no drop in presentation, all the shops have the premium feel of their high-street equivalents, just nowhere near the price. There is a small food-hall, and a great children's indoor play park (slides, ball-pits, trampolines, climbing etc.) where for a small fee you can actually leave your child while you shop (they give the un-supervised ones yellow tee-shirts to wear so the vigilant staff can keep an eye on them).

Park Linowy Arturówek

Studencka 20/24, Łódź, Poland

Mostly known for its 'Go Ape' style climbing area where you can take a zipline over the lake, the park is very peaceful, surrounded by woods that offer nice walks all year round. There is also a nice grill/bar, but be aware that credit cards are not accepted.

Hot Spoon

ul. Drewnowska 58 | Manufaktura rynek, Lodz 91- 002, Poland

Without doubt the best Thai restaurant in Łódź, their green curry is exquisite, and daringly spicy considering local tastes. The decor is sumptuous and rich, the staff are friendly and efficient, and prices, while a little high for local standards, are amply reflected in quality and quantity, and still don't come anywhere near what you'd expect to pay in Western Europe. Also highly recommended here are the cocktails, the Mint Julep being a particular favourite of mine, and the alcohol-free offerings are a consolation in themselves for the designated driver.

Muzeum Sztuki

płk. dr. Stanisława Więckowskiego 36, Łódź, Poland

Some nice things in here, some permanent installations and some temporary, as with all modern art it varies wildly in terms of quality, and I might add that since modern art relies greatly on the viewer him/herself for interpretations, recognition, contrast/conformity with what is 'normal' etc, it may be worth noting that these installations are for the mopst part created by Polish artists with Polish sensitivies and an identity steeped in Polish history, aimed at a similarly Polish audience. For this reason, while the experience is not entirely inaccessible to the international visitor, a first-hand experience of what it is like to be Polish and what is considered beautiful vs. pretentious here may be useful for a full appreciation.

Grand Hotel Lodz

Piotrkowska 72, Łódź, Poland

Considered the height of luxury during Polands years under Communist rule, this hotel on Piotrkowska street is where ambassadors and international guests would be taken to demonstrate the success of the regime (while the rest of the city waited in queues for a chance to get a can of peas). Grand is an appropriate name for this monument of Roman proportions. It is worth going in just for a cup of coffee in the lobby to get an idea of the bizarre oppulence that has remained inside. Great towering slabs of cold marble form walls, stair-cases, reception desk areas... The dining room with its ridiculously high ceiling is enough to make make an astronomer agoraphobic and has to be seen to be believed. A strange, unique, but unforgettable experience.

Filharmonia Łódzka im. Artura Rubinsteina

Narutowicza 20/22, 90-135 Łódź, Poland

Perfect acoustics and an ecclectic repertoire make this a pleasent offering. A custom-made pipe-organ was recently built into the back wall of the stage and is a thing of beauty. Concerts are scheduled at least bi-weekly and attract a crowd that clearly likes to think of itself as 'high-brow'. Smart dress isn't required, but highly reccommended lest the locals' eyebrows take flight.

Cinema City Manufaktura

Drewnowska 58, Łódź, Poland

One of the best-presented, most comfortable main-streem cinemas I have visited in Europe. The seats are amply tiered in every room for un-obstructed viewing, and all films are in their original versions with Polish subtitles (except for anything that could be considered to be 'aimed at a child audience', which unfortunately includes anything animated.) The IMAX is attractively priced (around 30zł/seat), but the regular screens themselves are so large that an immersive experience is always guaranteed. Even the smaller rooms have wall-to wall screens. The red-velvet/blue light-strip lobby is a nice place to get a coffee before/after the show.

Kino Charlie

Piotrkowska 203/205, Łódź, Poland

The go-to theatre for art-house and world cinema screenings. Not super-comfortable with creaky wooden flap-up seats, but the low prices and exceptional quality of the film listings make this a standard fixture on the Łódź film-lovers' landscape.

Museum of Cinematography

plac Zwycięstwa 1, Łódź, Poland

Tucked away next to Żródliska park is the Łodź museum of cinematography which chronicles the city's love affair with cinema. The museum contains a couple of gems including a room where you can get up close and personal with traditional editting suites, a complete set from the 2011 stop-motion animated film 'The Flying Machine' that you can walk around feeling like a giant, a whole floor dedicated to animation with some extraordinarily creepy sets, and a range of temporary exhibits featuring more recent Polish films. Altogether an enjoyable couple of hours and well worth the symbolic admission fee.

Muzeum Stacja Radegast. Oddział Muzeum Tradycji Niepodległościowych

aleja Pamięci Ofiar Litzmannstadt Getto 12, 91-001 Łódź, Poland

The departure station for many of Łódź's Jews who were carried away to the south of the country in wooden cattle-wagons to join the millions who died the Nazi concentration camps, Radegast station has recently undergone a large conservation effort where visitors can see the original trains and the original Geman documents detailing the names of those who left on them written up on the wall of a scarily long corridor.

Muzeum Miasta Łodzi

Ogrodowa 15, Łódź, Poland

The residence of Izrael Poznański, Łódź's wealthiest XIX century textile magnate, is adjacent to Manufaktura (itself one of Poznański's largest textile factories recently converted into a shopping/dining/movie multiplex extravaganza), and can be visited for a moderate entrance fee. It contains a historical museum of the Centre of Łódź. It is worth seeing even if only from the outside as it has been carefully renovated and gives a good impression of the kind of opulence that graced the streets of Łódź before the Wars.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Jana Kilińskiego 56, Łódź, Poland

A stunning 19th century Catholic Orthodox building from the days when the area was part of the Russian Empire. It was extensively refurbished and re-painted only recently, making it a shining jewel in a not-so-colorful part of town.

Arena Łódź

Bandurskiego 7, 94-020 Łódź, Poland

Home to big shows, matches and festivals all year round, the Atlas Arena is a recent addition to the Łódź landscape. Seating is comfortable (relative to other such arenas) and very well tiered for a good viewing experience from pretty much anywhere.

Lunapark. Park rozrywki

Konstantynowska 3/5, 93-303 Łódź, Poland

Once the holy grail of Sunday afternoon children entertainment, this Communist-era playground/funfair is now a photographer's dream offering a fascinating mix of derilict, abandoned and creepy yet still open for business. If you like thrill rides, the roller-coasters here aren't necessarily the most spectacular in the world (understatement), but the rusting metal and rotting wooden structures will make you scream for your life!

Karolina Patryk Skyscanner

ZOO Łódzkie

Konstantynowska 8/10, 94-303 Łódź, Poland

Unlike Lunapark across the road, the Łódź zoo has had some investment over the past few years, turning what 10 years ago was one of the saddest days out ever into an average zoo, with more and more attention paid to giving the animals a decent, size-appropriate environment. There's a long way to go, but with tickets at such a low price, one wonders how they managed this much.

Lodz Botanical Garden (Łódzki Ogród Botaniczny)

Piłsudskiego 61, 90-329 Łódź, Poland

A pleasant walk, obviously season-dependant, with a nice selection of plants for the connoisseur. Visitors seeking beautiful flower displays and carefully curated landscapes may be disappointed: Kew Gardens this is not, but this is reflected in the barely symbolic entrance fee.

Sukcesja Shopping Centre

aleja Politechniki 5, Łódź, Poland

A poor-man's Manufaktura just opened (at the time of writing - 10/2015) close to the Univerities. The usual Polish high-street brands can be found. Noteworthy for Łódź's first and so far only Starbucks coffee shop.

Monumentum Iudaicum Lodzense. Fundacja

Zielona 8, Łódź, Poland

An affirming experience, the Jewish cemetary is mainly just that: a Jewish cemetary with all the beauty that comes with that. Obviously there also is a horrifically large area with unmarked graves dated around the Holocaust, but the highlight is a row of 7 large pits, dug by the people whose bodies were supposed to occupy them. However the arrival of Russian Troups meant that the holes were never used. They remain as a reminder and a symbol of hope.

Last updated at Oct 04, 2016