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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrŁódź is Poland’s third largest city. Located some 81 miles south-west of the country's capital Warsaw, it’s easily accessed by train and well off the usual tourist track. Łódź was once a booming industrial city. The cotton mills no longer serve their purpose, but the area is being turned into a lively city with old factories made of red brick brought back to life, old palaces, housing museums, and green parks. The city is scattered with large murals, flourishing over abandoned buildings.
Beyond textiles, Łódź is also famous for its movie-making industry. Down the Piotrkowska Street, you’ll find the Łódź Walk of Fame, which includes the names of the most important stars in Polish cinematography.
Not to be missed are the the excellent City Museum of Łódź, the heartbreaking Radegast Station, the incredible Cinematography Museum and the White Factory. Be sure to stroll along the famous Piotrkowska Street, which runs from Plac Wolności to the Plac Niepodległości, the longest pedestrian street in Europe, with a distance of just under 3.1 miles, is lined with beautiful neo-renaissance and art nouveau buildings, lovely cafés, restaurants, shops, beer gardens and pubs. If you are interested in Jewish heritage you also have a reason to visit, as before the World War II, Łódź was Poland's second-largest Jewish city.
The city doesn't have a charming old town like Kraków but, it does have the artistic heart. Off Piotrkowska, which is a lively area of quirky shops, bars, excellent restaurants, fashion designers and vibrant clubs, all reclaimed from unused industrial buildings and now full of trendy life. Łódź also boast the country's largest shopping center, Manufaktura. It houses shops, restaurants, museums, a cinema, on a site where old factories have been renovated. The lovely red brick buildings make up the former Poznanski family cotton mill factory that was started in the 1850s in the heart of the city.
Łódź's seasons vary from quite hot in the summer to bitterly cold in the winter. The best time to visit is summer, when the days are pleasantly warm. And note that it’s pronounced 'Woodge', any other attempt at the name will be met with blank stares.
What to See & Do
City Museum of ŁódźThe City Museum of Łódź is situated on the corner of Zachodnia and Ogrodowa street. This interesting museum is housed in the magnificent palace of 19th-century textile entrepreneur Izrael Poznański . The museum's opulent interior demonstrates the wealth and riches enjoyed by some in the Polish 'Manchester'. Discover the past glory of the palace and learn more about the industrial past of the city, the Łódź ghetto, and famous Łódź citizens including pianist Artur Rubinstein. Those interested in the World War II will enjoy the exhibits relating to Jan Karski, who was a hero of the Polish resistance, Armia Krajowa.
Radegast StationThe original Radegast train station, located north of the Jewish Cemetery still stands. The wooden train station has been turned into a museum that tells the history of the Łódź Ghetto . The Radegast Station was a point for deportations from the ghetto to the Chelmno Extermination Camp and Auschwitz Concentration Camp . A steam engine and cattle trucks similar to ones used to transport ghetto residents to death camps are the most visual reminder of the horror. However, the most telling are the typed and handwritten records kept by the Nazis of all the people transported. Also on display are items made by Jews in the ghetto during the war.
Museum of CinematographyThe city is the heart of Polish cinematography and if you are interested in cinematography, this interesting museum, opened in 1986, is well-worth visiting. The museum is housed inside the imposing Karol Scheibler's 19th-century palace. The basement and the 1st floor are devoted to the Polish cinema. The collection features film posters, art exhibits, projectors, stage sets and film cameras. The ground floor showcases the 19th century Łódź and the story of the Scheibler family.
White FactoryLudwig Geyer's stunning four-storey White Factory is the city's oldest textile mill, dating from 1839. Today, part of it houses the Central Museum of Textiles with a large number of historic looms, collection of 16th to 19th century textiles from all over the world and an impressive exhibition of contemporary weaver's art. Within the White Factory, there is also an open-air museum of the city’s past wooden architecture.
Food & DrinkThe city's best restaurants are located around Piotrkowska Street or in the Manufaktura complex. You can choose between various restaurants that offer traditional Polish food such as Pierogi; dumplings stuffed with a whole range of fillings, served fried or boiled and Bigos; also known as hunters stew, made of meat, cabbage, onion and sauerkraut or you can let your culinary needs be catered at food places that offer different world cuisines like Italian, Greek, Turkish, African, Thai, Indian and many more.
Polish tap water is officially regarded as safe for drinking, but as you will hardly ever see locals drinking from the tap, it’s a good idea to follow suit and buy your water bottled. Wash it all down with a pint of locally brewed Tyskie, Zywiec or Okocim. Poland is also famous for its vodka. Among the most popular brands, Wyborowa, Belvedere and Chopin are considered the best. In addition, you'll find a range of unusual vodkas, including Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka, which is slightly greenish due to a long blade of bison grass in every bottle, and Żołądkowa Gorzka, an orange-brown, herbal vodka.
ShoppingPlenty of shops line the popular shopping district of Piotrkowska Street . Wandering off Piotrkowska you’ll find bold pieces by local fashion designers. Boasting more than 300 shops, the hippest shopping center in the city is the Manufaktura. The Galeria Lodzka with 160 shops, including internationally recognized brands like H&M, Lacoste and Boss, is another popular shopping center in Łódź.
Getting aroundOne of the best ways of getting around Łódź, especially along the city's famous Piotrkowska Street, is on foot. If you get tired of walking, there are several bike rickshaws available so you can rest your feet. Walking is also the best way to see the former Jewish ghetto. Elsewhere, as distances are vast, mixing walking with taking trams and buses is recommended. Taxis are cheap and plentiful.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Nov 12, 2015