Łódź is the third largest city in Poland and lies just over 135 km from Poland’s capital Warsaw. It’s easily accessed by train, with the journey lasting about one hour and forty minutes, with the second option being by bus, which comes at a cheaper price, but extends your travel time to two hours and forty-five minutes. Łódź was famous all over Europe for its cotton cloth yields and even called the “Promised Land”, after it became one of the largest textile production centers in Europe. That is the reason why even today the city is referred to as the Polish “Manchester”. The 20th century saw a very hard period for the city with Lodz’s population almost decimated after WW2, with the industry and infrastructure being heavily destroyed as well.
Łódź itself contains a mysterious aura that can be very intriguing and fascinating, whether it’s that melancholic feeling of experiencing some of it’s rich old prosperous times mixed with it’s rapid present development, but the city itself deserves more attention from tourists and prospective travelers. In recent years the city is often overlooked by many tourists for more popular destinations in the country, and due to a lack of investment even major parts of the city suffer from poor infrastructure which can lead some to the impression; “is this really the third-largest Polish city?” Nevertheless, thanks to its beautiful palaces, rich cultural heritage, its Polish Film School, and its kind people who are always ready to help, makes you leave this city with a warm heart. I’ve found a hotel on WebJet; this company is based in Australia but their search engine can be used from anywhere in the world.
How to spend 24 hours in Łódź?
First, why not start with something that Łódź is most famous for! It’s PIOTRKOWSKA STREET. The ideal place for starting your sightseeing would be at the Plac Wolności, or Liberty Square, where the beginning of the street starts and continues its long length of about 4.2 kilometers, making it known as one of Europe’s largest commercial streets. The street is home to wonderful architecture, housing and monuments – with probably the most popular feature being the Arthur Rubinstein monument, who was born in Łódź and grew up in this street. Another popular feature is the monument of the “Three Manufacturers”. It is also known as the Łódź Walk of Fame for its star-plaques which includes the names of the most important stars in Polish cinematography. In addition to it’s shops, during the night the street comes alive with entertainment, having more than one hundred pubs, restaurants and clubs along its way. If you have a tight time-frame to discover all the street offers, do not worry as there are many rickshaws or trambuses along the street which is probably a good idea to invest your money in if you are in a hurry.
One of the things that should not be missed includes MANUFAKTURA – which is a place mixed with traditional and modern elements. Traditional due to the fact this place used to be home to 19th century industrial buildings of the former Izrael Poznański’s factory and modern after its revitalisation, which made it become a popular center of entertainment, shopping and culture known all over Poland. Besides the mall, Manufaktura also has two museums, numerous restaurants and discos, a cinema and even a little tram taking you from one part of the complex to another part.
What I loved about this place is how they managed to preserve the original spirit of its past in its beautiful red color facades which at the same time look very modern. This place is huge, so don’t expect to see all if you are only visiting the city for only 24 hours. To make the most of the day, it’s best to visit Manufaktura during the evening, otherwise, you won’t regret a visit to this symbolic series of buildings in Łódź.
If you arrive at the Łódź Kaliska station, the tram ride to the city center will take about 15-20 minutes which is already enough to gather a basic impression of the city, and its cultural heritage, which is mixed with the Jewish, German and Russian architecture styles most notable besides the local Polish style. The city is famous for its post-industrial buildings and palaces built by the most powerful industrialists in the city and the ones who definitely deserve your attention include the Izrael Poznański’s factory and the White Factory. Poznański’s factory is the most famous Jewish landmark in the city and it is also a home to the Museum of the City of Łódź, where you can learn more about the industrial past of the city during the 19th century and is situated right next to Manufaktura. On the other hand, within the White Factory there is an Open-Air Museum of the city’s past wooden architecture.
It is very hard to see more than a handful of things in only 24 hours, but if you get the chance try to pay a visit to the Museum of Cinematography and learn more about Polish cinema and art, as Łódź offers the best cinematography in Poland and is the current centre of cinematography in the nation.
When it comes to eating and drinking you won’t have to look far, as Piotrkowska street and Manufaktura offers you numerous pubs, cafes and restaurants with Polish and international cuisines to choose from, along with the usual fast food outlets. You can also shop for some traditional Polish souvenirs whilst in the city.
Have you ever been to Łódź or are you planning to visit? Tell us about your experience in the city, in the comments below!