Łódź is an industrial city in the heart of Poland. It’s often omitted as a tourist attraction. However, it might be a fun destination for a one-day trip.
Depending on who your fellow traveler is, Łódź can be seen from a different perspective. It’s known for its industrial sites, Film School, and the Polish Cinematography or cartoon makers for example. Its innovative site attracts ingenious travelers, who want to be up-to-date. But it also becomes known for its cuisine and hipsters’ way. So which path will you choose?
ŁODŹ WITH KIDS
You can follow the Fairy Tales path, searching for the little monuments from Polish cartoons like Uszatek the Bear, Colargol the Bear, or the Enchanted Pencil. There’re 10 monuments dotted around the city, which can guarantee an easy and fun walk with getting to know more about Łodź. The map to download can be found here. Except that, kids will love Orientarium – the most modern ZOO in Europe, if not in the world. It’s been reopened in 2022. Among others, it offers a unique exhibition of elephants swimming in the huge tank. It’s available only twice a day, at 11 am and 3 pm, just for half an hour, so make sure to be on time. Another proposition for kids and teenagers is EC1, Educational Centre built in the oldest power and heating plant in Łódź. Now, it’s a modern facility for culture, science, art., and fun. We have small kids, which is why we decided to choose Ulica Żywiołów, which is an indoor interactive playground, where kids can learn more about 4 elements of life: earth, air, water, and fire. They can try out different experiments, check their knowledge or become a planet for a moment. It’s open 3 times a day for two hours: at 10 am, 12:30 pm and 4 pm. For older kids, EC1 also has a great offer. It hosts the most modern planetarium in Poland – recognized as the 7 wonders of Poland and The Centre for Science and Technology.
Łódź developed extremely during the industrial revolution in Poland. One of the first steam engines in Poland was run at Geyer’s White Factory in 1839. While, at the beginning of the 20th century, in the peak period of industrial development, more than 600 industrial plants operated in the city. It’s when the chimneys appeared on the Łódź skyline. At the end of the 20th-century textile production ceased, but the city was left with enormous buildings. Fortunately, it’s what differentiates Łódź from any other city in Poland. The post-factory buildings started to host museums, galleries or shopping malls. Check out the most recognizable ones:
Manufaktura – Izrael Poznański’s factory complex. It’s a small city in the city. It has its own marketplace, surrounded by red brick buildings hosting cinemas, the Museum of the City of Lodz, a fitness center, a dance studio, a shopping mall, and many other
Księzy Młyn – it’s the factory-residential complex built by Karol Scheibler. It had factory buildings, including a huge castle-like cotton mill, warehouses, workers’ houses, a school, a fire station, two hospitals, gasworks, a factory club, and shops. It was a self-sufficient city inside a city. Today Księży Młyn is a magnet for tourists, artists, and photographers. The remarkable post-factory interiors are a venue for interesting cultural events, festivals, and fashion shows, while the palace of Karol Scheibler was converted into the Museum of Cinematography.
OFF Piotrkowska – located in the post-industrial building is a meeting point. It’s where good festivals, eco-fairs and other interesting events take place. The perfect place to rest between visiting the next points on the map of Łódź 🙂
In 2015 the multicultural landscape of Industrial Lodz was entered to the prestigious list of Historical Monuments by the President of Poland.
After the war, the Feature Films Studio, called “the factory of dreams”, was created and this is where the majority of Polish post-war films were shot. The famous Łódź Film School helped a lot in shaping outstanding directors and actors. The school symbol is the famous stairs on which Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański, or Krzysztof Kieślowski used to sit.
Visit the only Museum of Cinematography in Poland and learn a bit about its history, take a look at the original Oscar or glance at the film props. What’s more admire the beautiful interiors of Scheibler’s palace. Once you finish at the museum walk the Alley of the Stars on Piotrkowska street, modeled on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, consisting of over 60 stars dedicated to actors, directors, cameramen, and film composers, as well as numerous film locations.
When visiting Łódź, check ot the calendar, because Łódź hosts numerous film festivals: Transatlantyk Festival, European Cinema Forum “Cinergia”, Filmteractive, Drama School Festival, and Film Critics Festival “Camera Action”.
ART IN ŁÓDŹ
Lastly, when walking around the city, don’t forget to look around. There’s plenty of street art. out there. Huge murals decorate the streets of Łodź. One of the most recognizable is the Primavera by Sainer. But also walk in the courtyard on Piotrowska 3 to admire the Rose Passage: out-of-this-world elevation of the building decorated with millions of small glass pieces made by artist Joanna Rajkowska. The project is personal because it’s linked to the illness of her daughter, Rose. As you can imagine gluing small pieces of mirror glass must have been arduous, it took more than 3 months to finish it.
The Rose Passage is open every day 8:00 – 22:00. It is free of charge.
DINING IN ŁÓDŹ
There’re thousands of restaurants in Łódź, offering either traditional local cuisine or food from around the world. Piotrowska street is a sure thing to find a spot to either have brunch, a quick coffee or a full meal. Don’t be afraid to enter the courtyards, because it’s where some of the restaurants are hiding.