Lodz, pronounced “Woodj”, means boat in Polish, which seems somewhat ironic given it’s location almost directly in the centre of the country. First records of the settlement being in the fourteenth century, but until its industrialisation some five hundred years later, nothing of historical interest took place. The transition to textiles caused an influx of people from the surrounding area making it very densely populated. Around the turn of the twentieth century the city saw strikes and revolution, with World War I finally halting the surge in population. The city suffered further as the Germans relinquished it of much of the industrial infrastructure after the Second World War before the imminent communist call of power. Lodz is now eager to make up for lost time and since re-privatisation has earned a significant place on the European map, with many conferences and organisational events taking place here.

The city does fall behind slightly in terms of charm and character, with the more emphasis being put on the Universities and transport infrastructure than museums and galleries. Despite this, the city is home to the world’s longest commercial streets and one of Poland’s finest collections of modern art.


Ul Piotrkowska – All of Lodz’s main attractions can be found along or nearby this main street. Bronze statues of local heroes, musicians and politicians line the pavements below the interesting Art Nouveau architecture. The buildings, which vary in condition, are home to banks, shops and various museums. In addition to being the world’s longest pedestrianised street, Piotrkowska also has the world’s largest piece of graffiti which covers 900 square metres. If you begin to struggle with the 5 km walk, you can always hop on a rickshaw and be peddled along in style.

Lodz Nowy Theatre – Recently refurbished, the city’s greatest theatre has performances from the nationally renowned Powszechny Theatre Company and is host to the “Festival of Nice and Not-So-Nice Plays”.

Museum Sztuki – Hailed as one of the oldest collections in the country, this is more of a museum than simple gallery. The art pieces cover Purism, Surrealism, to Neo-Plasticism and The Ksiezy Mlyn Residence is a series of enchanting installations giving an insight into the lives and homes of the wealthy barons of the textile industry.

Jewish Cemetery – This is one of the largest cemeteries in Europe, built originally to bury cholera victims, it became resting place for tens of thousands of Jews killed during the two World Wars.


Piotrkowska Street has made a slow transition from shops to cafes and bars as tourism has taken off. The smaller streets adjacent to it however have some excellent independent outlets, which rival the retail opportunities of any main European city, and could be argued to dwarf those available across the rest of Poland. 300m from Piotrkowska lies the award winning Galeria Lodzka, a busy shopping centre with all the expected fashion and household good outlets one would expect. The Manufaktura centre puts the rest of Lodz to shame in terms of shopping and entertainment however. This many faceted complex has a multi screen cinema, complete with Imax screen, almost 50 different restaurants and cafes and even an outdoor volleyball court to burn off any extra indulgences. There are three different museums covering art, the site itself and the city’s history. Just about every major brand or shop is represented here, and those visiting from the UK will most likely find the prices as attractive as the setting.

Nightlife and Eating Out

On the surface, Lodz appears to fall well behind its big brother Warsaw. Almost every restaurant it seems is decorated in a rather tacky manner according to the style of food. This is one of the best places however to sample the delights of Jewish haute cuisine, Anatewka for example provides excellent poultry dishes although they do adhere to the décor policy. For the most spectacular interior try Esplandada, the service and food however do not quite match the reputation or prices.

The main strip is Piotrkowska Street, with heaving beer gardens galore during the summer months. More personal and inviting options can be found with a little exploration, beers often available a little cheaper away from the crowds, and the drinking hours rarely enforced upon customers with full wallets. Club Cabaret is Lodz’s most upmarket club with drink prices to match, the music is tedious however and those with an interest in live music should head to Music Garden. Lodz has a higher than average number of strip clubs, perhaps reflecting the amount of business meetings and conferences which take place here. The staff are friendly on the whole but common sense still needs to be exercised at a far higher level in such establishments.

Tourist Information

  • City Tourist Information Centre, Piotrkowska 87, Lodz
  • Tel: 042 638 59 55
  • Fax: 042 638 59 55
  • Website: www.uml.lodz.pl


Lodz Airport offers flights to major tourist destinations across Europe, many of which are provided by budget airlines. There are public buses which link the city and the “Kaliska” train station to the airport, you must take a taxi from the “Fabryczna” station.