16 Fun Things to Do in Lodz, Poland (+Map)

The third-largest city in Poland, Lodz was created almost from scratch in the nineteenth century thanks to its exploding textile industry. While its enormous old mills may no longer manufacture anything, most of them are now home to cool museums, shopping centers and art galleries.

Aside from its industrial architecture, the city boasts lots of attractive Art Nouveau buildings with extravagant palaces and villas also dotted here and there. Many of them line the endless Piotrkowska Street which acts as the center of life in the ‘Polish Manchester’. With plenty of pretty parks and interesting historic sights on offer, Lodz really is an overlooked gem.

Lodz Tram

16. Off Piotrkowska

Off Piotrkowska

Loads of fun to hang out at, the vibrant Off Piotrkowska has tons of alternative bars, artists’ studios and live music venues to check out. As its name indicates, the trendy, multi-use site lies just off the city’s main street. In the evenings, everyone from international students and art aficionados to foodies and beer lovers head here to enjoy its lively ambience.

Once a cotton mill, its old industrial brick buildings were renovated and reimagined in 2011. Since then, the Ramisch factory has been home to countless young, creative people and hip companies. Besides all the bars and restaurants, some cool design shops and food trucks line its cosy courtyard. Numerous concerts, events and exhibitions also take place here.

15. Muzeum Sztuki MS2

Muzeum Sztuki MS2

If you’re interested in art, then it’s well worth visiting Muzeum Sztuki MS2. Also located in an old mill, its collection of contemporary and avant-garde works can be found right next to the massive Manufaktura shopping mall. There are also two other branches to see, dotted about the city.

One of the oldest institutes in the world dedicated to modern art, the museum was founded in 1931. Its most popular and visited MS2 site, however, only dates to 2008. Across the three floors of the former spinning mill are all kinds of intriguing oeuvres to admire from the 20th and 21st centuries. Temporary exhibitions and installations are often held here with an excellent cafe and bookshop also available.

14. Lodz Zoo

Lodz Zoo

An absolute must for animal lovers, Lodz Zoo is home to hundreds of exotic species from all around the world. Set just a short drive or public transport journey west of the center, it has both outdoor and indoor areas to explore. The highlight is its recently-opened ‘Orientarium’ – an amazing modern complex presenting the fauna and flora of Southeast Asia.

Established in 1938, the sizeable zoo is now considered to be one of the best in Poland with 3,350 animals of some 550 species residing there. These include not just giant otters and orangutans but lions, giraffes and elephants too. People particularly love watching the sharks and rays swimming overhead in its underwater tunnel or attending some of its entertaining and informative feeding shows.

13. Planetarium EC1

Planetarium EC1

Yet another cool activity to do in Lodz is to catch one of the enthralling space shows that are shown at Planetarium EC1. Part of the City of Culture, it occupies an eye-catching building, just a short walk east of Piotrkowska Street. Other than scanning the heavens, you can also see experimental artistic projects and creative concerts here.

Originally a power plant, the site was converted into a planetarium in 2016. One of the most modern and technically advanced in Europe, it has a very wide range of illuminating science shows to enjoy. While some look at black holes or the Apollo missions, others shine a light on the cosmos, constellations and other celestial bodies.

12. Lagiewniki Park

Lagiewniki Park

After days spent exploring the city, ambling about the gorgeous greenery of Lagiewniki Park makes for a very nice change of pace. Actually the largest park within city limits in Europe, it covers a massive part of the north of Lodz. Aside from hiking and biking along the trails, visitors can picnic or swim and boat about the lakes in summer.

Protecting a vast swathe of primeval forest, the scenic park sprawls across low-lying hills in the Bzura river basin. Here and there, you’ll find some pretty ponds and lakes with a couple of charming old wooden chapels also within its lush woodlands. Beautiful at any time of year, it is sure to delight nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

11. Muzeum Kinematografii

Muzeum Kinematografii

Cinephiles will want to visit the Muzeum Kinematografii (Film Museum) which focuses on the history of Polish film-making. Full of interesting old artifacts and pieces of equipment, its collection is housed in a fine nineteenth-century palace, not far from the center in Park Zrodliska II.

As Lodz played such a key role in the development of Polish cinematography, the museum was first opened in 1986 in what was once the National Film School. On display is everything from antique posters and photographs to cameras, costumes and even small sets. Exhibits explain more about filming techniques and the biggest stars to grace the country’s screens.

10. Pasaz Rozy

Pasaz Rozy

Also located just off of Piotrkowska Street is the shiny Pasaz Rozy. Covered in shards of broken mirrors and glass, the quiet courtyard makes for some fantastic photos with swirling mosaics coating every conceivable space. At night, its glimmering lights make everything look even more magical.

Meaning ‘Rosy’s Passage’ in Polish, the intricately decorated alleyway was created by artist Joanna Rajkowska in 2013. This was to help her daughter still appreciate beauty when she sadly lost most of her vision.

All the reflected lights that the mosaics create also symbolize the distorted and disjointed images she could still see. Thankfully, Roza recovered most of her sight following reconstructive surgery on her retina.

9. Radegast Station

Radegast Station

While the alley is quite uplifting, a visit to Radegast Station is a much more sobering affair. Now a museum and memorial, it was from its simple platform that approximately 200,000 Jews were sent to extermination camps. An incredibly sombre yet important place to visit, it lies on the northeastern outskirts of the city.

Built between 1926 and 1937, the small station lay just outside of what was once the Lodz Ghetto. During the Second World War, almost all of its residents were tragically deported to Auschwitz or Chelmno.

At the station, you can now see the old holding areas, cattle trucks and steam trains used during the Holocaust. Photos and exhibits explain more about all the horrors that happened here with a moving memorial also commemorating those who died.

8. Central Museum of the Textile Industry

Central Museum of the Textile Industry

As the history of the city is so intertwined with that of the textile industry, you just have to stop by this superb museum when in town. Besides boasting the largest collection of its kind in Europe, it has lots of fascinating old looms and wooden buildings to wander about. It can be reached in just twenty minutes from Piotrkowska Street on foot.

Founded back in 1960, its artefacts, exhibits and equipment pieces are housed in the White Factory – one of the finest examples of industrial architecture in the country. In addition to exploring its four-wing mill, there are interactive displays on different machines, textiles and fashion trends to peruse. Live weaving demonstrations on looms also regularly take place.

7. Ksiezy Mlyn

Ksiezy Mlyn

If all that wasn’t enough, you can also stroll around the charming Ksiezy Mlyn district, just southeast of the center. Covering a huge area, its quiet streets are loomed over by loads of large, red brick textile factories, mostly dating to the second half of the nineteenth century.

Meaning ‘Pastor’s Mill’ in English, the well-preserved complex was established atop an early mill and settlement that were first mentioned back in 1428. Homogeneous in style, the mixture of castle-like factories, warehouses and workers’ buildings all helped Lodz grow and develop into the city it is today. Peaceful and picturesque, the neighborhood now also has some small bars and restaurants for you to stop off at.

6. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Aside from all its industrial-style architecture and old mills, one of the city’s most impressive buildings has to be the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Lying alongside its City of Culture and central Fabryczna train station, its ornate exterior contains some amazing artworks and stained-glass windows.

Exhibiting some exquisite Neo-Byzantine style architecture, the colourful Orthodox cathedral was erected in 1884. Built in the shape of an octagon, its richly decorated exterior is topped by a glittering cupola and a small tower studded with five golden onion domes. After taking some photos, head inside to see all its incredible icons and elaborate friezes.

5. Herbst Palace Museum

Herbst Palace Museum

Another attractive old building to visit is the Herbst Palace which is now protected and open to the public as a museum. Offering up a fascinating look at how wealthy industrialists used to live, its extensive rooms are packed with period furniture and priceless artworks. As well as admiring the delightful decorations, it has fantastic formal gardens to stroll around.

Set just southeast of Park Zrodliska II and the film museum, the pretty, two-storey palace was constructed in 1876. The lavish residence was commissioned by Karl Scheibler – one of Europe’s richest textile manufacturers – for his daughter Matylda. Inside, sublime stuccos, paintings and furniture pieces greet you wherever you look while audio guides explain more about the family and fine objects on show.

4. Jewish Cemetery

Jewish Cemetery

The largest Jewish Cemetery in Europe, Lodz’s big burial ground at Bracka Street is thought to contain roughly 180,000 to 230,000 graves. While some are quite simple, others are very ornate and impressive to see. The mausoleum of Izrael Poznanski, for instance, is often said to be the largest Jewish tomb in the world.

Opened in 1892, the cemetery was initially intended to house the remains of poor residents who died during a cholera epidemic. Over the years, however, it expanded considerably with many victims of the Holocaust also buried here. Wandering around is a moving experience with serene scenery and striking artworks on show alongside its overgrown graves. 

3. Karol Poznanski Palace

Karol Poznanski Palace

Now home to the Academy of Music in Lodz, Karol Poznanski Palace is certainly one of the city’s most beautiful buildings. Full of fabulous decorations, antique furniture and artworks, it lies just a stone’s throw from Piotrkowska Street. On guided tours, you’ll learn more about its past as you hear the faint strains of music echoing through the halls.

Completed back in 1904, the elegant Neo-Renaissance palace once served as the residence of Izrael Poznanski’s third son Karol. No expense was spared by the ‘Cotton King’ with its oval corner tower being its standout feature. Inside is arguably even more eye-catching as magnificent corridors and marble staircases lead to resplendent ballrooms and suites.

2. Manufaktura


A symbol of the city’s regeneration, the massive Manufaktura shopping mall is based in what was once one of Izrael Poznanksi’s main mills. Sprawling across an enormous area just off Piotrkowska Street, it now houses over 300 shops, restaurants and cafes.

Only unveiled in 2006, the colossal complex is actually made up of thirteen historic red brick buildings and a sparkling new shopping center. Dotted about are not just all the boutiques and bars but several museums, a cinema and bowling alley too. Its outside market area also puts on countless concerts and events with a beach covering it in summer and an ice rink in winter.

1. Piotrkowska Street

Piotrkowska Street

The heart and soul of life in Lodz, Piotrkowska Street runs through the center of the city. One of the longest (and loveliest!) commercial streets in Europe, it is lined by lots of grand palaces and villas, many now home to trendy shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Along with Manufaktura, it is one of the ‘Polish Manchester’s’ must-see sights.

Stretching just over four kilometers in length, the lively thoroughfare connects Liberty Square to Independence Square. Laid out from north to south, it was inaugurated in 1823 with many of the city’s most attractive buildings now bordering it. Ambling along the street taking in its fine architecture and vibrant ambience is the highlight of many visitors’ time in town.

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