As winner of the 2009 European Capital Culture there’s no denying that Austria’s third largest city has plenty to offer. Simply look behind the quant mask of the old Linz baroque architecture and you’ll find a much more modern and cosmopolitan city bursting with a style and character that is truly one-of-a kind. Sitting in the shadow of the Cities mighty castle you can explore the sophisticated local selection of envelope-pushing art installations and museums, while the international menu of wonderfully prepared dishes prepared throughout the cities many cafes and restaurants will certainly leave you wanting more.
Housed in a hulking former textile factory, Andel’s Hotel (Ogrodowa 17) is one of the top hotels in town – think post-industrial red brick, quirky furniture and a top-floor pool with excellent views. The imposing Novotel Łódź Centrum (Piłsudskiego 11A) may be more business-friendly, but its convenient location near the centre makes it an attractive option. For mod cons galore, the handsome Qubus Hotel Lodz (Mickiewicza 7) has flatscreen TVs and serves a generous buffet for breakfast, while the Campanile Łódź (Piłsudskiego 27) provides a bright and fresh option with top-of-the-range bedding and free Wi-Fi.
Mall culture is alive and well in Łódź – Galerie Łódźka (Piłsudskiego 15-23) is one of the largest in the city, whilst Port Łódź (Pabianicka 245) is more food orientated. For a shopping centre with a difference, try Manufaktura (Drewnowska 58), an old factory that has been converted into a shiny retail space with Polish shops, restaurants and a cinema. For unique items, skip the main Piotrkowska drag (one of the longest commercial streets in Europe) and head down its side streets, where creative boutiques await at OFF Piotrkowska (Piotrkowska 138-140), an old cotton mill housing design studios, galleries, clubs and bars.
As Poland’s third largest city, Łódź has lots to offer when eating out. Pizza and pasta are perennial favourites: try Pizzeria Toscana (Stefana 3B) for some of the best pizza in the city. If you’ve got a craving for chips, go to cheap and cheerful The Dorsz British Fish and Chips (Traugutta 9), and pretend you’re at the British seaside. For something slightly different, Manekin (6 Sierpnia 1) serves a selection of sweet and savoury pancakes – choose from broccoli and feta, potato or cheese, amongst others. Want to splash out? Traditional Polish cuisine is served at Revelo (Wigury 4-6), an art nouveau restaurant and hotel – ask for a table in the inner garden for the best spot.
International Festival of Photography
Making the most of Łódź’s industrial heritage, photographs are presented against the stark, stunning backdrop of former mill OFF Piotrkowska. Soak up the atmosphere and take part in workshops to hone your skills.
Łódź of Four Cultures Festival
Łódź’s multicultural roots are the inspiration for this festival that celebrates the Polish, Jewish, Russian and German origins of people that once lived – and currently dwell – in the city. Featuring musical performances, theatre and art, this is one time to really get a feel for how Łódź’s past has shaped its present.
Łódź Design Festival
The Łódź Design Festival plays host to a number of exhibitions around the city, featuring weird, wonderful and beautiful work from Polish creatives and designers around the world.
International Festival of Comics and Games
Every October, thousands of comic enthusiasts descend on Łódź Culture Centre for the country’s largest comics and computer games symposium. Fans can meet guest authors, take part in panel workshops and attend themed parties.
Lovers of extreme travel will love this festival aimed at enthusing explorers with tales of daring and gruelling adventures. As well as talks, there are exhibitions, workshops and competitions to inspire the next bout of wanderlust.