Monday, January 19, 2015

Art Nouveau buildings, an old cinema turned hotel and 19th-century factory buildings converted into lively pubs and restaurants, these are a few more reasons why I really liked Łódź.

Of course, the drive from Warsaw took longer than we expected (2 ½ hours), so we were hungry and thirsty by the time we arrived in Poland’s third largest city in mid-August.

We quickly dropped off our bags at Cinema Residence (Stare Kino) Hotel and set out in search of food and drink. By this time, it was way after 5 o’clock. Time for a cocktail!

After reading about OFF Piotrkowska, I knew this complex, made up of old brick, 19th-century factory buildings, would be the perfect place to start. In fact, there were so bars and restaurants here that we saw no need to go elsewhere. These buildings make up the former Ramisch family cotton mill factory that was started in the 1850s in the heart of the city. The mill ended production in 1990, and the buildings fell into disrepair until 2010 when locals breathed new life into them.
Now, you’ll find a revitalized area that reminded me so much of the hipster areas we saw in Berlin. Old factory buildings + bars and restaurants = cool!

We started out with drinks at MITMI Restobar (pronounced ‘Meat Me’), a casual bar/restaurant that featured exposed, raw brick walls and tons of outdoor seating. We also nibbled on an interesting appetizer of savory waffles with blue cheese and roast beef. Strange, but still tasty! Later, we moved onto another nearby restaurant for dinner. We were lucky to even get a seat anywhere as all the restaurants were hopping on the Friday summer night we visited!
And if you’re craving something sweet, there’s even a retro-style metal camper turned into an ice cream parlor. How’s that for hipster creativity?
Now, turning to the daytime, you’ll find ulica Piotrkowska, which splits Łódź into two. The street, just under 5-kilometers long, ranks as the longest pedestrian street in Europe. It is lined with restaurants, stores, beer gardens, pubs and a mix of beautiful neo-renaissance and art nouveau buildings. Many of these ornate buildings reminded me of the ones we saw in Riga, Latvia, recently.
We enjoyed walking up and down ulica Piotrkowska, and I think we almost covered the entire street on foot while we were searching for street art in Łódź. And if you get tired of walking, there are several bike rickshaws available so you can rest your feet.  
Unfortunately, during our holiday weekend visit, ulica Piotrkowska was rather quiet. We even had difficulties trying to find an open café for breakfast. From what I’ve read, I’m sure this street is normally as busy as OFF Piotrkowska was.

So have my recent blog posts tempted you to plan a visit to Łódź yet?
“Turn of the Millennium” walk, from ulica Piotrkowska 98 to 146, is made up of  nearly 13,000 paving blocks with engraved names of well-known and not-so-well-known citizens of Łódź . 

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

wow...what a place! i would love to visit it!

Joy said...

@Joyce, We certainly had a good time!

Unknown said...

Joy, thanks sooo much for sharing this! It actually made me go to Lodz! It was just a short, Saturday trip but I liked it so much over there! And if it wasn't for you and this post I would never discover all the amazing things the city has to OFFer ;) You made my weekend great- thank you! :)


hanna said...

Hi! I was looking for information on how foreigners perceive Poland and I found your blog! I really like it! I'm from Lodz and me and my american boyfriend are planning to move to Poland.
I'm exited but also scared if he will like it.
I would like to answer your question about why Lodz is so empty in August....everyone is away for vacation! In September all the bars and restaurants are full again, unfortunately the traffic too, so it is a good idea to take a 1hr intercity train from Warsaw!
Greetings from Brooklyn!

Joy said...

Czesc Hanna, Thanks for stopping by my blog. I guess that makes sense since August is summer vacation and the kids are out of school. We really enjoyed our weekend in Lodz! :)