Located in the very heart of the country, some 280km from Kraków, post-industrial Łódź has found a new identity as a creative city, offering a very different side of Poland.
Set in Poland’s midlands, Łódź (pronounced “woodge”) has increasingly come into its own as travel destination. While it lacks the chocolate-box charms of more famous Polish cities, Łódź appeals for its creative, post-industrial reinvention. Huge brick textile factories are now shops, bars, and galleries, and bright murals splash the sides of the buildings. There’s a strong food scene and nice mix of architectural styles – and a forest right on the edge of the city! Fans of Polish cinema will already know of the film school that trained Kieślowski, Polanksi, Wajda, and countless others, and that tradition continues today. Łódź is a city in transition and, right now, it has that exciting feel of the future.
How Much Time Should I Spend In Łódź?
Although you can take a day trip to Łódź from Warsaw, we recommend a compact three days to get to know it, or a more leisurely five, if you can spare. It is the third largest city in Poland, and you really want to give the place a bit of time to grow on you.
Many of the key sites are found around Manufaktura, but leave an extra day or two for visits to the Jewish Cemetery or Łagiewnicki Forest.
What Should I See In Łódź? What Are Łódź’s Must-See Attractions?
Łódź is not a historic city in the manner of Kraków, but there is a lot of unique architecture on display. Recently, the city has leaned into its reputation as a creative hub, but there is also plenty of the natural world to be found.
A professional guided tour remains the best way to get to know any new city.
- Manufaktura is a symbol of Łódź’s industrial past brought into the present. The distinctive (and huge) red brick buildings were once textile factories, which have now been scrubbed up for shopping, eating, arts and culture.
- Łódź’s textiles empire was built by industrialist Izrael Poznański in the 1870s, who built himself a grand palace on ul. Ogrodowa. The building itself is stunning with Art Nouveau interiors and is now home to the City Museum.
- There are inventive galleries in repurposed sites around the city, emphasising Łódź’s contemporary status as a creative city. Muzeum Sztuki ms2 is one of three main spaces, part of the Manufaktura complex. This permanent collection features 20th- and 21st-century work.
- Ulica Piotrkowska is Łódź’s main artery with plenty of places to shop and eat, and some of the city’s best architecture. It’s actually reckoned to be the longest shopping street in Europe! More recently it has become a symbol of Łódź for the huge murals on the sides of buildings. Look out for Off Piotrkowska, the independent version of Manufaktura, with food trucks, live music, and bars.
- Beneath Freedom Square, lies Dętka, Muzeum Kanału’s water reservoir, built in 1926 as part of the sewer system and testament to the city’s industrial prowess. The subterranean space is now a small photographic museum.
- The founding of the Jewish Cemetery coincided with the rise in Łódź’s industrial fortunes. Visiting here gives an insight into the early decades of the 20th century and the brutal events of the Second World War. The Radegast train station, once the departure point for the extermination camps, is now a memorial.
- Łagiewnicki is a 1,200-hectare forest to the northeast of Łódź, an atmospheric space with oaks, pines, and birches that hide a monastery, lakeside beach, and playgrounds for kids. The city also has a charming botanical garden.
- Łódź has played a key role in Polish cinema and many of the country’s greatest directors studied here. Fitting then that the city has a strong film museum. The exhibition includes an excellent section on animation that will appeal to kids.
Should I Have A Tour Guide For Łódź?
Łódź, in particular, benefits from the introductory wisdom of a professional tour guide. Undeniably, the city still has some rough edges, and a guide can steer you in the right direction, with insights and points of interest not in the guide books. You’ll get to know the highlights in a morning or afternoon, and come away with suggestions for what to see next.
In addition to offering entry tickets and event suggestions, Get Your Guide is a great place to find a tour. There’s a big range of options and prices, and customer feedback means you aren’t taking a risk when you book.
Is Łódź Expensive? What Is A Reasonable Łódź Budget?
Like other Polish cities, Łódź is relatively cheap by western European standards, and you should plan for a similar budget to Kraków. See our How Much Money Do I Need For Kraków? page for a rough breakdown of the costs.
Approximate Daily Łódź Budgets (Per Person)
- Budget Łódź Trip: 250zł (about US$60, 55€, £50)
- Mid-Range Łódź Trip: 500zł (about US$130, 120€, £100)
- Luxury Łódź Trip: 850zł (about US$210, 200€, £165)
Is It Easy To Get Money In Łódź?
Poland is very modern when it comes to money. The ATMs accept cards from overseas – always check with your bank before travelling – and most give different language options.
Contactless card payments are the norm in shops, museums, restaurants and bars, even little corner shops. Google Pay was launched in Poland in 2016 and Apple Pay in 2018, though Poles tend to use a system called BLIK, which also allows contactless withdrawal from ATMs.
There’s no minimum spend – you can buy tram tickets with contactless (these cost less than a Euro), but you may have to enter your PIN for payments over 50zł.
Carry a bit of cash as a backup and some loose change for public toilets.
How To Get To Łódź
Łódź is in the centre of Poland, roughly 280km from Kraków. There are currently no flights from Kraków, which leaves the train and coach.
The train is faster – taking roughly 3.5 hours – but slightly more expensive. Both means of transport are very cheap, however, and the coach takes you directly into the city centre. Be careful not to book a train via Warsaw, as it will take much longer.
At time of writing, a 2nd class train ticket was less than 60zł (roughly 14€). The coach takes about 4.5 hours and currently costs approximately 50zł (11€).
See our How To Travel From Kraków To Łódź page for full details of how to book.
Is It Easy To Get Around Łódź?
As with Kraków and Warsaw, Łódź has a reliable and fully-integrated public transport system, including buses, trams, hire bikes, and even rickshaws!
Bus and tram both use the same tickets, which are available for journeys of 20, 40, or 60 minutes. They can be bought from a machine at the stop, just before you get on. These accept cards and have options for different languages. Simple!
There is an English version of the official transport website with timetables and a handy journey planner.
The rickshaws run up and down Piotrkowska street, and are a relaxing way to see the area.
Novotel Lodz Centrum – image © booking.com
Where Should I Stay In Łódź?
Where you stay depends very much on your budget and what is available for your dates. It is possible to get a functional 3-star room for less than 200zł per night (45€), although you’d normally expect to pay 350-400zł (79-90€) during the summer months.
Use an online booking service like Booking.com to get full information and genuine guest reviews. It’s often possible to reserve a room with no upfront payment and pay when you check out. Most hotels offer the option for cancellations, in case you need to cancel your trip.
When’s The Best Time Of Year To Visit Łódź?
Weather-wise, Łódź is similar to Kraków. The temperature drops below zero from December to February and peaks in July and August. It rarely goes to less than -5°C or higher than 23°C. The summer months also bring the most rainfall, though it tends to be a rainy city all year round, anyway. And you can expect some snow early in the year.
Łódź isn’t fully established on the tourist trail, which means you won’t find the high-season crowds of Kraków. Consequently, it remains a comfortable place to visit from late April right through to early October.
However, Łódź also lights up for Christmas, with traditional markets, so this makes a great destination for gift shopping, if you don’t mind a bit of cold.
What Should I Pack For A Trip To Łódź?
Our packing list for Kraków has advice for anywhere in Poland. Łódź can be a rainy place, so make sure you have a brolly and waterproof jacket, hat, and shoes. Otherwise, you’ll get anything else you need from the shops for a very reasonable price.
Is Łódź Safe For Travellers?
Crime and unprovoked attack are low in Łódź, and the city is considered safer than both Kraków and Warsaw. Take heed of the usual warnings about pickpockets and scammers – especially if you’ve had a lot to drink! – and you should have a really nice trip.
Travel Insurance For Łódź
Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
See our dedicated site for Łódź travel, VisitLodz.com, for a Google map of Łódź’s essential attractions and further information about the city.
Other Polish Cities You Can Visit From Kraków
You will find a general overview of the transport network on our How To Travel From Kraków To Other Polish Cities page. This gives information on how to use trains, coaches, planes, and private vehicles in Poland, and where each type of service departs in Kraków.
- Białystok: In the north east of Poland, Białystok has a lively cultural scene and a handful of tourist attractions, and is close to the UNESCO-listed Białowieski National Park and the oldest forests in Europe.
- Gdańsk: On the Baltic coast, Gdańsk is friendly and great for food, and one of Poland’s biggest tourist destinations.
- Gdynia: Gdynia is also a port city with some lovely sandy beaches, and also makes a great day trip from neighbouring Gdańsk.
- Katowice: For something a bit different, Katowice is very post-industrial. It’s airport and proximity to Kraków make it worth consideration for travellers who want a future-facing (and very green) Poland, with dramatic, modern architecture.
- Lublin: On the eastern side of Poland, Lublin is best known as a cultural and academic city. It has a rich Jewish heritage and was apparently referred to as the ‘Jewish Oxford’ in the Jagiellonian era. There is a nice mix of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque, with some atmospheric cobbled streets.
- Olsztyn: Up in the north, Olsztyn is often overlooked by tourists keen to reach the more famous Gdańsk. It does, however, have a pretty Old Town and ranks very highly for quality of life. What’s more, the city provides a gateway to some gorgeous wild countryside of lakes and forests.
- Poznań: 300km to the west of Warsaw, youthful Poznań has a lively, friendly nightlife, with plenty of restaurants and bars. The Old Town is brightly coloured and quirkily decorated with bold styles similar to Southern Germany. There’s plenty here to keep you occupied for a long weekend, with a museums, a cathedral, and historical buildings, but the city also makes a great base for exploring Poland’s countryside.
- Sopot: Another seaside resort, between Gdynia and Gdańsk, Sopot is a playground for the rich. With sandy beaches and a pier, as well as the shops, bars, and clubs of Bohaterów Monte Cassino, it can be very busy at the height of the season. Even more than Gdynia, Sopot might be best sampled first as an afternoon out, rounded off with a meal in one of the excellent fish restaurants.
- Szczecin: Close to the border with Germany, Szczecin is off the beaten track for most tourists. The Old Town is pretty and there are a handful of attractions to see. But, mainly, visiting Szczecin is a great opportunity to get to know Polish food and to engage with the culture – there is a fine Philharmonic building and the grand Ducal Castle is now an arts centre.
- Toruń: Largely untouched by the Second World War, Toruń is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Vistula River to the north west of Warsaw. The architectural highlights are dominated by the huge Gothic cathedral and the city feels less hectic than more famous tourist destinations.
- Warsaw: Poland’s capital city is easy to reach from Kraków and makes a good weekend destination. Much of Warsaw was built after 1945. Even the pretty Old Town is mostly reconstruction. But there are excellent museums and places to eat. It’s also one of Europe’s great cities to go out drinking!
- Wrocław: Wrocław is a charming city in the western part of Poland, with islands and bridges criss-crossing the water and a strong Gothic flavour to the architecture. Built out from the 10th century Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), Wrocław also has a stunning market square, much of which is listed within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Zakopane: 110km from Kraków, Poland’s outdoor capital and winter resort, Zakopane is nestled at the root of the High Tatra mountains. The area is excellent for hiking, skiing, and a range of other activities. However, there is also unique folk architecture and plenty of more spectacular attractions.