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The area of Lodz gets its name from the city Lodz, but consists of more than just Lodz itself. Lodz is by far the biggest city in this region of Poland, and is usually the first stop for most visitors (and often the only stop, too). To be honest, it is not exactly people's favorite travel destination. If people want to visit cities in Poland, they usually go for some of the more charming and important cities in areas that are of more interest for tourists (like Lesser Poland). Lodz, however, is trying to polish its image, mainly by focusing on its connection to Hollywood. Hence, you might come across the term “HollyLodz” during your travels.
While it is possible to fly into Lodz, the connections are not as good as in other regions of Poland. Getting around in Lodz is not too much of a problem though: there are trains, buses, and you can also hire a car or come with your own (make sure that you do have a good road atlas though).
Lodz is the center of film in Poland. The National Film school can be found in Lodz, and Lodz also tries to use the movie industry to revive tourism in HollyLodz.
The area around Lodz is also famous for its flourishing textile industry, though the heyday of this has been a bit in the past, mainly during the era called “fin de siecle” (the time of Oscar Wilde, just to put it into perspective).
As other towns in the region Lodz are not very much used to visitors, and the main attractions are within Lodz, we will focus on Lodz in this article. Lodz once was the second largest city in Poland, but has fallen on the third place in 2007. It is often called the Manchester of Poland and is home to the longest walking street in Europe.
One very good reason to visit Lodz is that it is actually a quite beautiful city with a huge city forest and some lovely parks. The Łagiewnicki Forest is one of the biggest forests that is located within a city in Europe, and is home to the popular Arturówek Lake. Other parks that would be great for a visit are the Józef Piłsudski Park, the Old City Park, the Poniatowski Park, and the Łódź Hills Landscape Park.
The Jewish cemetery is open to the public, and one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the World. Poland once had the biggest Jewish communities in the World, and Lodz is one of the places where you can see the influence and impact of that culture. Apart from the Jewish cemetery, the Litzmannstadt Ghetto is another place in Lodz that can show you a lot about the history of the Jewish people in Poland.
The Lodz Walk of Fame is Poland's version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame – but many of the names on this Walk of Fame might be unknown to you. It is still worth having a look.
The Piotrkowska street is the longest commercial street in Europe. It is a center of commerce and entertainment. If you feel like walking and shopping, then the almost five kilometers long street will have something to offer to you for sure.
There are not many examples of Orthodox architecture in Poland, so the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a good place to go to if you would like to have a look at one of the rare Orthodox buildings in the country.
The oldest building in Lodz is the St. Joseph's Church, which is only open during masses. It is the only building in Lodz that has been constructed before the pre-industrial period. You are welcome to watch the exterior of the church any time, but if you would like to see the inside, you need to go to mass – however, if you decide to do so, you need to be respectful and not disturb the event.
Museum of the City of Lodz: If you would like to learn more about some of the most important people who lived in Lodz, or generally are curious about Lodz, then a visit to the museum of the city of Lodz would be a very good idea. It might not be the most exciting museum you will ever visit, but will definitely teach you a few things about Lodz you did not know before.
Central Museum of Textiles: The textile industry has played a very important role in the history of Lodz, and textiles are one of the few things the region is famous for. The museum has some of the machines working during some days of the week. These “living” displays are quite interesting, so check out the times for the working exhibits before you visit.