Phew… if you follow my Facebook page you surely know that my old laptop burned, so I had to get a new one (thanks God for installment plans!). But I am back. With new energy and new pictures. This time I visited the city of Łódź, located very centrally and just 1,5 hours by train from Warsaw.
Łódź is changing very rapidly. My first visit there was back in 2011 and I told myself that I will never come back. Being perfectly honest with you – for me this city looked like some kind of grey, dangerous and abandoned town. Most of things were ugly, people seemed to be unfriendly and even dangeous, train stations were dirty, there were a lot of drunk people on the streets etc. Of course I am sure that my judgement was not thought through and I am absolutely sure that back then there were already many nice places as well. I just did not know them.
My first very good emotions toward Łódź appeared in between 2014 and 2015 – I spent my New Years’ Eve (and 3 more days after that) there with some good friends, they shown me the city a little bit and also – Piotrkowska street (main promenade of Łódź – it is over 4 kilometres long!) was already renovated, looked amazing and was full of people. This time my visit was very short I arrived Saturday evening and came back to Warsaw on Sunday evening. It does not mean we did not take a short walk with my friends, so here is what we saw.
I can call this place a “hipster-heaven” or a “place-to-be”. It was opened at a place of an old factory (Łódź used to be full of old factories many years ago). Now, you can eat there, go to some club, pub, walk around etc. While waiting for my breakfast I took the opportunity to walk a bit and take some pictures.
As you can see some walls are still quite raw, but I think this makes this place unique. In my opinion nothing makes the place more unique than using what you have and adding a few modern elements. Btw, some of the buildings look a bit like they were taken in England, while it was all in the central Poland, I promise :)
We also spent Saturday evening there and we went to some grill bar and to the club. It was really full of people, was very hard to find a spot, but we made it and we enjoyed it pretty much a lot!
But coming back to Sunday. The breakfast was excellent and cost… nearly nothing. We went to the place called “Drukarnia” (“A printing house”) and we paid just 5 euros for a full-English breakfast and a cake. Looked delicious!
If you associate the word “Manufaktura” with English “Manufacturing” you are absolutely right. Manufaktura is a shopping mall built on the territory of the old factory. It was opened 10 years ago and it is the biggest shopping mall in the Eastern Europe calculated by size and second (just behind Park Handlowy Bielany, also in Poland) when it comes to trade area. It’s actually a great place not only to shop, but also – walk around. There are many cafes, restaurants or just some places to sit and relax. There are also some events there – when we were there, a local tennis academy was searching for talents (btw, our best male tennis player, Jerzy Janowicz, is from Łódź as well).
Here is how it looks like from outside
There is also a water fountain that is very long – my friend told me it’s the longest one in whole Eastern Europe and I believe it as it was not possible to picture all of it with a camera! Here is just a small part of it:
Now imagine it is most probably around 10 times longer (or even more!). Manufaktura is a great place for shopping, yet – very crowded.
“Tapes of happiness”
No, the one above is not an official name of the artistic installation that appeared on the Old Market Square of Łódź. I just called it like that. Why? Because when I saw that piece of art, it made me really happy and I smiled a lot – which did not happen in Łódź before 2015 ;-) I actually overheard 2 people talking about this and one of them told that “This is a part of the happiness policy made by the city of Łódź officials” – I am sure that is true!
Those tapes were hanged above the market and a lot of people go there to take a look, make some pictures, take some selfies etc. Here it how it looks like from a bit further.
And a few close-ups as well!
The greatest thing about this artistic installation (except dozens of colours mixed up together) is the fact that when it is a bit windy, the whole piece is moving, so the colours mix up even more. When we were there, it was windy, so we could enjoy the “moving art”. I can surely recommend seeing this live.
Overall, the city of Łódź changed a lot. I am sure to visit it more often, especially while it’s very easy to get to Łódź from Warsaw. Believe it or not, but it takes less than one hour to get from Warsaw Central Station to Łódź Widzew (first train stop in Łódź if you are coming from northern Poland). You will spend 30 minutes more to get to current main station – Łódź Kaliska. Soon Łódź Fabryczna will be opened and it will become a main one (I saw some pictures from construction, it will be maginificent!). The best way is to use ŁKA (Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna – Łódź Agglomeration Railways) as it’s the cheapest, the newest and the fastest.
Last but not least – Łódź is another proof that you can make something special if you only want that. Do you like it as much as I do?
Have a lovely rest of the week!