For many newcomers and tourists alike, Łódź is an anomaly in many ways. The city has garnered much praise for its fantastic film pedigree and dynamic cultural calendar, placing it at the heart of Polish art and counter-culture. Economically and architecturally it is often compared with other post-industrial revitalisation success stories, such as Manchester and Rotterdam. This is all well and good, however Łódź remains impenetrable to many would-be visitors. Some basic information is needed before one can thrust oneself headlong into the all-night industrial warehouse parties and cut up the red carpet at film premieres. For example, how do I even pronounce the name of this city?! And where in the world is the city centre? Have no fear dear reader, IYP answers all these questions and many more.
Today, however, Łódź remains an important cog in the Polish wheel. Derelict factories are being converted into luxury apartments, Manufaktura – the largest shopping and entertainment development in Central Europe – ranks as one of the most impressive urban regeneration projects anywhere, and its success has inspired further bold urban planning projects like OFF Piotrkowska that have given the city a certain swagger. The famous film school, founded in 1948 as a pet project of Stalin, has nurtured the talent of Polański, Wajda and Kieślowski, while ul. Piotrkowska - Europe’s longest pedestrian street - rates as one of Poland’s most famous party places. The city continues to change at a breakneck speed with new hotels queuing to join the market, and property investors discovering the hidden beauty and investment opportunities offered by the city’s run-down buildings and fast transit connections to Warsaw.