Shopping in Łódź centres on three main areas of the city: the thoroughfare of Piotrkowska, the modern shopping centre Galeria Łódzka, and the shopping heaven that is the Manufaktura complex. Some of the streets running parallel to Piotrkowska, including ul. Sienkiewicza, are good for specialist shops, such as antiques and paintings. Indeed, whisper it in Warsaw, but Łódź may in fact be Poland’s top shopping destination. Whether it’s malls, designer boutiques, dusty family stores or antique markets a day spent shopping can result in both bargains and treasures, and there’s presents to be had for everyone on your list (including yourself).
Wife or girlfriend
When we think of what the ladies would like, one word comes to mind: amber.
Husband or boyfriend
One word: beer. Another word: lard. Take home some Polish brews and a container of smalec (spreadable lard) and you’ll make any man happy. Krakowski Kredens carries tubs of the greasy stuff, while you’ll find every obscure Polish microbrew at Piwoteka, a tiny store just off Piotrkowska that is floor-to-ceiling bottles.
Euro 2012 may be over, but brothers never grow tired of official football gear. Intersport at Manufaktura, which was the official shop for licensed Euro 2012 apparel, can kit your bro out with all the necessary national team apparel so he’ll feel like his sporting best.
While it might not be as synonymous with European fashion as cities like Paris and Milan, Lodz is the home of Polish Fashion Week and a hotbed of all things stylish. Bring sis home something fashion-forward from Manufaktura, the city’s 90,000m2 shopping mall that houses more than 300 stores, including several Polish fashion brands to scour for stylish treats such as Reserved.
Lodz is the home of the country’s famed film school, and it’s a great place to snap up some classic Polish DVDs of old-school cartoons like Reksio and Bolek i Lolek. Both cartoons were created during PRL times and contain no dialogue, which means kids from any culture will easily be able to follow the storylines. Find stacks of DVDs at the local Empik.
Give mom some monk-like zen with soaps and lotions from Produkty Benedyktyńskie, which carries a variety of products created by the brothers at Tyniec Abbey in Krakow.
If your dad is anything like ours he can lose hours of his life in interesting vintage bookshops. Lodz is packed with them, and Antykwariat Komiks is one of the best for digging.