For many tourists and first time visitors to Łódź walking down ul. Piotrkowska pedestrian strip can seem like a never ending journey. When you finally reach al. Piłsudskiego in the middle, the main artery heading east-west, it can feel like a real relief. Well, we have good and bad news. Piotrkowska not only keeps going but it has even more alternative culture, terrific gastronomy and more post-industrial complexes for you to explore! So muster your strength, strap on your boots and head to what feels like the unfairly neglected Piotrkowska South.
Łódź has become synonymous with post industrial cool. It is already one of the biggest success stories in Poland if not Central Europe of how a post industrial city can and should recover and adapt after the collapse of heavy industry, textiles and manufacturing in the 20th century. The transformation of the Manufaktura complex was just the starting point and the revitalisation of former disused factory buildings across the city has only spread. Many of the abandoned buildings being converted into exclusive lofts or commercial real estate (ie. the Lofts at Księzy Młyn). However another trend has taken hold over the last decade which is quite unique to Łódź and that is the development of factory and courtyard complexes into thriving gastronomical, artistic and nightlife venues and full blown destinations. OFF Piotrkowska, in the northern half of the street,is the best case example of what kind of synergy and energy can manifest when local business minds, property developers, artists and gastronomic visionaries come together. But OFF grew slowly and organically and is now in its 8th year of operation!
You can easily spend many hours in Piotrkowska South, starting at the fantastic Piotrkowska 217 then working your way to the Art Factoryto experience the vibrant revitalisations of former industrial sites. Heading further south, you come to the gem of the White Factory, lovingly converted into a textiles museum.
For the more adventurous amongst you, a walk or bike ride east to the Karol Scheibler's former 'city within a city' at his former palace (now the Museum of Cinematography) and the textile factory complex of Księży Młyn is a must.