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A Walk Around the Centre of Łódź

It’s been almost 11 years since I left Łódź after an 18-month stint teaching English in the city. Undoubtedly, Łódź holds a special place in my heart and I always enjoy going back. In March 2024, I visited Łódź in order for both work-related purposes and also to see how the city had changed since my last visit in 2018. I took a long walk around the centre of Łódź, taking plenty of pictures as I strolled along revitalised streets.


The Revitalisation of Łódź City Centre – Revisited

It was back in the summer of 2023 that I wrote a post on the regeneration of Łódź City Centre (Śródmieście).

I encourage you to check out the post in the link above as it places the regeneration of Łódź City Centre within its historical context. Moreover, I presented an interview with a top lawyer in Łódź, Mr Łukasz Waszczykowski, who specialises in real estate economics, construction law and spatial planning. Finally, I shared some images of selected revitalisation projects which clearly showed how Łódź’s spatial development was significantly changing.

As I found out during a long walk around the centre of Łódź in March 2024, there’s still plenty of work ahead when it comes to the revitalisation of this once run-down district. 

Overall, it’s fair to say that this is not a post which outlines the major sights in the centre of Łódź. Instead, I pay heed to the revitalisation of entire streets and tenement houses.


A pensive walk around the centre of Łódź

My apartment for the time I spent in Łódź in March 2024 was situated in the former industrial district of Księży Młyn. From Przędzalniana Street, I walked up to one of the main streets in Łódź – Aleja marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego – to catch a tram to Kilińskiego Street. The plan was to walk northwards from the corner of Piłsudskiego to Włókiennicza Street, exploring some of the side streets along the way.

In and around Kilińskiego Street

Immediately on the left, at 127 Kilińskiego Street, I sensed that the revitalisation programme was coming along nicely:

Kilinskiego 127 in Lodz
127 Kilińskiego ©️ Finding Poland

Moving north, I was struck by the new housing investment, Ilumino, at 121 Kilińskiego:

Ilumino investment in Lodz
Ilumino housing investment ©️ Finding Poland

Much work still to be done on Kilińskiego

Notice that I used the words ‘pensive walk’ in the title of this section. This is because when I stumbled across the many dilapidated buildings yet to be revitalised, not to mention the miserable courtyards behind tenement houses on Kilińskiego, I couldn’t help but remember the way things were when I lived in Łódź. Furthermore, I lived on Kilińskiego Street itself for a few months. That was further north, right on the corner with Rewolucji 1905 Roku Street. 

Anyway, fancy façades are one thing. But what about the third-world courtyards? I expect that the local authorities will attend to them in the coming years:

walk around Łódź
©️ Finding Poland
walk around the centre of Łódź
©️ Finding Poland
courtyard in Łódź
©️ Finding Poland

Dipping into Sienkiewicz Park for a few moments

Onwards I marched along Kilińskiego to the eastern fringes of Sienkiewicz Park. 

Revalorisation of the entire park complex began in October 2018 and ended in October 2022. The Museum of Natural History is located inside the park just off Kilińskiego Street.

Sienkiewicz Park in Łódž
Sienkiewicz Park near Kilińskiego ©️ Finding Poland
Sienkiewicz Park in Lodz, Poland
Source: https://rewitalizacja.uml.lodz.pl/dzialania/5-okolice-pasazu-schillera-i-parku-sienkiewicza/park-sienkiewicza/

Tuwima Street and Łódź City Library

I continued my walk and turned right along Tuwima Street. 

My sole intention was to check out the architecture exhibited by the most modern branch of the City Library in Łódź at 46 Tuwima Street. Reopened in 2020 after a renovation of what was a tenement house, the library is called TUVIM out of respect to the Polish poet Julian Tuwim. Tuwim (1894-1953) was born in Łódź.   

Looking at the before and after images below, it’s fair to say that this particular project reaped spectacular results: 

Tuwima 46 in Łódź before revitalisation
Tuwima 46 (2017): Source - Google Maps
Łódź City Library at Tuwima 46 ©️ Finding Poland
walk around Lodz
TUVIM Library (Tuwima 46) ©️ Finding Poland

More Surprises in Store

After TUVIM library, my walk around the centre of Łódź took me to the area around Fabryczna Railway Station. 

First of all, I was struck by the modernity exhibited by the headquarters of mBank located at 74 Kilińskiego:

mBank HQ in Łódź
mBank HQ (Kilińskiego 74) ©️ Finding Poland

Next in line was Łódź Fabryczna railway station. A little time for a brief observation of the station’s exterior from the vicinity of Kilińskiego and the Brama Miasta office building:

Łódź Fabryczna Railway Station
Łódź Fabryczna railway station ©️ Finding Poland

Targ Jaracza

From Tuwima Street, I proceeded towards the intersection of Kilińskiego and Jaracza Street where one can find Targ Jaracza (Jaracza Market). Over the past few years, traders have sold fruit, vegetables and flowers here. Thematic events and flea markets have also been held here on Sundays.

Targ Jaracza ©️ Finding Poland
Jaracza Market in Lodz
Targ Jaracza and Jaracza 39 ©️ Finding Poland

Rounding things off on Kilińskiego

I finally reached the area between Włókiennicza Street and Rewolucji 1905 Roku Street where I briefly lived back in 2012. 

Two more revitalised buildings to round things off on Kilińskiego before I made my way down Włókiennicza. 

Let’s begin with the residential building at Kilińskiego 26. Its renovation was completed in January 2020:

Kilinskiego 26 Lodz
Kilińskiego 26 ©️ Finding Poland

As for the building at Kilińskiego 28, its renovation was concluded in October 2023. It consists of 16 municipal apartments and three commercial premises intended for rent: 

Kilinskiego 28 building in Lodz
Kilińskiego 28 ©️ Finding Poland

Large-scale Revitalisation on Włókiennicza Street

Frankly, the focal point of my walk around the centre of Łódź was always going to be Włókiennicza Street.

As I remember it some 11 years ago, Włókiennicza was one of the most neglected streets in Łódź. With the devastated facades and narrowness of the street, I must admit that I felt a little apprehensive about stepping foot on Włókiennicza. However, I never bought into the label of the street as “dangerous” because I’m convinced it wasn’t a hotspot for muggings and murders. 

Fast forward to 2024. Włókiennicza is a place where history meets modernity. Indeed, it certainly felt to me as if a step along this historic street is a journey through time. One can marvel at the beautifully restored tenement houses, some of which are now home to modern cafes, boutiques and art galleries.

Włókiennicza has taken the form of a woonerf which blends pedestrian and vehicle space. There is a two-metre wide pedestrian lane on both sides of the street. As part of the investment, a pocket park with a playground was built. Trees were also planted and their condition is maintained by an automatic irrigation system. 

The scope of work on Włókiennicza also included renovation and repair of the sewage system, water network, gas network and construction of a heating network for tenement houses. Moreover, the electrical network was also rebuilt and the existing lighting infrastructure was replaced.

Włókiennicza Street in Lodz
©️ Finding Poland
Włókiennicza Street - part of the regeneration of the city centre of Łódź
©️ Marek Królikowski
Włókiennicza Street in Lodz, Poland
©️ Finding Poland
Walk around Srodmiescie district in Lodz
©️ Finding Poland
Woonerf in Lodz, Poland
©️ Finding Poland
Włókiennicza 22 in Lodz
Włókiennicza 22 ©️ Finding Poland
Wlokiennicza 15 in Lodz
Włókiennicza 15 ©️ Finding Poland
Wlokiennicza 12, Lodz
Włókiennicza 12 ©️ Finding Poland
Wlokiennicza 11, Lodz
Włókiennicza 11 ©️ Finding Poland
Wlokiennicza 1 w Lodzi
Włókiennicza 1 ©️ Finding Poland
Kochankowie na Wlokienniczej w Lodzi
©️ Finding Poland

A few other old hunting grounds

I could have admired the lovely facades on Włókiennicza all day. However, I had a meeting at 12:00 on Sienkiewicza Street with a local interior photographer and real estate consultant by the name of Marek Królikowski

In between Włókiennicza and my meeting with Marek, I walked up Wschodnia Street, hooking a left onto Narutowicza Street. Before turning left, I noticed one of my old hunting grounds on the other side of the street. Frame pool hall.

More or less opposite Sienkiewicza, I couldn’t help but appreciate the fine exterior of the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic. The building, constructed in 2004, oozes modernity and elegance, as you may see below:

Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic ©️ Finding Poland

From the intersection of Narutowicza and Sienkiewicza, I walked very briskly up Sienkiewicza to Tuwima Street in order to grab a sandwich in Cukiernia Sowa. On the way, it was good to see some well-needed revitalisation happening on Sienkiewicza, as you can see below at number 22:

Sienkiewicza 22 ©️ Finding Poland

Afternoon Showers on Piotrkowska Street

No walk around the centre of Łódź would be complete without strolling down the main artery of Łódź, Piotrkowska Street. 

Around 4.2 km long, Piotrkowska is one of the longest commercial thoroughfares in Europe. When I lived just off Piotrkowska in 2012-13, I didn’t come close to exploring the entire length of the street. Indeed, the two-kilometre stretch from the intersection with Żwirki Street, where I lived, down to the southern tip of Piotrkowska near Independence Square (Plac Niepodległości) is unfamiliar to me.

I am more familiar with the stretch of Piotrkowska that runs north from Piłsudskiego/Mickiewicza all the way up to Freedom Square (Plac Wolności). Amidst some heavy afternoon showers, that’s where I took the pictures below. Please note that I will share some pictures and information about some of the most prominent buildings on Piotrkowska in a future post.

Ławeczka Stefan Jararcz
Stefan Jaracz (Polish actor and theatrical producer) ©️ Finding Poland
Piotrkowska Street in Lodz, Poland
©️ Finding Poland
Mural just off Piotrkowska Street in Lodz
©️ Finding Poland
Mural on Piotrkowska Street in Lodz
©️ Finding Poland
©️ Finding Poland

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind

My walk around the centre of Łódż terminated at Freedom Square, which has also been rejuvenated in recent years. 

Along with streets like Włókiennicza and Jaracza, this square was certainly in need of revitalisation:

Freedom Square in Lodz
Freedom Square ©️ Finding Poland

Overcome with nostalgia, I made my way to the huge shopping complex, Manufaktura

Łódź – it was good to be back.


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