Once known as “The Manchester of Poland” on account of its numerous brick and cast iron factory buildings, Lodz (pronounced “woodge”) is a place that offers something for everyone. It has long been the centre of the vibrant Polish film industry – it is sometimes affectionately known as “Holly-lodz” – and is one of the country’s cultural and industrial centres. A mere 96 miles from Warsaw, Lodz is centred around Ulica Piotrkowska, the city’s main pedestrianized boulevard – the longest pedestrianized street in Europe, in fact – which stretches nearly four kilometres from Plac Wolnosci in the north to Aleja Pilsudskiego in the south. Lined with shops and museums, it also contains dozens of grand Baroque, Art Nouveau and Secession-style buildings which once belonged to the city’s wealthy industrialists. It is also the location for most of the city’s tourist sights as well as many of its better cafés, restaurants, bars and night spots. Other central streets proffer some of the most impressive and opulent palaces and manor homes, especially along ul. Ogrodowa, ul. Gdanska and plac Zwyciestwa. Lodz is also an incredibly green city, holding over 30 municipal parks. The best one is the verdant Lagiewniki Forest, the largest city park in Europe and a perfect spot for an afternoon stroll.