“Oh baby baby it’s a wild world” – Catalonia Stevens
Life takes us on ridiculous twists and turns. People we meet often get things wrong. Despite the fact that Polish city Łódź is the country’s third biggest and a dynamic source of factory power and regional nationalism (message me if you’re confused), this is not that popular for tourists. I was too intrigued. As a Northern Irish gentleman, I can be metaphorical and non-sexual here – my willy was erect, i.e. I was excited to visit this city, facing upwards. Thanks to my January time reader vote on this website, I was heading finally to Łódź. My pulsing heart was working overtime as I squashed my passion for wacaday locations into a metaphorical lemon. I’ve fallen in love with more cities than Michael Palin. Ask him, he won’t have heard of me…
“I think I found it and I think I love it” – Nicky Wire
My research for Łódź began in late January 2017 – but, I realised pretty early on that this is a huge city which could potentially amass 20 or more tourist travel articles for this website. I don’t have time for that, but I was buzzing like a school kid who tried Tab Clear for the first time. Let’s face it, if a backpacking Northern Irishman can write over 10 articles on little known Starogard Gdanski, then Łódź is a hit single, a top ten contender. But a man needs a bed. My eyes get travel weary and I love a good pillow.
“I woke up sleeping on a train that was bound for nowhere” – Noel Gallagher
Look no further than the best hostel in Łódź, Music Hostel – not only the best hostel but the ONLY hostel on the should-be world famous Piotrkowska Street. No liegate here my friends, this is the longest street in Europe. Did I tell you I travelled around the world before I settled under Polish skies? And when I did travel the world, I never saw a single street this long in my life. I fell in love with Ulica Piotrkowska. You can have me anytime, Łódź.
“Nanana nana nana nana beautiful stranger” – MADonna
I got in touch with Jan, who runs the Music Hostel and knew this was the place for me to stay. It’s a textbook backpacker’s hostel, it intertwined itself awesomely into my Łódź adventure with insatiable aplomb. I checked in for a hat-trick of days, unaware that liver over indulgence may well take place. Łódź is a city jam doughnut packed with bars that reel an Ulsterman in, meeting new friends, flirting with Łódźie girls (yes, I would easily date a girl from this town) and sampling beers your best mate never heard of. Here are five things I loved about my time at the Music Hostel and why you should stay here and visit Łódź. Do it and email me to thank me in the aftermath.
“In this northern industrial town” – Billy Bragg
Jan and I hung out together – the manager knows business, people, he helped me plan my entire trip. He had time for me. With staff Veronika, Diana and Olga on hand to help out, a good hostel with pure values for a tourist like me. Remember, I am probably not a traveller, that definition – it’s over-estimated. I am merely a tourist. In every town, in every bed, in every bar. I take more photos than the Japanese and I am not even being racist here. I’m the famous tourist. I’ve been around.
“I’m not like them, but I can pretend” – Kurt ‘genius’ Cobain
2.Bragging Rights – Sleeping on Piotrkowska Street
Facebook your mates and go tell them “hey mate I am sleeping on the longest street in Europe tonight”. While doing so, you might want to pop into a local bar to watch Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc saving a pelanty at Old Trafford to ensure my beloved Cherries (AFC Bournemouth) clinch a prematurely nostalgic 1-1 draw with “they might be giants” Manchester United. Move over George Best, this is Kazimierz Deyna’s time 😉
“I went to the world cup, but some of my mates went to prison” – Norman ‘my hero’ Whiteside
It is also only a ten minute walk to the quirky and insane “OFF” zone which houses some of the coolest bars in Poland, including, BRUSH BARBER SHOP – probably the best cocktail bar in the world!
While Poland endears me, often the opening hours of bars and pubs shock me. As I rolled home at 5am on the Friday evening, I knew I had to be up at 8am for the free breakfast. It’s a two hour slot from 8 – 10 am – cereals, bread, toast, tea and coffee. All included in your bed price. Not quite the hangover cure your God ordered, but stomach lining for my latest café excursion.
#perpetualtourist – Jonny Blair (Northern Irishman in Poland)
Jan himself loves a good tune, and this is evident by the huge amount of music references around the hostel. The walls have vinyl, quotes, signatures from musicians and Michael Jackson front cover. Bring a guitar and you might feel at home here. Oops baby!
“We are friends, Jonny” – Ola Mueller 😉
Listen to music, logon to the free Wi-Fi, lie on your cosy dorm bed or get clean in the pristine shower. You relax here, in a city that doesn’t have time to.
“In and out like a robbery” – Tupac Shakur
Here are the details for booking the Music Hostel in Łódź. I may have found a new home. Don’t be a stranger.
Piotrkowska St. 60
90-105 Lodz, Poland
When the sun goes down on your town, I’m still just a passionate Northern Irish football fan who wants to give you my love and take some of yours. Don’t you ever disrespect me. I’m a Bangor boy – visit my town, meet my Mum for coffee. She’s a real woman. I love her.