Poland’s third largest city is located in the centre of the country at the intersection of several highways. Together with its neighbouring towns and municipalities, it has a population of more than 1 million and is a major metropolitan, academic and cultural centre.
Łódź’s industrial heritage is in the textile industry, which grew rapidly throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. However, the impact of global competition in the 90s led to the near-complete closure of the sector, which continues in the form of small businesses exporting to Russia and former CIS countries. Today, one of the city’s major strengths lies in logistics, as Poland’s two key motorways—for north-south and east-west traffic—have an intersection just outside the city. Several transport and logistics companies have based their operations here. Łódź’s service sector also includes the growing area of business process outsourcing—which now employs 5,000 people. Indian corporation Infosys BPO, one of the world’s leading outsourcing multinationals, has its largest operation outside India in Łódź.
However, Łódź is also a cultural centre and is home to the internationally-acclaimed Polish Film School, which has produced the likes of Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski. It is home to several popular museums and galleries, with the Museum of Modern Art housing one of the country’s leading contemporary art collections. One of the longest streets in Europe, Piotrkowska Street is a popular tourist destination with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, historic buildings and nightlife.