SECRET EUROPE – Łódz, Poland – CULTURAL CAPITAL WITH TURN OF THE CENTURY CHARM, and POLAND’S “HOLLYWOOD”
A railway adventure using Eurostar (the Channel Tunnel train), Inter-City Expresses, a local train through the rolling Polish countryside, a Dutch Metro, and the iconic Hook of Holland – Harwich ferry, the last passenger ferry across the North Sea.
Virtually unknown outside Poland and renowned for its vibrant cultural life, in Łódz (pronounced “Woodge”) you’ll find charming turn-of-the-century architecture and the longest pedestrian street in Europe. Stroll 5 kilometres of boutiques and atmospheric cafes, restaurants, and bars—or take a cycle rickshaw.
This hidden city (pop. 715,000) claims a rich Jewish history, plus concert halls, theatres, the home of famed pianist Artur Rubenstein, and the resplendent Teatr Wielki opera house. It also boasts one of the most celebrated film schools in the world, the Museum of Cinematography, and a “Walk of Fame,” with stars commemorating internationally-known names like Roman Polanski and Andrzej Wajda embedded in the pavement on Piotrkowska Street, outside your hotel!. It’s Poland’s Hollywood. The former textile manufacturing town also charms with its inventive contemporary spaces, including Manufaktura, a former factory complex featuring trendy shops and dining. In summer, don’t miss the central square—transformed into a beach, complete with deckchairs. Find out why many have long considered Łódz one of Poland’s best-kept secrets.
Featured in Michael Portillo’s TV programme, Great Continental Railway Journeys.
ITINERARY (Subject to confirmation when Winter 2022/23 railway timetables fixed)
Day 1 THURSDAY Depart London St. Pancras by Eurostar at 14:22 for Paris Nord; arriving 17:47; a ten minute walk brings you to Paris Est, for the 1858 sleeping- and restaurant-car train to Poznan, Poland, arriving 10:40 on Friday.
Day 2 FRIDAY A little time to look around Poznan – the historic market square is not far from the station – and several tram routes connect the two – before leaving at 12:52 by direct train to Łódz Kaliszka, arriving 16:45. Take a taxi or the tram to Kościuszki, a few steps from the 1888-built Grand Hotel on Piotrkowska Street, where you’ll stay for 3 nights, breakfast included. Opera tickets are available when there is a Saturday performance.) The Teatr Wielki (Great Theatre) is a very short walk from the hotel.
Day 3 SATURDAY Free day for exploring Łódz.
Day 4 SUNDAY A second day to enjoy Poland’s third city (until recently, its second city!) The street (Piotrkowska St.) is bustling with native people and tourists, and it is a beautiful day with fluffy clouds and blue sky in the landscape. Interesting fact: did you know that the picture on the right shows Artur Rubenstein at his piano – it used to have a coin slot, into which you put a coin to get a rendition of Chopin – but the local residents put superglue into the slot to stop the noise, so now it doesn’t work!
Day 5 MONDAY An admittedly early start today (05:39 from Łódz Widzew station) brings us to Kutno at 07:01, where we board the Warsaw-Berlin InterCity train at 07:23, getting us to Berlin Hbf. at 12:16. From here, another InterCity train departs 12:34 for Amsterdam, but we leave at Amersfoort at 18:24, connecting with a local train at 18:58 to Rotterdam Central arr. 19:55. The new Metro will take us to Hook of Holland where we arrive in good time for our Stena Line ferry, leaving 22:00 for Harwich, with reserved 2-berth inside cabin (upgrades to outside, or single, cabins, subject to availablity, on request) Our arrival in Harwich is at 06:30 on TUESDAY and our connecting train leaves at 07:15 and gets to London (Liverpool Street) at 08:54 Interesting fact: in 1952, this train (then called the “Hook Continental”) was scheduled to arrive in Liverpool Street at 09:14, so in 70 years we have gained just 20 minutes!
Optional stopover in Berlin
Day 5 MONDAY Leave Łódż Kaliska at 12:17 for a leisurely cross-country ride to Poznan, arriving 16:17. Our connecting Inter-City train to Berlin Hbf., departs at 16:33, and arrives 19:16. Hotels Inter-City or AO Berlin Hauptbahnhof (near the railway station) for 2 nights with breakfast.
Day 6 TUESDAY Day free in Berlin.
Day 7 WEDNESDAY Depart Berlin Hbf. at 10:51 on the Inter-City Express to Cologne, arriving 15:09. Connect with the 15:43 ICE to Brussels Midi, arriving 17:35. Connect with the 18:56 Eurostar service to London St. Pancras, arriving 19:57.
Prices + Departures Winter 2022/2023
Based on 2 people; “double” sleeping car accommodation on Paris/Poznan and v.v. overnight train; and double inside cabins on Hoek v. Holland – Harwich ferry; exchange rate of €1.20 = £1.
LODZ ONLY £559 single room supplement £69 Supplement for berth in a “Single” sleeper compartment on overnight rail journey, and single cabin on ferry £200.
LODZ + BERLIN £699 single room supplement £105.50 Supplement for berth in a “Single” sleeper compartment on overnight rail journey Paris/Poznan, £120.
020 8657 8649
Enthusiast Holidays (Italiarail Ltd.)
26, Onslow Gardens, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 9AB, United Kingdom
All prices subject to availablity, and train times, which have been greatly disrupted during the Covid Pandemic, will be reconfirmed at time of booking, or when set by the railways. Discount fares are available to/from London St. Pancras International, and Harwich, from most major UK rail stations, in conjunction with this tour – prices on request.