Europe's Secret Hot Spots
Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy
The third biggest town in Poland comes from industrial roots (it was called the Manchester of the East), but lately, for culture, few evolving Eastern European cities can compare. Art in all forms is everywhere—from Hollylodz, the center of Polish cinematography (its film school has three Oscar-winning alumni, including Roman Polanski) to the Lodz Atlas Arena, where Elton John will perform in Summer 2012. Along Piotrkowska Street, one of the longest in Europe, there are more than 100 bars, often heaving with live music, and restaurants serving fantastic Polish and Jewish dishes (try Anatewka, where a violinist serenades guests). All roads eventually lead to Manufaktura, a 74-acre 19th-century industrial campus now filled with shops, museums, a carousel, cinemas, party spaces, and everyone you need to meet in Lodz.