Lviv is the most charming city I have visited in Ukraine. It’s not like any other post-Soviet cities you have seen. It’s colorful, lively, and simply gorgeous. Lviv is a unique combination of Eastern and Western cultures. Here you can experience Austrian, German, Jewish, Polish, Ukrainian, and even Armenian cultures. Lviv is a hidden gem of Europe slowly discovered by the rest of the world. With a century-old history, there are many things to do in Lviv.
Named after Leo, the first son of Daniel of Galicia, the ruler of Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia, the city’s historic center with its old buildings and cobblestone streets survived German and Soviet occupations during the WWII.
Top Things to Do in Lviv
Even though the city is quite big, two days here was enough to see all the important landmarks. The best way to experience Lviv is to wander through its streets. Most of the sights are easily reachable by foot and the only time I used public transport was to see the famous cemetery.
The square is the very center of the city. It used to be the place for many cultural, political, and social events for more than 500 years today you can see a lot of cafes shops and restaurant scattered along the square.
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Sit down on one of the branches and look around closely. Admire the architecture and watch the daily lives of the citizens. And if you need any advice tourist information center is also here
I have heard so many things about Lviv’s opera house from my mom that I had to see it. I don’t like opera, but I’m a huge fan of ballet. Built at the beginning of 20th century in neo-Renaissance style, the Opera house is the architectural gem of the city.
The facade is simply mesmerizing. Allegorical sculptures adorn its columns, niches, and balustrades, while statues of muses rise above the main cornice.
The interior is as impressive as the exterior. Here, different-colored marble adorns gilded decorations, sculptures, and decorative paintings. The four-circled hall can accommodate more than thousand people.
The Chapel of the Boim Family
A unique Renaissance monument has no analogies in Ukraine or Europe. A Lviv merchant of Hungarian origin, Georgiy Boim, who got rich by trading wine, decided to build a family chapel of unparalleled beauty.
One of its exteriors is covered in stone carvings featuring religious scenes, while another has glassed-in portraits of the merchant and his wife.
Unfortunately, the chapel isn’t open all year round. It opens its door to visitors only in summer.
I know you think why would I suggest to visit a cemetery. But listen, this one is unique and has been classified as a cultural and historical museum. It occupies 40 hectares of the land and truly is a beautiful place to explore. Even I don’t believe my ears every time I speak about it.
Beautiful sculptures, shrines, and chapels make this graveyard one of its kind. Trust me, just see it with your own eyes.
Price: 30 UAH Children: 20 UAH
One of the most beautiful streets of Lviv where you can explore European architectural gems. And when you feel tired from all the walking, sit down at one of the branches and relax.
Delightful Decorations All Over the City
I walk most of the time during my travels just to discover this kind of decorations in the city.
Old Tram Experience
I don’t walk everywhere. When necessary I do take public transport; it’s part of the authentic experience. I love observing other areas of the city from the window.
This one is my favorite and one of the most memorable experiences through my travels. It turns out Lviv has a unique dining scene. It’s a secret place with no signs directing you to the venue. You need to know the place, or as I did, accidentally stumble upon it without even realizing it. And to top the experience off, you need a password to get in. How cool is that?!
Once knocked on a huge, heavy wooden door, a guy in an army costume cracks the door and shouts: “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine). You have to say “Heroyam Slava” (Glory to Heroes) and drink the shot of mead he offers.
Kriyvka is a themed restaurant designed as an underground bunker, and the food is served in metal army plates.
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