Ukraine’s Must-See City: Lviv

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Lviv is one of the most popular destinations in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, thanks to its historic buildings and cobblestone streets, delectable chocolates and pastries, themed pubs and restaurants, and year-round events. It also knows as Ukraine’s Must-See City.

Ukraine's Must-See City: Lviv
Ukraine’s Must-See City: Lviv

Where is Lviv located?

Lviv, with a population of 720,000, is a compact and accessible city located in western Ukraine, approximately 70 kilometers from the Polish border.

In comparison to the rest of Ukraine, visitors to Lviv will instantly note the city’s architecture, which combines Central and Eastern European styles with those of Italy and Germany, rather than the Soviet architecture prevalent across the nation.

Today, Lviv is almost 760 years old and is brimming with fascinating stories! The city, located at the crossroads of two lucrative trade routes, grew and thrived fast, eventually becoming one of the most important commercial hubs in medieval Europe. Following then, being a part of several countries, Lviv absorbed elements of culture and knowledge from invaders. It later developed into not just an architectural marvel, but also the modern metropolis of scientific, spiritual, and creative life.

What are you going to see?

The historic center, which may be conceived of as a 500mx500m square, is where the majority of attractions are located. The central business district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having over 2,000 listed landmarks. Bring your comfortable walking shoes and explore the center’s streets. You are unlikely to see this many churches and cathedrals in such close proximity again.

The cobblestoned Rynok Square, which translates as Market Square, is the focal point, surrounded by pastel-colored 16th-century houses. It has been the bustling heart of city activity for 500 years and has retained all the beauty of an ancient European city to this day. In the center lies the tourist information center. The Square is dominated by the historic City Town Hall, which features a stunning observation platform atop.

You should also climb the High Castle if you enjoy the vista. Although it is named a castle, you will not see one as Swedish forces demolished it. The 360-degree panorama of Lviv from the summit of the 413-meter-tall (1354-foot-tall) peak is well worth the effort.

Don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the Lviv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater’s famous edifice! The theater was created in the 19th century in the style of the Viennese Renaissance by the renowned European architect Zygmunt Gorgolevsky.

There are about 100 churches of all denominations with magnificent interiors. Several of the churches are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Bernardine church and monastery, located south of the market square in the city’s Old Town, the Arch-cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly referred to as the Latin Cathedral, located in the market square’s southwestern corner, the Jesuit Church, Armenian Cathedral, Preobrazhenskaya Church, Dominican church and monastery, and Carmelite Church are just a few of the churches.

Additionally, you should visit the Lychakiv Cemetery. The cemetery, which is Lonely Planet’s top attraction in Lviv, is akin to an open-air museum of exquisite art. There are over 300,000 tombs and more than 500 elegant handmade statues dating all the way back to the late 18th century. Additionally, the cemetery has graves of troops from the Red Army, Ukrainian Liberation Army, and Polish military units from 1918 to 1920.

The streets of Lviv begin to come alive with musicians, live bands, and performers. They impart certain energy and delight. Sit on the City Rynok Square benches and listen to live music, or get up and start dancing.

What foods and beverages should I consume in Ukraine’s Must-See City?

Lviv is a foodie’s paradise. The restaurants, bars, and cafés are all designed differently and provide distinct chocolates, coffees, and beverages. Drunken Cherry Bar is a red cherry liquor business located in Rynok plaza. The throng in front of the shop is standing and sampling cherry wine. Pravda Beer Theater is a three-story local brewery that serves artisan beers. Throughout the week, the brewery hosts live music performances. Additionally, the beer here is unusual in that it is called and styled after world-famous politicians. You may sample Obama, Merkel, and Putin beers.

Chocolate lovers can pay a visit to Lviv Handmade Chocolate, located at 3 Serbska Street. You may purchase your favorite chocolate treats individually, in bars, in kilograms, or in inboxes. If you enjoy coffee, you must pay a visit to Lviv Coffee Mine restaurant. It has a one-of-a-kind coffee extraction process in the basement. If you enjoy champagne, you should visit Champagneria to sample Ukrainian and worldwide champagnes. Lvivski Plyatski, literally “Lviv strudels,” is the place to go for strudels and a variety of other cakes and doughs.

Lviv is home to an abundance of themed restaurants and pubs. You should choose which ones to see in advance; your time will not allow you to see them all.

Where are you going to stay in Ukraine’s Must-See City?

Lviv has a diverse selection of hotels, hostels, and flats to meet a range of budgets and preferences. I stayed at the ibis Styles Lviv Center, the only foreign hotel brand in the city. The ibis Styles Lviv Center hotel is located in the city’s historic district, a 5-minute walk from Rynok Square. The hotel offers an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. Throughout my stay, I observe numerous visitors eating breakfast at the hotel. Additionally, guests may have complimentary tea, coffee, mineral water, and sparkling water in the lobby at any time. You may book your room directly via the hotel’s website or through booking.com and take advantage of the hotel’s free cancellation and pay later policies. Our hotel review may be found here.

How to proceed?

If you’re traveling by rail from Western or Central Europe to Lviv, the most expedient option is to reach Warsaw or Krakow in Poland and then take a direct train to Lviv. Additionally, you may take a train to Lviv many times daily from the Polish border city of Przemysl. There are also daily trains from Kyiv.

Lviv International Airport is located on Lyubinska Street, approximately 7 kilometers (4 miles) from the city center. There are numerous international direct flights to Lviv (for example, from Naples, Munich, Dortmund, Vienna, Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Venice, Istanbul, and Athens), as well as a few local ones.

Numerous frequent bus lines (direct or transit) connect Western Ukraine’s major cities, towns, and villages to Lviv. Numerous frequent bus routes connect Lviv to the biggest cities in the European Union. Lviv is more accessible than Ukraine’s bordering nations. For example, from Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Katowice, Rzeszow, Lublin, Tomaszow Lubelski, and Przemysl, you may take a bus to Lviv.

Is Lviv, Ukraine, a Safe City to Visit?

Ukrainian cities are quite secure, with Lviv being one of the safest in the country. However, this is true for a large number of places across the world; tourists should be cautious of petty crime, particularly in crowded locations and tourist attractions, or when taking public transportation.

How is the weather? When is the best time to travel?

The best time to visit Lviv is between mid-May and mid-September when the weather is most pleasant. Locals joke that Lviv has been raining since 1256, which is true for me as well. Almost every day during my four-day visit to Lviv, it poured. If you stay at ibis Styles Lviv Center, you may make use of the hotel’s complimentary umbrella service.