Lviv (also spelled L'viv and Львів; Polish: Lwów, German: Lemberg, Russian: Lvov, Latin: Leopolis) is in Western Ukraine and used to be the capital of East Galicia. It's the biggest city of the region and a major Ukrainian cultural centre on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city has a multicultural history which has survived to today. It was founded in 1256 by King Daniel of Galicia (Ukrainian: Король Данило Галицький - Korol' Danylo Galyckyy) and fell under Polish control in the 14th century. Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Germans and others lived there together for centuries. This multicultural experience came to an end during and after WWII. Germans, with the help of Ukrainian nationalists, killed most of the Jews (about one third of Lviv's population at that time) and, at the end and in the direct aftermath of the war, the Polish population (about 50 % of the population) was first partly driven out by nationalist terror, then "repatriated" to Poland in its new borders by the Soviet government. The Polish and Jewish heritage is hardly preserved, but one can find some inscriptions on former shops in Polish, Yiddish and German.
In recent times, because of Lviv's proximity to Europe and openness to foreigners, the city's multicultural feel has experienced a resurgence. Even today, walking through the city center, a traveler can hear Poles laughing and taking pictures of the beautiful old buildings, Germans walking through the city on guided tours, Ukrainian or Russian tourists and students joking about this or that, and American or British businessmen chatting in cafes. There is even a small Jewish community in the city. The many universities in Lviv attract students from every continent on the globe, and its old architecture draws tourists from various parts of the world, including Ukraine.
The Polish king John II Casimir founded the Lviv University in the 17th century and Lviv (known as Lwów) was by that time one of the most important cities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, along with Kraków, Warsaw, Gdańsk and Vilnius.
In 1772 the city was taken by the Habsburgs and in Austrian times it was known as Lemberg, the capital of Galicia. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, it was returned to Poland.
As result of World War II Stalin moved the Soviet frontier westward so Lviv became part of the USSR under the name Lvov (still widely frequent, even locally). With the Ukrainian independence in 1991, the name was officially changed to Lviv (Львів).
Lviv is located in the most Ukrainian region of Ukraine. When it was a Soviet province, most signs were only in Ukrainian, and only a few also in Russian. Because of its Polish and Austro-Hungarian history, Lviv has a Central European flair in its architecture that makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe. Lviv has even been called "the capital of Ukrainian culture". The people there are very warm, though somewhat direct (which is very common in eastern Slavic cultures).
Since slightly before the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, the city has become more and more tourist-friendly. All downtown street signs are in both Ukrainian and English, and the staff of the Information Center on Rynok Square speaks many different languages. Maps, schedules of local events, and tourist guides can be obtained there for free in English, German, Polish, and Russian. There are even small information kiosks beside some monuments (small touch-screen tv's that offer maps and information about the city). Visiting Lviv is very rewarding for the pioneer traveller, as living is extremely cheap here and the place has a truly authentic feeling, unlike places like Kraków or Prague, which are swamped with tourists.
- Lviv international airport (Міжнародний аеропорт Львів імені Данила Галицького), Liubinska str., 168 (is within the city border just 7 km from the beautiful central city. Taxi from the airport to town (or vice versa) should cost around UAH45, depending on the time of day. Negotiate prior to departure. There is line 9 operated by trolleybuses from Airport to city centre (UAH1.25, also available 50% discounts for students), and line 48 operated by buses (UAH2, without discounts) from the airport. Both are frequent (every 10–15 minutes).), ☎ . (IATA: LWO) Its brand-new terminal building replaced the cramped old one, which is still seen nearby as a sublime example of Stalinist architecture, with gorgeous sculptures that are, unfortunately, visible from the runways only. - Lviv is served via direct international routes including daily flights from Vienna (Austrian Airlines), Munich (Lufthansa), Warsaw (LOT Polish Airlines). You can also fly from Kiev (4-5 daily flights by UIA, UTair Ukraine, Dniproavia) and Moscow (1-2 flights a day by UTAir and Yamal airlines). Wizz Air is the only budget carrier flying to Lviv (Dortmund, Venice-Treviso, Milan). Other options are Istanbul by Turkish Airlines or Pegasus, and Timisoara, Romania by Carpatair. Czech Airlines operates flights to Prague during the summer months.
- Klepariv Railway station (Залізнична станція Клепарів), Shevchenka T. Str, 158 (North-West), ☎ +380 32 226-2464, 2460.
- Lviv Central Railway station (Центральний залізничний вокзал Львів), Dvirtseva Sq, 1 (NW of the centre, take a westbound tram), ☎ . International trains from Budapest and Kraków. For more information see here
- Lviv Suburban Railway station (Залізнична станція Львів), Vul. Horodots'ka str., 110 (West of the centre, take a westbound tram), ☎ .
- Railway cash desk (Залізнична каса), Hnatiuka V. akad. str., 20/22 (Centre), ☎ . For train tickets.
- Railway cash desk (Квиткові каси приміського сполучення), Horodotska str.,112 (West of the centre, take a westbound tram), ☎ . For suburban tickets.
- There are trains coming from throughout Ukraine, including multiple daily trains (including 3-4 overnight trains) from Kyiv. The timings can be inconvenient - one night train from Kyiv gets in at 04:20, the one back to Kiev gets there at 07:00 - and hotels in Kyiv really like to book that pair of trains for their clients. For better options, check the timetables at poezda.net and buy the ticket at any train station in Ukraine.
- Bus station No.1 (Автостанция №1), Vul. Stryiskyi, (ул. Стрыйская,) 109 (South 6 km). Buses from Warsaw, Przemyśl, Lublin, Wrocław and Prague. For more information on international buses see Western_Ukraine#By_bus and here- Suburb marshrutka routes
- Bus station No.2 (Автостанція 2), Khmelnytskogo, (л. Б. Хмельницкого,) 225 (N 3km of centre), ☎ . - International lines- Region routes - regional marshrutka routes
- Bus station No.8 (Автостанція 8), Dvirtseva Sq, 1 (NW-W, at the R.S.), ☎ . - International lines, - Region bus routes, - marshrutka routes
For more information see Western_Ukraine#By_car
From Poland: take the E40, this will end at the city centre. Keep in mind that all formalities at the border take from one hour upwards. There will be a long line for trucks, which you can pass if you travel by car. Don't expect the border police to treat you respectfully, or speak any language other than Ukrainian, Polish or Russian. In fact, expect the very opposite regarding both.
It is also illegal to drive in the city centre (including Prospekt Svobody) on Sundays and holidays. This is signposted in Cyrillic only, and there are always some police present to catch some unsuspecting foreigner, so keep this in mind.
Lviv has an extensive tram and mini-bus network.
- Mini-buses (UAH2) are known as marshrutky and follow a set route, but without a fixed timetable. To indicate a desire to board, extend one arm as the marshrutka approaches; simply ask the driver to stop when you would like to get off. However some drivers can will to stop the bus for you on the nearest stop only because of fear of tickets from police. Lines 1 to 179.
- Trams and trolleybuses cost UAH1.50 (tickets for students are UAH0.75) (Jun 2012). You can purchase tickets from any news kiosk or from driver in tram. Ask for a "tramvainyi bilet". Keep in mind that if you are carrying a piece of luggage larger than a backpack you will need to purchase a second ticket for it. Once inside the tram, be sure to validate your ticket(s) by punching them in one of the metal punches mounted on the walls. An inspector may come around to check your ticket - these people do not wear uniforms but flash a little badge. It's interesting to note that mostly all of the drivers of the trams and ticket checkers are women.
- Taxis are available throughout the city, and the city centre is swarming with them at night. When they aren't equipped with a meter you must agree on a price with the driver ahead of time. It's usually cheaper when taxis do have meter, but even then they may not to turn it on for you. It's usually cheaper to order a taxi by phone than catch a taxi on the street.
Churches in the "Old Town"
- Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Tserkva Preobrazhennia Hospoda Nashoho Isusa Khrysta, Церковь Преображения Господа Нашего Иисуса Христа), Krakivs'ka str, 21. appeared on the site of the former church of the Holy Trinity which was part of The Trinitarian fathers monastery (1703). 1783 the monastery was closed. Inside the church organized a library and assembly hall. Burned out. The Church of Transfiguration,consecrated on 29 April 1906.
- Armenian Cathedral (Вірменського собору), Virmenska str, 7-13. An architectural complex of the centre around which other buildings are grouped to form three small enclosed courtyards. Constructed between 1363 and 1370, later remodelled a few times. Very interesting interior.
- Dominican Roman-Catholic Church (Домініканський костьол (Церква Пресвятої Євхаристії)), Muzeina sq, 1. Built in the Gothic style in the years 1370-1375. Impressive Baroque temple rebuilt for Dominicans in 18th century. Resembles the church of St. Charles Borromeus in Vienna with its concave façade and huge elliptical dome. After WW2 the building served as a warehouse and later Museum of Religion and Atheism, now it is a Greek Catholic parish church.
- Assumption Church (Успенскої церкви), Pidvalna str, 9. In the 1550s the Dormition brotherhood emerged in which the school operated and printing. The 65m high church has a two-headed Russian eagle image as the memory of the significant donation of funds to build a church, made by Russian Tsar Fedor Yoannovychem in 1592. Here is also Chapel of the Three Holy Bishops (Каплиця Трьох святителів) a Renaissance architecture, built by architect Peter Krasovsky in 1578-1591, it is adjacent to one side of the northern wall of the Assumption Church. Also here is the Tower of Korniakt (Вежа Корнякта), built as the belfry of the Assumption Church, served as defence towers in the siege and fire guards patrol the item, built in 1572-1578.
- Jesuit Roman-Catholic Church (Костьол єзуїтів), Teatral'na str, 11. based on Rome's Il Gesu church. Could accommodate up to 5,000 faithful. Built in baroque style, in the years 1610-1630 while finishing work continued into 1660. In 1775-1848, the church building took place in meetings of the birth of the Diet "Galicia, the first provincial parliament.
- Cathedral (Latin) (Кафедральний (Латинський) собор), Katedralna sq., 1 (southwestern corner of Market Square. Next to the Latin Cathedral). Founded in the 1360s, built a long time - up to 1481, in typical European Gothic style. In the walls - high windows, covered with stained glass. Parts: Kampianiv Chapel (Каплиця Кампіанів)- built near the northern wall of the Latin Cathedral in 1619 - and the Boimiv Chapel (Каплиця Боїмів) which built as a tomb in 1610's for the merchant Boim family. A mannerist architecture marvel all made of black stone.
- Bernardynskyi monastyr (Бернардинський монастир), Square Soborna, (Соборна пл.,) 1-3. The monastery occupies a triangular plot, which was the basis for the shaft between the Galician city gates and Royal bastion, and the top - a strong bastion of what was called Bernardine. It was surrounded by strong stone walls with battlements and a tower with Hlynyanskymy gate. There were adjacent farm buildings - smithy, stable, and others. The monastery main part is the Bernardyns'kyi Roman-Catholic Church (Бернардинський костьол). First built in wood, in 1600, finishing work continued into 1630. In 1738-1740 rebuilt in hewn stone.
Other Churches and Synagogues
- St. George's Cathedral (Greek Catholic) baroque-rococo cathedral located an the hill
- Dormition Cathedral (Orthodox) built between 16th and 17th century i Renaissance style. Next to it stands 65 meter high Korniakt Tower.
- Russian Orthodox Cathedral
- Tsori Gilod Synagogue, vul. Bratya Mikhnovskie, built in 1925, used as a warehouse during the German occupation, returned to the Jewish community in 1989, then renovated.
- Golden Rose Synagogue was the oldest synagogue in Ukraine. In 1941 the Nazi invaders destroyed the building together with other synagogues. Today one can visit the foundations and one remaining wall; also, there is a commemorative plaque. All this is hidden behind a high fence and can be approached only when one crosses the terrace of a restaurant that claims to be Jewish, but is not - the "Golden Rose". It looks as if the restaurant's outer part were built especially to hide the historical Jewish place as well as the commemoration site.
- Temple of Svaty Apostola Andriia (Xрам св. Апостола Андрія), Varshavska str., 38 (NW).
- St. Parasceva Pyatnitsy Church (Церква св. Параскеви П'ятниці), Khmelnytskoho B. str, 63 (NW. Near to Beer Museum). In 1645 the church built of stone whoop (in bottom) and brick.
- Armenian Roman-Catholic Church (Вірменський костьол), Zamarstynivska str., 9 (NW). A half-round apse temple built in the 1630's. Gothic architecture.
- Church and monastery of Saint Onufrii (Церква та монастир свОнуфрія), Khmelnytskoho B.str, 36 (NW). Here was a wooden church, where monks settled in the early 15th century. Around 1550, Prince Constantine Ostrozhsky built a brick church. In the 18th century, there were two churches: a primary - the so-called "big church" and the Trinity Chapel on the south side - the "small church," built in 1680. In 1776 the "high (big) church" and the chapel were connected. In 1821 -1824, the eastern area of the altar was expanded, and the sacristy and porch were constructed. Finally in 1902, the north aisle was built, repeating the shape of the southern chapel. As a result the church now has three naves.
- Church of St. Nicholas (Церква Cв. Миколая), Khmelnytskoho B. str., 28. From the primary structures of the 8th century, only the lower part of the foundation and walls composed of blocks of white limestone have survived. In the 18th century, the church was covered with shingles. The condition of the church's interior is extremely poor.
- Museum of ancient monuments of Lviv (Музей найдавниших пам'яток Львова), Uzhhorodska str,1 (NW.), ☎ +380 32 272-2886.. In the Church of St. John the Baptist. The exhibits contains archaeological findings, antiquities, works of art, and historical information about the oldest period of the city.
- Church of the Saint Family of Reformat Order (остьол Св. Родини ордену реформатів), Shevchenka T. str, 66, (NW). Roman-Catholic.
- Saint Anna Temple (Храм св. Анни), Shevchenka T. str, 1 (NW). First a wooden church was built in 1507. In 1599, it was restored. A stone church was then constructed here in the 1760's.
- Church of Klarysok (Saint Clare) (Костьол кларисок (св. Клари)), Mytna sq, 2. Roman-Catholic.
- Saint George (Jura) Cathedral (собору св. Юра), Sviatoho Yura sq, 5 (SW). Built in 1363-1437 here built a stone church, Byzantine basilica style. The present Cathedral built in 1744-1770, it is a classic example of Baroque architecture of the period.
- Church of the Holy Spirit (Церква Святого Духа), Kopernyka M. str., 40. During WW2. the church was destroyed. Preserved only bell-tower - stone, square in plan, three-storey, with baroque completion. In 1786 it set the clock. In 1957 the monument was restored. Now here is open Mermaids Dnistrova Museum.
Monuments in the "Old Town"
- Griffon House (гриффонів будинок), Krakivs'ka str., 34. original staircase, decorated with fine reliefs in the Empire style with motifs Griffon, vases and playful sense. Relief, that contain trade mark.
- City Theatre (M. Zankovetska Ukrainian Drama Theatre) (Міський театр (Український драматичний театр ім. М. Заньковецької)), Lesi Ukrainky str, 1, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Built in in the style of Viennese classicism. Length is about 96m, width 76m, area of 7,000m². One of Europe's largest theatre buildings after Milan's La Scala and the court theatre in Dresden. Since 1944 home of the Zankovetska theatre troupe.
- Lviv Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre (Театр опери і балету ім. І. Франка (С. Крушельницької),Lvivskyi Derzhavnyi akademichnyi teatr Opery ta baletu imeni Solomyiyi Krushelnytskoii), 28 Svobody ave (Centre western limit). Founded in June 1897. Lavishly decorated both outside and inside.
- Narodnyi Dim (Nation Home) (Народний Дім), Teatralna str., 22. One of the oldest and richest cultural and educational institutions in Galicia, in 1849-1939. At the People's House, there were a library and museum. It was some time Russian Casino, Academic Club, a place for the "Society Russians ladies". In 1862 moved here the first Ukrainian academic high school. Here opened the Seminary. In addition to schools, there is contained Archaeological, Art and Natural History Museum.
- Poleyovskiy house (будинок Полейовський), Krakivska str., (Краківська вул.) 24. Corner house longer side face (north) out on the street Ukrainian Lesya. Building dates from 1780's. (Architect P. Poleyovskiy), restructured in 1783 and 1894. Architecture stone shows stylistic features Baroque and Historicism. This mansion a three-story, brick building. At the level of the ground floor façades laid ashlar. Centre accented balcony on stone consoles, 18th century. Today the building is used as a dwelling house. Also there are more monument buildings on Krakivska str at numbers 4, 13, 15, 17 and 22.
- Patio's house (будинок із дворик), Lesi Ukrainky str. (Лесі Українки вул.) 10. Three storey, brick, rectangular in plan building with patio. Rebuilt in the XIX century. Smooth plastered facade diversify flat pilasters. Also monument houses on Lesi Ukrainky street: No. 12, 14, 16 and 26.
- Royal Arsenal (Королівський арсенал), Pidvalna str., 13. Built by order of polish King Wladyslaw IV. Because it was the Main Royal Arsenal, built between the city walls. Completed in 1646. The façade of the building was decorated bronze sculptures, cast in 1639, now is in History Museum. The building is made of stone, rectangular plan, with two L-shaped wings connected by a wall, these walls to protect the east side of the patio. The façade decorated with balcony and pediment in baroque style. On the side façade of the east wing preserved carved stone portal in the Renaissance style.
- Fedorova house (будинок Федорова), Fedorova I. str. (Федорова І. вул.) 1. This four-storey building, invalid quadrilateral plan with patio. Three open fronts - in Armenian Street, Fedorova Street and Stavropihyyskoy square, - plastered, painted lower floors. Built in the 17th century. This house has kept features of different eras and style.
- Seasons house (Kам'яниця Пори року), Virmenska str., (Вірменська вул.) 23. A plastered, elongated, four storey house made of brick. The last renovation was in the 19th century, it holds its shape today. Façade design style of late classicism: the second and third floors are connected by Ionic pilasters, between them at the second floor is a depiction of Chronos and at the sides - four reliefs with scenes from people's everyday lives, symbolizing seasons. Above, in front stretched the entire length of frieze depicting the zodiac signs. Painted in 1860's. Also there monument houses on Virmenska street: No. 17, 27 and 33
- Domazhyrs'ka house (Kам'яниця Домажирська), Virmens'ka str., 15. The house top floor made in the 18th century. A brick, plastered, three storey invalid rectangle form building with a narrow courtyard. The main architectural accent of the main facade is a big portal, keystone is the stone along with two symmetrically positioned consoles supporting a balcony with openwork metal grille.
- Ratusa (Town hall) (Ратуша), Market Square, Ploshcha Rynok, Площа Ринок. You can climb the tower of the town hall: go in via the main entrance, wander about until you see a sign 'вхид на вежу', then follow those signs up 103 steps to a ticket-office and up 305 more steps to the top of the tower. There's a great view of the Old Town, and this is clearly one of the romantic spots of the city: I saw a marriage-proposal there. The City Hall is made of brick, four-square plan, with patio, in 1830-1835, in the Viennese classicism style. Added the town hall a clock tower. Around the building on the square are three fountains in 1900's: first the Fountain Adonis (to Northeast) has an cup, which stands on the pavement, in the centre of a star, outlined in red and black stone. In the centre of the bowl - a statue of the hero character of ancient mythology Adonis with a dog and boar killed him; Fountain Neptune (to Southwest) In the centre of the bowl - a statue of ancient mythology character Neptune,- the Roman god of freshwater and the sea,- which is situated at the feet of dolphin; and also on the square is the Fountain Amphitrite (to Northwest) with a statue of ancient mythology character Amfitryta, consort of Neptune with a dolphin.
- Public casino (Casino of Herkhard) or House of Scholars (Народне казино (Казино Герхарда) - Будинок вчених), Lystopadovoho Chynu str., 6 (West). Monument of architecture.
- Lychakivsky Tsvyntar (Lychakiv Cemetery, Ukrainian: Личаківський цвинтар, translit. Lychakivs’kyi tsvyntar; Polish: Cmentarz Łyczakowski we Lwowie) (East 5km). There are about four hundred thousand people buried here, including Ukrainian heroes such as Ivan Franko; the park is enormous, and very pleasant to wander around on a network of variously-maintained paths. At the back of the cemetery are a moving series of recently-built war memorials, in the same style as Western World War One cemeteries, to the dead of the 1918-1921 Ukrainian civil wars.
- Union of Lublin mound, High Castle (Vysokyi zamok); The place where a historic castle used to stand and now stands a mound built in 1869 to commemorate 300th anniversary of Lublin Union. On the mound there is an observation platform with nice views of the city and another sandy mound, which you can also climb, and which has a cross devoted to the dead of the war in Afghanistan. From the mound you can walk around the whole central hill-park of the town.
- Shevchenko Monument, donated by members of the Argentine Ukrainian diaspora, and absolutely unmistakable in the centre of town; a sculpture of the writer, and a wave-shaped monument with Ukrainian folk-art motifs rising to his side. Sometimes seems to be used by locals as a climbing-wall, but I would advise foreigners against this.
- Lviv Municipal Theatre, 36 Horodotska str.
- Lviv University (named after Ivan Franko) (Ukrainian: Львівський університет)
- National Polytechnic University
- Lviv Rail Terminal built in 1904 Art Nouveau wonder.
- Former "European" Hotel (Колишній Готель Європейський), Mitskevycha A. sq, 4. Rebuilt in 1930. From 1950, to 1980 it was - the hotel "Ukraine". After 2006 this building is a branch of the Ukreximbank.
Museums in the "Old Town"
- Arsenal Museum (Державний історичний музей старовинної зброї Арсенал), Pidvalna str.,(вул. Підвальна,) 5, ☎ +380 235-7060, 235-8061. Summer 10:00-17:30; winter: 10:00-16:30. It was a city fortification, built in 1554-1556, in Renaissance military architecture style. Weapons and armour from medieval times to the beginning of 20th century, from over 30 countries. The museum is located in the oldest (16th century) of three historic arsenal buildings in Lviv.
- The Lviv National Museum (Національний музей у Львові ім. А.Шептицького), Svobody ave, (пр. Свободи,) 20, ☎ . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. The main building displays Ukrainian Art from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century. Note that the Lviv Art Gallery mainly shows foreign art in its art collections so if you are more interested in Ukrainian art you should definitely visit this museum. About the buildings: former Art and Industry Museum, built in 1904, in Neo-Renaissance style. From 1950 to 1990 it housed a branch of the Central Lenin Museum. UAH9, children UAH3; temporary exhibitions: 3/1; permanent exhibitions: 5/1. Excursions: 15/10. Tours in (English, Polish, Russian): UAH50..
- Museum of Natural history, Vul. Teatral'na. (вул. Театральна,), 18, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Th,Sa-Su 10:00-17:00. Collection include more than 500,000 items. The museum building is in the palace 'Dzieduszyckis - Magistrates', 18th century building, in the 19th century rebuilt in the classical style. One of the items that are most proud of the museum is Europe's first full carcass hairy rhinoceros and mammoth unearthed from Starunia village, (Ivano-Frankivska oblast) an earlier mud volcano site.
- The Gallery of Ukrainian Military Uniforms (Галерея українського військового однострою), Rynok sq., 40, ☎ . Tu-Su 11:00-18:00. The exhibition represented uniform and Ukrainian troops from the early twentieth century.
- "Under the Black Eagle" Pharmacy Museum (Аптека-музей "Під чорним орлом"), Drukars'ka str., 2 (st. Stavropihiis'ka, 1) (at the Market Square in the corner house, where Drukarskaya and Stavropigiyskaya streets begin.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9:00-19:00, Sa-Su 10:00-18:00. The oldest pharmacy in Lviv, opened in 1735. More than three thousand items. 16 exhibition halls with a total area of 700m². UAH8.
- Museum of the History of Religion (Львівський музей історії релігії), Museina sq.,(пл. Музейна,) 1, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tue - Sun 10.00 - 18.00. An interesting museum documenting both Jewish and Christian history of Lviv in one of Lviv's biggest and most beautiful Baroque churches of 14 - 18th century. The museum has a specialized library of religious profile, which is unique in the state. Among the 150 000 copies - labours of theologians of Kyiv, Lviv, St. Petersburg and Moscow Theological Academies and their periodicals. And religious literature of Catholic institutions from Italy, Germany, Austria, France and Poland. A collection of religious books of the Crimean Khanate time, works of publishing house of Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome. An unique collection of Bibles in different languages: Greek, Latin, German, French, Chinese, English, etc. Among them - the Ostrog Bible of Ivan Fedorov, the Paris edition of 1563, and a the Venetian edition of 16 century. Adults/discount 10/5 UAH; Guided tour: 50/30 UAH..
- Dzyha GalleryA (Галерея сучасного мистецтва "Дзига"), St. Virmenska, 35, ☎ +380 (32) 297-56-12, (+38032) 276-74-20, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A showroom of a cultural and artistic association of the city. That supports, produces and promotes multi-genre contemporary arts: art, music, literature, theater, cinema, multimedia and more.
- Museum of Post (Музей пошти, Палац Бандінеллі), Rynok sq., 2, ☎ . Th-Tu 10.00-17.30. In the beautiful Palace of Bandinelli, built in the late renaissance, in the late 16th century. At the beginning of XVII century building became the property of the Florentine merchant R. Bandinelli who known that he perfected the Lvov-mail. Since 1629, it housed the first post office in Ukraine. In the 19th century there was a bookstore, a Club for intellectuals. Currently the museum is not working? Adults/discount 10/5 UAH, Excursions: 40/20 UAH.
- Hotyk-Khol (Gothic Hall) Art Gallery (Арт-галерея Готик-Хол), Rynok sq., 6, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. An 'Antique shop-salon' in Kornyak Palace, has more than 300 years of history and is one of the masterpieces of Lviv and, simultaneously, the European architecture of the Middle Ages. Its first description refers to the 17-th century. The building was designed by architect Peter Barbone. Paintings and drawings, icons, furniture, interior decor items, tableware, household items, sculptures, jewelry, vintage, watches and coins. Free or Temporary Exhibitions: adults/discount 5/2 UAH.
- Museum of furniture and porcelain (Музей меблів та порцеляни), Rynok sq.,(пл. Ринок,) 10, ☎ . Tu-Su:11 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.. There a remarkable collection of almost 700 examples of Ukrainian and European furniture, and textiles as well as 17th-19th-century metalwork. The museum also owns a collection of porcelain, art glass and pottery from the 16th-20th centuries that includes over 11,000 artifacts.
- Herdan gallery (Галерея Гердан), Rus'ka str., 4, ☎ +380 (32) 272-50-46, +380 (32) 297-10-01. M-F: 14.00-17.00. Exhibition and sale of contemporary art: painting, graphics, ceramics.
- Lviv Historical Museum, Department of “Ancient History of Ukraine and Archaeology Department (Львівський історичний музей), Rynok sq., 24, ☎ . Th-Tu 10.00-17.30. About the building: the Massarivs'ka Palace (Кам'яниця Массарівська) rebuilt in Renaissance style after a fire in 1527. The last realignment was in 1920. Attica parapet was replaced with a bas-relief work Kurchynskoho, this time to include balcony and sculpture over the portal. Brick, plastered, elongated in the bottom plot, four-storey building. There are remains of Gothic windows of the ground floor. Divided into many departments most of which are in the old town displaying archeology, history from medieval times up to the Ukrainian struggle for nationalism, as well as jewellery and armoury. Adult / children 10/5 UAH, tours 40/20 UAH.
- The L'viv Art Gallery, 3 Stefanyka st. Divided into several departments the central of which is on display at Potoskiy Palace showing mainly Renaissance and Baroque European art (for Ukrainian art see National Museum). Nearby is the Palace of Arts where changing contemporary art exhibitions take place. Other interesting branches of the Lviv Gallery are the Museum of Ancient Books, Museum of Relics and Pinsel Museum (dedicated to the local Baroque wood carver).
- Museum of Ethnography and Arts and Crafts (Музей етнографії та художнього промислу Інституту народознавства Н.А.Н. України), 15 Svobody ave (W), ☎ . The museum has an unique and extensive collections of monuments of culture and traditional ukrainian folk art, and examples of decorative art. 5 UAH normal, 2 UAH discount..
- Museum of National Folk Architecture and Rural Life «Shevchenkivsky Hay». 1 Chernecha Gora str. On the central hill about a half-hour walk from the Lychakivskiy Cemetery. This is a collection of wooden buildings from all over Western Ukraine, dismantled and reassembled here; the multi-tiered churches are the most spectacular buildings, and are all still working churches. Tickets: 10 UAH normal, UAH5 discount.
- Beer Brewing Museum (Музей пива во Львове), Kleparivska str, 18 (NW 2km). Renovated in 2009. The museum has a tasting room, where you can try all sorts of beautiful in a cosy atmosphere. UAH15 normal, UAH10 discount.
- The History of Printing Museum
- Museum of Meteorology
- Panchyshyn Museum of the History of Medicine
- Museum of Embroidered Icons
- Museum of art ancient Ukrainian book (Музей мистецтва давньої української книги), Kopernyka M. str.,15 (SW), ☎ . Museum and research centre. Collections of the museum include 12,000 exhibits, including manuscripts and Early Printed Books. Book plates and book illustrations, pedagogical literature. The exposition consists of four rooms.
- Palace of art (Львівський Палац мистецтв), Kopernyka M. str., 17 (In the centre), ☎ . Exhibition Centre.
- Attend a concert or festival. L'viv has been called the "Queen of Festivals" as a city, because there is often a different festival every other week. Some festivals with many free activities are the Chocolate Festival, the Coffee Festival, and the Alpha Jazz Festival. Stop by the Tourist Information Center on Rynok Square to find out more about what festivals are happening during your stay in L'viv.
- S. Krushelnytska Opera House, Svobody Ave. In the very heart of L'viv the historic opera house offers regular performances of various operas and ballets. Tickets can be purchased at the theatre cashier ("Kaca") ranging in price from 50UAH to 80UAH. Even if opera and ballet is not your cup of tea, a night at the theatre is worthwhile, at the very least, to enjoy this spectacular venue.
- Gutsulsky Dvir (Lviv restaurant). (36 Schyretska str.) is one of the most picturesque ethnic restaurants in the city. Ukrainian ethnic cuisine, great atmosphere of wooden restaurant with lots of trees around is a must to visit while staying in L'viv.
- Lviv philharmonic Society Concert hall (Львівська обласна філармонія), Chaikovs'koho P. str.,7, ☎ .
- Visit the Bania, a Russian style sauna for men and women (non-communal). There are a few located in L'viv and well worth the trip. The experience can be mildly confronting for the prudish Westerner, as all activities are conducted in the nude but don't worry, it is a highly civilized environment.
Parks and gardens
- Ivan Franko Park (Парк ім. Івана Франка (колишній парк Костюшко)), str. Universytetska (вул. Університетська) (1 km West from centre). is oldest park in the city. Traces of that time may be found in three- hundred-year-old oak and maple trees. Upon the abrogation of the Jesuit order in 1773 the territory became the town property. A well-known gardener Bager arranged the territory in the landscape style, and most of trees were planted within 1885-1890.
- Bohdan Khmelnytsky Culture and Recreation Park (Парк культури та відпочинку імені Богдана Хмельницького), streets Striyskeyu (SW 1.5 km from old town). in the Halych district of the city , interesting garden art local value ( 1984 ). is one of the best organized and modern green zones containing a concert and dance hall, stadium, the town of attractions, central stage, numerous cafes and restaurants. In the park there are Ferris wheel. - Located between the streets Striyske , Guardyisko , Vitovskogo and Zaritsky. At the top of the park is culture Glory Monument . The area of the park - 26 hectares.
- Stryiskyi Park (Стрийський парк), Between Str. Stryis'ka and Str. Ivana Frank, 156 (1.5km South from old town, Take bus No.30. or trolley No.25 to 'Park Kultury' stop). It is considered one of the most picturesque parks in the city. The park numbers over 200 species of trees and plants. It is well known for a vast collection of rare and valuable trees and bushes. At the main entrance gate you will find a pond with swans.
- Regional Landscape Park Znesinnya (Регіональний ландшафтний парк «Знесіння»), Street Novoznesens'ka, (вулиця Новознесенська) (1.5km northeast,). Ideal site for cycling, skiing sports, and hiking. Located on green hilly parts of the historical village Znesinnya. Area: 312.1 ha. The Park includes rare specimens of plants, as well as sandstones, limestones containing fossils, hills covered by forests and picturesque valleys with ponds and streams.
- Shevchenkivskyi Hay (Шевченківський гай), Vul. Chernecha hora. (вул. Чернеча гора) (Nearby (west) is a park "High Castle".), ☎ . 10:00-18:00. In the park situated unique open air museum that has gathered the best collection of Ukrainian wooden architecture. Museum successfully combines hilly terrain, vegetation Carpathians restored and carefully moved historic buildings from different regions of Western Ukraine. The park - approx. 84 ha. UAH15.
- High Castle Park (Високий Замок парк) (1km NE). It situated on the highest city hill (413m) and occupies the territory of 36 hectares consisting of the lower terrace once called Knyazha Hora (Prince Mount), and the upper terrace with a television tower and artificial embankment.
- Zalizni Vody Park (Залізна Вода), Located between the streets Stusa, Myshugy, Ternopylska and Yaroslavenka (2km S). Originated from the former garden Zalizna Voda (Iron water) combining Snopkivska street with Novyi Lviv district. The park owes its name to the springs with high iron concentration. This beautiful park with ancient beech trees and numerous paths is a favorite place of many locals. The total area of 19.5 hectares the park . Here, among the western slopes of the plateau of Lviv , near the park originates Poltva. In the park you can see the outputs of marl, which is the reason for the existence of multiple sources . The name of the park comes from the high iron content in the springs that flow here. - Vegetation: beech, pine , oak, birch, poplar , willow , ornamental trees and shrubs. It also grows old apple orchard .
- Lychakivskyi Park (Личаківський парк), Between Street Tsetnerivka, Street Lychakivska & Street Pasichna. Founded in 1892 and named after the surrounding suburbs. A botanic garden is situated on the park territory, founded in 1911 and occupying the territory of 18.5 hectares. At the park is a sportcomplex of the Lviv State University of Physical Culture, the "Stadium Skiff".
- Dobrobut Shopping centre (Торговий центр Добробут), Stara str., 3 (NW), ☎ (032) 297-56-14.
- Magnus Shopping centre (Торговий центр Магнус), Shpytal'na str.,1 (NW), ☎ (032) 244-42-65.
- King Cross Leopolis (Кінг Кросс Леополіс), Stryiska Str., 30 (S), ☎ (032) 242-05-80.
For more information on currency see here
Both ATMs (known as "bankomats") and currency exchanges ("obmin valyuti") are ubiquitous throughout Lviv, particularly in the city center. Most, but not all, ATMs will accept Visa and MasterCard. Currency exchanges will often only accept foreign currency in pristine condition. Travellers' checks are not very useful in Lviv; however, there are still a few hotels and banks that will cash them for you.
Credit cards are now widely accepted in many of the city center restaurants, cafes, hotels and some hostels. Also at the main bus station and long distance train station. Surprisingly, lots of small grocery stores now also accept plastic.
You should be aware that attempting to pay for something inexpensive with a large denomination (50 UAH and above) will often at the very least annoy the shopkeeper; salespeople may even refuse to sell to you if you do not have any smaller denominations. Grocery stores and other high-volume shops are an exception to this rule.
Life in Lviv is very cheap. It's not difficult to find a place where you can have a full meal for €2. The challenge is rather ordering if you don't speak Ukrainian.
- Arsen #2 Supermarket (Супермаркет Арсен N2), Chornovola V. ave., 93 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (322) 97-60-70.
- Staryi Lytsar Market (Ринок Старий лицар), Chornovola V. ave., 67 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 224-71-36.
- Potato House Fast Food Restaurant (Ресторан Картопляна хата), Chornovola V. ave., 65 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ +(32) 252-19-75.. Restaurant chain
- McDonald's Restaurant (Ресторан Макдональдз), Chornovola V. Ave., 12 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 297-04-14. Restaurant chain. Wi-Fi.
- Krakivs'kyi Market (Ринок Краківський), Bazarna Str., 11 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 233-80-54.
- Bistro (Бістро), Kulisha P. str., 13 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 272-21-65.
- Bistro (Бістро), Horodotska str., 11 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 240-35-98. Fast Food Chain
- Puzata Hata (Ресторан Пузата хата), Sichovykh Striltsiv Str., 12 (Northwestern quarter). This Fast Food Chain offers hearty Ukrainian smörgåsbord. Cafeteria style eatery has a selection of traditional Ukrainian food mixed with some other food found around the area.
- Acropolis Tavern, just off Rynok Square. A Greek casual diner that has authentic dishes such as Gyros and Souvlaki for $3. The staff speak English and may well start dancing, in traditional style, given any amount of encouragement.
- Idalnia #1 Gurman (Gourmet), on Doroshenka 7. They are cooking only from Ukrainian products.
- Bäckerei Videnski bulochky (бекерай-кав'ярня Віденські Булочки), Katedralna Sqr. 3, ☎ . 08:00-22:00, Sat 08:00-23:00. Traditional Austrian cafe-bakery. Freshly baked French croissants, real German pretzel, Italian focaccia and ciabatta. Full menu featuring a selection of hot sandwich-baguettes, salads and soups.
- Cafe 1, sq. Katedralna 5, just off Rynok Square, in a sort of alley way, adjacent to the cathedral. A very cosy cafe / casual dining restaurant that offers a varied range of modern cuisine. It has a warm atmosphere with non-smoking and smoking areas plus friendly and thoughtful staff.
- Kavkaz (or Kaukaz) serves up Georgian cuisine on Zelena street. Try harcho soup and fig salad.
- Kupol, ☎ . Chaikovskogo 37. Has a touch of understated Habsburg grandeur. Homestyle quality.
- Museum of Ideas (Музей Ідей), Valova 18A, a kind of cultural centre located in Bernardine monastery cellars, with hand-made glass souvenirs gallery, exhibition space, sculptures and movie screenings. There's a good small restaurant there and in summer also a beer garden.
- New York Street Pizza. 5, Sichovys Striltciv Str, 51, Volodymyra Velykogo Str, 37, Patona Str, 4, Stefanyka Str, 36, Generala Chuprynky Str, 5, Tershakovtciv Str, 59, Grushevskogo Str, 1, Valova Str, 51, Chervonoi Kalyny pr, 2, Sv. Teodora pl. Tasty pizza, soups, salads, cakes and beverages.
- Pid Kelpsydroyu (Under Clepsydra). Vir’menska 35. In front of the entrance to the Dzyga Cultural Centre, you'll see about 15 large tables with patio umbrellas crowding the street. You'll also see the city's sophisticated set sipping Under Clepsydra's famous forest tea. Under Clepsydra has three sections. The indoor café/restaurant inspired by the Parisian brasseries of the left bank has two sections, smoking and non-smoking, that share a soundtrack of classic French jazz and folk music. Upstairs you’ll find the more popular late-night section of the establishment. But what really sets it apart from other Lviv hangouts is the menu. Vegetarian restaurants in Lviv are, well, non-existent, but Under Clepsydra you’ll find a collection of fresh, meat-free dishes made with local ingredients. Potato and mushroom crepes are less than €2, and fresh soups and salads are anywhere between €1-2. Menus are in English. The carnivorous set has plenty of options as well. Few dishes run more than €5, and entrees include duck, pork, grilled chicken, smoked salmon.
- Tsukerna, pr. Staroevraiski. Viennese-style cake and coffee.
- Amadeus has a broad European and Ukrainian menu in a 5 star environment with 4 star food and 2.5 star prices.
- Viden’ska Kavyarnia (Viennese Café), on the Svobody Prospect right side if you are facing the Opera House. This place has menus in English and English-speaking staff. A main course is around €3-4, a three-course meal €6-7. The Wiener Schnitzel is great, so are all the soups, the breakfasts, the potato pancakes and the Apfelstrudel.
- Veronica, on the Shevchenko Prospect is both a French style cafe (upstairs) and stylish restaurant downstairs.
- Mapa. (Map), Halyc'ka 4, a quiet café with a special atmosphere and tasty Italian coffee. There are three large rooms for visitors: a large room on the first floor, and old-style rooms in the basement.
- Rodzinka, near Saharova. It's a cafe.
- Pid Synioyu Plyashkoyu (Under the Blue Bottle), Ruska 4. Intimate, medieval.
- Hasova Lyampa (Kerosene Lamp). Virmenska 20. You’ll most likely see a man dressed in Olde Tyme regalia pacing in front of the entrance, beckoning people inside. If he’s not there another greeter awaits in the form of a metal statue sitting at a desk with a… you guessed it, lit gas lamp. Once inside you’ll find a spiral staircase ascending up three flights of dining space. Each floor is cozy, candle lit, and decorated with classic gas lamps. Gas Lamp also has one of Lviv’s best patios, in the form of their rooftop dining section. While the entrees are standard, the snacks that go with beer are real standouts. Try the seasoned croutons, chips and a variety of dipping sauces they’re the perfect accompaniment for their wide selection of cold local brews.
- House of Legends, Staroevreyska 48. A bar with small staircase connecting few floors and a roof terrace (great views!), where each room is differently designed around a theme of a Lvivian 'legend'.
- Kriyivka (Hiding Place in Ukrainian). “Slava Ukrayini” - the phrase means ‘Glory to Ukraine,’ and it’s your ticket to this underground, unmarked bar called Kryivka. When you do finally find it, state the password to a man toting a prop vintage machine gun, receive your shot of medovukha, and descend into the cozy wooden dining room you’ll be glad you took the time to find. This Ukrainian Independence themed bar is decorated with artifacts from Ukraine’s valiant struggle to stay autonomous - with guns, maps and posters lining the walls. You’ll also notice the names of dishes on the English menu harken back to a military tradition stretching back to the Austrian Empire. Culinary highlights include a half-metre long sausage, pickles soaked in honey and savory vereniky. There is also a bit of theatre during a dinner at Kryivka. If you’re lucky, a “Russian spy” may have snuck in to the restaurant and the brave staff will turn off the lights, grab a flashlight, root out this spy and serve him a healthy portion of justice. Once the intruder has been detached, celebratory live music erupts in the basement venue and locals burst into traditional songs of freedom.
- Masoch café, Serbska 7. A place where you get whipped by the bar staff. Yes, seriously.
- Robert Doms Beer House. Kleparivs'ka 18. Follow the tree lined street of Kleparivska as it winds up and down hills until you reach the easy to spot entrance of this beer hall and concert venue. It’s attached to the Lvivske Brewery. Depending on the nights festivities you may have to pay a small cover charge, but it’s well worth it, as early evening acts often include international Jazz bands, and late evening events often fall into the feverish dance music category. Descend a flight of stairs past a little merchandise stand to the cavernous first room. Sit down at a long beer garten style table and order a giant stein of the Lvivske beer. The name, Robert Doms comes from the man who founded the brewery in 1715 (also the name of their signature brew). The underground location and stone walls give Robert Doms Beer House great acoustics and an intimate feel. Or, if you’re not in the mood for music, head to the adjoining Austrian style pub room. Plush, wooden and well lit, this is a great place to watch a game of football with friends as the giant TV at the end of the room has a habit of sucking in people's attention.
- Kumpel. Vynnychenka 6. Mini-brewery and a beer restaurant on Mytna square.
- Kult. Cool underground bar.
- Pub Filharmonia above Kult, very cool underground feel.
- Franz Josef The twilight zone. 24 hour outdoor freak show. See the local intelligentsia acting rather unintelligent.
- Dublin Irish Pub. Kryva Lypa 5 in the busy courtyard just off Doroshenka St. The name is written in Cyrillic as well as Latin, so have no fears there. Dublin does a good job of not packing the tables in too tightly, you after you’ve grabbed a seat, don’t be shy to get up and wander around a little bit with a pint of any of their host of international beers in hand. If you happen to be hungry, you’ll be glad to know that the menu is in English (though the staff don’t speak English), and features many of the pub favourites you would expect at home. However, you’ll find that many of these dishes have been modified slightly as local ingredients are substituted for traditional ones. If football is your thing, Dublin Pub spares no expense. If there is a game on, anywhere in the world, chances are Dublin Pub will be showing it live. However, if your side happens to be playing at the same time as any of Ukraine’s club, or national teams you might want swallow your pride and join in, as you’re not likely to find anyone here who will permit you to change the channel.
- Korzo Irish Pub Though it may sometimes seem like it, not every bar or restaurant in Lviv has some kind of theme or hook, and Korzo Pub is one of these places. Located in the narrow Brativ Rohatinskiv street just off the main Rynok, Korzo is as close to your local pub as you’ll find in Lviv. Nothing too fancy here, just an oak bar, brass taps and well worn tables that have eavesdropped on hundreds of conversations, arguments and romantic encounters. Korzo also has a great selection of international spirits, so if you’re the kind of person who needs a shot of tequila to get the night going, this is your place. As the beer flows, you might want to try the fish soup, hearty and robust, locals say it is the perfect ballast to prevent a hangover the next morning. If quenching your thirst on a sunny afternoon of exploring is your goal, Korzo has one of Lviv’s largest patios.
The club scene in Lviv is thriving; with many options ranging from the cavernous clubs Metro and Millenium to the intimate and upmarket Zanzibar. There are usually entry charges but drink prices more than make up for this. In most clubs you are able to buy bottles of vodka for a reasonable price and simply chill at a table all evening.
- Fashion Club. Sq. Pidkovy 1. Bizarre nouveau riche.
- Club Metro (Нiчний клуб), Zelena 14, ☎ . Located on the outskirts of the centre, Metro isn’t the easiest place to spot during the day, but at night, just follow the hordes of fabulously dressed young people as they make their way there. Entrance will probably set you back about €3 and once inside the first thing you’ll see is a large disco. A raised platform in the centre of the dance floor features male and female go-go dancers (and any braves who decide to join them on stage). A bar opposite provides local beers, vodka and champagne. For a change of pace, head downstairs where you’ll find two more bars. One serves the techno and house room, the other the lounge, private rooms and the hip hop dance floor. To cool off from all of the dancing, hit the giant upstairs patio with its heat lamps during winter and umbrellas for those rainy Lviv nights.
- Millennium Club (Міленіум), Chornovola 2, ☎ . Featuring the restaurant "Tequila Bum", a casino, a state-of-the-art movie theatre, billiards and video games, it has something for everyone. As the largest disco in Western Ukraine, the entrance fee is a little steep compared to other local bars, but it rarely tops €5. Once inside, grab a table and sit back as bottles of vodka are delivered to your table or sidle up to any of four cocktail bars for a beer, mixed drink or shot. DJs from all over Eastern Europe come to Millennium to spin house, retro, electro and rock tunes. Guys should be prepared to wear dress shoes, pressed slacks and a dress shirt. Ladies, Lviv girls are some of the most stylish in the world, so dress like you mean it. You might get into the club in your street clothes - but you’ll feel out of place.
- Picasso (Пікассо), 88 Zelena St., ☎ . Picasso aims to be a relaxed alternative, it is located just up the road from Metro on Zelena St. in a large corner building. Getting in can be a little confusing. The door staff will point you to a door at the side of the building where you pay your entrance fee, usually between €3 and 5, and get a ticket. The first thing you’ll notice once inside is a giant vaulted ceiling with a ring of balconies surrounding the venue. Really, it looks more like a church than a club. At the far end is a massive stage, and below that, a roomy dance floor. Beers here run a little bit more than standard, but their selection caters to a more refined palate. The music and dress code here are also a bit more relaxed. Tunes range from disco to rock, with a little techno and house thrown in. One distinguishing feature of the music is volume; not cranked so loud you can’t hear yourself think, but not a library either. There is free coat check, and most patrons are dressed casually, which in Lviv means like models on their day off. The stellar lighting also makes this place a popular venue for concerts. As Lviv does not currently have a large music venue, many acts play Picasso if they can secure a night. The club also hosts private parties and events, so call ahead to make sure you can get in that night.
- Pozitiff, 14 Zelena St., ☎ . If you’ve been to Metro Club you may have noticed a long line of locals trying to gain access to Pozitiff. This place is not easy to get into, and there are no guarantees that your money, passport or even begging can ensure you gain entrance. It’s all the bouncers call. Your best bet is to arrive with a small group of the most attractive people you can find. At this point the door man will either let you in, or not. If he does you’ll have negotiate an entrance fee. This cover charge usually depends on how cool and attractive your group is: The better-looking, the lower the fee. Expect to pay close to €6 for entrance. As entrance is so difficult, some patrons make the most of their trial, floating through the bar mingling, chatting and flirting. Others, displaying the icy confidence that got them in in the first place simply recline in their booth and radiate cool. No matter how you choose to play this one you’ll find enough friendly professionals to chat with and if you need to check your email, the Internet café section remains operational even into the wee hours of a rocking party.
- Zanzibar. Cool, funky.
- Leroy Upmarket, mature crowd
L'viv has a variety of hotels, hostels and apartments to suit all budgets and needs. The best deals for budget travellers (2-3 people) are found with the lovely apartments for rent all over town - These can be found online (preferably in Russian) or on arrival at the train station. Expect to pay around 150-200 USD/mo. for a nice studio apartment with a kitchen, TV and a nice warm-water bathroom.
The hostel scene is quite new in L'viv so be sure to check reviews of hostels using well known booking agents and forums.
- Cats' house hostel, 20 Saksaganskoho St., apt. 4 (Second Floor) - вул. Саксаганського, 20, кв. 4, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 20 beds, 24 hour reception, English, Ukrainian, Russian speaking staff, free Wi-Fi, tea, coffee, breakfast, bed linen, towels, slippers included, washing machine, library, tourist assistance – information, maps, luggage storage. Hostel is in the old Austrian house in the middle of the city near tram and bus stop. From €6.
- Central Square Hostel, 5 Rynok Square, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12.00, check-out: 11.30. Cozy hostel located in the heart of the city - 18 beds, English, Polish, Russian speaking staff, free Wi-Fi, tourist information, free maps, coffee & tea, linens & towels included, washing machine. Also will show you the city. Bed in dorm 95 UAH, double room 350 UAH.
- Coffee Home Hostel, 1 Yavorskogo (Яворського) street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 11AM. Located right next to main square. Chamber hostel — 20 beds, English, Spanish, Russian speaking staff, free Wi-Fi, touristic information, free maps, breakfast, coffee & tea, linens & towels included, laundry. Coffee interior style. From €8.
- Host Families Association (HOFA). Based in St. Petersburg, HOFA will find you accommodations with an English-speaking host family. From €19.
- The Georgehouse Hostel, 1 Ustyjanovycha 8 (Устияновича 8), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-out: 11AM. 4-bed and 8-bed mixed dormitories, free wi-fi, maps, breakfast, linens & towels included, modern colourful design. Free bed on your birthday (with minimum stay two nights). From 95 UAH.
- The Kosmonaut Hostel, 4 Tomashivskoho St., apt. 5 (Second Floor) - вул. Томашівського, 4, кв. 5, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 20 beds, 24 hour reception, English speaking staff. Free Wi-Fi, tea, coffee, washing machine, rated the Best Hostel in Ukraine by Hostelworld.com 2008. For good reason too. With a central location, hot powerful showers and a friendly common room perfect for meeting other travellers, this hostel has it all. Some additional attractions like bania, AK-47 shooting trips etc. Staff are very helpful. From €7.
- Mini Hostel Lviv, Sichovyh Streltsov St., 12, Ap. 16, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Close to the Opera House. Free wi-fi, maps, coffee, tea, and free pub crawls. Guests get discounts for stay in the Mini Hostel Kiev. From €5.
- Old Ukrainian Home Hostel, Lepkogo (Лепкого) street, 12, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 11AM. Located in the centre of the city near the Lviv National University. Chamber hostel — 20 beds, English, Spanish, Russian speaking staff, free wi-fi, touristic information, free maps, breakfast, coffee & tea, linens & towels included, laundry. Old Ukrainian interior style. One bathroom with three showers, one kitchen with some dishes. A very neat and clean place, with a cosy backpacking atmosphere to it, kept by a very friendly young staff! From €8.
- Retro Hostel Shevchenko, Shevchenka prosp. 16, ☎ . One of the biggest and most centrally located hostels. Every room has a bathroom. Privates and dorms on few floors, with outdoor common area (table tennis, billiards, barbecue available free of charge). Residents get a discount at Metro Club. From €5.50.
- Roxelana Hostel (Lviv Backpackers Roxelana), Generala Chuprenke 50/4, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-out: 12:00. Accommodation within a majestic historical castle. This castle was once inhabited by a famous Count. We are very near to the train station. Offers discounts to nightclubs in town. Offers deals on city tours, pub crawls, gun shooting experiences and famous Russian saunas. Helpful and friendly English staff. From €7.
- Soviet Home Hostel, Drukarska 3, top floor, door code 250, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12AM, check-out: 11AM. - 2 $ Discount for Peace Corps volunteers! Comfortable beds, hot shower, breakfast and Soviet interior. From €10.
- Hostel TSisar Bankir (Хостел Цісар Банкір), Khmel'nyts'koho B. str., 23 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (3222) 5-56-27.+(67)6725076.
- Hostel Kosmonavt (Хостел Космонавт), Sichovykh Striltsiv str., 8 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 274-02-74.
- Arho Hotel (Готель Арго), Shevchenka T. str., 186 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 233-32-48 (32) 298-64-51.
- Trial Hotel (Готель Тріал), Zamarstynivska Str., 122 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 252-03-88.
- Herold Hotel, Restaurant (Готель Герольд), Pancha P. str., 7 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ + (32)2455431, (32)2455432.
- Vlasta Hotel (Готель Власта), Kleparivska str., 30 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ .
- Kupava deluxe Hotel (Готель Купава), Komarova Str., 17 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (322) 45-03-45, (322) 45-05-67.
- Electron Hotel (Готель Електрон), Kvitky-Osnovyanenka H., 4 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32) 233-50-44.
- Prestyzh Hotel (Готель Престиж), Yaroslava Mudroho Str.,33 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32)2444179, (32)2444178,(97)8488978.
- Irena Hotel (Готель Iрена), Storozhenka O. Str.,21 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ (32)2395894.
- Hotel Lviv (Готель Львів), Chornovola V. Ave., 7 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ .
- TSisar Hotel (Готель Цісар), Kotliarska Str.,3 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ +(322)358228,+(96)3723232.
- Staryi Krakiv Hotel (Готель Старий Краків), Shpytalna str.,21 (In the historic center), ☎ (32) 297-16-30. A new comfortable mini-hotel in a renovated three-storey mansion. Single, double and triple rooms. Cosy cafe on the ground floor.
- Kyiv Hotel (Готель Київ), Horodots'ka Str.,15 (Northwestern quarter), ☎ .
- Hotel George (Жорж), Pl. Mickiewicz 1, ☎ . Only some rooms have private bathrooms (from $73). $38–$121.
- Hotel NTON (Готель НТОН), Shevchenka St., 154b (вул.Шевченка 154б) (North-West 3 km from the downtown), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel "NTON" has been in operation since January 2001. Offers more than 70 modern comfortable rooms equipped with phones, TV-sat, showers and bathrooms, air conditioning, hairdryers, refrigerators with mini-bars. Hot & cold water is around a clock, heating is autonomous. Services include restaurant, guarded parking place, 4 conference halls, business center and free wireless Internet. The hotel transfer service brings you to the hotel and any destination point in the downtown or behind the city at any time. Moreover the hotel also has fitness complex 'Pharaoh' (offering pharaonic massage, fitness gym, solarium, sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi, IR-sweating). €28-€55 (breakfast included).
- Hotel Volter (Готель Волтер), Lypynskoho 60a (3 km from the downtown), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers 56 comfortable rooms of different categories, namely, standard, superior, semi-suite, Deluxe suite, equipped according to modern norms and standards. Includes round-the-clock hot and cold water supply, installed independent heating system, satellite television, telephone, hair-drier and mini-safe in each room. The restaurant's staff is available round-the-clock. €33-70 (breakfast included).
- Reikartz Dworzec Lviv, Gorodotskaya Street, 107, ☎ 00 38 (032) 235 0 888. It offers rooms with modern ambience, all of which have a private toilet and shower with bathtub, cable TV, Internet access, and mini-bar. Some of its amenities are fitness room/gym, a swimming pool, and a sauna. While staying here you can visit some tourist spots like Church of St. Olha and Elizabeth, Pharmacy Museum, and The High Castle Park. Best rates on official website start at €55.
- Wien Hotel (Відень Готел), Pl. Svobody 12, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. $70–$140 (breakfast included).
- Lion's Castle Hotel (Готель Замок Лева), Glinka str. 7, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $80–$160 (breakfast included).
- Hotel Dnister (Дністер), Mateyka st. 6, ☎ . $80–$260.
- Park-hotel “Drevny Grad” (Древній Град), 81123, Pustomyty region, camping, 7th km of Kyiv Highway, ☎ 00-38-(032)235-10-05, fax: 00-38-032 2351011, e-mail: email@example.com. 50-90$ (breakfast included).
- Opera Leopolis (Готель Леополіс), Teatralna Str. 17. Prestigious Leopolis Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of the city center.
- Hotel Eney (Еней), Shimzeriv st. 2, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €69-187.
- Grand Hotel (Гранд Готель), pl. Svobody 13 (NW), ☎ +380 322 724 042, (32) 272-40-42, e-mail: email@example.com. Absolutely central - right in front of the Teras Shevchenko statue. $126–$360 (breakfast included).
- Opera Hotel (Готель Опера), Pl. Svobody 45 (NW), ☎ +380 32 225 90 00,(32) 225-90-01, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $96–$336 (breakfast included).
- Citadel Inn (Citadel Inn), Hrabovskoho street 11, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The hotel is located in an ancient building of an old citadel. In the very building where the guests sleep, Germans murdered tens of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war and others during WWII. $150–$430 (breakfast included).
- Guest house Andriivskyi (Гостинний дім), . Levyts'koho street 112., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $150–$300 (breakfast included).
- Shveitsarskyi (Swiss) Hotel (Готель Швейцарський), Kniazia Romana str., 20, ☎ (32) 240-37-77,.
- Chopin Hotel (Готель Шопен), Malaniuka YE. sq., 7, ☎ . Four star hotel. Knightly and romantic style architectural elements and decorations of the facade structure inherent to an eclectic style that prevailed at the XIX-XX centuries in building cities of Austria-Hungary. From 100/110$.
The dialing code for Lviv is +380 32(2). The telephone system was recently modified; thus, to dial 6-digit numbers, use the city prefix 322, but for 7-digit numbers, use only 32.
All calls to and from cell phones are treated as long distance calls. The telephone system was recently modified one more time, thus, you must not dial an 8 followed by the city/mobile prefix, followed by the phone number. Some frequent mobile prefixes are 050, 067, 066, 096, and 097. The main mobile operators are Kyivstar, MTS, and Life. You can buy a SIM card or a balance replenishment card at many stores throughout Lviv.
Internet cafes are plentiful. Centrally located is Chorna Medeia on Kryva Lypa.
- Latvia Embassy (Почесне консульство Латвії), Chornovola V. ave., 57 (NW), ☎ .
- Brazil Embassy (Почесне консульство Бразилії), Cholovskoho O. str., 2 (NW), ☎ (32) 297-65-08.
- No.20 post-office (20 поштове відділення), Varshavska str., 54. (NW), ☎ (32) 252-34-41..
- No.19 post-office (19 поштове відділення), Zamarstynivska Str., 30 (NW), ☎ (32) 272-49-18.
- No.7 post-office (7 поштове відділення), Hrebinky Y.E. Str., 6 (NW).
Ukrainian cities are not dangerous, though a bit more precaution is required. Common tricks include impersonating a police officer. In doubt ask an officer or tell him you're not following him. The first thing they try is to get you out of the tourists places in to areas where they can 'acquire' a fine. Openly robbing you or pick-pocketing happens less as the risks are bigger.
It is essential to learn some Ukrainian before visiting, or at the very least, learn the Cyrillic alphabet. Everyone can also read, speak and write in Russian and aren't so prickly about it, although they'd appreciate that you learn a few basic phrases in Ukrainian as well. Learn the Cyrillic alphabet (both the Russian and Ukrainian versions) way in advance until you can write words with perfection, as many do not know the Latin alphabet. German and, especially, Polish (as Lviv used to part of Poland) is spoken well among people with mature memories of the interwar era.
People selling you tickets at the train station will most likely not speak anything other than Ukrainian or Russian and may have no patience nor sympathy for you. (Neither will the people waiting behind you in line). If you speak Polish then surviving in Lviv shouldn't be a problem, as many people understand it since it's quite close to Ukrainian. Some sales people will not know the Latin alphabet, so make sure to carry a small note with your name written in Cyrillic! Queues in Ukraine tend to be a chaotic mess, especially at stations. Assert your place with an elbow and mean stare, because everyone else will, including the fifteen babushki pushing you to the side. Make sure you get in the line for foreigners when you want to buy train tickets. No, the cashier will NOT speak English, but if you know the details of the train you want, just write them down! But if you go to a different line they'll just tell you to go to the foreigner's line, and then you will have wasted a lot of time waiting for nothing.
There are many possible day trips from Lviv. Some options include nearby monasteries Krekhiv and Univ; the beautiful Carpathian mountains and their accompanying ski resorts are also not far.
For people who want to head south to Transylvania, this is best done jumping buses to Chernivtsi (a bumpy 6,5 hrs ride, or you can take one of overnight trains). Near Chernivtsi, you can visit the lovely Kamyanets-Podilsky with its ancient castle. To Suceava, the bus takes around 4 hours with border formalities. From Suceava to Bacau and finally to Braşov, each bus will take about 4 hours on very bumpy roads.
A quick and direct way to get to Romania is to take the 601L train from Lviv to Solotvino (Transcarpathia Oblast); it departs Lviv at 20:23 and arrives in Solotvino at 9:47. Cost of ticket costs less than €10 depending on whether one chooses 2nd class "kupet" or 3rd class "platzkart". Solotvino is a very small town, and the border station (which will be on the other side of the Tisa river, or the right hand side of the train) is not too hard to locate: when exiting the train, take a left until you approach the first road. At the road, take a right, and walk about 100m before coming to a three-way intersection (there will be a monument in the middle. Take a left onto the road that heads down into the river valley, and you'll come straight to the border station. You'll be treated very professionally, and possibly with preference over the Romanian majority who cross the border to take advantage of the lower Ukrainian prices. Once you cross the border, you'll be in Sighetu Marmaţiei, a charming and secluded town, and from here one can take advantage of the direct train to Braşov/Bucharest that leaves that afternoon around 4-5ish. UPDATE: Starting December 2011 the train from Sighetu Marmatiei to Brasov / Bucharest is found under two different train numbers, but it is still a direct train - you don't have to change trains. The train leaves Sighetu Marmatiei at 17:11 (local time) and arrives to Bucharest at 09:56. You can gett off at Brasov at 04:22. For more info check the Romanian Railways official website: www.infofer.ro)