Each of us has a place that has a special place in our heart, that we love returning to. I have a few of those places and one of them is Lviv, Ukraine.
It was love at first sights, I fell for Lviv during my first visit one winter weekend many years ago and since then I visit Lviv wherever I can, usually a few times per year.
Even if I know the city inside out I still tremendously enjoy every trip to Lviv. And so today I will share with you all the best things to do in Lviv, Ukraine!
Table of contents
- 1 Where is Lviv
- 2 Why visit Lviv
- 3 Where to stay in Lviv
- 4 Things to do in Lviv
- 4.1 Admire the amazing architecture
- 4.2 Discover all the beauty at Rynok Square
- 4.3 Climb to the town hall tower
- 4.4 Discover the old Jewish quarter
- 4.5 Discover the old Armenian quarter
- 4.6 Visit the beautiful Armenian cathedral
- 4.7 Enjoy the splendid cafes
- 4.8 Eat at the beautiful restaurants
- 4.9 Drink local beer
- 4.10 Visit beautiful churches
- 4.11 Visit Soviet nostalgia yard
- 4.12 Climb to the High Castle
- 4.13 Visit Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life
- 4.14 Visit Lychakiv Cemetery
- 4.15 Visit the Opera House
- 4.16 Visit the House of Scientists
- 4.17 Visit the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts
- 4.18 Marvel at the beautiful train station
- 4.19 Visit universities
- 4.20 Find street art
- 4.21 Shop at the flea market
- 4.22 Find the street with 7 names
- 4.23 Wander beyond the Old Town
- 4.24 Go to the rooftops
- 4.25 Stay at Hotel George
- 4.26 Visit the Pharmacy Museum
- 4.27 Fall in love with art nouveau
- 4.28 Find the map of Galicia
- 4.29 See some Soviet architecture
- 4.30 Visit National Museum and Memorial to the Victims of Occupation
- 4.31 Enjoy the nightlife
- 4.32 Find Kryva Lypa passage
- 4.33 Pay respect at Memorial of Heavenly Hundred Heroes
- 4.34 Visit splendid Boim Chapel
- 4.35 Take a picture with Nikifor
- 4.36 Shop at Vernissage
- 4.37 Go for a tram ride
- 4.38 Find the beautiful Italian courtyard
- 4.39 Notice Polish signs all over the city
- 4.40 Find beautiful staircases
- 4.41 See Sts. Olha and Elizabeth church
- 4.42 Enjoy parks and green spaces
- 4.43 Check what’s hidden in Masoch’s pocket
- 4.44 See beautiful palaces
- 4.45 Go for day trips
- 5 Best Lviv tours
- 6 Final thoughts on visiting Lviv
- 7 Further reading
- 8 Travel Resources
Where is Lviv
With a population of over 700 thousand people, Lviv is the seventh-largest city in Ukraine. It is located in the western part of the country, not far from the border with Poland (85 km). Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine is around 500 km away from Lviv and Krakow (Poland) is 320 km away.
Why visit Lviv
Lviv is beautiful! Like, really beautiful.
Pastel houses, cobbled streets, grand palaces and townhouses, charming corners – you will find them all in Lviv. The number of picturesque and interesting places to visit in Lviv is overwhelming, it’s impossible to be disappointed with this city.
There are also so many quirks and hidden gems (literally, you have to know where to look for them – I’m sharing the best ones below) that make Lviv such a unique destination. And the cafe and food scene is amazing, with so many places to choose from.
The list of reasons to visit Lviv is long and everyone will find different ones to fall in love with this marvelous city.
Where to stay in Lviv
There is plenty of accommodation, suitable for each taste and budget. Here are some of the recommended places to stay in Lviv:
- Budget: Cossacks Hostel (9,4/10 on Booking) / DREAM Hostel Lviv (9,4/10 on Booking) / Premium Hostel (9,3/10 on Booking)
- Mid-range: Art Deco Central Rooms (9,4/10 on Booking) / Central Hotel (9,1/10 on Booking) / George Hotel (8,7/10 on Booking)
- Luxury: BANKHOTEL (9,5/10 on Booking) / Gruner Lviv Boutique hotel (9,5/10 on Booking) / Grand Hotel Lviv (9,3/10 on Booking)
Things to do in Lviv
And now let me tell you about all the great things to do in Lviv. There are many of them but fortunately, most of Lviv attractions are near each other and you can see most of them in 2 days in Lviv. Of course, more is better but if you go only for a weekend in Lviv you will still be able to get to know the city fairly well.
Admire the amazing architecture
Lviv is, hands down, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. You will find the most stunning buildings in the historical old town, with impressive grand townhouses painted in pastel colors, but other parts of the city are worth a visit too.
Lviv was hardly destroyed during World War 2 and so today we can admire the amazing old architecture in the city.
Before you start a proper Lviv sightseeing go for a walk around to get a feel of the place and to enjoy winding cobbled streets and all the beautiful houses around.
Discover all the beauty at Rynok Square
The center of Lviv is Rynok Square – the main square with the town hall in the middle. This is probably the most stunning place in Lviv, with 44 townhouses in different styles, from the renaissance to modernism.
In the four corners, you can find fountains from the beginning of the 19th century with four Greek mythological figures: Neptune, Diana, Amphitrite, and Adonis.
It’s very easy to fall in love with Rynok Square, it’s so beautiful. I bet you will spend a lot of time here during your trip to Lviv, taking way too many Lviv pictures and hanging out in the cafes, bars, or restaurants that are located at Rynok.
Just be careful when wandering around – there is a regular tram line going through the square.
Climb to the town hall tower
If you are fit enough you should climb to the town hall’s tower for the best view of the Lviv old town. There are 408 stairs leading to the tower, they are often creaky and can make your heart beat faster but it’s worth all the effort.
Usually, somewhere along the way, I hate myself for the idea of climbing up but as soon as I see the amazing Lviv panorama I forget about all the tiredness.
The view from up there is stunning and lets you see Lviv from another perspective. Not only you can admire the rooftops of the old town but also numerous church towers and grand buildings you will soon discover.
Discover the old Jewish quarter
The Old Town in Lviv was divided into a few quarters and one of them was Jewish.
The center was today’s Staroievreiska street, where you can also find remnants of the former Golden Rose Synagogue. It was the oldest synagogue in Ukraine but was destroyed by Nazis in 1941 together with other synagogues in the city. Today you can only see one remaining wall and the foundations.
The whole history of the Jewish community in Lviv is a really tragic one, if you would like to find out more you should read about Lviv Ghetto and pogroms there.
These days the Jewish quarter is one of the hubs with cafes and restaurants, most of them located along Staroievreiska street which also happens to be one of the most picturesque streets in Lviv Old Town.
Discover the old Armenian quarter
Another quarter worth exploring is the former Armenian quarter with its main street – Virmenska (which means “Armenian” in the Ukrainian language). It’s full of beautiful houses (some of them are from the 16th century) and charming corners, like the hidden alley dedicated to the famous Armenian director Sergei Parajanov.
You will also find here some of the most popular pubs, cafes and restaurants in Lviv, such as Virmenka, Mons Pius or Gasova Lampa.
Both Virmenska and Lesi Ukrainki streets are among my favorite ones in Lviv, it’s impossible to take a bad picture there.
Visit the beautiful Armenian cathedral
When exploring the Armenian quarter be sure to visit the Armenian cathedral, it is such a gem. The entrance is located at Krakivska street and it’s easy to miss it – the gate is rather unobtrusive, hidden a bit in the back between souvenir shops.
The first Armenian church was built here at the end of the 14th century but the current building comes from the 16th-17th century. The interior of the cathedral is just stunning, with rich decorations and paintings.
Try to be here in the morning to see the rays of the sun peek through the window and illuminate the cathedral.
You can get the best view of the cathedral building from Virmenska street or the Parajanov lane behind it.
Enjoy the splendid cafes
Some sources say that Lviv has the biggest number of cafes per capita. And indeed you can find cafes around every corner!
Lviv has a long cafe tradition and you can definitely see and feel it in the city. You will find there some beautiful cafes, in the old style or just with an interesting design. There are also minimalist cafes that serve amazing coffee.
If you would like to take some of the good coffee back home with you, you can purchase it in many cafes all over the city. The good news is – the coffee here is very affordable so you can stop in every second cafe while sightseeing in Lviv.
Some of my favorite cafes include Apteka Mikolasch, Cabinet, Atlas, Black Honey and SDV Coffee Shop but there are so many more cafes to choose from!
Eat at the beautiful restaurants
Lviv is one of the best cities I know when it comes to themed restaurants. You will find plenty of them around the Old Town and even if they are obviously aimed at tourists you still shouldn’t skip at least some of them. You can try not only Ukrainian or Galician food but also other cuisines.
Some of the most interesting restaurants are Mons Pius, Baczewski, Kumpel, Trout, Bread and Wine or Meat and Justice.
Drink local beer
Lviv has a strong position in the Ukrainian beer scene. The local beer – Lvivske – has been produced since 1715 and you can find it all over the city but the brewing tradition in the city is even longer.
If you would like to learn more about the history of brewing in Lviv you can visit the museum next to the brewery – it’s a bit away from the center but worth the trip.
But even in the Old Town and its close surrounding, there are so many amazing places where you can try the beer, also craft one. I’m not a big expert but I can tell you that beer in Lviv is really good!
The most iconic place is Pravda Beer Theater – it occupies a few floors in the corner townhouse on the Market Square, with the shop on the ground floor. On the weekends there are live concerts and the atmosphere is just amazing.
Another place worth visiting is the Kumpel Restaurant, where beer is made on spot. They have three locations, my favorite one is at Volodymyra Vynnychenka 6 but the one at Rynok 18 has the best interior and view.
Visit beautiful churches
Lviv is the city of churches – you will find so many of them in the Old Town and each one is just stunning. Be sure to go inside to be amazed by the incredible interiors, rich in detail. Even if you are not a religious person you should visit them.
When exploring Lviv don’t miss those churches:
- Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Latin Cathedral
- Dominican Cathedral
- Bernardine Church and Monastery – Church of St. Andrew
- Dormition Church
- Jesuit Church
- Church of Transfiguration
While the most important churches are located in the Old Town and are easy to visit, there is one place you need to go a bit further – St. George’s Church, (a UNESCO Heritage Site) – the baroque-rococo cathedral built in the mid-18th century.
Visit Soviet nostalgia yard
Until recently one of the biggest alternative attractions in Lviv was the Yard of Lost Toys. I loved this place too, it was full of old toys strewn around. Unfortunately, when I was writing this article, all the toys were removed and the popular Yard of Lost Toys is gone.
But there is one more cool yard you should check – yard of Soviet nostalgia, with artifacts from the times when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. You can find here pictures, posters, random things and more. The collection isn’t very big but still cool enough to see it!
Climb to the High Castle
High Castle is the highest point in Lviv, located at 413 meters above sea level. In the past, an impressive castle was located on the hill (hence the name) but it was destroyed in 1704.
Today you can find there only a bit of the ruin. But it’s still worth climbing all the way up as this is one of the best viewpoints in Lviv, not only to the Old Town with its towers and spires but also to more regular parts of the city you most likely wouldn’t see otherwise.
The High Castle is located near the Old Town and the way up goes through a nice park.
Visit Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life
The local Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life is located near the High Castle, a bit away from the Old Town. The best way to get here is by tram no 1, 2 or 7 to vulitsa Mechnykova stop and then walk a bit up.
The museum was founded in 1971 to preserve the architecture, everyday life items, and folk objects of all historical groups in Western Ukraine. You can see here beautiful wooden churches, houses and more – altogether there are around 150 historical buildings, the oldest one being from 1749.
This is one of the largest open-air museums in Europe, you should count around 2 hours for visiting it.
You might also join the tour of the Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life to learn more about the customs and traditions. You can find more details here.
Visit Lychakiv Cemetery
Lychakiv Cemetery is one of the most beautiful necropolis you will see in Central Europe. It was established in 1786, making it one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe.
You can find there beautiful graves of notable Polish and Ukrainian people. Many of the graves are real masterpieces, made by famous sculptors, and wandering around Lychakiv Cemetery is like a walk through the history of Lviv.
Lychakiv Cemetery, together with Rasos Cemetery in Vilnius, is one of the most important necropolis for Polish people, especially the section with Lviv Defenders – so-called Eaglets – young men who were fighting for Lviv between 1918 and 1921.
You can combine the visit at Lychakiv Cemetery with the trip to the Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life as those places are located near each other. To reach the cemetery take the tram no 7 to Lychakivskyi tsvyntar stop.
You might also go for the tour of the Lychakiv cemetery, this is a great way to learn more about the history of the place. Click here for details.
Visit the Opera House
The Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings you will find in Lviv. It was built at the end of the 19th century and is stunning both outside and inside – a true masterpiece not only of architecture but also sculpture and painting.
I highly recommend going to the Lviv Opera to see the play – tickets are very affordable, starting only at a few $, and it is such an unforgettable experience.
But even if you can’t / don’t want to go for the play it is possible to visit the opera to see the amazing interiors. You will be amazed by them for sure!
Visit the House of Scientists
This is one of the biggest gems of Lviv that gets more and more popular but still it is not visited by crowds.
A former casino for the local elite, the House of Scientists is a marvelous building in neo-baroque style. Each of the rooms is beautiful and richly decorated but everyone visits the place for the incredible wooden stairs and they surely are amazing!
The House of Scientists is a popular place for wedding pictures so you might stumble across newlyweds having their photos taken.
The House of Scientists is located at Lystopadovoho Chynu 6 – you need to enter the second gate when coming from the university’s direction and then the door on your left.
Take a look at the building itself too – it is such a beautiful place.
Visit the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts
The museum, located in the beautiful building of the former bank with the local version of the Statue of Liberty on top, has a fine collection of various artifacts – furniture, Czech glass, a carriage and numerous decorative items from all over Europe.
But the real reason to visit the place is yet another amazing interior you can find in Lviv. The staircase is just marvelous, so rich in details and decorations, a great example of the glory that Lviv used to be at the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century.
Marvel at the beautiful train station
If you arrive in Lviv by train from Kyiv, Przemysl, or anywhere else stop for a second to admire the beautiful train station. It was opened in 1904 and is one of the finest examples of art nouveau architecture in former Galicia.
Be sure to take a closer look at the main building with its many details and beautiful door as well as the part with the platforms that were designed in the art nouveau style as well.
Even if you are not using the train it’s worth coming here to see this amazing building, you will easily get here by tram from the Old Town.
Just pay attention to your belongings, it’s a busy place, and pickpockets might operate here.
Lviv has a long tradition of higher education, the local university was founded in 1661 and for years has been one of the finest educational institutions in Ukraine.
With so much history you can expect beautiful university buildings too and you are not wrong.
The main Lviv University building dates back to 1881 and was built in the neo-renaissance and neo-baroque styles. It was used by the Diet of Galicia and Lodomeria, the university was moved here only in 1920. Be sure to go inside too to see the beautiful interior.
Another higher education institution worth visiting is Lviv Polytechnic, founded in 1843. In its main building, built in the mid-19th century, you can admire 11 paintings by famous Polish artist Jan Matejko.
Find street art
Lviv still doesn’t have such a great street art scene as Kyiv but the number of murals, poems, and other works is growing steadily.
You will find some of the murals north of the Old Town, at the tram stop near the post office or near the circus.
On one of the blocks of flats, you can see the giant crossword – probably the biggest one in the world!
You might want to join a street art tour to find out more about the thriving scene – click here for details.
Shop at the flea market
The local flea market is rather small but you can find here all sorts of things – old books (mostly Polish, Russian or Ukrainian), newspapers, pictures, prewar coins and banknotes, military souvenirs and many more random things.
If you like this sort of things the flea market in Lviv will be a paradise for you and a perfect place for shopping, especially with very affordable prices.
The flea market is open every day from the morning hours. It is located at the square at Pidvalna street, around the statue of Ivan Fedorov, behind the Dominican Church, only a few minutes away from Rynok Square.
You can read more about the Lviv flea market here.
Find the street with 7 names
One of the streets in the Lviv old town has 7 names, each of them honors one of the famous filmmakers.
Originally it is Arkhivna street (and that’s how you will find it on the map) but you will see signs with different names there: Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Truffaut, Illienko, Chaplin, and Parajanov.
The tradition to give names to this street came from the KinoLev Independent Film Festival that takes place in Lviv. Each year the new name was added to this little street, the one honoring the director that the festival is honoring in this particular edition. This is such a quirky place!
Wander beyond the Old Town
While the Old Town surrounding Rynok Square is amazing you should also venture beyond it, to see more of Lviv. Since the city wasn’t really destroyed during World War 2 you will find beautiful townhouses, impressive buildings of the public use and charming cobbled street in the big part of the city.
You should see more than just the center of Lviv to fully appreciate this amazing city.
Go to the rooftops
One of the coolest things to do in Lviv is to go to the rooftops and look at the city from above. While the best panorama is from the Town Hall’s Tower and High Castle there are many more places you can visit to see the city from the upper perspective.
Some of the restaurants offer a great view of the city. the most popular one – House of Legends – was recently closed but apparently you can still go to the rooftop (and find a car parked there).
You can also go for a tour that will take you to some of the rooftops in Lviv – I did it a few years ago and really enjoyed it! Click here for more details about the tour.
Stay at Hotel George
Hotel George is the oldest hotel in Lviv, inviting guests since 1901. Some of the well-known people of this world have stayed there during their trips to Lviv.
Today you can stay there too, I do it often when I visit Lviv. The prices are very reasonable and you can get a taste of the good old Lviv with its grand and fancy buildings.
The hotel needs a bit of renovation but the creaky floors are part of the charm.
You can check prices and book a place in Hotel George here.
Even if you are staying somewhere else you should still stop by here (the restaurant is open for non-guests) and see the beautiful interior and the stained glass windows.
Visit the Pharmacy Museum
At the corner of Rynok Square, Drukarska and Stavropihiiska Streets you will find the Pharmacy Museum. This is still a working pharmacy, the oldest one in Lviv, operating since 1775.
There are 16 rooms with over three thousand exhibits showing the history of the pharmacy and medicine. But even the original interior is already a good reason to visit the museum. Part of the sightseeing is in the underground.
Fall in love with art nouveau
Many of the beautiful buildings we can admire in Lviv today were built at the beginning of the 20th century when art nouveau was popular in architecture. And so you can see some really splendid examples of this style all over the city.
Both, the townhouse and buildings of the public use were built in art nouveau, similar to the one in Vienna but with the local influence, especially folk motives.
You will find stunning art nouveau houses mostly outside of the Old Town, not only on the main streets. Keep your head high when wandering around so you can admire all those stunning details in Lviv art nouveau buildings.
Find the map of Galicia
The passage connecting Rynok Square with Staroievreiska street is a pretty random place.
However, on the wall on the right side when walking from Rynok you will find a map of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria – part of the Habsburg Empire that Lviv (together with Krakow, Przemysl or Stanislaviv, now Ivano-Frankivsk) was in. Names of the places are written in Cyrillic alphabet which makes this painting even more unique.
Take a look at the map and try to recognize some of the names there. This is yet another little quirk Lviv is so full of.
See some Soviet architecture
Even is the center of Lviv is this picture-perfect place with beautiful pastel houses don’t forget that for years Lviv has been part of the Soviet Union.
If you like architecture from that time (I do!) you can find some decent examples of brutalism in Lviv too, just a bit away from the center.
Places you should see include Stryiska Bus Station, Centre for Culture and Creativity for Children and Youth or Lviv State Circus.
Visit National Museum and Memorial to the Victims of Occupation
Lviv has some dark history too and the best place to learn about it is the National Museum-Memorial of Victims of the Occupation Regimes (known also as Prison on Łącki Street).
The prison was in use from the beginning of the 20th century, it was mainly dedicated to political prisoners in the time of Polish, Nazi and Soviet rule.
Since 2009 the place works as the museum where you can learn more about the tragic events that took place here. It’s not an easy museum to visit but I definitely recommend stopping here.
Enjoy the nightlife
Lviv has some exceptional nightlife and affordable prices make going out even better. Not only there are numerous bars and pubs to enjoy a drink in, but the streets of Lviv are also busy with people until late night hours.
There are outdoor dances, live bands (really good ones), and lots of people just having fun and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.
You will find most of the pubs and bars in the old town, with the most popular being Drunk Cherry – you will notice it right away on the corner of Rynok Square and Serbska street – it’s always busy with people hanging out outside this bar with cherry liquor.
Another interesting place is Gasova Lampa where shots of liquors with different flavors and colors are served in the chemical burettes.
And don’t forget about all the beer places! There are so many options for a cool evening out in Lviv!
Find Kryva Lypa passage
Kryva Lypa passage connects Doroshenka and Sichovykh Striltsiv streets and is yet another food/drink hub in Lviv.
The passage was created at the end of the 19th century as Hausmann’s Passage but today’s name – Kryva Lypa comes from the tree that grows right in the middle – the curved linden.
You can find here many restaurants and bars and the place is a nice getaway from the busy Old Town.
Pay respect at Memorial of Heavenly Hundred Heroes
This is a fairly new place to visit in Lviv, located just outside the Old Town, at Pidvalna street.
The memorial of Heavenly Hundred Heroes is dedicated to the victims of the Revolution of Dignity that took place in Ukraine (especially in the capital, Kyiv) in winter 2014. You should visit the place to reflect the tragic events that took place not so long ago.
The memorial is also an interesting architectonic spot and yet another good viewpoint in Lviv.
Visit splendid Boim Chapel
Boim Chapel is such a masterpiece! From the outside, it looks like a small chapel that you might even not pay too much attention to (although the front facade is rich in decoration) but inside it is stunning.
The chapel was finished in 1615, it was built for the Boim family and 14 members of it are buried here.
Inside you will be amazed by the coffered dome – the optical illusion makes it look much bigger and higher than it actually is. There are so many details you will be overwhelmed where to look as everything is so pretty. Boim Chapel is such a gem!
Take a picture with Nikifor
Nikifor was a well-known Lemko painter of art-naive that created in the first half of the 20th century. In 2006 his monument appeared in Lviv and became a popular tourist attraction right away.
The legend says if you rub his nose your dream come true. Nikifor was very much neglected throughout his life so at least now he gets a deserved recognition.
You should visit his monument and take a picture of this amazing artist, who knows, maybe your dreams will come true.
Shop at Vernissage
If you wish to buy some local souvenirs from your trip to Lviv you can do it in some shops in the Old Town (there are a few in Rynok Square and on Krakivska street).
But you should also visit Vernissage – the souvenirs market for more than just magnets and postcards. You will find here not only typical souvenirs but also paintings, crafts or beautiful Ukrainian shirts – vyshyvanka.
Go for a tram ride
Lviv has some of the cutest old, rusty trams that roll slowly through the cobbled streets of the city. Going for a tram ride is one of the coolest Lviv experiences.
You get the ticket from the driver – you insert the money in the small hole in the driver’s window inside the tram and get the ticket you need to stamp.
Many tourists are confused when they see old validators, I remember those from my childhood in Poland. You put the ticket in the validator and push it really hard so there are holes in the ticket. If you have problems locals will help you for sure. Controls are often so you should always travel with a valid ticket.
There are more and more new trams in Lviv but those rusty ones give a good feel of nostalgia and the old times.
Find the beautiful Italian courtyard
Be sure to go inside the gate at Rynok Square 6 to see the stunning Italian courtyard. This townhouse was built in 1580 and used to belong to one of the Polish kings – John III Sobieski.
From the outside, it looks like many other beautiful buildings in Rynok Square but the Italian courtyard is a real gem many people seem to miss. It is often called “small Wawel” referring to the Wawel Castle in Kraków and indeed it looks similar to the courtyard there.
In the summer months, a restaurant is open here. Very often you can attend a live concert or a movie screening in the courtyard.
Notice Polish signs all over the city
For years Lviv has been a Polish city, one of the greatest, and still today you can find many Polish remnants from that time. This is especially seen in the old signs you can see on the walls and buildings of the public use.
On top of the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts, you will see “Galicyjska Kasa Oszczędnościowa” (“Galician savings bank”), when entering Kryva Lypa passage from Sichovykh Striltsiv street you will see Polish signs on the wall, there are some also on Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture on the corner of Rynok Square and Ruska street.
And these are only the obvious ones, you will see many more Polish remnants when discovering Lviv.
Find beautiful staircases
With so many beautiful buildings all over the city, you can also expect beautiful interiors and you are not wrong.
Many of Lviv townhouses have interesting staircases, with spiral stairs, stained glass windows, and interesting tiles on the floor. If you see the open door you can quietly peek inside to see the staircase but keep in mind to respect the locals living there.
Lviv staircases are some of the best hidden gems of the city, and they are literally hidden.
See Sts. Olha and Elizabeth church
Most of the churches you will find in Lviv were built in the baroque style but there is one exception worth mentioning – Sts. Olha and Elizabeth. It is located a bit away from the Old Town, towards the main train station.
The church was built at the beginning of the 20th century and back then was one of the best examples of the new sacral architecture in Lviv. It represents the neogothic style and is characteristic of its three towers.
During the Soviet times, the church was used as the storehouse and was returned to its original function when Ukraine regained its independence.
Enjoy parks and green spaces
Lviv has some great green spaces so when you are tired of the sightseeing you can sit down in one of them and regain energy.
The nearest one is Ivan Franko Park in front of the university, the oldest city park not only in Lviv but in Ukraine. It’s full of neat spots and is a perfect place to relax.
You most likely have heard the term “masochism” but did you know that the person who was behind it was born in Lviv? Today you can find the statue of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch in front of the masochism-themed bar on Serbska street.
Be sure to put your hand in his pocket to see what you can feel inside. I’m not going to spoil you the fun but I’m sure you will be laughing hard.
See beautiful palaces
With so much history it’s not a big surprise Lviv has a few amazing grand palaces you can find all over the city.
The easiest to visit is Potocki Palace, located at Kopernyka street not far from the old Town. It was built at the end of the 19th century for the Potocki family and today it hosts a branch of the Lviv National Art Gallery.
Other palaces you can see include Baworowscy Library, Lubomirski Palace, Lviv Palace of Art or Sosnowski Villa.
Go for day trips
You might also use Lviv as your base for day trips in south-west Ukraine. There are a few interesting places that most likely you’ve never heard about but are worth visiting. Impressive castles, beautiful Carpathian mountains, spa town Truskavets – all these places are near Lviv.
You can also go to the famous tunnel of love in Klevan or to the very pleasant city Ivano Frankivsk.
Since public transport in Ukraine can be a hassle so it’s a good idea to join the tour. Here are the best ones:
- Olesko, Pidhirtsi & Zolochiv Castles Tour
- Carpathian Mountains and Tustan Fortress Day Trip
- Tarakaniv Fort, Dubno and Pochaiv Lavra
- 1-Day Tour of Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanislaviv)
- Lutsk and the Tunnel of Love Day Trip from Lviv
- Provincial Magic of Drohobych and Bruno Sсhulz
Best Lviv tours
As you can see Lviv is really full of attractions and can be explored with different angles. I recommend joining tours for a few hours to get to know the city better.
I’ve been to a few and they always have been really good, helped me to learn more about the city, it’s history, culture and all the quirks.
Here are some recommended tours:
- Lviv Old Town Private Walking Tour
- Ukrainian Cuisine Food Tour
- 3-Hour Between the Sky and Earth Private Walking Tour
- Chocolate and Coffee Culture Private Walking Tour
- 2.5-Hour Medieval Culture and History Walking Tour
- Jewish Heritage Private Walking Tour
- Walking Tour of Austrian Architecture in Lviv</li>
Final thoughts on visiting Lviv
I think that now, after reading about all the great Lviv attractions you can understand why I like this city so much and why I try to visit it whenever I have a chance.
It’s beautiful, fascinating, interesting, vibrant, cool, quirky, and not boring at all. It has this Central European vibe, with numerous coffee houses and the architecture that leaves me impressed every single time.
Despite my twenty or more trips to Lviv I always find something new there and I use every opportunity to visit Lviv (like when I stopped there for 3 hours at 6 in the morning on my way from Kyiv to Uzhgorod).
I’m sure that you will enjoy visiting Lviv too, it’s hard not to like this city. And once you fall in love with Lviv you might want to discover more of the country – there are so many great places to visit in Ukraine!
If you plan a trip to Lviv and Ukraine or just would like to read more about the country I have many more articles you might find interesting:
- 50 pictures that will inspire you to travel to Lviv, Ukraine (+ best photo locations)
- Lviv travel guide – all you need to know about the prettiest city in Ukraine
- Krakow to Lviv – a complete guide how to travel between these cities
- Is it safe to travel to Ukraine?
- Best places to visit in Ukraine
- Kamianets Podilskyi – an underrated gem of Ukraine
- Stunning Chernivtsi – my best discovery in Ukraine
- Cool and laid-back Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
- 5 reasons to visit Odessa, Ukraine
- 15 reasons to visit Kiev – the amazing capital of Ukraine
- Is it worth to visit Kharkiv, Ukraine?
- Uzhgorod, Ukraine – an overlooked city with a Central European vibe
- Chernihiv, Ukraine – more than just a day trip from Kyiv
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- I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Ukraine too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!
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