Lviv’s most beautiful places

What to see in Lviv

Lviv is situated 70 kilometers from the Polish border. It is the most European of all Ukrainian cities: its architecture is influenced by Polish, Austro-Hungarian, and even Italian culture. Lviv is not only a cultural, but also gastronomic capital of Ukraine: all over the historical center there are small cozy coffee houses and restaurants with themed decorations and cuisines of different countries, as well as specialties and drinks, such as “sealed coffee” and cocktail “Mazochito.

Content

Main sights on the map

Start your walk around Lviv with the central square. It is connected to it by ancient streets and the Armenian and Jewish Quarter. Here you can also climb the tower of Town Hall, visit the Art Gallery and the Opera Theatre, and lay out a route to the sights of Lviv.

What to see in Lviv

Rynok Square

Here you can sit in a coffee house, visit a museum or a theater, and buy souvenirs (they say the choice on the square is even better than on the souvenir market). City sightseeing tours often pass through it, but it is worth lingering over it to enjoy the atmosphere of old Lviv.

Address: Market Square

Tip: You can have a coffee in the atmosphere of the Florentine patio in the Italian courtyard of the Kornyakt Palace (Rynok Square, 6).

City Hall

A bird’s-eye view of the historical center of Lviv opens from the observation deck of the Town Hall. The building is interesting in that it has always been the seat of city authorities, despite the fact that it has been rebuilt several times since the 14th century. Entrance to the town hall is free, you only need to pay to get to the observation deck. By the way, you need to climb the 408 stairs to get there: there is no elevator in the 65-meter tower.

Address: Market Square, 1

Latin Cathedral

This Catholic cathedral, preserving elements of the Gothic style, is named after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is worth examining the stained glass windows and the chapels attached to the outside of the building a few centuries ago, when there was still a cemetery around it.

Address: 1 Cathedral Square

Tip: If you are interested in non-standard monuments, look into the next courtyard, where the Beer Navel is located (Staroevreiskaya St, 17).

Jesuit church

The Peter and Paul Church is interesting not only for the fact that it is the first building in Lviv in baroque style. Under it there are gloomy catacombs, which you can find out all the details during a tour of the Lviv dungeons.

Address: Teatralnaya Street, 11

High Castle

It is the highest point in Lviv (413 meters above sea level), so it is safe to book several hours for a walk here. Moreover, a picturesque park with the same name and two terraces was laid out on the mountain slopes. The shortest way here is from the side of Princes’ Street. But all your efforts will be rewarded: the view from here is unforgettable, and you can have a rest in a cafe near the observation deck.

Address: Zamkovaya mountain

Bald Mountain

Although it is not as high as Zamkovaya Mountain, it is not that popular either. So if you want to have a picnic with a view of the TV Tower, the Old Town, and the Podzamcze neighborhood, go there. Before that, you can take a walk in the more crowded Shevchenkivsky Gai or Znesenyi Park.

Address: Bald Hill

Lviv Art Gallery

Its collection includes many works by Polish masters; Ukrainian, Russian and Western European masters are much smaller. After seeing the paintings, go to the neighboring buildings as well. In the Potocki Palace you can find a collection of European art, and on the other side of the palace there is the Museum of Books, where you can learn about the history of Ukrainian printing and see ancient easels and ancient manuscripts.

Address: Stefanika street, 3

Opera Theater

It is worth visiting the historic building for opera, ballet or sightseeing, as there are a lot of stories related to it. Look at the 120-year-old curtain in the Great Hall or the underground river Poltva, on which the foundation of the theater stands. By the way, they found a good use for it: in summer on the square in front of the theater works dry fountain.

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Address: 28 Svobody Ave.

Advice: if you bypass the theater on the right, you will see the entrance to the cafe “Left Bank”, which is opened in the underground theater. Behind the theater there is the Vernisazh Market, which is a famous Lviv “flea market”.

Pharmacy Museum

Another dungeon is open to the public in the Pharmacy Museum. But before going down into the cool halls, take a walk through the historic pharmacy and see how and what drugs were sold here a couple of centuries ago.

Address: 2 Drukarska Street

Jewish Quarter

At the foot of Zamkova Mountain, there has been a ghetto since the Middle Ages. Old Jewish street is one of the longest and most beautiful streets in the city. In spite of this, there are only few historical monuments as almost everything was destroyed during the war. There is no Jewish influence except for street musicians and Jewish specialties.

Address: Old Jewish Street.

Armenian quarter

This area was home to one of the largest Armenian communities in Europe, the Armenian Diaspora, since the 13th century. The Armenian Apostolic Cathedral is one of the largest in Europe and is definitely worth the effort, but the high wall paintings in it, as well as the medieval narrow streets with cozy courtyards in this quarter, are all worth the effort.

Address: 7/13 Armyanskaya Street.

Gasova Llampa Museum-Restaurant

On the terrace you will be offered a table with a view of the Town Hall, and in the rooms of the restaurant you can see two hundred kerosene lamps from different epochs. Not only the interior is colorful, but also the serving: the liquors are served in test tubes and the hot dishes are served on frying pans sizzling with heat. There are tours with urban legends and stories about the place.

Address: Armyanskaya Street, 20

Lviv Coffee Cauldron

You can drink coffee in the dungeon and find out what is “sealed coffee” here. There is a show going on in the underground hall: you will be given a helmet and you will get coffee just like in the mine and the waiter will “seal” the ready aromatic drink with a caramel crust right in front of your eyes.

Address: 7/13 Armyanskaya Street.

“Mazoch Cafe

Leopold von Zacher-Masoch was born in Lviv, and this fact could not be avoided by the citizens. This place welcomes those who like hotter things: whips, chains and shackles on the walls are not fake – you can take them off and try on yourself. The menu corresponds to the interior: dishes are enriched with aphrodisiacs and one of the most popular cocktails is “Mazochito”.

Address: 7, Serbskaya str.

Lvivarnya

There is no better place to try all kinds of “Lvivske” beer, which is the oldest in Ukraine. But first, you should visit the Brewing Museum, where there are ancient barrels, labels and mugs. The exposition is interactive: there are games and photo zones, and after the tour, even if it was with an audio guide, you should definitely go to the tasting room with an unusual interior.

Address: 18 Kleparovskaya Street

Lychakiv Cemetery

As in many European cities, the cemetery in Lviv is one of the must-see attractions, and it is better to visit with a guide. It is easy to get lost among the family vaults and ancient tombstones, and it is very interesting to hear about those who are buried here.

Address: 33 Mechnikova Street

House of Scientists

Go here for the luxurious interiors and pictures on the spiral carved staircase. Especially the fans of the Soviet film about D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers, because it was the residence of Cardinal Richelieu.

Address: 6 Listopadovogo Chin Street

What to see in Lviv with children

Lviv Chocolate Shop

After the children’s tour, you should take a look at the cafe with three floors for sweet tooth and dozens of varieties of the favorite dessert. Here you’ll be served chocolate with peppers, nuts and other additives, and on the first floor you can watch how the bars and candies are made.

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Address: Serbskaya Street, 3

“Shevchenko’s Grove

In the museum of folk culture and life the visitors are introduced to the traditions and peoples of Western Ukraine. Houses were brought here from different villages, and in each of them there are stories about everyday life and holidays, musical instruments and handicrafts master classes.

Address: Czernecza Gora Street, 1

Stryi Park

It is the oldest and one of the most beautiful parks in Lviv. Before going there, you should stock up on nuts for squirrels and food for ducks and swans. The pond is worth seeing as well as the greenhouse and the abandoned restaurant behind it. In the summer in the park is working Children’s railroad.

Address: Stryisky park

Park Ururu

Not far from Lviv there is an all-season amusement park with tubing slides, dinosaur park and Mesh Park. There is a separate playground for kids, and the older ones can go floating on a raft or try their luck at the gold mine.

Address: 14 Lesnaya Street, Staroye Selo, Lviv region

What to see on the outskirts of Lviv

Navariya Lake

During summer days off the residents of Lviv go to Navariya dam. The lake is wild: there is no infrastructure, but you can pitch a tent on the beach and have a swim in relatively clean water.

Address: Navariya lake, Lviv region, Drogobych.

Drogobych

The second biggest town in the region is famous for its salt mine. You will see how salt is boiled during the tour around the local salt works. And after that on a walk through the town, order a salty coffee in any café to appreciate the unusual taste of the drink in the Grohobych way.

Address: Salty Pond Street, 27

Truskavets

The most popular health resort in Prykarpattia is famous for its healing water springs. Even if you don’t plan to spend your whole vacation here, you should still try the local mineral waters, such as Naftusya, or take SPA procedures in one of the balneological health resorts.

A traveler with an experience. Likes to get new impressions and tell about them.

25 best sights in Lviv

Lviv is a city in western Ukraine with a rich past. Over the years it has become the cultural and scientific center of the region. Today it attracts tourists from all over the world with its medieval architecture, numerous churches, picturesque parks and delicious chocolate.

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What to do in Lviv

First of all, Lviv is a city in which lovers of architecture and antiquity will find a lot of interesting things to do. Market Square, Town Hall, Dominican Cathedral, Church of St. Elzbieta, Lviv Citadel and other equally important buildings amaze tourists with their majestic views. The indisputable treasures of the city are the castles and palaces, which were built during the times of the Rzeczpospolita, and which remember many bloody events.

Ukraine’s main center is a place where different cultures and styles are intermingled, which makes the city a colorful and unforgettable experience.

Tourists with kids are better off visiting its many museums. Kids will love the secret pharmacy, where the guide will tell about the pills of happiness, experiments of alchemists and give to try the real elixir of health. And after learning the basics of pharmacy you should definitely consolidate your knowledge in the chocolate shop, where the spirit of magic is in the air, and the sweet delicacy is made by hand to create the figures of incredible beauty.

Fans of slow walks should choose one of the Lviv parks, where it is equally comfortable in hot summer and freezing winter. On the way, you should definitely stop by the observation deck, which offers a breathtaking view over the city.

Music fans will enjoy their time at the local opera house, and arts and crafts aficionados will love the museum of ethnography and handicrafts.

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History and Architecture

Market Square

ploshad rinok

Market Square is a popular place in Lviv. Every day thousands of tourists come here to admire the architecture of medieval buildings and to get a sense of a special European atmosphere. Even though Lviv has long been a part of Ukraine, it still preserves its European imprint.

Here you’ll find small cafes with tables at the entrance, hot, tart coffee and aromatic pastry, historic cobblestones, a town hall with a clock that strikes every 60 minutes, and street performers who are willing to give a salsa lesson or play Strauss for a small fee. It’s a place where time stopped two hundred years ago.

“High Castle.”

visokskii samok

A key and yet deceptive place in Lviv. Until the end of the XIX century it was home to the walls and towers of the Polish “High Castle”, which was later dismantled. Today only a part of the wall, a steep serpentine hill and a loophole are preserved. But climbing the mountain will charge you with a good mood and allow you to take great pictures of the surroundings.

City Hall Tower

basnia ratushi

The administrative building itself was constructed during Lviv’s incorporation into Galicia. That is why its architecture is so restrained. Ascending the four hundred steps, tourists will appreciate the view from the observation deck.

Citadel

citadel

The complex of buildings, which used to serve as defensive towers of the Lviv fortress two centuries ago, has become a monument of architecture and a luxurious five-star hotel. Here you can spend a night in a real barracks of the XIX century and dine at a restaurant. There is a park complex around the towers.

Religious buildings

St. George’s Cathedral

sobor st ura

The sumptuous Greco-Catholic cathedral was built 250 years ago and is a classic example of Rococo style. Its facade is adorned with a sculpture of St. George, who is considered the patron saint of the city.

The temple’s interior decoration features works by Fesinger and Filevich, and the walls are decorated with embroideries on Ukrainian themes made by the diligent hands of local nuns.

The transparent iconostasis and the icon of Our Lady of Terebovlia deserve special attention. At the exit of the cathedral the traveler is greeted by a bell tower, the bell for which was cast in the XIV century.

Armenian Cathedral

armianski sobor

The church was built in Lviv by the Armenian community 700 years ago. For a long time the church was closed to the public. Today the complex includes not only the majestic temple decorated with icons, but also a monastery, a tower-belfry, the Archbishop’s Palace and the former building of the Armenian Bank.

The ensemble is under the protection of UNESCO. Some of the rooms are of exceptional cultural and architectural value and are not used for their intended purpose. Only the temple, within the walls of which divine services of the Armenian Apostolic Church are still held.

Church of the Holy Trinity

cerkov troici

This unremarkable church, which is rarely mentioned in travel guides, is of great value to the residents of the city. It is located deep in the Sychov housing estate.

The church was built in the seventeenth century and has survived to this day in its original form. The building is made of solid wood, the interior is decorated with icons, murals depicting biblical scenes, and on the dome is a picture of Christ Pantocrator.

Latin Cathedral

latinski sobor

Latin Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is an ancient architectural monument in Lviv. The construction of the temple lasted more than a hundred years. The cathedral was built in Gothic style, its vault and walls are decorated with frescoes of masters of the XIX century.

Eight sepulchral chapels of XVI-XVIII centuries are attached to the temple. Each of them is worth visiting separately. The stained-glass windows of the church were made by Tadeusz Popiel, Jozef Mechhofer and Ferdinand Laufberger.

Jesuit Church

iesuitskii kostel

Construction began in 1630, but due to numerous changes in plans, the church lost its original appearance. The church used to seat up to 5000 worshipers, but during the Soviet era, the interior was destroyed and the church had only its exterior preserved. To this day the interior is being reconstructed and the organ is being restored.

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Parks and Recreation

Stryi Park

striiskii park

Lviv’s oldest park amazes with its square and the elegance of its gardens. The square was planned back in the XIX century, and a century later it was expanded by adjoining vacant lots. Initially the territory of the park zone was occupied by the brook Soroka, which later was encased in a collector.

Today this area is equipped with many pedestrian alleys and paths, there is a cinema and a restaurant. Nearby is a children’s railroad station. The park is one of the best places in Lviv for herbarium collecting. There are more than 200 species of trees and bushes, many of which cannot be found in other places in Ukraine.

Park of Culture and Rest named after Bogdan Khmelnitsky

cultural park

The most well-appointed park in the city is situated on 26 hectares. It includes not only the well-groomed territory with fountains, flowerbeds and paths, but also amusements, sculptures, cafes and playgrounds for children. In warm season public events, concerts, open air movie shows, and performances by local and guest bands are conducted in the park.

Botanical Garden of Lviv National University

bot garden

The botanical garden was founded in the XIX century by Ivan Franko University. The original plan was to put the park on 2 hectares, but the constantly growing collection of plants required the purchase of additional land in another part of the city.

Today the garden is considered a protected area and is protected by the state. It includes greenhouses, an arboretum and numerous greenhouses. On the territory you can get acquainted with 800 species of trees and shrubs, 700 varieties of cultivated plants and 1300 representatives of the tropics and subtropics.

Entertainment and excursions

Lviv Opera House

operni teatr

It is a must-see for both classic and modern opera lovers, and ballet lovers, as it puts on over 50 productions. The building was built in the early XX century and still amazes tourists and visitors with its majestic architecture.

The facade is decorated with sculptures of four Greek Muses: Thalia, Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Erato. The concert hall can accommodate up to 1,000 people and includes a parterre, boxes and balconies.

The Secret Apothecary

tainaya apteka

The unusual museum is housed in the basement of the medieval pharmacy “Under the Hungarian Crown”. Lovers of secret knowledge and alchemical experiments will discover a lot of interesting things here. The museum is not the usual boring showcases with exhibits – this is a kind of theatrical performance with elements of video tour.

The guide will introduce tourists to the pharmacist lion, show pills of happiness and medicines “against binge drinking”, give a taste of alchemical elixirs, promising wealth and long life, and at the exit everyone is offered to buy the soap for bribes, souvenir vials and other no less amazing things.

“Gasov’s Llamp.”

gasova liampa

The only museum-restaurant in town. Some visitors describe the establishment as a museum where you can eat delicious food, while others argue that it is a café where the interior resembles a museum exhibit. The largest collection of kerosene lamps in Ukraine is preserved in “Gasovaya Llampa,” and the lamps are not hidden behind glass: you can pick them up, look at them, and take pictures.

The cuisine lacks any extravagance but the selection of strong and weak alcoholic drinks is very broad. The serving is also interesting: instead of glasses and shot glasses the café uses test tubes.

Lviv Chocolate Shop

shokolada

Tourists and guests of the city love this city not only for its architectural and cultural monuments, but also for its delicious chocolate. The cafe-workshop sells handmade chocolates, figurines and bars.

The interior is done in the style of the ’60s: lace napkins lie on the tables, there are vases with flowers. The shop windows are full of confectionery, which you can try on the spot or buy as an original souvenir.

The prices are much higher than in the supermarkets, but the chocolate here is made according to a secret recipe and has no equal in taste.

Dungeons

podsemelia

According to legends, over a hundred kilometers of underground tunnels and labyrinths are hidden in Lviv. Most of them are situated under the Dominican Cathedral, and then go further in the direction of the secret pharmacy and end near the Jesuit church. Today, it is easy to get there: guided tours are offered of the most popular catacombs.

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Under the temple are hidden numerous monastic cells and the refuge of Princess Galzka of Ostrog, under the apothecary is a museum of vials and amazing alchemical supplies. In the vicinity of the church is a burial hall, once the site of a terrible epidemic. A frightening but fascinating tour.

Lvivarnya

levivarnia

Lviv’s newest interactive museum features more than 200 exhibits, each of which can be picked up, viewed and photographed. The guide will tell a complete history of the origin and development of brewing, will acquaint you with the subtleties of local technology and will reveal the secrets of one of the most popular Lviv beverages.

Guests are invited to try themselves as brewers and buy a tasting set of 4 kinds of Lviv draught beer.

Monuments

Monument to Leopold Sacher-Masoch

pamiatnik leopoldu

The monument to the writer, famous for his pathologically sexual novels, appeared in Lviv 10 years ago. But even today it attracts crowds of tourists. The thing is that it is not an ordinary monument: seemingly harmless monument hides several secrets that make it so attractive for the city guests.

Masoch’s pants have a pocket that is unnoticeable from a distance. If you climb into it, you will find that the writer is wearing no underwear at all. After examining the pockets, you can go to his chest, where a small glass window is hidden. This is an allusion to the writer’s work with its love of peeping. Inside, photos of intimate games are displayed.

Backpack Monument

pamiatnik ruksaku

A monument to the backpack was unveiled at the Lviv University of Geography. Its creators decided that this backpack unites people regardless of their income, nationality or social status.

Monument to a beer belly button

pamiatnik pupu

Lviv is not stingy with its curious sculptures. One of these monuments immortalizes a beer belly. It is installed near the historic brewery “Royal Brewery”.

Proponents and opponents are still debating whether the sculpture has a positive message. After you cursory examination of the monument you should definitely drop in at the “Royal Brewery” and taste the kinds of beer that are native to Lviv.

Monument to the Smile

pamiatnik ulibke

Lviv’s chain of unusual monuments is continued by the Smile Monument, hidden in the Armyanskaya Street. It is often visited by tourists and locals, who know that if you rub the nose of a half-man half-fish with copper, any wish you make will come true.

Old Castles

Olesky Castle

olesskii samok

Round Oleskiy castle was grown in XVII century on the unapproachable hill. Its unusual shape helped its inhabitants defend themselves against enemies. During the Soviet times it was ruined and fell into decay.

In the second half of the XX century the fortress was reconstructed, and today the rooms and halls are open to visitors, exactly reproducing the ancient interiors. The main building is surrounded by a stunningly beautiful citrus garden with blooming oleanders, cypresses, numerous fountains and pavilions.

Zolochevsky Castle

solochevskii samok

One of the fortifications of the XVII century has a complicated layout with many corridors and secret rooms. Inside, the ancient interiors have been partially reconstructed, but part of the plans have been irrevocably lost – for a long time the premises of the castle were occupied by a vocational school.

Next to the main castle there is the Chinese palace, which has an exhibition of Asian art.

Podgoretsky Castle

podgoreckii samok

It is a luxurious castle in the Lviv region with a complicated past. Built in the 17th century, the castle was sacked, looted by soldiers during the Second World War and 85% burnt out in 1956.

Today, the palace has been restored, but the lion’s share of collections belongs to Polish and Russian museums. In the palace the interiors of the 1600s were restored, and copies of works by Rubens, Caravaggio, Titian and other artists adorn the walls. Around the building is a garden in the Italian style.

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