Top 10+ Museums and Art Galleries of Lviv

As a city that was founded more than 7 centuries ago, Lviv is extremely rich in historical artifacts and art gems. There are currently more than 40 museums in the city where visitors can see them.

In addition, the city of Lion is considered the cultural capital of Ukraine. It offers art lovers many spaces with various exhibits, from historic masterpieces to modern paintings, sculptures, and performances.

Our experienced team of tour guides and travel specialists has prepared a list of only the best museums and galleries that you can visit in Lviv. We think that this article will be useful for you even if museums bore you. On our list, you can find outdoor museums, museums that fascinate with their stunning architecture, bohemian galleries, and even a beer museum.

rynok square

We are Vidviday Tour Operator, a local travel company based in Lviv with more than 300 trips to choose from. Ukraine Tourism Awards 2020 awarded us with the title of Best Tour Operator in Ukraine 2020. You can see our tours and excursions here.

Best museums in Lviv

1. Folk Architecture and Lifestyle Museum Shevchenko Hai

Chernecha Hora St., 1

This open-air museum will let you travel in time and see how Ukrainians lived centuries ago. The museum’s landscape combines meadows, flatlands, and mountains to showcase various regions of Western Ukraine.

Easter celebrations in Shevchenko Hai

Ancient huts, churches, vehicles, workshops, mills, a school, and other buildings were brought here from different western lands. Here you will also see collections of clothes, textiles, furniture, ceramics, musical instruments, jewelry, and icons.

The museum also organizes live presentations and masterclasses on ancient crafts. Here you can meet artisans who weave wheat straws, produce textiles, smith, make oil, bake bread, and play musical instruments.

Shevchenko Folk Art Open Air Museum is large and interesting. We recommend you to come when the weather is good and spend at least several hours here walking and exploring.

2. Lychakiv Cemetery

Mechnykova St., 33

Lychakiv is one of the oldest cemeteries of Europe that still exist. It was opened in 1786. This cemetery was carefully planned to look like a cozy park with its alleys, pathways, and trees.

Traditionally, mostly privileged people were buried here: priests, officers, politicians, celebrities, writers, and artists. In their memory, their relatives put here pompous sculptures, vaults, and chapels.

Thanks to these exquisite works of art made by famous masters, Lychakiv Cemetery is recognized as a museum and one of the most precious European collections of necropolis sculptures. Unique decorations will tell you about the life of the deceased through metaphors and associations, and your imagination, combined with ancient stories, will submerge you into the magical atmosphere of Lviv.

3. The National Memorial Museum of Victims of Occupation Regimes, or Prison on Lontskoho

Stepana Bandery St., 1

The National Memorial Museum to the Victims of Occupation is located in a building with tragic and horrendous history. It was built in the late 19th century as a gendarmery of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When Lviv belonged to Poland, the building housed a police station. At that time, most of the prisoners here were Ukrainian patriots who wanted independence.

After USSR invaded Western Ukraine in 1939, NKVD used this building to imprison and torture people it deemed dangerous for the Soviet regime. Mass execution in 1941 is the most tragic moment of the prison’s history. Later, during WW2, the prison was used by the Nazi Gestapo.

There are many interesting, tragic, and thought-provoking things to see at this museum. 

You can look at the environment of the prison: cells, investigator’s room, a checkpoint, a photo lab. The exhibition showcases the personal belongings of prisoners, documents, and items relating to the history of the building.

The museum also preserves the archives of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists that fought against the occupation forces. One of the rooms exhibits Soviet propaganda posters alongside Ukrainian newspapers informing about the crimes of the communist regime.

4. Pharmacy Museum

Drukarska St., 2

Pharmacy Museum is located inside the oldest of the existing pharmacies of Lviv called  “Under the Black Eagle”. Since its opening in 1735, the interior of the drugstore has remained almost the same.

In this museum, you can see what tools Medieval pharmacists used to prepare medicines. The exposition features ancient vases, bottles, pounders, scales, herbs, and other tools and ingredients.

The ceiling of the pharmacy is decorated with frescos depicting four eternal elements: water, earth, air, and fire. Viennese artists painted them in the early 19th century.

Pharmacy museum

5. Lviv History Museum

Lviv History Museum is one of the oldest and most prominent museums in Ukraine. It possesses a rich collection of ancient items including coins, sculptures, fabrics, archeological findings, furniture, musical instruments, weapons, household items, archives, and photos. 

The museum’s collection is exhibited in several locations. We recommend our foreign travelers to see four of them: Arsenal Museum, Korniakt Palace, Palazzo Bandinelli, and the Department of Ancient History of Ukraine.

Arsenal Museum

Pidvalna St., 5

Lviv City Arsenal and Armoury Museum is located in the fortification building that was built in 1575. Here you can see a great collection of weapons from more than 30 countries of the world made between the 11th and early 20th centuries. 

Arsenal museum

Arsenal houses all key types of weapons: cold weapons, firearms, throwing weapons, armors. It demonstrates how weapons evolved and how the technology developed. Many arms are exquisitely decorated with jewels and precious metals, and you can get to know the decorative art of various countries.

In the Arsenal basement, you can find Rebernya restaurant. This place is famous for its tasty ribs, unique Medieval atmosphere, and absence of cutlery.

Korniakt Palace

Rynok Square, 6

Korniakt Palace is a Renaissance building built in 1580 for Konstanty Korniakt who was the wealthiest man in Lviv of his time. The palace currently houses the exhibition of the Lviv History Museum.

There are four so-called Royal Chambers on the second floor of the Korniakt Palace. These luxurious rooms exhibit European sculptures, paintings, furniture, dishes, and musical instruments.

Italian cortyard
Italian courtyard

The palace features another tourist attraction – the Italian Courtyard. This Italian-style Renaissance courtyard with arcades and sculptures is a cozy hidden spot in the busy city center.

Palazzo Bandinelli

Rynok Square, 2

Palazzo Bandinelli (1593) belonged to an Italian merchant Roberto Bandinelli. The exhibition that it currently houses will show you how the life of rich Lvivians looked like in the 17-18th centuries.

Palazzo Bandinelli. Photo by Kugel

You can take a walk around its rooms: hall, living room, office, kitchen, dining hall, portrait gallery. Inside, you will see luxurious historical furniture, dishes, carpets, and paintings.

Department of Ancient History of Lviv Historical Museum

Rynok Square, 24

This museum tells about the history of the area from hundreds of thousands of years ago to the 19th century. Here you can learn about the people who inhabited the territory of Ukraine in the past, including Scythians and Cucuteni–Trypillia culture.

Department of Ancient History of Lviv Historical Museum
Department of Ancient History of Lviv Historical Museum (white building), photo by Kugel

The expositions also feature items relating to the Principality of Galicia–Volhynia. Here you will see Medieval items, sculptures, and portraits of Princes.

There is an exhibition about the Cossacks, self-governing communities of the Ukrainian steppe. It includes daily items of Cossacks of the 16-17th centuries, weapons, portraits of hetmans (military commanders).

6. Beer Cultural Experience Center “Lvivarnya”

Kleparkivska St., 18

Coffee and beer are two drinks symbolic of Lviv. This place is a modern interactive museum dedicated to the latter.

Here you can learn about the history of beer making in Lviv, look at how beer is brewed, and with a help of a microscope, see what beer consists of. You can also visit a tasting room to try several kinds of local beer.

The interior of the museum will surprise you. Its most unique feature is ceiling decor made from parts of wooden beer barrels. In addition, the museum has its own art space which hosts exhibitions and cultural events.

7. Museum of Ethnography and Crafts

Svobody Ave., 15

Museum of Ethnography and Crafts exhibits cultural objects from Ukraine and other countries of the world. This museum was founded in the 19th century and has acquired a rich collection since then.

This is a great place to explore traditional Ukrainian applied art. The museum houses a large collection of Ukrainian clothing, ceramics, fabrics, embroidery, carvings, etc.

Museum of Ethnography and Crafts boasts the largest in Ukraine collection of clocks. Here you can see 450 clocks and watches made in Europe between the 16th and 20th centuries.

In addition to the main building, we also recommend you to visit a branch of this museum – The Furniture and Porcelain Museum.

Furniture and Porcelain Museum

Rynok Square, 10

This museum is excellent if you would like to see the furniture of the past centuries and get to know various techniques and styles of different countries. You will see the works of craftsmen from Western Ukraine, other European and Asian countries from the 16th to early 20th centuries.

Apart from furniture, the exhibition features metalwork, china, earthenware, Italian Maiolica pottery, Ukrainian ceramics, and glass art. The museum is located in Lubomirski Palace.

Best galleries and art spaces in Lviv

  1. Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv

Svobody Ave., 20

Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum is the biggest art museum in Ukraine. It has several branches in Lviv. We recommend you to visit two of its locations: the main building and Dunikovsky Palace.

The museum’s collection includes ancient books, graphics, wood carvings, and sculptures. Here you can also see the works of Ukrainian artists from old times to modernity.

Collection of religious art at museum’s main building

The founder of the museum, Metropolitan Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky, purchased its main building in 1905 to exhibit the items that he had been accumulating for many years. Thanks to him, the museum now possesses a great collection of Ukrainian icons of the 13-18th centuries.

Dunikovsky Palace

Drahomanova St., 42

Dunikovsky Palace built in 1896 is considered to be the most luxurious villa in Lviv. It will impress you with its architecture that combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements.

The palace exhibits paintings and sculptures by Ukrainian artists of the 20th century.

2. Borys Voznytsky Lviv National Art Gallery

Lviv National Art Gallery has several branches in Lviv and outside the city. For foreign tourists, we would recommend four of them: the main exhibition in Lozinski Palace, Johann Georg Pinsel Sculpture Museum, Museum of Modern Sculpture Michael Dzyndra, and Potocki Palace.

Lozinski Palace

Stefanyka St., 3

Lozinski Palace houses the largest art collection in Ukraine and the largest collection of Polish paintings outside Poland. In this museum, you can see paintings and sculptures of European artists of the 19th-21st centuries such as François Gérard, Jan Matejko, Jacek Malczewski, Artur Grottger.

Johann Georg Pinsel Sculpture Museum

Mytna Square, 2

Johann Georg Pinsel was among the most prominent sculptors of Europe and Ukraine who lived and worked in Lviv in the 18th century. His works are stunning, dynamic, and emotional.

Pinsel made his sculptures in Baroque and Rococo styles to decorate churches, cathedrals, and houses. Apart from the museum, you can find his works in the religious buildings of Lviv and other places in Western Ukraine. You can see some of his masterpieces on our bus tours from Lviv:

Johann Georg Pinsel Sculpture Museum is located in the former cathedral of the Order of Saint Clare (1607). Here you can see wooden sculptures of the famous master and also of several other artists who worked in the same style.

Museum of Modern Sculpture Michael Dzyndra

Muzeina St., 16, Briukhovychi

Michael Dzyndra was a US-Ukrainian sculptor and artist. After Ukraine gained independence in 1991, he returned to his homeland and in 2005 opened a modern art museum.

You can see more than 800 works of art here. Michael Dzyndra used various techniques to create compositions, open form and relief sculptures. They are peculiar and metaphysical with a touch of irony and travesty.

Museum of Modern Sculpture is located in the village of Briukhovychi, about 10 km from Lviv city center, but you can reach it by public transport or on our 1-day tour:

Potocki Palace

Mykoly Kopernyka St., 15

The palace was built in the 19th century by the noble Potocki family. This luxurious French classicism building is now a museum.

On the first floor, you can see the palace interior. The second floor exhibits paintings from Italy, France, Austria, and other European countries.

Potocki Palace

3. Dzyga Art Center

 Virmenska Str., 35

Dzyga is a modern art center located in the heart of Lviv. This venue plays the most important part in the development of contemporary culture in the city. There always are some exciting events happening here.

Dzyga Art Center consists of an art cafe and a gallery that houses art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and other interesting projects. Take a look at their announcements when coming to Lviv, and maybe you will find an event that you’d like to visit.

This was the list of museums and galleries our team thinks would be the most interesting for you. If you want to know more about the attractions of Lviv, check out our local excursions. We also have various bus trips departing from Lviv. Click here to find great places you can visit in Ukraine with us.

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