2.5 million tourists visited Lviv in 2019. It became the third most popular city for travelling in Ukraine after Kyiv and Odesa. Why tourists like Lviv so much?
- Lviv is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This city has more than 2,500 historic and architectural monuments.
- Lviv architecture and Lviv people are very diverse. Here you will find Ukrainian and foreign architecture of various styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Modern and Soviet. You will see buildings built by different nationalities: Ukrainian, Austrian, Polish, Armenian, Jewish. Lviv cuisine is also a mixture of food from different nations and you will find many interesting restaurants here.
- Lviv is considered a cultural capital of Ukraine. More than 100 festivals take place here yearly.
- Lviv is also a coffee and chocolate capital. People come here to taste famous Lviv coffee and purchase iconic chocolate.
In this article, we will give you information every tourist will need when travelling to Lviv. You will learn what to visit here: not just must-see locations but also secret places that only locals know. You will learn what food to try in Lviv, what transportation to use here, and what Lviv tours to take.
Top things to do in Lviv
Things that you should do first and foremost when you arrive in Lviv:
- visit Rynok Square and check out its numerous restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops as well as unique historic buildings and monuments;
- climb 300 steps to the top of Lviv City Hall and enjoy the panoramic view of the city;
- eat awesome food at great and affordable restaurants (what to eat read below);
- visit ancient churches and monasteries: Armenian Cathedral (1370), Latin Cathedral (1493), Bernardine Church and Monastery (1630), St. George’s Cathedral (1760), Dominican Cathedral (1749).
Best things to see in Lviv
- Rynok Square and Virmenska street – the historic city centre of Lviv. Start with it if you have only one day in Lviv.
- Lviv Opera. Once in the city centre, don’t miss this building. This is one of the best opera houses in Ukraine and Europe.
- Lviv High Castle. You will not find any castle there because it was demolished by the 19th century, but you can have a nice walk to the top of this mountain and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
- Lviv City Arsenal and Armoury Museum showcasing weapons of different historic periods.
- Shevchenko Folk Art Open Air Museum. Here you will see how Ukrainians lived centuries ago. It has old houses, churches, vehicles and crafts exhibits that were transported here from different regions of Western Ukraine. This place is big and you can spend half of the day here.
- Lychakiv Cemetery – one of the oldest cemeteries of Europe that still exist. Mostly rich and famous people were buried here, so its sculptures and chapels are true works of art. This graveyard represents the diversity of Lviv. Here you will find inscriptions not only in Ukrainian but also Latin, Polish, Romanian, Greek, German, Dutch and Russian languages.
- St George’s Cathedral. This exquisite rococo cathedral is also included in Lviv’s UNESCO World Heritage. In addition to the cathedral you can visit its gardens, and we will show them to you in the next section.
St George’s Cathedral
Hidden gems of Lviv
If you want to visit a unique place that other tourists don’t know about, check out these locations:
- Palace of Emil Dunikovsky located on Drahomanova Str., 42 – now part of Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum.
- Prison on Lontskogo, National Museum and Memorial to the Victims of Occupation. You can contact the museum in advance and book a free English-speaking guide that will help you understand the concept of this museum and Ukrainian history.
- Pidzamche neighbourhood. Take a walk in this ancient neighbourhood and you will see many interesting Austrian and Polish buildings: St. Paraskeva Church, St. Onuphrius Monastery, Jam Factory, Bachevskiy Alcohol Factory. We recommend that you walk Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street from St. Nicholas Church (which is the oldest church of Lviv) to Jam Factory.
- St. George’s Cathedral Gardens. In this garden, you will walk down terraces and stairs at the mountain slope. Here you can see a bell tower, Greek Catholic Archbishops Palace, and enjoy a panoramic city view.
- Lviv Citadel. During various periods of history, this fortress served as a military barrack, a warehouse, and even a concentration camp. Currently, tower #2 of the citadel is used as a hotel, part of the citadel is abandoned, and another part hosts warehouses and offices.
To help foreign visitors explore our city, we filmed a 50-minutes long virtual Lviv tour. Watch it to find out more about Lviv and see its important landmarks.
What to eat in Lviv?
where: Lviv Handmade Chocolate
- Lygantsi and other dishes of Boykos – an ethnic group of Ukrainians living in the Carpathian mountains.
where: Boykivska Hostyna Cafe
- Local trout
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where: Trout, Bread and Wine (Pstruh, Khlib ta Vyno)
- Lviv cheesecake
where: Cukiernia, Lviv Coffee Manufacture, Centaur, and other numerous cafes and restaurants of Lviv
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where: Kumpel, Beer Theater Pravda, Mons Pius
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where: Bigos Pub, Franko
- Lviv coffee
where: Viennese Coffe House, Lviv Coffee Manufacture, Alternative Kava, Svit Kavy etc.
If you want to know more about Lviv food, check out our article here.
Lviv public transportation system includes tramways, busses, trolleybuses and minibuses – “marshrutkas”. Navigating in the city is easy – you can use the EasyWay website or app to see the map of public transport routes and the GPS location of each vehicle.
How to use public transport in Lviv?
You don’t need to buy a card to use public transportation. For trolleybus or tramway, you can buy a ticket from the driver or at kiosks near stations – note that they are cheaper at the kiosks. If you use a bus or minibus, pay to the driver when you enter the vehicle.
How to get from Lviv Airport to City Center?
Lviv Airport is easy to access from the city centre – it’s just 7km away from Rynok Square.
You can use public transport: trolleybus #29 – the last station in the city centre is Ivan Franko National University. There is also a shuttle bus that goes from Lviv Airport to Railway Station.
In case you prefer taxis, use Uber or Uklon apps.
If you want comfortable, hassle-free travel or you need transportation for a group of people, Visit Ukraine provides transfers and bus rentals. Contact [email protected] or +38-(093)-511-56-22.
What tours or excursions can I take in Lviv?
If you are looking for a fun and organized way to experience Lviv, consider the following excursions:
- Old Lviv in One Day tour covers the most important landmarks of the city.
- Dungeons of Ancient Lviv. On this tour, you will visit mysterious undergrounds of ancient churches and monasteries and see how ascetic monks lived here many centuries ago.
What to visit near Lviv?
If you want to travel somewhere outside the city, take Four Best Castles near Lviv Tour. It includes the most famous castles of Ukraine that trace back to 14th-18th centuries.
We also recommend you to take a look at the Transcarpathian Cheese and Wine Tour – our oldest and most popular tour. It includes the best destinations in the Carpathian mountains, thermal pools, castles, and cheese and wine tastings.
Synevyr LakeMore trips and excursions starting in Lviv you may find on our website.
We wish you to have a good time in Lviv!