What To Do In Lviv? Ukraine’s cultural capital? It’s not on the normal European tourist circuit but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. Lviv is very similar in many ways to the crazy popular Krakow just across the border in Poland. I spent more than a week here and really grew to love the people and charm of this awesome Eastern European city.
The easiest way to get to Lviv is by train from Kiev. 8-10 hours. Overnight sleeper is recommended and costs 120 UAH (4 Euro)
Flights are more expensive as Wizz Air is the only cheap airline that flies to Ukraine.
There are lots of hotels and hostels that you will find on Booking.com. If you are looking for a hostel I really recommend staying at Centrum Hostel. It’s small but cozy and warm, and the staff are just the best. Some of the nicest hostel staff I have ever encountered in 50 countries of hosteling! And the central location is perfect to explore the city.
Ski that way! Skiing in Slavske, 2 hours south of Lviv
The highlight of my stay in Lviv was a day trip to Slavske in the Carpathian Mountains to go skiing. I actually wrote a full post about how to find the ski field and you can read it here: Hit The Ski Slopes Ukrainian Style!
Couchsurfing is really strong in Lviv. In general, I found Ukrainian people to be some of the warmest and most welcoming that I have met anywhere in the world. I didn’t actually stay with anyone; instead I just used the “Hangout” app to meet people for tea or beer or to explore the city. Every day there were locals “hanging out” around the city.
If you want to know more about how to Couchsurf, and how to keep super safe while doing so, please see my post: Ultimate guide to Couchsurfing
Live music every night at Pravda
As it was winter and some days were below -10 degrees, I didn’t always want to walk far. Instead I met up with other Couchsurfers and we would cafe/bar hop around the city.
Here is a list of some cool bars/cafes to check out:
Гасова лямпа, A museum and restaurant in the centre
Right near the centre of the city you will find the Lviv Opera House. Before Lviv, 100% of my ballet knowledge came from watching the movie ‘Black Swan’. Since I was now in the Home of Ballet, I figured it was a good place to check it out and went along to a performance. A friend from the hostel also took me along to a concert of a local Ukrainian singer.
Most tickets cost between 80-200 UAH or 3-7 Euro and can be bought at the ticket office just inside the entrance on the right side.
All across Lviv you will hear street music and the quality is really quite good! Usually in the centre square is the best. There is a guy with a guitar and a powerful speaker who does some amazing covers! Sadly, it was so cold I didn’t always want to stand and watch for too long!
On many of the walls in streets and alleyways you will find really cool street art! I won’t tell you where … just go for a walk and see what you can find!
In the very centre of the city in Rynok Square is a tall tower that you can walk to the top of. Yes, I say walk; there’s no elevator. But trust me; the view is well worth the walk up a spiral staircase that seems to go almost all the way to heaven! The view from the top is one of the best in the city, as you can probably see from my pictures.
Cost is 10-20 UAH. Less than a Euro.
Access is through the City Hall. Follow the picture of the tower on the signs. The only way is up….
The cutest kid feeds the pigeons outside the Church of St Olha
Follow THIS LINK to find the map location. You can catch tram 1, 9 or 10 west from the centre of the city for about 20 minutes, or walk. I’m not a big fan of churches but this one is super-cool because for 10 UAH you can climb up the spiral staircase and look at the view across the city. And on the walk back down the hill to the city visit the St George Cathedral as well.
To get to the High Castle just walk towards the TV tower on the hill on the north east side of the city. The highest point of the hill is where you find the High Castle. Another great view of the city!
And that is my guide of What To Do In Lviv! I hope you have as much fun here as I did!
Please also see my post: How to Save money Travelling to help you travel longer!