11 reasons why you should travel to Lviv instead of Kyiv
Where is Lviv?
At the moment, the capital of Ukraine is a pragmatic and technological city - Kyiv. However, Lviv is considered Cultural Capital of Ukraine. Calm and full life-style attracts all those who come to this city. It is imbued with friendliness, so it is ready to welcome everyone. This article will help you to make a difficult choice between Lviv or Kyiv.
1. The art treasures
Lviv is an incredibly beautiful European city with magnificent architecture, cosy streets and yards. Each building is imbued with its history, and the city itself resembles a small museum, which is located in the open air and combines the contours of Paris, Rome and Vienna.
Each corner is permeated with grace and elegance. Visiting Lviv, you should take a look at such art treasures as the Gothic Church of Olga and Elizabeth - one of the most beautiful churches in Ukraine, which absorbed all the art and irresistibility of Neo-Gothic architecture; Black Kamenitsa, located in the historical centre of the city. It is almost impossible to pass by it, but it is even harder to resist the temptation to take a couple of stylish photos on its background. Lviv’s universities, whose architecture is overflowing with the history of several centuries, have a unique charm. While walking along the city streets, be sure to take a look at the Lviv State University of Life Safety, as well as the Ivan Franko University. They are different in style but incredibly beautiful buildings. Also pay attention to Lviv Palaces, castles, monasteries and cathedrals. Lychakiv Cemetery is wildly popular among tourists and is more like a museum. It is not just a cemetery; it is a place where you will meet the peak of fine art at every step - the most delicate sculptures with incomparable detail.
2. Bars and Pubs
Lviv’s bars and pubs for all tastes and colours will help you spend a pleasant evening and night. If we talk about the most famous, then first of all your choice should fall on the “Liverpool” facility, which recreates a real British pub with its interior.
The “Vezha Bar”, which opens to the best city’s landscapes, is located in the restored water tower. Here you can enjoy quality drinks, tasty food and a fun pastime with Sony PS4 or Xbox.
Be sure to visit the pub “Choven”. Cosy interior design will allow you to spend this evening with pleasure—the main feature of the pub - a wide selection of cider and craft beer. Also, this place can offer stronger drinks.
The real atmosphere can be found in the pub ‘Cork’, which is famous for its wide choice of Irish alcohol and dishes. It is not a bad pub for history lovers and peculiar cosiness.
There are a lot of various places scattered all over Lviv, where you can sit in the late evening. The city offers you a choice of 100 or more establishments: from classics to the craziest ideas.
In addition to banal exhibitions in art galleries and various museums, the cultural capital offers a variety of events. Professional exhibitions are wildly popular in Ukraine, where everyone can learn something new and useful. There are both entertaining exhibitions (for example, collections of animals or plants) and more serious ones, and the theme may concern any sphere.
One of the most exciting events, both worldwide and in Lviv, is the dog show. In addition to the competitive part for the title of winner, there is also a part of the entertainment with performances and photoshoots. Besides cute dogs, in Lviv, there are exhibitions dedicated to cats and even butterflies.
Furniture exhibition is a regular event, mainly held to promote brands. An exhibit can be any product that the manufacturer can offer.
In addition to furniture, Lviv also often hosts exhibitions of clothing and footwear, where customers can look at products of domestic manufacturers, talk to the author and even buy an exhibit they like.
Specialists in dentistry should visit the seasonal dental exhibition “Dental-Expo”, which is aimed to share experience, demonstrate innovations. The collection offers its visitors various lectures, seminars and master-classes.
Lovers of delicious sweet pastries will undoubtedly find in this city paradise places with the best desserts. First of all, visit the cafe “Tsukernia”. Here you will find cosy design, hearty atmosphere. The restaurant is famous for its wide range of sweets from natural ingredients and exceptional taste of its products.
For those who like fresh, lush and melting croissants, the cosy place “Red Cat” is suitable. This facility in the town’s historical part is challenging to avoid because of bright orange signboard and lovely baking smell. Visitors fall in love with their sweets literally from the first bite, for their products are cooked with extraordinary love, based on old “grandmother’s” recipes.
Lviv Chocolate Workshop is one of the city’s main attractions. You can taste any chocolate in all its different manifestations. The confectioners of the Lviv Chocolate Workshop were able to put a small but the sweetest piece of the cultural capital into every made candy, every bar of their product. Travel to Lviv Ukraine and not to go to this cafe means not to visit this city at all.
5. Cultural Heritage
While visiting the ancient city of Lviv, you should pay attention to its museums, which are abundant here. And if you are tired of boring excursions from the hall to hall with a guide, the cultural capital of Ukraine has more original ideas for you.
One of the most unusual museums is the “Yard of lost toys” - the exposition, recreated by residents of the neighbourhood. The infinite variety of teddy friends is represented here, and the main feature is that you can leave your toy here or take home any of your favourite ones.
The next thing you should pay attention to is the Museum of Beer History “Lvivarnya”, which offers you not only to look at static exhibits but also to be a real brewer. The museum has over ten halls, each of them is interesting in its way, and here you won’t be bored.
The Secret Pharmacy is an interactive museum, which will be interesting both for children and adults. You can listen to fascinating stories from the “secret pharmacist”, visit his laboratory, attend his lesson or take part in the quest.
6. Religious temples
Religious temples are another unique point of Lviv citizen’s heritage. You will find more than a hundred temples, even from the Renaissance. They mesmerize the spirit and intoxicate the mind with greatness and beauty. Baroque style is also trendy.
The most famous among the churches in Europe is the Church of Olga and Elizabeth. Amazingly, it has an observation deck, from which you can see the city. The next delightful architectural structure is St. Yuri’s Cathedral. UNESCO protects the temple because it has historical value. Every year, more than a hundred thousand tourists visit it, enlightening spiritually.
Let’s focus on the Latin Cathedral - the more ancient temple of Lviv. It is known for the fact that its droplets are built in different styles: Gothic, Art Nouveau, and others. Even during the Ukrainian-Polish war in 1919, it served as a fortress, and also suffered at the hands of citizens during protests against the occupation of Austria. But the main thing that the cathedra boasts is the highest tower in the entire city. The full 66 meters are directed upwards.
The Bernardine Monastery, another name - the Church of St. Andrew, founded in the 15th century, is bound to the eyes of everyone. Pompousness, inspired by gloom - all this was reunited in the church in a unique way through sculptures and frescoes.
Due to Lviv’s geographical location on the map of Ukraine, it conveys the full European flavour, which is known for the western part of the country, more closely. A massive number of architectural styles, people’s ethnicity, national cuisine, concentrated here, form the feeling of being in several European countries at once. Here you will find a piece of Czech Republic, Austrian aristocracy, the love of France in the air, and the feeling of freedom in Italy. You don’t need to empty your wallet and waste time to get a tourist visa for a few days. It is enough to have the excitement, the desire to learn new things and the ability to see and appreciate the beauty.
Affordable prices for trips and excursions to Lviv will not leave you indifferent. Rent a hotel room or an apartment from a real Lviv citizen, who for thank you will share with you fascinating, mystical stories about the western city.
8. Best Shopping Stores
Despite its historical, mostly medieval part, the city meets the requirements of youth. Why not? It’s simple! Young people are very interested in how they look, what is fashionable and in “trends” this season. Therefore, especially for them in Lviv, opened a vast number of newest shopping centres. Foreign suppliers bring high-quality products that are in demand in the international market. In addition to quality, the prices for goods are also acceptable. Cheaper than in the nearest border countries! Isn’t it happiness?
Clothes, accessories, eateries and much more you can find in the following shopping centres in Lviv:
Shopping centre “Skrynia” - The main advantage is the proximity to the railway station.
The shopping centre “Roksolana” is known for its accessibility, quality cosmetics of world brands and convenient location. The luxurious restaurant PartyFon is located on the top floors.
“Magnus” department store is a collection of more than thirty young and popular brands, including domestic producers. A wide range of goods for home, children, holidays, as well as sports attributes and home appliances. You can buy souvenirs and gifts for relatives here.
9. Holidays and festivals
Lviv is such a unique city that allows everyone to create any holiday in the well-groomed narrow streets, not only to feel the magical atmosphere. You will become a participant of unforgettable theatre spectacles, and evenings of dancing to jazz or other genres of music in the squares. All this is very combined with the ancient architecture of the city. The main advantage of most festivals - free of charge, and even better - in the open summer sky!
10. But what to do in Lviv in other seasons?
Lviv is especially good at this time of year. Golden leaves, incredible spectacles seem to create a fairy tale in the streets of the city. The International Theater Festival “Golden Lion” became a regular event. Due to its colourfulness and originality, the festival will interest anyone, from small to large. A costume carnival with all creators’ participation is what Lviv Ukraine citizens expect the most in autumn.
Christmas and New Year are the most expected holidays of the Ukrainians. They start preparing in advance, according to ancient traditions, legends and mysticism hovering in the winter air. Therefore, the lively city seems to shine from the inside on every corner. All festivities begin with St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated on December 19. The city authorities set up the main tree, which means it’s time to celebrate. Festival organizers have a phenomenal sense of taste, so the winter beauty reigns in Lviv’s squares.
Blossoming, freshness, lightness and freedom - this is the smell of spring Lviv, which is merely impossible not to fall in love with. The warm sun is already baking, and the townspeople are dropping their warm down jackets. The Lviv Bridge is an ideal place to meet with spring. Here you will find cosy cafes and new street festivals. It feels as if the city has woken up and lives more vigorous. Dai-ly festivals attract here a large number of tourists from far corners of Ukraine, as well as foreign countries to touch the spring magic.
And, of course, Lviv would not have been without colourful and fascinating people, filling this city with vigorous life. They will tell you about local attractions that every tourist needs to visit, the leg-ends and legends of the enchanting region, suggest the way and help you get to any place. Lviv citizens are hospitable people with a radiant smile.
If you want to soak up the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, enjoy pleasant food and take inspiration, travel to Lviv Ukraine. You will not regret it!
Nargiz was born in Russia where she grew up until the age of 12 before moving to Baku, Azerbaijan. At different life stages she lived in Turkey and Serbia. As of 2020, she has been to 38 cities in 11 countries. AIESEC Azerbaijan Alumna. She is fond of participating at youth projects and making friends with people from all around the world. Her biggest dream is to visit all the continents and as many countries as possible. Following her passion to travel, she joined the team of a “Trawell Group” company.