Lviv Things to Do

  • Svit Kavy Coffeehouse
    Svit Kavy Coffeehouse
    by ainsleigh
  • Lots of pedestrian areas
    Lots of pedestrian areas
    by ainsleigh
  • Strolling the winter streets of Lviv
    Strolling the winter streets of Lviv
    by ainsleigh

Best Rated Things to Do in Lviv

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Prospekt Svobody

    by toonsarah Written Jun 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Monument to Taras Shevchenko, Prospekt Svobody
    1 more image

    This grand avenue, 650 metres in length, runs from the Opera House at its northern end to Mickiewicz Square at the southern one. It lies on the western fringes of the oldest part of town and its width is striking after walking some of the narrow streets of that quarter. The two lines of traffic are divided by a strip of green which makes a popular walking place for both locals and tourists, and which is dotted with various monuments. Chief amongst these is the monument to Taras Shevchenko, a 19th century Ukrainian national poet. Victor (hunterV) says of him on his Luhansk page:
    “He struggled for the liberation of Ukraine from the rule of tsarist Russia. All Ukrainians love and respect Taras Shevchenko just like the Scottish people love Robert Burns whose fate is in a certain way similar to that of Shevchenko. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for inspiring revolutionary ideals.”

    Towards the southern end of the avenue is a statue of the Virgin Mary. This is a copy of the original which stood here for some decades in the early part of the 20th century. Under Soviet rule such an overtly religious monument was frowned upon, so it was removed firstly to the Boim Chapel, and later to the Bernardine Church, before finally finding a home in the Church of St Andrew.

    This street has had many names in the course of its 150+ year history. It started life as two streets: Lower and Upper Karl Ludwig Streets, separated by the River Poltva. In 1871 Lower Karl Ludwig Street became Hetmanska Street and in 1919 the by-now simply Karl Ludwig Street took on the new name of Legions Street. Meanwhile the river had been rerouted underground in 1887 and in 1940 the two streets finally became fully united under a single name, First of May Street. A year later they were divided again, into Opera and Museum Streets, but only briefly, as they were soon rejoined into Adolf Hitler Ring. In 1944 the name reverted to First of May Street. A few years later it found itself as Lenin Boulevard, and in 1991 took on its current name of Prospekt Svobody or Liberty Boulevard. Phew!

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    A Great Excursion

    by hunterV Updated Jan 20, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the entrance to the cemetery
    4 more images

    Our tour guide Matt took us one day to an open-air museum of city sculpture – Lychakiv Cemetery.
    Lychakiv Cemetery has been known since 1786 when it was officially established by Austro-Hungarian authorities that ruled in Lviv from 1772 until 1918.
    It’s one of the oldest necropolisses in Europe. It is older than Pere Lachaise in Paris or Highgate Cemetery in London.
    The cemetery is a state reserve and can be called an open-air museum of city sculpture. The sculpture styles vary from classicism to constructivism.
    This is where the most famous people of Lviv were buried.
    The first burial took pladce in the 16th century. The oldest existing grave dates back to 1675.
    All in all more than 400,000 people were buried here.
    You can get to this place by tram #7 from downtown.
    The entrance fee is 10 UAH. You also have to buy a map (in Ukrainian) that can help you in orientation. The cemetery is huge – over 42 hectares (about 115 acres).
    There are eleven memorials at the territory of the cemetery. We visited the new ones: the Ukrainian soldiers memorial (1918-1919) and the Polish military memorial (1918-1920) located in the far end of the cemetery.
    There are other memorials, among them:
    - Hill of Glory (Soviet army soldiers);
    - Polish participants of the November uprising of 1830 and the January uprising of 1863.
    I was moved to see the tomb of Ivan Franko (1856-1916), a great Ukrainian poet and public figure whom I deeply respect.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Climbing the City Hall Tower

    by hunterV Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A view of Market Square
    4 more images

    I had enough time and decided to walk upstairs and enjoy the view and share the pictures with you here.
    You only have to enter the central entrance to the City Hall and walk upstairs to the fourth floor following the TOWER signs.
    The tower is open from 11 a.m. every day until it gets dark.
    It must be a nuisance for the city council employees to meet lots of guests in the corridors of their offices...
    The entrance fee is 5 UAH.
    It will take you about a quarter of an hour to get to the observation platform.
    They say there are 306 stairs to the top.
    Just take your time and climb them without haste.
    Before you reach the tower observation platform located at the height of 74 meters there is a souvenir shop where you can buy a variety of souvenirs on your way to or from the observation platform.
    Enjoy the bird’s eye view of downtown and of the entire Old Town!

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Bernadine Church and monastery

    by HORSCHECK Updated Oct 7, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bernadine Church and monastery
    3 more images

    At the time of its construction in the 17th century the Bernadine Church and monastery was located outside of the city walls, therefore it was protected by its own fortifications. These were demolished at the beginning of the 19th century.

    The late renaissance church complex includes a baroque bell tower from 1734.

    During Communist times the Bernadine Church was closed and totally negelected. Nowadays the Church belongs to the Greek-Catholic Church of St. Andrew.

    Directions:
    The Bernadine Church is situated in Lviv's old town, just east of the Adam Mickiewitz Square and south of the Market Square (Ploshcha Rynok).

    Address: Bernadine Church, Soborna pl. 3, Lviv

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater

    by hunterV Updated Jun 27, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In front of the theater
    4 more images

    Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater is called after Solomia Krooshel’nytska (1875-1952), a famous Ukrainian opera singer.
    The building looks majestic and impressive indeed.
    It adorns Liberty Avenue and attracts a lot of people –
    both tourists and spectators – and I was one of them.
    The square in front of the theater with a fountain is a meeting point of many people.
    The square behind the theater is a small traditional souvenirs market. This is where you can buy works of local artists to take home as souvenirs.
    The theater is a very special architectural landmark of Lviv and has long been one of the symbols of the city.
    It is famous among theatrical structures in Ukraine (Kiev, Odessa).
    The building was erected in 1897-1900 in a classical style with forms and details characteristic of Renaissance and baroque architecture.
    The theater's interior is no less striking than its exquisite exterior. The interior is famous for its splendour. It is lavishly decorated with multi-colored marble, ornamental paintings, moldings, sculptures and gilding. You can see a lot of decorative reliefs, masks and other ornamentation inside the theater.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Black Stone House

    by hunterV Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Black Stone House, Market Square, Lviv
    4 more images

    The name of this house sounds as "Chorna Kamianytsia" in Ukrainian.
    This house belongs to the architectural gems of Lviv too.
    It is is called an exceptional architectural monument of Lviv.
    Out of all the forty-four houses located around the City Council building this one is sure to catch your eye.
    Its construction began in 1588. It was built of local gray sandstone.
    They say it was very colorful at first like many other houses in the area.
    The imposing black color must be a product of century-long absorbtion of smoke and dust, although I don’t see why all other houses have not turned black like this one. Was it simply painted over? I know it’s a rhetorical question.
    This building belongs to the historical museum now.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Visit the Museum Drugstore

    by hunterV Updated Jun 25, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the entrance to the museum drugstore
    4 more images

    The drugstore has been open since 1735.
    It was owned by a retired Austrian army doctor who hung a black Austrian eagle over the entrance and called his drugstore Under the Black Eagle.
    You can enter and do your shopping in the first hall. The other two halls are not open for customers. You can visit them on an excursion.
    There is a copy of the first kerosene lamp invented here in Lviv. It hangs enframed on the wall.
    If you enter the first hall, pay attention to the murals on the ceiling. They represent four allegories: four elements – fire, water, air and land. The inscriptions are in Latin: ignis, terra, aqua and aer.
    The second hall is dedicated to hisorical medicines and tools and the third one is called Alchemist’s Study.
    When you are on an excursion, you can also pay a visit to the cave. One of the underground rooms is called Wine Therapy Room. It’s a room with big oak barrels and a large table.
    This is where they treated anaemia with Iron Wine.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life

    by toonsarah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stave Church
    2 more images

    On the eastern outskirts of the city, a little to the north of the Lychakiv Cemetery, lies a green and wooded area set aside for the preservation of rural houses and other buildings. The Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture & Rural Life occupies almost 60 hectares in the Shevchenko Forest and contains 124 buildings of vary degrees of significance and interest.

    The buildings have been brought together from all over the country, and include houses, farm buildings and churches. The oldest is is a house from the Carpathian village of Lybokhora dating back to 1749. The most impressive though, certainly of the ones we saw, is a Stave Church from the village of Kryvka dating from 1763. Inside we met a man (caretaker? curator?) who was happy to tell us something of its history, with Victor acting as translator. We learnt that the stunning carved altarpiece (see photo 2) is even older than the church itself – about 100 years older! Unsurprisingly this church is considered a folk architecture masterpiece of European importance, and is worth the visit and the entrance money alone, in my opinion.

    And who knows what may happen if you visit here? While looking for information about the museum on the internet I found this touching story about a couple whose meeting with an old woman here led to a prediction of marriage – a prediction that came true just one year later!

    Entry costs 10 UAH (about 1€ or less than a pound), and there’s an extra fee for photography – we were offered a group photography ticket which was only 10 UAH for all six of us.

    Open from 10 a.m. till 18 p.m., closed on Mondays.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Ponder at the House with Aphorisms

    by hunterV Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Market Square, Lviv
    4 more images

    28 Market Square is often called House with Aphorisms.
    It is rich in lavish stone fretwork and in numerous Latin sayings.
    Here they are!
    I have provided them with English translation.
    Live and learn!

    Quis dives? Qui nit cupiat.
    Quis pauper? Avarus.
    Who is rich? – Who has no desires.
    Who is poor? – The greedy one.

    Deus meus et omnia
    My God and my All.

    Ubi charitas idi Deus
    God is where mercy is.

    Ubi uber ibib tuber
    Where the soil is rich, you will find roots.

    Ubi opes ibi amici
    Where there are friends, there is wealth.

    Probus invidet nemini
    The honest man envies nobody.

    Pomat omnia virtus
    Virtue overcomes everything.

    Virtutis praemium honor
    Esteem is the reward of virtue

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Ploscha Rynok: the Black Stone House

    by toonsarah Written Jun 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Black Stone House
    1 more image

    Several of the houses around the Ploscha Rynok are worthy of note, especially on the eastern side where you will find numbers 4 and 6. The former is often known as the “Black Stone House” and a glance at my photos will show you why. This is described by “Lviv in your Pocket” as an “exceptional architectural monument ... matchless not only in Lviv, but in the whole of Europe”. It dates back to the late 16th century and was not always called black – because it did not always look black! The stone is in fact a local grey sandstone, and the present-day colour the result of centuries of exposure to coal dust and smoke. So naturally this wasn’t always called the “Black Stone House” but was formally the “Doctor’s Stone House”.

    Today the house is one of the three buildings of the city’s historical museum. There wasn’t really enough time to do a museum justice so I gave this a miss although I would have welcomed the chance to go inside. I gather though that a separate entry fee is payable for all three branches of the museum – something to bear in mind if you want to see inside these historic houses.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Some more monuments

    by toonsarah Updated Jun 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Monument to Ivan Pidkova
    2 more images

    As well as the large monument to Taras Shevchenko on Prospekt Svobody we saw several other impressive monuments in Lviv. Two that especially caught my eye were to Ivan Pidkova and Ivan Federov.

    The monument to Ivan Pidkova (main photo and photo 2) is in a small square just to the east of Prospekt Svobody. I really like this expressive and modern-looking statue. Pidkova was a Hetman (i.e. commander) of the Ukrainian Cossacks who led a rebellion against the Turks and was executed by their allies, the Poles in June 1578. Pidkova means “horseshoe” in Ukrainian, and you can see on the monument “IVAN” (in Cyrillic letters, so B = V and H = N), and beneath that the image of the horseshoe to stand for Pidkova. This nickname may have its origins in the way that he used to ride his stallions to the point of breaking off their horseshoes, or possibly because he could break horseshoes and coins with his fists.

    Photo 3 shows the large monument to Ivan Federov which stands near the Church of the Assumption on vulytsia Pidvalna. Federov (also sometimes called Fedorovych) is considered to be the founder of book printing and book publishing in Russia and Ukraine. In the mid 16th century he oversaw the construction of a printing house in Moscow, commissioned by Tsar Ivan IV, and published several liturgical works in Church Slavonic. As with the introduction of printing technology elsewhere in the world, this new innovation created competition for the scribes who forced him to flee Moscow – first to Lithuania, and in 1572 to Lviv. Here he resumed his work as a printer and published more religious texts. Later his printing shop fell into the hands of the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood, who continued to use his designs right up to the early 19th century. Today the area around his statue here in Lviv is used as a small open-air book market, but when we visited it was raining and all the stalls were covered with plastic sheets to protect the books.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Stroll Along Liberty Avenue

    by hunterV Updated Oct 17, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walking along LIberty Avenue
    4 more images

    Liberty Avenue ("Prospect Svobody" in Ukrainian) is the most elegant and the most prestigious street of Lviv.
    It is only 650 meters long.
    Lots of old style apartment houses, stores, cafes. bars and hotels are located in this street.
    The street has a very busy traffic and hence the air seems to be rather polluted.
    You can take a stroll along the green alley located between the two sides of the street.
    It starts from the fountain at the Opera and Ballet Theater and finishes at Adam Mitskevich Square.
    It is about 300 meters long. The locals call it simply stometrovka, that is, a 100-meter lane (like in athletics).
    There is a monument to Taras Shevchenko in the middle of this alley.
    The monument was created by the sculptors Andriy and Volodymyr Sukhorski and the architects Yuriy Dyba and Yuriy Kromey.
    It was dedicated on August 24, 1992, on the first anniversary of independence of Ukraine.
    It looks very special indeed, especially the bronze pylon hear the poet's statue.
    The twelve-meter-high decorative pylon with a lot of allegorical images is called A Wave of National Revival.
    It was completed in 1996. It has a peculiar feature: a hole in its upper part. That hole is, in fact, the nimbus of Virgin Mary depicted on the upper part of the Wave.
    The monument became a meeting place of many friends and sweethearts.
    I myself agreed to meet my host near this monument.
    This is where the city festivals are held.
    A lot of local men like to sit at the benches here and play chess or draughts.

    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Pay a Visit to Inspiring Sites

    by hunterV Updated Jan 20, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The former monastery of the Bernardine Order
    4 more images

    The former monastery of the Bernardine Order is one of the most interesting monuments of the ancient Lviv.
    Also, the guide books call it one of the most inspiring sites in Lviv.
    The monastery was a big fortress of that order that had military character.
    The monks consisted mainly of retired soldiers.
    The monastery of the Bernardine Order was abolished by the decree of Emperor Joseph II in 1777.
    Since that time the premises have been occupied by the state historical archives of Ukraine.
    Bernardine Cathedral was built in 1600-1630.
    There is a tomb of a saint near the altar – St.John of Dukla.

    Our guide told us an interesting legend about the monastery clock.
    In 1648 during the Cossacks’ siege of Lviv a sentry monk from the monastery was the first to notice the approaching Cossacks army. He saw it five minutes earlier than the sentries at the City Hall tower. For that the Bernardine monastery was awarded with a special privilege – the clock at the tower is five minutes ahead of all the city clocks. This tradition has been kept until today.

    The cathedral belongs to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church now.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Dormition Church ensemble

    by HORSCHECK Updated Oct 9, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dormition Church ensemble
    4 more images

    The Dormition Church ensemble consists of the church (1629) itself, the Kornyakt Tower (1578) and the Three Saints Chapel (1578).

    The Renaissance style church is also known under its Ukrainian name Uspenska Church and was the only Orthodox church within the city walls.

    The 66 m tall Kornyakt Tower was home to the largest and loudest bell in Galicia. It was not only used for church purposes but also in cases of alarms, such as fire.

    Domed with tree cupolas as peculiar to Ukrainian cult building and with a liberal decoration of the interior, chapel will leave amazed all the visitors.

    Directions:
    The Dormition Church with the Kornyakt Tower and the Three Saints Chapel are situated east of Market Square (Ploshcha Rynok), near the corner of Ruska and Pidvalna street

    Address: Dormition Church, Ruska vul. 5, Lviv

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Lviv Opera House

    by HORSCHECK Updated Oct 7, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lviv Opera House
    4 more images

    Lviv's Opera House was designed by the local architect Zygmunt Gorgolewski in a Viennese neo-Renaissance style. Its ceremonial opening took place in October 1900.

    The Opera House has its own ballet and opera company. Ticket prices are very modest by Western Standards.

    One evening In June 2007 we took the chance to watch the Ukrainian opera "Natalka Poltavka", which was indeed an interesting experience.

    Our tickets were only 35 UAH and also offered the chance to have a look at the beautiful interior of the building.

    Directions:
    The Opera House can be found at the northern end of the Svobody Avenue, right in the heart of Lviv's city centre.

    Address: Opera House, Svobody Prosp. 28, Lviv

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

View all Lviv hotels

Instant Answers: Lviv

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

72 travelers online now

Comments

Lviv Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Lviv things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Lviv sightseeing.

View all Lviv hotels