Places to Visit in Lviv

You are going to Lviv for the first time and don’t know what is worth seeing? Lviv is the city with rich historical and cultural heritage. It’s impossible to see everything in a couple of days. But we can adviseyou on what to see first. 

Places to Visit in Lviv. Historical monuments

From 1998 the central part of Lviv was included intothe UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites. Lviv is second only to Kyiv in number of historical monuments in Ukraine. Here are some of most interesting.

Lviv Rynok Square

Rynok Square

The heart of Mediaeval Lviv with the Rathausin its centre. Modern Rathaus building dates back to the Austrian reign – the mediaeval one was destroyed by time. The fountains with Greek gods also date back to the 19th century, but the houses are much older.Pay attention especially to#2 (Palazzo Bandinelli), 4 (Black House), 6 (Royal Residence), 10 (Lubomirski Palace), 14 (Venetian House), 23 (Scholz-Wolfowicz House) and 28 (House with Latin Aphorisms).

On the corner of the square you will see the Roman-Catholic Cathedral. It deserves a separate tour. Its building began in the 14th century and lasted more than a hundred years. Among the chapels attached to its walls the most ancient and interesting one is the Kampian Chapelto the left of the entrance. You should also visit the Boim Chapel near the Cathedral. It is rightfully called “a Bible in stone”.
Roman-Catholic Cathedral

Mediaeval Lviv was multicultural. Four main ethnic groups were Poles, Ukrainians, Armenians and Jews. Life of the Ukrainian community was concentrated around the ensemble of the Church of Assumption – the church, the Chapel of Three Patriarchs in the yard and the Korniakt Tower named after a rich Greek merchant, the donator. In the Armenian quarter a lot of old houses are preserved along withthe Armenian Cathedral – one of the oldest buildings in Lviv (1363). There also existed a Jewish quarter, but it was mostly ruined during WWII.

St George’s Cathedral

St George’s Cathedral, the jewel of Lviv baroque architecture crowns the St Geogre’s Mountain. It’s adorned with statues of “Lviv Michelangelo” Johann Georg Pinsel. We should also mention the Dominican Monastery, St Andrew’s Church, St Michael’s Church, the Jesuit Church, etc.

Main visit card of Lviv is the Opera House. It was built in 1900 and decorated by most prominent Lviv sculptors and artists of the time. We recommend you to take a tour of it.

You should also see the fortifications – the remnants of city walls, the City Arsenal, the Royal Arsenal, the Gunpowder Tower. And for the magnificent panoramic view go to the High Castle Hill.

And if you want to know more – visit one of our tours: either a general walking tour or a bus tour, if you’re here for the first time, or some of our thematic tours, if you come here often.

 

Places to Visit in Lviv. Cafes

Lviv is rightfully called the coffee capital of Ukraine. Our short guide won’t be complete without a review of the cafesmost worth visiting.

If you love the atmosphere of the end of the 19th century, visit Under the Blue Bottle. It is dedicated to Yuri Kulchytski, who opened one of the first coffee-houses in Vienna. You will find some extraordinary recipes of coffee here. Coffee lovers will also like the Coffee Manufacture and the Coffee Mine, the Golden Ducat, and, at some distance from the city centre, – the Sweet Chest.

Under the Blue Bottle

If you want some hand-made chocolate, the obvious choice is the Chocolate Workshop. But it has recently opened in many Ukrainian cities. So if you’re looking for something more exclusive, the right choice will be the Fresco.In the Spizharka you will find jams and marmalades based on old traditional recipes. And if you’re a lover of Turkish delight, there’s an art-café Jam for you.

Looking for a high-quality traditional cuisine? Visit the Refectory in the basement of the Bernardine monastery, and you will get the atmosphere of Mediaeval Lviv as a bonus. And for fans of Italian (and now also Japanese) cuisine we recommend La Piazza in the Opera Passage. Pizza there is no worse than in Italy.

For lovers who look for romantic (and erotic) adventure we recommend the Masoch Café. And if you want to touch the history of the city, you should go to the Kerosene Lamp, dedicated to the lamp’s inventionin Lviv, or the Bartholomew, where you will personally meet the famous mayor of the 17th century Bartholomew Zimorowicz and taste some really good beer.

Beer lovers should also visit one of the Kumpelpubs. And if you like to get acquainted with Ukrainian rebel traditions, visit the famous Kryivka.

Experiment, look for new places and expand this list with new sites! And if you want to hear some stories and legends connected with these cafes, go on our Coffee Tour. Or go on a Bohemian Lviv Tour, if you want to hear about the coffee houses of the past.

Places to Visit in Lviv. Museums and Galleries

Lviv is an important cultural centre of Ukraine. You may see this, for example, from the number of its museums and galleries. We will tell you about the most interesting ones.

First of all, there are a number of departments of Lviv History Museum, mostly on Rynok Square. They are dedicated to different aspects of the history of Lviv and Ukraine. The most interesting are the Museum of Historical Jewellery in the Palazzo Bandinelli and the house #6 with its Italian Courtyard and the rooms of the Royal Residence. The Museum of Armour is also worth mentioning; it is located in the ancient building of the City Arsenal.

The Pharmacy Museum

The Pharmacy Museum is also located on the square. Here you may see, besides the interior of the old pharmacy, the structure of a mediaeval house – from basements to the gallery in the courtyard. Visit to the museum is included into our Mediaeval Lviv Tour.

Find out more about history and culture in the Museum of Religion, the National Museum; the Ethnography Museum, besides it, will also impress you with stained glasses and interiors of the end of the 19th century. And of course the department of Lviv Art Galleryhoused in the magnificent Potocki Palace! Art lovers will also be interested in visiting museums of artists OleksaNovakivsky, Ivan Trush, opera prima donna SolomiyaKrushelnytska, writer Ivan Franko.

There are also two open-air museums in Lviv – the Lychakiv Cemetery and the Shevchenkivsky Hai Skansen. We have the tours of both of them available on our web-site.

And a visit to Lviv Brewery Museum will be a joyous finish of your tour. For Lviv beer is one more legendary part of Lviv’s history.

But Lviv lives not only in the past. It is one of the centres of Ukrainian contemporary art. The Dzyga Artistic Associationis in the vanguard of Lviv art. Their gallery is located on Virmenskast., as so many others:the PrimusGallery in one of the courtyards, the Icon Art Gallery of modern sacral art; and if you’re looking for something more commercial, the Green Sofa Galleryis the one for you. One more important centre of Lviv artistic life is the Museum of Ideas on Valova St.

Dzyga Artistic Associationis

Besides that, there’s the Art Palace on Kopernika St., where miscellaneous exhibitions are held.Among them – the famous September Book Forum. There are other small galleries, both in the centre and on the outskirts.

We hope you will have enough time to visit at least some of these locations. And if you need a professional help in planning your visit – contact us. And welcome to Lviv!