Seven Reasons to Visit Lviv


Lviv is the hallmark city of western Ukraine, located less than 100 km from the Polish border.  For the last three decades, residents of Lviv have strived to shake off its former Soviet status allowing it to become a truly European city. Today it is a popular vacation destination for many Ukrainians as well as tourists from all over the world.

Seven reasons to visit Lviv

1.         Cultural Capital of Ukraine

Lviv is justly considered the cultural capital of Ukraine. Any time of year, you can enjoy a diverse program of events and activities geared toward all tastes and interests.  Lviv hosts an impressive number of festivals and cultural events, so whether it’s music, visual and performance arts, books, and literature, or culinary arts—there is something here for everyone! 

At the heart of the city’s cultural offering are more than 60 museums and ten theaters. The century-old Lviv Opera Theater is widely known beyond Ukraine not only for its impressive architecture but also for offering world-class musical and ballet performances.  The Maria Zankovetska Drama Theater, formerly the Skarbek Theater, was the third-largest theater in Europe when it opened in 1842 .

 2.        Historic  Sites and Architecture

Throughout its history, Lviv belonged to six different states—a fact which shaped not only the city’s unique cultural identity but also its appearance.  Lviv is a city where European architecture is marked with a Ukrainian touch. Its position on the crossroads of major trading routes always attracted the best architects from all over Europe. As a result, here you can find beautiful examples of most architectural styles - Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, Classic, and Modern. Almost half of Ukraine’s architectural landmarks are located here, and the Old Town of Lviv was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 3.        Lviv Churches

The complex history of Lviv and its position between the East and the West determined its diverse ethnic make-up. It also affected the citizens' religious affiliations. Throughout history, the city had numerous churches and monasteries representing different Christian denominations. Also, Lviv traditionally had a large Jewish community, and synagogues played an important part in the city's life. Along with Christians and Jews, the city's population includes a few thousand Muslims, and an Islamic cultural center and a mosque opened here in 2015. 

There are about a hundred churches in the city today, and many of them have stories to tell that provide a wonderfully vivid reflection of Lviv's rich history.

4.        Lviv’s Rich Culinary Traditions and Unique Restaurant Culture

Lviv’s history also found its representation in a variety of local dishes originating from Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, Hungarian, and Austrian cuisines. And, of course, many food establishments offer universal favorites like pizza, burgers, sushi, wok dishes, and countless other specialties.

The most exciting part about the local restaurant culture is unique-themed establishments that combine delicious food with creative entertainment ideas. Only in Lviv, will you see how coffee is being “mined” from under the city’s central square or have the opportunity to meet “a medieval executioner” who runs a butcher shop and a restaurant.

Crowds of food lovers come to the popular Lviv culinary festivals, including coffee, wine and cheese, and the more contemporary street food festival.

5.        Best Coffee in Ukraine

You may not know that Europeans owe their passion for coffee-drinking to a former Lviv resident, Franz Yuri Kulchytsky, who opened the first coffee shop in Vienna in 1683. Since then, Lviv has always been proud of its coffee tradition. In the late 18th century, the secrets of chocolate-making were brought to Lviv by a Swiss confectioner Dominic Andreolli, and the cafe culture has been thriving in the city ever since.

Today Lviv is Ukraine’s coffee mecca. Lviv will impress even most discerning coffee lovers with an overwhelming selection of coffee shops and cafes of all sizes and styles. Enjoying a cup of coffee here is somewhat of an iconic travel experience with local coffee shops offering freshly baked pastries and desserts to compliment your cup of brewed perfection.

6.        Local Liqueurs and Digestives

               Pub- and bar-hopping is a long-standing European tradition and Lviv is no exception. The city boasts a long history of beer brewing; however, it’s other beverages that made bar-hopping in Lviv a tourist attraction. These are the very popular homemade liqueur  «nalyvka» and digestive «nastoyanka.»  Both drinks are somewhat strong and intensely flavored. With just a touch of sweetness, the Lviv homemade favorites are often served chilled.

               If bar-hopping is not your thing, but the sound of these liquid delicacies is, you can easily find them in many of Lviv’s restaurants, which pride themselves for their unique secret recipes of liqueurs and digestives.

7.        Souvenirs and Crafts Shopping

No trip is complete without getting something to remember it by. Aside from typical souvenirs like postcards and magnets, Lviv offers a wide selection of handmade local crafts like vyshyvanky (embroidered tunics), rushnyky (decorative towels), pysanky (painted eggs) and traditional Ukrainian woodcrafts.  You will find plenty of shops and a large arts and crafts market in the historic Old Town.

Come to Lviv to celebrate its history, rich heritage and culture, architecture, arts, crafts, music, and delicious food!