"The Gateway to the West" Top 5 Page for this destination Lviv by hunterV

Lviv Travel Guide: 836 reviews and 2,951 photos

The West-Ukrainian Capital

This is how Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine, is often called. Lviv is often referred to as A Beautiful Ukrainian City.
It is much more ornate than many other cities of Ukraine. When I strolled downtown, I felt each building was a masterpiece and thouhht I had to take a picture of every other building and describe it in detail...
Lviv is famous for its old and unique architecture, cathedrals and churches, very active public (both politically and economically) and has long become a place of pilgrimage of many Orthodox and Catholic Christians.
Lviv was visited by about one million travelers from 113 countries of the world in 2010.
This city has long become a city of summits and government rendezvous. They say it is, in fact, the second Ukrainian capital. The residents of Western Ukraine often call Lviv the Spiritual Capital of Ukraine.
Lviv is spelled differently in different languages. It is spelled L'viv in Ukrainian and L’vov in Russian; in Polish: Lwów; in German: Lemberg; in Italian: Leopoli; in French: Leopolis; in Yiddish: Lemberik.
There are a lot of sights in Lviv, among them the Pototsky Palace that is a meeting point for a lot of official delegations coming to Lviv to discuss the East-West relations. This palace, as well as other old buildings in Lviv, has been thoroughly renovated and has become one of the city symbols.
Getting to know Lviv, you will discover its treasures and legends. Lvivians and city visitors agree that there are at least Seven Wonders of Lviv
1) Corniactos Belfry;
2) Former Bernardine Cathedral;
3) Boims Chapel, “A Bible in Stone”;
4) Count Pototski’s Palace;
5) Opera and Ballet Theater;
6) House of Scientists;
7) St.George’s Cathedral.
Please listen to some Music of/about Lviv and enjoy these views of the city in Lviv Picture Gallery, as well as Lviv Reminiscences and Discover Lviv!. I also enjoyed waching Christmas Celebrations in Lviv in 2015 and reading Lonely Planet article about Lviv.

Open-Air Museum

The city was founded as a fort by Prince Daniel of Halychina (it is also called Galicia) who later became a king and is known now as King Daniel (1201-1264). He named the city in honor of his son Lev (Leo): Leo's City.
The lion is the historical symbol of the city and is represented on the city's coat-of-arms.
Lviv was first mentioned in 1238, but they chose the date 1256 as the city's foundation year.
In 2006 the city celebrated the 750th anniversary of its foundation.
The population of Lviv exceeds 830,000 inhabitants now.
Thousands of people come to this city daily as tourists or on business.
The central part of the city has been put on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Lviv can be called an open-air museum like, say, Luebeck, an ancient German city recognized by UNESCO as a museum city.
Please take a look at Interactive Map of Lviv and also John Farrar’s Virtual Tour of Lviv
My friend Matt made a great slide show about Lviv. Thanks, Matt!
There is a short film about Lviv (in Ukrainian), a city founded, according to the legend, at the place indicated by the finger of God.

"The City of Lion"

I visited Lviv in May 2002 on my way to Germany by bus and in 1993 as a teacher leader of the school students' team of Luhansk region to take part in the All-Ukrainian English Olympiad in English.
But the trip was very rewarding for in my spare time I went downtown to admire the ancient cathedrals, ramparts, pavements, cafes, the City Hall and the central square that is called Market Square.
My other visits to Lviv took place in June 2010 when I was a participant of the 6th European VT Meeting and in November 2014 when I took part in a private Vt meeting with my friends.
I decided to revisit many places in Lviv that I remembered from my previous short business trips.
First of all I came to the City Council building to say hello to the lions guarding it. Two stone lions guard the entrance to the City Hall. They became the symbol of the city after it had been called Lviv in honor of Leo, the son of King Daniel. This name sounds like lion in Ukrainian.
You can also admire a splendid view of the city from the High Castle that is located on the hill at the altitude of 413 meters above sea level.
There are lots of other places of interest in Lviv, among them the Opera and Ballet Theater, Liberty Avenue, Stryi Park, Lychakiv Cemetery and others.
Lviv is the center of Lviv region that includes 41 cities, dozens of towns and settlements, hundreds of villages.
There are lots of places of interest in Lviv region, such as the city of Drohobych, one of the most ancient Ukrainian cities, that is even older than Lviv itself.
Lviv has a modern railway station and an international airport. The city is connected with lots of foreign cities by rail and by direct flights.
Liberty Avenue is the main thoroughfare that connects Mickiewicz Square with the Opera and Ballet Theater.
You can see the monument to Taras Shevchenko, the Bard of Ukraine, in the middle of the avenue.
Unlike some East-Ukrainian cities, there are so many coffeehouses in Lviv. Coffee drinking has become a special ritual in this city. People drink very strong coffee without any sugar, often double coffee, which is a must for every guest of the city, too.
The city is also famous for its unique museums: the Ethnography Museum, the Open-Air Museum of Folk Architecture (skansen), the Ukrainian Culture Museum, The Arsenal Museum of Old Weapons and many others. The city picture gallery also attracts lots of visitors.
Lviv is known as the Spiritual Capital of Ukraine and has the oldest cathedrals and churches in Ukraine, among them Roman Catholic Cathedral, Assumption Cathedral, St.George's Cathedral, John the Baptist Cathedral, Former Jesuits' Cathedral and others.
Stylist magazine published a nice unbiased comment about Lviv, one of the cities receiving EURO-2012,
"Lviv is a beautiful place known as “the Florence of the East”. Its varied architecture, with renaissance, baroque, rococo and neoclassical styles all rubbing up next to each other, makes it a fascinating destination, and sitting with a coffee or beer in a town-square cafe, tucking into a bowl of borscht or nibbling on a pastry, while watching the world roll by, is a treat."
I completely agree with you, Stylist!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Rich and many-sided cultural life, very active and patriotic public life
  • Cons:Long distance to get there
  • In a nutshell:The Spiritual Capital of Ukraine
  • Last visit to Lviv: May 2015
  • Intro Updated May 26, 2015
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Reviews (156)

Comments (70)

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    Interesting things to do here in Lviv! Thanks for sharing. I will have to return when I have time to continue the tour.

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    I need to keep coming back to check these pages on Lviv. Thanks Victor

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    you made a lot of great updates again on this page since my last visit, Victor, thanks for sharing !

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    How great to have you writing again on VT and adding so much interesting info about this lovely city!

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Dec 13, 2014 at 3:27 AM

      Thanks, Sarah! This is the city you can't help falling in love with.....

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 13, 2014 at 4:15 AM

      I agree - a special place (and with special memories!)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Great page, great city and great updates! Thanks for sharing.

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I just started to know more about Lvov! I liked a lot! I will be continuing to read your page!

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    Lviv is a really lovely place ! Lots of great updates since my last visit to this interesting page !

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Nov 23, 2014 at 4:14 AM

      Thanks, Michael! Keep well!~ and welcome to the good old Ukraine)

  • nada1712's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    An incredibly beautiful town. Thank you for your insight. Photos are fascinating. Best wishes to you Nada

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Nov 21, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      Thanks, Nada! You are right...I revisit it with pleasure....

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Lviv is on my list of places to go to at some point - hopefully. Hope everything's going well for you there

  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    Dear Viktor, great page on Lviw - which I always wanted to visit. Glad to hear you are well, and that the Euromeet was such a success. You saw a lot, as I can see! Best regards, Michael

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Oct 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Hello, Michael! Thanks for your comment. You can never see a lot in Lviv....It's such a splendid city...

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