How Lviv lives during the war and which places are a must-see: an exclusive interview with a local guide
Find out about the complete list of must-visit places in Lviv, paid and free entertainment, as well as a checklist of an ideal day in the city of Lviv
Lviv is one of the most popular cities in Ukraine among tourists. Traditionally, they also go here for the winter holidays. We spoke with the guide of the Open Lviv portal, Mykola Khilyuk. He told us about life in the city of Leo, interesting places to visit and how to make your weekend or vacation in this city unforgettable.
Even in spite of the war in Ukraine, Lviv continues to live, gladly welcomes immigrants and tourists.
About the life of Lviv
- Lviv is an unusual city that carries history and modernity at the same time. How satisfied are the local residents with the level of development of the city?
In my opinion, Lviv is developing in the right direction. The best conditions are created in the tourism and IT spheres, which are advanced sectors of the economy. In this way, the economy of Lviv is diversifying. The fact that the majority of Lviv residents are satisfied with the level of development of Lviv is confirmed by their trust in the local authorities.
- Many cities have a happiness rating, what is it like in Lviv?
Here I will answer briefly with words from the song of the Lviv band Piccardiyska tertsia: "If you want happiness - then go to Lviv!".
- In connection with the beginning of a full-scale war, a huge number of immigrants began to go to the west of Ukraine. How many IDPs came to Lviv?
Currently, approximately 250,000 internally displaced persons live in Lviv region, most of them in Lviv. But in the peak period, at the end of March, there were even 500,000 IDPs in Lviv Oblast.
- In connection with rocket attacks by the occupiers, power outages are felt in every corner of Ukraine. How does Lviv live during blackouts? Is the government preparing for a blackout?
Fortunately, the situation with electricity supply is somewhat better in Lviv, compared to many other cities of Ukraine. But, of course, blackouts happen regularly.
The city government offers entrepreneurs and residents subsidies for the purchase of generators.
At the request of residents, wood-burning stoves can be installed in the basements of buildings. The so-called "Points of invincibility" are being set up, where during a possible complete blackout it will be possible to warm up, recharge the phone, get access to water, a toilet, etc.
We will remind you that we talked more about how to get compensation for the purchase of a generator here.
Tourism and architectural sights of Lviv
- Despite the start of the war, tourists continue to visit Ukraine. Do people come to Lviv now at all for tourist purposes? Maybe there are foreigners among the tourists?
Yes, despite everything, a certain number of tourists still come to Lviv. For some of them, the tourist destination is not the main purpose of their visit. I mean foreign volunteers and philanthropists, or those domestic Ukrainian tourists who came on business, for example, to take part in a medical conference or get to know the city where they plan to send their child to study. But sometimes you can even meet a small group of Polish tourists.
- What important and historical places should every tourist visit in Lviv? What architectural monuments is the city famous for?
Rynok Square, Opera House, Armenian Church, St. George's Cathedral, High Castle Mountain (currently unavailable due to martial law), Boim Chapel, Arsenal Weapons Museum (currently unavailable due to martial law), Italian Courtyard, Lychakiv Cemetery, Coffee Mine, House of scientists, the Garrison Temple and its dungeons, the Dominican Church, the complex of the Assumption Cathedral, the Latin Cathedral, the Church of St. Andrew, the most expensive restaurant in Galicia "Masons", the restaurant-museum "Gasova Lampa", Rebernya, Kryivka.
- Is there free entertainment for tourists that is really worth paying attention to? For example, museums, exhibitions, etc.?
I definitely recommend visiting the following free places: the new fountain in front of the Opera House, the Dzyga Art Center (contemporary art exhibitions), the Municipal Art Center, organ music in the Latin Cathedral (during mass), Lysa Gora (a short climb), the Heavenly Hundred Memorial (observation terraces and reflections on the history of Ukraine), the courtyard of the Benedictine monastery, the observation deck near the "Citadel" hotel, the observation deck of the "Vernisage" shopping center, the Pharmacy-Museum under the "Black Eagle" (trading hall), Stryi Park, "Home of Rescued Animals".
- What paid entertainment do you recommend visiting and get unforgettable impressions of the city?
Such places: climbing the Town Hall Tower (currently inaccessible due to martial law), the dungeons of the Garrison Temple, the ethnographic complex "Shevchenkivskyi Gai", the Potocki Palace, the Lviv Art Gallery in the Lozynskyi Palace, the "Lvivarnya" Brewing Museum, the updated Museum of the History of Lviv in Black Kam'janitsy, the Museum of Modernism, the Oceanarium, the Museum of Transport "Retro Garage", the Museum of Ethnography and Art Craft (currently unavailable due to martial law), the Museum "Ancient Lviv", riding through the streets of old Lviv on a horse-drawn carriage, a tour of the city on the "Miracle Train" (sightseeing tram).
- When is the season usually in Lviv and do you feel an influx of tourists?
Usually, the tourist season in Lviv lasts from the middle of March to the beginning of November, as well as the New Year and Christmas period.
- What is the approximate cost of one busy day in Lviv for a guest who came to visit the city?
Of course, there are budget tourists, and there are those who do not particularly save money. Therefore, the cost of one day for a guest can vary significantly. But, I think that on average it is UAH 3,000 for one busy day in Lviv.
Lviv is a city for the soul
- Your personal TOP of favorite places in Lviv that are worth visiting?
• Armenian Church
• Boim Chapel
• Italian courtyard
• Coffee mine
• House of scientists
• Latin Cathedral
• The most expensive restaurant in Galicia "Masony"
• Cafe "Under the blue flask"
• Chocolate workshop
• Bald Mountain
• Courtyard of the Benedictine monastery
• Church of Saints Olga and Elizabeth (ascent to the observation tower)
• Art center "Dzyga"
• Municipal art center
• Gingerbread workshop "Yurashka"
- What is your ideal day in Lviv - which places would you mark as a "must visit"?
For breakfast, I would visit the Bachevskyi Restaurant for a buffet, then a walk around Rynok Square, medieval Lviv quarters and Svobody Avenue (where the monument to Taras Shevchenko and the Opera House are located). At 12:00, I would listen to "Melody of the City" performed by a Lviv trumpeter, visit several museums and galleries, have lunch at "Masony" (or at Gasova Lampa, Reberna, or Kryivka), drink brewed coffee at Kopalna Kava. In the evening, I would go to a performance at the Opera Theater (or another theater, Lviv is a very theatrical city), or to a concert at the Pravda Beer Theater, or to jazz at Flat 35.
- And finally, what is Lviv for you? How would you describe the city in one word?
Visit Ukraine is an organiser of tours around Ukraine. 800 tours. Choose yours on the website.
We will remind you that earlier we wrote about where you can go on vacation in December. Find out more about winter tours for recreation with family and friends in Ukraine by following the link.
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.