Lviv for the weekend: what is worth seeing
Lviv is a city with a rich history, where every house and street is shrouded in a special atmosphere. If you are here for the first time, you will be surprised and will not be able to believe that you are on the territory of Ukraine.
In our article before the holidays, we will share information about what places and establishments are worth visiting in Lviv for three days. However, if you are planning a trip for the May holidays, then we recommend booking accommodation in advance, because these days the city will be very crowded.
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Let's start our tour of Lviv. First of all, in order to recharge our emotions and strengthen ourselves, we are heading to Kryivka.
"Kryivka" is a special place, known not only for its delicious cuisine, but also for its unique atmosphere. It was a hideout for Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) fighters, and here you can see a collection of military equipment, as well as German grenades, grenade launchers, radios, and cipher machines. Among this military equipment, you can try "Half a meter of sausage", black pudding, kulesh, herring, as well as tinctures, vodka and kvass.
Finding Kryivka may not be easy, because it has not been marked. But we can give you a hint: it's right in front of the City Hall. There you will see a residential building and a basement with an inconspicuous door. Knock, and a military guard will open for you, who will ask for the password. The password is: "Glory to Ukraine!" - after the guard answers: "Glory to the heroes!", they will pour you a tincture and let you go further along the narrow corridors of the restaurant. Come with a sense of humor, they love tourists here, always tasty food and entertainment.
Another feature of Kryivka is that the restaurant is open around the clock. So, if you arrived in Lviv early in the morning or late in the evening and do not know where to go, then do not hesitate to go to Kryivka.
High Castle Park
One of the most popular places among both tourists and locals in the city of Lviv is the High Castle park, located on Castle Hill. From this point you have a breathtaking view of the city, and if you come here early in the morning, you will enjoy not only the panorama, but also the tranquility that will add romance to the place.
The history of Lviv has been connected with the Castle Hill since 1256, and this place has a special significance for the city. In the 19th century, a park was built here on the site of the former fortress of the High Castle, which served as a defensive structure and weapons storage.
Lviv coffee shop
To visit Lviv and not try a cup of coffee in one of the local coffee houses is unthinkable. Walking through the city center, you will invariably stumble upon a coffee shop, so walking past it will be an unforgivable mistake. You can enjoy a drink on the terrace with a transparent roof, at the window in the hall or go down into the mine, put on a helmet and enjoy coffee in an unusual setting.
Browsing through the menu, the eyes just go out of their sockets from the variety of coffee drinks: coffee mulled wine, coffee dessert with liqueur, cream and nuts, sealed coffee - which is very popular. Do not forget to try local desserts - Lviv cheesecake or apple strudel - they are so delicious that you want to prolong the pleasure.
The menu also includes meat and hot dishes, snacks, salads, strong drinks and cocktails - everything is very tasty and satisfying.
Lviv City Hall
The city hall is located in the building of the city council of Lviv. In order to admire the bird's-eye view of the city, it is necessary to overcome 408 steps of a steep staircase. However, the picture seen is worth the effort, since the old part of Lviv does not have annoying advertising and banners that spoil the view. In the building of the town hall there are clocks made at the factory of V. Shtil in 1852. They are among the oldest in Ukraine.
Dominican cathedral (church)
One of the symbols of Lviv is the Catholic Dominican Cathedral, built in the 18th century. It can be described as majestic and solemn. On the pediment of the cathedral are the words "SOLI DEO HONOR ET GLORIA", which translates as "Honor and glory only to God."
The interior of the cathedral represents sophistication and luxury. Saints of the Dominican order are depicted on the dome, and 4 apostles are located in the altar. The cathedral is an example of the Baroque style.
The first grill restaurant "Meat and Justice"
After you've had enough of your walk, head to the restaurant at ul. Gross, 20. The only negative is the long queues, especially on holidays. However, if you are willing to wait, you will be rewarded with a juicy kebab, beef steak, sausage platter, bograch and fragrant grilled vegetables.
Let's not describe the history of this establishment, just say that the food here is so delicious that the next day you will think: "Why didn't I eat more meat?"
Gas lamp (Kerosene lamp)
If you don't want to wait in line at the Meat and Justice restaurant, you can head to the Gas Lamp. Nevertheless, this restaurant-museum is worth visiting in any case. It is dedicated to a kerosene lamp, the invention of which became known in 1853 thanks to Ignatius Lukasevich and Jan Zegu, employees of the Under the Golden Star pharmacy. The restaurant is located at 20, Armyanskaya Street, next to Lukasiewicz's sculpture at a table with a kerosene lamp, and you can also see Jan Zegh looking out of the window.
Upon entering, you will be led through dark corridors. The cuisine in the restaurant is Ukrainian: pork sausage, lard, pickled vegetables and a meat board. You can also try test-tube drinks such as tinctures, mead, horseradish, and even kerosene.
Because it is not only a restaurant, but also a museum, kerosene lamps are on display, practically the largest collection in Europe.
After rest and recuperation, we go to an unusual place - a cemetery, and then many other fascinating places await us.
Lychakiv Cemetery, also known as an open-air museum-reserve, is famous for its works of art in each crypt. The cemetery has a rich history dating back to 1786, when Lviv was the capital of Galicia, and the first burial was made in 1657.
Here you can see 23 chapel-tombs belonging to wealthy families, as well as more than 2000 tombs, 500 reliefs and figures. The total number of burials in the cemetery is about 300,000. Among those buried here are the writer Ivan Franko and the author of the outstanding Chervnaya Ruti Volodymyr Ivasyuk.
When you visit this place, you cannot help but admire the sculptures and tombstones made by famous architects such as Anton and Johann Schimzer, Hartmann Witwer, Paris Philippi, Feodosia Brizh and others. However, for an even more memorable experience, it is worth visiting this place at night. Illuminated paths and ringing silence will surely create strong emotions for you.
In the center of Old Lviv, there is a beautiful Latin Cathedral, which is easily recognizable by its high spire 67 meters high. The construction of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary lasted 100 years, starting from the 14th century. During its existence, the appearance of the cathedral changed several times, and the most noticeable restoration took place at the end of the 18th century, when the cathedral received features of the popular styles of that time - baroque and rococo. Don't miss this place!
Church of the Jesuits (Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul)
On the same street, next to the Latin Cathedral, is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, which belongs to the Jesuit order. Its construction was completed in the period from 1610 to 1630, and since then the appearance and interior of the temple have not changed much. In the 18th century, a tower was installed here, which became the highest in the city.
The Jesuit Church attracts attention with its dungeons, where you can see the remains of the princely walls of the 14th century, as well as artifacts and frescoes. Among the interesting exhibits is a sarcophagus with an inscription confirming that it was made for Archbishop Nikolai Vizhitsky.
"Masonic lodge", or "The most expensive restaurant in Galicia"
The Masonic Lodge restaurant is located in the same building as the Kryivka, and there is no sign here either. However, he who seeks always finds. Upon entering, you may be handed some kind of crumpled piece of paper or something - do not worry and be sure to keep it until you pay the bill. When browsing the menu, you will notice that the prices here are mind blowing - this is the most expensive restaurant in Galicia. However, if you present a piece of paper that you will be given at the entrance, or a map of the "Local" network, your discount can reach as much as 90%.
While walking around Old Lviv, you will invariably stop at Rynok Square. Its architecture is typical for the cities of Central Europe in the Middle Ages. After a massive fire in 1527, the old wooden buildings were destroyed, leaving only the cellars. Italians, Rusyns, Germans, Armenians, Poles and Jews who lived in Lviv took part in the restoration.
Today we can see architectural sights that were formed before the 19th century. Four fountains are installed in the corners of the square: Adonis, Amphitrite, Neptune and Diana. There are famous houses around the Market, such as the Bandinelli House, the Venetian House, the Black Kamenitsa, the Lubomirski Palace and the Adreoli Passage.
Lviv Opera House
One of the most beautiful theaters in Europe, the Lviv Opera House named after S. Krushelnytska, located in the city of Lviv, is considered equal in beauty to the Vienna and Odessa operas. The facade of the building is decorated with figures symbolizing "Love", "Life", "Glory", "Art" and "Victory".
Inside the theater you will find a huge hall of mirrors, decorated with paintings that symbolize the change of seasons. There is also a chandelier made of precious materials in the hall. On the second floor, the mansions of Emperor Franz Joseph have been preserved. You can just go on a tour of the theater, but it's best to buy a ticket for a performance that will leave you with a lasting impression.
After a busy day of sightseeing, we invite you to visit Masoch art cafe and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Here you will find attributes referring to the work of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, such as whips, handcuffs, leather whips, as well as unusual chairs and hanging bras and erotic photographs. On the menu you will see dishes and drinks related to the theme of sex and masochism. If you wish, the waiter can put a collar on you or whip you during the evening rest.
By the way, at the entrance you will be greeted by a full-length sculpture of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, which you can touch and explore. But it is worth noting that this institution is not recommended for visiting with children. However, after such a description, you probably already understood it.
As a rule, check-out from the hotel or apartment takes place in the morning. But what if your train only leaves in the evening? We suggest you leave your bags at the station and go to see the beautiful sights of Lviv.
Cathedral of St. Olga and Elizabeth
This beautiful cathedral is the tallest building in the city of Lviv, reaching a height of 85 meters. Made in neo-gothic style, it impresses with its magnificence. The cathedral was built at the beginning of the 20th century under the name Church of St. Elizabeth, in honor of Empress Elizabeth, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I. In 1991, it was transferred to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and renamed.
In the construction of the cathedral, elements of North German and French Gothic architecture were used, such as a portal with a large rose in the center, sharp spiers and a vertical space inside.
St. George's Cathedral
The Church of St. George is one of the most valuable works of Ukrainian baroque, as well as the main place of worship of the UGCC. Once here was the residence of the Greek Catholic metropolitans, and the first cathedral on Svyato-Gora was built back in the days of the Galicia-Volyn principality. The current temple was built in 1770 and is a valuable example of the architecture of that time. In the building of the cathedral there is the oldest bell in Ukraine, which was cast in 1341. The temple ensemble of St. George was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List along with the historical center of Lviv.
House of Legends
In an old house, just a block from Rynok Square, there is a restaurant "House of Legends", which occupies 4 floors. Some secret is hidden in each of its rooms. For example, in the room "Legends of the Lviv pavement" samples of pavements from different eras are exhibited, and in the room "Lviv Time" you can see an exposition of historical clocks. Home cooking is prepared here at average prices.
Lviv chocolate shop
Although today a network of workshops is opening in many cities of Ukraine, you should definitely visit it in Lviv. There you will find a variety of chocolate products, aromatic coffee and coffee cocktails, as well as sweet souvenirs. It's just impossible to pass by!
Try tinctures from Lviv and bring back a piece of this city in a bottle. The store "Nalivki iz Lvov" offers more than 20 types of drinks, including mead, galangal, citrus, prunes and coffee. Here you can order liquor in different volumes of bottles, and most importantly - try them on the spot. Be sure to visit this store.
We hope that our little guide will help you plan your three-day trip to Lviv. Walking along the streets, you will feel happiness, because there is so much beauty and interesting places, saturated with history and mysteries.