Facts about Lviv
A city with a lively history, Lviv (also spelled L’viv and Lvov) in Ukraine’s west was founded in the 13th century and has changed flags many times in the years since, having been part of Poland, Austria-Hungary and the Soviet empire. The city’s well-preserved historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has attractions like the Market Square (Ploshcha Rynok).
Climb the tower at the town hall for a great city view. The Lviv Opera House is dazzling and hosts world-class performances.
Lychakivsky Cemetery: Don’t leave town until you’ve seen this amazing 42ha cemetery, only a short ride on tram 7 from the centre. This is the Père Lachaise of Eastern Europe, with the same sort of overgrown grounds and Gothic aura as the famous Parisian necropolis (but containing less-well-known people). Laid out in the late 18th century, it’s packed full of western Ukraine’s great and good. Pride of place goes to the grave of revered nationalist poet Ivan Franko.
Lvivarnya: Revamped in 2017, the museum belonging to Lviv’s brewery is an impressive, modern experience, a world away for the rickety post-Soviet repositories of the past found in many Ukrainian cities. The well-presented exhibits whet the appetite for the tasting session at the end, that takes place in a impressively renovated bar. To reach the museum, take tram 7 to St Anna Church (where vul Shevchenka peels away from vul Horodotska) then walk north along vul Kleparivska for around 600m.
Museum of Folk Architecture and Life:
This open-air museum displays different regional styles of farmsteads, windmills, churches and schools, which dot a huge park to the east of the city centre. Everything is pretty spread out here and a visit involves a lot of footwork. As an exhibition, it doesn’t hold a candle to Kyiv’s Pyrohovo Museum, but it’s worth checking out if you’re not heading to the capital
Dominican Cathedral: Dominating a square to the east of pl Rynok is one of Lviv’s signature sights, the large dome of the 1764 Dominican Cathedral. Inside, the typical baroque oval nave rises to a seemingly weightless unadorned dome, the entire interior sporting a restrained, austere feel, characteristic of late-baroque structures. East of the cathedral is a square where you’ll see a statue of a monkholding a book. This is Federov, who brought printing to Ukraine in the 16th century.
Rynok Square: Rynok Square has been the centre of political, public, cultural, and commercial life of the city for 500 years; it is the heart of Lviv, the setting of the historic beginning of the Europeanization of Ukraine. Surrounding it are about fifty unique architectural monuments dating back to the 16-20th centuries.
The Opera House: Constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, designed by architect Zygmunt Gorgolewski, the Grand Theatre in Lviv has been compared to the Paris and Vienna opera houses. Standing in front of the magnificent façade of this marvellous building, one can feel the overwhelming power of art, its eternity in contrast with the transience of human life. This building comprises various European architectural styles fashioned in all their lavishness.
The Kornyakt Palace: The Kornyakt Palace (6 Rynok Square) represents an extremely valuable Renaissance monument dating to 1580; it was the palace of the wealthiest citizen in the whole history of Lviv – the merchant Constantine Kornyakt. Later, it was a Royal Mansion: the property and residence of Polish King Jan Sobieski. This stone house was built for him by Italian architect Peter of Barbone in the place of two former houses. According to the laws of the time, all houses situated in Rynok Square could have not more than three windows along the façade; this was a so-called rule of equal opportunity, as each window of the ground floor could be used to accommodate a workshop, a shop, a chemist’s, or for advertising purposes.
High Castle Hill: Around a 2km walk from pl Rynok, visiting the High Castle (Vysoky Zamok) on Castle Hill (Zamkova Hora) is a quintessential Lviv experience. There’s little evidence of the 14th-century ruined stone fort that was Lviv’s birthplace, but the summit mound sporting a mammoth Ukrainian flag thwacking in the wind offers 360-degree views of the city and the wooded hills between which it nestles.
How to get to Lviv
High speed train Intercity + (Kiev – Lviv – Kiev)
|Train No.||From||To||Dep||Arr||Hours of Journey|
|705 K||Kyiv||Lviv||6:00 AM||11:05 AM||Approx 5 hrs 15 mins|
|705 L||Lviv||Kyiv||18.37 pm||23:53 pm||Approx 5 hrs 15 mins|
|705 L||Lviv||Kyiv||17:28 pm||22:33 pm||Approx 5 hrs 5 mins|
|715 K||Kyiv||Lviv||6:52 AM||13:42 pm||Approx 6 hrs 58 mins|
|715 L||Lviv||Kyiv||16:12 pm||23:10 pm||Approx 6 hrs 58 mins|
High speed train Intercity (Kiev – Lviv – Kiev)
|Train No.||From||To||Dep||Arr||Hours of Journey|
|749 K||Kyiv||Lviv||14:09 pm||19:50 pm||Approx 5 hrs 48 mins|
|749 L||Lviv||Kyiv||11:27 am||17:15 pm||Approx 5 hrs 48 mins|