You are planning a trip to Lviv Ukraine? Good idea! In this article we want to present you the most important Lviv tourism travel tips and tell you everything you need to know for your trip to Lviv Ukraine. If you want to know which are the most beautiful places in Lviv, just click here to go to the article of our favorite places in Lviv.
Lviv tourism – climate and weather
The climate in Lviv is moderate. Summers are mild, on some days even warmer than ours. In winter, on the other hand, it gets cold. But do not worry, temperatures below -10 ° Celsius are also here rather the exception.
Rainfall and sunshine hours
You always have to expect rain in Ukraine, especially in spring and autumn. The number of sunny hours is almost every month above that of a city in Western Europe! Within Ukraine, however, the weather is notorious, because due to the nearby Carpathian Mountains, there are sometimes lightning-like changes in the weather – within a few minutes, the cloudless sky over the city can turn into a rain-covered one and it pours down like from buckets.
Best time to travel
Lviv is the cultural capital of Ukraine and as such, of course, a worthwhile destination all year round. Even in December, tourists still come to the city to enjoy the wonderful Christmas market. Of course, the summer months of July and August are ideal. It is warm and there is a beautiful atmosphere in the city. But I would especially recommend the months of May, June and September. Then there is not (more) so much going on and the temperatures are ideal for a vacation in Lviv Ukraine. I would not recommend January. Then is Orthodox and Greek Catholic Christmas and many stores, restaurants and museums are closed. And it is cold then too!
Important Lviv events
The good news is that you won’t get bored in Lviv. There are so many art ensembles, theaters, museums, clubs and bars here and they all vie for the favor of their guests. So there is always something going on somewhere. Therefore, I want to present you here only a small selection of the most beautiful events:
Craft Beer & Vinyl Music Festival
On the outskirts of the city lays !Fest Republic, a huge area with exhibition spaces, restaurants, bars and much more. And there’s always something going on here at the weekend! But I especially liked the Craft Beer Festival in May. Here, about 50 microbrewers from all over Ukraine come together and you can relax with live music.
Leopolis Grand Prix
A car race in the middle of the city does not exist only in Monaco! In the 1930s, Lviv was one of the most important venues for car racing ever. This beautiful race at the end of May with historic cars reminds us of that.
On the first Sunday in May, the city celebrates itself. And there is a lot on offer: Concerts, shows and much more around the market square make Lviv Day a special experience.
Leopolis Jazz Fest
Lviv is a real jazz mecca! At the Jazz Festival at the end of June, you’ll get to hear it everywhere in the city. According to the Guardian, Jazz Festival Leopolis is one of the ten most important of its kind in Europe!
In a separate article we have compiled for you the TOP 20 most beautiful Lviv Ukraine sights. Here is a small selection:
- Market Square with City Hall: One of the most beautiful squares in Ukraine with a city hall, from which you have a great view of the city
- Kornjakt Palace and Italian Court: former residence of the Polish King John III Sobieski with a Mediterranean-style courtyard
- Armenian Cathedral: not a church like any other, but a unique Art Nouveau building with creepy frescoes
- Lychakiwski Cemetery: the most important cemetery in the country and a reflection of the city’s turbulent history
- National Opera House: a feast for the eyes both inside and out and the landmark of Lviv
- House of scientists: somewhat hidden gem with a wonderful staircase
- Saint George’s Cathedral: one of the most important churches of the Greek Catholic Church and a national place of pilgrimage
- Potocki Palace: residence of the Ukrainian president and exciting exhibition of European art from the 14th to the 18th century
- Shevchenko grove: huge open-air museum east of the city with many wooden buildings from the Carpathian Mountains
Getting to Lviv
To enter Ukraine, citizens of most European countries do not require a visa. You only need a valid passport for entry and can stay up to 90 days within a total period of 180 days. Your passport must still be valid when you enter the country. It should also be valid when you leave the country, otherwise the border officials may impose a fine.
However, be careful if you are traveling with friends from other countries, because Ukraine requires a visa from citizens of Australia, New Zealand or India, among others. However, citizens of some countries can apply for these visas as eVisa and do not need to go to a Ukrainian embassy. You can find a detailed list here.
Danylo Halytsky Airport Lviv is located southwest of Lviv Ukraine. It is relatively small, but modern. Currently there are direct connections to the following countries, to name some:
- Austria: Vienna (1 h 40 min).
- Germany: Berlin (1 h 20 min), Dortmund (2 h 15 min.), Dusseldorf (2 h 10 min), Memmingen (1 h 55 min), Munich (1 h 40 min), Frankfurt-Hahn (2 h 10 min.)
- France: Paris (3 h)
- Greece: Heraklion (2 h), Thessaloniki (2 h 10 min)
- Italy: Bologna (2 h 15 min), Milan BGY (2 h), Milan MXP (2h 10 min), Naples (2 h), Rome (2 h 20 min.), Venice (2 h)
- Poland: Bydgoszcz (1 h 20 min), Gdansk ( 1 h 20 min.), Katowice (0 h 55 min.), Krakow (1 h), Olsztyn-Mazury (1 h 35 min.), Poznan (1 h), Warsaw WAW (1 h), Warsaw WMI (1 h 5 min), Wroclaw (1 h 15 min)
- Spain: Barcelona (3 h 50 m), Madrid (3 h 40 min)
Tip: Buy a Ukrainian sim card at the airport, you can get it at the kiosk or if it is closed in one of the cafes. From the airport you can take the express bus to the main station or take the slower bus No. 48 to the center. You can also take the trolleybus 29 to the center. If you want to have it very relaxed, then just book here* a private transfer with an English-speaking driver.
From Germany/Poland: By train there are two connections that are suitable. There is a night train from Berlin to Przemyśl (Ukraine-Poland border) and there you can change to a fast train to Lviv. Also you can arrive to Warsaw and from there you can continue to Lviv by night train. From Austria/Poland: There is a direct connection from Vienna to Lviv by night train. This is already a good connection and one of the best Lviv Ukraine travel tips.
Also check out our article on train travel in Ukraine. The station is a bit out of the way, but it is a work of art in itself and you should take some time to see it.
From Western Europe there are countless direct connections to Ukraine. However, the journey takes between 18 and over 30 hours, depending on the departure point. This is not necessarily comfortable in a bus. Tickets cost between 60 and 100 euros each way. More information about buses in Ukraine can be found here.
Those who wish to enter Ukraine by car can do so. However, you need a registration certificate, which identifies one of the passengers as the owner. If you do not have such a document, you run the risk of not being allowed to enter the country. If you are not the owner of the vehicle, you can carry a certified power of attorney of the owner with apostille, which allows the use. However, this must be translated into Ukrainian by an official translator. If these documents are not available, we recommend parking the car at a pedestrian border and crossing the border on foot and continuing the journey by other means of transport.
Lviv tourism public transport
In the center of Lviv Ukraine, you can easily get around on foot. However, if you are going to destinations that are a bit out of the way, you can use public transport or simply Uber or Bolt, which is very cheap in Ukraine.
There is no metro in Lviv. You can take the streetcar (nine lines), the trolley bus, regular buses and small shared cabs, the marshrutki. All means of transport are often crowded and the system is not always easy to understand for foreigners. The best thing to do is to use this page to see the different means of transport.
Tickets are usually available directly from the driver of the individual means of transport. The tickets are incredibly cheap, often you pay only a few cents for a ride. In a marshrutka, the money is passed to the front and the driver gives the change during the ride, which then magically arrives back at the owner.
Cabs and driving service providers
Not all cab drivers speak English. Therefore, I recommend you to use a driving service provider such as Uber or Bolt, then you will not have to rely on Ukrainian and you are guaranteed to get to your destination.
Those who know Russian will have little problem speaking to people. Almost all Ukrainians speak and understand Russian and Ukrainian. In Lviv, however, Ukrainian, not Russian, is the everyday language. Many are allergic to the Russian language because of the history (and of course the difficult present). Therefore, it is better to learn a few words in Ukrainian:
|Hello!||Dobroho dnia!||Dobry dyen!|
|Good Morning!||Dobroho ranku!||Dobre utra!|
|Good evening!||Dobree way-t-sheer!||Dobree way-t-sheer!|
|You are welcome / Please||Bud laska||Pa sha loozta|
|How are You?||Yak spravy?||Kak dyela?|
|Freut mich (dich kennen zu lernen)||Dooshe pree-ye-mo||Priyatno pos-na-komitza|
|I (don’t) understand||Ya (ne) roz-ee-me-yu||Ya (ne) pa-nee-ma-yu|
These phrases will help you get started. Ukrainians love it when you speak a few words of Ukrainian! Otherwise, you can often manage with English, especially young people often know the language. Some Lvivians also understand German, as well as Polish.
Dining in Lviv
Ukrainian cuisine is a savory cuisine. Some of the recipes are centuries old and often reflect the simple peasant life of Ukraine. There are many meat dishes but the main Ukrainian dishes are based on cereals, cabbage, potatoes, onions and other vegetables that grow in Ukraine. For international stomachs Ukrainian cuisine is a bit heavy, but most things are common in other kitchens as well, especially in Europe. Some dishes from Austrian and Polish cuisine have also sneaked into the repertoire.
Coffee paradise Lviv
Lviv, a coffee city? Yes, absolutely! According to a legend, after the Battle of Vienna, Ukrainian Yuri Khulchytsky was allowed to take a thing of his choice from the Ottomans as a trophy and chose hundreds of sacks of coffee beans. He opened a coffee house in Vienna. Later he brought coffee to Lviv. Historically strongly influenced by Vienna, Lviv still has countless cafes and coffee houses and even a coffee mine under the market square! Traditionally, coffee here is prepared “on sand”, i.e. heated on ash sand and then enjoyed neat – delicious!
The main local dishes
- borsch – beet root soup with cabbage
- vareniki – dumplings with various fillings, most commonly with potatoes and/or cabbage.
- halushky – dumplings with different sauces
- holubtsi – cabbage rolls
- kholodets – meat in aspic
Where to eat in Lviv?
Lviv is an absolute gourmand’s paradise. Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Austrians, Italians – many have left their culinary mark here. The following list is therefore also very subjective and only a small insight into what awaits you in Lviv!
- Baczewski, Wul. Schewska 8. Baczewski used to be the vodka supplier of the Austrian imperial family! And even today you can get delicious spirits here. But the food is also impressive. And the Polish classics taste really good in the small, covered palm garden!
- Atlas Café, Pl. Rynok 45, a restaurant with a long tradition and ornate decor right on the market square. Polish and Ukrainian classics and large wine list.
- Kryivka, Pl. Rynok 14. The “Hideout” is one of the most famous pubs in the country. And one of the most controversial! Like a real Ukrainian partisan, you have to say a code word before you are allowed in. During the meal, it can happen that someone comes by with a machine gun and tests whether you are really a Ukrainian. A crazy place that will be remembered for a long time.
- Pusata Chata, Wul. Sitschovykh Strilziw 12 and Prospekt Shevchenka 10. Are you traveling on a budget and still want to eat your fill? Then the fast food restaurant is the right place for you. Here you can get Ukrainian classics for little money.
You will have no problem finding cheap and good accommodation in Lviv. The standard has improved significantly in recent years. Here are a few recommendations:
- Ferenc* Vuliza Ferenza Lista 4. Hotel opened only in 2018 in an old printing house with nice restaurant and home-brewed beer.
- George Hotel* Ploshsha Miskevicha 1. The George has already over 100 years on the hump and quite a slight patina. But you can stay here very cheap and feel the spirit of the old Lviv.
- Panorama Hotel* Prospekt Swobody 45. Here you have a fantastic view of the opera, the house is decorated with paintings of local artists and very well maintained.
- Bank Hotel* Vuliza Lystopadovoho Chynu 8. This chic five-star hotel is housed in an old bank from 1914, in part even the old safes are still original!
- Dream Hostel* Vuliza Beryndy 3. Offshoot of a chain with shared and private rooms close to the market square.
Ukraine is, contrary to what our blog title suggests, a very safe travel destination. Violence against tourists or robberies are very rare. Ukrainians are very respectful with foreigners and especially with tourists in general.
However, there can be a problem with pickpockets. In places with a lot of people (busy city centers, public transportation, markets, supermarkets), you should therefore be especially careful with your valuables. Wallets and other valuables should not be left unattended even in restaurants. It is recommended to make the majority of payments with credit cards.
- Fire department: 101
- Police: 102
- Ambulance: 103
Visitors to Ukraine must provide proof of foreign health insurance upon entry. Without confirmation, entry may be denied. Unfortunately, the health care system is not in good condition. Vaccinations are not mandatory. You should not drink tap water. The public toilets are not always clean. Important: Do not throw toilet paper into the toilet if there is a bucket next to it. Otherwise the pipes can get clogged.
Hospital in Lviv
- American Medical Centers Lviv, Vulitsa Bohomolza 3. The private provider definitely has its price, but in return the medical center is outstanding in terms of hygiene and professionalism.
In Ukraine, the official currency is called hryvnia. This currency is the only legal tender. You can exchange money in Lviv in many places. The exchange places have to keep the rates within a framework set by the Central Bank. Therefore, fraud in the official exchange is rare. The exchange offices must also issue a receipt. One should therefore refrain from exchanging with private individuals.
You can withdraw money at one of the countless ATMs. However, some banks charge additional fees for withdrawal. If you want to avoid these fees, you should withdraw money from Ukrsibbank, OTP Bank or Credit Agricole.
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Almost all stores and restaurants have a terminal. GooglePay and ApplePay work without any problems. VPAY cards, however, do not work in Ukraine. If you have such a card, we recommend using credit cards.
Telephone and Internet
Ukraine is not part of the EU. Many forget that roaming is free only within the EU and in Ukraine every minute and every MB here can cost a lot of money if you use a phone card from the EU. Therefore, many providers at home offer data and phone packages for Ukraine. This is cheaper than the roaming charges. However, we recommend simply using a Ukrainian SIM card for the duration of your stay in Ukraine. These cost between 3 and 8 euros and offer unlimited data volume.
We recommend the provider Kyivstar, which has the best network in the whole of Ukraine. However, there are also other good providers, such as Vodafone and Lifecell, which have good coverage. Calls to foreign countries are best made via Whatsapp or a messenger service, as there are no charges for the call and the data volume is included.
Wi-Fi is available in almost all hotels, restaurants and cafes.
Book tips Lviv Ukraine
You still have not enough of Lviv? Then we can recommend you the following book:
- In his book East West Street*, British journalist Philippe Sands describes how the two Lviv residents Raphael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht coined the terms “crimes against humanity” and “genocide.” He simultaneously draws a moving portrait of Lviv Ukraine at the time of World War II and of the two protagonists, who went through a highly divergent development.
- Want to know more about Lviv? Leave a comment, we’ll be happy to help!
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We wish you a nice stay in Lviv!