Lviv is a city of various cultural sightseeings. It belonged to 6 different countries, and each of them left its own mark on the city map. Lviv keeps the memory of Kievan Rus, Polish, Austrian, German, and Soviet times. Now it is a part of Ukraine.
This unique cultural mix makes the city worth visiting. People of different nationalities also have been living here: Ukrainians, Poles, Armenians, Germans, Russians, and Jewish people brought some parts of their world view.
Here is Ukrainian Lessons Cultural Guide to Lviv, where we collected the most important places, which you should visit to understand this city.
Also, look at our Food Guide to discover the best places to eat, drink, and relax!
Собор Святого Юра – St. George’s Cathedral
For me, it is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Lviv. Despite its location in the center of the city, this cathedral is not full of tourists. It is almost 300 years old, but the building looks like new. Only old baroque stairs remind us about the ages. Собор Святого Юра is one of the main holy places of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is extremely popular in the Western part of the country.
Also, in this cathedral, you can notice the oldest church bell in Ukraine, which was created in 1341. Собор Святого Юра is built in baroque style, but it has quite minimalistic architecture, which makes it even more beautiful.
Where: площа Святого Юра, 5 (Sviatogo Yura square, 5)
Вірменський собор – Armenian Cathedral
It is an old church, which had been renewed for a long time. Now, this building from the 14th century is open for everyone. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t wear short skirts, shorts or tops to enter this place. However, it is really worth visiting. There are many authentic and unusual sacred images and the atmosphere imbues you with a feeling of holiness. It is quite dark there, but that creates even better special spirit. By the way, this is the only cathedral of Armenian Apostolic Church in the whole Western Ukraine.
My favorite fresco painting here is “The Funeral of St. Odilon”. Look at this picture attentively, and you’ll see many mysterious elements.
Where: вулиця Вірменська, 7 (Virmenska streen, 7)
Церква Святих Ольги та Єлизавети – Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth
If you come to Lviv by train, you’ll see it after 5 minutes in town. It is very close to the railway station, so this church is an architectural landmark of the city. Earlier, this was a Catholic church, so its style is neo-gothic. Церква Святих Ольги та Єлизавети was build in the beginning of 20th century in honor of the wife of Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. Now it is Greek Catholic church. The interior of the building is very light, and there is much free space. Also, this is the tallest building in the old city.
However, it is open not very often, and it is better to go there when divine worship starts. You can look at their schedule here.
Where: вулиця Кропивницького, 1 (Kropyvnytskogo street, 1)
Гарнізонний храм святих Петра і Павла – Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church
It is known among Lviv citizens as Jesuit Church. This is the first baroque building in Lviv, which was built in 1610. As Armenian cathedral, this church had a long story of renewal and was open just a couple of years ago. In Soviet times there was a library warehouse so that many paintings were ruined.
Today, this place is very calm and spiritual. You can come in, take a chair, and enjoy listening amazing organ music. There is also a building of Jesuit Collegium near the church, where a famous Ukrainian hetman Богдан Хмельницький studied.
Where: вулиця Театральна, 11 (Teatralna street, 11)
Аптека-музей – Pharmacy Museum
This is the first pharmacy in Lviv, which is called «Під чорним орлом» (Under the black eagle), and it still works. Moreover, it is one of the most touristic museums in Lviv. There are more than 3 000 showpieces, and each of them has its own history. There is a lot of space, and you can walk around old pharmacy instruments and drugs freely.
Where: вулиця Друкарська, 2 (Drukarska street, 2)
Cost: 20 UAH
Personal guide: 140 UAH for 1-2 people
Національний музей у Львові – Lviv National Museum
If you want to discover Ukrainian art of the past centuries, you should visit this place. There are so many pictures, books, national clothes, and other parts of Ukrainian culture that it is difficult even to remember them all. Sometimes there are some other exhibitions of Ukrainian modern artists besides the permanent collection.
Where: проспект Свободи, 20 (Svobody avenue, 20)
Cost: 50 UAH
Personal guide: 60 UAH in Ukrainian; 200 UAH – in English, Polish or Russian.
Тюрма на Лонцького – Prison at Łąckiego
This museum is located in the old prison, where three countries were keeping political prisoners for a long time. Polish, German, and Soviet governments used this place for tortures and murders. Now, this is National Museum-Memorial of Victims of the Occupation Regimes. There are no frightful showpieces, but the spirit is unforgettable here. You will be shocked at the evil which happened at this place.
You can also look at the monument of the victims of the communistic terror near the museum.
Where: вулиця Степана Бандери, 1 (Stepan Bandera street, 1)
Open: 10.00-19.00 (Mon-Fri), 10.00-17.00 (Sat-Sun)
Personal guide: Free
Палац Потоцьких – Potocki Palace
Nearly 150 years ago, Палац Потоцьких was one of the central places of Lviv cultural life. Count Potocki has built it for hosting huge balls here. Now it is an art gallery. You can look at the beautiful pictures of Ukrainian, Polish, Austrian, and other European painters here. Most of them were created in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Where: вулиця Коперника, 15 (Kopernyka street, 15)
Cost: 30 UAH
Personal guide: 140-250 UAH (according to the number of tourists). The cost also varies due to the language. Besides Ukrainian, you may order Russian, English, German, Polish, Italian, French, and Spanish guides.
Личаківський цвинтар – Lychakiv Cemetery
This is not a funny place, but it is really beautiful. Many famous Ukrainian people are buried here. There are many tombs of Polish aristocratic families and famous Ukrainians. One of the most valued Ukrainian writers and poets Іван Франко, Маркіян Шашкевич and Грицько Чубай have their graves at Личаківський цвинтар. There are also a lot of singers, scientists, and artists.
Where: вулиця Мечникова, 33 (Mechnykova street, 33)
Cost: 25 UAH
Personal guide: 100 UAH for 1-10 people, 150 UAH for more than 10 people, 200 UAH with an electric cart
Стрийський парк – Stryiskyi Park
This is one of the oldest parks in Lviv, and it was the most beautiful park in the country in the early 20th century when the city was a part of Poland. It has a lot of various plants and animals. You can even feed swans near the lake. Стрийський парк is a great place for having rest and enjoying all wonders of nature.
Where: вулиця Стрийська (Stryiska street)
Парк імені Івана Франка – Ivan Franko Park
Do you remember Іван Франко? This is the famous Ukrainian writer, who is buried at Личаківський цвинтар. There are many places in Lviv called in honor of him. This park is much smaller than Стрийський парк. However, it is located in the very center of the city, near the main Lviv university, which is also called after Іван Франко. That is why you can find many hostels around there. It is far from the roads, so it is pleasant to wake up and go for a walk to парк імені Івана Франка (it also has a short name – парк Франка).
Where: вулиця Університетська (Universytetska street)
Парк Погулянка – Pogulianka Park
If you decide to visit Личаківський цвинтар, you should probably go to this park. Its name speaks for itself because it comes from the word гуляти – to walk. It is a great place for picnics, too. You can also see the river Пасіка here, which is a feeder of Lviv belowground river Полтва. A couple of centuries ago Полтва was beautiful and important part of Lviv, but now it flows under the Opera Theatre and nobody can see it.
Where: вулиця Погулянка (Pogulianka street)
Шевченківський гай – Shevchenko grove
If you want to have a long walk and get in touch with Ukrainian national culture, go to Шевченківський гай. Actually, it is an open-air museum of folk architecture and rural life. That is why you can combine the useful with the pleasant – walk and study. There are many old Ukrainian houses from all over the country. They are totally authentic, and the interior is saved from the previous centuries. You may also become familiar with this culture with the help of various activities like clay modeling, archery, horse riding, and trying tasty Ukrainian national dishes.
Where: вулиця Чернеча гора (Chernecha Gora street)
Cost: 30 UAH
Personal guide: 100 UAH, available in English.
If you have enough energy and time to go a bit further than Lviv, stake out a day for visiting these castles in Lviv suburb. You can go to all of them in one day. It is traditional, but really attractive touristic route. Order the special tour if you don’t want to deal with transportation. There are a lot of such offers on the internet. Just google it!
Підгорецький замок – Pidhirtsi Castle
This place was called French Versailles among Lviv citizens. It was built in the 17th century for Polish hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski. There is also a wonderful park here, where you can walk with pleasure. Now it is in the process of renewal, but you still can visit this castle.
Where: село Підгірці (Pidgirtsi village)
Олеський замок – Olesko Castle
Reconstructed from the ruins, Олеський замок is the most famous Lviv castle. This is one of the oldest castles in whole Ukraine: it was built in the 13th century. There was a huge park around the castle, but it looked like a forest after so many years. Now some organizations are trying to create a new green place there, and now it looks much better than earlier.
Where: село Олесько (Olesko village)
Золочівський замок – Zolochiv Castle
If you are tired of ancient shambles, go to Золочівський замок. In spite of the fact that it was built in the 17th century, it has a great appearance in comparison with other castles. There was a big group of buildings, and most of them remain uncorrupted. One of the most famous and fancy places here is Китайський палац – Chinese palace, which now is a Museum of Eastern Art.
Where: село Золочів (Zolochiv village)
Свірзький замок – Svirzh Castle
It is quite younger than Олеський замок. This place was built in the 15th century as a defensive building. That is why Свірзький замок was ruined many times, and each time it was rebuilt for a new battle. However, the Catholic church from the 15th century remained safe, and now we can look at its old beauty.
Where: село Свірж (Svirzh village)
Старосільський замок – Stare Selo Castle
The biggest castle among those five is Старосільський замок. However, it is not renewed, so you can see mostly walls and towers here. However, it is one of the most powerful Ukrainian military fortification. It was ruined only once in the 17th century, though it was built in the 16th century. After that battle, no one could manage with Старосільський замок.
Where: Старе Село (Stare Selo village)
Оперний театр – Opera Theater
The most famous Lviv theater receives visitors and artists up to now. You can watch not only famous operas, but also symphonic concerts, and other musical events here. It has a neo-baroque interior, which gives you the feeling of royalty and loftiness. Look at the schedule of the events here and enjoy the beauty of art!
Where: проспект Свободи, 28 (Svobody avenue, 28)
Театр імені Марії Заньковецької – Maria Zankovetska Theater
If you prefer drama plays, watch them at this theater. That is how you can improve your language skills and find out more about Ukrainian culture. They usually perform Ukrainian plays, but there are some plays of foreign authors, too. However, all of them are in Ukrainian, so be ready to listen carefully. Find the plays and tickets here.
Where: вулиця Лесі Українки, 1 (Lesia Ukrainka street, 1)