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Weather & best time to visit

Saturday, 10.12.2016
12:00 UTC

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City map Lviv

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    Good to know

    Lviv – a brief overview

    Connoisseurs of Soviet-style brutalism won’t find much to love here: Ukraine’s second city is an eclectic mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture, much of which consists of delicate wedding cake churches. So lovely is Lviv’s city centre, it was handed a UNESCO listing in 1998 – an honour of which the locals are justifiably proud.

    But the city isn’t all beautiful buildings and picturesque parks. It also boasts some of the best (and most bizarre) museums in Ukraine, among them the Salo Gallery, which is quite possibly the only establishment in the world to focus on sculptures made from pork fat.

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    Top 10 sights in Lviv

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    Ploshcha Rynok

    Ploshcha Rynok
    79000 Lviv
    Ukraine
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    The heart of Lviv’s UNESCO-listed city centre, Ploshcha Rynok is a beautiful old market square that throbs with life and boasts an eclectic array of architecture, including a 65m neo-Palladian tower.

    Pototsky Palace

    Kopernika 15
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Tue-Sat 1100-1800
    Sun 1200-1700

    Built in the early 1800s by French architect Louis d’Overnu, the monumental Potosky Palace bears a striking resemblance to Versailles and now houses a portion of the city’s art collection.

    Museum of Beer Brewing

    Klepariwska 18
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Wed-Mon 1030-1800

    Lviv’s oldest brewery celebrates its 300th birthday in 2015 and is still going strong – both as a purveyor of ale and as a museum. Tours leave from the reception every hour, give or take a few minutes.

    Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum

    Drahomanova St, 42
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    Opened in 1905 by Andrey Sheptytsky, a local priest, this museum originally housed a selection of ecclesiastical artefacts but is now home to a 10,000-strong collection of icon paintings and folk art.

    Dominican Cathedral

    1 Muzeina Square
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Various

    Topped with a viridian dome, Lviv’s Dominican Cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic sights. An elaborate confection of scrolled pillars and tapering towers, it is easily one of the city’s loveliest buildings.

    Lychakiv Necropolis

    Mechnykova St, 33
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-2100 (Apr-Sep)
    Daily 0900-1800 (Oct-Mar)

    Laid out in the late 18th century, Lviv’s answer to Père Lachaise is packed with gothic monuments and boasts a smattering of famous inhabitants, among them Soviet gymnast Viktor Chukarin.

    Lviv Historical Museum

    Rynok square, 6
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Thu-Tue 1000-1730

    This fascinating (and huge) museum contains 330,000 different artefacts ranging from porcelain clocks to elaborate carved swords, all of which help piece together the story of Lviv.

    Boyim Chapel

    Katedral'na square, 1
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1700

    Built in 1615 as a burial place for wealthy merchant Georgi Boyim and his family, this mortuary chapel is decorated with Gothic carvings and topped with a contemplative statue of Christ.

    Salo Museum

    Swobodi 8
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Opening times:
    Sun-Wed 1000-2300
    Thu-Sat 1200-0200

    Possibly the world’s only gallery dedicated to sculpture made from pig fat, the Salo Museum’s displays are bizarre to say the least, although the connected restaurant is excellent.

    Vysokyi Zamok

    Vysokyj Zamok Park
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Formerly the site of a castle, the Union of Lublin Mound was created in 1869 to mark the 300th anniversary of the eponymous treaty. The observation deck at the summit offers lovely views of the city below.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Vast and vaguely mysterious, Ukraine is barely known to outsiders despite being one of the largest countries in Europe.

    Long associated with its colossal neighbour Russia, it’s a country of varied landscapes and surprising cultural diversity.

    Geography

    Ukraine is bordered by the Russian Federation to the north and east; Belarus to the north; Poland, the Slovak Republic and Hungary to the west; and Romania and Moldova to the southwest. It is a varied country with mountains in the west, plains in the centre and the Black Sea views to the south.

    The north of the state is dominated by forests. Its other two main features are wooded steppe with beech and oak forests and the treeless steppe. The River Dnieper divides Ukraine roughly in half, and flows into the Black Sea.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 42854106 (2015)

    Population Density (per sq km): 71

    Capital: Kiev.

    Language

    Ukrainian is the sole official state language. It is still widely spoken in western and central Ukraine, although Russian is spoken by virtually everyone. Russian is the main language spoken in Kiev, eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

    Currency

    Hryvnya (UAH) = 100 kopiyok (singular: kopiyka). Notes are in denominations of UAH500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of UAH1 and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 kopiyok.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two round pins are used.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1700/1800. Lunch tends to be at least one and a half hours.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2015 period.

    Note

    Holidays falling on the weekend are observed the following Monday. Holidays falling on Tuesday or Thursday may be observed the preceding Monday or following Friday.

    2016

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2016
    Orthodox Christmas Day: 07. January 2016
    International Women’s Day: 08. March 2016
    Orthodox Easter Sunday: 01. May 2016
    Labour Days: 01. and 2. May 2016
    Victory Day: 09. May 2016
    Orthodox Pentecost: 19. June 2016
    Constitution Day: 28. June 2016
    Independence Day: 24. August 2016

    2017

    New Year’s Day: 01. and 2. January 2017
    Orthodox Christmas Day: 07. January 2017
    International Women’s Day: 08. March 2017
    Orthodox Easter Sunday: 16. April 2017
    Labour Days: 01. and 2. May 2017
    Victory Day: 09. May 2017
    Orthodox Pentecost: 4. and 5. June 2017
    Constitution Day: 28. June 2017
    Independence Day: 24. August 2017

    All information subject to change.

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Lviv

    ListMap

    There’s no shortage of things to do when night falls in Lviv. From vibrant clubs to cosy bars, the city has a wealth of nightspots, most of which are thronged with friendly locals come weekends.

    Best of all, drinks cost next to nothing and measures are generous.

    Bierlin Lemberg

    Chaykovskoho 18
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    With more than 17 types of Ukrainian beer on tap, this is a place that ale fans shouldn’t miss.

    Fashion Club

    Beryndy St
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Popular with Lviv’s cool crowd, Fashion Club boasts blingy patrons and good cocktails.

    Picasso

    Zelena St, 88
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Consistently popular with both locals and expats, Picasso is located in a former theatre.

    Pid Synoyu Plyashkoyu

    Ruska St, 4
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    A tiny bar tucked away down a side alley, this is the place to come for good wine and political gossip.

    Pozitiff

    Yevhena Petrushevycha square, 3
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Hidden away behind an internet café, Pozitiff is the coolest lounge in Lviv.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Lviv

    ListMap

    Eating out in Lviv is a real pleasure – both for your stomach and your wallet.

    Prices are low and there’s plenty of choice, whether you’re planning to sample the local fare (recommended) or tuck into Italian, British or any other cuisine imaginable.

    Amadeus

    Katedral'na square, 7
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Price: Expensive

    One of Lviv’s swankiest restaurants, Amadeus serves up a mix of local and European fare.

    Masonic Restaurant

    Rynok square, 14
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Price: Expensive

    Esoteric décor notwithstanding, this is a fabulous place to come for a slap-up meal.

    Trout, Bread and Wine

    49 Brativ Rohatyntsiv Str
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Price: Moderate

    This quirky little restaurant does indeed serve trout, bread and wine, and very nice it is too.

    Pid Zolotoyu Rozoyu

    Staroievreiska St, 37
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Price: Moderate

    The traditional Jewish food is delicious, but be warned: there are no prices – the final bill is settled by haggling.

    Kupol

    Chaikovs’koho 37
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Price: Cheap

    Don’t be put off by the pre-Soviet décor (and cutlery) – the Ukrainian food is excellent and plentiful.

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    Calendar of events

    Easter Fair

    12 April – 12 May 2016
    Website

    Venue: Prospekt Svobody

    A ginormous decorated Easter egg is the centrepiece of Lviv’s Easter fair. Souvenirs, hand-made goods and local produce are piled high on stalls lining prospekt Svobody. Visitors can pick up anything from wicker baskets to beeswax candles and try their hand at painting, puppetry and carpet weaving in craft workshops.

    Great Hayivka Festival

    April 2016
    Website

    Venue: Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life

    Families, usually clothed in national dress, flock to this popular festival celebrating Ukrainian Easter traditions. Hayivkas, special songs sung only at Easter, are performed on the main stage, along with folk dancing and music. Visitors can paint eggs, learn traditional dances and join in competitions.

    Pysanka Festival

    1 April – 8 May 2016
    Website

    Venue: Throughout Lviv

    Colourfully painted Easter eggs are dotted throughout Lviv in this nearly month-long art project. Famous artists, amateurs and kids all join in with the decorating before the delightful results are put on display in various public buildings and places. The eggs are eventually auctioned off for charity.

    Lviv City Day

    May 2016
    Website

    Venue: City centre

    A spectacular, noisy parade kicks off Lviv’s annual City Day celebrations. Kids, stilt walkers, musicians, and locals kitted out in historical costume create a colourful carnival that’s terrific to watch. The weekend party continues with street artists, concerts and film screenings.

    Alfa Jazz Festival

    24 – 27 June 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    Renowned artists from around the world land on Lviv to play at this open-air summer jazz fest. Concerts, many of them free, take place in parks and squares throughout Lviv. Keep an eye on the programme for special masterclasses and jam sessions.

    Independence Day

    24 August 2016

    Venue: Throughout Lviv

    Blue and yellow flags and balloons adorn houses and cars for the annual Independence Day festivities. Street shows, art exhibitions and special events mark the occasion, with residents donning traditional embroidered clothing. A massive rock concert usually rounds off the day.

    Lviv International Book Fair

    9 – 13 September 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    Ukraine’s biggest book fair encompasses a huge range of events for librarians, publishers, booksellers and members of the public. A packed programme of literary debates, readings, book signings and kids’ activities takes place in museums, galleries, theatres and cafés throughout the city.

    Contrasts: International Contemporary Music Festival

    1 – 11 October 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    World-class composers, soloists and ensembles join forces in this highly respected contemporary music showcase, on the go for two decades and hosted by the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra. Favourite 20th-century compositions and avant-garde new music are guaranteed to feature in the eclectic programme.

    Christmas Fair

    1 December 2016 – 31 January 2017
    Website

    Venue: Rynok Square and prospekt Svobody

    Carol singing fills the air at Lviv’s annual Christmas market, where pretty wooden stalls are crammed with all manner of enticing goodies, from handcrafted toys to embroidered Ukrainian shirts to beautiful ceramics. Shoppers can warm up with mugs of mulled wine and varenyky, traditional Ukrainian stuffed dumplings.

    Doughnut Festival

    7 – 11 January 2017
    Website

    Venue: Rynok Square

    Lviv’s biggest Christmas event attracts around 100,000 festivalgoers, who munch their way through 50,000 doughnuts of every variety imaginable, from savoury to poppy seed to chocolate. Aside from doughnut gorging, there are nativity plays, a 4m-high Christmas star and a cutest angel contest.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Lviv

    ListMap

    With hotel rooms available for under US$10, in Lviv you get plenty of bang for your buck when it comes to finding somewhere to stay.

    What’s more, Soviet blocks are few and far between. Instead, the city boasts a convivial mix of big names and boutique hotels.

    Leopolis

    Teatralnaya 16
    79008 Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Category: Expensive

    Boasting opulent décor and a central location, Leopolis is a great base for a weekend break.

    Astoria

    Horodotska St, 15
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Category: Expensive

    Slick modern rooms, plenty of space and friendly staff in the middle of Lviv.

    Swiss Hotel

    Knyazya Romana Str, 20
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Category: Moderate

    Gorgeous from the outside and comfortable within, Lviv’s Swiss Hotel is excellent value.

    On The Square

    Rynok square, 13
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Category: Moderate

    A gorgeous little boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Town and which costs next to nothing.

    George Hotel

    Mickiewicz Square 1
    Lviv
    Ukraine
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    Category: Cheap

    Few are the cities in which you can stay in a well-appointed palace for less than US$30 a night – Lviv is one.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Saturday, 10.12.2016 12:00 UTC

    light rain showers

    temperature


    7°C


    wind speed

    15.625 mph

    7 days forecast

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    5°C / 4°C

    Monday

    12.12.2016

    4°C / -3°C

    Tuesday

    13.12.2016

    -3°C / -6°C

    Wednesday

    14.12.2016

    -1°C / -3°C

    Thursday

    15.12.2016

    -2°C / -9°C

    Friday

    16.12.2016

    -9°C / -12°C

    Saturday

    17.12.2016

    -8°C / -13°C

    Climate & best time to visit Ukraine

    Ukraine has a temperate continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Summer is generally the best time to visit (between June and September), although it can occasionally be uncomfortably hot and many hotels do not have air conditioning. July and August are peak holiday months in Crimea and its resorts can become crowded with domestic and Russian tourists. Spring and autumn are both fairly short and both tend to be reasonably mild. The best season for trekking in the Carpathian Mountains is May and October when it is driest.

    The northeast of Ukraine has the coldest winters and the Crimean peninsula has the warmest temperatures. The wettest part of Ukraine is the Carpathian Mountains region of the far west.

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +380

    Telephone

    You can buy telephone cards of UAH20, 50 or 100 for public payphones in post offices and at kiosks. Many post offices have international phone booths where calls can be made after paying a deposit. International phone cards are also available in the larger cities, but by far the cheapest connections are those found at internet cafés.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Ukraine’s mobile phone coverage is good and local SIM cards (Kyivstar or UMC) are available.

    Internet

    Internet cafés are available in all cities and towns. Connections are usually reasonable. Some hotels offer Wi-Fi connectivity.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Lviv

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    Key Areas

    Like most cities that were once part of the Soviet Union, Lviv’s markets do a roaring trade in Communist antiques as well as gorgeous local crafts. Much of the action happens in and around Ploshcha Rynok, although little boutiques selling piles of interesting curios are found almost everywhere you look. The main place to go for souvenirs is the huge Vernisazh market with everything from goat-hair blankets from the Carpathians to painted eggs and traditional embroidery on offer. The city also has several shopping malls, although much of what’s inside is the same fare as you’d find elsewhere.

    Markets

    Vernisazh (near the opera house) is the biggest and best, although smaller markets are dotted about the city.

    Shopping Centres

    King’s Cross Leopolis (Stryiska) is the biggest mall in town and is home to all the usual suspects. Edwardian mall Magnus (Shpytalna) is also worth a visit.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Ukrainian people are generally warm and friendly to visitors. It is not at all uncommon for Ukrainians to invite strangers into their own homes. Shoes should be removed on entering a home. Formal attire is rarely required, though people dress smartly for the theatre.

    Visitors should avoid ostentatious displays of wealth in public places. Men should not shake a woman’s hand unless it is offered to them. Women should cover their heads when entering a church or mosque.

    Good to know

    Health

    Food & Drink

    Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. Street food is generally safe if it is fresh and hot. Freshwater fish and mushrooms or berries gathered in the area around Chernobyl north of Kiev are best avoided.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised. Tick-borne encephalitis is quite common in the Ukrainian countryside between April and August. Visitors should take precautions against ticks in forested areas by wearing long sleeves and trousers and a hat.

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre