Also known as Lvov (in Russian). Ukraine’s most European city. Or so it is called.
Lviv is certainly Ukraine’s most elegant and tourist friendly city. Elegant and European it is but I wouldn’t necessarily interpret as meaning it must be Ukraine’s best city.
Kiev, Chernihiv and Chernvitsi are just three of several which could be the best,
Ukrainian cities are wonderful European or not. This point aside Lviv is without doubt an enchanting place where it would be easy to stay and not want to leave.
Don’t miss out going.
What is different about Lviv is that it can be considered a classical European city (such as Krakow, Florence and Paris etc). If it is this kind of city one is looking for then Lviv is going to be a wonderful place to visit. It has a wide variety of interesting cafes.
Renaissance, modern and Ukrainian architecture and Greek mythological statues.
Lviv is also a student magnet.
And unlike other Ukrainian cities it is easy to navigate (if you can read English). There are English language signs to places worth seeing everywhere.
(c) Aaron M. Barwell
The first difference you may notice in Lviv is that due to it previously being under Polish control, there is a strong Catholic presence. Orthodoxy is only 40% of the population. There are many Catholic and Protestant churches, which in turn means different architecture of the churches. In the city you can also find an Armenian cathedral, still in use although the Armenian population (still present) was once bigger. Very close by there is a Polish catholic church with a statue of Pope John Paul II. In fact Polish is one of the languages you can get by in Lviv, another factor of its multi cultural influence
Then there is the Italian square and the Viennese style opera house. There is a wonderful chocolate shop and cafe and the lion designs found in the architecture. The city being named after Leo (Lev). The Slavic for lion.
No 3 Rynok square has a particularly interesting history according to the Bradt guide.
A poor labourer was in love with a Merchants daughter. The Merchant disapproved however this did not deter the poor labourer and he slipped in to see his lover. However he was caught by the merchant who attacked him. The labourer fought back severely injuring the merchant (who died but not before giving his blessing).
A particularly good place to see is the view from the high tower, where you can get an impressive panorama of the beautiful city.
From Lviv I also visited Olesko castle (an Ex-Polish castle). It is not the most straight forward trip (involved a bus as well as a Marshrukta. Going back was trickier but Alina (my friend from Chernihiv) helped me out by translating via my phone.
The castle is the birthplace of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski, described as the hero of the Battle of Vienna.