10 Things To Do In Lviv Old Town, Ukraine
In the heart of Western Ukraine is where you’ll find the beautiful town of Lviv. While still off the beaten path for most travelers, Lviv offers a variety of unique things to do for its visitors.
In the heart of the city center is where you’ll find the well-preserved Lviv old town. As a first time visitor to the city, this is where you’re going to want to start out your trip.
It’s here that you’ll find eye-catching architecture, an unbelievable collection of cafes, hidden alleyways, and an assortment of small shops and restaurants. You could spend your whole trip just exploring the Lviv old town area – there really is that much to see!
In this post, I want to share some of the best things to do in Lviv old town. Don’t forget to add this guide to your favorites or print it out so you can easily refer to it on your trip to Lviv.
Exploring Lviv: The Best Things To Do In Lviv Old Town
Lviv Old Town Square
Lviv Old Town is deceptively large and spread out. You could wander around all day and still find new things to explore.
Right in the center of the Old Town is the beautiful Rynok Square (Market Sqaure), or the main square in the city. This is the heartbeat of the old town of Lviv and many of the roads and alleyways will bring you here.
Surrounding the square are an assortment of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Everything is so reasonably priced here in Ukraine so don’t hesitate to stop into one of the many storefronts for a look around or for a quick bite to eat.
During the warmer summer months, there’s always something happening here in the square. There are festivals, live music, street parties, and all sorts of things going on.
Don’t forget to bring your camera and snap some photos of the unique architecture and brightly colored buildings here in the town square.
Salsa Dancing at Diana Cafe
Tucked away in one of the corners of Lviv old town square is the Diana Cafe. During the spring and summer, there are salsa dance classes held here. This makes for quite an incredible sight and it’s worth grabbing a coffee so you can sit down and watch the dancing.
You wouldn’t think it would be so popular but dozens of people come out for the salsa dancing experience. Locals seem to be used to it although you’ll see crowds of people gathering to watch. The surrounding cafes become very busy as well with the patrons hoping they can catch a glimpse or two of the salsa dancing scene.
Climb Up the Town Hall Tower
The best view of the historical centre of Lviv can be found right in the middle of the Town Square. This is where you’ll find the Lviv Town Hall. Anybody climbing to the top is rewarded with a breathtaking 360-degree view of Lviv old town and surrounding city area.
It’s a good idea to make your way to the top later in the day. This is going to give you a better chance of catching the sunset which makes for a much more memorable experience.
To get to the top you need to enter the Town Hall on the ground level. Follow the signs and make your way up a few flights of stairs. Right before the tower entrance is a small booth where you can pay for a ticket and then climb to the top.
You won’t find a better view of the city anywhere else so it’s definitely worth visiting the top of the tower if you get the chance.
Grab Lunch at the First Lviv Grill Restaurant of Meat and Justice
Tucked away right inside the Lviv old city walls is the First Lviv Grill Restaurant of Meat and Justice. I can’t say for sure if this is the first grill restaurant in the city but it’s definitely one of the most impressive places to grab a bite.
What makes it so unique is that the entire restaurant is designed to appear like a medieval dungeon. They focus on grilled meats and other foods with the beer flowing freely.
Instead of chairs and tables that use large logs and planks of wood that you eat on. They also cut up your food with an axe. The highlight of the experience is when the bill is brought to your table – I won’t ruin the surprise for you but let’s just say it’s definitely worth checking out!
Learn More About Lviv History at the Arsenal Museum
Just around the corner from the grill restaurant is the Arsenal Museum. here you’ll find an amazing collection of medieval weapons, armor, and tools. There is a lot of insight into the history of Lviv and thankfully many of the signs are displayed in English.
Right underneath the museum is another interesting restaurant that you can check out. It’s called Arsenal Ribs and Spirits and it’s located in the old basement of the original arsenal building. It was originally used as a torture chamber and prison although these days all you’ll find is some delicious ribs.
After you’re finished at the museum or the restaurant I recommend walking along the Lviv old city walls. This is going to give you a better look at how the city used to be set up. It was very similar in design to Krakow with thick walls surrounding the entire Lviv old town area.
Get Some Good Luck at the House of Legends
Just a few steps away from the old town Square is another restaurant and Cafe known as the House of Legends. On the top floor is a small cafe that offers another incredible view of the surrounding Lviv old town. The seating area isn’t big and the drinks are quite reasonably priced so I recommend visiting earlier in the day.
When you’re at the top make your way up to the upper level of the roof. There is a small balcony here and keep your eye out for the statue of the chimney sweep. This statue is a small man holding a hat. Legend has it that if you throw your coin and it lands in the hat you’ll be blessed with good luck forever.
Along with the amazing view of Lviv old town, the coffee drinks at the cafe are delicious so it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re looking for a break from walking around.
Try to Find the Street with 7 Names
When you’re walking around Lviv old town keep your eyes peeled for the famous street with 7 names. There’s nothing inherently special about this street but the street signs make for quite a unique photo opportunity.
Just to let you know the street doesn’t actually have seven names. During the Film Festival in Lviv, some of the workers like to add a new street sign to the wall as part of a long-running joke. The city hasn’t removed any of the signs yet so it has turned into a local spectacle.
It’s not that easy to find if not you’re looking for it. Be sure to glance up at the street signs every so often when you’re walking around just so you don’t miss it.
Find Something to Read at the Lviv Old Town Book Market
One of the most interesting things to do in Lviv old town is to browse the book market. Every day outside the church on Pidvalna Street the market is busy with vendors and people looking for something to read. Many of the books are very old and you never know if you’ll find something rare among the piles of literature.
Along with books, people are also selling a variety of different trinkets, old records, clothing, pins, and quite a few other interesting items worth checking out. The market is impossible to miss as it is very busy during the day with both locals and tourists looking for a good deal.
Right in the center of the market is a large statue. This is Ivan Fedorov and he’s well-known in Ukraine as he was the first person to publish a book that was printed in the country. If you’re thirsty you can stop for a drink at the trolley cafe right beside the market.
Sample Some Ukrainian Cuisine
One of the best parts about visiting Western Ukraine is all of the delicious food and tasty cuisine. You won’t want to miss out on some of the local specialities. These include things like pierogies, potato pancakes, blood sausage, borscht, strudels, cabbage rolls, and plenty of different soups and stews.
There are a number of restaurants in Lviv old town with many of them offering menu items focused on local dishes. There are so many good options that I can’t think of a single restaurant to recommend. Simply try out one or two different places for yourself to see what you can find.
If the menu isn’t in English try asking the wait staff if they have one. Otherwise, download the Google Translate app to your smartphone and use that to translate the text.
Snack on Some Handmade Chocolates
One of the Lviv old town highlights is the popular confectionery shop – Lviv Handmade Chocolates. There are a few locations throughout the city but in the old town, you can watch chocolate being made from scratch and sample of a variety of different handmade treats.
On the main floor is where chocolate is made and the second floor is where you’ll find the shop. At the shop, they have close to 50 different kinds of chocolate as well as other souvenirs, trinkets, and gifts that you can pick up for your friends and family back home.
I recommend grabbing a few different types of chocolate and stopping by the cafe on the third floor. At this cafe, you can try some “genuine” hot chocolate which is actually melted chocolate served in a mug. This makes for an amazing and delicious experience that you don’t want to miss out on.
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About the Author
Stefan is a blogger and runs ByStefanAlexander.com. His blog is dedicated to helping other bloggers drive traffic, build their email list, and follow their blogging dreams. When he’s not working away at his laptop you can find him exploring a medieval old town somewhere, hiking through the Swiss Alps, or relaxing by the Adriatic Sea. Follow Stefan on Instagram.