16 Cool Things To Do in Lviv, Ukraine (Morning & Night)

Things To Do in Lviv
Don't let its size fool you. There are plenty of things to do in the tiny city of Lviv.

Lviv, the so-called cultural capital of Ukraine. Never leaning too far towards the east or the west, Lviv has carved its very own cultural identity in Eastern Europe. 

Its UNESCO city centre has everything you could need for a good city break: stunning architecture, unheralded coffee, tonnes of history, fantastic city views and, of course, a decent fair share of quirkiness to add to its charm.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top things to do in Lviv. 

Edit: Due to the current war in Ukraine, life is sadly very different in the country since my visit and that should be taken into consideration before reading and I will update this article as much as I can.

Things To Do in Lviv (Morning – Afternoon)

Lviv is only a small city, and you can see most of its attractions without wandering too far from the main square (Rynok Square). Saying that it’s home to more than 2,000 registered landmarks, so you’ll have a few jam-packed days on your hands. 

It’s pretty easy to get by on foot in Lviv, but there’s plenty of public transport too including the tram (which runs right through the city’s main square) and marshrutkas (a type of local bus). If you’re looking for something easy, Uber is available in Lviv, along with Bolt and Lyft.

Have a Flaming Cuppa at Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture

In a city famous for its coffee, you can’t go a morning without one in Lviv. After all, it’s thought to be the birthplace of European coffee house culture (although the Viennese and Italians may argue otherwise).

Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture is one of the most well-known institutions in town and one of the most popular things to do in Lviv. They claim to extract the coffee from underneath Rynok Square (strong emphasis on “claim”), and you can even take a quick tour through the mining tunnels under the cafe.

Talking of gimmicks, this place is also known for its flaming coffee, which is quite literally set on fire with a blowtorch right in front of you. It’ll certainly give you that added wake-up call you’re after.

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. 9 Rynok Square. 
  • Cost. Coffees range from 30 to 80 UAH.
  • Opening hours. 8 am to midnight.
  • Time needed. You won’t need longer than an hour or two to have a look around the mine and sample some coffee. 
  • Getting there. Walkable from anywhere in Lviv’s city centre or jump on Tram Route 2. 

Lviv Handmade Chocolate Serbska Street

Besides being known for its coffee, Lviv has also built up a name for itself in the world of chocolate. So, where do you get your hands on the city’s finest sweet treats? Lviv Handmade Chocolate Shop. 

Lviv Handmade Chocolate makes everything by, you guessed it, hand and offers up some pretty generous samples too. Split across three or four stories, there are plenty of chocolatey treats to look at, a place where you can watch chocolates being made and a few cafes if you’re hankering for a bit of coffee and cake. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Serbska Street, just around the corner from Rynok Square. 
  • Cost. Free entry! 
  • Opening hours. 9 am until 10 pm, so perfect for an after-dinner treat. 
  • Time needed. Around an hour will be enough here, unless you’re staying for coffee and cake. 
  • Getting there. Walkable from anywhere in the city centre or catch a ride on Tram Route 2.

Climb To The Top of the Clock Tower 

Lviv Clock Tower from the Town Square

Now that you’re riding the caffeine wave from Lviv’s best coffee house, it’s time to tackle the 400 steps to the top of the Clock Tower. 

Part of the city’s Town Hall, this is now home to Lviv City Council. But we’re not here for that, we’re here for the pretty spectacular view from the top. Once you’ve cracked the steps, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city: think colourful townhouses sprinkled with church spires, mighty cathedrals and the odd green space or two. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Rynok Square. 
  • Cost. 40 UAH. 
  • Opening hours. 9 am to 9 pm. 
  • Time needed. About an hour to climb the steps and admire the view.
  • Getting there. Sat in the centre of Rynok Square, Clock Town is easy to walk to from anywhere in the city centre. The number 2 tram route also stops right outside. 

Rest, Refuel and People-Watch in Rynok Square

People walking in Rynok Square, Lviv, Ukraine

You’ll spend a lot of time in Rynok Square, heading to museums (if that’s your sort of thing), climbing the Clock Tower or searching for odd/traditional souvenirs. But, if you stop for a minute, this is the perfect place to rest, relax and recoup in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the square. 

Similar to Europe’s many outdoor squares, eateries open up their seating outside during the warmer months. Grab a coffee (or a beer), and sit and watch the people go by. If you’re not much of a people-watcher, cafe hopping is a great way to soak in the ambience too. If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon one of the many events held here during summer, like the Jazz Festival or the Yoga Music Festival.

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Rynok Square is the beating heart of Lviv, thought to be the centre of the city. 
  • Cost. Rynok Square is free to explore, you’ll just need some spare change for drinks and whatever tickles your fancy.
  • Opening hours. Most cafes and restaurants open early and close late!
  • Time needed. I’d recommend a few hours to soak it all in.
  • Getting there. Tram Route Number 2 stops right in the centre of Rynok Square, just outside the City Hall.

Outdoor Book Market 

When you venture outside of Rynok Square, there are plenty of local secrets to be discovered, like Lviv’s outdoor book market. If you love searching through piles of tidbits, this is one of the best things to do in Lviv! Unfortunately, most books are in Russian, but you might find something in English if you’re lucky. Don’t worry though, you won’t just find books here, but old vinyl, soviet ornaments and a few souvenirs too. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Pidvalna Street at the foot of the Ivan Fedorov statue in Muzeynaya Square.
  • Cost. Free!
  • Opening hours. 9 am to 5 pm (give or take)
  • Time needed. As long as you need!
  • Getting there. Lviv’s outdoor book market is just a five-minute walk from Rynok Square. Alternatively, jump on tram route 1 or 9, or flag down Marshrutka 37, all of which stop just moments from the market.

Lychakiv Cemetery

Striking gravestone at Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine

You may have seen in my other guides on unusual cities that I like to frequent beautiful cemeteries around the world…if they stand out from the crowd.

What makes Lychakiv Cemetery one of the best things to do in Lviv isn’t just the people who are buried there, but its seriously cool tombstones as well. Since the early 16th century, prominent figures have been laid here to rest, including poets, politicians, revolutionists, scientists, composers, military leaders and even surgeons. This makes it one of Europe’s oldest cemeteries to date.

Considered one of the more upmarket cemeteries, tombstones here are decorated with large sculptures or ornamental engravings. You don’t need to spend ages here, but if you’re interested in the powerful beauty of some of the individual gravestones and challenging yourself to abstract thinking behind some of the sculptures, I’d recommend some quiet contemplative wandering throughout the grounds. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. 1.5 miles (2 km) east of Lviv city centre. 
  • Cost. 40 UAH, or 550 UAH for a walking tour of the cemetery. 
  • Opening hours. 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Time needed. Allow a full morning to explore the cemetery or join a tour.
  • Getting there. Tram Number 7 heads to the cemetery from Rynok Square, or you can make the 30-minute walk yourself. 

Sunrise Jog at Stryiskyi Park

Stryiskyi Park, Lviv, Ukraine
Source: Wikimedia Commons Stryiskyi Park

Lviv is a surprisingly green city, and if you’re looking to shift some of that potato pancake weight from the night before, Stryiskyi Park is the city’s largest park and a great place for a morning run. 

Opened in 1887, it was designed by one of Ukraine’s most famous landscapers, Arnold Rohring, and to this day it is celebrated for its impressive design. As you make your way around the park, keep a lookout for monuments dedicated to historical figures, the pretty cool rock garden, as well as Sycamore and lime alley.

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Just south of the city, in the suburb of Vul’ka. 
  • Cost. Free! 
  • Opening hours. Open around the clock. 
  • Time needed. Beyond your jog, it’s worth spending a few hours here, especially on a summer’s day.
  • Getting there. Several local buses run past Stryiskyi Park, including bus numbers 53, 3A and 18.

Lose Yourself To Local Superstition at House of Legends 

Known for its unique exterior, the House of Legends is like no other dining experience you’ll experience in Lviv. Every room in the restaurant is designed to reflect a different legend, from the chimney sweep who lived here to the lions watching over Lviv and protecting it from evil. 

Don’t forget to throw a few loose coins in the statue’s hat for good luck on your way past. Beyond the tales, you can head upstairs to the terrace, where you’ll get another beautiful view over Lviv’s Old Town. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Staroyevreiska Street, a two-minute walk from Rynok Square.
  • Cost. Mains start from 70 UAH
  • Opening hours. 11 am to 2 am every day. 
  • Time needed. Two hours for a meal and a glimpse at the view. 
  • Getting there. It’s easiest to walk here from Rynok Square. Alternatively, tram routes 2 and 4 stop a few minutes away.

As Above (Romantic Option For Lovers on Bench)

Padlocks of lovers attached to a bridge

Taking inspiration from the padlocked bridges of Paris, Lviv’s Rynok Square has its very own ode to the many lovers who have passed through its streets. Legend has it that if a couple sits on the ‘Bench of Lovers’ at the same time and enjoys a little smooch, their relationship will be a long and happy one. Give it a try, what have you got to lose? 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Rynok Square.
  • Cost. Free!
  • Opening hours. 24/7.
  • Time needed. A few minutes, at most. 
  • Getting there. The Bench of Lovers is easily walkable from anywhere near Rynok Square. 

Stroll The Cobblestones of Armenian Street 

Beautiful wall mural on Armenian Street in Lviv, Ukraine
Source: Flickr Wall mural on Armenian Street

After being forced from their home country by the Mongols, thousands of Armenians came to Lviv to find their new home in the 13th century. Settling on Virmenska Street, which back then was outside the realms of the city, the Armenians set up their own laws and made a living by trading with the East. 

While it’s hard to spot much of the Armenian heritage there today, Virmenska Street is still one of the prettiest places to stroll through in Lviv. Wander along its cobblestone streets, grab a coffee at one of the quaint cafes and take it all in. And, if you’re looking for some Armenian architecture, check out houses number 15 and 20. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Virmenska Street, a short stroll away from Rynok Square. 
  • Cost. Free!
  • Opening hours. Virmenska Street never closes, but most cafes and restaurants open from 9 am to midnight. 
  • Time needed. At least an hour to take it all in. 
  • Getting there. No buses or trams run along this way, but you can walk to Armenian Street from Rynok Square in just a few minutes.

Things To Do in Lviv (Night Time)

Things get pretty merry and potentially wild around Rynok Square in the evening, so prepare yourself for drinking, drinking and more drinking. Saying that, if you’re not a fan of the hard stuff, there’s a giant puzzle to be had and even a haunted house to check out.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry at Kryivka 

Lviv has its fair share of secret restaurants and bars, and Kryivka is the perfect place to try one of them out. Said to be the last hiding place of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army back in the mid-20th century, it’s pretty apt. You’ll need a vocal password to get in, (“Slava Ukraine,” which means “Glory to Ukraine”)  and you’ll need to say it to the guy with an AK 47 assault rifle standing outside the hidden bunker. 

Scary stuff, eh? But, once you’re in and grab a drink to loosen the mood, you’ll relax in no time at all… well that is until the locals randomly burst out into rapturous, patriotic folklore songs at the top of their lungs.

No one raves about the food here, but I tried their potato pancakes, and they are absolutely banging! (British slang for extremely good/tasty).

Ardent Putinistas should probably stay away though… There is a room in the back where detractors shoot at a photo of the Russian President with a pellet gun!

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Just off Rynok Square, behind a big wooden door (telling you exactly where will spoil the fun!)
  • Cost. Drinks and main meals start from 50 UAH
  • Opening hours. 10 am to midnight.
  • Time needed. With booze on tap, grub and a place where you can hear drunken sass about good old Vlad Putin, you’ll need at least an evening here. 
  • Getting there. Easily walkable from anywhere in Lviv’s city centre. 

Live Music and Beers at Pravda Beer Theatre 

Pravda Beer Theatre is one of the liveliest venues in Lviv, and luckily it’s smack bang in the middle of Rynok Square. Spanning across an impressive five floors, you can get every beer under the sun here, including the local Lvivskoe, which has been produced since 1715. Head there on any night of the week, and you can enjoy live jazz from the hall’s very own orchestra too.

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Just in the corner of Rynok Square. 
  • Cost. Free entry (including a daily tour), starting from 20 UAH a beer.
  • Opening hours. Get started as early as 10 am, and leave no earlier than 2 am…
  • Time needed. As long as you’d like! I’d recommend spending an evening or two. 
  • Getting there. Walkable from most places in the city centre. 

Watch The Sunset From Castle Hill

View from Castle Hill in Lviv in Ukraine
Source: Flickr Castle Hill

If, like myself, you’re a sucker for sunset views, make sure you put Castle Hill at the top of your list of things to do in Lviv. There’s not much here, except for a few small ruins of a 14th-century fort, but the views over Lviv are second to none. Sitting 400m above sea level, the walk is relatively easy, and there are a few stalls selling drinks, snacks and souvenirs along the way.

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Near Lviv’s Old Town, around one-kilometre northeast of the city centre. 
  • Cost. Free! 
  • Opening hours. Open around the clock! 
  • Time needed. Set aside two hours to walk from Lviv to the top of the hill and back again. 
  • Getting there. You can order an Uber to drop you off at the bottom of the walkway, but it’s easy enough to walk from the centre of town.

Cocktails and Jazz at Libraria Speakeasy Bar

Speakeasy bar

Thought to be the first speakeasy bar in the city, Libraria has a rather sophisticated atmosphere. Hidden just behind a nondescript door near Armenian Street, this upmarket cocktail bar serves up bespoke cocktails alongside fan favourites, including the likes of your martinis and sours. Alongside perfect cocktails, Libraria serves up a side of live jazz music most nights, too, with a rota of international bands on their stage.

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Not far from Armenian Square in the heart of Lviv.
  • Cost. Cocktails start from 90 UAH.
  • Opening hours. 10 am to 8 pm.
  • Time needed. It’s too easy to spend a whole evening here. 
  • Getting there. You’ll need to walk here from Rynok Square as no public transport passes by.

Get Spooked at Insomnia Haunted House

If you’re looking for a thrill, Insomnia Haunted House has claimed that it is one of the scariest things to do in Lviv. You’re quite literally put into the shoes of the main character in a horror film and have to navigate your way through the haunted house, complete tasks, and, fingers crossed, come out alive. It’s impressively realistic, so make sure you choose a level that’s right for you!

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Valova Street, just outside of Rynok Square. 
  • Cost. Prices start from 190 UAH for the “least” scary level. 
  • Opening hours. 12 pm to 10 pm.
  • Time needed. At least an hour, depending on the game that you choose to play.
  • Getting there. Either walk five minutes from Rynok Square, or the number 47 bus will drop you right outside. 

Solve The World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle (Largest in Size)

It’s hard to miss the 30 meters (100ft) crossword puzzle hanging off the side of one of Lviv’s apartment buildings. It’s made up of 80 clues, all of which can be found by visiting different attractions around the city to help you explore the city a little more. Once you think that you’ve cracked the code, head to the tower at night, where answers are lit up and revealed to the world! 

The only problem is, the clues are all in Cyrillic, so make sure you’ve got a translator to hand or a Ukrainian friend!

Know Before You Go:

  • Location. Across the street from Stryiskyi Park, around 4km south of Lviv City Centre. 
  • Cost. You won’t need to pay a penny for the puzzle, but you will need to factor in the cost of some of the attractions to find the clues. 
  • Opening hours. You can see the puzzle at all times of the day, but you’ll need to visit at night to reveal the answers! 
  • Time needed. At least a few days to crack all 80 clues! 
  • Getting there. Found in one of Lviv’s apartment complexes on the outskirts of the city, you’ll need to get local bus 3A to get there. Alternatively, you can call an Uber.

It’s not hard to fall in love with Lviv. On the surface level, it’s incredibly beautiful. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find lots of hidden quirks that make it such a unique destination and a must-see town when you’re in Ukraine. In fact, I’d even argue that if I had to choose between here and Kiev, I’d go for Lviv every time. (That’s not to say I don’t also love Kiev, I just really love to stress myself out with these hypothetical ‘choose only one’ scenarios).

Its UNESCO-listed streets exude a European feel, while its historic routes to the Soviet Union and similarities with the rest of Eastern Europe make this so much more than just another European city. 

Anthony Middleton

A former loser who took a risk. I now live in Chiang Mai, Thailand after visiting over 100 countries. Stay tuned for the next challenge against that clock!
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Hi, I'm Anthony!

In November of 2010, I took on a mammoth challenge against the clock in a quest to upgrade my miserable life. I went out of my comfort zone and turned it all around. Ten years later, I’m completely location independent…

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