An Art Lover's Guide to Lviv, Ukraine

Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet
Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet | © JolEnka / Pixabay
Photo of Maria Sibirtseva
24 March 2018

The city of Lviv has been a cultural, literary, and historical jewel of Ukraine for many centuries. Today, it enters the new stage of development, aiming to impress even the most sceptic connoisseur of beauty. So check out the striking diversity of unique and outstanding art lover’s venues.

Must-visit museums

Museum of Ethnography and Art Crafts

The only Museum of Ethnography and Art Crafts in Ukraine is definitely worth exploring when in Lviv. Monuments of local folk art, samples of decorative and applied art of different peoples of the world constitute the rich collection of 90,000 exhibits. Thus, space is divided into two departments: ethnographic and art crafts. In addition, the museum has an incredible exposition of the 15th-20th century-old watches.

Insider Tip: The admission fee is just UAH$10 (US$0.30), so don’t hesitate to take in the beautiful arts.

Museum of Ethnography and Art Crafts | © Jorge Láscar / WikiCommons

Pharmacy Museum

The Pharmacy Museum in the western capital of Ukraine is one of the most unusual but most visited spots. There are 16 rooms in which you can see old pharmacy equipment such as old scales, grass cutters, medieval herbariums as well as stone mortars for ointments preparation. Surprisingly, the pharmacy was opened in 1735 and is still operating. Here you can buy the world-famous Iron wine (Zalizne wyno in Ukrainian), useful in case of anaemia disease.

Insider Tip: The museum has two names, also known as Under the black eagle.

Pharmacy Museum | © Людмила Голуб / WikiCommons

Lychakiv Cemetery

Lychakiv Cemetery is not only a burial place of prominent people but also an open-air museum, namely, a State History and Culture Museum-Preserve. Its history started in 1786 and the largest numbers of burials occurred in the second half of the 19th century. Lychakiv Cemetery numbers more than 3,000 tombstones; you can spot the graves of figures in history every Ukrainian knows, like brilliant writer Ivan Franko, world renowned opera diva Solomiya Krushelnytska, and many others.

Insider Tip: You can stroll the cemetery on your own, after buying a ticket, but the museum also offers guided tours both during the day and at nighttime.

Lychakiv Cemetery | © Jorge Láscar / WikiCommons


House of Legends

The extraordinary food venue House of Legends is a destination for an artsy atmosphere in ancient Lviv. The seven-storey building has a shop, restaurant, and huge terrace on the top, where you can watch the sunset and enjoy the breathtaking panorama on the city rooftops.

Insider Tip: Each floor and dish on the menu has its own legend. So, before ordering, ask your waiter to explain the ingredients.

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Dzyga is a cultural and art centre. It was founded in 1993 as a result of the association of the community called Student Brotherhood of Lviv (1989 – 1993). Its purpose was to satisfy and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the members of the organization as well as rights of students and youth in general. In Dzyga you can discover the masterpieces of local artists and enjoy a good snack with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Must-visit galleries

Lviv Art Gallery

Lviv Art Gallery is a part of a museum complex that features the Ukrainian and foreign works, including paintings, sculpture, and more. Twenty-four rooms of the building feature European art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus, the cultural complex of the museum has many other branches in Lviv and Lviv region. The most famous is one of the best attractions in the city Potocki Place and a splendid Pidhirtsi Castle on the outskirts.

Lviv Art Gallery | © Lestat / WikiCommons

Contemporary Sacred Art Gallery Iconart

In contrast to other galleries that represent the diversity of art pieces, Contemporary Sacred Art Gallery Iconart specialises in religious painting of well-known Lviv artists. It is a place to explore the synergy of contemporary art and Christian spirituality and the new turn in the development of the Ukrainian sacred art.

Insider Tip: Except for permanent collection, there’re also temporary thematic exhibitions.

Artsy Restaurants

Left Bank

The “undergrounds” of Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet hide a quirky Left Bank restaurant. It is the only venue in the city, located on the bank of the river under the city. A varied selection of drinks and dishes perfectly fit the cosy interior and pleasant sound of flowing river nearby. Besides concerts and live music, creative meetings and exhibitions of contemporary art are constantly held here. Do not forget to book a table in advance and check the schedule of events.

Salo Art Museum

Salo Art Museum is a restaurant that specializes in the most popular traditional Ukrainian dish salo (pork fat). The interior is decorated with a variety of sculptures as well as with paintings, photographs, and other art objects all made from pork fat. The major exhibit is a statue of a human heart from pork fat, which you can see at the entrance to the venue. Salo Art Museum stays open until the last customer is done, so you can stay as long as you want and taste the most common ways to eat salo in Ukraine.

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