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Ukrainians consider Lviv its most European city and dote on its attractions and architecture. The magnificent beauty of the cathedrals will melt the heart of the most demanding tourist, and the abundance of restaurants and cafés will present the local cult of food. Lviv is the perfect place to get acquainted with Ukrainian culture – here is our 48-hour guide to the best the city has to offer.
Start the first day of the trip early, and go to the Centaur Café for breakfast. The choice of dishes on the menu is diverse, but since you are in Lviv, be sure to ask for nalisniki with cottage cheese and sour cream. Coffee traditions in the cultural capital of Ukraine appear to be very strong and longstanding. The process of coffee-making is a manifestation of sharpened skills and can be compared to a performance. So, to have the perfect morning pick-me-up, pop into the Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture, listen to the history of coffee production, and explore the mines. At the end of the excursion, get a cappuccino with caramel crust.
Now it’s time to explore the attractions of the Market Square. In the middle, there is the Lviv Town Hall, which used to be the seat of the central city authorities. To climb up to the viewing point, one needs to overcome 400 stairs, but the panorama is magnificent.
Each courtyard of the Market Square buildings has its own history and unique architecture. The most inspiring one is the Italian Courtyard. It is located in the Korniakt Palace – a monument of Renaissance architecture and the cosiest courtyard in the city of Lviv. In addition, one can take a break and have lunch in the restaurant.
Having spent enough time at the main square, leave there and head through narrow cobbled streets to the House of Legends. The venue has a souvenir shop and a three-story café with a beautiful rooftop view. For dinner, the destination is the Meat and Justice restaurant. Known for its extravagant concept, the interior is filled with various functioning instruments of torture and execution. For instance, you can cut a homemade sausage with a guillotine or eat on the chair with metal spikes.
The next morning, get your start at Baczewski Restaurant. They offer a variety of dishes at their breakfast buffet, and they appeal to tourists with their calm and refined atmosphere. Then have a walk around the city to discover the majestic Potocki Palace, Lviv University, Stryiskyi Park, and, of course, the stunning Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
For lunch, sip some Champagne along with khachapuri or a hotdog at Shampaneriya X&X – oddly enough, these are the only three items on the menu. As Lviv remains the largest center of spiritual life in western Ukraine, join the tour of the most ancient cathedrals of the city: St. George’s Cathedral, Bernardine Church, the Dominican Church, Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and many, many others are all densely packed within walking distance of each other. The Armenian Cathedral of Lviv – the oldest historical monument in the city – deserves special attention. The walls are decorated with stunning 600-year-old ornaments and mosaics, and sunlight streams through the stained-glass windows.
Ukrainian cuisine is rich on flavors and ingredients. Everyone visiting Ukraine should try such traditional dishes as borscht, salo, and vareniki with sour cream. Atlas Restaurant has courses of traditional Galician food (Galicia is a region of western Ukraine, not to be confused with the Spanish region). It is a place with a long history, having opened in the late 19th century. Spend the evening in the pleasant bohemian saloon, and afterwards take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Lviv. In the evening, the city is particularly romantic.