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What To Do And See In Lviv, Ukraine

SofiLayla (CC0), Pixabay

Lviv is a gorgeous city in Ukraine, which attracts tourists from all over all year round. The city’s center has been part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list for decades. The area has survived quite a few battles and foreign governments ever since it was first founded in the early 1200s. It served as the capital city for several settlements, including the extremely short-lived West Ukrainian People’s Republic.

Nowadays it’s famous for its botanical gardens, underground tunnels, numerous cathedrals and festivals (cuisine, music, film and other arts). Here are some fun things to do and see if you’re ever visiting Lviv.

Treat yourself to the Lviv Chocolate Festival

One of the most popular (and definitely sweetest) festivals hosted by the city is the so-called Chocolate Festival. The annual gastronomic event will be held in February and October 2019. Attendants can sample testing goods, feast their eyes on chocolate sculptures and even take part in various workshops. But hey, who really cares about such minor details when the word “chocolate” alone is more than enough to convince any tourist to go?

Experience the thrills of the Insomnia Haunted House

If you’re seeking thrills, but you don’t want to explore the underground tunnels, head over to the Insomnia Haunted House in Lviv. Unlike typical escape rooms, the Haunted House actually employs actors to play various spooky roles and some might even say the décor and the actors are taking it way too far when it comes to scaring people off. They’re constantly updating the shows and they have 4 levels of fear factor. Needless to say, even the lowest one isn’t for the faint hearted out there.

Take in the timeless beauty of the historical Market Square

While the Market Square can indeed become overcrowded with locals and tourists any time of year, it’s still worth a visit. Apart from the cozy cafes, exquisite statues and lively fountains, you’ll also see an array of more than 40 tenement houses, all of which represent various architectural styles – Rococo, Renaissance, Gothic, Empire, Baroque and Modernism. One of the most famous houses in the Market Square area is the Black House – a 16th century façade that once served as the home of a local tax collector. The outer layer of the exterior is made out of sandstone, which has naturally darkened over the centuries.

Check out the Arkhivna Street

Speaking of touristy streets, here’s another interesting one – the Arkhivna Street. That’s not the real name of the street since the government changes it every single year. The tradition kicked off in 2000 and each year the street is renamed after the filmmaker who is honored at the annual KinoLev Independent Film Festival. With each new name the street also receives a new sign, added to the collection of the previous ones. Why should it be on your bucket list? Because you won’t find a street with so many different names anywhere else on Slavic territory.

Climb the High Castle hill

Contrary to the name, you won’t find a grand castle at the High Castle hill – only some ruins of a 13th century fortified palace that once stood there. The hill is the highest point in the Lviv area (more than 400 meters above sea level) and as such, it offers splendid views of the city and its surroundings. The panoramic sceneries the hill will reward you with are made easily accessible by numerous pedestrian lanes, stairways and safety railings.

Stop by the cat café

Cat lovers will be happy to know that Lviv has its own cat café – a thematic coffee shop and restaurant that houses numerous cats. Feeding the furballs is strictly prohibited and there are some ground rules for every guest who wishes to enter. The cats are amiable and can be petted. Children are allowed inside and sanitizing solutions are offered by the staff, along with a first-aid kit in case any of the guests get scratched.

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