Why we loved our Summer in Lviv
Last year I wrote about our visit to Lviv, calling it the “most underrated city in Europe”. We had enjoyed it so much that we decided to come back this summer. We booked our accommodation back in February. We never book an apartment that far ahead.
We initially planned to stay 2 months in Lviv. But then, while back, we decided to stay a 3rd month. That’s how much we loved our time in Lviv.
Happy lady posing for us in front of the Opera House
I received a few comments from people after last year’s post questioning why we would stay in Lviv for such a long period of time. Those people are not regular readers and they don’t understand how we travel. We’re full-time travellers and as full-time travellers we find the summer months in Europe are always the worst: places are packed with tourists and everything is expensive and of poor value. After a few bad experiences in our first years of travel, we learned that summer is the time to hole up somewhere we like and to just “live”. That’s exactly what we did this summer. And it’s why Lviv is the perfect place for us.
Tourists. Lviv does get a lot of tourists in its old town in the summer. But it is confined to the main square (the Rynok) and a few surrounding streets. One can still find quiet spots. Lviv doesn’t (yet) feel overwhelmed by tourists the way many European cities get in the summer.
Cost. Lviv doesn’t get many international tourists and you can still find good value. We paid $750 Canadian (that’s $570 US these days) per month for the apartment we stayed in . That’s all-in, including Airbnb fees, during the 3 busiest months of the year (June, July, August). It wasn’t glamourous but it was very comfortable for our needs.
Value. You can, by almost all comparisons, live cheaply in Lviv. You can also find anything you need. Right in the middle of downtown there is a large market where you can buy all your vegetables, meat, bread etc. There is also a large supermarket steps from there called Arsen which we discovered this summer (last year we would go to Silpo which is in the Lviv Forum shopping center – which is further from the old town). For wines and cheeses I go to Elit Klub which is my favorite store in Lviv. There I’d pick up an $8 Canadian ($6 US) Spanish wine for our meals. I don’t know if you can find an $8 bottle of Spanish wine even in Spain. All to say value for money in Lviv is excellent.
I’ll be updating my Lviv Guide in the coming weeks along with a few restaurant recommendations. I’ve already written about all the great coffee experiences and cafés in Lviv here.
So what did we do over 3 months in Lviv?
Last year we explored Lviv in depth. Again, please refer to my very comprehensive “Ultimate Guide to Lviv”.
This year we barely did any sightseeing. Instead we concentrated on getting in shape at our favorite gym in the world: Eurosport.
Almost every single day we went to the gym, spending anywhere between 2 and 3 hours doing classes. Lissette lost 20 lbs. We got in great shape and met lots of very friendly people.
After the gym we would often go out for lunch, walk around the city (which is quite small. There’s a joke that everything in Lviv is “10 minutes” away). Then we’d usually have a coffee or a glass of wine somewhere.
THAT basically sums up our summer: 3 months of working out (getting in the best shape we’ve been in the last 10 years), walking around, drinking coffee and wine, and taking lots of photos of lovely Lviv.
The rest of this post is dedicated to our favorite photos of lovely Lviv from this summer. Note that all these photos were taken by Lissette – I hope you feel her love of Lviv in these images.
Musical performer. We would see this girl almost every day, usually in front of the “Post office” (Poshta) restaurant
Buildings along Shevchenko Avenue
Drinking wine and warped views on a selfie
Kids always seem to enjoy trying to climb the Taras Shevchenko Monument
Ladies selling flowers next to the market
Life next to the Boim Chapel
Men playing chess on park bench
Inside the Archangel Michael Church
Pretty girl giving Lissette looks at the Drunk Cherry
Inside the Drunk Cherry. You have to try out their cherry wine at least once when coming to Lviv.
Tram and churches (that the Assumption church to the left, the Church Of St. Archangel Michael down the street)
Colorful buildings near the Bernardine Church
Buildings around the main square (the Rynok) following rain
Views of Lviv from the Panorama restaurant
Tango in Lviv
Flower market. That’s the Bernardine church in the background
Shevchenko Avenue and George Hotel
Details on the George Hotel, Lviv, Ukraine
Beer and wine at the popular Glory Cafe.
Pretty street in the old town
Weird colored drinks
A bride and groom next to the Armenian Church
Design on building. Almost every building in Lviv has incredible designs
Boy playing a musical instrument
Capturing a selfie
Tower at city hall (go up for great views)
Drinking wine at “Wine Not?”
More detail on buildings
Bernardine church at night, Lviv
Birds over the Rynok
That’s me getting a haircut
The streets of Lviv
Shevchenko Avenue at night
Colorful street in the old town
Old defensive wall behind the Bernardine Church
Boy scouts selling cookies
Inside the beautiful Transfiguration church
Summer life on the windows and balconies on the Rynok
Back outside the Drunk Cherry
Old Lada in front of the Dominican cathedral
Sun in Archangel Michael Church
Shadows behind the Armenian Church
Drinking wine (again)
Flowers at the market
Building along beautiful Shevchenko Avenue
Tram cutting through the busy Rynok in Lviv
Detail on the Bernardine church
Ukrainian colors and Bernardine church