Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Why we loved our Summer in Lviv

Last year I wrote about our visit to Lviv, calling it themost 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.

posing in front of the opera house in Lviv, Ukraine

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.

 

Views of the Rynok in Lviv, Ukraine. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv


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.

 

Why we loved our Summer in Lviv

Musical performer. We would see this girl almost every day, usually in front of the “Post office” (Poshta)  restaurant

Shevchenko Avenue buildings, Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv

Buildings along Shevchenko Avenue

drinking wine and selfie pose in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Drinking wine and warped views on a selfie

kids climbing the Taras Shevchenko Monument, Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv

Kids always seem to enjoy trying to climb the Taras Shevchenko Monument

ladies selling flowers at the market in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Ladies selling flowers next to the market

Boim chapel in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Life next to the Boim Chapel

men playing chess on park bench in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv

Men playing chess on park bench

inside the Archangel Michael Church, Lviv

Inside the Archangel Michael Church

Pretty girl in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Pretty girl giving Lissette looks at the Drunk Cherry

inside the Drunk Cherry, Lviv

Inside the Drunk Cherry. You have to try out their cherry wine at least once when coming to Lviv.

Views of a tram and churches in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

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, Lviv

Colorful buildings near the Bernardine Church

buildings around the rynok, Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Buildings around the main square (the Rynok) following rain

Views of Lviv from the Panorama restaurant

Views of Lviv from the Panorama restaurant

Tango in Lviv, Ukraine

Tango in Lviv

flower market in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)Flower market. That’s the Bernardine church in the background

Shevchenko Avenue and George Hotel, Lviv

Shevchenko Avenue and George Hotel

Details on the George Hotel, Lviv, Ukraine

Details on the George Hotel, Lviv, Ukraine

Ukrainian beer and wine at the Glory cafe, Lviv.

Beer and wine at the popular Glory Cafe.

pretty street in the old town, Lviv

Pretty street in the old town

weird colored drinks in Lviv

Weird colored drinks

bride and groom in Lviv

A bride and groom next to the Armenian Church

Design on building in Lviv, Ukraine. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Design on building. Almost every building in Lviv has incredible designs

Boy playing a musical instrument

a selfie in LvivCapturing a selfie

tower at city hall, Lviv, Ukraine

Tower at city hall (go up for great views)

Drinking wine at Wine Not, Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Drinking wine at “Wine Not?”

detail on buildings in Lviv. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

More detail on buildings

Bernardine church at night, Lviv

Bernardine church at night, Lviv

birds over the Rynok, Lviv, Ukraine

Birds over the Rynok

getting a haircut in Lviv, Ukraine

That’s me getting a haircut

the streets of Lviv, Ukraine

The streets of Lviv

Shevchenko Avenue at night, Lviv

Shevchenko Avenue at night

colorful street in the old town, Lviv

Colorful street in the old town

Old defensive wall behind the Bernardine Church, Lviv

Old defensive wall behind the Bernardine Church

Boy scouts selling cookies in Lviv, Ukraine

Boy scouts selling cookies

Inside the beautiful Transfiguration church, Lviv

Inside the beautiful Transfiguration church

windows and balconies on the Rynok, Lviv

Summer life on the windows and balconies on the Rynok

Drunk Cherry in Lviv

Back outside the Drunk Cherry

lada in front of the Dominican cathedral, Lviv

Old Lada in front of the Dominican cathedral

sun in Archangel Michael Church, Lviv

Sun in Archangel Michael Church

Shadows behind the Armenian Church, Lviv, Ukraine

Shadows behind the Armenian Church

Drinking wine in Lviv, Ukraine. Why we loved our Summer in Lviv (in photos)

Drinking wine (again)

Flowers at the market, Lviv

Flowers at the market

building on Shevchenko Avenue, Lviv

Building along beautiful Shevchenko Avenue

tram cutting through the busy Rynok in Lviv

Tram cutting through the busy Rynok in Lviv

Detail on the Bernardine church, Lviv

Detail on the Bernardine church

Ukrainian colors and Bernardine church, Lviv, Ukraine

Ukrainian colors and Bernardine church

 

 If you’ve gotten all the way down here, thanks for reading!

18 Comments

  1. In your blog about Krakow you never shut up about how racist and antisemitic the Poles are, yet here you are in a city where they have a statue honouring Stepan Bandera, a man who’s organisation murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles, the same organisation that have been declared the heroes of Ukraine, and you say nothing, why? Did you by any chance see any black and red bi-colour flags? I know you did, they’re everywhere. Do you know what that flag represents? What the people who flew that flag did?

    1. There’s a difference. History is history, otherwise I could say tons about Germany couldn’t I? I could say tons about any place with a similar history (which would include most countries on the planet).

      What my post on Krakow covered is how we were treated as travellers. Period. In Lviv we’ve found people hospitable and open. 4 months over 2 years and not one negative experience. In fact it was the complete opposite to our experience in Krakow.

      1. Germany doesn’t erect statues of Hitler and isn’t proud of what happened during WWII, unlike Ukraine, which is proud of what it did to the Jews and Poles, as evidenced by the statues and streets built and named in honour of the OUN and UPA. Imagine you’re a Jew and you visit Germany and see statues of Hitler and streets named after Goebbels, That’s what Ukraine is like. The fact that you don’t care about this just because they treated you nicely is disgraceful, however this isn’t really my point, my point is your hypocrisy of pointing out Polish antisemitism, but not mentioning the monuments glorifying Ukrainian antisemitism.

        1. Give me a break. Every country has statues dedicated to “liberators” who did “terrible things”. That’s very subjective depending on what side of history you’re on. And having street names or statues don’t mean anything but being politically correct. Ask Americans in the south what they think about having their confederate statues taken down.

          I’m not addressing this subject anymore, this post isn’t about Ukrainian or Polish politics.

  2. My favourite photo is Shadows Behind the Armenian Church. Though they’re all lovely.

    I dislike tourist crowds as well and we try to avoid them. Even shoulder season is sometimes too much. Early-early mornings are often a good bet. In Rome they were pretty cool. It was surreal at times. Trevi Fountain with no one around.

    1. Hi Colleen. You’ve got the same taste as Lissette – that was her favorite photo as well.

      Over the last month we’ve been to Prague as well as Split in what is now shoulder season. Both cities are inundated with tourists. Even more than on prior visits. I’ll be writing about that soon. It’s honestly depressing…

  3. honestly it looks like the sort of place I would love Frank. Who knows where life will take me over the next 20-30 years. But I’m popping it in the back of my mind. looks wonderful. Not sure I’d be keen on gym every single day no matter where I was though!

    1. Hi Andy. We’ve just been trying to really get in shape and Lviv was what we needed. I’m not going to tell you it’s the most beautiful place anywhere but we think it’s a special place with the vibe and the people.

  4. Frank, so many interesting photos. My favourite is the one of the musician girl in front of the post office. Definitely agree that the busy summer months are not a good time for traveling in Europe. I like your slow travel approach, you get to apreciate places in depth and live like a local. Your fitness campaign has really paid off…well done Lissette, impressive results. Brian and I are starting to go running again regularly, it is hard to find motivation sometimes.

    1. Thanks Gilda.
      We took lots of classes and I was usually the only guy in the class. Lots of squats, pushups, ab work…the ladies were great with us, very welcoming and Lissette has a lot of Ukrainian friends now on facebook. Unbelievable how nice everyone was with us and we look forward to getting back.
      We’ll also be doing some running as well as skipping rope (another quick way to get rid of or maintain weight). You’re right that it’s hard to find motivation when on your own. That’s why the classes were great for us. I guess you guys back in the Uk after your long trip to Norway?

      1. Definitely would like any photos. I know the history very much but there is so much of it that I always still learn. It was a big Jewish learning center with a great large Jewish population that was decimated in WWII. A very close friend of ours spent an extended period there years ago to search for his family origin in Lviv.
        P.S. leaving for Israel Nov 4th, and would have about 8 days to take a side RT to Europe. Wanted very much to go to Spain (warmer in November than going back to Georgia, which I want to do). Any Air B&B recomd. for Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo? Thank You.

        1. I’m sorry Sara, no recommendations. We haven’t seen much of Spain except for Seville. Ask us next year – we’ll be spending a LOT of time in Spain.

          Tragic history in Lviv. It feels like a happy place but so easy to forget the history. The Citadel for example (which is now a fancy hotel) was a prison used by the Nazis and I heard over 100,000 were killed there. Hard to come to grips with numbers like that. We often think of the ugly history when travelling around Europe. So easy to forget.

          1. You said it best. That’s why it’s important to remember. As was said already. “If we forget history, we are bound to repeat it”.

  5. Looks like a great place to hole up for 3 months. I’m working Lviv into my plans next year. Your guide will come in handy 🙂 Tell Lissette I love her pictures

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