Paul (my friend) : Bro, will you be the Best Man on my wedding?
Me : Of course, I will. I would be honored man.
Me to Myself : Of course yes, because you are getting married in Ukraine my friend! :D
I couldn’t say no, when my friend asked me to be the best man on his wedding, because he was getting married in Lviv, Ukraine! Although a year ago I didn’t even hear of this city, but then Olena who’s from Lviv (now she’s Paul’s wife) introduced me to this beautiful city.
The 2nd August 2019, I landed in Lviv, the largest city in the western Ukraine. Now that’s really not a fact which will impress you about this city, yet there is so much more that will make you fall in love with it. I found this city really small & cosy and so entertaining. On this trip, I was in absolute vacation mood and decided to give a rest to my camera too. No videos, no informative talk with anyone, no history lessons and no travel plans, I just went on with the flow everyday for the next 10 days.
My Personal Guide to the Inside
Let’s start with 10 key reasons why I love Lviv:
The Vibe - happiness in the air
People are incredibly friendly and welcoming
Lviv is one of the most budget friendly cities in Europe
Charming narrow cobblestone streets with live music everywhere
Close proximity to everything a tourist needs
Numerous themed cafe’s, bars, and restaurants
Amazing night life
Young crowd and the most beautiful women
Close to the border of Poland and Ukraine, gives you short and motor-able access to other countries in Europe.
Lviv is a great place to have one’s bachelor party, I mean you are in a party place and the city of angels! But it is a terrible idea if you’re getting married in the same city, because you’ll be a known face by next morning as Lviv has a small city center. Me and Paul took a stroll of the famous clubs and had a great night, at least for me. I was Batman and he was Robin that night, that’s all I am allowed to say about that night under the protection of Article 143 of the bachelor party code. Find in the later part, the most interesting clubs and places to visit.
How to Travel in Lviv?
Lviv is a walking city. A great advantage for the tourists is that everything is just so centered that you would not need any mode of transport. Everything is just at a walkable distance. I love small sized cities and there is no cosier place than Lviv that I have ever been to. Lviv is a sweet cosmopolitan city in a small package. Historic architecture, vibrant streets, music everywhere, collection of bars with different cocktails, Coffee culture, sheesha bars, and almost all sort of international cuisines makes Lviv a popular touristic destination.
If you need a taxi, use Uber (it is super cheap) - Download the App
My Experience with Ukrainian People
Apart from the city love, attending a ukrainian style wedding was an experience in itself. Being a guest in the wedding, I got an opportunity to interact with a lot of local people, which is always the most interesting part for me in all my travel dairies. I found ukrainian people really friendly and fun loving. There was a happy vibe in the air around this city. In Lviv, people make this city very special.
The Wedding: 8th of August 2019
It was time for me to be the Robin and Paul to be the Batman in his shiny tie and suit, ready to accomplish the mission. And there, she walked in, in her gorgeous long white gown, smiling with her eyes. On the other side, Sam (another important character in our lives), he was just waiting to poppin the bottle, our party starter and the last man standing! This wedding was like a party fest.
Where to Stay in Lviv?
Although Lviv has a great range of hotels and hostels but I would give a preference to Airbnb apartments. I made my booking through Airbnb and while I was searching for the property, I found so many gorgeous apartments with a great location in the heart of the old town at a price as low as USD 20 per night.
Best location to stay - Near Opera Theatre, which is exactly in the center of the old town. I was lucky to find my apartment just right next to the Opera Theatre and it was a lively atmosphere anytime I went down to the street and everything was so easily accessible, all the clubs, restaurants, bars, and cafes were at a walkable distance.
Most Interesting Restaurants/Bars/Cafe’s to Visit
Start your trip with a glass of cherry! Let’s start with the best place to socialize in Lviv - Pyana Vishnya, the famous Cherry Wine shop in Lviv; which is now a signature drink of Lviv. This shop is located in the centre at Rynok Square and it is always very crowded. It’s a perfect meeting point to interact with the locals and foreign visitors. Enjoy your drink in a crystal liquor glass while you stand and talk to people around you. Well, I met someone really pretty and interesting, so who knows who is waiting for you there!
Lviv will excite & amaze you with some really unique and weird experiences/places, Kryivka - a bar which is an underground bunker where you need a password to enter, Kopalnya Kavy - a café that has an underground coffee mine that you will explore while wearing a miner’s helmet, Gasova Lampa- a bar which looks like a laboratory where drinks are served in test tubes, Masoch cafe - a bar where the staff will whip you in an erotic manner, Seven Piggies - a restaurant to experience the best traditional food in traditional style, Arsenal Restaurant - for the love of pork, here you will get the best grilled ribs and always expect a waiting queue for minimum 30 minutes on anyday.
All these places that I have mentioned above are not more than 10 minutes walk from each other. A lot of people compare Lviv with Prague and Krakow, but I found this city unique in its own style. Lviv is a fun place to explore even for the solo traveller.
Other Popular Monuments/Spots to Visit
The most popular are : Lviv High Castle, Castle Hill (for panoramic view), Opera Theatre, Potocki Palace, Dominican Cathedral, City Hall Tower (for the view), Citadel (it is actually a luxury hotel now but served as a concentration camp for prisoners of war by the Nazis during German occupation), and there are many beautiful churches and other historic buildings.
Nightlife in Lviv
Lviv has one of the best night life in Europe. What really makes it special are the people. Ukrainian people are fun loving and specially Lviv has a volume of young crowd and tourists who energize the city. In my opinion, It would be hard to find so many beautiful women under one roof of a club in any other part of the world; beautiful women are the integral part of the city’s charm.
Rounding up the list with a night club, don’t miss Malevich Night Club. It is one of the biggest clubs in Eastern Europe and definitely the most happening night club in Lviv. There is another restaurant club which will impress you with the elite crowd, called Fashion Club. It is located right in the center of the old town near the Opera Theatre. Fashion Club is a little expensive though but it’s really worth a visit. These are my 2 favorite suggestions, but yes the city has a lot more than these.
Budget Per Day
Currency Exchange : 1 USD = 22 UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnia)
Hotel Stay - $50 to $70 per night
Hostel Stay - $5 to $15 per night
Airbnb Apartment - $20 to $40 per night
Cost of an Average Meal - $5 to $8
Imported Wine - $2 for a glass
Imported Beer - $2 for a pint
Domestic beer - less than a dollar for a pint
Cigarettes - $2 for pack of 20
Vodaphone Data Sim Card - 6 GB for 30 days in $6 (there are other cheaper plans too)
These are average prices; you may find the accommodation maybe a little cheaper or a little more than the mentioned price. Lviv is one of the most budget friendly destinations in Europe.
Paul and and Olena got married and living happily in Dubai and now my best friend Paul is trying to set me up with sweet, pretty girls from Lviv! Search is still on…. :D
This isn’t the end, my next stop was Poland. I took a night train from Lviv to Krakow and planned to stop over for a day and then continue to Prague, but then I ended up staying 10 days in Poland.