Recently my husband and I went on a short holiday to Lviv, Ukraine. Located west of Kyiv about 431 km (268 miles) from the Polish border, Lviv was on my bucket list of places to travel while posted here in Ukraine. The architecture and ambiance had been described and shown in pictures as a dreamy romantic getaway city, and it did not disappoint.
The fact that we could travel there by train, car, or plane left us with several options. I had heard good things about the express train to Lviv, so we decided to take that route. The time it took to travel from Kyiv to Lviv was a little over five hours. The train ride was air conditioned, with WiFi, and there were snacks and beverages available for purchase.
When we arrived in Lviv, there was overwhelming commotion – construction (and lots of nonstop construction noise), endless tour buses, cars, and tourists in and around the station.
Needless to say, the ambiance was not what I expected at first. Once we got in our Uber and entered the Opera and Rynok Square areas about 15 or 20 minutes away from the train station, I saw exactly what I envisioned. We arrived at our hotel around noon, and luckily they allowed us to check in early. Our hotel was located fairly close to Rynok Square and the Opera House, which allowed for us to walk pretty much anywhere we wanted to go. So, we dropped our bags off, freshened up, and headed out to explore the cobblestone streets of Lviv.
Our first stop was Rynok Square. We were hungry, and it was lunchtime, so we wandered around until we found Baczewski Restaurant, which had outstanding Pierogis and beer. We sat outside and people watched during our meal.
Afterwards, we explored more of the square, with its many stores and vendors. We popped into Lviv Chocolates for a sweet treat and then walked around some more, buying some souvenirs.
While exploring the square, a restaurant that caught my interest was one that I called the sword and the stone restaurant. From the pictures below, you can see why I gave it that name:
One thing I noticed were the many lion symbols throughout the city. This is due to the fact that Lviv is translated to English as Leo’s lands or Leo’s City.
After a long day of travel and walking around, we called it a night and went back to the hotel, gearing up for a fun second day in Lviv! Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Lviv holiday..