Eco-friendly travel guide to Lviv advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Lviv, Ukraine.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 2.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$40 - $100
- Budget per day: US$120 - $300
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Lviv is an excellent destination to visit whenever a tourist is headed to Ukraine. Undoubtedly, the beauty of the city itself is enough to place it at the top of the list of many travelers and explorers. To begin with, try and use public transportation as much as possible. While there aren’t too many options and the comfort of a private car or a cab is far more superior, it is recommended that you use the waterways, the trains. The buses are efficient, cost-effective, and they certainly help you reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to this, Lviv is a city whose beauty is par excellence, and exploring it on foot or a bicycle shall also serve to be a phenomenal experience.
A big part of responsible traveling includes living in your destination so that you utilize the local resources in the most optimal possible way. One such way for you to do that as a tourist is to stay in an eco-friendly or a green hotel. This shall help you ensure that you reduce your impact on the environment, and choosing a good green hotel shall provide you with all the amenities and facilities in a much more sustainable manner.
The local markets are known to be a treasure trove, and here you will find everything from antiquities to locally produced goods that reflect the fine craftsmanship. Additionally, this shall help the local economy in a major way as you shall put money directly into the pockets of the manufacturers/creators and possibly skip out the middleman. This will further enable you to support these small industries that don’t operate out of greed and carefully utilize the city’s resources.
Similarly, try and explore local food at simple restaurants to enjoy legendary Ukrainian cuisine. Avoid big food chains and global brands at all costs. The smaller bistros, restaurants, and even food carts shall serve you some of the most authentic dishes. More so, if you plan to cook your local meal, make sure you get the ingredients from local food markets and not supermarkets. The freshest produce, including vegetables, seafood, and all kinds of meats, shall be found at these markets, and they shall be priced appropriately and often serve to be the difference between a good home-cooked meal and a great one.
Air Quality and Pollution
If you find yourself in a busy city like Lviv, it is not out of place to be curious and want to know about the air quality index or the city’s pollution rate. After all, getting knowledge about these would help you develop or practice means to stay safe. If an evaluation is to be carried out, Lviv is not the worst city for air pollution, as other cities would rank higher than it. However, it is also not the best, which means that there is room for improvement. The air quality of the city is good, making it adaptable for living. There are no severe health challenges that one would develop while there, which can be linked to air quality. Different things affect the air in Lviv, and we can trace them to human activities. However, there are efforts to curb and minimize them so that the air quality index would grow from moderate to high. It will be best not to entertain fear or worries about air quality when in Lviv.
Respect the Culture
Every foreigner should have an unwritten rule at the back of their mind that they must be respectful to the people and customs when in a new city. It is the only way to have a delightful stay while you are there, and Lviv is not an exception. Generally, the locals of Lviv are friendly, although it may not show in their expressions. However, it would be best if you did not let it scare you away as you will notice their warmness when you have a conversation with any of them. You should not take this for granted, and you should always return the gesture by being polite. Respectful foreigners always have higher points in the books of any local. If you want to try out local meals in the city, you should do it in a place with an abundance of locals, and you should not talk down on the food. This way, you will have a better and friendlier relationship with them. It is also thought that you take a gift when visiting a local as it shows that you appreciate the invite.
Top 10 Places to Visit
• Rynok Square
Rynok Square is a historical plaza with fountains. It is the central square of the city. It was established in the 13th century.
• Lviv National Academic Opera And Ballet Theatre
Lviv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is a grand 1900 opera house and theatre. It is located in Svobody Ave, Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. It was established in the year 1900.
• Lychakiv Cemetery
Lychakiv Cemetery is a greenery-filled 18th-century cemetery. It is located in Mechnykova St, Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. It was established in the year 1787.
• St. George’s Cathedral
St. George’s Cathedral is striking the 1700s Greek Catholic edifice. It is located in Ploshcha Svyatoho Yura, Oblast, Lviv, Ukraine. It was established in 1744.
• Lviv Latin Cathedral
Lviv Latin Cathedral is an iconic church dating to the 14th century. It is located in Katedralna square, Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. It was established in the year 1360.
• Dominican Cathedral
Dominican Cathedral is an ornate baroque church and monastery. It is located in Muzeina Square, Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. It was built as the Roman Catholic Church.
• Potocki Palace
Potocki Palace is a palace, castle, museum, history, and architecture. It is located in Palats Hrafiv, Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. It was established in the year 1880.
• Park High Castle
Park High Castle is the panoramic park at a historic citadel. It is a popular park built in the 13th century. It is located in Zamkova Street, Lviv, Ukraine.
• Armenian Cathedral of Lviv
Armenian Cathedral of Lviv is one of the famous cathedral built in the 14th century. It is located in Virmens’ka St, Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. The cathedral was styled in Armenian Architecture.
• Mountain “High Castle”
Mountain “High Castle” is an observation area at historic fort ruins. It is located in Lviv, Oblast, Ukraine. It was established in 1250.
If you ask some people why they are visiting Lviv, their response will be along the line of exploration. People always want to see something new, and exploring enters their to-do list when in a new city. In Lviv, there are a lot of places for anyone to explore. You will notice many royal buildings, although most of them are now museums with exhibitions. However, these places will help you know more about the city. There are also landmarks in the city, and each of them has unique stories. These stories will stick with you for a long time, and you will see yourself sharing them with others years after you have left the city. Another place you can explore while in Lviv is the parks, and you will get different options. The ball is always in your court as some foreigners may get lazy and miss the opportunity to see these places. However, it is one of the biggest mistakes if you do not go out to see places, and you will be doing yourself a disservice.
The city is big, and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. The views are one thing you cannot take away from parks.
Here are some famous city parks in the city:
- Park 700-Richchya L’vova
- Park High Castle
- Ivan Franko Park
- Sykhivs’kyyy Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and zoos. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
- Yavoriv National Park
- Yavorivskyi National Park
- National Forestry Unversity Botanical Garden
Many people fantasize about spending time at a beach, and it could be that it is what you do when home. Thus, they are curious about beaches when in a new city. If you fall under this category and visit Lviv, you are in for a treat as it has beaches for people to explore and relax.
The city of Lviv also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Chapel of the Boim Family
- Lviv Townhall
- Stryiskyi Park
- Beer Cultural Experience Center
Visiting museums would be the icing on your holiday package, especially if you are in this city, as it shows that you have adequately explored the city. Here are some of these museums given are as follows:
- Lviv National Art Gallery – Borys Voznysky
- Museum – Arsenal
- Pharmacy Museum
You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meats. Apart from these traditional and modern cuisines, the local street food is a must-try one that will leave your mouth lingering with their flavors. You will find that vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes are popular, and you will not find much trouble conveying your food preferences. Here are some famous local restaurants, vegetarian and vegan, and street foods are given below.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Here are some famous local restaurants which serve their authentic traditional foods are given below:
- Baczewski Restaurant
- The Most Expensive Galician Restaurant
- Ribs Restaurant “At Arsenal.”
- Hungry Mykola
Vegetarian and Vegan
Sometimes the habits of two people are different. Thus, everyone does not have the same eating habit or love the same pattern when it concerns food choices. If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Om Nom Nom Vegan Café
- Vega Room
As mentioned earlier, street foods are one of the best things you need to try to get the best cultural touch. You will find street food stalls on every corner of the city. No matter which lane you visit, you will find many local street foods that you need to try once in your lifetime. You will find some of the cheapest street foods in these markets. Make sure to try the local food shops' foods to support them and help them earn some money. It will help you get good food at a low price and help the local shops keep providing good food to tourists.
- Vegano Hooligano
Drinks are an essential thing in travel as it helps to get refreshed between your travel to different places in the city. There are some of the places in the city that will provide you a wide range of drinks. From local drinks to international, you will find a lot of different drinks here. You can try some local beers from the shops, soft drinks, juices, and others. Before visiting the city, you need to know the best places in this city that can help you get refreshed. Make sure to try the local drinks in the city to get the best experience and help out the local people. Many people are very much dependent on tourism and maintain their living based on it. Here are different sections given below that will give you an idea of drinks you can get in the city.
Even the water that is available in hotels and street-side food joints may be unsafe to drink. Hence, carrying bottled water is a good suggestion. Unlike many Western countries, tap water may not be safe to drink, but the locals do drink after boiling it. Water is unstable even to the small majority who have a direct connection to tapped water. Different areas of the city receive water on specific days of the week, some for a few days and others for just a few hours.
The city has stood up to the task of catering for all segments of the population, including those with a preference for organic foods. Since some people would prefer eating organic, it is not out of place to have organic cafes in different cities. While they are not as obvious as the mainstream restaurants, the city has several organic eateries:
- Lviv Coffee Manufacture
- Kredens Café
- Cat Cafe
Relaxing is hard when you do not have a drink in your hand. However, the situation in Lviv is not like that. You will be able to get some of the best breweries in the city. From alcohol to soft drinks, you will be able to find a wide collection of breweries. Among all the different places, make sure to visit the nightlife of this city. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and nightclubs that you can visit to get local and traditional breweries. If you want to try international alcohol or beverage, then you will also get many options in these bars. Apart from bars, you will also get many soft drinks and specialty drinks available on the streets. As an eco-friendly traveler, make sure to visit the local stores and try out local brews. It will help the locals to earn some profit and help you to get closer to the locals.
- Live Brewery
- Pravda Beer Theatre
- Castlehill Brewery
The museums and art exhibitions are always there for you to explore, making you appreciate art. Even if you are not a lover of artwork, something in you will be compelled when you see them. The city is best known for its art and culture in tourism, and it has many places to explore. However, this is not the case for people who wish to visit Lviv, as there is always something to do. Foreigners hate getting bored when in a new city, so you would see those seeking locals' recommendations. If there is not much to do in a city, then what is the point of visiting there? It would be best to make friends with the locals to have an epic experience in the city.
Yoga and Retreats
You will find that young people are the ones that like to participate in such fitness exercised. There are many yoga institutes in the city where you can train under a qualified and experienced yoga teacher. With increasing awareness of the need for a healthy and fit lifestyle, the local people are gaining interest in yoga, an ancient Indian practice for maintaining the health of mind and body.
We would not say that accommodation in this city is cheap, neither would we say that it is expensive. The price you would get depends on your accommodation option. It may not be as low as what you would get in some cities, but it is not the most expensive in the world. With this clear, we know that the next question concerns the pricing as people want to know to plan their budget.
The city has many options when it comes to accommodation, so foreigners are not stranded. These accommodation options range from hotels to apartments, and much more. You can either make accommodation plans when you are in the city or before you arrive. It would be best to do whatever works best for you.
Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in Lviv to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
Here are some of the green hotels in the city given below:
- Grand Hotel in Lviv
- Family Residence
- Green Street Hostel
Hostels and Guest Houses
As mentioned earlier, the accommodation mode depends a lot on how many days you are staying in the city. If you are staying for more than 1.5 weeks, then hostels or guesthouses are the best options for you. You will be able to stay in the city for a long time without spending a lot of money. You might not be able to get many options and features of big hotels, but they are pocket friendly. Here are some of the hostels and guest houses that you can choose to stay in in Lviv.
- Dream Hostel view
- Premium Hostel
- Leosphere Hostel
- Etno Hostel Lviv
When you plan to stay even more than 3-4 weeks, choosing hotels, hostels, or guest houses might be a bit high on cost. So, if you plan a long stay, then renting apartments is the best option for you. It will help you to save a lot of money and stay comfortably. You will find a lot of apartments in the city with different price ranges. All of them offer different features like an air conditioner, TV, refrigerator, and others. You need to choose one depending on your needs and choices. Use online services to choose and book them before stepping into the city. It will save you time searching and help you to start exploring right after reaching.
Couchsurfing has become one of the popular accommodation options in the world. Many travelers take the help of Couchsurfing to stay in the city and explore them. It is a group or community of travelers who offer other travelers to stay in their house instead of hotels. It helps travelers explore the city like a local and get all the host person's help, like brushing up on language, knowing the best place to eat. If you search for Couchsurfing in Lviv, you have to find a host using online websites and services. Once you get a host, you can contact them and fix your stay—the easiest way to stay in a city and witness locals' everyday lives from up-close.
Although camping is not an actual form of accommodation as it cannot serve long-term, it still falls under accommodation as it helps for days that anyone would engage in it. People share jokes and stories while camping, and it is a way of establishing new friendships. The stories will always keep you company, and some of them may be based on historical facts concerning the city. Camping is an activity that is common amongst the locals of the city of Lviv so that you can join them on it. Some people do not understand why anyone will leave the luxury of their homes and decide to camp. However, those who have ever had a camping experience can explain that the feeling is different and fulfilling. By camping, you are leaving your immediate environment's comfort and going to a place that is in tune with nature. These places often do not have the luxury of beds, and campers end up sleeping in tents.
How to Get There
Many facilities are depending upon where you want to travel. Public transport is the most affordable and convenient one, and you should opt for those modes of vehicles to maintain your budget. Also, public transports like buses, trains, bicycles, etc., have a more comprehensive range than private transportation.
As mentioned above, air is the most convenient way to travel to the city. One of the best things about this transportation service is that it takes very little time to reach the destination than other modes of transport. But the fare of flight is also very high compared to trains or buses. If you want to travel by air, then you will need to book the flight far before the date of departure. It will help you confirm a seat for your trip, and the price will be a lot less in bookings. The estimated time to reach Lviv depends on your starting point.
The bus terminuses are chaotic, and you may have to take some local help to determine which bus to choose for your requirements. This is because the intercity bus terminus is located around one hour from the city. The city has reasonably advanced local bus transport services, but intercity bus services are not very comfortable.
Another interesting way to travel to the city is by train. Although most people choose flights to reach the city from outer countries, many people like to travel on a train and look at all the beautiful scenery on the way. You will be able to get the best and memorable experience by traveling using a train. The only disadvantage of a train is, you will need a lot of time to reach your destination, maybe more than 3 days. Make sure to book the train ticket a lot before the date of the starting journey to confirm your seats and avoid being on the waiting list.
A lot of hitchhikers consider hitchhiking immensely challenging in Lviv because it is not easy. If you want to hitch in Lviv, all you need to do is find the right spot for hitchhiking; the better the location, the better the hitchhiking experience. The local people are amicable and welcoming. Although not all of them will be able to give you a ride, they will offer you money, food, directions to stations, and even salute you. It is not the most convenient way of transportation but is common among solo travelers and people with a low budget.
Another means of getting into Lviv is through cruise ships or ferries. We usually see this when a group of tourists decides to visit the city. In such cases, it would be that they have a tour guide waiting for them, and they are ready to have an adventurous experience. If you have never been on a ferry, it may be time to check for those who wish to visit Lviv around you so that you all would use it as a means of transportation to the city.
These modes of transportations are efficient in helping you move around the city and discover the city's hidden gems. If you wish to travel, then the best option at your disposal is public transports such as subway trains, available buses, and electronic vehicles. Walking is an alternative mode of moving around but is the healthiest and cheapest mode.
Despite numerous attempts to decongest the city, including increasing the parking cost in town and banning public service vehicles from accessing certain parts of the town center, the streets have continued congested. Away from the city and into the residential suburbs boasts of many trees along many avenues that provide shade and fresh air as you stroll along. Walking is the most eco-friendly means of transport but also because of the traffic jam. As the city has rapidly grown, Lviv has become known for its unending traffic jams.
You will be able to get a bicycle on rent from many different services at a cheap cost. Many hotels provide bicycles free of cost to customers. The best thing about exploring the city on a bicycle is that you do not have to worry about traffic. Also, cycling is a great exercise that helps to improve health conditions. Nothing is better than having exercise and roaming the city at once with the help of a bicycle.
As part of safety procedures and guidelines, anyone who desires to use an electronic bike should always ensure that they are wearing a helmet as it is better to be safe than to be sorry. The feeling you get while moving around on a bike is soothing and one of a kind, making it understandable why many people desire to use one. It will help if you have a map with you while using a bike not to lose your way while moving around.
Public buses in Lviv are the cheapest mode of public transportation. It is a standard mode of transport amongst the locals, and they use it daily to go to and fro from home to the workplace. These buses are a convenient way of getting to destinations inside the city.
Tram, Train and Subway
People use these transports for a faster way of moving around the city. You will find that trains and subways help you reach destinations inside and outside the city as they have a more comprehensive range than trams. On the other side, trams work only in some particular areas inside the city and are a great way of experiencing the local culture.
There are many shopping centers in the city whereby tourists and locals alike can go shopping. It is more sustainable to shop in local shops and ensure that you do not only stick to one shop but try to spread the wealth by visiting different shops.
Without visiting the food market, you will not be able to get the city's best experience. If you are a food lover, then you will feel like you are in heaven. There are many different food markets where you can visit and do your shipping. You will get some of the local and unique food that is not available in other places.
For many travelers, the flea market is the best place to spend their money and take some of the best things home at a low price. There are many old flea markets in the city that are popular in the nearby cities. From night markets today ones, every type of market is available in this city. Exploring the flea markets will help you very much to know about the life of local people.
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand markets are now evolving all around the world. You will find most of the stores very crowded and filled with quality items. Lviv is no different, and second-hand markets have grown very well in the last few years. The local people have started to shop for these second-hand products and the tourists, which made these markets very crowded.
Eco-fashion is one of the best ways that you can use to contribute to nature. As an eco-friendly tourist, you will get the best fashion collection that produces zero pollution and helps the environment stay clean. Most of these fashions are made with eco-friendly materials and herbal ingredients. Local people have started to adopt these fashions, which tested in getting many branded and non-branded eco-fashion stores in the area. Many shops have developed over the years to provide the best eco-fashion to customers.
Recycling occurs in Lviv, and some people are passionate about it. One of the most typical things they recycle in this city is bottles. It could be glass or plastic, but it is always recycled, especially as many people buy bottled water. The idea is to ensure that the city stays clean and innovative as they can make other useful things from the recycled items. By subscribing to recycling while in Lviv, you are an eco-friendly tourist.
The waste management system in Lviv is efficient, and some guidelines need to be followed. People are expected to fill the designated household garbage collection bags up to a weight that can be carried in one hand and firmly tie them. It is important to note that if you put out your garbage in bags other than the designated bags, they may not be collected. Waste is collected twice a week.
Work and Study Abroad
Lviv receives a very high crowd of tourists every year, but they do not come to see the tourist attractions in the city. Many people from foreign countries visit Lviv to pursue their higher studies. Lviv is very well known for having high-level education and offers many high courses that attract students from different countries. You can find many international students in this city who are living and continuing their studies. Compared to other places, the study's cost is also lower, which helps the students learn at a reasonable price. You will be able to get the best research and jobs in the city if you know the places to look for them.
Many universities in Ukraine partner with schools in other countries to have a student exchange program. Thus, you should check if your school partners with anyone in Lviv if you desire to visit the city. During the student exchange program, you get the opportunity to learn Ukraine thoroughly, and it is a plus as you also get to explore the city. Many students usually jump on this opportunity, and you can do so as well.
An au pair is a young foreign person who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is relatively popular in Lviv and is a great way to get a job for those intending to move to the city. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. One of these websites is "great au pair."
Volunteering is a rather noble act whereby an individual gives their time and energy in exchange for nothing to help those who are less fortunate. Several voluntary organizations across Lviv are always open to accepting volunteers on either a short or long-term basis.