- About Lviv
- How to get to Lviv
- Accommodation in Lviv
- Useful Ukrainian Words
- Leisure in Lviv
- Ukrainian Cuisine
The city of Lviv lies in the centre of Europe. Having a population of around 730000 people, it is the 7th largest city in Ukraine as well as one of the leading cultural and educational centres. Indeed, 38 Lviv universities and institutions with a total of 130000 students produce around 30000 highly educated graduates every year, the majority of which specialize on IT, Engineering, Applied Sciences and Foreign Languages. Throughout the centuries, Lviv has been a city where different cultures live side by side, resulting to many historical monuments and buildings of different architectural styles (Lviv Opera Theatre, Rynok Square, Latin Cathedral, Dominican Church, etc.) The historical and cultural richness of Lviv's city centre has earned it a place in the UNESCO World Heritage List. For more information, please visit http://lviv.travel/en/index
Lviv is the charming city located on the west side of Ukraine. Since its vivid history, the city is full of diverse symbols of different historical periods. You can see the old colorful buildings in the center, paving stones, indicative monuments and lots of little tricks which are known by locals only.
The historic city center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lviv is a unique combination of Western and Eastern cultures.
The most famous street is Rynok Square. It has been the center of the political, public, cultural, and commercial life of the city for 500 years; it is the heart of Lviv, the setting of the historical beginning of the Europeanization of Ukraine. Surrounding it are about fifty unique architectural monuments dating back to the 16-20th centuries. Another well-known building is the Lviv Opera House – an architectural gem of Lviv, built in the Neo-Renaissance style in 1901. A bunch of churches and cathedrals, parks and other entertainment leaves a great impression and good memories. Just rambling streets or exploring museums, you always take your great time to spend in there!
The city is the Ukrainian center of chocolate and coffee. Today Lviv is a paradise for sweet tooths. The city boasts of dozens of places, where wonderful coffee and hot chocolate are prepared, and where a variety of sweets are made on location. Places to taste beer, liquors, national cuisine are found everywhere. Various festivals, for example, the Chocolate festival or the Wine and Cheese festival, Jazz performances, theatre events, concerts and many more catch the breath and carry away.
11 FACTS ABOUT LVIV:
1. Name. The city was founded around 1256 by King Danylo Halytskyi, who named it after his son – Lev (Lion in Ukrainian language).
2. Currency. The national currency of Ukraine is Hryvnia (UAH). Lviv is well equipped with ATMs that support basic payment systems such as Visa, Maestro, and Master Card.
When exchanging money, you may be required to provide a copy of your passport or the copy will be made for you on the spot. This is stipulated in Ukrainian legislation.
3. Language. The state language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. Many of Ukrainian citizens (especially younger ppl) have a general level of knowledge of English. Hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, many shops, and services will be able to offer you information in English, German, Polish.
4. Alcohol and Tobacco. In Lviv, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places, and drinking is not permitted in open public areas. Restaurants, bars and clubs have separate, rooms for smokers and non-smokers.
You may purchase alcohol in the shops only upon reaching 18 years of age. Between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. alcohol may be obtained only in pubs/bars/restaurants.
5. Opening hours. The shops are usually open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Historical landmarks and museums, as a rule, are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but on selected days may open later.
6. Road Traffic. Ukraine is a right-hand traffic country. The speed limit in the city is 60 km/h, outside the city – 90 to 120 km/h. (130 km/h on selected highways).
7. Tipping. If you enjoyed the service provided in a café/restaurant or a hotel, it is customary to leave a tip of about 5-10% of the bill. Sometimes the tips will be included in the bill, but this will be indicated on the menu.
8. In the Center of East Europe. The city is located 50 km from European Union border. Around 500 km separate Lviv from three capitals: Kyiv (Ukraine), Warsaw (Poland), Budapest (Hungary).
9. City of students. Each 5 in Lviv is a student. There are around 170 thousand of students and 26 universities. The biggest two are the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and “Lviv Polytechnic” National University.
10. Lviv is a “Silicon Valley” of Ukraine. A lot of software and product companies outsource their business to Lviv. Not a common fact that special effects for “Spiderman”, “Harry Potter”, “The Halk” and other are made here. Also, according to KPMG, is one of the most perspective city for IT development.
11. A new touristic mecca of East Europe. Annually number of tourists is growing at 15-20 %. Last year a million tourists visited Lviv.
Browse city website below to get more information about Lviv in general, events and news.
How to get to Lviv
The Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Informatics is situated in the main building of Ivan Franko Lviv National University in the centre of Lviv on Universytetska st.,1. In front of the building, there is a park and a monument of Ivan Franko, ukrainian writer. The main building of the university is easily reachable by public transport. For more information on the faculty of Applied Mathematics and Informatics, please click here.
Public transport in Lviv
Lviv doesn't have good transport infrastructure, for now, so start practicing meditation.
There are 3 different means of transport in Lviv: buses, trams and trolley buses.
The most common means of city transport are small yellow buses, called "marshrutka". The fare is 5.00 UAH irrespectively of the distance of the trip. The money is paid to the bus driver directly in the bus after you get in, and there are no tickets you can buy in advance.
Irrespectively to the distance of your trip, tram and trolleybus fare is 3.00 UAH (regular) and 1.50 UAH (discount for students). You can buy a ticket in the newspaper shops, which you can find on the most of the stops, or directly from the driver in tram/trolleybus. After buying a ticket, you have to validate it, which is to stamp it with a particular ticket-stamping machine, called composter, which can be found on the inside walls of the tram/trolleybus. Otherwise, your ride is illegal. Each tram/trolleybus has its composter which stamps your ticket with a particular pattern. It is essential to keep your validated ticket until the end of your trip. Discount ticket is valid only if you have your student card or other document classifying you for a discount during your ride with you.
You can also buy monthly or annual tickets for tram/trolleybus.
Also, there is a mobile application – Pryvat24, to which you can bond a credit card and by a ticket directly in tram/trolleybus scanning its QR-code which is usually displayed on an inside wall of a tram/trolley bus. The same app also allows you to stamp your e-ticket.
Nowadays means of public transport in Lviv are equipped with GPS navigators, so you can easily follow their positions online. Also, you can find appropriate buses you can use to reach your destination online or using the application on your smartphone.
You can use web resources like Google maps, EasyWay public transport, Львівський транспорт, Lviv Router etc.
Please, be aware of pickpocketing inside the public transport.
Frankly speaking, public transport for Lviv residents is a disturbing question because of the condition of machines and number of people it can fit during one ride. So people, mostly young generation, and of course depending on the distance to the destination, prefer walking, which is on the other hand good to keep you fit.
Accommodation in Lviv
Useful Ukainian Words
Hi! – Привіт! / Вітаю! [Pryvit! / Vitaiu!]
How are you? – Як ти? / Як ви? / Як справи? / Що нового? [Jak ty? (singular) / Jak ty? (plural or polite) / Jak spravy? / Shcho novoho?]
Good morning! – Добрий ранок! / Доброго ранку! [Dobryi ranok! / Dobroho ranku!]
Good afternoon! – Добрий день! / Доброго дня! [Dobryi den! / Dobroho dnia!]
Good evening! – Добрий вечір! / Доброго вечора! [Dobryi vechir! / Dobroho vechora!]
Good night! – На добраніч! [Na dobranich!]
Goodbye! – До побачення! [Do pobachennia!]
Bye! / See you! – Бувай! / Бувайте! / До зустрічі! [Buvai! (singular) / Buvaite! (plural) / Do zustrichi!]
Good – Добре [Dobre]
OK - Добре [Dobre]
Yes – Так [Tak]
No – Ні [Ni]
I don't understand – Я не розумію [Ya ne rozumiiu]
Can you repeat, please? – Повтори, будь ласка, ще раз [Povtory, bud laska, shche raz] (singular)
Повторіть, будь ласка, ще раз [Povtorit, bud laska, shche raz] (plural or polite)
I don't speak Ukrainian – Я не розмовляю українською [Ja ne rozmovliaiu ukraiinskoiu]
Do you speak English? – Розмовляєш англійською? [Rozmovliaiesh anhliiskoiu?]
Розмовляєте англійською? [Rozmovliaiete anhliiskoiu?]
Thank you! – Дякую! [Diakuiu!]
Please – Будь ласка [Bud laska]
You are welcome - Будь ласка / Прошу / Нема за що [Bud laska / Proshu / Nema za shcho]
Excuse me / I'm sorry – Вибач / Вибачте / Мені шкода [Vybach (singular) / Vybachte (plural or polite) / Meni shkoda]
How much does it cost? – Скільки це коштує? / Яка вартість? [Skilky tse koshtuie? / Yaka vartist?]
One beer, please – Одне пиво, будь ласка [Odne pyvo, bud laska]
I don’t drink – Я не п’ю [Ya ne piu]
University – Університет [Universytet]
Dormitory – Гуртожиток [Hurtozhytok]
Cafeteria / Canteen – Кафе / Їдальня [Kafe / Yidalnia]
Student ID card – Студентський квиток [Studentskyi kvytok]
Faculty – Факультет [Fakul'tet]
Dean's office (faculty office) – Деканат [Dekanat]
Department – Кафедра [Kafedra]
Library – Бібліотека [Biblioteka]
Bread – Хліб [Khlib]
Water – Вода [Voda]
Coffee – Кава [Kava]
Coffee latte – Лате [Late]
Tea – Чай [Chai]
Ticket – Квиток [Kvytok]
Leisure in Lviv
The heart of Lviv is Rynok Square – its old town made up of many beautiful buildings called ‘kamianytsia’, old fountains and other architectural monuments. For the last few years tourism in Lviv had huge growth, so now you can rarely enjoy empty Rynok Square, but you can find a lot of nice places to have a cup of coffee and try different cuisines. In Lviv, there are many ‘theme’ restaurants, which, apart from delicious food, have cars on roofs, dragons breathing fire, entertaining performances, and just lovely atmosphere. Another trait of Lviv is its street music. Almost always you can listen to street musicians, attracted and inspired by the charm of the square, sharing dreamy mood with their music. Clear your mind, relax and get inspiration while wandering around the city and exploring it.
There is a number of parks in Lviv, where you can enjoy the nature and spend your free time having picnic, reading a book or playing frisbee: Ivan Franko Park (right in front of your university’s main building), High Castle Park, Stryiskyi Park, Park Znesinnya, Park of Culture and Leisure of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi and other places.
Panoramas of Lviv:
Ratusha, Lviv Town Hall – 364 steps and here you are, observing every corner of Rynok Square;
High Castle – small hill, from which it is always fun to find your house and guess streets;
Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth – beautiful building itself, which allows you to discover Lviv from a different perspective.
Another interesting place is Shevchenkivskyi Hai (Shevchenkivskyi grove) – open-air museum, which is constructed as four mini-villages, containing old houses, churches, household items, agricultural and handicraft tools and vehicles. There is also a forge, a school, and a few mills. Churches are holding masses nowadays. There are a lot of festivities taking place on the territory of the museum.
For active leisure activities, there are gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools, tennis courts, a trampoline room, climbing walls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, paintball venues, laser tag arena, mini kart-racing track and other places where you can dive even more into a sport and active life. If you are interested, we can provide you with some recommendations.
For sure, gorgeous Lviv Opera House won’t go unnoticed. This is not just a beautiful building but also a cultural center, which proposes spectators operas, plays, amazing concerts and also ballets (quite suitable for foreign people, who don’t speak the language). Visiting famous Opera House is affordable even for students, so go get your amazing cultural experience.
Also, you can visit philharmonics, a lot of theatres, museums, art galleries. A few cinemas often offer movies in foreign languages: English, German, Italian, etc., so you can use this opportunity.
Apart from learning a new culture, you can teach other people yours. There are a lot of events in Lviv (you can find them on Facebook) organized by foreigners as well as locals which are meant to bring people together to share a personal experience of living, studying, travelling or working in another country. Also, there are meetings held in various languages (English, German, Spanish and some more) where you can meet new people and practice the language you are studying. For foreigners who want to learn or practice Ukrainian, there is a Ukrainian speaking club.
There are nightclubs in Lviv if you are into partying and disco.
If you have more spare time, let's say whole weekend, you can go to other cities of Western Ukraine or go to Carpathian mountains to discover their beauty, hike, paraglide, whitewater raft on mountain river and get rest before a new working week.
Ukrainian cuisine is very diverse. Different regions of the country have unique cooking methods for their traditional dishes. Western Ukraine, where Lviv is situated, historically for some time was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire and Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The result is a distinctly regional Galician cuisine, famous for its rich set of recipes which are suitable for meat lovers as well as vegetarians.
Here are some typical Galician meals.
Borsch – this well-known soup is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, that gives its distinctive deep burgundy color (locally ppl even use to call this color - beetrooty). Borsch is not an exclusive Galician dish, but it is cooked slightly different in all parts of the country. It is usually served with sour cream (smetana) and small bread with minced garlic (pampushky).
Varenyky, also known as pyrohy - crescent-shaped dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed with farmer's white cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage or combination of this, sometimes also with meat or mushrooms. Typically topped with fried salo bits (shkvarky), fried onions and served with sour cream (smetana). There also can be fruit fillings for varenyky: blueberries, cherries, apples, plums. Sweet fruit-filled varenyky are still served with sour cream (smetana) and sugar/honey/jam.
Deruny - shallow-fried pancakes of grated potato, flour, and eggs, often flavored with grated onion and seasonings. Usually served with sour cream (smetana).
Nalysnyky - thin pancakes with filling. The most traditional filling is white cheese, but nowadays very common are nalysnyky with meat, cherries, apples, etc.
Holubtsi – stuffed cabbage leaves. Fillings vary widely and can be meatless or contain any combination of meat, vegetables, and grains. Typical is rice and meat or potato and pumpkin mixture filling.
Kholodets' – basically galantine meat, prepared accordingly to old recipes. Galantine is prepared from beef, pork or poultry meat. Usually served with apple vinegar.
Shkvarky - fried bits of bacon, universal snack and a component of many dishes.
Buryachky - a little bit hot salad dish of red beetroots and fresh horseradish, which goes as a spread for meats and sausages.
Uzvar - a slightly sweet compote of dried fruits.
Pechinkovyi tort – cake, made of liver and seasoned with garlic and mayonnaise.
These above are the eldest, traditional dishes, but nowadays the list is fulfilled with their various modifications, and also brand new ones, so it’s a lot to discover by yourself.
In Lviv, there are also places which serve Georgian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican and other food so that you can mix experiences. Also, cheaper and more fun to do is to buy all the ingredients you need in the supermarket and cook new meals, along with the one you used to prepare, by yourself.
Lviv is a dream place for coffee lovers and sweet tooths, because coffee, chocolate, and sweets are famous treats here. So use a chance to enjoy delicious life, but remember not to overindulge.