Lviv: city of coffee and chocolate

Yesterday I came back from a short trip to Lvov (or Lviv). It’s almost springtime there, so warm, so nice… And here it still snows…

Lviv, view from the Town Hall

It was my second time in Lviv and I should say that I changed my opinion about this city. The last time I was there in August 2010 for few hours and I saw only the city center. I thought that it is a wonderful city from a fairy-tail. I was really impressed, I have never seen before such a city: narrow old streets, beautiful buildings, town hall, catholic churches, coffee shops… Now I know that the center is small and the most of the city is not so beautiful, it is dirty, destroyed… It’s Ukraine after all.

In two days we manage to see everything that is worth to visit, and even more. I will not describe Lviv’s sightseeings, everybody can read it somewhere else, in wiki: all churches and cathedrals (mostly greek-catholic, strange mix of two branches of christianity), Arsenal, High Castle, Lychakiv cemetery… We have seen local Citadel that is used now as a department of Volksbank. Even our hosts in Lviv didn’t know that there is some citadel in the city.

Lviv, St. Jura cathedral

Lviv Citadel = Volksbank

Though the real face of the city is not its sightseeings, but its restaurants. he restaurants and coffee bars are the most important visiting points in Lviv. There is a net of restaurants “Local”, which includes the best places in the city like “Dim Legend”, “Kryivka”, ‘Gazova lampa’, “Mazoch”, “Kopalnia kavy”, “Maisternia shokoladu” and so on. The creators of these places are really geniuses. Every restaurant has its own idea, design, concept and it is for sure unique! Like “Kopalnia kavy”, for example. Isn’t it a crazy idea to build a coffee mine?

Coffee mine "Kopalnia kavy"

Lviv, "Dim legend"

Lviv, the roof of "Dim Legend"

Some people call Lviv a paradise for coffee and chocolate lovers. But I completely disagree. In paradise you should get what you want, be satisfied and happy. In Lviv you can’t be. At least I can’t be. Everything there is so expensive, that it is very hard and painful to choose something. You want everything but you get very few. And you suffer… For me it is not paradise at all!!

In Lviv people speak Ukrainian. Of course, it’s Ukraine. But for me it is uncomfortable to be there because of the language. I know Ukrainian but it is so weird to speak it! I don’t like. And why should I if my native language is Russian and everybody there understands it? But the problem is that I also feel very uncomfortable when I speak Russian. I have a feeling that sooner or later people there gonna kill me because of this… So I prefer to use English. Unfortunately in most of the situations I had to speak either Russian or Ukrainian.

There is still one thing that I wanted to visit in Lviv but I haven’t manage to do. It is Lviv stadium. I already saw stadiums in Kharkov and Donetsk after reconstruction for Euro 2012, and I wanted to see another one. No chance. It is far away from the center, there is no direct transport to go there. It would be too complicated to reach this stadium. And I have seen it on the picture. Not very nice one, I would say. Still it’s pity.

I don’t understand foreigners that come to visit Lviv and think that they saw Ukraine. Especially Polish. This city is not representative for Ukraine at all. It is kind of European city with the same style and architecture as many other cities in Europe, especially in Poland. I do agree that Lviv is nice and beautiful and it is worth to visit, but if you want to see Ukraine you should go east, to other cities.

I guess this time there was enough Lviv for me. I don’t think that I will visit it again. Maybe only on the way to somewhere else. I will just look sometimes at the postcards that I bought there.

Lviv, Italian yard

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5 thoughts on “Lviv: city of coffee and chocolate

  1. studentek says:

    Some people even compare Lviv with Vienna. No way! If there is a big European city you want to campre it with it would be Rome I guess. Lviv has so many churches and cathedrals that its silhouette looks little a little Rome. In addition you can also find there all those little narrow streets and never restored old buildings.
    I was there, too and completely agree with Heidelbeergeist. But our opinions must differ in one point: Lviv belongs to Ukraine as much as any other city in the East of Ukraine. Ukraine is a very diverse country with influence from east and west. That’s its special charm ;)

    • Oh, I have never said that Lviv doesn’t belong to Ukraine. The point is that it is just a small part of my country and by visiting only Lviv you can’t have a whole image of Ukraine. That’s all.
      And thanks for the comment :)

  2. Maria says:

    This was such an interesting post, especially the part about choosing between languages. As a foreigner, I love to hear Ukrainian spoken on the street, but I see how it could be uncomfortable for you, to speak a different language in your own country. I hope you got to enjoy some good coffee and pastries, even though they were expensive!

  3. […] This time for living, for a period of few months and not just as a tourist. I know I said in my other post that I don’t want to come back to Lviv anymore, but I had to do so because of my […]

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