The Beauty of Western Ukraine
If the Krakow is a small Prague than Lviv – it is a small Krakow. The combination of East and West culture, rich history and an amazing Ukrainian spirit and cuisine makes Lviv is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the soul of Ukraine. To get lost in Lviv tiny streets with its cute cafes – will be not a disaster but only one of your best adventures.
In addition to being a national, cultural, educational and scientific center of Ukraine, this city is a major industrial center and transport hub. Lviv is the capital of Galicia and Western Ukraine.
The population of Lviv is more than 720,000 people, the metropolitan area is inhabited by almost 1.5 million people.
Because of Lviv’s proximity to Europe and openness to foreigners, the city’s multicultural feel has experienced a resurgence. Even today, walking through the city center, a traveler can hear Poles laughing and taking pictures of the beautiful old buildings, Germans walking through the city on guided tours, Ukrainian or Russian tourists and students joking about this or that, and American or British businessmen chatting in cafes. There is even a small Jewish community in the city. The many universities in Lviv attract students from every continent on the globe, and its old architecture draws tourists from various parts of the world, including Ukraine.
After the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, the city became more and more tourist-friendly. All downtown street signs are now in both Ukrainian and English, and the staff of the Information Center on Rynok Square speaks many different languages. Maps, schedules of local events, and tourist guides can be obtained there for free in English, German, Polish, and Russian. There are even small information kiosks beside some monuments (small touch-screen TVs that offer maps and information about the city). Visiting Lviv is very rewarding for the pioneer traveler, as living is extremely cheap here and the place has a truly authentic feeling, unlike places like Kraków or Prague, which are swamped with tourists.