Ukraine, once the breadbasket of the USSR, is a big and fertile country with many cities of interest to tourists. The capital Kyiv (aka Kiyev) has a lot of history, unusual and very interesting church architecture.
Lviv close to the Polish border in the west is a compact city famous for its “old district” and Odessa on the Crimean Peninsula has attracted millions of Russians looking for leisure and quiet, because of its mild climate and attractive resorts.
Lviv, one of the cultural centres of Ukraine, had once a large and Jewish population until World War II. The Holocaust reduced the Jewish population almost to extinction, and Poles were expelled between 1944 – 46. Both events changed the population base considerably.
Today, this pretty, vibrant, and clean city is a centre of education, art, and music, and attracts thousands of tourists from Poland and many other east European countries.
Fortunately, the city was spared of bombing during World War II. Lviv was founded in 1256 by Danylo Halytskyi in honour of his son, Lev, but was settled as early as the fifth century A.D.; Poles arrived later on.
The USSR occupied Ukraine between 1939 – 1941, and then came the German army. Soviets retunes in 1944 and were instrumental in
the expansion of the city in 1980’s; this also turned the intelligentsia of the city to form many organizations promoting independence.
The core business centre of Lviv is the main boulevard with the focal point of St. George’s Cathedral.
The “old town” with its cobbled, narrow streets, and low houses, is a main tourist attraction, as are many monuments devoted to king Danylo, poet Tara Shevchenko, Pope Paul II, Nikifor, the folk and naïve painter.
Lviv is compact and can be visited on foot.
A guide would help you negotiate all sights within one or two day, and provide information travel guides do not.
Tourist like to visit The Church of Transfiguration because of its size, and stunning golden altar, the Lviv Opera and Ballet Centre, King Jan III Sobieski’s residence, the Palace of the Patochi Family, and the castle above the “Old city”.
The city offers many levels of accommodation from luxury hotel to B and B (Bed and breakfast) operations and everything in between.
There are many cafes, and in the summer, beer gardens.
Ukrainians like pastries and coffee, and all types of cafes do a roaring business.
Many fast food operations (both local and international brands) and a few restaurants offering typical Ukrainian fare can be found in downtown.