The city of Lviv has more than its fair share of quirky places to hang out, with cool craft beer bars, artisan chocolate shops and cutting-edge cafés. But not only that: this Ukrainian gem has a UNESCO-listed city centre with grand architecture, historic churches and scenic squares everywhere you turn, thanks to its history of both Central and Eastern European rule. And while Lviv's not known as a melting pot, the restaurants are immensely varied: there's everything from Georgian dumplings to Uzbekistani noodles to try.
Hostels in Lviv will have you sleeping in a cosy capsule, nestling into a New York-themed room or settling in a space adorned with tributes to cinematic history. Check out hostels with balconies overlooking iconic city sights, like the intricately designed opera theatre. A Lviv hostel with a Jacuzzi and sauna is hard to beat for relaxing after a day of sightseeing. If you prefer your own space to the social vibe of a dorm, there are plenty of Lviv hostels with private rooms with en-suites.
With its cobbled streets, modern restaurants and lively bars, Lviv's historic Old Town is a fantastic place to explore, especially near Market Square in the centre or upmarket Prospekt Svobody street. A little further out to the southwest, Frankivskyi District is a newer neighbourhood filled with parks and the scenic Altai lakes, while the eastern Lychakivskyi District features a clutch of churches and other intriguing buildings, with a calmer, more residential vibe than the Old Town.
Churches are especially charming in Lviv, so add awe-inspiring religious architecture like Boim Chapel, the Armenian Cathedral and the Church of Sts Olha and Elizabeth to your list. For city views, take a walk to Castle Hill (try to go at sunset for the best light) or to the top of the tower on City Hall. To make like the locals, swing by a bania (public bath) and steam in the sauna before finishing off with a bracing dip in the cold pools.
Lviv has a network of trams, trolleybuses and Soviet-style minibuses to get around on. Taxis are cheaper if you book one in advance rather than trying to hail them in the street. The historic centre is fairly small, so it's easy to see by walking. If you're flying in, you'll land at Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport, around an hour from the city centre by bus or a 30-minute drive. The city is also well-connected to rail routes across Europe.