Lviv has so many wonderful sights that it is completely impossible to capture all of its token places and unique monuments in one day. Nevertheless, this time is enough to discover its historical center – the so called Old Town that hosts dozens of ancient temples, medieval kamenitsas (stone buildings with trade or handicraft premises), fragments of old fortification facilities and very interesting museums.
The best starting point for the tour through Lviv is the Opera House that stands in city’s very center and is considered to be its main symbol and true architectural gem. After admiring opera’s luxurious building, turn right to the Old Town. First, take a look at the magnificent Armenian Cathedral and its ensemble; then, follow the same street until its intersection with Drukarskaya Street. There you will find the Pharmacy Museum, which is one of the most interesting museums in Lviv and has a rich collection of very rare exhibits. Afterwards, move ahead to the Museum Square and see the majestic Dominican Cathedral, which is one of the brightest dominating structures in Lviv’s historical center.
Then, head for the Old Town’s heart – the Rynok Square, which was founded back in the 14th century and has preserved amazing atmosphere of the Middle Ages until now. Don’t fail to ascend Town Hall’s observation deck that features breathtaking views of the square’s unique ensemble and Lviv’s key sights. Thereupon, see the houses adjoined to the square, for each of them is a valuable historical and architectural monument. It is worth paying special attention to Lubomirski and Bandinelli Palaces and to Kornyakt’s House and Black Kamenitsa, where the Lviv History Museum is situated now. Don’t ignore visiting ‘Italian’ yard, hidden in the Kornyakt’s House, and admiring its open-worked loggias, adorned with ancient statues.
Be sure not to pass over Lviv’s most impressive cultic buildings, located not far from the Rynok Square: monumental Latin Cathedral with adjoined Boimian Chapel and Jesuit St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is famous for its pompous interior and mysterious dungeons.
Then, turn to the Serbskaya Street, where the Chocolate Shop is situated. After indulging in a cup of hot chocolate and purchasing original chocolate souvenirs, follow the same street in direction of the Sobornaya Square. Look around the medieval complex of the former Bernardine Monastery with the gorgeous Catholic Church of the Saint Andrew the First-Called and sneak a look inside the Museum of Ideas, situated nearby. Afterwards, head for Podvalnaya Street, where two medieval arsenals are located: the Royal and the City Arsenal. Hundreds of years ago, weapons for Lviv’s defense were produced, stored and repaired here, and now it hosts Ancient Weaponry Museum’s unique exposition.
Going up the Podvalnaya Street, stop at its intersection with Russkaya Street and feast your eye’s upon marvelous Renaissance building of the Dormition Cathedral. If you have some time, it’s worth going inside to see temple’s interior, adorned with ancient paintings and stained-glass windows. Another interesting monument, standing near the Cathedral, is the Gunpowder Tower. It is the only element of the medieval Lviv’s fortification system that survived in perfect state until now. From there, ascend the city’s highest point – the hill High Castle, where defensive fortress used to stand, and now a magnificent park is laid out. There you can examine the ruins of ancient fortifications and admire Lviv’s charming sceneries from park’s observation area.
You may finish the first acquaintance with the city in one of its numerous coffee houses, where inimitably fragrant genuine Lviv coffee is served.