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  • Stacey Shevlin

Lviv Thoughts- First Impressions Of The City

Lviv is a wonderful, beautiful, vibrant city.

When I was planning this year(ish) abroad I had a pretty big learning curve to contend with.

I was not familiar with the Schengen zone, and what it meant for my travels. Once I came to understand that we could only be in the zone for 90 out of every 180 days, by planning took a turn. I had originally thought we could wing things, be spontaneous. Well that changed a bit and I felt that I needed to have a more concrete plan.

I was searching around for locations, out of the zone, close to Europe that we would feel comfortable in, and that weren’t a fortune to fly to. A friend recommended Lviv, Ukraine. To be honest, I had never heard of the city of Lviv. I did some preliminary research and was really intrigued.  I read about some of the history of the city, looked at some beautiful photos and I was sold.

The friend that recommended the city gave me a lot of information about the culture and the city itself. But as things go, I had a totally different impression in my head than what I actually discovered once I arrived here.

Lviv was all of the things my friend said, but it was so much more. I wasn’t expecting tons of young people, exciting bars and great food, and a feeling of community among travelers. But that is happily what I have found.

I am on an app called CouchSurfing – though I don’t use it to stay on people’s sofas, it’s a wonderful resource to meet people that are traveling in the city you are in, as well as locals that want to meet new people. There are lots of events scheduled like city tours, language meetups, parties and excursions out of town. I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t traveling, to meet new people in your town. You can learn more about it HERE.

I knew Lviv would be affordable coming from the USD, but I had no idea it would be this affordable. It’s been amazing because we can do things that are totally out of reach in other cities. The Orchestra, Opera, Ballet are all things we can enjoy here because of the affordability of cultural offerings.

Over all, I love Lviv. There are cultural events offered every night of the week, whether it be at the Opera House, Philharmonic, or just at one of the many bars that have live music on a nightly basis. Even the squares are full of musicians playing for tips.

The city is walkable, and it’s wonderful to spend the day wandering and looking at the beautiful old buildings, squares and statues. I feel very safe here, and even though I don’t know the local language, everyone is very kind and helpful.

Lviv has all of the things a large city offers, but in a small and navigable space. If you are traveling put this city on your list, you won’t be disappointed.

You can see some photos of daily life, street art, structures and move HERE


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