The huge 301-hectare regional landscape park Znesinnya is one of the most historically rich natural tourism locations in Lviv. Luckily, thanks to its location in the Lychakivskyi district, you won’t have to leave the city borders — use trams #2, 7, 10 or numerous buses that stop at the ‘Shevchenkivskyi Hai’ stop to get to the park. Znesinnya park has plenty of historical spots to explore: the 9th-11th centuries remnants of the defensive settlement and a cult temple on the Mount Baba, the 10th-11th centuries settlement on the Svitovydove field and basis of the 14th-century defense tower.
Besides, the park has numerous religious landmarks like the 16th century Saint Wojciech Church, the 17th century Saint Elijah Church and the Church of the Ascension, which gave the park its name. Many tourists come here specifically to visit Shevchenkivsky Gai — the open-air museum, which displays different samples of regional folk architecture like houses, windmills, churches and schools. The spacious museum looks especially beautiful in the golden autumn colors. Apart from the numerous historical landmarks, the park itself is exceptionally beautiful and has rare plants as well as valleys with lakes and streams.
Another prominent landmark in the Lychakivskyi district is, of course, Lychakiv cemetery. Lychakiv is the Père Lachaise of Lviv and carries the same aura as the well-known Parisian necropolis. The cemetery was founded in the late 18th century to become the burial place of many prominent personas of Western Ukraine.
Nowadays, Lychakiv is a somewhat classical location for autumn walks: the quiet place is full of trees, designed like a park and has numerous memorial sculptures that are considered architectural landmarks. Nearly 20 chapels and shrines, which belonged to wealthy Lviv families, are among the things that usually catch the eye of the guests of the cemetery. Another famous spot is the Sleeping Beauty sculpture, located on the gravestone of the actress Regina Markovska.
For many poets, autumn is a time of reminiscence and reminding of what has been lost. This notion may be applied to the Lviv’s unique Jewish architecture that was ruined during the times of the Holocaust. Jewish diaspora in Lviv was, in fact, unique in its structure: the only in Europe that had two separate Jewish communities, located inside the city and in the suburbs. The latter was established in 1352 in Krakow suburbs on the territory of the modern Chornovola Avenue all the way to Old Rynok Square, while the city community was founded in 1387 on Evreiska (Jewish) Street.
The so-called Space of Synagogues is what’s left of the Jewish legacy in Lviv and is among its numerous points of interest. Back in the day, it was home to the Great City Synagogue, the heart of the Jewish Lviv Beth Hamidrash, and the Golden Rose Synagogue. The latter is now commemorated with a memorial — granite plates read engraved quotes by famous Lviv Jews in Hebrew, English, Ukrainian and other languages. Under the Golden Rose kneipe located nearby is also a popular place to visit. The restaurant offers dishes of Jewish and Galician cuisine with no price list — you have to bargain about the price.
Ivan Franko Park
Naturally, one of the oldest parks in Eastern Europe and the oldest in Ukraine can’t be omitted when it comes to autumn in Lviv – the beautiful winding paths and colorful foliage gather both locals and tourists. The majority of trees were planted in 1855 and 1890 during the two reconstructions of the park. There are more ancient species as well — for instance, the three mighty giant oaks that have been living in the park for more than three centuries.
If you come to Lviv with pets, it’s a great place for spending some quality time. A small dog park was constructed at the very top of the park near Dniester Premier Hotel. The park is located right in front of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, that’s why it’s not difficult to reach — numerous buses go in this direction. Get off at the Universytet station.
Lviv Handmade Chocolate
Famous chocolate factory in Lviv lures in hundreds of tourists for a reason: prime Belgium chocolate, various flavors and healthy dessert options have long conquered hearts of locals and visitors of Lviv. Sweet tooth paradise located in downtown offers a separate kids’ room, filled with toys, coloring books and cozy bean bag chairs to relax in.
Moreover, the confectionary offers workshops for children (as well as mixed options like kids and adults) where young trainees can learn the secrets of chocolate making and decoration. The price varies from UAH 200 to 300 and can be arranged at a chosen location. Here, you can stock up on handmade chocolate to bring as souvenirs for friends and family.
Address: 3, Serbska Street; 5, Sichovykh Striltsiv Street; Viktoria Gardens Mall, King Cross Leopolis mall
Ride a bike in Lviv
Lviv is often called the best city in Ukraine for cyclists, that’s why one simply can’t miss the opportunity to take a look at the city while riding a bike. In case you don’t have your own bike, worry not – you can check out locations and prices of top 5 bike rentals in Lviv.
The popular cycling service BikeMap has numerous routes to explore in Lviv. Most of them go through the city’s numerous parks. One of them is the Kaizerwald route — the two-kilometer trip on the premises of the Znesinnya park. The hilly area that boasts bushy forests is one of the most picturesque cycling locations in the autumn Lviv. After all, the place got its name after the Kaiser Franz Joseph I, who visited the area and liked the local charm.
Explore early morning Lviv
Many travelers and photographers insist that the early morning starting from sunrise up to 7 A.M. is the best time to explore any city. It’s just as true with Lviv — one can feel the real vibe of the city when there are close to none passers-by and autumn streets are filled with fog. The best way to do the little morning route is to start in the city center and wander without any direction, letting your mind guide you through the streets.
After the walk is complete, you may drop by Something Interesting (“Щось Цiкаве”) café and art space. The place hidden away in one of the patios on Rynok Square is a true paradise for early risers — the café works starting from 7 A.M. The menu here is regularly updated and baked goods are always fresh. Guests noted items on the menu like peanut butter croissant, cocoa with marshmallows and a whole variety of coffee options.
Have a cup of coffee
To talk about coffee, the hot drink, autumn and Lviv are such an iconic combination it’s simply hard to pass by. After all, it was a Ukrainian Cossack that brought coffee to Europe, and Lviv itself is famously called the Coffee Capital of Ukraine. Due to the fact, there are numerous locations to enjoy the steaming cuppa. One of the most iconic ones is Centaur — this café located right on Rynok Square roasts its own coffee and has its own blend — the eponymous ‘Centaur’, famous not only in Ukraine but in Europe. Breakfast is served here daily from 8 A.M. to 11 A.M. Options include traditional Ukrainian syrnyky, as well as strudels, macarons and croissants to go with the coffee.
Svit Kavy, which literally means ‘The world of coffee’, is located on Katedralna Square in the center of the city. Its main advantage, apart from the delicious drink, is opening hours — every day at 7.45 A.M. the café opens its doors for hungry souls. The menu includes breakfast classics like homemade yogurt, croissants with sweet and savory flavors, pancakes and Lviv strudel.
SOWA is a pet-friendly and healthy café, which is a good spot to grab a cuppa before going on a walk with a pet. The café serves numerous kinds of coffee, tea, and the menu is focused on Belgian waffles. You will find flavors like ice cream, chocolate, or banana and savory options, which fit vegetarians, such as vegetables, mushrooms, and salmon.
Visit Lviv Opera House
Sure enough, no traveler can predict the weather. The foul weather, however, doesn’t necessarily mean being confined to the hotel walls — there are numerous indoor museums and locations to visit while traveling in Lviv. One of the most iconic ones to visit in autumn is Lviv Opera House, which starts a new season each September. Lviv Opera, located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site Lviv Old Town, gives a chance to enjoy the beautiful architecture and live music at once. It was built in the classical style with the elements of the Viennese neo-Renaissance style.
A hundred years since its construction, visitors can still marvel at the details. The repertoire has 22 operas and 3 operettas, all performed in the original language. Lviv Opera performances have been the often reason to visit Ukraine ever since its opening, and now it’s even more convenient due to the abundance of hotels in Lviv Old City district.
Have a glass of the best beer in Europe
It’s no secret that Lviv and its multiple breweries gather beer connoisseurs from all over the country. The combination of centuries-old brewing traditions and decent price make it popular among tourists as well — thus, The Guardian has named Lviv’s Pravda Beer Theatre one of the 10 best brewery tap rooms in Europe. The bar occupies a corner building on Rynok Square, which used to be an upscale department store with over 200 years of history. Visitors often advise to skip the food and instead check the place's concert schedule online to enjoy an evening of good music and an impressive selection of craft beer brands on offer.
Besides, the traditional Lviv Beer Craft & Vinyl Fest takes place in autumn as well. In 2018, the !FESTrepublic will host the festival on September 28-30 to introduce visitors to craft breweries and a large vinyl sale. Free buses will pick up the guests near Ivan Fedorov monument. The admission to the festival is free as well.
Explore Lviv at night
In autumn, it starts getting dark as early as 8 P.M. That’s why discovering what Lviv has in store at night may start a bit earlier – for instance, with a dinner and cocktail in a panoramic bar that offers a view of all the major architectural attractions of Lviv from a rather flattering perspective. One of the most popular locations for this is the Panorama bar located in Dniester Hotel. While visitors often note that the drinks are rather pricey, the soft plush sofas, flickering candles and the stunning view compensate it.
Another location to marvel at the night Lviv is the famous House of Legends restaurant. The highlight of the place is a terrace on the rooftop, where guests can take a photo in the small car parked right on the roof and throw a coin into the hat of bronze chimney-sweeper sculpture. The latter is said to make wishes come true. While the spot is usually visited during the daytime, the restaurant works until 2 A.M. on Fri-Sat and until 12 A.M. during the workdays.
Lviv’s clubs are also bustling with life in autumn and nightlife doesn’t stop during any season. You can finish the night with the walk in Lviv Old Town, which is lit up for the best pictures.
Photo sources: Ruslan Lytvyn, Bumble Dee, Yuliia Myroniuk, ssuaphotos, Sun_Shine, Yurii Zymovin / Shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.