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Lviv (Львів) is one of the most beautiful cities in Ukraine, and it is simply not to be missed. Much smaller than the capital city of Kiev – it is full of gorgeous architecture, vibrant local life, and a general fairytale-like atmosphere that fills every cafe and bar located in there. There are a number of good reasons to visit Lviv, with lots of things to do and experience and they will be covered in separate articles. This article was written as an introduction to the top 5 sights of Lviv.
1. Rynok (Market) Square and the City Hall Tower
Rynok (Market) Square – this central square is one of the oldest in Lviv, dating back to the early 14th century. The square is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings and is filled with interesting cafes, souvenir shops, and various street artists. Right in the middle of the square is an old City Hall Tower where for a small fee you can climb 350 steps up and get fabulous 360 degree views of Lviv from 65 meters off the ground. It is recommended to start your tour of Lviv with this sight as it gives a very good overview of the city and what it has to offer.
2. The Potocki Palace
The Potocki Palace is a beautiful structure which was built in two years by a very rich aristocratic man. The palace is now a museum that offers an outstanding collection of art, religious paintings, and other gorgeous interior designs. You can access the palace by a 15-20 minute walk from the city center.
3. High Castle (Vusokiy Zamok)
This historic sight used to hold a beautiful, ancient castle which was subsequently destroyed, however some walls still remain intact. Why is this a number three top sight? The castle (or actually its remains) are located on top of a mountain and offer incredible views of the city and the surrounding nature. In fact it is very close to the nature and Lviv itself is surrounded by much of it where the lucky residents can enjoy camping, fishing, backpacking, and other fun, outdoors activities.
4. The Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life
This awesome open-air museum is located in a vast park area and is full of authentic and historic buildings that offer a one of a kind opportunity to see the life of Ukrainian people from various rural sites. The buildings were brought intact and planted in the museum, which was founded in the year of 1971. Inside the structures you will find interesting artifacts still neatly preserved, that show the life of an ordinary Ukrainian inside his or her home settings. The buildings are also divided by different rural themes, such as textile production, honey beekeeping, a school, a church, and other fun genres.
5. Lychakiv Cemetery
Lychakiv is a historic cemetery established in 1786, and is located just outside the city center (15-20 minutes drive). It holds a number of well-known graves, one of them for the famous Ukrainian writer, Ivan Franko. In 1990, the cemetery was pronounced to be a Historic and Architectural Reserve, and you can visit it to see some beautiful tombs and sculptures created in different epochs.