If you are really into the art scene, love visiting art galleries in a new city, and want to soak in as much culture as you can on your trip, see our selection of top things to do in Lviv for art lovers. Well, Lviv in itself is a very inspiring place, and you can find art there on the streets and in the air!
1. Visit Dzyga Art Gallery
This hot spot for cultural events in the city is no doubt the heart of intellectual Lviv. Founded in 1997 by members of Lviv Students Brotherhood and city’s artists, the gallery regularly hosts works by contemporary artists, including paintings, graphics, sculptures, installations, iconography, and performances. For those who want to combine the art and a good cup of coffee, a small cozy cafe is opened at the gallery premises.
Where to find: Virmenska st., 35
2. Listen to street musicians in the city center
As soon as the weather gets a bit warmer, Lviv streets start bustling with musicians, live bands and performers. They add a special charm to the city and let you enjoy lively music while sitting on the benches of City Rynok Square. Don’t be surprised if people suddenly get up and start dancing. Join them in their fiery jives!
Where to find: pretty much everywhere around the city center. However, most popular spots are Halytska street and Serbska street
3. Enjoy performances at Lviv Opera Theater
Much can be written about this most famous Lviv landmark. Known as the Grand Theater originally, it is now formally called The Lviv National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of Solomiya Krushelnyts’ka, in honor of Ukraine’s most well-known female opera singer. The Lviv Opera House was built in 1900 using forms of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The result is one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe with a luxurious interior, including the Mirror Hall and Parnassus Curtain and a stunning facade with ornate sculpture work. For the curious ones, the Theater stands right at the top of river Poltva, that used to run across the city until some hundred years ago. Reserve your seat to enjoy world-class ballet and opera – from Puccini to Tchaikovsky. Come one hour ahead of your performance and explore the impressive interior of the Opera House in a guided tour (English language tours are available).
Where to find: Svobody ave., 28
4. Listen to organ music in Lviv Organ and Chamber Music Hall
The building of Lviv Organ and Chamber Music Hall was constructed in 17th century as a church and monastery of St. Magdalena, but started to function as a cultural institution only in 1960ies. Currently the Hall hosts various music performances, Sunday mass for Roman Catholic Church, and yearly Festival of Ancient Music. The music hall’s magnificent organ by Czech manufacturer Rieger-Kloss is the largest organ in Ukraine.
Where to find: 8 Stepana Bandery St., The Organ and Chamber Music Concert Hall is located a bit outside Lviv’s center, close to Polytechnic University. It’s a 15 to 20-minute walk uphill to reach the concert hall from the center
5. Enjoy impressive sculptures of Ukrainian Michelangelo Ioann Pinzel
10 min away from the Rynok Square stands a beautiful 17th century building – former monastery of Poor Clares. Despite its rather unimpressive exterior, it’s home to a great collection of Ukrainian art: sculptures of Ioan Pinzel. Pinzel is known as Ukraine’s Michelangelo and is considered as one of Europe’s most talented sculptors of 18th century. The exhibition consists of 32 wooden sculptures, with the famous ‘Crucifixion’, ‘Angel’ and ‘Samson Tearing the Lion’s Mouth’. All works are made of basswood and impress with their perfection and delicacy. The centerpiece of the collection is an awe-inspiring 18th century fresco, located high up in the church’s dome.
Where to find: Mytna sqr, 2
6. Soak in city’s past in the impressive Lychakiv Cemetery
The famous Town of Dead was built in 1786 and is the last refuge for almost 300,000 people. Among them are renowned Ukrainian poets, artists and politicians. In 18th century the place was re-designed into a solitary park, with beautiful alleys and walks. Add to that 86 fields, over 500 graceful handcrafted sculptures, serene atmosphere and you’ll realize that getting bored here is not at option. Cemetery also houses graveyards for soldiers from Red Army, Ukrainian Liberation Army and Polish military troupes from 1918-1920. A walk there is bound to give you an insightful lesson in ever complex Eastern European history.
Where to find: 33, Mechnykova St.
7. Participate in local festivals
From jazz to classical music, from cycling to international cuisine – Lviv got a festival for every one!
In the past couple of years Lviv has grown to become a true city of festivals. Every month celebrates one or more of the city’s virtues. Winter brings out the special Christmas spirit of traditional Ukrainian countryside, and delicious Chocolate Festival. Spring celebrates the Easter Egg (Pysanka) Festival and ends with the crazy row of non-stop festivities in May (Lviv City Day Parade and International Classical Music Festival Virtuosi). Summer is buzzing with many music festivals, among them the well-known Alfa Jazz Fest, that brings world’s most famous jazz musicians to the Lviv stage, Wiz-Art Short Film Festival, and International Folklore Festival Etnovyr. To end the year, the city celebrates celebrates the festivals of Coffee, Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Festival, Book Forum and more.
Where to find: traditionally at the city center, other performance places usually include Lviv Opera Theater, Philharmonic, and Shevchenkivsky
8. Watch performance of Lviv Les Kurbas Theatre
You will probably have hard time finding this little tucked-away theater stage. But yet, we are including the Les Kurbas Theater in your top ‘to-do’ list in Lviv! This charming little drama hall was created in 1988 and represents one of the best modern theater groups in the country. Its expressive and moving performances, colorful costumes, use of voice and movement are truly captivating.
Where to find: 3, Les Kurbas st.
Most locations can be reached by hand from Natalia 18 Hotel in Lviv’s historic center, it will make your vacation even more enjoyable. Relax with comfort!