By Liam Campbell for Elska Magazine
You’ve heard of Kiev, right? That’s the capital… Crimea? That’s gone now (Thanks, Russia!)… Chernobyl? (Thanks again, Russia – erm, I mean Soviet Union)… Donetsk? (Yes, lots of fighting there now). And Lviv?
Forget about the rest of Ukraine for the moment. Lviv is where you want to go, not because you’re an adventurous backpacker or hipster trying to shock their mums with their new holiday choice… because it’s a stunning pearl of a European city with loads to recommend. I’ll give you 5 of them now… 5 reasons to visit Lviv:
1. The Old Town is gorgeous. And it’s not pretty in an airbrushed postcardy kind of way. Yes it’s quaint, cobble-streeted and old, but not because it was rebuilt to look that way. It is old and it looks old.
2. It’s cheap. Incredibly cheap. A tram ride is 6p/9¢. A beer is less than a dollar. A gorgeous 2-room apartment overlooking the opera house is £20/$30 a night. A taxi from the airport to the city centre is £2/$3 (TIP: Get a local to book the taxi for you or you’ll pay double – still a bargain though).
3. The men (and women if that’s what strikes your fancy) are unbelievably beautiful. Like all of them. Just take a seat at an outdoor café and watch the world go by – it’s like a runway show!
4. The coffee culture is top rate. Locals claim that the first café in Europe was here, and maybe it’s true. There are cafés everywhere, on a morning stroll through the city you can smell it in the air. And what’s best of all is that the cafés here are individual and have real soul. There’s about as many coffee shops per capita here as in New York, but none of them are Starbucks.
5. It’s safe. Lviv is in the West of Ukraine. The fighting is in the East. There’s 1250km/782m between them. You should care about what’s going on, but don’t worry about getting caught up in it.
For more reasons to visit Lviv, check out Elska Magazine Issue (01), dedicated to Lviv: http://bit.ly/1LfQoYQ
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