Romance in Lviv

  • Romance in Lviv
Issue 53, January 2013.

If the last several years have taught us anything, it's that the world is in constant flux - regimes topple, borders are redrawn, whole countries are born anew. While the fighters are remaking their world, the lovers are evidently stuck in the 1800s. Ask any European what the world's most romantic cities are and they'll likely reply in kneejerk fashion, "Paris... Venice...Rome..." while for Ukrainians it’s definitely “Lviv”.
But what's so romantic about these cities? And what is romance, anyway? Is it a ride on a unicorn over a rainbow through a glitter storm? Or is it the excitation of the senses that forms the preamble for the box spring bustle? Dispensing with the typical fairytale travel planning, we've opted for a more results-oriented approach to crowning the Lviv's most romantic places, because while a romantic city should grab hold of your heart, it shouldn't stop there. Sure, there's an element of magic to a romantic city, but that magic is supposed to beget love or at least the making thereof.
If you are heading out on a romantic date with that someone special, to whom you want to say sweet and romantic mushy words, and if you need tips on romantic places to support your words, without further ado, here's the short list of romantic places in Lviv, so to say our municipal Viagra.

Old town/Rynok Square - Just take a walk down one of the cobblestoned narrow streets, through the ancient blocks of Rynok square, or visit one of the many spiritual churches that dot the city center. For an end to that perfect date, be sure to check out several of Old Town’s many candle-lit cafés and restaurants with your sweetheart and you will understand why Lviv could unseat Paris as the romantic capital of Europe.

Stryysky park - One of the most picturesque and secluded locations in Lviv, Stryysky park is filled with trees, benches and little nooks. While strolling through Stryysky park , make sure to check out the Swan Pond with park benches, just perfect for a lingering kiss. Although at its prime during the summer months, the park is also lovely in winter with snowflakes softly falling and many places to make a snow angel or two.

Vysoky Zamok (High Castle) - Since the beginning of time, some of the best places for a romantic interlude have been lookouts or viewing platforms. There is such a place on Zamkova Hora – “Vysokyy Zamok” which offers great views and secluded hideaways for your pleasure. We recommend the platform if the view is important to you as a perfect background for romantic words. So grab a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and check out the evening city view.

Romance on Ice - Often the hottest romances happen in the coldest of places, so bundle up, strap on a pair of skates, grab your partner and hit the ice! The central outdoor skating rink in Old Town, provides a perfect opportunity for slippery, winter fun. The rink is located near the City Council in the heart of Old Town and is open from 10:00 to 22:00 daily. Note that using your own skates is also permitted.

Italian Mansion
– “Slice of Italy in Lviv” - It may not have quite been the effect that the Italian architects originally intended, but this glorious place is a great spot for chilling out and enjoying the Renaissance atmosphere of the Royal Palace, where fabulous balconies with beautiful arches will surround you.
The famous Royal Mansion Museum upstairs makes this location very popular, as before you enter the cafe, you will find a Lviv historical museum – the King’s apartment, a lot of different antique chairs, tables, paintings, musical instruments and etc. which will transport you back into the romantic times of courteous cavaliers and their beautiful lady loves.

Armenian Cathedral - For something a little different, but also très romantique, walk down Krakivska street and visit the Armenian quarter. It was settled in XIII-XV centuries when many Armenians fled their country, which at the time was occupied by Tatar-Mongolian troops. One of the absolute musts of the Armenian quarter is Lviv’s oldest church – the Armenian Cathedral with its courtyard. This old 14th century magnificent cathedral and courtyard with crumbling tombstones, which have survived from the old Armenian cemetery, once located in the church yard is with no doubt a true architectural and spiritual diamond in the rough in the midst of modern city life. On your way from the cathedral, duck into the side street - Virmenska, where you might discover some romantic little nooks.

Lviv Tour Train Journey
- There’s something inherently romantic about train travel and Lviv’s fairy-tale-fashioned tour train gliding on guided excursions round the city centre includes sightseeing highlights like Lychakiv Cemetery, Shevchenko monument on Svobody Avenue, the Lviv Railway Station and many more.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!