Hidden but impressive meetings destination
When arriving in Lviv, a visitor notices a lively city centre with fountains and statues and even some special gold characters beckoning along the way. The tales from the old times that are visible on every step are accompanied by street jazz players and locals gathering around a mug of beer or cup of coffee.
This is a charm of Lviv, the western Ukrainian city which was called by CNN, “The European cultural capital you’ve never heard of.” Lviv is still a bit hidden and it, thus, presents for newcomers a special discovery. This is especially attractive now, as the condition of ‘overtourism’ has become a normality in so many other European cities.
NEED TO KNOW 2018
Legacies from Austrian rule combined with Slavic heritage produce a beautiful city of 730,000 people. The narrow cobblestone walkways, abundant eclectic architectural palaces, artistic centres and cathedrals in the Medieval city centre have earned it a UNESCO heritage site. Historic monuments and statues hold the colour and character of the city and seem to preside over the bustling café society and youthful spirit.
Though Lviv is a newcomer to the meetings industry, those who have chosen it as a meeting destination have been impressed by the clever and detailed organization and by the beauty of the city. After meetings, one can visit some brand-new clubs or attend a performance in the year-long repertoire of ballet and opera at the landmark Lviv Opera House.
Since Lviv has so many Palaces and Museums, special venues avail for dinners and meeting functions. A recent such event was held at the famous Potocki Palace in its royal mirrored dining room, which can accommodate 80 people for a sit-down dinner. Afterwards, guests went upstairs to view the European art collection followed by a Baroque music concert.
LvivMozArt Festival 2018 continues as a sold-out summer event, primarily attributed to the virtuoso and charismatic conductor, Oksana Lyniv. She is the first female conductor of the Graz Opera and Philharmonic in Graz, Austria, but was raised in Lviv where she studied before continuing her training in Germany.
She wanted to bring this festival to Lviv, because Franz Xaver Mozart, musician, and son of Wolfgang Amadeus, lived and worked in Lviv for 30 years. The festival this summer took place 13 – 22 July.
Additionally, Lviv hosts in 2018 Leopolis Grand Prix Festival, Leopolis Jazz Fest, Forum 451°E, Lviv Publishers’ Forum, International Medical Conference of European Hernia Society, IT Arena, European Cities Marketing Conference, to name a few.
Lviv has on offer a really special incentive programme: an adventure of viewing the city from the rooftops. Panoramas provide breath-taking views and stories that excite anyone’s imagination. Moreover, the participants get a chance to take superb and exclusive photos of Lviv ‘from above’.
The tour includes an introduction to the legends and true stories of bell tower clocks, trumpeters, broken hearts and scientific discoveries which should be told only closer to the sky. Unconventional sights of Lviv Opera and Ballet House, Armenian Church, National University and a chance to give “High five” to one of the city patrons – ancient god of trade Mercury – are awaiting.
Since Medieval Times Lviv has been known for its “delicious confectionery” and in the 19th century Europe began exporting chocolate from Lviv. The 18th century witnessed the launch of the first chocolate factory in Lviv called “Svitoch” (torch).
Right now, in the centre of town, one walks past the Lviv Handmade Chocolate and sees huge swirls of chocolate ribbons behind the glass exterior. Best of all, this is also a café, with a chocolate store selling all kinds of beautifully packaged chocolates – a large selection of more than 60 types of marzipan, nut, truffle, praline, chocolate caramel, and chocolate cream sweets.
BEST KEPT SECRETS
Have you ever heard of Lviv as a renowned coffee destination? Or that a café, situated in the central city square mines its own coffee from the underground?
The coffee tradition in Lviv dates back to the 17th century, when Lvivian Yuriy Kulchytskyy, returning from the Middle-East and Ethiopia, brought to Vienna the tradition of drinking coffee. This fragrant drink is now seen in numerous coffee houses of Lviv, which features fine coffee from all over the world. Coffee drinking is now a way of life; it is Lviv’s culture. In the streets you will often hear the phrase: “Let’s have a cup of coffee!”. An invitation for a cup of coffee in Lviv can mean a lot of things: a piece of cake, a nourishing dinner, a glass of beer, a meeting with a “haven’t-seen-you-for-ages” friend, a date, a business meeting, a small talk, and sometimes just a cup of coffee …
And in regard to the coffee being mined from below a café: the Lviv Coffee Manufacture is extremely creative in its spirit, and it, hence, built its own ‘coffee-mine’ and it provides tours to show the visitors how the coffee is being mined from beneath.
OFF THE BEATEN MICE TRACK
Lviv is close to the Carpathian Mountains, which offer hiking, rafting, hang gliding, and waterfall tours in the summer, and skiing in the winter. Some of the remote villages feature indigenously dressed cultures living in colourful tribal communities, whose knitwear and painted crafts are popular Christmas presents.
Overnight trips provide for a special experience taking to old castles which offer accommodation and Galician cuisine. More locally, a vibrant modern club culture is burgeoning in Lviv, with clubs in ultra-modern spaces or old converted factories. Restaurants in Lviv are varied, with newer ones specializing in continental fare and others with historic cuisine. The Atlas and Baczewski in the city centre are popular for beautifully crafted food and appealing interiors.
VOICES FROM LVIV:
Andrii Pavliv, Director of Lviv Convention Bureau
Andrii Moskalenko, Deputy Mayor of Lviv for Development
Roman Lesyk, Professor, Head of Department for Pharmaceutical, Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry Danylo Halytskyi National Medical University in Lviv
Iryna Klyuchkovska, Director of International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations of Lviv Polytechnic National University