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Lviv/Ukraine Guide Books

Is anyone experienced with the current guide books covering Ukraine and Lviv in particular? I need a little help deciding what to see and what to skip in our time there. Any recommendations?

If you have been to Lviv, what was your favorite site or experience?

Posted by
16883 posts

I have not traveled in Ukraine. Amazon.com shows that both Bradt and Lonely Planet brands have Ukraine guidebooks published in June, 2014, which are the most recent general-travel books they're selling for that country, and I think the most respected brands.

Posted by
1835 posts

Yes, we are experienced. The very best guidebook is Lonely Planet Ukraine. Ancillary reading may be done using the Brandt Ukraine guidebook. See everything. If the hotel where you are staying has copies of In Your Pocket Lviv guidebooks use one.
The Tourist Information center is at 1 Rynok Square. The people there are exceedingly helpful.

We were there just under two years ago and will be there again in a week. Lviv is an old European city and it is wonderful. If youa re flying in there is a tourist information desk at the airport. There is (or was) an ATM at the airport. A mashrutka bus takes you in to town and the info desk can tell you how. You will need Ukranian money.

You should know the Ukranian alphabet before you go as well as simple words like hello, good bye, please, thank you, that sort of thing. Lonely planet publishes a small Ukranian phrasebook. You will find a number of young people that know English, however not many and after age twenty-five hardly anyone at all. Most hotels have personnel who know English. The Lonely Planet book has the towns bilingually. If you need to communicate that is a help. On the last trip we traveled around western Ukraine on our own. My wife would copy the next town onto a sticky note and show it to a ticket window when buying tickets. It helps to be able to count to five"odin, dva, tri, chetiry, pyat, especially when ordering pivo.

What to skip. Why go if you don't want to see everything you can. The downtown is compact so you can see quite a bit with fairly easy walking. We had plenty of of favorite experiences, everything was was a pleasant experience. There was nothing negative about the visit and it was the starting point of a six week trip in the country. Try to spend at least five or six days there. You will see people begging and it is not considered a negative thing to help them out as the social welfare programs in Ukraine are practically nonexistant. We did, and saw others doing the same. Let us know if we can help further.

Posted by
11292 posts

The guide mentioned by Monte, Lviv In Your Pocket, is available for free download from their website. They also have guides to other Ukraine destinations, here: http://www.inyourpocket.com/ukraine. As he said, you may also find print copies once you are there.

The In Your Pocket site has guides for lots of places, and is particularly helpful for place formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

Posted by
334 posts

Thank you for the information. Unfortunately we don't have the time for six days in the city, but we'll see and do as much as we can with the time we do have.