Expectations: Lviv is beautiful, but a bit run-down.
Reality: I was so unfair. I thought that Lviv has many post-soviet buildings and that it’s mostly ruined. IT’S. NOT. TRUE. Lviv is beautiful. There are endless townhouses and they’re not that ruined. Maybe it’s the yellowish color which makes everything look optimistic, maybe it’s something else. One thing is sure: I was very surprised how pretty this city is.
Expectations: It will be cheap
Reality: Lviv is cheap. It’s very cheap. There’s no comparison to Western Europe or USA. Of course, there are more expensive hotels, restaurant, etc., but on average – Lviv lets you go a bit wild. You can spend less than you would in France or Italy and have waaay better hotel. And food is insanely cheap.
Expectations: there will be many conmen/tricksters
Reality: this is something everyone who went to Lviv told me about. People trying to get money from you either by selling you something or simply asking openly for money, because they don’t earn a lot.. And we haven’t met them. Not even one. No one was trying to sell us a trip or a taxi ride (and to be honest, we could use a daytrip outside Lviv).
Expectations: I will like some food
Reality: although I’m from Poland, I’m not a fan of traditional Polish cuisine (except for pierogi <3) and Ukrainian cuisine is very similar to Polish. So I thought I’d like some dishes, but not many. How wrong I was. Maybe it’s because of my Galician genes, but I loved everything. Even tomatoes with sour cream and dill and I always hated tomatoes with sour cream and dill. I have never had tomatoes or cream which were as good as in Lviv (not to mention both at the same time). And I miss these tomatoes. I probably ate way too much sour cream (hello, lactose intolerance), an insane amount of pierogi, huuuuge portion of potato pancakes (with sour cream) and tons of raspberry and cream cakes. And my liver wasn’t suffering. It felt at home. Galician genes, I’m telling you.
Expectations: It will be great
Reality: this is probably the biggest and most important expectation I had. Everyone who was in Lviv said it’s an amazing city. And they were right. It is. It feels like home to me, looks very familiar and reminds me of Vienna. And if you’re reading this blog, you know that to me, Vienna is the best city in the world. So it simply had to be great.