General Tips for Getting Around Lviv
- If you select accommodations in Lviv’s center (10 minutes from Rynok Square), then you can reach most top sights and restaurants by walking.
- Arrange transfer from Lviv’s Airport or Train Station with your hotel or hostel prior to your arrival.
- If you need to use transportation, taxi is the fastest and most comfortable way for you to get around Lviv.
- Don’t expect to rely on English to use taxis or public transportation. (As of March 2012, only one Lviv taxi company had English-speaking dispatchers and drivers.)
- Public buses and trams tend to be overcrowded except very late at night or early mornings on weekends.
- Intercity travel by train is usually your best option (for comfort and convenience).
- Expect to pay cash for taxis and public transport; it’s a good idea to carry a few bills in smaller denominations to make change (20, 10, and 5 UAH).
- On most Sundays and major holidays Prospect Svobody is closed to automobile and bus traffic; something to keep in mind if you’re staying in the very center of Lviv and need to travel by taxi or car.
Travel by Taxi
Order by Phone
- Have your hotel or local tour guide order you a taxi. Bring a piece of paper with your destination and hotel address written in Ukrainian.
- Ordering by phone often lets you negotiate the taxi fare beforehand or use a taxi with a meter.
- When your taxi arrives you will receive an SMS or a call from the dispatcher.
Grab a Gypsy Taxi on the Street
- You will see lots of taxis waiting on the street for customers.
- Often these drivers will attempt to overcharge foreigners, so it’s best to avoid them if you want to save money.
- If you need to use a gypsy taxi, have your hotel or tour guide advise you on typical prices before heading out for the night.
- Expect to pay a lot more on a weekend night if using a gypsy cab.
If Ordering a Taxi by Phone
- The typical minimum price (order + first 3 km) ranges from 15 to 20 UAH.
- Each subsequent kilometer (within Lviv) is estimated at 3-3.5 UAH.
- Pick up outside Lviv’s city limits often carries a surcharge of 15 or more UAH.
If Snagging a Taxi on the Street
- Your driver will try charge you as much as possible and won’t use a taxi meter. So use your best haggling skills.
- Most destinations inside Lviv’s center shouldn’t be more than 25-30 UAH.
Bring Cash in Smaller Denominations
- Whichever method you choose, expect to pay your taxi fare with cash.
- Avoid delays and bring smaller denominations of local currency (50, 20, and 10 UAH notes); cabbies can’t usually change larger bills.
- Below is a list of Lviv taxi companies.
- As of March 2012, only Comfort Taxi had English-speaking dispatchers and drivers—but they charge a premium price for this service.
English-speaking dispatchers and some drivers also speak English
(Landline) +38 (032) 243 4243
(MTS) +38 (099) 757 6737
(Life) +38 (093) 332 5555
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 353 0333
Vashe Taxi (Ваше таксі)
(Landline) +38 (032) 247 6767
(MTS) +38 (066) 942 2214
(Life) +38 (063) 854 8995
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 674 5197
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 670 1981
Taxi 1 (Таксі 1)
(Landline) +38 (032) 247 1515
(Life) +38 (063) 723 0555
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 849 8833
(MTS) +38 (066) 955 2855
(Beeline) +38 (068) 575 5262
Express taxi (Експрес таксі)
(Landline) +38 (032) 239 1515
(KyivStar) +38 (098) 239 1515
Taxi Sofia (Таксі Софія)
(Landline) +38 (032) 243 2243
(KyivStar) +38 (097) 243 2243
(Life) +38 (093) 243 2243
(Life) +38 (093) 247 2247
(MTS) +38 (050) 247 2247
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 474 2247
Optymal’ne Taxi (Оптимальне таксі)
(Landline) +38 (032) 242 8242
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 607 4242
(KyivStar) +38 (067) 399 4242
(KyivStar) +38 (097) 744 4242
(MTS) +38 (095) 815 4242
(Life) +38 (063) 195 4242
(Life) +38 (063) 196 4242
(Beeline) +38 (068) 752 4242
I’d like to order a cab to (address) / Можна замовити таксі на (address) / Mozhna zamovyty taksi na (address)
Where are you going? / Куди Вам їхати? / Kudy Vam yihaty?
I’m going to…(address) / Я їду до…(address) / Ya yidu do … (address)
Trip cost / Вартість поїздки / Vartist’ poyizdky
How much does it cost to go to (address)? / Скільки коштує доїхати до (address)? / Skil’ky koshtuye doyikhaty do (address)?
It’s too expensive / Це занадто дорого / Tse zanadto doroho
I will give you at most 50 (40, 60) hryvnyas. / Я заплачу вам не більше п’ятдесяти (сорока, шістдесяти) гривень / Ya zaplachu vam ne bilshe p’yatdesyaty (soroka, shistdesyaty) hryven’
How much do I owe? / Скільки з мене? / Skilky z mene?
The central railway station / Головний залізничний вокзал / Holovnyi zaliznychnyi vokzal
Airport / Аеропорт / Aeroport
Downtown / Центр міста / Tsentr mista
Rynok Square / Площа Ринок / Ploscha Rynok
Bus terminal / Автобусний вокзал / Avtobusnyi vokzal
Hotel / Готель / Hotel’
Travel by Train in Ukraine
- Trains are Ukrainians’ preferred mode of long-distance transportation.
- Prices are low by European standards, and sleeper cars make it possible to sleep at night in relative comfort.
- In addition to long-distance trains, there are regional trains called “elektrichki” (electric trains) that connect regional capitals with outlying towns and villages.
- Lviv has two train stations located close to each other: the Central Railway Station for long distance trains and the Commuter Railway Station for regional electric trains.
- Ukrainian Railways now has an English-language website: http://www.uz.gov.ua/en/, but it is still in test mode and can be tricky to use.
- For example, to find a schedule of Lviv to Kyiv (Kiev) trains, you must enter “L’viv” and “Kyiv-Pas.” for the station names.
- Some trains run on seasonal schedules, so read the timetable information carefully.
- In Lviv you can only buy train tickets at the Central Railway Station or at city ticket offices.
- Tickets for regional elektrichki are only sold at the Commuter Railway Station.
- Make sure that you bring enough cash—credit cards are not accepted.
Central Railway Station
1, Dvirtseva Square.
Central Train Ticket Office
20, Akademika Hnatyuka St.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m. – 8 p.m (closed 2 p.m. till 3 p.m.);
Sun. 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (closed 2 p.m. till 3 p.m.)
- The city ticket office is located not far from Prospect Svobody.
- You can book train tickets up to 45 days in advance for any journey within, or originating within, Ukraine.
- Bring enough cash to buy your ticket; credit cards are not accepted.
- Don’t expect any English to be spoken at the ticket booth, so prepare for this beforehand.
- Have your hotel or tour guide write down your destination and preferred cabin class in Ukrainian on piece of paper.
- Write down your train number(s), travel dates and times. North American travelers should note that dates appear in European format (date/month/year) and times in 24-hour format (e.g., 20:00 is 8 p.m.)
When you get to the ticket counter you will be asked for:
- Your destination
- Departure date(s)
- Class of carriage (SV, kupé, or platzkart)
- Number of passengers
- Your preferred train number or time of departure, if necessary
- The same information for your return ticket, if necessary.
- You will typically be asked where you’re willing to sit (top or bottom bunk, next to the restroom, etc.), whether you want to look at other options if the train or the date you want is full, etc.
In most cases you will want to select “kupé” (coupe) class for the right combination of price and comfort.
There are 3 classes of train overnight carriages in Ukraine:
- 1st class, or SV (sleeping wagon) Two bunks in a locking compartment, sometimes with a T.V. and a sink.
- 2nd class, or kupé (coupe) Four bunks (two top, two bottom) in a locking compartment.
- 3rd class, or platzkart (economy class) Six bunks (two top, two bottom, and a top and bottom bunk on the other side of the corridor) in an open compartment.
- Most daytime trains only offer you an opportunity to sit, with no arrangements for sleeping.
There is little difference in “quality of sleep” between first and second class, since the both compartments are closed and often can be air conditioned or heated, it is very dark, and the bunks are the same length (about 190 cm).
3rd class is harder to sleep in since there is more noise from everyone else in the carriage, the lights are turned low but not completely off, the bunks are slightly shorter (about 180 cm), and there is no air conditioning (but there is heating).
Perhaps the only advantage of 3rd class is that you can carry a bike with you (although some of the new 3rd class carriages have top racks which make this more difficult, occasionally impossible, so you have to know which trains can take bikes), which is impossible in 1st or 2nd class. Also, some people like the more open feel of 3rd class. It can be more fun to ride in during the day, since you can see more people and can walk around more easily.
- You can only buy international train tickets at a special ticketing booth.
- You must present a passport for each traveling passenger.
- Make sure that you bring enough cash—credit cards are not accepted.
Where to Buy International Train Tickets?
For many travelers, the most convenient place to buy international train tickets is at the Central Train Ticket Office on Akademika Hnatyuka St. in downtown Lviv. Just go to ticket booth #1 to the left of the main entrance.
You can also buy international train tickets at Lviv’s Central Railway Station.
For purchases 1 day before departure, go to ticket booth #2 (to the left from the main entrance).
For advance purchase of tickets up to 45 days before departure, you need to find ticket booth #20 in the “VIP lounge”, which can be tricky to find.
Directions to ticket booth #20 for international train tickets:
- Find train platform No.1. You will need to walk down a corridor and go up a set of stairs to the train departure area.
- Turn you back to platform No.1 and look for a door along the main building with a big sign «Каси №20, 25» (Offices #20, 25).
- Enter and walk up 1 flight of stairs.
- Enter the large doors without signs (to the right from the stairs).
- You’ll find a large waiting room, where the ticketing booth # 20 is to the left from the door.
- Ticket Booth #20 is open from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. and closed for a lunch break from 1 p.m till 2 p.m.
- You must also pay 5 UAH at a separate window after purchasing your ticket for the VIP lounge services.
- Yes, it’s possible, but not convenient to buy a ticket online through Ukrainian Railways. You can do this up to 45 days in advance of your travel date.
- You cannot buy an e-ticket—instead you must print out your confirmation code and claim your train ticket at a Ukrainian Railways ticket office (or in some cases arrange delivery by mail).
- As of March 2012, the online ticket purchase option was only available in Ukrainian and Russian (the English site was in test mode).
- If you’re still interested despite the language barrier, then see this tutorial on buying tickets online in Ukraine: http://www.ukraine-travel-secrets.com/ukraine-train-ticket.html.
- Step-by-step instructions here: http://www.ukraine-travel-secrets.com/ukrainian-train-ticket-1.html.
- Other ticket agencies may offer you the opportunity to buy train tickets online, but they usually include a substantial price mark-up.
- Buying tickets in person is almost always your best option.
- Yes you can return tickets for long distance trains for a refund, but at a significant loss.
- You can get the best refund up to six hours before your departure. From six hours before to 1 hour after you lose a lot more money.
- Electric train tickets are nonrefundable (they are usually too cheap to matter).
- Tickets for electric trains can only be bought at the Commuter Railway Station (“приміський вокзал”).
- You cannot use your credit card to purchase tickets.
How to Buy a Commuter Rail (elektrichka) Ticket?
- You do not need to present any documents to buy a ticket. Simply state your destination at the ticket counter.
- Your ticket allows you to sit anywhere you want in the train.
- Tickets are very cheap.
- There is never a shortage of tickets, so you can plan on buying one directly before your departure.
Here’s a sample dialogue of buying a ticket to Kyiv.
You: Hello. One ticket to Kyiv for January 1st, please. / Добрий день. Один квиток до Києва на 1 січня, будь-ласка / Dobry den’. Odyn kvytok do Kyeva na pershe sichnya, bud’-laska.
Ticket attendant: O.K… (looks at computer screen) 3rd or 2nd class? / Так… (looks at computer screen) Плацкарт чи купе? / Tak…(looks at computer screen). Platzkart chy kupe?
You: 2nd, please. / Купе, будь-ласка. / Kupe, bud’-laska.
Ticket attendant: Top or bottom (bunk) / Верхнє чи нижнє? / Verkhnye chy nyzhnye?
You: Bottom, if possible. / Нижнє, якщо можна / Nyzhnye, yakshcho mozhna
Ticket attendant: Do you need a return ticket? / Зворотній будете брати? / Zvorotniy budete braty?
You: No thank you / Ні дякую / Ni dyakuyu
Ticket attendant: 160 Hryvnyas (gives you ticket after receiving money). Check the tickets, please. / 160 гривень. (gives you ticket after receiving money). Перевірте квитки, будь-ласка / Sto shistdesyat’ hryven’(gives you ticket after receiving money). Perevirte kvytky, bud’-laska
You: Everything is correct, thank you. / Все вірно, дякую / Vse virno, dyakuyu
Other useful train travel vocabulary.
Ticket / Квиток / Kvytok
3rd class / Платцкарт / Platzkart
2nd class / Купе / Kupe
1st class / Спальний вагон / Spal’nyi vahon
Near restroom / Біля туалету / Bilya tualetu
To order / Замовити / Zamovyty
Last name / Прізвищ / Prizvysche
Top seat / Верхня полиця / Verkhnya polytsya
Bottom seat / Нижня полиця / Nyzhnya polytsya
Return ticket / Зворотній квиток / Zvorotniy kvytok
Point of destination / Пункт призначення / Punkt pryznachennya
Point of departure / Пункт відправлення / Punkt vidpravlennya
Travel by Bus, Mini-Bus or Tram in Lviv
- Lviv recently began adding large buses to upgrade its transportation system.
- The bus fare is very low—2 UAH (about 20 Eurocents).
- While these new and used vehicles can be more comfortable than mini-buses, they can still be overcrowded except late nights and weekend mornings. And you must enter through the front door so you can pay your fare in cash.
- Large buses usually run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Major destinations of large buses from Lviv’s Center
Bus #3A – Lviv Bus Main Terminal, Arena Lviv Football Stadium, King Cross Leopolis Shopping Center (20-30 minutes from Lviv’s center).
Bus #2A – Commuter Railway Station (about 20 minutes)
Bus #5A – Shevchenkivsky Hai (about 20 minutes)
Most Lviv public transportation runs daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (except trams, which run until 10 p.m.)
There is no published schedule so your best bet to estimate travel time is to use Eway’s interactive map and trip planner: http://www.eway.in.ua/en/cities/lviv
- Lviv has several privately-owned minibuses (marshrutky in Ukrainian).
- Mini-buses run more frequently and are faster than other forms of public transportation.
- They are also extremely uncomfortable, often overcrowded (especially during rush hours). Most passengers must stand.
- Be careful of pickpockets, especially during rush hour.
How to take a Minibus
- Wait at one of the designated stops.
- Flag it down a mini-bus as you would a taxi.
- Pay 2 UAH cash to the driver when boarding.
- To get off the bus, notify the driver before a bus stop. In Ukrainian this is “Na zupyntsi, budlaska” (“at the stop, please”).
- To find the bus you need, use Eway’s interactive map and trip planner: http://www.eway.in.ua/en/cities/lviv
Major Mini-Bus Stops Near Lviv’s Center
Near Ivan Franko National University
Near Hotel Lviv
How much is a ticket? / Скільки коштує квиток? / Skilky koshtuye kvytok?
Where does this bus go? / Куди їде цей автобус? / Kudy yide tsey avtobus?
Where is the nearest bus stop? / Де найближча автобусна зупинка? / De nayblyzhcha avtobusna zupynka?
Pass (my bus fare) to the driver / Передайте за проїзд / Peredayte za proyizd
Give me transfer ticket, please / Дайте трансфертний квиток, будь-ласка. / Dayte transfertnyi kvytok, bud’-laska
Please, stop at the corner / Зупиніть на розі, будь-ласка / Zupynit’, bud’-laska, na rozi
Please, hold up at the next stop / Зупиніть на наступній / Zupynit’ na nastupniy
Please tell me where to get off. / Будь-ласка, скажіть де мені зійти / Bud’-laska, skazhit’ de meni vyity
Get off at the next stop / Виходьте на наступній зупинці / Vykhodte na nastupniy zupyntsi
Move along! (Move to the back of the bus so more passengers can squeeze on)/ Проходьте по салону / Prokhod’te po salony
Are you going to drop off? (Asked of fellow passengers, so they will let you maneuver towards the exit / Ви виходите? / Vy vykhodyte?
- Lviv’s trams are old and can be very crowded, but you might want to use them due to their very convenient routes.
- The tram tracks and the vehicles themselves are in a really bad condition, but this lends them their special charm.
- Trams run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- To plan your route, you can use Eway’s interactive map and trip planner: http://www.eway.in.ua/en/cities/lviv
How to buy a ticket for Lviv’s tram
- You need have to buy a ticket beforehand at newsstands near tram stops or on the tram from a driver.
- Tickets cost 1.25 UAH.
- If the tram is crowded then just hand the money to the passenger in front of you and have him or her pass it to the driver (Передайте за проїзд / Peredayte za proyizd).
- Tram tickets have to be validated in one of onboard stamp machines.
Some Major Destinations of Trams from Lviv’s Center
Getting to Lviv’s Center by Public Transportation
- You can take Bus No.48 from Petra Doroshenka Street just a few steps off central avenue Prospect Svobody. This trip will take about 30 minutes and the bus runs in 15 minute intervals.
- You can also take an old trolleybus No.9 from Ivan Franko National University (about a 7-minute walk from Rynok Square) and across the street from the entrance to Ivan Franko Park.
- See Eway’s interactive map to choose your best option: http://www.eway.in.ua/en/cities/lviv.
Minibus No. 31 can take you Magnus Shopping Center, which is close to Lviv’s Opera House.
You could also take one of several other mini-buses (marshrutky). See Eway’s interactive map to choose your best option: http://www.eway.in.ua/en/cities/lviv.
More Helpful Info
To help you plan your visit to Lviv, make sure you check out all of our guides.
- Accommodations Guide
- Dining Guide
- Culture and Sightseeing Guide
- Nightlife Guide
- Visitor Guide FAQ
- Survival Ukrainian