The political situation in eastern Ukraine is currently a bit of a mess, but after some research, my friends and I decided that a trip to Lviv in the far western part of the country would be a fun (and safe) idea.
I was expecting to see more scenes like the one above, with military men sitting in front of utterly destroyed cars, but I was pleasantly surprised with the city of Lviv. Lviv is filled with great food and cool flea markets, and you’ll get to tell your friends that you visited this city “before it was cool,” which makes it the ultimate hipster destination.
The high quality chocolate in Lviv was an unexpected (and delicious) surprise.
A box with 20 pieces was well under $10, and more than enough to satisfy the chocolate cravings of three ravenous girls.
The flea market was my absolute favorite attraction in Lviv. I spent quite a bit of time here and left with an empty wallet (and a purse full of trinkets) every time that I went.
Trinkets from the Soviet Union seemed to be the most popular items for sale
I mentioned in the title that Lviv is a hipster’s paradise, do you believe me now? What hipster leaves the house without a good antler knife?
I am thankful that I didn’t pack a larger suitcase for this trip, because I think I would have blown all of my money on all of the old novelties at the market
Another popular item for sale was Vladimir Putin toilet paper, which really reflected the spirit of Western Ukraine.
I’ve been told by several different people that Lviv is the heart of Ukrainian nationalism and pride, and that was definitely what I noticed here. One of the top attractions is Kryyivka, a military themed restaurant that requires a password for entry.
Kryyivka serves authentic western Ukrainian food, and some very delicious honey vodka.
I’m a firm believer that the best way to truly get a feel for a different culture is to try their street food. Hot corn seemed to be the most common street food in Lviv, and while it wasn’t necessarily exotic, it was both simple and tasty.
The streets in Lviv were bustling, and there were various street performers and artists everywhere. This man was painting old records on the sidewalk, and I was seriously tempted to buy one.
Also spotted in the busy streets of Lviv: a very melancholy Darth Vader.