Lviv Travel Blog› entry 89 of 125 › view all entries
I went to Ukraine in the summer of 2007.
In a lot of ways it was similar to Russia. The trains were very similar, but slower and less comfortable. Though I shouldn't really compare as I only travelled in 2nd class in Russia and in 3rd class in Ukraine. Anyway, in both countries travelling by train is a great way to meet people. And to get fed and soaked in alcohol.
The shops were similar to those in Russia. After a few days I started longing for a supermarket where you can just grab whatever you need instead of pointing at things and sounding like an idiot all the time. But I didn't find any.
The traffic was scarily like Russia. One day I nearly got run over by a car whilst unsuspectingly walking on the sidewalk.
On the other hand, visually and historically, Lviv is a Polish city.
I've heard good things about Kiev and Odessa, but Lviv was certainly a good first taste of Ukraine. It is beautiful, vibrant and there's a lot to see, without being overwhelming. Just a nice city to walk around, providing there's no cars trying to run you over ;) There are plenty of outdoor pubs and restaurants to take a break from sight-seeing, though deciphering the menus was rather challenging.
Ukranian language sounds like a cross between Russian and Polish, so I mixed up my limited knowledge of both languages (with some Slovak thrown in) and managed to get by.
Besides Lviv, I also spent a day in Uzhgorod, a pleasant small town near the Slovak border.
In Lviv, I stayed at a very nice, cheap hostel (of which I currently don't remember the name, unfortunately), which was a great place for meeting interesting people from all over the world. In Uzhgorod I stayed at a posh Intourist hotel, a bargain for about 20€ for a single room, though unfortunately that didn't include hot water, apparantly.