Kiev-Lviv 6 days/5 nights
Kiev, like Rome and Paris, is located on seven hills and is one of the greenest capitals in the world. Ancient Kiev is fifteen hundred years old. According to legend, the brothers Kiy, Shchek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid, founded a town on the embankments of the Dnipro and named it after the oldest brother – Kyiv. Soon, the town became a political center of the Eastern Slavic tribes.
Kyiv is called the “mother of Russian cities”. During the 9th -12th centuries, it was the capital of a powerful medieval state named Kyivska Rus. Its territory spread from the Baltic in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Carpathians in the west to the Volga in the east. In the mid-11th century, the territory of Kyivska Rus was larger than that of any other Christian state and had a population second in size only to that of the Byzantine Empire. By the end of the IXth century, Kiev had already maintained wide foreign and commercial trade links due to its position at the crossroads of trade routs between the Vikings and the Greeks. Unfortunately, the state was soon destroyed by the Tatar-Mongols led by Khan Baty – Genghis Khan’s grandson.
From the XVIIIth century, Kiev, with its numerous churches, the world-famous Pechersk Lavra Cave Monastery and St. Sophia Cathedral, monasteries and convents, became the Russian Empire’s center of worship and symbol of Orthodox Christianity
Lviv is the quintessential old European city. First mentioned in historical records in the year 1256, it was founded by Prince Danylo Halytskyi, who named it in honour of his son Lev. For this reason, you will encounter sculptures of lions all over the city. The historical centre of Lviv is complete and self-contained. Each quarter has its own unique flavour and history in the form of medieval churches, old stone buildings, cobblestone streets, aromatic coffee houses and the artistic ideas that for many centuries have determined the atmosphere of Lviv and the true soul of Ukraine. Narrow medieval streets paved with stones, architectural decoration done in different styles – all preserved in its original form. Being a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then Poland contributed to the formation of the city’s unique image. In spite of all the whims of history the city has not lost its Ukrainian spirit. So it is no wonder that the central part of the city is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage.
Over the centuries Lviv has always provided a warm welcome for all its guests, each of them bringing various different products of their civilisations to the city, as well as their national characteristics: German deal, Italian vigour, English merchant's wisdom, Polish humour. They all brought a piece of their motherland and left it here for future generations. So today's international tourists can enjoy unique Ukrainian culture in the city, yet probably find some aspect of that, what will remind them home. And that is part of the secret of why visitors feel as comfortable here as they do in their home countries. So Lviv is not only well worth of visiting - it is worth of coming back to see again and again.
Arrival to Kiev. Meet & greet at the Borispol airport. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. 09:00-13:00 City tour with visit of St. Sophia
Khreschatik, the Opera and Ballet Theatre, Golden gates. St. Sophia Cathedral & Monastery are enlisted into World Heritage of UNESCO. More than 1100 years ago Kievan Rus, a powerful European monarchy, was established on Ukrainian territory. The modern centre & the remains of the old city are both on the hilly west bank of the Dnipro, third largest river in Europe after the Volga and the Danube.
Sophia Square is crowned by the cupola of the cathedral of St. Sophia of Kyiv. In the 11th century, this was the venue of coronations, audiences with foreign ambassadors and the signing of international treaties. The St. Sophia of Kyiv complex is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The main of special value are wall pictures of the 11th century – 260m² of mosaics and 3000m² of frescos, which make up a unique ensemble of the Middle Age of World Culture History. Across the square, one can see the sparkling golden domes of St. Michael’s Cathedral, whish was erected in the 12th century. However, in the 1930s, the Communists destroyed the cathedral. It was re-built in 2001. The tour continues to Andriivskyi Uzviz (Descent) that starts from St.Andrew’s Church will impress you with its unique atmosphere. Free time on Andriivsky descent. Andriivsky Uzviz in Kyiv is like Montmartre in Paris. It is famous for its atmosphere. Artists claim that the aura of the street itself inspires their creativity. Independently of weather conditions, you will see artists demonstrating their works. You can also buy Ukrainian souvenirs and listen to street musicians. Numerous art galleries and shops of folk and applied art make this romantic street the cultural center of Kiev. There is a place where you can see of artists displaying their works everywhere: on the fences, walls of the houses, on the ground, even on themselves. You can found paintings and watercolours of all possible trends, from stark realism to surrealism, to abstractions, and to what you would not find a name for; amazing creations of handicrafts and applied arts; innumerable folding tables with needlework, pottery, woodwork, weaving. You’ll enjoy the colours, art, noise and music.
13:00-14:00 Lunch at a city restaurant (optional).
14:00-14:30 Free time on Andriivsky Uzviz.
15:00-17:00 Visit unique “Chernobyl” museum
Museum exposition depicts the reasons of catastrophe occurred in 1986 on Chernobyl atomic station, tells about radiation influence on animal and plant life, about heroic actions of liquidators. Among museum displays there are declassified documents, maps, schemes, private items of disaster victims. One can see unique videos about the catastrophe and its consequences, current model of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, dynamic the – stage diorama of “ The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant before, during and after the accident shows the moment of the explosion destroyed nuclear power plant and constructed sarcophagus over the destroyed unit.
17:00 Return to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. 09:00-12:00 - The National Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra Historical and Cultural Reserve.
Every town has its own sacred place and its own soul. The Acropolis of Athens or the Kremlin of Moscow, the Egyptian pyramids at Cairo of Notre Dame of Paris. Kyiv’s soul is the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra. Lavra indicates the highest status of an Orthodox male monastery. Orthodox Christians believe that the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra is the second most important place of religious worship after Jerusalem. The monastery was founded on the basis of underground caves about a thousand years ago. Thousands of worshippers from all over the world come to pray in front of sacred relics and see the wonders that science cannot explain. Relics have been kept for centuries in the semi-darkness of the caves without embalming.
12:00-13:00 Lunch at the restaurant “Tsarske Selo”, located next to the Lavra Monastery (optional 20 USD p/p).
13:00-16:00 The Ukrainian Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life (out-door museum)
Founded in 1969 as National reserve of culture. The area covers 159 hectares of picturesque sites, where more than 300 monuments of folk building tradition are located, filled with household utensils, working instruments, clothes, works of folk art , folk costumes, fabrics, embroidery, carpets, ceramics, articles of metal, wood, glassware, musical instruments, paintings, tools, household articles and the like. The collection of the reserve amounts to 80,000 objects. Every section features the churches, houses, household construction and workshops of the 16th-early 20th centuries, located in the natural settings.
16:00-21:00 Free time at the Independence Square
One of the main city squares, it is located on the Khreschatyk Street. The square was known under many different names but it became prominent as simply the Maidan due to the political events that took place there in the recent years after the Ukrainian accession to independence. by now the square's monument to Kyi, Schek and Khoryv - the legendary founders of Kiev, the folklore hero Cossack Mamay, the city's historic protector Archangel Michael as well as a more modern invention, the protecting goddess Berehynia, and the many glass domes are easily recognisable parts of the modern city centre. A mostly underground shopping mall, the Globe, was built under Maidan Nezalezhnosti to replace the old and shabby giant underpass formerly dubbed by Kievans as Truba (the Tube).It is full of shops, bars and cafes. Parades, concerts, festivals and other city arrangements and holidays take place on this square.
Tour to house-museum of 18th century “Savka’s house”
“Savka’s house” is a house-museum where you can feel in Ukraine 200 years ago and learn life and culture of Ukrainian people and enjoy Ukrainian hospitality and national cuisine. You will see Ukrainian house under straw roof, a smithy, a well and other premises. And the most important – you will be invited to the house table and treated with the most delicious dishes of Ukrainian cuisine: Ukrainian borsch, vareniky (dumplings) with different fillings, home-cooked meat in pots, different pickles, salo and of course with Ukraininan honey vodka.
There you will be able to see the work of a smith and his unique metal wares, potter, boothmaker and others, see how home-made bread was cooked. And you will have a unique possibility to participate in such ceremonies as engagement, wedding, sanctifying of earth for building a house and round dances with singing or others. And professional dancers and singers of folk songs will create a festive mood during the feast.
Price – from 40 USD p/p (depending on the menu), transportation per group – 170 USD (minivan max 16 pax), 230 USD (minibus max 28 pax), 300 USD (bus max 46 pax), folklore performance – 200-300 USD per group
Gala dinner in Ukrainian restaurant with folk show
Country restaurant with Ukrainian cuisine designed as a small Ukrainian village. Here you can find a house of a fisherman, a weaver, a potter and a musician with functioning stoves, picturesque gardens and ponds, and a real poultry house. Refined dishes, cooked by the chef, will give you a feeling of a real gastronomical feast, and a cozy interior will help to forget city hustle
Price – from 35 USD p/p (depending on the menu), transportation per group – 124 USD (minivan max 16 pax), 156 USD (minibus max 28 pax), 190 USD (bus max 46 pax)
21:00 – Transfer to the railway station.
22:15- Departure by overnight train to Lviv.
06:33 – Arrival to Lviv. 07:00-11:00 City tour with visit to the memorial Lychakiv Cemetery
The tour route covers the oldest sights (Pidzamche area - the early medieval part of the city with the Gothic Cathedrals of John the Baptist and Virgin Mary of the Snow, the Romanesque and Renaissance Churches of St. Nicholas, St. Onyfrii and St. Paraskeva), central streets (the unique ensemble created in the Austrian period of Lviv history – the 19th – 20th c.c.), the memorial Lychakiv Cemetery (more than 1500 unique burial monuments and sculptures). It covers 40 hectares (about 110 acres) and since 1991 it has formed a state-sanctioned historical-artistic reserve. It is one of the oldest graves in Europe, dating back to the 1500's, and has been described more as a sculpture garden than a cemetery due to the ornate monuments, tombs and sarcophagi within its grounds. Many graves contain the remains of famous Ukrainians, eminent Poles and Austrians.
11:00-12:00 Lunch at a city restaurant (optional).
12:00-15:00 Walking tour “The gems of the Old City"
Sightseeing in Lviv should begin in Rynok Square. In the centre of the square stands the 65-metre-tall City Hall, the entrance guarded by two lions. Climbing the 390 stairs to the top of City Hall affords a stunning view of the city. Rynok Square is surrounded by 44 buildings from different eras built in a variety of styles (Renaissance, Empire and Baroque). The most impressive is Korniakt’s Palace built in 1580 with a three-storey arcade surrounding the courtyard (better known as the Italian Courtyard and home to a famous coffee house). All four corners of the square are decorated with sculptures of ancient gods and goddesses. The narrow cobbled streets around Rynok Square once housed the workshops of Lviv shoemakers, printers, chemists and numerous other tradesmen. Some of today's street names, for instance Virmen'ska (Armenian), Yevreyska (Jewish) or Serbska (Serbian) still remind visitors of the multicultural history of the city.
The tour will show You round the most remarkable sights of the ancient city, which has preserved as an indivisible architectural ensemble in spite of wars, fires and social revolutions: the Gothic Latin Cathedral, beautiful Baroque Cathedrals of Bernardines, Jesuits and Dominicans, ruins of the all-Europe-famous Golden Rose Synagogue, magnificent city fortifications, including the City and Royal Armouries, Gunpowder Tower and many other relics. One of Lviv’s oldest buildings is the Armenian Cathedral, whose artistic value is derived from its 15th-century sculptures. Virmenska Street itself is one of the most beautiful streets in Lviv. Almost every house on the street is a point of architectural interest, including the Four Seasons House. Its facade depicts the twelve signs of the zodiac, the four seasons and Chronos, who measures time. Near Rynok Square one can buy medicine at the Pharmacy Museum, founded in 1735. Its interior has remained practically unchanged to the present day. Its massive oak shelves display pharmaceutical glassware and porcelain, and the basement features an exhibition of ancient pharmaceutical equipment. You will also visit the Local Crafts Market (Vernisazh) with its remarkable souvenirs.
15:00 Check in at the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. 10:00-12:00 - MUSEUM OF NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AND LIFE
Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life is an open-air museum containing 120 monuments of folk architecture including six wooden churches. Hardly any museum in the world can boast so many religious buildings. The open-air museum is located on a 50-hectare land plot in the picturesque part of the city - Shevchenkivsky Hay (Shevchenko Park). Unbelievably beautiful wooden houses and churches of the past ages create a genuine atmosphere of Ukrainian villages from different regions of the country - the lands of Boykos, Lemkos, Hutsuls, as well as Bukovyna and the Transcarpathian Region. In dwelling and utility houses you will find items of everyday use and farm implements. The churches, chapels and belfries have an authentic look. Folklore-ethnographic ensembles stage their performances on the museum's territory. It is a fascinating insight into the real life of Ukrainian people in 18-20th century.
12:00- Return to the hotel. Free time. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. Departure transfer to the airport.
The above prices include:
- 5 nights accommodation at the mentioned above hotels (BB)
- Transportation services
- Services of a guide
- Entrance tickets to the museums
- Train tickets Kiev-Lviv (2d class)
- All these rates are net & include all the taxes and services.
- All these rates are informational and should be checked according to your request.
- Prices may change in case of currency exchange rate fluctuations and changes of hotel rate, transportation services rate