Ukraine, Is It Safe For Solo Female Travelers?
I have always been interested in Ukraine. But I wasn’t sure how safe it truly would be for a solo female. If you don’t know where Ukraine is, it’s located in Eastern Europe. The city of Lviv is close to the Polish border, and the country sits just below Russia.
A fellow blogger posted about how Lviv has beautiful architecture and fantastic comfort food. The promise of good food and impressive buildings to photograph always peaks my interest! But as a solo female traveler, there are still things to consider before buying that plane ticket.
Before visiting, I did do my due diligence checking government sites and various blogs about safety in Lviv, Ukraine. Through my research, I was finding all the assurance I needed to feel comfortable booking the trip. And booked a trip, I did!
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Most Important Things to Know for Lviv
Currency: UAH Urkrain Hryvnia
Average Summer Temperatures: 24 / 13 degrees Celsius
Average Winter Temperatures: 0 / -7 degrees Celcius
Language Spoken: Ukrainian
Airport to Old Town Travel Time: 25-30 minutes
Crime Report: according to Numbeo
The best advice I can give any solo female traveler, or any traveler really, is to know your route when arriving. I often find I make simple time-consuming mistakes that could have been avoided. Lucky for you readers, I now write these down to share them on my blog. Hopefully, you can learn from me and not make the same mistakes as I did.
The silliest thing I did when arriving in Ukraine was assuming they were on the Euro. Yeah, I know, pretty stupid. How do I have a travel blog?!
When I landed at the airport, I had just figured I could take the bus and pay with Euros. Wrong! If possible, arrive ready with the Ukrainian currency, which is UAH- Ukrainian Hryvnia. The airport does have an ATM, but the line could be annoyingly long.
When I visited, 10 US dollars was equivalent to approximately 246 UAH. Currency rate changes daily, but typically not that much, download a currency app to be sure.
Taking the bus to the city center is very easy, and beyond affordable. It came to about .25 cents! The ride to the old town is about 30 minutes, depending on traffic. The cost of a taxi is approx 15 euros and might be worth it if you have lots of luggage.
Speaking English in Lviv
I didn’t find that English is widely spoken, even with the younger generations. I was able to get by, but just be prepared; it could be a bit of a struggle. A little advice if you are lost or in a bind is to find a hotel. The chances of someone in a hotel speaking English is high. It is always a good idea to have the telephone number of your hotel saved on your phone.
A Solo Woman Traveling Tip: If solo traveling in a foreign country, spend the extra money on a cell phone plan. I don’t care how much it costs, and it’s worth every penny to have your piece of mind.
5 Reasons Why You Will Love Lviv
I will be honest; I was hesitant to visit Ukraine alone. Safety was my number one concern. I didn’t want to be somewhere that I didn’t feel ok to walk around alone at night. After visiting, I can say with confidence that Lviv is the best Ukrainian city for solo females. Here are some more reasons why:
#1. The Inspiring Architecture
I was in a constant state of awe while walking around Lviv. The architecture is something out of a dreamy fairytale. If you go in winter, you could be lucky enough to see this city with a coat of white fluffy snow. It adds to the magical experience when strolling around.
I used a Fuji Film XT100 to take all my photos. This camera has been straightforward to learn how to use it. The lens used for these pictures is the lens that came with the camera.
#2. The Medieval Vibes
The city has a trendy and artisan vibe going for it. Being a stylish and cosmopolitan city, I feel it’s one of the best Ukrainian cities for solo females.
Sip your gourmet coffee in a modern and comfortable environment amongst young Ukrainian hipsters. As a freelancer, I was feeling welcome to bring my computer and spend time using the free wifi. There is no shortage of trendy places to eat. So many cool places I go into detail further down the post.
*Medieval Vibes. One of the reasons I truly love exploring Europe is to visit medieval cities. Lviv falls into the category of being a city that not only has a medieval past, but it also celebrates it. You can visit the medieval museum, as well as the restaurants and bars dedicated to this theme. Some of the best are:
Finish your Medieval day of fun by getting a meal and ale beer at the underground restaurant-bar of 5th Dungeon. Visiting this restaurant was one of my most treasured memory in Lviv.
#3. Cheapest City in Europe
When traveling alone, it’s essential to find affordable! Lviv is so cheap. I think it’s the best Ukrainian city for solo females! I discovered that the quality of goods was not spared either, just affordable and fantastic.
The low hotel prices will surprise you! Staying 5-star accommodations is finally in reach. I stayed at, and I found it to be fantastic in regards to stylish, quality, and comfortable. Also, this hotel has a great location. Walk to the epicenter of the old town in under 10 mins.
Lviv is the perfect city to stroll around, taking pictures! Any city that has high walkability quickly becomes a favorite of mine. I would suggest that you need a full three days to get the most out of Lviv.
The old town is what you would expect, cute restaurants, charming streets, and boutique shops. A pleasant surprise in Lviv was underground restaurants and bars.
#5. The Food
Let’s talk about food! My slogan is ” I travel for food,” and I was not disappointed here in Lviv. Can we say comfort food, please! The perfect accompaniment to the cold weather.
My favorite dishes were all potato-based. Perogies every damn day! If you are vegan, you will need to do your research ahead. I am vegan, so I researched the restaurants. These two places are must-tries:
Best Bistro Restaurants Lviv, Ukraine
- Centaur – This restaurant had the best perogies I’ve ever had—cute and cozy interior. I would highly recommend checking it out.
- Atlas – A charming traditional restaurant right in the center square. Each room has a different theme. I enjoyed a beer and lots of perogies.
- Amadeus – This restaurant has the most extensive menu that I have ever seen. One of Lviv’s most expensive restaurants that I found to be insanely affordable.
- The Most Expensive Galician Restaurant– This place was the most fun I had in a dining experience. It belongs to the freshest theme restaurant list as well. You will need to make a reservation to get a table here.
Top Attractions in Lviv, Ukraine
- Lviv Town Hall This town hall is located in the center of the old town Lviv. It’s a beautiful building that sits in the heart of the city!
- Rynok Square is the central square dating back to the 13th century. Each building that stands in this square has been designated a Ukrainian National Historical Monument.
- High Castle Hill -You can visit the site of the former 14th-century castle of Lviv. There are few remains of this castle today. The draw to visit this site is the 360-degree views from the top.
- House of Legends This place is a great spot to get pictures of Lviv from above. Their multi-level museum of sorts has a different themed floor, all leading to the rooftop. There is a bar on-site, so you can enjoy a beverage while you are taking some shots of Lviv from above.
- Pravda Beer Theatre have yourself a good time at this traveler favorite located in the center of the old town Lviv! It is a shop and restaurant where a live orchestra will perform!
Extra Special Place in Lviv
Kryjivka– Many bloggers write entire posts about this place as it is so unique. If you are going here alone, and are female, don’t be scared. Just be prepared to be screamed at in Ukrainian upon trying to enter.
The dramatics is all part of the act, but I must admit it was a bit intense. I visited midday, but as you will see online, it’s open 24 hours. To find Kryjivka can be a little tricky. Its location is hidden on purpose. The door is mostly unmarked, in tiny writing is the name Kryjivka. You must knock loudly and wait. I arrived to no one else in line, so I wasn’t at all prepared for what happens when the door opens.
The door opens to a man in fully dressed in a military uniform. He will yell directly in your face speaking Ukrainian. The words he shots are “Glory to Ukraine,” but in Ukrainian. Your response back SHOULD BE “Glory to the Hero’s”… but I did not know this. I stood there wide-eyed and terrified, just barely whispering table for 1. After what felt like an eternity of standing there, I was ushered into the restaurant.
This underground museum-ish / restaurant was one of the coolest places I visited in Lviv. The menu is basic but excellent, and SO cheap. I was on a “let me only eat perogies” kick, so perogies I got.
(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)
Boutique Accommodations For Less in Lviv
Maybe it’s because I am a female, but I am a sucker for a charming boutique hotel! Another reason Lviv is the best Ukrainian city for solo females is the hotel choices!
Imagine the nicest and most stylish hotel you can think of, for less than $125 a night! I was amazed and delighted with the value for my money in accommodations in Lviv.
Here is a list of the swankiest hotels in Lviv!
I stayed in Ferenc Hotel and Restuarant and was extremely pleased. Located on a quiet side street in the old town, it was modern and very comfortable!
My stay was less than $80 a night, and it included breakfast! If you are really on a budget, this is the city for you. A clean and comfortable hotel will cost you under $50 per night!
Safety Tips and Advice for Solo Females
My experience in Lviv, Ukraine, was a safe one. Being aware of my surroundings was a top concern of mine. I felt comfortable walking around alone and taking public transit by myself.
That said, I didn’t stay out past 10 pm. In most cities, it can be perfectly safe to stay out late and check out the bar scene. When traveling, I always keep my drinking to a minimum and get back to the hotel at an early hour.
If you are planning to travel solo, it’s a good idea to review some overall safety tips for women. I created a free PDF guide with 7 of the most useful Safety Tips for Women traveling solo.
If you are a first-timer or seasoned solo traveler, it’s always important to brush up on safety practices. I have created a FREE easy to read, 7 Tip Safety Tip Guide here! Happy Traveling!
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