Lviv (Ukrainian: , Lviv [ljviw], German: Lemberg; Polish: Lwow; Russian: , L'vov) is a major city in western Ukraine, the administrative center of the Lviv Oblast, and is designated as its own separate raion (district) within the oblast. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of Ukraine. It has 733,000 inhabitants, of which 88% are Ukrainians, 8% Russians and 1% Poles, with an additional 200,000 commuting daily from suburbs.

The city is home to many industries and institutions of higherseducation such as Lviv University and Lviv Polytechnic. It has a philharmonic orchestra and the Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has many architectural wonders and treasures. Lviv celebrated its 750th anniversary in September 2006, and the city emblem is a lion.

Lviv was founded by King Danylo of the Ruthenian duchy of Halych-Volhynia, and named in honor of his son, Lev. The city is first mentioned in Halych-Volhynian Chronicle from 1256

The rapidly growing Lviv economy is an emerging market. It has a relatively large population, and is one of the biggest cities in Ukraine. The currency is the hryvnia (UAH), and is further divided into 100 kopecks per 1 UAH. In early 2007, 1 US dollar = about 5 UAH and 1 Euro = about 6 UAH.
Public Transportation

The public bus network is not well-developed and the number of lines is limited. A cheap alternative to the public transport are the "marshrutky", which are small private-run mini-vans/mini-buses cruising around the city and the suburbs. Marshrutky do not have any fixed stops nor timetables, yet their services are relatively cheap 1 UAH (20 US cents), fast and efficient.

Currently the Lviv tramway operates approximately 220 cars on 75 kilometres of track. Most of the track is in very poor condition, the trams themselves are OK yet can be crowded and packed like sardines during the busy hours of the workweek, yet a tram ride costs a mere 50 kopecks (10 US cents) (15 Euro cents).

Modern Lviv retains its nodal position, with nine railways converging on the city. There are many destinations, both within Ukraine and international. Most cities in Ukraine can be reached from the main train station. Due to the proximity of the Polish-Ukrainian border there are several trains going to Poland (mostly via Przemysl) for example the luxurious Kiev-Krakow link. There are good connections to Slovakia (Kosice) and also Hungary (Budapest).


Aside from extensive railway connections, Lviv can be reached by air. Lviv International Airport (LWO) lies only 6 km from the city center. For travelers, it offers a currency exchange, storage of luggage, ATM machines, telephones, coffee shops, and parking. Hotel Tustan near the airport has one and two-room apartments for rent.

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Links on sites about Lviv: