Lviv Souvenirs

23 November 2009

Lviv Souvenirs

I think you can agree with me when I say that every person, who sets out to visit another city, tries to draw up his own “cultural program”. Some people like to join a curious crowd of tourists and follow the guide around the city so as not to miss anything important along the way. Others do it another way - by differentiating one city from another, and experiencing the night life – going to night clubs, studying cocktail menus, and getting acquainted with friendly and likable strangers. And, then there are those who are really and truly satisfied when they can wander around a strange city all alone, dreaming, searching for inspiration, or arranging their accumulated impressions in good order.

Tourists are all different! But, however different they may be, whatever amounts of money they may spend on journeys or trips, whatever strange and unknown routes or itineraries they may take, they all have one common feature: each tourist per se wants to bring something back for his relatives or friends. Of course, many might solve the problem straightaway by stating that Lviv is the Ukrainian capital of coffee. So, coffee must be the best gift for everybody! Or else…. beer, as Lviv is the Ukrainian capital of beer. And, why not go for a book…. Don’t argue with me! After all, thanks to the Forum of Publishers, Lviv is also the Ukrainian capital of books! Yes, all this is true, and you are absolutely right, but…

…But isn’t it strange that some smart marketing expert once noticed that most people return from their trips with some things that are not necessarily useful or practical? On the contrary – it’s usually something very cute and adorable! Something that will stand on your friend’s desk, or hang on the fridge, and remind him of you and your travels! Now, where in Lviv can you find that cute and adorable thing that everybody will love?

ArticleImages_433_03_suveniry.jpgLvivski Tsyatsky (Lviv Curio Shop) (10 Rynok Square)
Face the “Kryyivka”, look to your right, and there, on the corner of Rus’ka and Serbs’ka Streets, you will see a shop with a brightly-coloured gate” “Lvivski Tsyatsky”. I have visited many souvenir stores, but I must admit that this place can be called a “souvenir supermarket”.

Here, you can find everything and anything: post cards with views of old Lviv and others (2 – 10 UAH), “motanky” dolls (traditional hand-made Ukrainian dolls), CDs of Lviv and near-Lviv musicians (50 UAH), T-shirts (40 – 100 UAH), baseball caps, books, magnets, (10 – 40 UAH), and other novelties (mugs, plates, paintings, little bells, sew-on patches for clothes, alcohol liqueurs (80 – 100 UAH), dishes, coffee grinders, and kerosene lamps).

Among such “traditional” souvenirs, you can find more unusual ones – for example, a whole collection inspired by the creative works of Yuriy Andrukhovych and the group “Mertvy Piven” (Dead Rooster). The merchandise and gifts are regularly replaced or updated by interesting works from Lviv craftsmen and skilled masters.

And, the best video about Lviv is definitely the original film – “Nash Lviv” (Our Lviv) – shot by Lyuba Sorokina and Ihor Lylyo; here it costs 110 UAH.

The prices in this shop are quite moderate. That is, you can’t really say that they are reasonably-priced for everyone, but neither would you label the souvenirs in “Lviviski Tsyatski” as over expensive.

Choice made by There is such a variety of gifts here that it was hard to make a choice. But, the toy perches (yes, little fish!) made by a very creative and gifted person finally caught my eye. They cost 160 UAH each. Each perch has its own story; it’s been put to the test of life more than once, but it also has its personal mission in life.

Lvivski Suveniry (Souvenirs from Lviv) (8 Rus’ka Street)
Now that we’ve finished buying our gifts at “Lvivski Tsyatsky”, let’s go and get some more souvenirs at an inconspicuous little place on Rus’ka Street called “Lvivski Suveniry”…. not very far from the café “Pid Synioyu Plyashkkoyu” (Under the Blue Bottle).

The assortment of souvenirs in this shop does not resemble that of a “souvenir supermarket”, but then, it’s so much easier to decide what you really want to buy in “Lvivski Suveniry”.

ArticleImages_433_04_suveniry.jpgMagnets (10-16 UAH), various kinds of post cards (4-20 UAH), T-shirts and other clothes, gift mugs (30-35 UAH) – in one word, everything seems to be clear, precise and well-arranged. Besides distinctive souvenirs from Lviv, you can also pick up some “Feng Shui” trinkets: aroma lamps, incense burners, Chinese lanterns, etc.

On the whole, prices in this shop correspond to what souvenirs would cost in the centre of the city.

Choice made by Even though you may be attracted by the brightly-coloured T-shirts or the large variety of fans with hieroglyphs, I advise you to take a look at the original and beautiful traditional Ukrainian talismans hanging from a nail; they are obviously hand-made works of art, and they are priced at 45 UAH.


“Suvenir Korydor” (Souvenir Corridor) (40 Rynok Square)

Let’s go back to Ploshcha Rynok now, walk all around the Ratusha (City Hall, remember?), and between the statues of Adonis and Amphitrite we enter a v-e-e-e-ery tiny souvenir shop, which doesn’t even have a sign in front. However, you can probably guess that you can actually buy something here when you see the T-shirts with funny captions hanging outside the shop entrance. 

In fact, as far as I can remember, this souvenir shop at 40 Ploshcha Rynok was the very first place in Lviv where you could get those legendary T-shirts with the caption: “Diakuyu Tobi, Bozhe, shcho ya he moskal’!” (Thank God, I’m not a Muscovite!). Later on, other “racy and provocative” slogans appeared on clothes: “Ne Vseremos’!”, “U pyvi – syla! V vodi – mikroby!” (Power in beer! Bugs in water!), and many others. The price of these T-shirts: 40 – 100 UAH. 

Besides “ordinary day” clothes, in the “Suvenir Korydor” you can get something special for those special dates out on the town. For example, embroidered shirts: 90 – 500 UAH.

Choice made by We suggest that you take a good look at the wide selection of books, which are laid out right in the middle of the shop. In fact, these are not real books, but “good mood boxes”. Inside such thick volumes called “National Idea”, or “Bedside Reading for the DIY Man of the House” there are no pages, but only a quarter-liter bottle and two shot glasses. The price of such an unforgettable gift won’t empty your pockets: 90 UAH.

ArticleImages_433_05_suveniry.jpg“Muzey Mahnitiv” Shop (Magnet Museum Shop) (9 Serbs’ka Street)

As we continue our serious shopping tour, let’s leave Rynok Square and go back to Serbs’ka Street (near the statue of Diana). There, a few meters from the legendary “Masoch” Café, we’ll visit this tiny, but interesting magnet museum.

You can usually find traditional magnets with views of the Opera House or the fortifications on Mytna Square almost everywhere, but here, you can wander around and admire one of the biggest collections of magnets in the world. There is even a special exhibition stand with magnets that aren’t for sale; they come from all over the world. Sales assistants confess that some tourists even leave their own magnets here! Perhaps this is like throwing a coin into the fountain…. I will return to this place one day!

You’re bored of all those scenic views of Lviv, but you want to bring your friends something a little more provocative: How about…. “First, there was borshch (beet soup), and then there was coffee”; “Ukrainians don’t need Viagra!”; “We’re responsible for the drinks we pour!” You can also get a magnet padlock for your fridge or another original magnet for your fridge with the caption: “No eating after six PM!” – a good way to stay in great shape.

The price for traditional and clever attention-getters: from 5 UAH! So, don’t be a cheapskate!

Choice made by Be sure to ask a sales assistant for magnets with captions: “Don’t fear the Devil!” “Don’t cry like a sissy!” That’s for keeping your spirits up….

And more!

You can also acquire a cute, but exclusive knick-knack at the “Book Vernissage” (Book Flea-Market) near the statue of Ivan Fedorov (corner of Pidvalna and Rus’ka Streets). Besides all the fake antique publications, which have been produced by clever “modern-day masters”, you may actually find something really interesting here: old postcards, audio cassettes, video cassettes, old gramophone records, and, of course, books. By the way, the prices are very reasonable!

Don’t forget that you can get something really worthwhile at a Lviv antique shop. There are many of them on Staroyevreyska Street (Old Jewish Street), and Lesya Ukrayinka Street. Not only can you find such traditional antiques as vintage burners, watches and clocks, bags, and glasses, but you should try to search for more unusual objects…. for example: complete collections of miniature toys from Kinder-Surprise, water pistols from the middle of the XX century, or “Zenith” cameras, which still work like new!

One more thing…. Come on, don’t be lazy! Let’s visit yet another little boutique “Formatny Mahazyn No. 1” (Format Shop No. 1) (corner of Serbs’ka and Staroyevreyska Streets). Why is it called a “Format Shop”? Because everything here corresponds to a definite Ukrainian format: complete anthologies by Ukrainian musicians, rare books by Ukrainian authors, and “Bandera-style” clothing (you just can’t get away from him, can you!), baseball caps, T-shirts, scarves, sew-on patches, etc. Moreover, this shop is famous for its great collection of posters – starting from incredible views of New York to portraits of the Beatles, or heroes of the TV series, “Friends”.

You’ll also be able to find some interesting souvenirs in the following cafés or restaurants belonging to the “!FEST” network chain: “Kryyivka”, “Hasova Lampa”, “Livy Bereh”, and others.

Finally, for exclusive souvenirs you might like to try “Photovernissage”, a photo workshop located on Bankivska Street (Bank Street) (between Doroshenko and Kopernik Streets). Here, you can pick up some original mugs, T-shirts, mouse pads, puzzles, and even kitchen aprons!

Hanna Vdruh enjoyed guiding you through all the souvenir shops
specially for VisitLviv.

Watch Lviv in memory at the larger map



  • юрій03-07-2010 19:17reply

    На жаль,абсолютно нікудишній по суті та не професійний навіть для початкуючої журналістки матеріал. Вибрані магазини з найвищим рівнем цін, середім та нижче середнього за художніми характеристиками рівнем масово тиражованої продукції ( в тому числі імпорту!). Взагалі не згадані художні салони та галереї, котрі дббають про свою репутацію (зрештою, її мають)- напр. Гердан, Сливка, Равлик, зелена канапа та ін. Автор тупо відпрацювала замовлення і нанесла безумовну кривду даному виданню. Туристам раджу звернутися до інших джерел більш достовірної інформації. Я займаюся ринком сувенірів, подарунків та творів мистецтва більше 17 років, наша репутація виходить далеко за межі України - я знаю предмет.

  • VisitLviv04-07-2010 12:35reply

    п. Юрію ця стаття стосувалась сувенірних магазинів, і охопила всі основні магазини, які продають сувеніри для туристів. Галелеї та художні салони є зовсім іншим видом сувенірної продукції, далеко не загального вжитку. Якщо ви є спеціалістом у цій галузі, то спробуйте написати власну статтю про це і надішліть її нам -

  • Андрій22-09-2010 16:50reply

    В останньому абзаці русизм - "коврики для мишки".

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