As I often say, Lviv is the cultural center of Ukraine and Ratusha is the center of Lviv. Ratusha is the Town Hall that is located in very heart of Lviv – Ploshcha Rynok (Market Square). This is the very center of the old Town and the main square in Lviv.
The first Town Hall was built in 1357 but unfortunately the building was made of wood and in 1381 it burned down. After this accident the city decided to make a proper stone building. The oldest parts of Town Hall that we know today date back to the 14th century. The Ratusha was rebuilt and restored a few times along with the clock tower which collapsed in 1848. The new clock tower was built in a classic Viennese style and that is what we see nowadays.
What is so special about the Lviv Town Hall anyway? Well, as you already know, Ratusha has a tall clock tower (64 meters) with a magnificent view. You can visit the top of this tower.
Get yourself to the main entrance of the square building in the center of Ploshcha Rynok (Market Square) and go to the 4th floor. Don’t use the elevators. They usually don’t work or if they do, it takes forever anyway.
On the 4th floor just follow the wall plates with a tower drawing on it. It will lead you through the long corridor to the ticket office. I must say that sometimes there is a quite long line, especially during weekends and festivals. So, if you can, it is better to visit Ratusha during the weekdays.
After getting your ticket, by the way prepare cash for that, you need to take over 300 steps up the tower. And I have to tell you that is not that easy, so please wear comfortable shoes for your sake and the sake of others, and don’t bring heavy backpacks. For those who are scared of heights (like me) the climb will not be pleasant at all and I have to do it every time someone from my friends or family visits me.
Very recently they opened a small café at the top of Ratusha, right before getting on the observational desk. I always get a new bottle of water since mine usually is empty by that time. The top of the Town Hall gives you opportunity to see the city with a 360° angel. You can see inside courtyards of old Austrian buildings that otherwise you never would have seen, unless you are staying there. You can also spot some of the ruined buildings from WWII that weren’t restored yet for some reason. And from the top of Ratusha you clearly can see the end of the old city with beautiful Austrian buildings and the beginning of the ugly “new city” with grey Soviet Union boxes (apartment buildings).
My average time that my friends and I spend at the top of Ratusha is not longer than 20 minutes and another 7 – 10 minutes to get down (it is way easier and faster to go down than up the stairs ).
Schedule: daily from 10:00 to 20:00 (summer schedule) and from 10:00 to 18:00 (winter schedule).
Price: for adults – 40 UAH per person, for children (up to 14 years) – 20 UAH.
Address: Sq. Rynok, 1