Lviv is the cultural capital of Ukraine and one of the places that everyone who wants to see Ukraine should visit. It is a small charming old European city with narrow streets and romantic cafes on every corner. But if you are looking for what souvenirs to bring home from Lviv, it means that you already know all of this.
Vyshuvanka are traditional Ukrainian clothes. The word “vyshyvanka” mainly is used to describe a shirt (for women and men) that is hand-embroidered with coloured threads. Nowadays this word is used to describe any embroidered clothes in Ukraine no matter if it is a T-shirt, shirt, or a dress.
This national attribute is highly respected and used only for special occasions. In summer Lviv and all of Ukraine hosts a Vyshyvanka festival. In that day everyone wears traditional clothes and jewellery. The city organizes outside concerts with singers and dancers. It is a great time to admire all kinds of different vyshyvanka.
You can buy a nice shirt or a dress all over Lviv. In the center there are lots of stores with souvenirs including vyshyvanka or just go to a small Lviv bazaar 5 minutes from the center where you’ll find a big variety of them.
Price: a good hand-embroidered vyshyvanka-shirt will cost not less than $50. Dresses – around $100. The ones that were made by machines are 50-80% cheaper.
Lviv is famous for the Lviv Handmade Chocolate Factory. This is the place to visit if you have a sweet tooth as well as if you want to bring something special and tasty from Lviv.
This place has everything you can imagine. There are some huge and super tiny chocolate bars. All kinds of animals made of chocolate. Guns and cars for boys, angels and dolls for girls, hearts, and even chocolates made to look like Kamasutra positions for lovers. A big variety of gift boxes with collections of different flavours are a great souvenir to take home. You can even make your own gift box with whatever flavours you like.
If you are not a fan of chocolate, but like sugar than you are in luck. Lviv has a great store full of amazing things made from sugar. You won’t pass this store unnoticed, since the whole city and a moving train made of sugar glass will get your attention.
Besides sweets made of hard sugar the store has lots of fantastic marshmallows and clear boxes of flowers made of jello. This is a perfect souvenir to bring from Lviv for kids.
You probably know that Lviv has a great craft beer scene, but what you don’t know is that Lviv is also famous for its hard alcohol like vodka and nalyvky. If you are looking for a traditional alcohol from Ukraine then you should buy Medovuha (honey vodka), Hrenovuha (horseradish vodka) and one which is considered a top vodka and it is famous around the world is Baczewski vodka (not a flavour but a brand).
Nalyvky is an alcohol that is a bit weaker than vodka (around 20%) made of different berries or fruits. The most popular nalyvka in Lviv is “Drunken Cherry”. There are few “Drunken Cherry” store-bars in the centre of the old town where you can try a glass of it. At the store you can also find souvenir boxes with a bottle of this nalyvka along with glasses.
Gasova Lampa has its own nalyvka store called “Galician Alchemy”. You can try some of it right there and buy a bottle as a souvenir to bring back home.
Red Korali are a traditional element of Ukrainian national clothing. It is a necklace that contains from 1 to 25 threads of red beads. Because the necklace was expensive the amount of threads and how big the beads were indicated how rich the family was. In the west of Ukraine, among the red beads, people added golden or silver coins with a hole for a tread. Those types of necklaces are called “dukach”. Such necklaces were traditionally given by a god father his goddaughter when she turns 1 year old. The girl kept the necklace and wore it just on big holidays.
So as you see behind this necklace is a storied history and a lot of Ukrainian traditions which make it a great souvenir brought from Lviv.
Lviv is a city of arts. Every day passing the streets of Lviv you can see people who sing, people who dance, and people who draw. If you are fan of art and are trying to bring back a painting from each country then go to the Lviv Bazaar where painters offer their creations.
There are lots of Lviv and Carpathian sceneries if you are interested, and of course many other things. There are even some portraits of old Lviv Jews that are counting money. The vendors say it should make you rich if you put it in the house, but it just makes me laugh. Nevertheless, the paintings are great and make nice souvenirs from Lviv.
Since the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 when our ex-president escaped to Russia and the war conflict with Russia began people created funny political souvenirs. For example, you can bring home a toilet paper or a door rug with Putin’s or Yanukovich’s face on it.
Pottery is very distinguished in Ukraine and that makes it a great souvenir. Actually, every region in Ukraine has its own style. The most popular modern interpretation of folkware in Ukraine is pottery that has a brown colour and is decorated with flower ornaments.
There are also a great deal of other styles that were created not long ago. Lviv souvenir shops have a large variety of traditional pottery and if you are a big fan of unique ceramics here is a link to my favourite Ukrainian pottery store online.
If you are in Lviv for a while and want to take a pottery masterclass, perhaps you’ll enjoy my article Pottery Class In Lviv. Here I go into detail about how I started taking a class with a great teacher. She can teach you traditional Ukrainian pottery techniques, or help you make something modern.
I know it is kind of weird to buy warm winter stuff if you came to Lviv in Summer or even Spring, nevertheless it is a great souvenir. If you come from some place with cold winters then you need to consider this option.
Lviv souvenir stores and the Lviv bazaar have some great, warm, cute, adorable socks, slippers, and mittens. There are some charming and soft vests that you can bring your grandma or mom to put on in cold weather while enjoying a nice cup of tea. You can also buy a soft white wool rug to put next to the fireplace like in those Hollywood movies.
One of the Lviv specialities is a big number of themed restaurants and cafes. Coffee Mine is such a place. This is a unique café with a dungeon which shows how coffee has been mined. Of course it is a joke, nevertheless the place is famous for good coffee. You just must get a cup of freshly ground coffee. The most special one you can get in the dungeon (there are a few tables). This coffee is cooked like a Creme Brulee (Except with a much more powerful torch) in front of you.
Before the exit you’ll get to a souvenir store full of every tool known to people to make coffee. There you also can find sweet liquors and syrups for adding in coffee and a great number of delicious treats that make your cup of coffee unique. And of course, the main thing that you can buy there is the coffee.
The place is full of other small stuff that might be of interest to you, so I say go to Lviv Coffee Mine, get a cup or two of the hot drink and then decide if you want to bring some back home.
Coffee Mine is featured in “Ten Lviv Museums You Should Visit”
Petrykivka painting is the traditional decorative painting style of Ukraine. People began to do this sometime in the 17th century in a village called Petrykivka, but until now it continues to develop as modern art.
Petrykivka painting is part of the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine and it is included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This style has distinct futures as its flower patterns and unique brush technique. Nowadays you can find this decorative style on wooden crafts such as jewellery boxes, wooden plates, vases, candle holders and other home stuff. These types of souvenirs can be found in some of the Lviv souvenir stores and at the Lviv Bazaar.