Red Corner: Undiscovered Lvov

Journalist Mat Schulz uses a very interesting strategy to figure out where to go on vacation. He types in “Stag Party” and the name of a certain town to see how many Google hits it gets. Too many is not a good thing and he heads elsewhere.

The point of this exercise was to illustrate just how “undiscovered” the Ukrainian city of Lvov is since it received no hits. Schulz then proceeds to spin the quintessential “go here before it is discovered and ruined by other tourists” yarn. And, he does it so perfectly and so eloquently, it leaves me itching to get myself there as soon as possible.

He starts off with the simple comparison that Lvov is a “much cheaper version of Vienna.” Wow. Great hook. He then tells us the city is awash with great architecture, cheap food and accommodations, plenty of museums, few tourists, an abundance of bars and cafes, no McDonald’s and an Old Town that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And, it’s easy to get to from London – just a simple Ryanair flight to the Polish city of Rzeszow and then a two hour train ride across the Ukrainian border. But that’s not all. Ukraine just dropped Soviet era visa requirements for most western nations so crossing the border is now a snap as visas can be purchased on the spot.

So I’m sold. I’ve been to Ukraine before, but not Lvov. It is now on my list. Just don’t show up with a stag party before I get the chance to visit.