- Eastern europe
8 Best Things to Do in Lutsk, Ukraine
Lutsk is one of the most ancient cities located in the Western part of Ukraine. It is the perfect stop to spend a night or 2 for those who are planning to visit the Tunnel of Love, one of the most photogenic train tracks in Ukraine.
Most people who travel to the Tunnel of Love either stops in Rivne or Lutsk. While Rivne is a bit bigger, Lutsk offers more things to do for travelers and I would recommend you choose Lutsk over Rivne for a stopover before you travel westward to Lviv.
Without further ado, here is everything you need to know to travel to Lutsk including 8 best things to do when you are there. Let's begin with my Lutsk things to do map and itinerary.Table of Contents
- Lutsk Things to Do Map
- Ukraine Travel Video
- When to Visit Lutsk
- Where to Stay in Lutsk
- How To Get To Lutsk, Ukraine
- How To Get Around Lutsk, Ukraine
- How Many Days to Spend in Lutsk?
- How Much Money Do I Need for Lutsk, Ukraine?
- Is it Safe to Travel to Ukraine?
- Internet in Lutsk
- Travel Insurance
8 Best Things to Do in Lutsk
- 1. Visit the Tunnel of Love on a Day Trip
- 2. Visit the Lubart's Castle
- 3. Walk along the Lesi Ukrainky Main Street
- 4. Visit Cathedral of the St. Peter and Paul
- 5. Visit the Dominican Convent
- 6. Check Out the House with Chimeras
- 7. Drop By the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
- 8. Have Breakfast at Frans.ua
- Further Reading for Ukraine
Lutsk Things to Do Map
Ukraine Travel Video
When to Visit Lutsk
The best time to visit Lutsk is in the summer from June - September. Thankfully, Ukraine has not suffered from overtourism like the rest of Europe yet so visiting in the summer, especially in a sleepy city like Lutsk, is highly recommended.
Where to Stay in Lutsk
Budget - Hostel Druzi - 7 USD/Night (Dorm) - One of the cheapest place you can get and most centrally located. One problem is the reception and the people staying there rarely speaks English so don't expect any socializing here if you don't speak Russian. That said, it's extremely clean and has a spacious dorm room with modern bathrooms and free water to refill.
Mid-Range - Rhombus Hotel - 36 USD / Night (Twin Room with Private Bathroom per 2 Rooms)
How To Get To Lutsk, Ukraine
How To Get To Kyiv from Abroad
First and foremost, to get to Lutsk, you will have to get yourself to Kyiv or Lviv and there are several ways you can do it.
If you are coming from the US, there is a direct flight from New York to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline that you can take directly to Ukraine or you can fly via several European airlines like KLM, Lufthansa, or Air France.
If you are in Europe, you can either fly with a low-cost airline like Ryanair, or you can simply travel by train from any of the main European hubs like Berlin, etc. Although, the time it takes to travel will increase considerably if you choose to use trains (24 hours from Berlin to Kyiv).
Last but not least, if you are in Asia, the simplest option is to fly directly from Bangkok to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline. They are cheap and fly direct to Kyiv in 11 hours.
Whenever it comes to finding a flight to Ukraine, I often use a combination of Skyscanner or Momondo to look for the cheapest route that best fit my schedule and I would recommend you do the same if you are looking for a flight to Ukraine.
How To Get from Kyiv To Lutsk
From Kyiv, you will have to get a marshrutka to Lutsk. You can book your bus/marshrutka on Busbud.com.
Depending on which bus you picked the pick-up location will differ but if you want to go the easy route, you can follow what I did and booked the 11:00 AM bus to Kovel operated by Voyag-Luks. They should stop in Lutsk on the way to Kovel.
The Voyag-Luks marshrutka leaves from the Kyiv Autobus Station near Kyiv Central Train Station which is easily accessible from the city center and it will cost you 350 UAH.
Be aware that the Voyag-Luks marshrutka doesn't leave at the platform, which I presume is reserved for big buses, but from the parking spot in the middle of the bus station instead so don't waste time trying to find which platform to stand on. Simply go ask the people in the ticket office or one of the drivers standing around in the parking spot.
I would recommend you arrive 30 minutes earlier so that you will have time to figure out where your marshrutka leaves from. Keep in mind that they use Cyrillic alphabets here in Ukraine and if you can't read it (like me), keep an eye out for Луцьк (Lutsk) or Ковель (Kovel) signs in front of a marshrutka.
Tips: If you are traveling in the summer, choose a seat where the windows can be opened because it gets really hot in the summer in Ukraine and marshrutka doesn't have the best ventilation.
How To Get from Lviv To Lutsk
If you are coming from Lviv in Western Ukraine, there are several marshrutkas daily (8 marshrutkas per day as of 2019) connecting the 2 cities together. It leaves between 7:10 AM to 6:30 PM, costs around 6 USD and takes 4 hours. You can book your bus/marshrutka on Busbud.com.
No matter where you are coming from, you will most likely be dropped off at Lutsk Bus Station where you can take a local bus from there to the city center.
How To Get Around Lutsk, Ukraine
Most of the tourist attractions in Lutsk are all within walking distance but what to do if you want to travel further or to get from Lutsk bus station to the city center? Local buses are the way to go and here is how to navigate the bus system without knowing a word of Ukrainian or Russian:
For local buses in Lutsk, Google Maps works really well in finding which bus number to take so I would recommend you use that if you have data on your phone.
To get from Lutsk bus station to the city center, you can walk to the Bus Station #1 bus stop, take the number #17A or #28 bus, get off at Senatorky Levchanivskoi Bus Stop, then walk east along Senatorky Levchanivskoi street and then you will be right at the Main Shopping Street.
Local buses in Lutsk work the same way everywhere in Ukraine where you simply press a bell button near the exit door to stop and pay the driver when you get off in cash. The bus in Lutsk costs 6 UAH per trip.
How Many Days to Spend in Lutsk?
Spending 2 nights will be enough for Lutsk as you will have one full day to explore Lutsk and the Tunnel of Love. My recommendation is to go to the Tunnel of Love in the morning and come back and explore the rest of Lutsk in the afternoon.
Looking for a way to the Tunnel of Love? A Guide on How To Get To The Tunnel Of Love In Ukraine.
How Much Money Do I Need for Lutsk, Ukraine?
The good thing about Lutsk is it's pretty cheap compared to a city like Kyiv or Lviv.
For food, if you are looking for a good meal, you can expect to pay around 50 UAH (2 USD) only. To give you an example, a good one-person sized pizza cost between 45 - 65 UAH.
For accommodation, if you don't mind staying in a hostel, one night can cost as low as 177 UAH (7 USD).
For public transportation, it will cost you only 6 UAH (0.25 USD) per trip.
For a day trip to the Tunnel of Love, the marshrutka ride to Klevan will cost you 55 UAH per trip while there is no entrance fee to the area.
With this information, we can calculate the minimum amount of money you will be spending for 2 nights in Lutsk. For 2 nights accommodation (177 x 2 = 354 UAH), 5 meals (50 x 5 = 250 UAH), 2 local bus rides (6 x 2 = 12 UAH) and a day trip to the Tunnel of Love via public transportation (55 x 2 = 110 UAH), we can expect to pay around 726 UAH or 29 USD minimum for the entire trip to Lutsk excluding transportation to Lutsk from elsewhere.
Is it Safe to Travel to Ukraine?
Most of Ukraine is safe to travel to. The conflicts are strictly contained in the most eastern parts of Ukraine so it is safe to travel to 90% of the country.
Lutsk is particularly safe especially for tourists as they do not get a lot of foreign tourists and so you are less likely to encounter scams as you would see in Kyiv.
All in all, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to traveling in Ukraine. I didn't feel threatened at all while traveling in Western Ukraine.
Internet in Lutsk
The hostel I stayed at and most restaurants I have been, don't have a fast internet connection like Kyiv and so if you are looking for a reliable way to stay connected, I would recommend you get a local sim card especially if you are planning to be in Ukraine for a while.
You can either get the one from Vodafone or Kyivstar. They both offer similar plans with data ranging from 2GB to unlimited costing between 55 UAH - 220 UAH.
For more information about Ukraine local sim card: Ukraine Prepaid Data Sim Card.
If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Ukraine, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.
8 Best Things to Do in Lutsk
1. Visit the Tunnel of Love on a Day Trip
Let's be honest, one of the reasons you would stop in Lutsk is to go to the Tunnel of Love and it only takes half a day to get there and back by public transport so that is why I put this at the top of the list.
I have written an extensive guide on how to get to the Tunnel of Love via public transportation so you can check it out if you are interested. Be aware that during the summer, there are tons and tons of mosquitoes ready to suck your blood dry so pack an insect repellent before heading there.
I would recommend you get the 10:00 AM bus from Lutsk to Rivne and get off at the intersection between Tsentralna Street and the H22 highway and then it is only 30 minutes walk from there.
To get back, you can flag down a marshrutka heading to Луцьк (Lutsk) on the same intersection you got off to get back to Lutsk. The whole process should take half a day where you can spend the rest of the day exploring Lutsk.
2. Visit the Lubart's Castle (Lutsk Castle)
One of the most important tourist attractions in Lutsk is Lubart's Castle. The castle was built in the mid-14th century by Liubartas (Lubart), the last ruler of united Galicia-Volhynia.
The castle may seem familiar even if you haven't visited it before because the castle is proudly displayed on the 200 UAH banknote.
There are several structures you can explore within the castle wall like the armory, the towers, and the museums. You can even get up to the top of the main tower if you get a tour guide at the entrance. Unfortunately, there were none when I was there so I didn't get up to the top.
It takes around an hour to see most of the castle. The entrance fee is only 20 UAH so it is a no-brainer to visit the castle if you have a day in Lutsk.
3. Walk along the Lesi Ukrainky Main Street
Lesi Ukrainky is the main pedestrian street where you will find a slew of restaurants, clubs, and cafes for you to indulge yourself in.
The Lesi Ukrainky Main Street is also a place where the locals like to hang out in the evening and at night so if you are looking for some action or nightlife, this is the place to be.
In the evening, there will be several street performers along the main street to keep you entertained while you find a place to sit and have a nice dinner while watching people go by.
4. Visit Cathedral of the St. Peter and Paul
One of the most prominent Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Ukraine is the Cathedral of the St. Peter and Paul. Despite being mostly Orthodoxy, Ukraine has a fair-share of Catholics in the western part of the country due to the annexation of the Kingdom of Ruthenia by the Kingdom of Poland in the 14th Century.
The Cathedral of the St. Peter and Paul was built in the 15th century in a Classicist style with an emphasis on symmetry, proportion, and geometry of the structure reflecting the architecture of the Ancient Rome, as you can see from the picture.
It may not be as impressive as other cathedrals in Europe but since it is near Lubart's Castle, you can stop here for a bit before continuing on to explore Lutsk further.
5. Visit the Dominican Convent
Another great place to stop by in Lutsk is the Dominican Convent, which is only a 5 minutes walk away from the Cathedral of the St. Peter and Paul.
The Dominican Convent is the first Catholic monastery in Volyn, a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe, situated between south-eastern Poland, south-western Belarus, and western Ukraine.
The building dated back around late 16th century AD and it is built in a Classicist style with a beautiful combination of red velvet and white paint giving it a standout look from the rest of the churches here in the city.
By walking to the Dominican Convent, you will also get to see the neighborhood around it and how people actually live in this area which is always interesting to see when visiting an off-the-beaten-path city like Lutsk.
6. Check Out the House with Chimeras
Photos by Boris Mavlyutov.
The House with Chimeras in Lutsk is one of the most picturesque residential building in Lutsk. What stands out most about the house is all the different styles of sculptures that decorated the house.
From mystical animals and fairy-tales creatures in different style including gothic, renaissance, modern, and more, the house is almost as psychedelic as the one you find in Barcelona.
Although, the ones you find in Barcelona is designed by Gaudi, this one is built by a local sculptor, Nikolai Golovanov who lived there and use the house as his workshop.
7. Drop By the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
Photos by Prymasal.
If you backtrack your way up the Lesi Ukrainky Main Street far enough, you will be at the Theatre Square where, if you look to your right, you will find the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, another great piece of architecture to see while in Lutsk.
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is another Catholic turned Orthodox cathedral built in 18th Century in a Baroque-style where you will be able to see both the Orthodox and Catholic influence in its interior decor.
Be sure to get inside and look up at the beautiful interior of the cathedral when you are in Lutsk.
8. Have Breakfast at Frans.ua
Last but not least, if you are looking for a nice place to sit and relax with a cup of coffee, breakfast or a plate of pastries, Frans.ua is a great place to do so.
They are open from 7:30 AM to 10 PM making it a great place to drop by for breakfast and grab a cup of coffee. They have several bakery items and pastries for you to choose from and it costs around 15 - 25 UAH (0.5 - 1 USD) each.
They also have both outside and inside seatings making it a perfect place to escape the summer heat during the day or enjoy the street performances along the Lesi Ukrainky Main Street in the evening.
And there you have it, a complete guide on things to do in Lutsk. Again, if you have any questions regarding visiting Lutsk, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments below.
Further Reading for Ukraine
Looking for more information for your trip to Ukraine? Here is a collection of articles about Ukraine that might help you with your trip planning:
- Ukraine is one of the few hidden gems left in Europe and in order to see the country and all it has to offer, you will need a complete travel guide. Here is a One Month Itinerary for Ukraine.
- Ukraine has recently loosened up their borders a little to non-European travelers with an E-Visa program. Here is my experience applying for an E-Visa for Ukraine and things I wish I knew before applying.
- Of course, one of the reasons why you are visiting Ukraine is to learn more about Chernobyl nuclear disaster and what better way to learn about it than to go in the field and see it with your own eyes. Here is a complete guide on how to visit Chernobyl.
- If you think Kyiv is just good for Chernobyl and Brutalist architecture enthusiasts, then you are in for a big surprise when you find out how awesome the city is. Here are top 18 things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- Are you a coffee snob like I do? If so, then you will love Kyiv and its unmatched indie cafe-culture. Here are 8 best indie cafes you should check out in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- The Tunnel of Love is one of the most photogenic attractions in Ukraine, and it would be a shame to miss it on your trip to Ukraine. Here’s a complete guide on how to visit the Tunnel of Love independently.
- Lviv is the cultural capital city of Ukraine. It is what St. Petersburg is to Russia, Prague is to Czechia, and Krakow is to Poland. It is the most European city out of all Ukraine and it has so many things to do, you will need a great guide to navigate it. Here are 10 Best Things you should do in Lviv, Ukraine.
- Lviv is another great city to go cafe-hopping if you love coffee and here are my Top 10 Cozy Cafes in Lviv you should check out.
- Getting bored of cities? How about we go and hike some of the stunning trails in the Carpathian Mountains? Here is a complete hiking guide to Yaremche and Ukraine Carpathian Mountains.
- One of the most impressive architectural wonders in Ukraine is Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, a remnant from the Austro-Hungarian Empire time that still survives today. Here are 7 Best Things to Do in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.
- Kamianets-Podilskyi, an island city home to Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Ukraine, is a place that seems like it came straight out of a fairy tale and a place that you should not miss. Here’s a backpacking guide and top 8 things to do in Kamianets-Podilskyi.
- Odesa is known as the Pearl of the Black Sea and in order to understand why you will need to dive deep into its history and even further down underground into its infamous catacomb. Here is a complete guide on tourist attractions and 8 great things to do in Odesa.
- You may not have heard of Kharkiv before, but once you see what I saw when I was traveling in that city, your mind will be blown away at how beautiful it is. Here are the 10 best things to do in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
- Did you know that Kharkiv is also home to the prettiest metro stations in Ukraine? Here are 8 most beautiful metro stations to check out in Kharkiv.
- My words are not convincing you about traveling to Ukraine? How about you see it for yourself with my Ukraine travel video? Ukraine Beyond Travel Video
- Want to know where to go after Ukraine? How about visiting Poland, drop by Kosice in Slovakia or go bar-hopping in Budapest, Hungary? We have travel guides for those too.
- For all articles about Ukraine, visit Ukraine Travel Guide page.
- You can see all my Eastern Europe related articles on my Eastern Europe Travel Guide page.
- You can also see all my Europe related articles here: Europe Travel Guide page.
- For more of my travel guides like this, visit my Destinations page.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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