Ivano-Frankovsk is the capital city of the Ivano-Frankovsk Region, which lies at the west of Ukraine. It is a relatively small city with a population of roughly 205,000 people. The size of the city only enhances its charm.
Ivano-Frankovsk started its existence as a fortress, which was built to protect the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth from repeated Tatar invasions. The fortress was a great success and it wasn’t long before the city-fortress began to grow under the safety provided by this fortification. The first historical evidence about the city dates back to 1662, when the Magdeburg rights were granted to it. The city went on to survive not only Tatar attacks, but also thrust upon it by Turkish and Russian invading forces. The Renaissance was a period of extensive growth and rebuilding, which lead to turning it in a somewhat more picturesque city. In fact it gained the nick-name 'little Leopolis' – Leopolis being the Latin name for Lvov. Also round that time Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine, became an important center of Armenian culture.
After Poland was divided up in the 'Partitions of Poland', Ivano-Frankovsk came under Austrian rule before falling under the domain of the autonomous Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. 1919 was a turbulent time for Ivano-Frankovsk, it was the subject of many Polish-Ukrainian skirmishes. It eventually ended up as the Second Polish Republic serving as the Stanislawow Voivodship capital. Eventually, in 1939 it was invaded by German and Soviet forces and attached to the Ukrainian SSR. Much of the Jewish population was murdered during the Nazi occupation, which was a very sad period in the city’s history.
Eventually, in 1962, the name was changed to Ivano-Frankovsk after the Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. The 1990s witnessed it becoming one of the centers of the Ukrainian independence movement. Today the city stands up proudly in its own right. It is a pretty city with both a victorious and sad history, which is interesting to explore should you have the time.
Today Ivano-Frankovsk is the city with considerable industrial, economic and scientific potential, with extensive opportunities for the development of both domestic interregional and foreign intergovernmental relations.
The city has a positive outlook because it is situated close to the Carpathian Mountains which are a unique region for tourism, rest and recreation. The geographic center of Europe is situated on the southern slopes of the mountains, 130 km from Ivano-Frankovsk. Picturesque lands of Hutsulshchyna, Pokuttia, Opillia, Boykivshchina give a chance for the guests of Precarpathian region to understand the soul of Ukrainian people better, to fall in love with Ukrainian songs, and to wonder mountain legends.
There are elegant models of the baroque style in architecture in the city, which enchant with its peculiarity. Architectural heritage of Ivano-Frankovsk has ancient European roots and is the sign of the central European identification.
The historical and cultural product, which attracts tourists, results from various interactions and dialogues of different cultures that are unique in Ivano – Frankovsk city.
The city of Ivano-Frankivsk has an extensive network of public transport including buses, trolleybuses, and taxis. There are nine trolleybus routes and about 52 for regular buses. Some of the routes run beyond the city into nearby villages.
There is one railway terminal locally known as Vokzal. There are also smaller rail stations in the adjacent villages such as Uhryniv, Khryplyn, and other. All of them are part of the Lviv Railways.
Until 2008 the railway terminal also housed a bus terminal which provided several inter-city bus routes, including some to international destinations. In 2000 construction work began on a new bus terminal next to the railway terminus on Zaliznychna Street. Inauguration of the new bus terminal took place on May 22, 2010. At the opening ceremony the mayor of the city, Viktor Anushkevichus, noted that the new bus terminal was only partially completed, and for a period it would be necessary to offload at the Pryvokzalna Square, which is already saturated with traffic. He also emphasised the need for another bus station on the outskirts of the city.
The city is served by the Ivano-Frankovsk International Airport, which gained international status in 1992.
Walking along the historical center, both citizens and visitors feel free and relaxed. It is just because reinforced-concrete buildings do not “suppress” a person. The one, who was lucky to come there in modern times, dazedly discovers the renovated and reconstructed Ivano-Frankovsk.
Ivano-Frankovsk is one of the cities, where evidences of the past have remained, being just slightly changed by the time. 49.5-meter temple with the gold-filled cupola stands in the center of the town, adjoining the old neighboring Marketplace.
Sightseeing of Ivano-Frankivsk:
Hundred Meter Street is the central street of the town. This is a favorite part of Ivano-Frankovsk both for locals and city visitors. There are many stories about this street. Best restaurants, bars and pizza shops located here. Everyone who visits Ivano-Frankovsk in Ukraine would love to see this area.
Art Museum in Ivano-Frankovsk is located in the Renaissance church of XVIII century, which contains unique monuments of the Galician iconography and Baroque sculptures, and works of Ukrainian artists of the second half of the XX century. The exhibition Art Museum presents a wide palette of decorative and applied art.
Kolomiysky museum of folk art Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttia is one of the oldest repositories of objects of Carpathians arts and crafts. In confirmation of this, the museum is listed in the Royal British Encyclopaedia as a museum of world’s masterpieces. The work of cultural and educational institutions is aimed at further revival of spiritual values, ethnic and cultural traditions of the region, and the disclosure of unknown pages of the history of Prikarpattya.
Armenian Church in the Baroque style was built in place of the wood one, which was founded in 1665. Two round towers flanking the main facade were significantly lower, and their completion - a baroque silhouette of helmets - replaced conventional bell shaped domes. There is a difference in configuration; it has a pediment and a small tower crowning a roof disappeared. Monument was again rebuilt in 1919 - 1930. In the interior there were wooden sculptures used which probably belonged to the cutter Poleevsky.
Bily Budynok is a big white building in the middle of the city situated next to the Market place. It is the main administration building of Ivano-Frankovsk. In front of the building there are two full-size sculptural monuments of Franko and Shevchenko.
The Market place is a huge area that covers the old market and the new market with couple of malls locally known as the universal stores.
Shevchenko Park is a big park that consists of an amusement park, a big lake with swans, couple of full-size football fields, and many others interesting places worth seeing.
Eating Out Places In Ivano-Frankivsk Central Streets:
Central part of Ivano-Frankovsk is meant for walking mostly. The very centre of the city is Ratusha, located in the Market Square. There are many cafes, bars, and shops in that area.
The main spots you can find there are Galant Cafe (have nice paintings for sale inside), some small shops, Beauty Centre, Bank, Bochka Beer House, Legenda Shopping Centre and Restaurant/Bar, Golden Start Cafe, Pluy Cafe, Pizza Plus, Microhvylka Bar, Slavootych Restaurant, Bank, Atrium Hotel, Churchill Restaurant, Baiser Patisserie.
Nezalezhnosti St. (Independence) is the main street of the town. The large part of it is for pedestrians only. Locals like walking around there. There are many bars, cafes and some restaurants in this part of the town.
Another central area of Ivano-Frankovsk is called Vichevyi Maidan with the fountain in the centre. You can visit Belveder Cafe and Celentano Pizza in Halytska St., Vienna Coffee Shop, Frankivskyi Restaurant in Bachynskogo St. and Staryi Stanyslaviv in Sichovykh Striltsiv St. there.
There is Present's Gallery and Eskizy Coffe shop in the basement at the very beginning of Nezalezhnosti St., right in front of Post Office.
Further down the street there are Coffee Kimbo, Valyazh Bar, Slovan Restaurant, Desyatka (Tenner) Beer House, Solo Cafe, Harmyder Art Cafe/ Yeah Book Shop, Ukrainian Word Books, Lileya Books, Repriza European Patisserie, Pizza Shop, Pizza Plus, Pegasus Restaurant, Pelican Bar.
You can also visit Sadko Restaurant and Bar by the city lake. There is a nice small colyba restaurant in Taras Shevchenko Park, just up from the pond.
Next to Shevchenko St. there are Mazepy St. with Horets Wine Cellar, Beer Restaurant, Chornovola St. with V.Chornovil Monument, where you can stop at Royal Restaurant and Khymera Bar Restaurant, Halka Coffee House, San Remo Pizza, Cheampions League Sports Cafe, and Konovaltsya St. that leads to the airport.
Auscoprut Hotel is situated on the northeastern part of the downtown area, inside the building which is an architectural sight of XX с. This buildings complex is considered to be one of the best architectural dominants of the city, as it retained its original facade and after reconstruction, that took place in 1992 acquired sophistication and became a city adornment. The hotel is located near the trading, business and historical parts of the city, and not far from the railway station and the airport, which is very convenient for guests' business and relaxation. Auscoprut hotel is the combination of elegance, conveniences, and high quality service.
Nadia Hotel is located in the heart of Ivano-Frankovsk city, behind the monument of Ivan Franko and next to the musical-drama theatre. You will be in the centre of the cultural life of the city.
Park Hotel is a fourstar hotel of Ivano-Frankovsk. Combination of city’s atmosphere in the foot-hills of the Carpathians and European service will make your stay here indeed unforgettable and pleasant. Safety, comfort and European level of service in Park Hotel attracts tourists, businessmen and guests of city here.
A successful place of location is one more advantage of Park Hotel, it is next to a city lake and a park – the one of the best areas of the city which adds feeling of comfort and strengthens the atmosphere of comfort.