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The Kosmonaut

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Hostelz.com's Review
Kosmonaut Hostel is an excellent choice for lodging in Lviv for either short- or long-term stays. The hostel's kitsch retro theme sparks an engaging informality and offers an insight to Western travelers that people deep behind the Iron Curtain are just like you and me despite the volumes of political bluster from both sides. The hostel, housed in a building erected by the Hapsburgs, is approximately three hundred years old but doesn't look a day over two hundred fifty.

The Location

The hostel is located in the city's old quarter and is one and a half block from Svobody Square. The hostel is one block away from the tram line that connects to the train station and is also one block away from the city bus line that goes to the bus station that serves international destinations. Follow the directions to the hostel that the staff sends out closely so you can arrive without hassle. Take three minutes to learn how to read "Center" in Cyrillic and you will never be lost in Lviv. All you need or want is close by -- shops, cafes, museums, wild architecture, electronic gadgets, and superb Ukrainian culture and cooking. The best time to orbit Svobody Square seems to be right after work and the area rates high in personal safety.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are large, airy, and are offered in a variety of arrangements from private double to twelve-person dorm. Arrangements can be made for large groups or single sex dorms. The beds are Ikea bunk beds and the linen is in very good condition. The three bathrooms are being remodeled to the detriment of the thematic Soviet crustiness and hot water is plentiful, so go right ahead and act decadent. The laundry machine works, detergent is for sale, towels are dispensed with a deposit, and iron and relevant board are available. Wi-Fi is available in rooms and a terminal is available in the lobby. Smoking is allowed outside.

Common Spaces

The common spaces consist of the lobby and kitchen. The lobby is a temporary place and is spacious enough to complete its mission. This is where you'll find the front desk, email terminal, and a small offering of English language books and the locked left luggage room. The kitchen is mostly modern with a new fridge, microwave, and drinking water dispenser and doubles as lounge. The hotplates are slow in warming and the hot water pot releases scale into the pot, but other than that it's a fine place to cook a meal after buying fresh food at the market. The staff check for cleanliness and order during the day so don't be a Kosmo-naughty. People are eager to talk at the kitchen table until 11 p.m. when enforced silence occurs. As stated in its ads, free breakfast is included and leftovers are kept so you can snack all day.

Summary

You'll have all of your needs met at The Kosmonaut, comrade, so have a blast. The enthusiastic staff are available twenty-four hours a day and are fluent in a variety of languages. Everything you need is close by and the hostel posts a daily events menu to make you aware of offerings you may have otherwise missed. Lviv is indeed open to the world and is eager for your attention.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
June 2009

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is The Kosmonaut rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
81%
86%
86%
83%
74%
69%
Hostels.com  
68%
66%
73%
80%
66%
60%
HostelBookers  
85%
84%
88%
89%
82%
82%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
78%
79%
82%
84%
74%
70%
The Kosmonaut Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Ok place but ... We came in off a night bus. The directions from the bus station were not that good and we spent almost three hours trying to find our way to the place. Finally ended up taking a taxi not even five minutes away from the hostel. Part of the issue is that the directions were not good. Part were our fault for not knowing the language or alphabet. Part was the bus driver not telling us when to get off like my google translated message asked him to. We ended up going to the end of the line of bus 3A which in itself wasn't too bad as it was central. However, the directions said to get off at a certain monument and that it was on the main street. We finally found the main street but none of the monuments were named so we had no idea. Our google map could not find the address as it was in the other alphabet and we had the Latin alphabet spelling. So my suggestion is to just take a taxi from the bus station. In the end it will be better. But if you do take the 3a bus from the bus station, here are my best directions. At the end of the bus line, turn back the way you came and look for the big pale green building. It looks like it needs a power washing and paint job. It is right next to the Opera House and you should see it when you turn back to the main road. Walk that way. In front of the Opera House is the main street Svobody Prospect. Walk all the way to the end of the street, about 10 minutes. It has a very pretty tree lined pedestrian middle. A street or two right before building will not let you go any further, turn right on to Kopernyka. You will have to look back at the street sign because he street sign you will see as you are walking will be a different name. While on Koperniyka, walk down to the stop light. You won't see it until you are pretty much there and then turn left on Stefanyka Street. (directions given to us said the turn right). You will see a statue in front of the library. The building will say bibliotek but you have to look in between the trees for it. If you go right by mistake, you will also see a statue in front of a library looking building. (See why we walked around for three hours?) Turn left on Chaikous'koho street. Then right on Tomashivs'koho St. There is no sign for the hostel. I don't know why most hostels in Ukraine do not have signs out front. Ok, now on to the hostel itself. To say the least we were very frustrated when we got there and then the taxi wanted to trip charge us what we thought we had agreed on so I became an ugly American for a moment. That doesn't happen often but after a night bus with no sleep, three hours of being lost, no one on the street helping us, and then the taxi driver getting lost and wanting to over charge us, I had enough. The hostel guy did help out a lot and we were very grateful. There was also a girl the next day that was very helpful as well. It was also very centrally located. The hostel itself is a small apartment converted to a hostel. It had one shower and two separate toilets. It did have two shower heads in the same room with one curtain separating them. However, you are going to lock the door when you go in (as there is practically no privacy) so it effectively becomes one shower for the whole hostel. The toilet furthest from the kitchen doesn't really flush well so don't go #2 in it. There was hot water the first day. No hot water the 2nd day and I was the first one up. By the time we left in the afternoon, there was still no hot water. I think the water heater broke. Fair enough as these things happen. There was practically no common room as it was basically a kitchen with a small table and a twin bed for the night worker to sleep. So you basically spent most of your time in your dorm room or out on the tiny balcony chatting with the smokers. The kitchen ... it was ok however the electric kettle didn't work so I microwaved my cup of water for tea. Free tea. The hostel was clean and the dorm rooms were big enough. There were no lockers except for the one they offered at reception. Our particular beds were not comfortable at all but it looked like the other ones were ok. We actually moved over to another hostel after our original two days because of the beds. All said ... if you take a taxi and can find the place and if you are ok with only one shower and no common room to speak of, this is an ok place. I have stayed in much worse places and much better. We stayed in four places in Ukraine and the bathroom situation seems to be common. At least this place had two separate toilets. The lack of good directions seem to be common as well. I don't think they understand that foreigners that are not used to the Cyrillic alphabet need precise directions and that bus drivers are normally not very helpful -- even if they try to be which only one is seven days of travel in the Ukraine did. If you can download a Cyrillic alphabet on your phone before you go to the Ukraine, it may help as then everyone can type in what they are trying to tell you.  ()
4   Pretty good and very central Really liked this place. Slightly grubby in spots (part of the soviet charm?) but friendly and helpful staff, very good location, nice big kitchen/common room with interesting stuff to look at, good wifi. Was there in winter and it was warm without being stuffy. Also not too busy -- I can imagine a bit of pressure on water, bathrooms, and general space, when it's full.  , UK ()
5   A rough diamond that sparkles Hard to fault, an eclectic mix of soviet era museum pieces and extremely helpful and friendly NON-soviet staff. A unique hostel experience. Thanks to the two Maryannas and Bogdan for making my stay so enjoyable.  , USA ()
3   Good but mixing groups and backpackers ruins the place This is a great place like everyone says but twice when i stayed there there were large groups taking up half the hostel, this ruin the place for the backpackers. This place does not carter to the backpacker, but to school kids, and other large groups so be warned.  , USA ()
5   Awesome This was one of my best stays ever. At the beginning i wanted to stay just two nights, but the atmosphere over there make me stay one more. Everything is there and girls at the reception are very helpful. That hostel -- awesome!  , Poland ()
5   Very good! I enjoyed very much the hostel. Staff were great and very nice. People were helpful. The hostel is ideally located in the center. I highly recommend this place!  , Belgian ()
1   Does not have enough water for all the backpackers to take a shower The Hostel does not have enough water for all the backpackers to take a shower, very irritating to say it in a nice way. The place had drunken friends of the owner hanging out there and the hostel was not very clean. One good thing I can say it has got big beds and ok location.  , USA ()
5   A classic Hostel A classic hostel in the center of Lviv. All the things you need here plus good staff and informative. Lviv was a big surprise for us even as Polish (former Polish city!).  , Poland ()

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