Shtetl Routes Tour - Ukraine

August 11th - 18th, 2019

Rootka Tours and “Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre” Centre invite you for a study tour to the former shtetls of nowadays Western Ukraine. Join us on a journey through the forgotten lands and learn more about Jewish cultural heritage in the small towns of the borderland area. The programme includes day trips to different shtetls, meetings with local experts, lectures, cultural events and many more.


The programme will be led by Prof Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern. As a specialist in the Jewish history of Ukraine, Prof Petrovsky-Shtern will accompany the tour with lectures about the history of the land and its communities, offering a wider perspective to the tours. 

Itinerary Highlights

August 11th, Lviv, Arrival in Lviv

  • Arrival in Lviv before 5 p.m., check-in, Bank Hotel

  • An introduction to the programme

  • A welcome dinner

  • Bank Hotel, Lviv

August 12th, Drohobych

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day programme in the region: 
     - Drohobych: Drohobych museum, the renewed great synagogue, the Bruno Schulz trail, the monument commemorating Jews executed in the Branicki forest

  • Dinner

  • Bank Hotel, Lviv

August 13th, Olesko - Brody - Ternopil

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day programme:
    -  Olesko: one of the best-know castles in Ukraine with history dating back to XIV century
    -  Brody - the remains of the Great Synagogue, the Jewish cemetery, the town centre and the Jewish district, the building of the Brody Gymnasium (attended by Joseph Roth)

  • Dinner

  • Avalon Palace Hotel, Ternopil

August 14th, Sataniv - Ternopil

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day programme:
     - Sataniv: the Jewish cemetery on the bank of the Zbruch, the recently renovated 17th-century synagogue, ruins of the old city gate
     - Afternoon: an optional walk around Ternopil city centre

  • Dinner

  • Avalon Palace Hotel, Ternopil

August 15th, Buchach - Chortkiv

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day program:
     - Buchach: the city centre and rococo town hall, the castle ruins and the Jewish cemetery; the birthplace of Shmuel Yosef Agnon and Simon Wiesenthal; a meeting with the head of Art-Dvir, Buchach
     - Chortkiv: the old synagogue (today a part of the Medical School), the New Synagogue (tzadik Moshe Friedman’s palace), and the town centre

  • Dinner

  • Avalon Palace Hotel, Ternopil

August 16th, Lviv

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Transfer to Lviv 

  • Half a day programme:
     - Lviv: the Rynok Square with the main historical sites of the old town, the Opera Theatre, the Catholic and the Armenian Cathedrals, the Jewish District including the new commemoration on the site of the former Golden Rose Synagogue

  • Shabbat dinner

  • Bank Hotel, Lviv

August 17th, Lviv

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Half a day programme (walking tour)
     - The Suburban Jewish District and the former Hasidic Synagogue, the area of the former old Jewish cemetery (nowadays Krakivski market) and the building of the former Jewish hospital founded by Rappaport, the monument for the victims of the Jewish ghetto

  • Free afternoon

  • Farewell dinner

  • Bank Hotel Hotel, Lviv

August 18th, Departure

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • The end of a tour

Our tour expert is prof Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies and a Professor of Jewish History in the History Department at Northwestern University (Chicago, USA). Prof Petrovsky-Shtern teaches a variety of courses, including early modern and modern Jewish History; Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah; history and culture of Ukraine; and Slavic-Jewish Literatures. He has published more than a hundred articles and six books, including The Golden-Age Shtetl: a New History of Jewish Life in East Europe, published in paperback by Princeton University Press, 2015, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

The tour leader is Agata Radkowska-Parka, founder of ROOTKA Tours, an experienced organizer of dozens of study tours in Poland and Ukraine.

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PRICE: 4800 PLN (approx 1260 $)

if you sign up before May 15th

5200 PLN (approx 1360 $) if you sign up after May 15th


The programme is conducted in English, therefore participants are required to have good English skills.


The programme includes

 - 4 nights in Lviv including breakfast at the Bank Hotel***** in twin room* (August 11-13, August 16-18)

- 3 nights in Ternopil including breakfast, at the Avalon Palace Hotel in twin room* (August 13-16),

 - Transportation within the programme,

- 7 dinners (all dinners will include 3 dishes, water and a coffee/tea)

 - Snacks and water on a bus,

 - A full-time tour leader and expert,

 - Guided tours and meetings with local experts,

 - Educational materials,

 - All taxes and fees,

 - Travel insurance on the territory of Ukraine.

* Single supplement is 950 PLN (approx 250 $)


Services not included

 - Travel to and back from Lviv,

 - Flights,

 - Transfers from the airport,

 - Transfers outside the announced arrival and departure dates,

 - Pre or post-tour hotels or other accommodation,

 - Meals and services not mentioned above,

 - Personal expenses,

 - Tips for guides and drivers.


Please note

The easiest way to get to Lviv is to take a flight to Lviv (LWO) We recommend to visit Lviv International Airport website to check connections

We will be happy to provide you transfers from the airport to the hotel and back for an additional 200 PLN (two transfers)



A deposit of 1500 PLN per traveler is required to sign up for the tour. 



To sign up for the tour, each traveler must fill in a reservation form and make a deposit of 1500 PLN. Upon payment of the deposit, ROOTKA Tours will issue an invoice. Reservation is only completed upon completing both these stages. Your deposit is fully refundable until April 15th, 2019. The second payment has to be paid no later than June 10th, 2019.


Cancellation and refunds

The Participant shall bear the following costs in case of cancellation:

a) 20% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 90 or more days before the arrival,

b) 30% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 66-89 days before the arrival,

c) 60% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 45-65 days before the  arrival,

d) 80% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 31-44 days before the arrival,

e) 100% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for less than 30 days before the arrival


By signing up for the tour, you accept the ROOTKA Tours Participation Conditions.




Shtetl Routes – Ukraine is one of three study tours prepared for 2019 season together with Shtetl Routes project experts, organized in cooperation with the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre.


The "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre is a municipal culture institution based in Lublin, which for the last 27 years has been working in the area of Jewish historical and cultural heritage and commemoration of the Shoah.


Shtetl Routes is one of the Centre’s projects, aimed to support the development of cultural tourism based on the Jewish heritage in Central and Eastern Europe.


ROOTKA Tours is a travel agency specializing in tailor-made tours and bookings related to Jewish heritage sites in Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Download the programme