Having been passed intermittently between Poland, the Ukraine and even Germany, Lithuania proudly wears the crown as geographical centre of Europe. Although the debate rages and the precise point may in fact lie 6km closer to Vilnius than the National Park celebrating this coveted position, Vilnius itself seems unaffected. Life runs at a very pleasant pace in the capital, even the street vendors pushing their dubious iconography do not do so hard enough to bother you. Although the architecture does not quite match that of other central European destinations, those who prefer to amble around, peering at the quaint peculiarities and supping the odd local beverage without much bother could do far worse than to spend a few days in Vilnius.


Set up as Vilnius’ own republic, the renegade district of Uzupis will provide plenty of inspiration for the boho wardrobe, and also contains a good range of quirky bars and restaurants. There are a couple of recently developed hostels which cater to those who like to live by their own set of rules, as one should in Uzipis, although they are a little out the way.

The Frank Zappa Statue - To be found between the old town and Orthodox church, now one of only two in the world, was created by the community of Uzupis. It’s more a head on a stick rather than a full statue, but it won’t take much to imagine him sat on the toilet.

Gediminas Castle – Providing spectacular views over the city and river Vilnia, the castle also houses a small museum which reports the history of the various castle sites across the city, and the prophetic dream which lead to its construction.

Hill of Three Crosses – After a healthy walk up the hill passed some rather open toilets, you are rewarded with another spectacular view of the city at the slightly more politically relevant site. The crosses mark the supposed site of the crucifixion of seven monks, the original crosses were torn down and buried under Stalin, but were rebuilt in 1989, and stand proud as a symbol of hope and independence.

Cathedral Square – Having spent 40 years as a Soviet art gallery, the Cathedral was restored to its former glory. Impressive as it is, there is no shortage of iconography or interesting churches Vilnius, and the square itself could be more worthy a look round. Although slightly depleted in the summer months, students hang about, music comes and goes in various forms and there is generally a good atmosphere to the square. This can all of course be observed seated and with a beverage.


There are two main regions, each clearly catering to a different interest, the Old Town is host to various markets and small boutiques selling art, souvenirs, amber and similar items. Gedimino street and the surrounding area has a range of shops where you can get kitted out in the latest Lithuanian fashions and peruse the latest novels, this type of shopping will only truly appeal to those who enjoy guidebooks with poorly written (but occasionally entertaining) English and/or wearing tight white denim.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Small restaurants line the streets of the Old Town, most with seating outside, serving a mixture of local food and more obvious western dishes. Classier establishments exist, but you appear to be paying for the décor rather than anything else. Haunts such as the hard to find Lokys, reward those willing to search with well cooked authentic dishes in a quaint but un-forced setting. Vilnius doesn’t seem to have latched onto the idea of street snacks so far, but good kebabs are readily available albeit served in an often synthetic setting. A fantastic middle ground is provided by the Chilli Pizza chain, with reasonable pizzas and a vibrant but not tacky vibe.

In order to capitalise on the influx of stag weekenders, many of the clubs in Vilnius offer cheap drinks deals, hire dancers and even female company who are employed to get drinks bought for them! This aside, there are a couple of classy (arguably snobbish) clubs such as Gravity or Intro, and downtown in Broadway some less orthodox and self-conscious styles of local dancing can be observed. Gediminas street has a few classy looking strip joints, although the girls on the many fliers strewn around the city and emblazoned on doors rarely seem to be working in the clubs they advertise. Apart from these more specialist clubs, entrance is rarely above 10 or 15 Lts.

Tourist Information

A multitude of signs lead you to the office, which is staffed by helpful English speaking staff who seem happy to book anything from trips to accommodation.

Address : Vilnius Tourist OfficeVilniaus 22Tel. +370 262 96 60 Fax. +370 262 81 69tic@vilnius.ltwww.vilnius-toursim.ltOpen daily :09:00-18:00except:Saturday: 10:00-16:00Sunday: 10:00-16:00


Roughly 5 km south of the city, the airport boasts two gates and a post office. Buses run from the train station, although being one of the less places to loiter, you would be well advised to hop in a taxi unless on a tight budget.