Maps Events Restaurants Cafés Nightlife Sightseeing Shopping Hotels
Vilnius December 2016 - April 2017
Vilnius in 48 hours
inyourpocket.com N°120 - €1
Vilnius in 48 Hours
Five secrets of Vilnius
Arriving & Getting Around
Vilnius’ beautiful cemeteries
The five Lithuanias
Where to get off and how to stay afloat
Some simple differences worth knowing
History A mind-boggling millennium
Culture & Events Art, photography and the rest
The capital’s kitchens in all their glory
Lithuania’s former capital uncovered
Old Town cocktail crawl!
Campsites and presidential suites for all
Lithuanian beer – a guide!
Maps & Index
Where to party in Vilnius
Sightseeing A fully comprehensive guide
Vilnius at night
City centre map City map Street index Index Lithuania map
92-93 94-95 96 97 98
December 2016 - April 2017
Foreword Vilnius has loads to offer – yes, even outside of summer! It’s easy to sit with a warming drink by a log fire in one of the cosy bars and restaurants in and around the city, longing for the open-air buzz of atmospheric summertime Old Town courtyards, but you’d be missing out on another special side to Vilnius. Thick snow, when it falls, can turn these lanes echoey and magical, making the little curiosity shops even more inviting and the candlelit interiors of the Baroque churches even more enchanting. Later come the first signs of spring, the snow and ice melting under the sun and blue sky, bringing their own spirit and arrival of new life.
Publisher Vilnius In Your Pocket Bernardinų 9 - 4, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370) 52 12 29 76 email@example.com, www.inyourpocket.com ISSN 1392-0057 ©UAB “VIYP” Printed by UAB “Lietuvos ryto” spaustuvė Published three times per year
For the first time at Vilnius in Your Pocket, we experimented with a fun-filled Old Town ‘cocktail crawl’, the blurry results of which are published in these pages next to our feature on local beers. And in this issue we include features on the city’s unique architecture, its peaceful cemeteries, where to explore in the rest of Lithuania and other recommendations for you. We also have an expanded Leisure section giving ideas for activities you can enjoy, in groups or alone, whatever the weather’s like. So whether you’re in town for just a couple of days or until our next printed guide, in May 2017, have a flick through – and for many, many more of our fully objective reviews, check out our phone-friendly website at inyourpocket.com/Vilnius.
Editorial Editor Howard Jarvis Layout & Maps Tomáš Haman Researcher Eglė Bielinytė Cover Photo © Rūta Stončiūtė Sales & Circulation Publisher Vilnius In Your Pocket General Manager Rūta Stončiūtė Accounting VšĮ “ACORDO” Sales Manager Tel. (+370) 61 04 68 64.
This guidebook and all of our other Lithuanian guides are available for sale from kiosks, tourist information centres, the Vilnius In Your Pocket office and other outlets throughout Vilnius and Lithuania as well as online at www.inyourpocket.com. Complimentary copies of Vilnius In Your Pocket are also available in many hotels.
Maps are the property of UAB IYP. Text and photos copyright UAB VIYP 1992-2017; some photos, LATGA-A; maps, cartographer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardinų 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370) 52 12 29 76).
Most tours and explorations of Vilnius start at the Cathedral and its bell tower. Look up, down and around, at the richly adorned upper façade, and inside in the crypt and St Casimir’s Chapel.
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4 Vilnius In Your Pocket
In Your Pocket, the world‘s leading publisher of locally-produced city guides since 1992, recently launched a brand new smartphone app: In Your Pocket City Essentials. Featuring only handpicked venues and sights alongside essential travel information, these city guides have been carefully crafted by our local editors and include only the places they are happy to recommend. The app - available on both iOS and Android - is free, and works offline. Go to iyp.me/app on your smartphone to download it. To keep up with all that’s new at In Your Pocket, follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/inyourpocket) or Twitter (twitter.com/inyourpocket). vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Vilnius in 48 Hours With so much to see and do, there’s no reason to squeeze a stay in the Lithuanian capital to just two days. But if you’re time-challenged, here’s how to get the most out of it. DAY 1 - OLD TOWN With our Vilnius Centre map as a guide, start your stroll in front of the gleaming façade of the Cathedral, with a peek inside at the Baroque St Casimir’s Chapel on the right at the back. Walk across the square to meet Grand Duke Gediminas searching for his horse, then into the park to find the path that winds around Gediminas Hill. Snap a few photos on the viewing platform at the top of the castle before retracing your steps down to the park. Feeling active enough for another fine viewpoint? Find the footbridge over the Vilnia and climb the sandy steps to the Three Crosses. Either way, green and serene Bernadine Park leads around the back of picture-perfect Gothic redbrick St Anne’s and Bernadine churches. Over the road, the Amber Museum is a brilliant introduction to the mysterious ancient sap. Pilies Street is great for shopping, or for lunch or a snack if you’re feeling peckish. Forto Dvaras makes an entertaining stop for local cuisine. In a courtyard further up the hill is Balta Balta, selling handcrafted products by local artists with ecological materials and natural dyes. Latako will then take you down to the self-proclaimed artists’ republic of Užupis, its angel statue, witty nailed-to-thewall constitution and countless galleries, cafés and quirky details. Don’t be afraid to peer into people’s courtyards. Back on Didžioji Street, either via steps from the occasionally busy Tymo Market to the Bastion or crossing Bokšto, head south to go Baroque hopping between churches while getting diverted to shops selling linen, amber, glass, clay and other souvenirs. See the Basilian Gate with its all-seeing eye, the three mummified saints inside the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, St Theresa’s glorious interior if it’s open, and then reverently climb steps through a streetside door, on the left towards the top of Aušros Vartų Street, to come face-to-face with the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary and her many silver hearts inside the Gates of Dawn. After all this sightseeing it’s time for dinner, wine and local beer. The Old Town has dozens of stylish upmarket restaurants in the vicinity like the fish-centric Žuvinė at the back of the Town Hall, but if you’re looking for something more affordable try the German cuisine of Bunte Gans on Aušros Vartų or Kitchen on Didžioji. Cosy bars line the way too, like Dirty Duck, or try Pabo Latino for a clubbier feel. Alternative bars lie close to the Gates of Dawn too, like Bukowski, Turgus, Kablys and Peronas. DAY 2 - OLD TOWN AND BEYOND Now it’s time to look at Vilnius in a bit more depth, with glances at its enlightened past and also at more troubled times. Vilnius University is fascinating with its maze of courtyards and corridors, which you’re free to explore though you may be charged a small fee at either of its entrances (Universiteto or Šv Jono streets; it’s closed on facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
Sundays). This grand old dame is almost 440 years old and despite periods of closure and repression it’s professors and students have persisted with their studies for centuries. In the upper courtyard, take a snap of the gorgeous façade of the Church of Sts John and take a look inside, before whizzing up the separate Belltower in the lift for marvellous Old Town views. In the lower courtyard, buy a tome in the beautifully adorned Littera bookshop and, nearby, take pictures of the amazing murals found in an entrance to the left of the shop. Next wander lanes like Gaono, Zydu and Stikliu with their tiny shops and cafés for a sense of the once huge Jewish community tragically annihilated during the war. There used to be so many prayer houses, synagogues and workshops where trades like glassblowing were practiced. Nearby, Vokiečių Street is loaded with cafés and restaurants for every budget. After you’ve eaten, pass Baroque St Catherine’s to find two museums presenting grim but essential insights into Lithuania’s recent past. The Holocaust Museum, set inside a green wooden house up a tiny lane from Pamėnkalnio, is as much about the once thriving Jewish communities as the calamitous way they were lost. A little further on, the Genocide Museum, set within the former cells of the much-feared KGB building, reveals in chilling detail the brutal way the Soviets treated political prisoners until well into the late 1980s. In the square opposite stood a gigantic Lenin until it was removed by crane to cheering crowds in 1991. But now you’re free – to wander up and down central Gedimino Prospect at will. Westwards will take you past restaurants and upmarket clothes stores to the angular Parliament building and over the River Neris to Žvėrynas, whose grid of leafy streets and occasional tumbledown wooden houses are fun to explore. To eat here, try Panama, or walk back down Gedimino for grills at The Town or massive burgers at Boom Burgers, then beers at Craft & Draft (a new place at Gedimino 5) and cocktails in Paparazzi. December 2016 - April 2017
Arriving & Getting Around
The speed people drive in Vilnius can be breathtaking. | Gabrielius Jauniškis
ARRIVING IN VILNIUS The three main points of arrival in Vilnius offer very different experiences indeed, making your first few minutes in the city anything from a pleasure to a pain. Improvements are taking place all the time. Print copies of Vilnius In Your Pocket can be bought from kiosks inside the airport, bus and train stations for just €1. BY BUS Vilnius’ bus station (autobusų stotis) is located less than 1km south of Old Town in a less than salubrious, albeit perfectly safe area. Most facilities are located inside one large grey building and include kiosks and shops for snacks, maps, cigarettes and prepaid mobile phone cards, downstairs toilets (€0.29) and ATMs. For 24-hour currency exchange, use the Medicinos bank across the street and just to the right of the train station. A bagažinė for left luggage is located outside at the far end of the platforms. Getting to town Get to Old Town in a few minutes by turning left on exiting the station and walking down the hill (Sodų). Countless buses, minibuses and trolleybuses can be found in the immediate area, all going off in different directions around the city and none of them offering a lot of help for people who don’t speak Lithuanian. Among the useful services going through the city centre are trolleybus Nº2 and bus Nº1G. Buy a ticket from the driver for €1, punch it in the ticket puncher, and off you go. Taxis are parked here and there. Be sure to negotiate a fare before you leave. Expect to pay €6 or even more for a short trip to Old Town. Calling one in advance is the best option. 6 Vilnius In Your Pocket
BY PLANE Vilnius International Airport (Tarptautinis Vilniaus Oro Uostas) is just 5km south of the city centre. Even if you’re landing from a non-Schengen country, arrival formalities are quick and relatively straightforward. After collecting your luggage enter through the electric sliding doors into the Arrivals Hall, an experience which is not unlike stepping into the ticket hall of 19th-century provincial train station. There you’ll find a kiosk for snacks, maps, cigarettes and prepaid mobile phone cards, ATMs, currency exchange offices and a small tourist information kiosk. Toilets are to the left, and car rental companies to the right. Getting to town A taxi to Old Town using one of the vehicles parked outside the arrivals terminal will cost about €15 or possibly considerably more depending on the cheek of the driver. Calling one in advance will cost a lot less. If you don’t know how to do it yourself ask the people in the tourist information kiosk to order one for you. If you’re travelling to the city centre and want to save a small fortune, take public transport. Bus Nº88 goes to the Old Town, Nº1 goes to the train station and rapid bus Nº3G to Lukiškių Aikštė (Juozo Tumo-Vaižganto stop) and north over the river past the Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva. The bus stop is to the left of the taxi stand, and timetables are posted at the stop. Buy a ticket from the driver for €1, punch it in the ticket puncher, and off you go. Alternatively, hop on a train and in less than 10 minutes be at the train station in the centre of the city. Buy a ticket on board for just €0.72. The airport train station can be found along the road outside the main exit and on the left. Trains leave every hour or so from around 06:00 until 21:30, with a journey time of just seven minutes. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Arriving & Getting Around BY TRAIN The train station (geležinkelio stotis) is fairly large by local standards. Find kiosks and shops for snacks, maps, cigarettes and prepaid mobile phone cards scattered in and around the building, toilets downstairs for €0.29, ATMs and a 24-hour Medicinos bank outside to the left for changing money. Getting to town Get to Old Town in a few minutes by going straight ahead on exiting the station and walking down the hill (Sodų). The train station is just across the street from the bus station. See By bus for more information about getting to the centre by public transport.
TRAINS Vilnius’ main train station (geležinkelio stotis) handles services to a number of destinations within Lithuania as well as international trains to Belarus, Russia and Latvia. Most tickets can be bought from a row of kiosks to the right of the main entrance. Tickets for international trains can also be purchased from a small office inside and immediately to the left of the main entrance. The general rule is that tickets stop being sold 10 minutes before a train is due to depart. With the exception of some international services, tickets can be bought on board trains from the conductor for which a €1.45 commission is charged. TRAIN STATION (GELEŽINKELIO STOTIS) Buses are usually quicker, more flexible and more popular than trains in Lithuania, but rail services to some places, such as Kaunas, are generally excellent.QI‑12, Geležinkelio 16, tel. (+370) 70 05 51 11, www.litrail.lt. Ticket office open 24hrs. J
AIRPORT TRAIN SCHEDULE From Vilnius Dep. Arr. 05:45 05:52 08:00 08:07 08:45 08:52 09:35 09:42 11:00 11:07 11:45 11:52 12:48 12:55 13:30 13:37 14:06 14:13 14:50 14:57 16:05 16:12 16:57 17:04 17:45 17:52 19:20 19:27 20:25 20:32 22:00 22:07
Destination AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT AIRPORT
To Vilnius Dep. Arr. 05:57 06:05 08:12 08:20 08:57 09:05 09:47 09:55 11:12 11:20 11:57 12:05 13:00 13:08 13:42 13:50 14:18 14:26 15:05 15:13 16:17 16:25 17:12 17:20 17:57 18:05 19:32 19:40 20:37 20:45 22:16 22:24
Correct at the time of going to press and subject to change during the lifetime of this guide. More information at www.litrail.lt Valid until April 30, 2017. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
VILNIUS AIRPORT VILNIUS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (TARPTAUTINIS VILNIAUS ORO UOSTAS) Vilnius International Airport, situated approximately 5km south of the city centre, is small and relatively easy to use. A restaurant and bar can be found above the main entrance for fond farewells and devilishly expensive cognac. A limited hotchpotch of Duty Free shops and cafés are located the other side of customs control. Free wireless internet is available throughout the airport. To get there by bus (see Public transport for information on tickets), take Nº3G from Lukiškių Aikštė (Juozo TumoVaižganto stop) or Nº1 from the train station, or use the shuttle train service that departs from the train station every 30 minutes between around 06:00 and 21:30. Buy a ticket on board the train for just €0.72. A taxi from Old Town currently costs around €15 using a hotel-booked firm, although you can pay considerably less if you can get a friendly local to order you one from a cheaper company. By calling the right company in advance (try tel. (+370) 52 66 66 66) a recent visitor to the city managed to make the trip for just €5.QRodūnios Kelias 2, tel. (+370) 61 24 44 42, www.vno.lt. Open 24hrs.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT Served by a chugging and buzzing network of hardworking buses and trolleybuses, the capital’s public transport services wake up at around 5am and continue through the day before stopping not much later than 11pm. A nightbus service now operates on Friday and Saturday nights up until around 3am, as well as on New Year’s Eve and one or two other special occasions. Getting about is cheap, and relatively easy once you get the hang of the basics. If you haven’t bought a ticket from a kiosk, buy one directly from the driver, then validate it by punching it in the punching machine. Public transport can be very crowded during peak hours, allowing you to rub up close against the locals. Watch your pockets. BUSES & TROLLEYBUSES All buses and trolleybuses in Vilnius are owned and operated by the Municipality. Paper tickets for single journeys are no longer available from kiosks and can only be bought from the driver, with the fare currently priced at €1 for a single journey on one vehicle. Unless you plan on spending a lot of time using public transport whilst in Vilnius, this relatively simple system should be more than adequate although it’s worth mentioning the alternative, namely the Vilniečio Kortelė, an electronic ticket available for €1.50 from kiosks around town. Technically a brilliant idea, the Vilniečio Kortelė is a bit confusing in reality due to the variety of credits it’s possible to add to it. The two most useful top-up options, available at kiosks around the city, are to top up with either journeys lasting for up to 30 minutes December 2016 - April 2017
Arriving & Getting Around LOCAL BUS SCHEDULE
PARKING IN VILNIUS
BIRŠTONAS 06:15, 07:20, 09:30, 10:40, 12:35, 13:25, 14:40, 16:10, 18:10
Street parking in Vilnius is divided into four colour-coded zones, namely blue, red, yellow and green. Colour-coded parking meters eat coins and regurgitate a little printed ticket. Times when payments are required are marked on blue signs using Roman numerals to represent days, and numbers to represent times. A sign displaying I-V 8-22 for example means you must pay to park on Monday (I) to Friday (V) from 08:00 to 22:00. Signs can be hidden or placed miles away from the parking space in question. A pay-by-SMS system is also in operation, although in order to use it you must have a local SIM card. Buy a bar-coded windscreen sticker and register it in order to use this service if you’re planning on living in the city or staying for an extended period of time. Keep valuables hidden at all times, including radios if possible.
DRUSKININKAI 07:20, 08:40, 09:35, 10:00, 11:00, 12:10, 13:05, 14:20, 15:40, 16:15, 17:10, 18:20, 18:40, 20:30 KAUNAS 05:45, 06:20, 06:30, 6:40, 07:00, 07:15, 07:30, 07:55, 08:10, 08:30, 08:45, 09:00, 09:20, 09:45, 10:30, 10:45, 11:00, 11:15, 11:30, 11:45, 12:00, 12:35, 12:50, 13:00, 13:20, 13:45, 14:00, 14:15, 15:00, 15:10, 15:25, 16:05, 16:25, 16:45, 17:00, 17:45, 18:00, 18:20, 18:40, 19:20, 19:45, 20:15, 21:10, 22:15, 22:30, 23:00
07:45, 10:05, 12:20, 14:35, 17:25, 21:00,
KLAIPĖDA 06:00, 06:40, 07:50, 08:50, 10:35, 11:35, 12:00, 12:40, 13:20, 14:50, 16:00, 16:45, 17:30, 18:30, 23:00 PALANGA 08:50, 12:00, 13:20, 14:50, 16:45, 18:30, 23:00 PANEVĖŽYS 06:10, 06:30, 07:05, 07:30, 07:50, 08:25, 09:00 (except Sun), 09:50, 10:35 (except Sun), 11:10, 11:30, 12:00, 12:50, 13:40, 14:25, 14:50, 15:10, 15:20, 15:50, 16:15, 16:30, 17:00, 17:20, 17:40, 18:05, 19:20, 21:30 ŠIAULIAI 06:30, 07:50, 09:50, 11:00, 11:10, 12:00, 13:00, 14:25, 15:20, 16:05, 17:40, 18:20, 19:20 TRAKAI 05:40, 06:15, 06:40, 07:20, 07:50, 09:45, 10:00, 10:40, 10:55, 11:25, 13:10, 13:25, 14:00, 14:40, 15:00, 17:00, 17:30, 17:45, 18:10, 18:45 20:55, 22:15 (except Sun)
08:20, 09:00, 12:10, 12:35, 15:40, 16:10, (except Sat),
09:30, 12:50, 16:40, 20:00,
Valid until April 30, 2017. Not all services listed. Correct at the time of going to press and subject to change during the lifetime of this guide. The website at www.autobusubilietai.lt is the best resource for up-to-date, accurate information about travelling by bus in Lithuania. at €0.64 a trip or up to 60 minutes for €0.93. These can then be used easily by holding the card against the yellow machine on all buses and trolleybuses which automatically take the fare off the card. Alternatively, put any amount you choose on the card and select which length journey you want when using the machine on board the vehicle. Other options are available for tickets valid from one to 270 days, although we recommend you get a local to help you if choosing one of these. You can find out all you need to know about schedules online at www.vilniustransport.lt and more about the Vilniečio Kortelė at www.vilniusticket.lt. 8 Vilnius In Your Pocket
TAXIS Despite creeping taxi (taksi) prices, travelling by taxi in Vilnius remains relatively cheap, especially if you order one in advance by phone or via an app. Taxis in Lithuania are recognisable by their compulsory yellow number plates. Make sure the meter’s running and set to the correct tariff before setting off. Rates are usually higher in the early hours of the morning. Some drivers may deliberately set it to a higher rate if they think they’re transporting hapless tourists, for example from the airport, but in most cases the era of fleecing passengers is over. Prices listed below are for standard daytime journeys within the city limits. EKIPAŽASQtel. 1446/(+370) 52 39 55 39, www.ekipazastaksi.lt. €0.59/km. JAZZEXPRESSQtel. 1428, https://en.jazzexpress.lt. €0.72/km. SMART TAXIQtel. 1820/(+370) 52 00 08 20, www.smarttaxi.lt. €0.69/km. STANDART TAXIQtel. (+370) 52 40 00 04/1422, www. standart-taksi.lt/about-standart-taxi.html. €0.67/km.
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS January 1 New Year’s Day & National Flag Day February 16 Independence Day March 11 Restoration of Independence Day April 16 (2017) Easter Sunday (Catholic) April 17 (2017) Easter Monday (Catholic) May 1 A day off for the workers! May 7 (2017) Mother’s Day June 4 (2017) Father’s Day June 24 Joninės (Midsummer) July 6 Crowning of King Mindaugas August 15 Žolinė (Assumption) November 1 All Saints’ Day December 25, 26 Christmas (Catholic) vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Arriving & Getting Around TRAIN SCHEDULE Dep. 08:37 04:40(1) 04:45 06:20 07:30 08:48 09:35 10:25 11:15 11:40 12:25 14:05 14:45 15:50 16:30 16:50 17:30 17:55 18:50 19:45 21:00(2) 06:50 09:50 16:45 17:44 06:15 11:30(4) 14:58 18:10 19:10 04:28 05:18(1) 06:10 07:40 12:30 13:30 16:05 18:15 20:46
Arr. 15:48 05:50 06:21 07:37 08:49 10:22 10:40 11:37 12:31 13:11 13:30 15:20 16:17 16:57 17:35 18:25 18:39 19:18 20:26 21:02 22:31 11:02 13:38 20:29 21:57 09:50 15:27 18:45 21:40 00:26 05:04 05:53 06:46 08:16 13:06 14:05 16:46 18:51 21:22
Destination KALININGRAD KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KAUNAS KLAIPĖDA KLAIPĖDA KLAIPĖDA KLAIPĖDA MINSK MINSK MINSK MINSK MINSK TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI TRAKAI
Dep. 13:47 05:02(3) 05:28 06:23(1) 07:05 08:10 09:15 11:00 12:08 13:50 14:10 15:40 16:32 17:05 17:21 17:55 18:45 19:20 19:50 20:10 21:49 06:40 10:30 16:05 18:00 03:00 08:00 10:55 14:02(4) 19:52 05:26 06:08(1) 07:12 08:37 13:21 14:27 17:13 19:51 21:40
Arr. 18:35 06:31 07:09 07:38 08:37 09:24 10:41 12:39 13:20 15:19 15:49 17:14 17:38 18:16 19:00 19:10 19:54 20:54 21:02 21:36 23:05 19:52 14:26 20:17 21:51 06:23 09:30 12:42 16:00 21:22 06:05 06:47 07:51 09:16 14:00 15:06 17:52 20:30 22:19
¹ Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri; ² Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun; ³ Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat; ⁴ Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu; Not all services listed. Correct at the time of going to press and subject to change during the lifetime of this guide. More information at www.litrail.lt Valid until April 30, 2017. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
For business or leisure, rent your car with Sixt. (Sixt has it all. Check sixt.lt for your best deal) For reservations: www.sixt.lt or call +37 05239 5636
CAR RENTAL SIXT RENT A CAR (AIRPORT) Rent a Sixt car at Vilnius airport or city office (next to bus station) and you’ll have the freedom to travel to the city and enjoy touring the surrounding area too. Sixt has a wide choice of vehicles, from cheaper options to luxury ranges, all of which are reliable with great service.QRodūnios Kelias 2 (Airport), tel. (+370) 52 39 56 36, www.sixt.lt. Open 24hrs. A SIXT RENT A CAR (DOWNTOWN) QSodu 14, tel. (+370) 52 46 13 84, www.sixt.lt. Open 08:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
TOURIST INFORMATION VILNIUS TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER (GO VILNIUS, VŠĮ) Tour bookings for groups and individuals, audio guides, Vilnius City Card, maps, tourist-related publications, cultural events (www.vilnius-events.lt), taxis and accommodation booking. English-, German-, Polish- and Russian-speaking staff. See the extensive website for more information. QH‑9, Vilniaus 22, tel. (+370) 52 62 96 60, fax (+370) 52 62 81 69, www.vilnius-tourism.lt. Open 09:00 - 18:00, Also at Didžioji 31 (Town Hall) and Rodūnios Kelias 2 -1 (Vilnius International Airport). JAW December 2016 - April 2017
Arriving & Getting Around APPS TO RIDE
INTERNATIONAL BUS SCHEDULE From Vilnius Dep. Arr. 14:30 06:40 14:30(1) 16:45 14:30(1*) 05:45 14:30 02:30 07:00 11:30
To Vilnius Destination Dep. Arr. BERLIN 20:30 14:50 COLOGNE 10:15(3) 14:50 LONDON 21:30(5*) 14:50 POZNAŃ 00:30 14:50 RIGA 02:10 06:20
21:30 20:15(7) 14:30(2) 07:00 21:30 14:30 20:15(7) 20:15(7)
RIGA ROME STUTTGART TALLINN TALLINN WARSAW WARSAW VIENNA
01:50 11:50 19:30 16:15 06:35 22:30 03:35 18:30
16:20 15:00(8) 08:00(4) 11:30 21:30 04:30 23:30(6) 08:30(6)
21:00 08:40 14:50 21:00 06:20 14:50 08:40 08:40
Days of the week (1=Monday) 1 2 - 4 5 6 - | (2) 1 - - 4 - 6 - | (3) 1- 3 4 - 6 7 (4) - 2 - - 5 - - (5) - - 3 - 5 6 7 | (6) 1 - - - - - - | (7) - - - 4 - - (8) - - - - - - 7 | (9) - - 3 - - - 7 * Bus change. Correct at the time of going to press and subject to change during the lifetime of this guide. Not all services listed. More information at www.eurolines.lt Valid until April 30, 2017.
TRAFI, FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT Vilnius’ bus and trolleybus network is incredibly easy to use, as long as you buy a ticket from a kiosk or the driver, then punch it in the puncher to validate it. To plan your route on public transport, an app for your smartphone makes things even easier. A great tool for advance planning, the app, which is also in English, figures out how to get from A to B. Just type in your starting point (ordinary letters also count for tricky Lithuanian letters) and destination or pin the locations on a map, and it will immediately give you a choice of times for transport plus any manageable short distances you can do on foot. Often your ticket can be used on a second bus or trolleybus if the validator prints the date and time, and the app will tell you if this is possible. The app is free, works brilliantly and also does the job in Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys.
LONG-DISTANCE BUSES All long-distance national and international buses leave from Vilnius’ main bus station (autobusų stotis). Although tickets for many journeys can be bought directly from the driver it’s worth getting one in advance at no extra cost. The ticket office for national bus services is located inside the waiting room. International tickets can be bought from several different outlets found scattered around the building as well as from a number of travel agencies in the city. Backpackers and other travellers on a budget from Western Europe might be surprised to learn that bus travel in Lithuania is more expensive than using the train. BUS STATION (AUTOBUSŲ STOTIS) The city’s bus station is very central, just to the south of the Old Town. It’s not the prettiest building in Vilnius but it’s always efficient.QI‑12, Sodų 22, tel. 1661, www.toks.lt. Open 06:30 - 19:00, Ticket office open 06:00 - 19:00, Fri 06:00 - 19:30. JA
Full contents online: vilnius.inyourpocket.com 10 Vilnius In Your Pocket
TAXIFY AND ETAKSI If you don’t have the patience for public transport and need to travel quickly, there are a couple of nifty apps for ordering taxis. Taxify allows you to compare rates, arrival times, even car models, letting you send for the cab of your choice to your location without you having to chat to anyone on the phone. Drivers have to register to create a profile, so there should be no funny business. Similarly, eTaksi allows you to quickly tap in where you are, where you want to get to and how many people are going, then shows you where your taxi is, even as it’s arriving. Ooh, the wonders of technology. ECOLINES The Lithuanian outfit of the large European network provides all the usual transport services including cheap bus journeys in the region and further afield. Other things include insurance, visas, tourism services and bus rental. QI‑12, Geležinkelio 15, tel. (+370) 52 13 33 00, www. ecolines.net. Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 20:00, Also at Vytauto 27, Kaunas, tel. (+370) 37 20 20 22. A LUX EXPRESS QI‑12, Sodų 20b-1, tel. (+370) 52 33 66 66, www. luxexpress.eu/en. Open 08:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 19:00, Also at Saltoniškių 9 (Panorama). JA vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Vilnius Basics BORDERS Lithuania is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Belarus, Latvia, Poland and the peculiar Russian exclave born out of the ashes of WWII and the disintegration of the Soviet Union that is Kaliningrad. EU membership and Schengen agreements have as good as removed all border formalities with Latvia and Poland, although getting in and out of Belarus and Kaliningrad remains a process wrapped up in red tape for holders of most passports. Visas for both can be obtained from the Belarusian and Russian embassies in Vilnius, as well as from a few travel agencies. Note, however, that short-term visas for Kaliningrad are now available if you arrive in the exclave by air. For more information about getting in and out of Lithuania, see the website at www.pasienis.lt.
CRIME & SAFETY It is not an exaggeration to say that Lithuania is one of the safest countries to visit in Europe. While petty crime mainly in the form of pickpocketing - is as big a problem in this country as anywhere else in the world, violent crime is almost unheard of. Even late at night you will not usually be presented with any potential threats whilst walking around city centres, and this goes for single women as much as for large groups of lads. That said, you do need to keep your wits about you, and be sure that if you go looking for trouble you might well find it. Keep your valuables close to hand, particularly on busy buses and trolleybuses, and do not leave coats and handbags unattended in bars, pubs and clubs.
CUSTOMS Those arriving from other EU countries have no import restrictions placed upon them, although they will need to make it known if they’re arriving with more than €10,000 worth of cash. When arriving from non-EU countries you’re entitled to bring in one litre of spirits or four litres of wine or 16 litres of beer. If arriving by air you can bring 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, a figure that’s drastically reduced to 40 cigarettes, 20 cigarillos, 10 cigars or 50g of tobacco if arriving by any other means. You can’t bring meat, milk or dairy products from outside the EU except under certain circumstances. You can’t arrive with live birds other than pets for non-commercial purposes. Dogs require vaccinations and passports (or other proof of vaccination). You can take home as much art as you wish tax free unless it’s over 50 years old, in which case expect to pay 10-20 per cent duty. Take two photographs of the art piece and your passport to the Committee of Cultural Heritage, Šnipiškių 3, tel. (+370) 52 73 42 56. Many of the better antique shops in Vilnius can take care of all the paperwork for you. For more detailed information check www.cust.lt, and for information on animal related arrivals, check www.vet.lt. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
BASIC DATA POPULATION Lithuania 2,872,294 Vilnius 543,207 ETHNIC COMPOSITION (Lithuania) Lithuanians 83.7% Poles 6.6% Russians 5.3% Belarusians 1.3% Ukrainians 0.6% Others 3.3% TERRITORY 65,303 square kilometres Roughly twice the size of Belgium, and the largest of the three Baltic nations. Fertile lowland, peppered with many lakes. North to south, the greatest distance is 276km, east to west is 373km BORDERS Baltic Sea 99km Belarus 502km Latvia 453km Poland 91km Russia (Kaliningrad) 227km LONGEST RIVER Nemunas 937km (475km in Lithuania) LARGEST LAKE Drūkščiai 4,479ha HIGHEST POINT Aukštasis 293.8m
DISABLED TRAVELLERS While things have greatly improved for the disabled over the past few years, Lithuania is still a tough place to get around on anything other than two well functioning legs. Even places that claim to be wheelchair friendly can often be flanked by deep kerbs or stairs, or are located on cobbled streets. Outside the capital, you’ll be lucky to find any thought given to wheelchair accessibility at all. On the positive side, however, it is worth noting that newer trolleybuses in Vilnius have low entry platforms, spaces for wheelchairs and hearing loops.
LOCAL TIME Lithuania is in the Eastern European Time (EET) zone at GMT+2hrs. When it’s 12:00 in Vilnius it’s 05:00 in New York, 10:00 in London, 11:00 in Warsaw, 13:00 in Moscow and 19:00 in Tokyo. Eastern European Summer Time (EEST, GMT+3hrs) falls between the last Sundays of March and October respectively.
MONEY & COSTS Most places of any note in Vilnius happily accept major credit cards, and ATMs are ubiquitous in urban areas, although if you’re planning a trip to the countryside make sure you take plenty of cash along. Lithuania is no longer the cheap country for foreigners it used to be, although it still offers great value to most visitors from western Europe and North America. December 2016 - April 2017
Vilnius Basics EXCHANGE RATES
McDonald's Big Mac Snickers 0.5ltr vodka (shop) 0.5ltr beer (shop) Loaf of white bread 20 Marlboros 1 ltr of unleaded petrol (95) Local transport ticket (1 journey) Cinema ticket
€ 2.65 € 0.69 € 6.30 € 0.76 € 0.58 € 3.30 € 1.12 €1 €6
PLASTIC & GLASS Lithuania imposes a super-efficient eco-system for your empty plastic and glass bottles and beer cans. Most supermarkets have a supirkimas – a couple of machines where you can load each one at a time and hear them being scruched into nothing. Make sure they’re completely empty. At the end, press the screen and it’ll print a ticket. Take it to the counter inside the supermarket and they’ll give you some cash. Simple!
RELIGION Contemporary Lithuania is a predominantly Catholic country with almost 80 per cent of the population pledging allegiance to the Pope. Pagan Lithuanians avoided Christianity until relatively late in European history, finally converting for political reasons in 1387 in the eastern half of the country and in 1413 in the west. The country’s pagan heritage can still be seen in many aspects of life including the days of the week (literally First Day, Second Day etc.), the continued naming of its female population after flowers and plants and the countless festivals throughout the year that remain very much as they were before the coming of Christianity. The area that makes up contemporary Lithuania has historically been the proud home of countless religions over the centuries, among them Russian Orthodox, Protestantism, Islam and of course Judaism, of which the former makes up the second largest population at just under five per cent. It’s considered polite for men to remove their hats and women to cover their shoulders when visiting a Catholic church.
SERVICE There are exceptions - and we take pride in exposing such places in our listings - but as a general rule private-sector service in Lithuania (particularly Vilnius) has improved 12 Vilnius In Your Pocket
1£= €1.17 1US$=€0.94 (November 22, 2016) beyond description during the 20-odd years we have been publishing Vilnius In Your Pocket. When we began, part of our raison d’etre was to highlight those few places which offered decent service; now our role is the exact opposite. If you need to deal with public servants (and usually the average visitor does not) you might well still come across the odd surly survivor of a bygone age, but even here the trend is towards a new era of service with efficiency, if not always a smile.
SMOKING Lithuanians by and large like a cigarette (and compared to countries like the UK cigarettes are cheap) but that has not stopped the country adopting some tough anti-smoking legislation. Smoking is banned in almost all indoor spaces, including cafes, bars, pubs and clubs, except in carefully separated smoking rooms: look for the smoking symbol in our listings. Smoking is also now banned in two outdoor spaces in Vilnius: Kudirka Square and Bernardinų Sodas, as well as at bus stops. Smoking here can leave you open to a fine of between €5.80 and €14.48. If the ban is successful in these areas, other parts of the capital could also be declared puff-free.
SPORTS Just as neighbouring Latvia is crazy about ice hockey, Lithuanians go nuts over basketball. It’s often even referred to as Lithuania’s second religion. Whenever there’s an important game on, the nation shuts down to huddle round the nearest TV screen. To watch players in action or just practicing, visit Siemens Arena.
CLIMATE The climate information below only gives an average indication of what to expect. Winter temperatures often plummet to below -20°C. 80
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min Temp (°C)
Prices in Lithuania vary but can seem quite high compared to neighbouring countries like Poland. Here are some typical everyday products and prices. Market values as of November 16, 2016.
Max Temp (°C)
Vilnius Basics STREET SMARTS Below is a list of Lithuanian street and place names. We shorten some of these as is standard practice using just the main name. For example, Gedimino Prospektas is simply referred to as Gedimino. Aikštė Square Gatvė Street Kelias Road, way Plentas Highway Prospektas Avenue Tiltas Bridge
TOILETS Just utter the two magic words kur tualetas? (where’s the toilet?) and away you go. Bars and hotels happily let you use their facilities, although some have started to enforce a small charge for non-patrons. With the exception of a few non-tourist bars, all toilets are clean and are stocked with plenty of paper and soap. A ghastly relic from days gone by that refuses to go away even in many of the swankiest establishments is the provision of a filthy bucket, kept next to the toilet, and used for the collection of spent paper.
VISAS Lithuania is a member of both the European Union and the Schengen border-free travel area. Visitors from the EU may stay in Lithuania for as long as they like, while visitors from 30 or so other countries (including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States) don’t require a visa to stay for up to 90 days within a six month period. A visa issued by or for any Schengen country is valid in Lithuania. For more information, including the full-list of visa-free countries, take a look at www.urm.lt.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? The origins of the words Lietuva (the Lithuanian name for Lithuania) and Vilnius are far from clear. Of the former, many claim it comes from the local word for rain, lietus, although this is nothing but fanciful speculation. Others are of the belief that it can be traced back to Lietava, the name of a small river close to Kernavė, the capital of the emerging Lithuanian nation. Likewise, this theory is, no pun indented, far from watertight. Interestingly, the origin of the anglicised form, Lithuania, is also unknown. As for the word Vilnius, its first use wasn’t noted until fairly late in the 19th century, having formerly been known even to the Lithuanians as Vilna, which with the addition of the letter i spells Vilnia, the name, once again, of a local river. So, rather strangely, the word Vilnius is a lithuanianised version of a Lithuanian name. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
LEARN LITHUANIAN! Attempting discourse in Lithuanian may seem terrifying, but fortunately for you a vast number of locals, especially in the restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés in the city centre, have a healthy command of the English language. Not only that, they often want to practice their already brilliant English on you. Though you can probably get by without it, learning a few key Lithuanian phrases will charm the Lithuanians you’re trying to speak to and may even win you friends and admirers. And, unlike English, words in Lithuanian actually tend to be pronounced the way they are spelled. Once you know how to pronounce each letter or letter combination, that’s a great help. Many of the letters sound the same as they do in English, and those that don’t we list here, together with some basic words and phrases. Go on, have a go! Sėkmės! (Good luck!)
‘a’ sounds like ‘u’ in umbrella ‘ą’ sounds like ‘a’ in arm ‘c’ sounds like ‘ts’ in what’s ‘č’ sounds like ‘ch’ in cherry ‘e’ and ‘ę’ sound like ‘a’ in apple ‘ė’ sounds a bit like a short ‘yeah’ ‘g’ sounds like ‘g’ in glue ‘i’ sounds like ‘i’ in igloo ‘į’ and ‘y’ sound like ‘ee’ in cheese ‘j’ sounds like ‘y’ in yes ‘š’ sounds like ‘sh’ as in sheet ‘r’ is always rolled (if you can manage it) ‘u’ sounds like ‘oo’ in book ‘ų’ and ‘ū’ sound like ‘oo’ in spoon ‘ž’ sounds like the ‘s’ in treasure ‘o’ sounds like the ‘a’ in call ‘ch’ sounds like ‘h’ at the back of the throat ‘dž’ sounds like “J” in John
Lithuanian Words & Phrases English Yes No Hi/Bye (informal) Hello Good morning Good evening Good-bye Good night Please Thank you Excuse me/Sorry
Lithuanian Taip Ne Labas/Atia Laba diena Labas rytas Labas vakaras Viso gero Labanakt Prašau Ačiū Atsiprašau
Pronunciation (as in ‘tape’) (ne!) (LAbas!/AT-ya!) (laba DYEN-a) (labas REE-tas) (labas VA-ka-ras) (VEE-so garo) (la-BA-nakt) (pru-show) (A-choo) (AT-si-pru-show)
My name is… I’m from England. Do you speak English? I don’t speak Lithuanian. I don’t understand. Two beers, please. Cheers! Where are the toilets? You are beautiful.
Mano vardas yra… Aš esu iš Anglijos. Ar kalbate angliškai? Aš nekalbu lietuviškai. Aš nesuprantu. Du alaus, prašau. Į sveikatą! Kur tualetai? Formal: Jūs esate graži (to a woman)/gražus (to a man). Informal: Tu esi graži (to a woman)/gražus (to a man). Aš tave myliu. Formal: Prašau parveškite mane namo Informal: Parvešk mane namo Formal: Paskambinkite man Informal: Paskambink man
(MA-no VAR-das ee-ra…) (ush e-soo ish AN-glee-yos) (ur kul-BA-ta UN-glish-kay?) (ush ne-KUL-bu lie-TU-vish-kay) (ush ne-su-PRAN-tu) (doo a-LAUS, pru-show) (ee svay-KAA-ta!) (koor tooa-LIET-ay?) (yoos es-a-te gra-ZHI) (yoos es-a-te gra-ZHOOS) (too es-i gra-ZHI) (too es-i gra-ZHOOS) (ush ta-ve MEE-lioo) (pru-show par-VESH-ki-ta mu-ne na-mo) (pru-show par-VESHK mu-ne na-mo) (pa-SKUM-bink-eeta mun) (pa_SKUM-bink mun)
Oro uostas Geležinkelio stotis Autobusų stotis Vieną bilietą į…
(oro u-WOS-tas) (ge-le-ZHIN-kel-yo sto-tiss) (ow-to-BOO-soo sto-tis) (Vienna BEE-le-ta ee…)
I love you. Please take me home.
Call me! Airport Train station Bus station One ticket to…
December 2016 - April 2017
History The Lithuanian state arose and strengthened to counter the religious fervour of crusading German knights. Lithuania was the last European country to convert to Christianity, and has seen countless invasions and occupations over the centuries. 7th-2nd centuries BC The first Baltic tribes establish themselves on what’s now known as Lithuanian territory. 11th century The word Lithuania is first used in written texts in AD 1009. At the same time, a wooden castle is built on Vilnius’ Gediminas Hill (Gedimino Kalnas), leading to the construction of a diminutive settlement beneath it. 13th century Žemaitians defeat the Livonian Knights at the Battle of Saulė in 1236, establishing the settlement of Šiauliai. After uniting local chieftains, on July 6, 1253 Mindaugas (circa 1203-1263) is crowned Lithuania’s one and only king. During his reign as the first Christian sovereign of the state, Vilnius Cathedral is built. However, the majority of the population remains pagan. 14th century In 1323 Grand Duke Gediminas (circa 12751341) sends letters to various Germanic-speaking towns, inviting their craftsmen and merchants to settle in Vilnius with the promise of religious freedom. Trying to ensure peace, in 1325 he forms a union with Poland by marrying his daughter Aldona to the Polish king’s son. The PolishLithuanian Commonwealth comes into being with the 1387 Krėva Union, whereby Gediminas’ grandson Jogaila (circa 1348-1434) becomes a Polish king by marrying the Polish Princess Jadwiga (circa 1373-1399). Even with the increased security, the Teutonic Knights still manage to invade, resulting in the 1390 burning of the wood-constructed Vilnius. 15th century The Teutonic Knights are eventually defeated on July 15, 1410 by joint Polish-Lithuanian armies led by Jogaila and Grand Duke Vytautas (1350-1430) at the Battle of Grunwald (Lithuanian, Žalgiris. German, Tannenberg), one of the greatest battles in medieval Europe. The country flourishes and by 1430 the borders extend from the Baltic to the Black Sea. 16th century The Renaissance sees marked cultural advances, notably the printing of the first Lithuanian book in 1547, and the founding of Vilnius University in 1579. The end of the Jogaila dynasty in 1572 results in the political and cultural marginalisation of Lithuania. Polish becomes the state language. The Livonian Wars (1558-1582) with Russia and Sweden drain the Commonwealth’s resources. 18th century At the start of the 18th century both Swedish and Russian forces try to seize control of Vilnius. In 1795 Lithuania is incorporated into tsarist Russia. The 120-year Russian occupation is only interrupted by a short liberation by Napoleon’s army in 1812 on his failed campaign to Moscow. During the Napoleonic army’s return through Vilnius nearly 40,000 of his soldiers die due to starvation and extreme cold. 14 Vilnius In Your Pocket
20TH CENTURY During the WWI German occupation of 1915-1918 the Lithuanian Council proclaims independence on February 16, 1918. As the Germans retreat, the Lithuanian state comes under attack by the Polish General Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935) who seizes control of Vilnius and areas south of it from1920-1939. Poland maintains control of these areas by claiming they were a portion of the pre-war Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Kaunas becomes the interim capital of Lithuania until 1940. During the inter-war period independent Lithuania prospers under the 14-year dictatorship (1926-1940) of the nationalist president Antanas Smetona (1874-1944). Lithuanian independence ends with the clandestine signing on August 23, 1939 of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Hitler and Stalin, who carve up Europe into portions to be controlled by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Lithuania is subject to both Soviet and Nazi occupation. Between 1941-1944 the Nazis and their Lithuanian henchmen organise the mass murder of over 200,000 Jews, 94% of the entire Litvak population. The return of the Red Army and the re-incorporation of Lithuania into the USSR on July 7, 1944 results in the deportation of some 250,000 Lithuanians to Siberia, a task they’d already begun in 1940 before the Nazis arrived. Lithuanian partisans, dubbed the Forest Brothers (Miško Broliai), wage guerrilla warfare until 1953. In an act of protest against the Soviet occupation, on May 14, 1972 19-year-old student Romas Kalanta sets fire to himself in public in Kaunas, dying from his wounds. 19th century Vilnius University acts as a hotbed of dissent against the tsarist government, culminating in the 1831 November Uprising, which leads to the closing of the institution. Russification ensues with non-Orthodox churches forcibly closed, the Lithuanian language banned in 1864 and the country named the Northwest Region. The ban on the Latin script forces the smuggling in of books from neighbouring East Prussia. Another uprising takes place in 1863 and General Muravyov (The Hangman) is sent from Moscow to restore order, resulting in deaths by hanging for most of the leading activists. The repression is countered and defied by a revival of Lithuanian culture and tradition. In 1883 Jonas Basanavičius (1851-1927) publishes the first Lithuanian-language newspaper, Auszra (Aušra, or Dawn).
INDEPENDENCE & BEYOND 1988 June 3 The Lithuanian reform movement Sąjūdis is founded by some 500 representatives of the intelligentsia, advocating openness, democracy and sovereignty. August 23 Some 250,000 people gather in Vilnius to mark the 49th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. October 7 The Lithuanian flag is raised on Gediminas Castle. 1989 February 16 Lithuanian Independence Day is officially commemorated. August 23 An estimated 2,000,000 Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians join hands in a human chain vilnius.inyourpocket.com
History stretching the 650km between Vilnius and Tallinn to protest the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. 1990 January 11-13 Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Vilnius is far from pleasant as 300,000 pro-independence demonstrators turn out to ‘welcome’ him. March 4 Pro-independence Sąjūdis candidates receive an overall majority in the first free elections in Lithuania since 1940. March 11 The Supreme Council (later to become Parliament, or Seimas) declares the restoration of Lithuanian independence and demands the withdrawal of Soviet forces. Dr. Vytautas Landsbergis is elected parliamentary chairman. April 17 Moscow imposes an economic blockade. 1991 January 13 Soviet forces try unsuccessfully to storm the parliamentary building in Vilnius. A large crowd ensures the delegates are safe inside. However, during the Soviet bid to reclaim the media by storming the Television Tower, 14 people are killed. February 12 Iceland becomes the first country to recognise an independent Lithuania. July 31 Seven border guards and policemen are killed at the Medininkai border checkpoint by Soviet Special Forces. August 21 The Moscow putsch collapses. Soviet troops leave the buildings they’ve occupied since January. Lenin’s statue is removed from Vilnius’ Lukiškių Aikštė (Lukiškės Square). A photograph of the event appears on the cover of Issue N°1 of Vilnius In Your Pocket, published on May 1, 1992. August 29 Sweden becomes the first Western country to open an embassy in Vilnius. September 2 The USA recognises Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. September 17 All three Baltic countries are re-admitted into the UN. 1992 February 8 Lithuanians participate under their own flag at the Winter Olympics for the first time since 1928. 1993 June 25 Lithuania’s pre-war currency, the litas, is re-introduced. August 31 The last Russian soldier leaves Lithuania. September 4-8 Pope John Paul II visits. 1994 December Vilnius’ Old Town joins the list of Unesco World Heritage sites. 1998 January 4 Valdas Adamkus is elected president. Adamkus, who fled Lithuania in 1944, was a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago before returning to Lithuania to run for president. December 21 Seimas abolishes the death penalty in response to international pressure from the EU.
21ST CENTURY 2001 June 23-27 The Dalai Lama visits Lithuania, visiting various sites in Vilnius and Kaunas. 2002 February 2 The litas switches pegging from the US dollar to the euro in readiness for EU accession, into which the country is invited to join on October 9. November 22 Lithuania is invited to become a member of Nato. George Bush visits Vilnius the following day, becoming the first US president to visit the city. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
2003 In the January 5 run-off election, president Valdas Adamkus is voted out of office by the 46-year-old right wing underdog Rolandas Paksas. May 10-11 A staggering 91% of the 64% of the population who turned out to vote give a resounding Yes to EU membership. 2004 Jan-April Impeachment hearings take place as president Rolandas Paksas is found guilty of violating the Lithuanian constitution and his oath as president in his dealings with unsavoury Russian business partners. April 2 Lithuania becomes a fully-fledged member of Nato and the EU on May 1. June 27 A 77-year-old Valdas Adamkus is re-elected president. July Virgilijus Alekna, whose day job is protecting the president, wins a gold medal at the Athens Olympics in the discus. December 31 The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant says farewell to the first of its two RBMK reactors. 2007 December 21 Lithuania joins the Schengen zone, allowing borderless travel to and from other Schengen countries. December 22 The Lithuanian Television and Radio Commission bans broadcasting of the Voice of Russia radio station. 2008 June Lithuania outlaws the public display of Nazi and Soviet symbols. August While most public attention is on basketball, Edvinas Krungolcas and Andrejus Zadneprovskis win silver and bronze respectively in the modern pentathlon at the Beijing Olympics. The Lithuanian basketball team reach the semi-finals but eventually come home empty handed. 2009 Lithuania celebrates 1,000 years since its name was first mentioned in written texts. January 17 With 90Lt million of mounting debts, the national airline, flyLAL, suspends all services. Dalia Grybauskaitė, the so-called Iron Lady, is inaugurated as Lithuania’s first female president on July 12. 2010 Lithuania celebrates 20 years of independence from the Soviet Union on March 11. In a sinister U-turn, on May 19 a court in Klaipėda approves the public display of swastikas arguing that they represent Lithuania’s historical heritage, not Nazi Germany. Lithuania take bronze medal in the World Basketball Championship in Turkey after defeating Serbia 99-88 on September 12. 2011 Lithuania commemorates the centenary of the death of the painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. The country hosts the EuroBasket 2011 competition in cities nationwide between August 31 and September 18. Lithuania is defeated 67-65 by FYR Macedonia in the quarter finals in Kaunas on September 15. 2013 Lithuania takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for a six month period between July 1 and December 31. 2014 May 2014 Dalia Grybauskaitė is re-elected president of Lithuania. 2015 January 1 Lithuania adopts the Euro. December 2016 - April 2017
Culture & Events
Mados Infekcija fashion show. | © Organiser’s archive
Not surprisingly for a capital city there’s a lot of culture to be had in Vilnius including some cracking classical music, a bit of worthy contemporary art and the occasional faded Western rock star. Going to concerts and festivals in and around the city is a relatively inexpensive affair, with concert tickets often costing less than €15. Standards tend to be high and the variety of events taking place is getting bigger every year. For information on purchasing tickets, ask your hotel reception or speak to the nice people at Vilnius Tourist Information. Read about more events and buy tickets online at the excellent www.bilietai.lt, www.tiketa.lt.
ARTS & CRAFTS AMATŲ GILDIJA The ceramics artist Mindaugas Rutkauskas is almost completely blind yet manages to produce wonderful work from classic earthenware crockery to complete ceramic stoves. He shares this workshop with several other artists. Feel free to have a poke around. Most of the stuff on display is for sale.QI‑10, Pranciškonų 6, tel. (+370) 64 53 80 44/ (+370) 52 12 05 20, www.amatugildija.lt. Open 11:00 19:00. Closed Mon, Sun, Also at S. Skapo 3 - 34. J MENO NIŠA Art to hang on your body as opposed to your wall, this combined gallery and workshop presents some of the best examples of the work of Lithuanian goldsmiths. QH‑10, J. Basanavičiaus 1/13, tel. (+370) 52 31 38 11, www.menonisa.lt. Open 12:00 - 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. J 16 Vilnius In Your Pocket
OLD CRAFTS WORKSHOP OF THE FINE CRAFTS ASSOCIATION OF VILNIUS (VILNIAUS DAILIŲJŲ AMATŲ ASOCIACIJOS SENŲJŲ AMATŲ DIRBTUVĖS) An extraordinary organisation dedicated to both preserving and promoting a wide range of traditional fine crafts including practictioners such as jewellers, ceramicists, book-binders and leather workers. Operating out of studios and workshops spread around the city centre, the nice people who run the organisation arrange a fascinating array of things for visitors to see and do including lectures, tours, hands-on workshops and even a few events for children. Visiting is a good opportunity to buy some unique and special gifts and souvenirs. Their website has good information in English.QJ‑10, Savičiaus 10, tel. (+370) 52 12 51 69, www.seniejiamatai.lt. Open 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon. JA UŽUPIO MUSEUM & GALLERY OF SMITHERY (UŽUPIO KALVYSTĖS GALERIJA - MUZIEJUS) A small working gallery dedicated to the art of the blacksmith. Watch people at work, buy something as a unique gift or souvenir or ask about the regular workshops. QK‑9, Užupio 26, tel. (+370) 52 15 37 57/(+370) 69 81 41 22, www.kalvystesgalerija.eu/. Open 10:30 - 18:30 Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 10:30 - 16:00 Sat, Closed Mon, Sun. J
Culture & Events CINEMAS FORUM CINEMAS VINGIS Mostly popular Hollywood films inside a dedicated multiplex close to the city centre. There’s also a small new hall screening arthouse and foreign-language films.QE‑10, Savanorių 7, tel. 1567, www.forumcinemas.lt. Box office open 10:30 - 22:00. Also at Ozo 25 (Akropolis). JA MULTIKINO Hollywood blockbusters inside a large shopping centre.QH‑1, Ozo 18 (Ozas), tel. (+370) 52 19 58 83/(+370) 52 19 53 78, www.multikino.lt. Box office open 10:00 - 22:00. A
CONCERT HALLS COMPENSA Located on a small street some way north of the city centre, this new concert hall hosts music concerts, theatre, cultural events, conferences, parties and buffet receptions.QKernavės 84, tel. (+370) 67 76 78 24, www. compensakoncertusale.lt/en. SIEMENS ARENA The quintessential all-purpose arena staging everything from international basketball matches to big name rock concerts.QH‑1, Ozo 14, tel. (+370) 52 47 75 50, www. siemensarena.lt. Box office open 10:00 - 18:00. Fri, Sat, Sun open two hours before the event. A ST. CATHERINE’S CHURCH (ŠV. KOTRYNOS BAŽNYČIA) Originally belonging to a Benedictine convent when founded in 1618, after several fires St Catherine’s was rebuilt in the 1740s by famed architect Jan Krzyzstof Glaubitz. The new design daringly created a nave that was as high as it was long, with a Baroque exterior that is elaborate on all sides, not only in its twin-towered façade. There’s a rich interior too, with excellent acoustics, making it a fabulous venue for regular music concerts. The square behind the church contains a bust of Stanisław Moniuszko, a 19th-century Polish composer who lived in Vilnius and whose operas and songs are filled with fond references to the lost Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.QI‑9, Vilniaus 30, tel. (+370) 52 62 04 21, www.kultura.lt. J VILNIUS CONGRESS HALL (VILNIAUS KONGRESŲ RŪMAI) Home to the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, this city-centre venue features some fine acoustics and organises everything from serious classical concerts to shows for children.QI‑7, Vilniaus 6/16, tel. (+370) 52 61 88 28, www.lvso.lt. Box office open 11:00 - 15:00, 15:45 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 14:45. Closed Sun. JA
GALLERIES CONTEMPORARY ART CENTRE (ŠIUOLAIKINIO MENO CENTRAS) Vilnius’ very own monstrous carbuncle on the face of an facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
CONCERTS December 3, Compensa
December 8, Siemens arena
December 28, Siemens arena
JAZZU: ‘WINTER IS COMING’
December 30, Siemens arena
MANTAS: ‘IN ONE SHOW’
January 27, Loftas
February 2, Compensa
JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ W/ THE STRING THEORY
February 20, Compensa
February 23, Loftas
March 3, Compensa
SCOTT BRADLEE’S POSTMODERN JUKEBOX
March 10, Compensa
March 21, Compensa
April 21, Compensa
April 25, Compensa
old friend, this 1968 concrete masterpiece conceals one of the country’s leading galleries for both Lithuanian and international contemporary art. Surplus to the 2,400 square metres of exhibition space, the Contemporary Art Centre also organises conferences and lectures, features a superb reading room and hosts a rather good bar.QI‑10, Vokiečių 2, tel. (+370) 52 12 19 45, www.cac.lt. Open 12:00 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission: €2.32/1.16. JU NATIONAL ART GALLERY (NACIONALINĖ DAILĖS GALERIJA) Found inside a renovated and enlarged structure that once gloriously housed the Museum of the Revolution of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, this bold endeavour now showcases the works of a multitude of artists of Lithuanian origin from the 20th and 21st centuries. It’s organised to highlight particular styles, eras and political attitudes to art in Lithuania under the various regimes of the past hundred years and also stages temporary shows that are well worth visiting.QG‑5, Konstitucijos 22, tel. (+370) 52 19 59 60, www.ndg.lt. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Thu 12:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission €1.80/0.90. JAW December 2016 - April 2017
Culture & Events
Colourful display of clothing at the shop Angelo Kids (see p78)
TITANIKAS A series of exhibition halls owned and curated by the neighbouring Vilnius Art Academy, exhibitions run the gamut from student shows to serious work from home and abroad in just about every conceivable medium.QJ‑8, Maironio 3, tel. (+370) 52 10 01 36, www.vda.lt. Open 12:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Sun. J UŽUPIO MENO INKUBATORIUS (UŽUPIS ART INCUBATOR) A tumbledown house on the riverbank, brightly painted and with a few works in the garden, this is Užupis’ unofficial Ministry of Culture as well as a lively gallery space, workshop and the only place in the city to buy official Užupis Republic memorabilia, souvenirs, local artwork, a copy of the Constitution and much more. Exhibitions include works from a wide range of contributors including established local artists, school children and the occasional American professor of mathematics. Follow the riverbank north from Užupio Kavinė.QJ‑9, Užupio 2, tel. (+370) 67 78 82 18/(+370) 69 98 37 23, www.umi.lt. Open 11:00 19:00. Closed Mon, Sun. J VARTAI Arguably the best and most influential contemporary gallery in the country. Find works in all media by the top Lithuanian artists working in their fields. Vartai also organises exhibitions by artists from abroad. Recommended.QI‑9, Vilniaus 39 (Vilniaus Mokytojų Namai), tel. (+370) 52 12 29 49/(+370) 65 78 24 09, www.galerijavartai.lt. Open 12:00 - 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. J 18 Vilnius In Your Pocket
VILNIUS PICTURE GALLERY (VILNIAUS PAVEIKSLŲ GALERIJA) Housed inside the charming 17th-century Chodkevičiai (Chodkiewicz) family palace, this splendid little museum is of the type in which a menagerie of middle-aged ladies shuttle you around from room to room like a pinball. Ignore them if you can, and enjoy a great collection of local painting, drawing and sculpture plus a couple of rooms stuffed full of exemplary furniture, all of it representing the last several hundred years of achievement. They also put on temporary exhibitions here, of which some are well worth checking out.QJ‑9, Didžioji 4, tel. (+370) 52 12 42 58, www.ldm.lt/en/. Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 12:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission €1.80/0.90. J
INDEPENDENT CULTURAL CENTRES LOFTAS Loftas (Loft) is an independent, non-profit cultural centre based inside a fabulous old factory providing events and creative opportunities for the community including parties, fashion shows, seminars, film screenings and more. It’s at its best, however, as a live venue for touring techno fiends and indie hipsters, both local and international. Details about all events, including those held on the summer terrace, see the funky website, which is also in English.QG‑12, Švitrigailos 29, tel. (+370) 65 67 46 77, www.menufabrikas.lt. Working hours depend on repertoire. Depends on repertoire. TJ 6EBKW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Culture & Events OPERA & BALLET LITHUANIAN NATIONAL OPERA & BALLET THEATRE (LIETUVOS NACIONALINIS OPEROS IR BALETO TEATRAS) A stunning construction opened in 1974 and offering the whole range of works. Worth a look inside even if you don’t plan on attending anything.QH‑7, A. Vienuolio 1, tel. (+370) 52 62 07 27, www.opera.lt. Box office open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:30, Sun 10:00 - 15:00. JA DECEMBER OPERA 30 18:30 La Traviata G. Verdi 3 18:30 La Boheme G. Puccini 7 18:30 Don Carlo G. Verdi BALLET 14 18:30 Tristan and Isolde R. Wagner 15 18:30 Romeo and Juliet S. Prokofjev 22 18:30 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky 29 18:30 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky 31 19:00 Don Quixote Ludwig Alois Minkus OPERETTA 21 18:30 Die Fledermaus J. Strauss 23 18:30 Wiener Blut J. Strauss 27 18:30 The Merry Widow Franz Lehár 28 18:30 Die Fledermaus J. Strauss JANUARY BALLET 4 18:30 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky 6 18:30 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs B. 8 12:00 Pawlowski The Blue Danube the music of Johann 12 18:30 Strauss 15 12:00 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky 15 18:30 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky 18 18:30 The Nutcracker P. Tchaikovsky The Blue Danube the music of Johann 20 18:30 Strauss 27 18:30 Swan Lake P. Tchaikovsky OPERETTA 21 18:30 The Merry Widow F. Lehár OPERA 5 18:30 La Boheme G. Puccini 7 18:30 Alexander’s Feast G. F. Handel 11 18 :30 La Traviata G. Verdi 19 18:30 Fidelio Ludwig van Beethoven 26 18:30 Madama Butterfly Giacomo Puccini 28 18:30 Madama Butterfly Giacomo Puccini
FEBRUARY BALLET 2 18:30 La Bayadère Ludwig Alois Minkus 3 18:30 Carmen ballet G. Bizet Barbora Radvilaitė S. Vainiūnas, A. Malcis, H. 8 18:30 M. Górecki Barbora Radvilaitė S. Vainiūnas, A. Malcis, H. 10 18:30 M. Górecki 14 18:30 Romeo and Juliet S. Prokofjev OPERA 1 18:30 Madama Butterfly Giacomo Puccini 4 18:30 Madama Butterfly Giacomo Puccini 9 18:30 Alexander’s Feast G. F. Handel 11 18:30 Eugene Onegin P. Tchaikovsky 17 18:30 Don Carlo G. Verdi MARCH BALLET 8
10 18:30 16 18:30 18 18:30 19 12:00 25 18:30 30 18:30 31 18:30 OPERA 9 18:30 15 18:30 23 18:30 24 18:30 29 18:30 OPERETTA 17 18:30
Red Giselle music by P. Tchaikovsky, A. Sсhnittke, G. Bizet Bolero+ G. F. Handel, A. Vivaldi, W. A. Mozart, E. Satie Bolero+ G. F. Handel, A. Vivaldi, W. A. Mozart, E. Satie Eglė the Queen of Grass Snakes E. Balsys Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs B. Pawlowski Red Giselle music by P. Tchaikovsky, A. Sсhnittke, G. Bizet Don Quixote Ludwig Alois Minkus Don Quixote Ludwig Alois Minkus La Boheme G. Puccini Carmen G. Bizet Le nozze di Figaro W. A. Mozart Le nozze di Figaro W. A. Mozart Don Carlo G. Verdi The Merry Widow Franz Lehár
APRIL BALLET Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs B. Pawlowski 21 18:30 La Piaf Music performed on tape 22 18:30 La Piaf Music performed on tape 29 18:30 La Piaf Music performed on tape OPERA 1 18:30 Eugene Onegin P. Tchaikovsky 6 18:30 Der fliegende Holländer R. Wagner 12 18:30 Fidelio Ludwig van Beethoven 26 18:30 Carmen G. Bizet 9
December 2016 - April 2017
Culture & Events PHOTOGRAPHY PROSPEKTO GALLERY (PROSPEKTO GALERIJA) Owned and run by the Lithuanian Photographers’ Union, Prospekto Galerija is a hit and miss affair but really worth the effort just in case. Exhibitions range from the sublime to the awful, often let down partially by the artists themselves who submit badly presented work that’s often lit with no thought to the work. There’s also a small shop where you can buy books and postcards featuring the work of many famous and obscure Lithuanian art, news and documentary photographers past and present.QG‑7, Gedimino 43, tel. (+370) 52 61 83 38, www.photography.lt. Open 12:00 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. J
FESTIVALS 17.03 - 18.03 » MADOS INFEKCIJA FASHION FESTIVAL 2017
Fashion lovers will be magnetised by this fest, which started life as a tiny event in 1999 and has since grown to epic proportions. Showcasing the work of a plethora of young and upcoming designers, it features an array of catwalk shows and events dedicated to fashionistas.QI‑10, Contemporary Art Centre, Vokiečių 2, tel. (+370) 52 12 19 45, www.madosinfekcija.lt/?language=en.
23.03 - 06.04 » CINEMA SPRING FILM FESTIVAL 2017
Roll out the red carpet! There may even be a movie celeb or two in town for the 22nd Kino Pavasaris (Cinema Spring) international film festival, which holds two weeks of film screenings for the public, discussions and film-related events. See kinopavasaris.lt for further details.Qwww. kinopavasaris.lt/en.
FAIR 23.02 - 26.02 » VILNIUS INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2017
Publishers, poets and authors from home and abroad converge on the city’s main exhibition centre to sign books, meet the public, shift extra units and celebrate the printed word in all its many forms. Held every February, the fair is one of the biggest cultural events in Lithuania, attracting more than 60,000 people. Undoubtedly the biggest book fair in the Baltics, it’s also one of the best in Europe.QA‑10, Litexpo, Laisvės 5, tel. (+370) 62 03 28 72, www.vilniausknygumuge.lt/lt.
03.03 - 05.03 » KAZIUKAS FAIR
Celebrating the Patron Saint of Lithuania St Casimir, the ever-popular Kaziukas is quite possibly the oldest event of its kind in the country. Turning entire streets into a giant market, it features everything from arts and crafts to live music to stalls selling local food and microbreweries’ fabulous beer. Look out for verbos – branches of dried local sprigs and flowers, which according to tradition must be burned at harvest time. Kaziukomugevilnius.lt promises to provide more info on what’s on. 20 Vilnius In Your Pocket
International Book Fair
© Orgniser’s archive
LIVE MUSIC 26.12 19:00 » ROCK BALLADS
Chant, wail and sing along to music by Scorpions, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, even Depeche Mode at this popular annual concert, led by three of Lithuania’s best-known rock singers and a full orchestra.QI‑7, Vilnius Congress Hall, Vilniaus 6/16, tel. (+370) 52 61 88 28, €15.10 - 35.10, www.lvso.lt/en/.
MISCELLANEOUS EVENTS 03.12 » INTERNATIONAL CHRISTMAS CHARITY BAZAAR
Each year embassies, international schools, eminent locals and lots of volunteers join International Women’s Association of Vilnius members to run lively Christmas stalls selling unusual and traditional gifts from around the world, raising thousands of euros for children’s charities.QI‑10, Town Hall, Didžioji 31, tel. (+370) 52 61 80 07, www.iccb. lt/.
20.01 - 22.01 » ADVENTUR 2017
Lithuania’s now annual travel and tourism fair has a tasty culinary theme this year, and besides boasting eyecatching stalls from many countries it also includes an entire hall dedicated to getting to know Lithuania. There’s a small fee to get in. For more, see litexpo.lt/en/home. QA‑10, Litexpo, Laisvės 5, tel. (+370) 62 03 28 72, www. litexpo.lt/lt/event/153/show.
28.02 » SHROVE TUESDAY
The Lithuanian version of these festivities is called Užgavėnės (literally ‘before lent’), a distinctly pagan celebration marking a slightly pre-emptive springtime return of the sun. Expect much frolicking and prancing about in costumes and masks, many of them designed to belittle the country’s ethnic minorities. There’ll also be a traditional fair outside the Town Hall, food, beer, hot wine and the burning of the pagan goddess of death. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Culture & Events 08.03 - 11.03 » AMBER TRIP
You won’t just find Lithuania’s mysterious golden precious stones at the latest edition of this jewellery show. Plenty of other shiny stuff is on display too, and for sale, with participants coming from throughout Europe as well as India and Asia. See ambertrip.com/en for more.QH‑6, Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, Konstitucijos 20, tel. (+370) 52 72 62 72, www.ambertrip.com/.
16.04 - 17.04 » EASTER
This is a land of real eggs, not chocolate ones. Lithuania is a conservatively Catholic country and most churches will be hosting sombre services. But even for the non-religious, Vilnius is a pretty city of spires and this time of year makes the Old Town even more magical. Among families, the focus of the fun is on painting eggs, rolling eggs and bashing each other’s eggs to see which cracks first. For what’s on, scramble over to vilnius-events.lt.
SPORT 18.12 10:30 » 41ST CHRISTMAS RUN 2016
A tradition dating back to 1975, the Vilnius Christmas Race features hundreds of male and female runners, many in Santa and other costumes, jogging around the Old Town
© Augustas Didžgalvis
in freezing temperatures. It starts and ends on Gedimino Avenue (outside the Novotel), the longest routes twisting and turning through the streets. There’s a choice of 12km, 6km and 3km plods with a 200m dash for kids. Probably the oddest and funniest sight you’ll see in town this Christmas, it starts at 10.30am. To see the routes and register, sprint to kaledinisbegimas.lt.QGediminas Avenue, Gedimino, www.kaledinisbegimas.lt/international/.
OTHER EVENTS DECEMBER 2016 December 7, St. Catherine’s Church
December 11, Siemens arena
December 31, Compensa
THE LEGEND OF ŽYGIMANTAS AUGUSTAS AND BARBORA RADVILAITĖ
JANUARY 2017 Until January 1, PIANO.LT
December 14, Compensa
Until Jan 8, Bernardine Garden
December 16, Vilnius Small State Theatre
January 20, Vilnius Tango Theatre
December 17, Compensa
January 18-22, various theatres
MORA GODOY ‘GRAND TANGO SHOW’
December 22, Compensa
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, ROCK OPERA
December 25-29, Cathedral Square
3D CHRISTMAS FAIRYTALE December 26, Compensa
KINIJOS CIRKAS (CHINESE CIRCUS)
CHRISTMAS IN BERNARDINE GARDEN TANGO SHOW
SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 2017 Until February 5, National Art Gallery
JUZELIŪNAS’ CABINET: MODERNISING LITHUANITY
February 13, Siemens arena
ROCK NIGHTS WINTER: KREATOR, SEPULTURA, SOILWORK, ABORTED
December 2016 - April 2017
What to Eat in Lithuania
A feast for the eyes | © Forto Dvaras Restaurant
Pork, potatoes, dairy stuff, black bread, cabbage. Hardly cuisine supérieure, you might think. But the age-old ingredients that make up traditional Lithuanian food are still being rustled up in incredibly delicious ways. Let’s tuck in. Black bread, hard and crusty on the outside and firm and slightly sour on the inside, should be top of your list of local foods to sample. Made from dark rye flour, slices of it were once on the table for practically every meal. Back in the day, when all Lithuanians simply ate whatever they could grow, every farmer’s wife would make her own - vigorously kneading dough made from flour, water and yeast, letting it rise, covering it with cabbage or maple leaves for flavour, and baking, reverently making the sign of the cross above it. A loaf was always kept, covered by a towel, in the most honourable place in the house - in the best room under the images of saints.
Not much of the animal is wasted. The stomach is filled with lean mince and seasoned to make a rich, dark ball of meat called skilandis. The large intestine is stuffed with grated potato to make slimily delicious vėdarai. The trotters are braised for hours and served with bacon and sauerkraut, while the crunchy ears and fatty snout are served up as beer snacks. Our favourite way of eating pork in Lithuania is to devour a huge, boiled, heavily-smoked knuckle (virtas rūkytas kumpis), all crunchy crackling and tender meat, served with lashings of horseradish sauce, sauerkraut, potatoes and dill.
Bread is so sacred it was once said that if a piece was dropped it should be picked up immediately, kissed and then eaten. Failure to do so and your home may go without any bread at all. Pigs are not sacred, of course, and are slaughtered for any feast or celebration, especially Christmas and Easter. The most tender cuts are eaten immediately, the rest preserved by salting or smoking, sometimes allowing it to smoke using alder or juniper wood for up to a month. 22 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Bulvių plokštainis, made from grated potatoes © Forto Dvaras Restaurant
What to Eat in Lithuania The mighty potato takes precedence over all other vegetables, even though it didn’t actually arrive in Lithuania until well into the 18th century. But the locals prefer to prepare it in an unusual way - grating it raw before cooking. Potato pancakes (bulviniai blynai) with sour cream are a must-try treat, though quality varies from restaurant to restaurant. Another dish to look out for is žemaičių blynai, soft, stout potato pancakes with a crispy exterior and stuffed with meat or mushrooms. But the most famous potato dish is the legendary cepelinai, or didžkukuliai, huge zeppelin-shaped dumplings stuffed with minced meat, mushrooms or cottage cheese and usually topped with fried cubes of pork fat. Making them is a fine art. And if they’re not eaten on the day, they can be fried and served on the next. Lithuania is also a country rich in mushrooms (grybai). Around 20 edible species can be found in the country’s forests just as the autumn can be sensed in the air, but prized above all is the fat and juicy boletus. Mushrooming is a local passion, and should be done with someone who absolutely knows the edible from the poisonous.
Grybų sriuba, or mushroom soup
© Forto Dvaras Restaurant
On the fish front, herring (silkė) is the most widespread, fished straight out of the Baltic Sea. Pickled, baked or fried, you will often see herring as an appetiser. If you are ever by the sea in Lithuania the most sought-after delicacy is eel, and you may also see the freshwater versions on sale inland. When it comes to bigger fish, pike-perch (sterkai), pike (lydeka) and carp (karpis) are all delicious and local. There are many dairy treats not to be missed if you’re in the supermarket. Sūreliai are amazing little sweet sausages of curd cheese often coated in chocolate, loved by children and adults alike. Curd itself comes in dry, grainy chunks, wetter flat slabs or - the most transportable - flat, hard, oval-shaped pieces often flavoured with caraway seeds, herbs or spices. In fact, the dairy section of a supermarket can be bafflingly broad, with seemingly infinite varieties of cheese, cream, kefir, yoghurt, butter and much more.
A plate of Didžkukuliai
© Forto Dvaras Restaurant
Soups are a staple of the Lithuanian diet. In summer, you have to try the legendary bright pink šaltibarščiai, cold beetroot soup made with kefir sour milk, boiled eggs and, preferably, lots of dill. It usually comes with a small side dish of potatoes. Hot soupy favourites include the local version of borsch - usually with meat in it - mushroom soup, cabbage soup and poppy-seed milk soup, all of them tasty.
Finally, desserts. Šakotis is probably the national cake, baked slowly on a spit, with deliciously sweet branches spiking away from the stem. But just as tasty is tinginys, made in various forms with chopped-up biscuits, cocoa and butter. There’s also stick-in-the-teeth poppy-seed cake, the many varieties of honey cake, fabulous varies of cookies and wafers, and countless cream cakes. Salivating yet? Enjoy your culinary tour of Lithuania!
Beef is not traditionally a Lithuanian strong point, and some restaurants do better than others at serving tender cuts. But veal is excellent just about everywhere, whether roasted, sautéed with apples or stuffed with liver. Chicken dishes are, of course, widespread and turkey is popular too, but duck, like beef, is hit or miss. Particularly popular in Trakai but available throughout the country are kibinai - pastries filled with meat, mushrooms, even chocolate - and čenachai, ceramic bowls piled high with succulent chunks of meat, potatoes and veg. You might see delicious balandėliai too, minced meat wrapped in cabbage leaves. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
A steaming pile of delicious kibinai
December 2016 - April 2017
Beef surf’n’turf at Panama Food Garden
The spectrum of dining choices continues to improve in Vilnius and there really are some top-class restaurants around now, a few of them offering a ridiculously good price-quality ratio, particularly if you’re visiting from Western Europe or North America. The figures in brackets at the end of each of our reviews denote the checked price of an average main course on the menu. The opening hours we list tend to be flexible in that these are the hours the venue has told us you can expect the chef to be working. Occasionally the chef leaves an hour or so before closing time, leaving the warm and homely, glass-clinking, lateevening atmosphere to continue, and in these cases we highlight this in the review. If business is slow, restaurants may shut early. Service varies a great deal, to jarring effect now and then, so please reward polite, pleasant and efficient service to encourage others – and cut back on the tip if it’s not deserved. Beware of saying ‘Thank you’ and nodding when paying the bill, as this can be taken to mean ‘Keep the change’. Keep in mind also that our list of restaurants and cafés is, due to space restraints, not exhaustive. We list places that in our opinion deserve our recommendation or, in rare cases, our recommendation to stay away from. Many more of our objective reviews can be found online at Vilnius. inyourpocket.com. In the meantime, here are some tips depending on what you may be looking for. 24 Vilnius In Your Pocket
LOCAL Experience the best of Lithuanian cuisine at Forto Dvaras in the Old Town or, in summer, in the quaint garden at Senoji Trobelė. For a more upmarket take on centuries-old local recipes, head to Mykolo 4. The choppy Baltic Sea is not that far away and both Šturmų Švyturys and Žuvinė do a reliably wonderful job bringing fish to Vilnius, freshly caught, and preparing it in all kinds of amazing ways. For locally sourced ingredients chopped and prepared for international dishes, try Panama or Bistro 18. CHEAP The popular Pilies Kepyklėlė makes a super spot for lunch or snacks, especially for its salads (try the one with pork and sundried tomatoes if they have it), sweet or savoury crepes and cakes. There are countless cheap and cosy cafés in Vilnius, and those grouped at the far end of Trakų Street are as good as any. Or try the local speciality potato pancakes, with bacon or salmon, while watching the cute cats at Cat Café (see cafés). Supermarkets in shopping centres (p.80) also sell fairly tasty, fairly fresh eats of all kinds. SPLURGE Prices are still competitive compared to, say, Scandinavia, so nowhere will have you rapidly assuming damage control when you get your bill. For a special occasion, visit the reliable fine-dining establishments of five-star hotels, such as Telegrafas at the Kempinski by Cathedral Square, or Stikliai at the Hotel Stikliai. For excellent steaks and high-end grills, you should definitely consider heading to The Town or long-time favourite Steakhouse Hazienda. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Traditional Lithuanian dishes One-of-its kind interior in Lithuanian style In the very heart of the Old Town FORTO DVARAS is the first traditional Lithuanian food restaurant that has been certified by the CULINARY HERITAGE FUND
Pilies str. 16, Vilnius Tel. +370 656 13688 www.fortodvaras.lt
LITHUANIAN There are essentially two types of Lithuanian restaurant in Lithuania. The first and most obvious variety features pigtailed waitresses in national dress serving plates of potatoes and beetroot soup in an atmosphere reminiscent of an old barn. The second is less easy to pin down, and is perhaps best described as a restaurant or café serving predominantly but not exclusively Lithuanian favourites in an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere other than in Lithuania. Rather than insult the best intentions of the good restaurant owners of Vilnius and call the former of the two Folk restaurants, we choose to list both types of restaurant together. BERNELIŲ UŽEIGA Operating in Kaunas since before anyone can remember, this generally superb small restaurant chain specialises in traditional country cooking in a traditional country setting. Their Vilnius restaurant however hasn’t really tried hard enough to capture the magic and has ended up with a modern-looking restaurant into which they’ve thrown a few old bits and pieces. At least the food is pretty good, plus there’s the added bonus of an occasional open buffet for those who need their calories in a hurry. Find the entrance on Vienuolio just around the corner. QI‑8, Gedimino 19/1, tel. (+370) 66 36 02 32, www. berneliuuzeiga.lt. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Fri 08:00 - 01:00, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:00 - 22:00. €6. PTJA 6UBSW facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
FORTO DVARAS One of the better options for traditional Lithuanian dishes in the Old Town, this is a jolly, warm-hearted, meat-andpotatoes place with cosy cavernous rooms downstairs and window-side tables on the ground floor. Feast and drink among antiquated folk utensils and cartoonish wall paintings and be served by smiling young locals in oldfashioned costumes. The potato pancakes with bacon and mushroom sauce are outstanding and there are vegetarian options too.QJ‑9, Pilies 16, tel. (+370) 65 61 36 88, www. fortodvaras.lt. Open 11:00 - 24:00. €5. TJAB SW
SYMBOL KEY P Air conditioning A Credit cards accepted T Child-friendly
U Facilities for the disabled
6 Pet-friendly J Old town location S Take away W Wi-Fi V Home delivery
X Smoking place E Live music I Fireplace B Outside seating
December 2016 - April 2017
MYKOLO 4 On a quiet side street off bustling Pilies, this exceptional bistro showcases Lithuanian cuisine with seasonal ingredients and a menu inspired by bourgeois 19thcentury recipes. If you’re lucky you’ll catch the chef with a special offer, such as braised duck in a chocolate-wine sauce or guinea fowl fillet with strawberries. If not, the aubergine stuffed with curd cheese or the venison will do just fine.QJ‑9, Šv. Mykolo 4, tel. (+370) 68 82 22 10, www.mykolo4.lt. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sat 12:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00. €11. PTJABSW PILIES KATPĖDĖLĖ Now on Pilies Street, this popular chain serves classic Lithuanian dishes in a folksy setting as well as more international food and that old favourite the lunchtime special offer. An excellent value introduction to the wonders of local heart-blocking nosh, Pilies Katpėdėlė rustles up salads with thick sauces, pancakes, pizzas, snacks from herring to potato wedges, creamy soups, mains that include tasty sausages and fried salmon and some truly yummy desserts. Wash it all down with a beer or three. QK‑2, Pilies 8, tel. (+370) 61 12 05 76, www.katpedele. lt. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00, Also at Lukšio 34, Viršuliškių 40 (MADA). €4. PTAEBS
youtube.com/inyourpocket 26 Vilnius In Your Pocket
SENOJI TROBELĖ A tiny cottage with sheltered leafy garden in summer, ‘the old hut’, as it would be translated, serves some of the finest traditional Lithuanian food in the country, a 15-minute walk from the Old Town. A handful of quaintly laid tables facing and behind the bar are encircled by a charmingly cluttered rustic interior, giving plenty to contemplate as you wait for your meal, local mead or bitter brandy in hand. Cepelinai are always delicious here but more elegant dishes are on offer too, like wine-braised venison stew with lingonberry sauce. We last dropped by for Kėdainiai pancakes made from grated potato and slivers of chicken, enticingly presented with local berries and young sprouts.QG‑11, Naugarduko 36, tel. (+370) 60 99 90 02, www.senojitrobele.lt. Open 11:00 23:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. €10. TAULBSW
ARGENTINEAN EL GAUCHO SANO This cellar restaurant is prized by those in the know for its steaks, but there’s also plenty of other Argentinean specialities on offer for those who like to experiment, making El Gaucho Sano an ideal place to head for diners bored of the usual offerings around town. Last time round we went for the sirloin steak, which was ample in proportions, cooked to perfection and extremely good value considering this is basically a hotel restaurant.QJ‑9, Pilies 10, tel. (+370) 52 10 77 73, www.atrium.lt. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. €17. PJASW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
BLUE LOTUS Authentic, top-quality Indian and Thai cuisine in the Old Town. In a subtly exotic interior of bright ochre colours and relaxing eastern music, enjoy the heady aromas and tastes of dishes imbued with lime leaves, lemongrass, fresh galangal and other herbs and spices selected in Asia. Tender duck breast comes in a rich tamarind sauce and the tom kha soup carries a luscious tumble of flavours. Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala, butter chicken and lamb rogan josh are all highly recommended, as are the paratha and naan breads. Fantastic.QI‑8, Totorių 16, tel. (+370) 62 62 71 96, www.bluelotus.lt. Open 11:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 13:00 23:00. €7. PTJASW
DUBLIS Dining as experience. Opt for the ‘restaurant’ and you’ll enjoy a set menu of five imaginative courses, little surprises between the courses and carefully matched wines that will keep you enraptured for three hours or so. Pricey by local standards, with the wine typically costing more than the food, it’s still extraordinarily good value for the quality ingredients and artistic combinations. The chefs visit each table to explain the content of the dishes. Choose the ‘brasserie’ and you’ll get more of a choice, for lunch, dinner or coffee and cake. Service is top notch but the ambiance is non-elitist. You’ll walk away delighted.QTrakų 14, tel. (+370) 67 44 19 22, www.dublis. eu/. Open 12:00 - 23:00. €19. PTJA6UEBW
BRIUSLY Thai tacos with slow-cooked beef, ‘Phuket burgers’, chicken tikka masala and Vietnamese pork ribs are among the amazing dishes inspired from all over Asia at this popular restaurant and bar on the edge of the Old Town. Briusly (Bruce Lee) easily straddles the gulf between almost-allhours noshery and club, its colourful décor and pretty young things making up the decoration and nights out dedicated to anything from surreal cocktail sessions to student parties to the odd DJ. There’s a high-kicking Sunday brunch too.QH‑9, Islandijos 4, tel. (+370) 69 14 12 05, www.briusly.lt. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri 11:00 - 05:00, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 02:00. €8.00. JABXW 28 Vilnius In Your Pocket
SWEET ROOT We were impressed on our visit here. As the name suggests, much of the food features local root vegetables that are used in a variety of ways in combination with meat and fish to create inventive dishes. The portions are deliberately small, allowing you to choose a number of them in order to taste a variety of different flavours - and you’ll want to when you see the menu. Best of all we loved the unique desserts, such as caramelised quail egg yolks with pine syrup and sour milk cream. The Spartan interior only serves to highlight the adventurousness of the food.QK‑9, Užupio 22, tel. (+370) 68 56 07 67, www.sweetroot.lt. Open 18:00 - 23:00. Closed Mon, Sun. A four-course dinner is €35, the sevencourse tasting dinner €50. TJA6BW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Restaurants TELEGRAFAS One of the top five restaurants in Lithuania, perhaps the entire Baltic region. A superb menu changes frequently and boasts a wide selection of both meat and fish, often with a local twist, while treats such as the lobster thermidor and the tiger prawns underline the fact that they will pull out all the stops to be the very best. The dining room itself is smart yet never stuffy and the wine list is a sensation; what’s more, there is wine for all pockets. Overall of course a meal here will cost a small fortune, but you will leave feeling you’ve had full value for money. The name derives from the fact that during most of the Soviet period this was the main telegraph office in Vilnius.QI‑8, Universiteto 14 (Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square), tel. (+370) 52 20 16 00, www.kempinski.com/vilnius. Open 18:30 - 22:30, Breakfast menu served 07:00 - 10:30, Sat, Sun 07:00 - 11:30. Business lunch served Mon - Fri 12:00 - 15:00. Dinner 18:30 - 22:30. €23. PTJAUW
FISH FISH MAKERS A great deal of effort and care has clearly gone into this fish-accented bistro and shop not far from the cathedral. To recommend just the fish and chips would be to understate its quality, as the spread of raw and cooked fish on display and on offer would keep even the fussiest of salty seadogs happy. It’s not cheap, and it functions more as a ‘fish boutique’ than a restaurant, closing at 7pm each day, but from the filling seafood soup to the tuna tartare, the fresh salmon to the Dutch herring, this is an excellent haul.QBarboros Radvilaitės 5/24, tel. (+370) 68 69 99 05. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Mon 09:00 - 19:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. ŠTURMŲ ŠVYTURYS Something fishy is going on in the self-proclaimed republic of Užupis. Every day, fish caught just hours ago in the Baltic Sea or the Curonian Lagoon is taken to a fishmonger’s on Užupio Street, and much of that comes up the lane to be put on display on ice in this wonderful little restaurant. In super-fresh and inventive dishes that change every day, seasonal fish are matched with seasonal ingredients – panfried pike-perch cheeks with caramelized apple pieces, spinach and basil, for example – and washed down with fine Riesling. There are no kid-friendly dishes, though, and children aged under 12 are not allowed. Oars, spears and weathervanes add to décor that fondly pays tribute to the Lithuanian and Prussian fisherfolk of old, and the restaurant owners are full of salty sea stories.QK‑9, Užupio 30, tel. (+370) 65 69 80 00, www.sturmusvyturys.lt. Open 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon, Sun. €15. JAW ŽUVINĖ There are not enough fish restaurants in the Baltics, but Vilnius is blessed because it boasts the best. With an unbeatable location inside the Old Town’s historic Town Hall, a classy, sophisticated ambiance makes Žuvinė perfect for a romantic date. But it’s not pretentious in any way, with attentive and knowledgeable staff, and is great for small facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
OUT OF TOWN
And our Out of Town recommendation for this issue is…
HBH Virtually next door to the Armenian restaurant Araks is this massive thatched homestead dishing up filling Lithuanian meals. Aimed mainly at families it has play areas for kids, a jungle-gym and a modest aquarium. In summer you can rent a chalet and swim in the pool. As with its hugely popular counterpart near the resort of Palanga, on busy days the conveyer belt of food coming out of the kitchen can vary in quality. But it’s usually a fun experience.QJadvygiškių 2c, tel. (+370) 65 70 70 07, www.hbh.lt/en/hbh-vilnius/. Open 11:00 - 21:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 22:00. €5.5. TA6W groups of fish-fervent friends and family. Besides the tasty seafood, a raw-fish bar and a fabulously rich Bouillabaisse, there’s often also beef tartare and pepper-brandy steak for those who just can’t let go of the meat, plus an excellent wine list.QI‑10, Didžioji 31, tel. (+370) 68 21 91 72, www. zuvine.lt. Open 11:00 - 24:00. €15. PTJABSW
FRENCH BISTRO PRANCIŠKONAI Quality dining has come to the cobbled Old Town lane facing the elegantly exposed red-brick Franciscan church, courtesy of Vilnius’ wonderful, longstanding wine restaurant Saint Germain. If it’s warm, take a table on the quiet leafy street, or else sit amid the interior murals of frolicking pheasants. The creamy burrata salad is the ideal light starter, to be followed by delights such as duck gratin, Bretagne oysters or mustardflavoured cod. Fine food, unpretentious service, reasonable prices.QPranciškonų 2, tel. (+370) 67 07 79 93. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. €12. PJAW SAINT GERMAIN Decorated inside to imitate French shambles chic and further reinforced with plenty of good outdoor seating during the summer, Saint Germain is one of the city’s best French restaurants. Often full of smart locals and in-theknow visitors looking for superior flavours, the atmosphere is certainly one of the best in town, and the wine list equally admirable. What’s more, the excellent food (we loved the grilled scallops with asparagus) is more than affordable. Thoroughly recommended.QJ‑9, Literatų 9, tel. (+370) 52 62 12 10/(+370) 65 28 94 44, www.saintgermain.lt. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 11:00 - 23:00, Last kitchen order 22:30, Sun 22:00. €15. TJASW December 2016 - April 2017
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FUN RENÉ Les moules are a big reason to visit René on Tuesdays or Thursdays, when the fresh (never frozen) mussels are shipped in and served in nine different ways – in cognac, white wine, oven-roasted with pine nuts and almonds… It’s easy to go nuts over René, which is named after monsieur Magritte. The artist’s visions adorn the walls and there are absurdist touches like cutlery tied with rubberbands, pencils for sketching on the paper-covered tables, and a black umbrella permanently by the door. To dramatic orchestral soundscapes, waitresses in bowler hats serve spicy or sweet rum-marinated pork ribs and a hearty Carcassonne casserole. But book ahead on moules nights. QI‑10, M. Antokolskio 13, tel. (+370) 52 12 68 58, www. restoranasrene.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri 11:00 - 24:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00. €12. PTA6 UBS
GASTROBARS ELFA GASTROBAR In the industrial bowels of a Soviet-era electronics factory, YouTube hip-hop and grime and the occasional weekend rasta DJ vibrate the metal pipes and wooden stools of this friendly all-day and evening bar, whether or not there’s an event at next-door live venue Loftas. Tasty Jamaican jerky, quesadillas with 10-hour marinated BBQ beef, and burgers too, are welcome if you’re stuck way up on Švitrigailos without a paddle. Our Cuba libre was a bit weak, but there are choice crafty beers like the local Genys, Vilkmergės cherry and Norway’s Nøgne porter.QŠvitrigailos 29, tel. (+370) 68 52 95 95. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Thu 11:00 - 01:00, Fri 11:00 - 03:00, Sat 09:00 - 03:00. Closed Tue, Sun.
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E S S E N TI A L C I TY G U I D E S
30 Vilnius In Your Pocket
All the latest news facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket PLUS PLUS PLUS This would be a great little bar, if there was more to drink. With the choice on that front limited to a handful of local beers and a few gluggable wines, it’s left to the food to generate interest. The list of 50-odd types of affordably priced tapas looks promising, but each one stuffs variations on predictable ingredients into identical doughy white mini-rolls. Of the ones we tried, the breadcrumb-fried prawn ‘tempura’ with a dab of sauce was probably the winner. The chicken, bacon and BBQ sauce one wasn’t bad, just a bit dull. Other rolls feature chorizo, Serrano ham, tuna and mozzarella. Plus Plus Plus is really just a smartish spot by the Old Town for a chat with undemanding friends. QVingrių 25, tel. (+370) 65 98 47 30. Open 09:00 - 11:00, Thu, Fri 09:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 20:00. €1. A6 vilnius.inyourpocket.com
BUNTE GANS Bunte Gans churns out excellent German cuisine and other dishes in this Old Town favourite. The imaginative, good value food on offer includes schnitzels, bratwurst, bangers and mash, lamb, boar, beef steaks, fresh fish and the house special dish of goose with fried potatoes and a host of other vegetables. There’s live music during the weekends and an extensive range of drinks including Riesling, Grauer Burgunder and the recommended German beer Zoller-Hof from Schwabia. QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 11, tel. (+370) 52 12 83 12, www. buntegans.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00. €15. TJAEBSW
PANAMA FOOD GARDEN Take a step away from the bustle of the Old Town and head across the river to this excellent restaurant set inside an old wooden house in the leafy residential district of Žvėrynas. The pedigree of the owners is good having already created the popular Meat Lovers Pub, but in contrast this is a little more upmarket with a smart but relaxed atmosphere. There are two main reasons to jump in a taxi and pop over here, the food and the garden. You’ll find the changing menu chalked up on a board from which we chose duck in onion gravy and a beautifully prepared tuna, both of which were delicious. The place to enjoy it is in the peaceful garden, one of the loveliest dining spaces in the city. Note that the kitchen closes an hour earlier than the restaurant, except on Mon, Tue, Wed when it closes two hours earlier.QE‑7, Vykinto 17a, tel. (+370) 65 08 28 29. Open 11:30 - 22:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 11:30 - 23:00, Sun 11:30 - 21:00. €15. TJA6ESW
GOURMET BURGERS BOOM! BURGERS Using Black Angus beef and no frozen or processed foods, this wafer-thin space sandwiched between KFC and Vero Café near the Cathedral is the real deal. Go for a burger with your choice of quality cheese, or chicken with rosemary and homemade garlic sauce, or a genuine fillet steak between the buns. The burgers are so delicious it’s tough for the courteous, hardworking staff to keep up with demand. At busy times you may have to wait a while, but our beef burger with pulled pork and BBQ sauce was worth the 20 minutes. There’s a veggie option too, plus a good range of beers, but just one wine.QI‑8, Gedimino 1a-1, tel. (+370) 65 21 45 34, www. boomburgers.lt. Open 11:30 - 22:00, Fri 11:30 - 23:00, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. €6. PTJASW
STRANGE LOVE Intimate, sophisticated and a touch mysterious, this dining spot is just how you’d wish your partner was, and it makes beautiful food too. With a relaxing location by the gates of Sereikiškių Park, it’s perfect for a filled croissant and Irish coffee or Kusmi tea by day and, by night, a romantic hideaway as the kitchen upstairs starts working and every table is taken. Tenderloin, lamb, pearl barley risotto, fine wine and friendly service were the standouts when we visited. Book ahead.QJ‑8, Barboros Radvilaitės 6b, tel. (+370) 62 66 92 18, www.strangelove.lt. Open 08:00 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. €12. PJA6SW
December 2016 - April 2017
Restaurants THE TOWN CONTEMPORARY GRILL & BAR Absolutely one of the best options for meaty dining in Vilnius, The Town exudes a New York ambiance in its chunkily modern décor, city-light colours, comfy seating, congenial service and upbeat jazzy notes from the speakers. It’s a welcoming spot at all times, from its sumptuous breakfast to late-night drinks. Try the generous slab of beef tartare, the excellent gourmet burger or any of the succulent steaks; UDSA-grade rib eye and entrecote may be on the board. Fish and seafood get a mention too, including octopus and seared tuna, but here it’s really all about the meat. Choose from optional sides and sauces. QH‑8, Gedimino 26, tel. (+370) 52 03 12 28, www.town. lt. Open 08:00 - 10:30, 11:30 - 22:00, Fri open 08:00 10:30, 11:30 - 23:00, Sat open 09:30 - 13:30, 14:00 23:00, Sun open 09:30 - 13:30, 14:00 - 18:00. €16. PT JASW ZOE’S BAR & GRILL A long-standing Vilnius favourite, Zoe’s consistently gets everything right from its enviable location to an eclectic menu of classic food. Featuring everything from a recommended BLT to nicely priced Thai dishes, it also throws in a few twists like DJs at the weekend. It’s perfect for simple snacks or full-blown spreads for groups. Note that the kitchen closes an hour earlier than the bar, with the exception of Sundays.QI‑8, Odminių 3, tel. (+370) 52 12 33 31, www.zoesbargrill.com. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. €15. PTJAES
32 Vilnius In Your Pocket
INTERNATIONAL BISTRO 18 A combined restaurant and wine shop, Bistro 18 specialises primarily in dishes from the world of European seasonal cuisine including French onion soup, risotto, pasta and scores of meat-heavy dishes such as beef and rabbit. There are tasty desserts too and the aforementioned wine shop is well-stocked. There’s little sympathy for vegetarians here, but if you’re into classy dining on one of old Vilnius’ most scenic lanes this might just be the place for you. Note that the kitchen closes two hours before the restaurant does.QI‑9, Stiklių 18, tel. (+370) 67 77 20 91, www.bistro18.lt. Open 11:30 - 22:00, Fri 11:30 - 23:00, Sat 13:00 - 23:00, Sun 13:00 21:00. €12. PTJA6BS CARRÉ It may not be inspired by John le Carré, but its interior is as dark and twisting as a spy thriller. Yet the menu of this elegant ‘bar & lounge’ inside the flashy city-centre GO9 shopping mall is no mystery. Caesar salad with chicken seems very popular but the steak, grilled tuna and mussels in tomato sauce are super too. Flustered at busy weekday lunchtimes, by evening it’s a more inviting cocktail-driven prospect, especially if the outdoor terrace is open.QI‑8, Gedimino 9, tel. (+370) 68 79 01 59. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Fri 11:00 - 01:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. €8. PTJAUBSW
COZY Friendly welcomes from bar staff who remember your name is something of a rarity in Lithuania, making Cozy worth a visit for that reason alone. If you’re only staying for a short while though there’s still plenty of reason to visit from an imaginative menu of pub grub that offers more than one dish for vegetarians (the risotto is a current hit) to the legendary in-house troika, a sweet-tasting, three-layered cocktail traditionally drunk by a select handful of regulars who always have a taxi number ready when it’s time to wobble out the door. Rotating exhibitions of artful local contemporary photography always round everything off very nicely indeed. Recommended. QI‑9, Dominikonų 10, tel. (+370) 52 61 11 37, www.cozy.lt/ en/. Open 08:00 - 02:00, Fri 08:00 - 04:00, Sat 09:00 - 04:00, Sun 09:00 - 02:00. €7. PJA6BSW FORTAS If you’re in the Naujamiestis area, Fortas is the best place to dine or enjoy a beer or coffee, with amiable uniformed waitresses, comfy interior, unobtrusive lighting and easy-going atmosphere. National cuisines feature on alternate weeks. Greece was the star when we dropped by and the Greek salad was as authentic as you’d find in the Baltics. All the major meats are name-checked on the illustrated menu, and our squid-and-cod rich seafood stew was delicious. Dishes are created with precision, leaving little room for good or bad surprises. Natural juices may include the wonderful spinach and orange.QG‑10, Algirdo 17, tel. (+370) 65 20 11 38, www.fortas.eu. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 11:00 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. €5.5. PTASW facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
KITCHEN An angular experience with plenty of creamy shades and exposed wooden features, this simple offering not only keeps the décor to a minimum but also doesn’t get carried away with the menu. The recommended dishes on offer include a recently eaten plate of miniature fishcakes that despite their laughable size tasted superb. There’s an extensive wine list too. A good choice for those wanting to impress without breaking the bank.QJ‑10, Didžioji 11, tel. (+370) 68 88 05 58. Open 11:30 - 24:00. €10. PTJA6SW TRINITY It may seem sacrilegious, but decadent Trinity injects precious life into one of the Old Town’s many old monasteries. Abstract monochrome canvases, stripped-smooth branches, intoxicating tropical jazz and nu-lounge beats may have shocked the monks, but as waitresses ferry dishes and drinks between the tables you can’t help asking why more restaurants can’t feel like this. Beer-braised pork ribs and duck breast with cranberryflavoured couscous jazz up the modest menu with a couple of noodle dishes thrown in, making Trinity a convenient lateevening launch pad for the bar and club downstairs. Beware the Zombie cocktail – two of these and the voodoo will start to kick in.QVilniaus 30, tel. (+370) 66 67 47 77. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Mon 11:00 - 22:00, Thu 11:00 - 03:00, Fri 11:00 - 05:00, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00, Coctail bar open Tue, Wed 18:00 - 24:00, Thu 18:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 18:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Night club open Fri, Sat 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. €10. PTJABW December 2016 - April 2017
SUE’S INDIAN RAJA One of the best restaurants in the Baltics, Sue’s constantly impresses with a fabulous range of dishes made with hand-picked and hand-mixed spices by a team of top Indian chefs overseen by the uniquely charming Wing Commander Rajinder Chaudhary. We drop in on a regular basis, most recently indulging in a rich tilapia tikka, some powerful chicken jalfrezi and a creamy vegetable makhani straight from the Punjab. The location by the cathedral is unbeatable, service courteous, the overall experience magical.QI‑8, Odminių 3, tel. (+370) 52 66 18 88/(+370) 67 64 29 18, www.suesindianraja.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00. €10. PTJAVBSW
SORRENTINO It may be located on the tourist trail a few steps from the Gates of Dawn, but this informal and very special ristorante with its mainly seafood menu, charming frescoes, tiled floor, simple furniture and calming Italian tunes feels like a corner of Campania. Named after the chef, it serves up genuine, unadulterated Neapolitan fare featuring prawns, swordfish and sea bass, plus a terrific octopus salad drenched in olive oil and lemon, served on black slate. Romantic couples and small groups clink glasses of prosecco and Sicilian wine, and there’s a few dishes for kids too.QAušros vartų 15, tel. (+370) 60 07 87 92, www.sorrentino.lt/landingpage-en.html. Open 11:00 23:00, Mon, Sun 12:00 - 22:00, Thu, Sat 12:00 - 23:00. €15. J
34 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Restaurants Stay up-to-date facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket ST. VALENTINO Fantastic in summer when the seating spills outside across the street, St Valentino is worth visiting in any season. Its pastas and pizzas as well as more adventurous dishes like bulgur wheat with octopus and asparagus are a cut above the norm, as its army of faithful local visitors will gladly testify.QI‑9, Vilniaus 47/18, tel. (+370) 65 26 57 77/ (+370) 52 31 41 98, www.stvalentino.lt. Open 07:30 23:00, Thu, Fri 07:30 - 24:00, Sat 09:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. €15. PTJABSW VAPIANO Take a plastic payment card as you walk in and line up at open kitchens for pizzas, pastas, salads and soups, all freshly made on the spot. Enjoy a spicy Bolognese, a luscious crema di pollo, or a healthy mixed salad. Interact with the chefs, who speak English, to fine-tune the ingredients. Part of an international chain, Vapiano is perfect for lunch or a break from shopping at the sleek Europa mall. It’s a fairly efficient operation, but waiting to order pasta sometimes takes a while.QH‑6, Konstitucijos 7a (Europa), tel. (+370) 52 38 34 89, www.vapiano.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Mon, Tue 11:00 - 22:00, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00, Kitchen works till 22:30, Mon, Tue 21:30, Sat 22:30, Sun 20:30. €6. PTA6SW
JAPANESE MIYAKO Miyako provides the full Japanese experience without shoving it down your throat. What you should shove down your throat are selections from the sushi and sashimi menus, all prepared in the front bar area, and all very good indeed for Vilnius.QH‑6, Konstitucijos 7a (Europa), tel. (+370) 61 85 21 12, www.miyako.lt. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 21:00. €12. PTASW RISE Every sushi restaurant must have its niche, and Rise’s raison d’être is its delicate rice-paper wraps filled with all manner of goodies. But don’t let those distract you from the highquality and surprisingly reasonably priced omakase (chefselected) dishes including sashimi, tamago omelettes, miso kimchi soups and cod tempura.QGedimino 43, tel. (+370) 68 48 64 56. Open 11:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. €5. PJAW
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December 2016 - April 2017
Restaurants KOSHER RISHON The first kosher restaurant has opened in Vilna, in the small but elegant basement of the boutique Dvaras Hotel near the Cathedral. At times lively with family dinners, at others quiet, it’s a sparkling room with lights and mirrors, paintings and tablecloths. The waitress can helpfully explain the menu, especially if it’s a religious holiday when additional fish dishes replace the meat. Table water comes flavoured with lemon and roses. We enjoyed delicious traditional dishes with Forshmak herring, stuffed carp, stuffed aubergine, falafel, humus and more, washed down with dry, rich Recanati wine from Israel and shots of Litvak vodka.QI‑8, Tilto 3, tel. (+370) 65 52 28 94. Open 07:00 - 22:00, Fri 07:00 - 16:00, Sat 16:30 23:00. €10. PT J A V E S W
MEXICAN SOFA DE PANCHO Sofa de Pancho may not have any Mexicans working in the open kitchen but those who do are enthusiastic and rather talented. One of the best things about the place is that everything’s been thrown together in a jumble-sale fashion that adds a touch of exuberance to a city with too many sterile restaurants. Try the breakfast tortillas if you’re feeling brave, and don’t do what we did and turn up on a Tuesday evening assuming there’d be a table. Reserve ahead.QI‑11, Visų Šventųjų 5, tel. (+370) 67 38 90 02. Open 16:00 - 22:00, Sat 13:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon, Sun. €15. PTJA6S
MOROCCAN MAGHRIB An oasis of Saharan exoticism can be found a few steps up the hill from the Angel of Užupis. Images of Morocco are everywhere, even on the ceilings, and Berber chants drift from the speakers like a desert breeze as the waiter pours a thin stream of mint tea into your glass. About half the menu is vegetarian. Begin with zalouk, a cold corianderflavoured aubergine starter, or crisp spinach-and-goatcheese briwat pastries with peanut-and-caper sauce. Move on to slow-braised beef ribs, lamb tajine, or flaky pie filled with pumpkin and potato. Fabulous.QK‑9, Užupio 22, tel. (+370) 61 49 82 83. Open 18:00 - 22:00, Fri 17:00 - 23:00, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00. Closed Mon. €13. PTJA6SW
NOODLES RAMENAS IR PAGALIUKAI Wear your serviette high and slurp down a hearty bowl of ramen noodles at this slender joint near the cathedral. Despite its plasticky look it’s not as budget as you might expect, but the bowls are peppered with tender duck, pork, shiitake, bamboo sprouts, etc. And the six variously 36 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Restaurants spiced choices of dish can be added to with extra ingredients if needed, as the soup-spattered menu makes clear. After chopsticking up the solids, don’t be afraid to pick up the bowl and slurp down the broth.QL. Stuokos Gucevičiaus 7, tel. (+370) 65 19 71 32. Open Mon-Wed 11:30 - 14:30, 16:30 - 21:00. Thu Open 11:30 - 14:30, 16:30 - 23:00. Fri Open 11:30 - 14:30, 16:30 - 23:00. Sat Open 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun Open 12:00 - 18:00. PJAW
PORTUGUESE GALO DO PORTO Portuguese-style skewered-meat espetadas are the highlight here, suspended from a hook and drawing gasps as they arrive at the table. Sumptuous steaks, ribs, classic burgers and other carnivorous delights add weight to the menu, as do seafood dishes cooked in special cataplana cookware. Most of the garnish, from creamy mashed potato to succulent salads, costs extra. But the atmosphere of this tastefully designed centuries-old room, its sheltered summertime courtyard and even the tunnel to the toilets create a memorable experience.QJ‑11, Aušros vartų 11, tel. (+370) 68 61 83 17/(+370) 52 61 92 61. Open 12:00 - 23:30, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. €18. TJAEBSW
STEAK MEAT LOVERS PUB You’ll be lucky to find a table at this popular, cosy rendezvous for passionate carnivores. The meat dishes are cooked to perfection and our T-bone steak was one of the finest we’ve ever eaten. The ribs are finger-licking, the soups and snacks satisfying, the burgers and grilled sausages among the best in town. Take away your order if there’s no spare table. Fish and veggie options are next to non-existent, and why shouldn’t they be?QI‑9, Šv. Ignoto 14, tel. (+370) 65 25 12 33, www.meatloverspub.lt. Open 11:30 - 24:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00. €7. PTA6SW STEAKHOUSE HAZIENDA Enter the secluded courtyard of the Mabre Residence hotel and turn left to find this gem of a restaurant, ideal as a centrally located hideaway for a secret date or for a sheltered business meeting. Practically all of the grills are seductive, from the prime Argentine limousin steak to the venison tenderloin to the bass and the bream. The knowledgeable staff will be able to tell you about the origins of all of the raw material. QJ‑9, Maironio 13 (Mabre Hotel), tel. (+370) 52 12 13 89, www.mabre.lt. Open 12:00 - 24:00. €22. PT J A E B W
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TIPS FOR TIPPING Lithuanian tipping etiquette can seem a bit confusing. While in other countries it’s perfectly normal and even courteous to say ‘thanks’ (or the Lithuanian ačiū) and give a friendly nod when the waitstaff come to collect the bill, you may be startled to learn that in these parts it’s an indication that you don’t want any change back. This cultural slip-up can get a bit embarrassing if you’re later forced to track down your server and ask for your change. This practice is slowly changing in Vilnius, but to avoid these situations we suggest that you only say ‘thank you’ when the service of your waiter/waitress is no longer needed, when you’re getting up to leave, or if you are happy for them to keep all of the change. When that’s not the case, try to avoid eye contact when they’re taking the payment. The word you need learn is prašau (pronounced pra-show), meaning ‘please’ or ‘here you are’. The average waiter or waitress in Lithuania still makes a paltry hourly sum, and a customary tip is up to 10% of the meal’s total. So we strongly encourage you to reward good service, when you feel it’s deserved. Finally, it’s not common practice to add the tip to your credit card payment, in part because the company is highly unlikely to pass the tip on to the waitstaff. For that reason, try to have some change handy so you can still leave a cash tip, or ask your server for change if you need to. December 2016 - April 2017
Pizza: often an art form in Vilnius
SALAD MANO GURU Opened way back in August 2004 and still going strong, the recommended Mano Guru offers a mind-boggling array of substantial salads plus desserts and soft drinks in something of a boutique setting. Popular particularly with women watching their weight, other people are encouraged to visit not least because of the idea behind the place. Begun on the initiative of local legend and former mayor of Vilnius Artūras Zuokas, over half of the staff working here are recovering drug addicts involved in what’s probably the most enlightened project in the city, and one that’s well worth supporting.QH‑8, Vilniaus 22/1, tel. (+370) 52 12 23 99/(+370) 52 12 01 26, www.manoguru.lt. Open 07:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 20:00. €4. TJA6VSW
CAPO PIZZA BAR We’ve enjoyed this fantastic Italian restaurant before, at its first location in Kaunas (though we haven’t yet tried the second venue in Avignon, France), so we are delighted that Capo number three is in the Lithuanian capital. As expected, pizza is the focus here and it’s made Sicilian style, with a slightly thicker crust. Our eponymous “Capo” version was a drool-precipitating fusion of lots of melted mozzarella, chorizo, ham and red onion. It took up a full plate, unlike, say, the pestosaturated pasta Genovese. Cool design with birch logs, wine bottles and dangerously low lampshades, friendly staff and fifties-sixties music round off the experience. QL. Stuokos - Gucevičiaus 7, tel. (+370) 61 29 99 32, www.elcapo.lt/. Open 11:30 - 24:00, Mon 11:30 23:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. €7.
NIÑO The cracking little medieval cellar space under Cozy now operates in the guise of a lounge-like tapas bar. The delicacies in question more or less measure up to the real thing, the English-speaking staff are frightfully nice and, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t agree with fancy food, it’s possible to spend hours down there soaking up nothing more than the atmosphere and lots and lots of alcohol. The attached restaurant-bar upstairs is pretty good too.QI‑9, Šv. Ignoto 16, tel. (+370) 52 61 11 37, www. ninobaras.lt/en/. Open Thu 19:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 18:00 03:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. €4. PJASW
DON SIMON In a comfortable and efficient space shared with a sushi spot, take your pick from thin and crispy pizzas – the masterful eponymous pie foregrounds Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella – with smiling service and witty quotes on the table-mats.QI‑8, Gedimino 2a, tel. (+370) 68 62 99 77, www.donsimon.lt. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Thu 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. Also at Kęstučio 24a. €7. PTJASW
PHUN KEE DUCK Here’s a first for Vilnius: fast-food Thai. A wokked-up noodle meal is created to match your preferred meat – we recommend the pork with mushrooms, but basically everything is slap-up tasty. Little more than a tiny room inside a curious old manor structure with column façade, it’s mainly used for take-away eats but is a perfect nosh spot if you’re near southern Pylimo.QPylimo 49, tel. (+370) 61 00 48 18. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sat 12:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00. Closed Tue. €4.
JURGIS IR DRAKONAS Jurgis is the local name for George, and the dragon is the shapely pizza oven. A popular spot, like its previous out-of-town incarnation, expect it to be busy at any time of day, and as they don’t take reservations you may need to wait. We say the wait is worth it as just about everything, including the flour, is brought from Italy and the pizzas are thin and crisp right from the dragon’s mouth. Quite possibly, they’re the finest pizzas in town.QH‑9, Pylimo 22d, tel. (+370) 60 07 79 77, www.jurgisirdrakonas.lt. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00, Also at Verkių 29, Ozo 25 (Akropolis), Konstitucijos 21c (Quadrum North). €6. PTJASW 38 Vilnius In Your Pocket
SPANISH & TAPAS
WOK TO WALK Vilnius’ first foray into the world of instant downtown wok nosh is a breath of fresh air. Mix your Asian menu from noodles, rice or mixed vegetables with a main dish and a choice of seven sauces and get it stir-fried in front of you in minutes. The result, served in a small cardboard box, is pretty good and steadily improving. Limited seating encourages plenty of noodle bonding and be careful with the spicy dishes, they may dissolve your fillings. Fun? Well strangely enough, yes. At least it is if you go with a friend or two and order different combinations for sharing.QH‑8, Vilniaus 19, tel. (+370) 65 59 19 19, www.woktowalk. com. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Fri 11:00 - 03:00, Sat 12:00 03:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00. €5. JA6VBSW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
VEGETARIAN BALTI DRAMBLIAI One of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Vilnius is still going strong, more than 13 years after first opening its cellar doors. The menus offer a decent range of veggie food from around the world, including shiva puri, potato parata, fried eggplant with rice and salad and some splendid Tibetan dumplings stuffed with paneer. It’s all decent if not special and has the bonus of being relatively cheap. Wash it all down with Ayurvedic teas or a banana lassi.QI‑9, Vilniaus 41, tel. (+370) 65 09 04 69, www.baltidrambliai. lt. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. €4. PJAEBW GYVAS BARAS Many of the dishes at this informal eatery are vegan, with daily specials chalked up according to whatever’s in season. You might find veggie tacos, oven-roasted aubergines, pumpkin soup, carrot pancakes and other delights. The interior may be lacking in character, but the staff are warm and helpful.QI‑8, Odminių 15, tel. (+370) 65 69 29 39, www.gyvasbaras.lt. Open 11:30 - 22:00, Thu 11:30 - 23:00, Fri 11:30 - 24:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 13:00 20:00. €5. PJA6VSW HOLIGANS Adding to the small but growing spectrum of cheap and casual leafy eateries, the inappropriately named Holigans delights bookish types with creamy pea soup, veggie protein and beetroot burgers in dense, bready baps, and a facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
stew that features just about every local vegetable you can name. Glorious cakes too. The interior is designed a bit like a kindergarten, with coat pegs, cheerful sketches on the walls, colourful chairs and daily specials chalked up on a blackboard, and the people are welcoming.QŠopeno 10, tel. (+370) 61 55 07 45, www.holigans.lt/. Open 11:00 21:00. Closed Mon, Sun. €4. PAW VEGAFE One of Vilnius’ growing selection of vegetarian restaurants, and one of the best. Featuring an impressive menu of dishes made from fresh ingredients, it nods in the general direction of Asia. The freshly squeezed fruit juices are especially good here and the food comes in all shapes and sizes from simple snacks to full-blown meals. The place itself is gorgeous, simple yet stylish, and we adored the lamps above the tables.QI‑8, Totorių 3, tel. (+370) 65 97 74 11, www.jogosmityba.lt. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00, Also at Savičiaus 13/2. €5.5. PTJA 6SW ZATAR FALAFEL&HUMMUS Simple and speedily effective, Zatar is falafel and hummus – and only that, just about, with veggie adornments, olive oil, sauces and pita bread, and washed down with local birch juice. It’s as satisfying as any burger. Split-level seating, plants and ferns spice up the décor.QVokiečių 9, www.zatar.lt. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Thu 10:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 05:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00. €4.85. December 2016 - April 2017
Sweetly innovative and irresistible at Sugamour
CROOKED NOSE & COFFEE STORIES Choose your freshly roasted bean and select from seven very different brewing styles – or sample three beans done in the same method to compare their tastes. At this open-plan café in a new upscale apartment block a short walk from the Old Town, watching the knowledgeable Lithuanian and German crew work gadgets like the Aero Press is all part of the experience. Walk in to try Brazilian, Guatemalan, Kenyan, even Thai coffee, alone or in a group.QŠaltinių 20-17, tel. (+370) 67 08 18 03, www.crooked-nose.com/. Open 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PAW
GOURMET CAKES SUGAMOUR Perhaps the city’s most elaborate sweet bites yet can be found in a brightly illuminated display right in front of the door of this gleaming and immaculate Parisian café in the Old Town. Faultlessly presented, it’s almost a shame to break them apart, but each has hidden elements you can’t see from the outside. We recently treated ourselves to a superlative lemon meringue tart (our favourite), an evocative raspberry and almond tart and a creamy caramel cube coated with caramel chocolate. These fancy delights are not cheap but many a sweet-toothed patron will argue they’re worth every euro. Multicoloured macarons are lined up too, while drinks include Cortado espresso and Kusmi teas.QI‑10, Vokiečių 11, tel. (+370) 68 61 99 95. Open 07:00 - 22:00, Fri 07:00 - 23:00, Sat 08:00 - 23:00, Sun 09:00 - 22:00. PTJA6BW 40 Vilnius In Your Pocket
HURACÁN COFFEE One of the country’s top coffee-house chains, Šviežia Kava’s Gedimino 9 outlet is housed inside a bookshop no less, making for the perfect environment to drink quality espresso and the like amidst a wealth of literature. Laptoptappers abound, however. Amazing fruit juices include raspberry made with vacuum evaporation technology. Keep an eye out for other Huracán branches, like the one at Vokiečių 15, which plays vinyl records in a pleasantly darkened interior.QI‑8, Gedimino 9, tel. (+370) 52 60 96 53, www.huracan.lt. Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 19:00, Also at Gedimino 35, Vokiečių 15, Saltoniškių 9 (Panorama), Upės 9, Savanorių 22, J. Balčikonio 3. PJAUSW KAVOS ERA We enjoyed quite possibly the best eggs and bacon in Lithuania at this high-ceiling café serving all-day breakfasts, beigels stuffed with fillings like brie and avocado, BBQ polar sandwiches, gourmet omelettes and freshly baked croissants. The coffees and fresh juices are just fine too. If you’re close to the Forum Vingis cinema on the slowly renewing nearer stretch of Savarorių, look no further. QSavanorių 6, tel. (+370) 52 03 07 63. Open 07:30 18:00, Sat 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. A PILIES KEPYKLĖLĖ Treated as a café by many who visit, this popular daytime meeting place functions as a café, bakery and crêperie all in one. Ideal for taking difficult grandmothers, the baked goods are better than many in the area, the vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Cafés coffee does wonders for a stubborn hangover and the crêpes are some of the best in the city.QJ‑9, Pilies 19, tel. (+370) 52 60 89 92. Open 09:00 - 23:00. JA BS PINK MILK SHAKE The Oreo shakes get a big pink star at this cutesy five-seater box in the Old Town cunningly located opposite a school. The mint-chocolate shake is an acquired taste but the Snickers, Bounty, apple pie and strawberry shakes are a hit, each smothered in whipped cream and coloured sauces and delivering a month’s recommended sugar intake in a single handy plastic cup.QVilniaus 45, tel. (+370) 60 70 74 48. Open 10:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. PJ AW PRIE ANGELO This recommended little spot offers the full Užupis café experience from the experimental decoration to a passing trade of local characters. Worthwhile for express liquid refreshment or something not too fancy from the menu, as the name suggests the location is next to the marvellous and quirky angel statue. Other sights of note are the collection of translated versions of the Užupis Constitution on the wall across the street opposite the entrance.QK‑9, Užupio 9/2, tel. (370) 65 52 23 34. Open 09:00 - 22:00, Thu, Fri 09:00 - 02:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 23:00. PTJ A6BSW TASTE MAP Get a coffee freshly roasted and expertly prepared at this new corner café in one of the city’s leafier districts. Our flat white and just-baked almond pasty were reviving during a stroll down Čiurlionio, one of Vilnius’ most charming streets outside the Old Town, to Vingis Park. Local herb teas, hot chocolate and cascara – coffee cherry tea – make up the alternatives.QG‑9, M. K. Čiurlionio 8, tel. (+370) 62 68 04 83/(+370) 62 92 91 36, www.tastemap.lt. Open 07:00 - 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 19:00. J6E XSW THIERRY KEPYKLA Currently making waves as the best place in town for croissants and coffee for breakfast and now boasting a lot more space with a grand total of nine tables, any half-way
decent addition to the generally grim selection of bakeries in Vilnius is more than welcome. A bit out of the way at the top of a steep Užupis hill, by all accounts the walk is worth the effort.QK‑9, Užupio 19, tel. (+370) 67 90 90 81, www.thierrykepykla.lt. Open 07:00 - 19:00, Sat 08:00 - 19:00, Sun 09:00 - 18:00. Also at Vilniaus 45, Švitrigailos 29, Jasinskio 16a, Verkių 29 (Ogmios miestas). PTJ A6SW
TEA LOCAL T Herbs are carefully picked in the wilds of Anykščiai and combined to concoct unique local teas in the Old Town. Brewed puer-style at the right temperature in soft water, they include royal and sweet mint, a blend of 17 herbs to boost the immune system, a wake-up tea more powerful than coffee, a relaxing tea to help you sleep, and one that cleans the blood. Flavoured honeys can sweeten the brew, and hot or cold sandwiches and ‘smiley’ pastries filled with curd can pleasantly turn a tea break into lunch. QI‑9, Vilniaus 45, tel. (+370) 62 68 32 28, www.localt.lt/. Open 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 11:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 20:00. JASW
CATS CAT CAFE (KAČIŲ KAVINĖ) Cats never tire of attention, and here there’s no end of it. Pouncing on a growing trend, Cat Café is popular with couples, families (but no kids aged under six) and cat lovers of every stripe, so you may have to wait for a table. The moggies are a bit retiring, most of them kipping on comfy perches atop claw-friendly climbing frames. But some will come to you once you have food on the table. The two waitresses are busier than the cats, ferrying dishes from the hatch – potato pancakes, spaghetti, sandwiches, waffles, milkshakes in mini milk bottles, coffee with a cute chocolate paw print on top. Booze is served too, if you fancy an early start to a night on the tiles. Minimum order per person is €3.QG‑8, Jasinskio 1, tel. (+370) 67 13 43 43, www.catcafe.lt. Open 12:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 19:00. PJASW
December 2016 - April 2017
Old Town cocktail crawl!
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42 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Underneath a chandelier cunningly made of chemistry lab equipment, heads nodded to the beat, images lit up on smartphones and waitresses boldly elbowed their way through the crowd. Barmen craned for bottles on a sliding ladder behind the bar. Lots of beer, champagne and mojitos were getting swallowed. Our order arrived promptly – a big, broad glass of Monkey Shoulder whisky with homemade saffron syrup and an orange-zest aroma, puddled by a tennis ball of ice. The salmon was equally delectable, with a subtle taste of gin, and resting on a bed of chopped cucumber. Not many steps away, luckily for us, was r Alchemikas (Islandijos 1, H-9), whose concoctions are legendary in Vilnius and whose master shakers have gone on to create their own bars of distinction. Its oldy-worldy lounge interior harks back to the 19th century, era of inventions and crazy experiments. The entertaining menu lists 90-odd elixirs, subdivided into classics, alchemical concoctions, shots and – the unusual. We naturally gravitated towards the latter. Actually we wanted two. Pernod Green Beast was the best, its anise and absinthe flavours combined in a highball glass with lime, sugar syrup and incredible swirls and spirals of cucumber. Go ahead and spear them out of the glass – we did. Coctel Algeria followed, a Pisco recipe with Cointreau, apricot liqueur and orange juice that was milder but very particular in its combination of tastes. Shielded by the curved bar, the staff tried their best to get everybody smashed – and it was working. Next! Sidestepping the domino line of bars on Vilniaus Street – knee-to-elbow Bardakas, beery Republic, seriously clubby Matérialiste – we made it to our next stop... To see how the tour ended, at t Switch and y Paparazzi, go to inyourpocket.com/vilnius/features.
Strange potions are mixed and guzzled in the Old Town’s cocktail bars. What fun, then, to experience them all in one night, spirits and liqueurs from all corners of the Earth mingling inside your belly as the city lights pass by in an all-enveloping blur. And a stumbling, befuddled time was what we expected. Yet all the booze blended tastefully, subtly and imaginatively with a refreshing variety of juices, nectars, herbs and extracts, easing the impact, and we can just about remember how our night ended. You don’t have to do it this way, of course. Any one of the places we tried would be fun on its own. But imagine the frustration of staying just a night or two in Vilnius and having to cram in all of these great bars before your time in the city is up. In sympathy, we decided to see if such a cocktail tour was possible. So, mid-evening on a Saturday night, we called in at our first stop. On the shelves at Apoteka (Visų Šventųjų 5, I-11) are tinctures of chili pepper, beakers of lime, ancient tequilas, little-known local herbs and musty chemists’ tomes penned by mad professors. Taking a seat at the bar we asked for something sour yet fruity with rum – and it was hard to keep up with the whirl of hands as the apronwearing pharmacist threw one thing after another into a mixing glass. It was like he had eight arms. We saw at least two rums and maybe some cognac go in, plus bursts from nameless flasks of richly scented pineapple and peach, before the potion was stirred, strained and carefully poured into a unique ceramic cup with a grinning Aztec face on the front. The barman then arranged with precision some exotic grasses and caramelised citrus slices on top. The potent result was refreshing perfection. We had obviously started at the right place, and it could only go downhill from here. And so it was, topographically speaking. We made our way down quiet Arklių to the Town Hall, stubbornly resisted the invitingly noisy bars on Vokiečių, and reached w Rhum Room (Vilniaus 39, I-9) where we snatched the last available seat, at the end of the bar. Groups of meticulously dressed, hairsprayed and floppy-fringed locals were clearly enjoying themselves amid the minimal Cubanesque décor and perky Caribbean tunes, while two chin-stroking gents beside us discussed the merits of Pyrat XO from Guyana versus Dictador 20YO of Columbia, bottles and curvaceous glasses of both in front of them. Busy, smartly attired bargirls saw to our request for Floradora 1990, a jumble of Tanqueray, raspberry liqueur, lime (of course) and ginger, a delicious, spicy continuation of our night’s rum scrum. Bottles of rum from everywhere from Belize to Thailand adorned the shelves. It’s possible to drink the sugarcane straight or get it mixed with egg white, green tea or basil. Just around the corner is e Distilerija (Vilniaus 28, H-8), an intensely lively, clubby venue with a vibe, where by chance we grabbed a seat just as an affectionate couple were leaving. Bombarded by pulsating techno and competing voices, we screamed our order into the waitress’s ear pointing at the dog-eared menu of 12 cocktails and assorted snacks: Saffron Old-Fashioned, plus gin-marinated salmon tartare. We were feeling peckish.
Gates of Dawn
Lithuanian beer – a guide! Dundulis also makes a range of other unique beers, such as a wonderfully creamy, smooth and smoky stout called Kovarnių Stautas and a very dry, tongue-numbing, bitterherb brew called Kiečių. Traditional ale has also grown quickly in Lithuania, if you can find it, with Kupiškio, Jovaru and Krikšciuno being among the best.
BEER TOUR Sampling the nation’s excellent beers
Lithuanian beer is fresh, crisp and highly recommended. The best brews have won many awards over the years. Only in 2015, 16 of them won gold, silver or bronze in the various categories of the World Beer Awards, as the country’s top breweries fielded their finest concoctions against the best from around the globe. The widely praised Švyturys Baltas, for example, won gold in the white wheat beer category. Vilkmergės Vyšnių Kriek scooped gold in the cherry beer section. Tauras Bravoro Rinktinis got gold for the best Dortmunder lager. Other winners included the strong porter Kauno Senasis Porteris, the pale lagers Tauras Ekstra and Utenos Classic and the German-style bock Kunigaikščių. Some of these names are as hard to find in the country’s bars, pubs and supermarkets as they are for non-locals to pronounce, drunk or sober, but you might be lucky. Beer is produced all over the country, with most cities boasting at least one major brewery. But renowned for its centuries-long, almost ancient beer-making traditions with local ingredients is Biržai, in the north of the country. The beers of Biržai are best little filtered or unfiltered. The tourist information centre there guides visitors to its popular beer routes, where you can discover some of the old ways of home brewing, taste traditional beer, cheese and bread, be entertained by a local folk group – and even get up and play the panpipes or horn, sing and dance. However, like just about everywhere, Lithuania’s craft beer revolution is challenging the big names to the extent that the largest breweries have launched their own craftily marketed, ubiquitous brands with funny names in recent years. The massive Klaipėda-based brewery Švyturys has a fairly average range bottled or for the tap under the name Raudonų plytų, with names like Bėganti kopa (Running Dune), Ungurio kojos (Eel Legs) and Nežinomas krantas (Unknown Coast). They sound more like native American tribal names than those of beers. Craft beers by smaller and more independent breweries are the ones to watch for, especially a number of excellent India pale ales. One of the first and the finest is Dundulis from Panevėžys, which produces the misty, grapefruity and dry Humulupu IPA, as well as the darker, copper-coloured and caramely Dubults. From Kaunas, Bravoras Apynys makes the amber-coloured, hoppy-scented and citrusy Green Monster, while in Vilnius there’s Aline Leičiai, whose Leičių IPA has a big foamy head when poured from the keg and tastes sweetish, fruity, almost floral. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
For a memorable Vilnius beer tour there are innumerable possible stops for a refreshing and atmospheric drink, but we suggest the following nine bars and microbreweries. It’s probably best not to name which brews can be sampled at which spots as they alternate with surprising rapidity. But our list is geographically ordered, to start at either the first or the last and work your way forward. Or backward. ALAUS NAMAI, A Goštauto 8 (G-6) - A longstanding favourite, this cellar a kilometre outside the Old Town rolls out barrels as benches as well as beer containers. Food includes the essential kepta duona (fried black bread), lots of sausages, beer soup and crunchy pigs’ ears. ALYNAS, Jogailos 6 (H-8) - Part of a chain of smart and practical but friendly little establishments, this is a small bar with a big heart, and the owners are true beer connoisseurs. CRAFT & DRAFT, Gedimino 5 (I-8) - A restaurant and microbrewery a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral, this address specialises in amazing craft beers from abroad. BŪSI TREČIAS, Totorių 18 (I-8/I-9) - A rowdy, two-level, no-nonsense bar on weekend nights, ‘You’ll be the Third’ has wooden benches and its own beer pumped up from the basement in shades of light and dark, though you may want to steer clear of any flavoured variants. LEIČIŲ BRAVORAS, Stiklių 5 (I-9) - Obscenely comfortable and a touch elitist, with sleek and tight leatherbound seating, this is a classy spot to sample local brews. BAMBALYNĖ, Stiklių 7 (I-9) - Another local favourite, this brick cellar is home to groups and solitary drinkers alike. With as many as a hundred beers, including unpasteurised and unfiltered, it has everything from crowd-pleasing lagers to farmhouse ales. LOKYS, Stiklių 8 (I-9) - Drop into this restaurant, which serves everything from boar to beaver, for the traditional live dark beer Butautų dvaro from Biržai. ALAUS BIBLIOTEKA, Trakų 4 (H-10/I-9) - Choose from a veritable library of beers, on tap or bottled, with optional advice from the knowledgeable bar folk. ŠNEKUTIS, Šv. Mikalojaus 15 (I-10) - A massively popular place to wind up or wind down any beer tour in Vilnius, where you order at the bar and never at the table, and often to a merry handlebar-moustached barman. Šnekutis is (possibly) the place you’ll remember most about any delirious Vilnius beer tour. December 2016 - April 2017
Dressing up for a memorable night at Mojo Lounge
Now that the city’s wine-drinking crowd have their own places to imbibe, the city’s nightlife entrepreneurs are turning their attention to the subject of beer, namely the regular openings of new places selling brown frothy drinks made in small microbreweries around the country. The best are listed here. Some clubs, but not all, apply a cover charge. For the less rowdy, there are plenty of cosier bars worth seeking out. The clubs remain almost exclusively mainstream, whilst the city’s gay and lesbian scene is almost as far underground as a Soviet nuclear test site. Note that face control is currently on the rise in Vilnius; if yours doesn’t fit, forget it. Wearing a decent pair of shoes usually helps. Leave your trainers at home and have fun! NIGHT SHIFTS The times when Vilnius’ nightlife seemed a bit limited have virtually gone. But the illuminated streets are definitely at their liveliest late on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, usually after 10pm. The city’s night scene is constantly changing, with a lot of the action now taking place on certain streets in the Old Town such as Islandijos, Vilniaus, Labdarių, Totorių, Stiklių, Vokiečių, Didžioji and Aušros Vartų – which almost form a convenient bar-hopping loop. Don’t forget to take in Paparazzi, masters of the mixed drink, in a lively atmosphere where you’re bound to get chatting to someone intriguing – or even several intriguing people at once. The gradual process of gentrification taking place throughout Lithuania unfortunately means that oncelegendary watering holes like the raucous Writers’ Union 44 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Bar, which is now a rather more acceptable cocktail bar (at Sirvydo 6), are disappearing from the city centre. But there is an intriguingly edgy side to bars near Halės Market, around the southern reaches of Pylimo Street. LOCAL BREWS Try the beers brewed on site, or at boutique breweries around the country, at casual bars like Alaus Biblioteka, Būsi Trečias and Bukowski Baras, all of which are listed in these pages. For a taste of something very local and a bit odd, squeeze into Šnekutis, which alternates its beers so regularly it sticks handwritten notes on the taps. Some of the most memorable conversations you’ll have here may occur in the queue to get to the toilet. The craft beer trend continues to evolve, with brews such as those in the Dundulis family, like Humulupu IPA, worth seeking out. But some beers, like the all-butunpronounceable Raudonų Plytų Uosto Naujokas and Bocmano Ūsai, have simply been concocted by Lithuania’s industrial breweries to cash in. CLUB ACTION For all-night (almost) dancefloor action, several venues provide memorable combinations of excellent sound and light systems, great drinks and friendly strangers. Enjoy thumping subterranean techno and crowds of red-hot young locals at Pantera, a touch of the exotic and fab cocktails at Mojo Lounge, Latino-pop and a slightly more mature throng at Pabo Latino and gorgeous dancers and hot DJs every weekend at Exit Vilnius. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Nightlife BARS ALAUS BIBLIOTEKA Up the stairs at the Beer Library, the main topic of conversation is exactly that – beer. The vast display of bottled pilsners, bitters, stouts, lagers, Franco-Belgian, German, Celtic, American and other brews covering two walls plus around 15 lined up on tap provide the visual prompts, and the barmen never tire of making personal recommendations. Of the Lithuanian beers try the strong, sweet and aromatic Gubernija Doppelbock. Busy as soon as evening begins, the tables and stools are quickly occupied. If you’re hungry, tasty pizza can be brought up from below.QH‑10, Trakų 4, tel. (+370) 52 12 68 74. Open 17:00 - 24:00, Sat 15:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PJA6BW BUKOWSKI BARAS The hip and the trendy have turned shabby into shabby chic at a bar named after the unrepentant hard-drinking, womanising American poet. He would certainly have approved of the local craft beers, especially the lovely draft Dundulis brews, and an expanded choice of booze lines the wall behind the bar. Opulent hot dogs are grilled and served in trays – with refried beans, macaroni cheddar and, best of all, caramelised onions. Thick buttery fries are optional.QI‑11, Visų Šventųjų 7, tel. (+370) 64 05 88 55. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Wed, Thu 11:00 - 02:00, Fri 11:00 05:00, Sat 13:00 - 05:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. JA6 EBW DĖVĖTI More ultra-casual spots like this are opening up in shady corners across the city, and we welcome every one. Taps pouring craft beers from northern Lithuania adorn the bar, but if it’s a cocktail you’re after, don’t expect the perfect mojito; they’ll ask your preferences and make up a heady mixture on the spot. The bar is hammered together from blocks of wood, while under each table paper towels and buckets are provided in case of spillage. A hip crowd chats to bouncy alt-jazz sounds. If you’re lucky, food may be on offer, such as ‘yummy pork’ or falafel. Opening time depends on how drunk the bartenders were the previous evening.QI‑11, Sodų 3, tel. (+370) 52 50 27 64/(+370) 67 76 17 68. Open 15:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 01:00. JA6EW
DIRTY DUCK Amid a cosy, dark, brick-wood-and-leather interior on the second floor of an Old Town entertainment venue, Newcastle, Guinness, Hoegaarden and other beers are poured, cocktails are expertly mixed – we love the refreshing berry-flavoured house drink – and countless whiskies are deliberated over. Chat to friendly locals to the sound of crowd-pleasing hits, or order super dishes ranging from pork ribs with apple sauce to burgers to fish and chips. But what distinguishes Dirty Duck is its location overlooking the Town Hall, romantically illuminated by evening.QJ‑10, Didžioji 28, tel. (+370) 52 31 26 41, www.dirtyduck.eu. Open 11:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 06:00. PJASW KABLYS On intense Friday nights fuelled by tequila-flavoured Desperados lager or local craft beers like Laužo liepsna (Fire Flame) and Pievų rūko (Meadow Fog), wild locals and hostellers throw themselves around to drum’n’bass. Minimal Mondays, meanwhile, are reserved for calming ambient recovery. Gazpacho, seafood pasta and paella are hashed together at these and other times.QKauno 5, tel. (+370) 66 37 95 93, www.mankablys.lt/. Open 22:00 - 06:00, Mon 20:00 - 02:00. Closed Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. ABW KING & MOUSE The owners of this spot, on what could be the Old Town’s tiniest lane, run an intriguing venue for anyone who just can’t get enough whisky. Featuring more than 300 brands, classes and blends from around the world as well as other drinks and decent food, everything is located within two bar spaces and a shop. Surplus to the usual improvised drinking sessions is a range of tasting events and panderings to the connoisseur.QH‑10, Trakų 2, tel. (+370) 52 03 25 52. Open 17:00 - 01:00, Thu 17:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Sun. JABW MARSAS Mars does what it does really well, from its deliciously different breakfasts and brunches to its scrumptious bar food – buffalo wings, fat burgers, fish and chips. But first and foremost this is a friendly, non-attitude bar in the Old Town that has all the essentials – filter coffee, craft beer,
December 2016 - April 2017
Nightlife Guinness and Genys on tap, and a healthy obsession with David Lynch.QTrakų 15, tel. (+370) 52 69 57 12. Open 16:00 - 02:00, Wed 16:00 - 03:00, Thu 16:00 - 04:00, Fri 16:00 - 05:00, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 02:00. PJ AW PERONAS Perhaps the city’s most daring hipster-style bar of them all, Peronas (‘platform’) takes up a capacious space right by the railway tracks beside the train station. Pleasantly dimly lit, it supplies a steady stream of Moscow mules, dirty martinis and Czech and local beers to thirsty, shambolic crowds that grow in number on weekend nights when DJs and live bands come to play. We especially enjoyed a recent rowdy series of Balkan and klezmer nights.QGeležinkelio 6, tel. (+370) 61 67 47 54. Open 17:00 - 04:00, Mon, Sun 17:00 - 01:00, Tue, Wed 17:00 - 02:00. JABW RHUM ROOM If rum if your passion – and let’s face it, it should be – then put this bar at the top of your list of stops. In a colonial-style lounge with a subtle Caribbean feel, calypso music and sturdy furniture no tropical hurricane could wreck, choose from hundreds of bottles of the sugarcane-coloured stuff. It comes from all corners of the Caribbean and as far away as Mauritius and Japan. Or select a cocktail, the list of which seems a touch conservative – but the bargirls like a not-onthe-menu challenge. For us they suggested a basil greentea cocktail, which was frothily fantastic. Bites range from blood pudding pastries to organic chocolates.QVilniaus 39, tel. (+370) 52 50 48 54. Open 16:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Sun. JAB ŠPUNKA Why aren’t there more bars like this in Vilnius? Small, scruffy, friendly, affordable and packed with a stunning selection of outstanding local and foreign beer on draught and in bottles, there should be a Špunka on every street. Get absolutely sloshed, meet some eccentric locals and ask for one of the wooden boards of meat and cheese when you get peckish. Well worth a visit.QK‑9, Užupio 9, tel. (+370) 65 23 23 61, www.spunka.lt. Open 15:00 - 22:00, Mon 17:00 - 22:00. JAW
46 Vilnius In Your Pocket
COCKTAILS APOTEKA (TALES & COCKTAILS) Beardy weirdy chemists conduct alchemy in a shadowy lab lined with bottles and jars, creating the perfect elixir by blending unique juices, infused alcohol and herbs. Designed to induce ecstasy rather than insensibility in its patrons, the resultant potions are not cheap. But our negroni featuring Tanqueray No.Ten, Campari and Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth with a squeeze of zest, strained gently over a big chunk of ice was sublime. Try too the Moscow mule with effervescent homemade ginger beer, or other strange stimulants made with thyme, dill or coriander.QVisų Šventųjų 5, tel. (+370) 67 55 35 65. Open 18:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 18:00 - 01:00. Closed Mon, Tue. PJAW DISTILERIJA We enjoyed watching our Smoked Manhattan cocktail get made at this jazzy joint in the Old Town populated mostly by young professionals. The restless yet steady-handed, denim-attired barman blowtorched a piece of wood and placed the glass upside-down on the blackened splinters, then filled it with rye whisky, vermouth and angostura bitters. Sit at the bar and you feel dwarfed by the sheer number of bottles, mostly whiskies, but there are many draught and bottled beers too including English bitter, Witte Parel and the strong local Bocmano ūsai IPA. The food highlights are beer-battered fish and chips, lamb sausages and sticky pork ribs, all excellent.QVilniaus 28, tel. (+370) 64 53 12 06, www.distilerija.lt/. Open 11:00 - 02:00, Fri 11:00 - 05:00, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 02:00. JA PAPARAZZI This super-social night-time mainstay mixes always reliable cocktails in a fun atmosphere, the girls and boys supping on Cuba libre and multiple versions of mojito, crowded on stools and huddled around a rectangular bar, their faces bathed in a warm red glow. Monochrome blow-ups of stars of the silver screen watch as friends and strangers buy each other drinks and others shift together on the dancefloor beside the DJ. Hosting popular quiz nights on weekdays, Paparazzi is at its best on teeming weekends from midnight till 3am, which is when we often drop by for an electric-blue adios mother f*cker kick.QI‑8, Totorių 1, tel. (+370) 52 12 01 35, www.paparazzi. lt. Open 19:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 19:00 - 06:00. PJAW
VARIOKAS STEAMPUNK BAR Making the 19th century fashionable again, that era of dangerous inventions, bizarre experiments, odd discoveries and weird creatures, this ‘steampunk’ bar is a fabulous brick cellar designed with industrial cogs and brass pipes, a few steps from Gedimino Avenue. The mad lab tests extend to the cocktails, including a lesser-known electric blue version of Long Island iced tea and Old Vic, with gin, champagne and balsamic vinegar. Our ‘blood and sand’ was deliciously, darkly potent. The music could be a touch more adventurous, but in Vilnius that would run the risk of scaring off the fun-loving crowds, who book tables ahead for the weekend DJs.QA. Jakšto 9, tel. (+370) 68 35 15 61, www.variokas.lt/. Open 17:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 06:00. PA
CLUBS Due to the universal law stating that it’s impossible to be in all places at all times, the club reviews in this guide are written to provide a general overview of what’s to be expected if you visit them. As any serious clubber already knows, nights change with alarming regularity, good promoters come and go and expected crowds fail to turn up. The pitifully few brave clubs in Vilnius who dare to break away from the mainstream all have at least a well-maintained website if not a Facebook page or two to compliment, of which Vilnius In Your Pocket at least always provides the former to help give readers even more information. Finally, the good facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
news about clubbing in Vilnius is that entrance prices are relatively low and the city is remarkably small. If you do happen to stumble on a non-event, relocating to another club is both quick and affordable. EXIT VILNIUS Remember when the best club in the country (and one of the best in Europe) was in Kaunas? That was Exit. This is a welcome return for Lithuania’s top nightspot, now in the capital and once again attracting a beautiful crowd of serious party people looking for a seriously good time. Expect top DJs from all over the world to be spinning the tunes behind the decks, amazing lights and special effects, gorgeous dancers and just about the most hedonistic time you can have in this city. Bring it on!QF‑8, J. Jasinskio 16a, tel. (+370) 62 63 73 43. Open 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. Entrance from €3. PJA MOJO LOUNGE VILNIUS A gorgeous place, decked out in style without ever going over-the-top, with a powerful sound system, sumptuous lighting and sexy patrons. Mojo Lounge hosts loads of regular parties, wild nights and live events and attracts a varied, affluent crowd. It’s the kind of club where you don’t have to worry about feeling too old, or too young. Top music, and the service is good too (it doesn’t take all night to get a drink). A winner!QI‑10, Vokiečių 2, tel. (+370) 65 76 65 00, www. mojolounge.lt. Open 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. Entrance free or from €3. PJAEX December 2016 - April 2017
Nightlife PABO LATINO With three halls and two bars of sheer class, Pabo Latino pumps out music that’s either live or courtesy of some excellent DJs, while its massive cocktail menu is full of refreshing delights. The club of choice for 20- and 30-something professionals, its keeps a tough-but-fair door policy so that what you get inside is a well behaved bunch of smart, good-looking people out for a fun evening in pleasant and sometimes wild surroundings. On some nights there are lessons on how to dance Latino-style, but late on weekend nights the music is as electro as it is Latino.QH‑10, Trakų 3/2, tel. (+370) 52 62 10 45, www. pabolatino.lt. Open Thu 21:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 21:00 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. Entrance free or €5 - 10. PJAEBX PANTERA Enjoy cool cocktails and hot clubbing at this thumpingly popular venue on the edge of the Old Town, where the crowd who make past the hardworking face control are young, fashionable and supremely attractive, while the place itself is much the same. It looks fabulous, packed with comfy black leather sofas ripe for chilling on with your expertly made drink. Watching the bar staff in action is a night out in itself and the waitresses are as gorgeous as the clientele. You’ll love it the moment you walk in.QH‑8, A. Smetonos 5, tel. (+370) 62 63 73 43. Open 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. PJA
LGBT SOHO At the only venue in Vilnius for the LGBT community, one space is for drinking and chatting, another for danceorientated activities, both then subdivided further and decorated in a somewhat eclectic yet rather fetching style. If you want to grab someone’s attention beyond the twinkling of an eye, send a text message for it to be displayed on a large screen.QG‑10, Švitrigailos 7, tel. (+370) 69 93 95 67, www.sohoclub.lt. Open 22:00 07:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. Entrance fee - €5. PAW
LIVE EVENTS JAZZ CELLAR 11 Vilnius’ longstanding love affair with jazz lives on in this pulsating cellar bar close to the Gates of Dawn. Operating outside the summer season, mostly at weekends, the warm atmosphere raises the temperature on even the chilliest of nights.QAušros vartų 11, tel. (+370) 68 41 13 82, www. vilniusjazzclub.lt/. From September open 20:00 - 02:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PJAE
Where’s the party? facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket 48 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Nightlife TAMSTA A brave attempt by the people who run the excellent music shop downstairs to bring live bands of many persuasions to a half-starved audience. Music ranges from jazz to art-rock to old fashioned rock and roll, there’s a long bar to keep everyone fed and watered, and once a month it hosts an Open Mic Day where outsiders can improvise along with other like-minded wannabe musicians.QJ‑11, A. Strazdelio 1, tel. (+370) 52 12 44 98, www.tamstaclub.lt. Open 19:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 19:00 - 02:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. PJAEW
WINE BARS BURBULIO VYNINĖ This tiny wine bar and shop in the Old Town specialises in bottles from small producers in Italy, but their real passion is sparking wines. Discover drinks you wouldn’t expect to find
MICROBREWERIES For the record, our definition of a microbrewery includes bars selling beer from microbreweries scattered around the country. Enjoy. ALAUS NAMAI (BEER HOUSE) Lumps of wood balancing on barrels for tables, a Lithuanian-only menu at the time of writing, live music at the weekends and a crowd of mostly male students nursing an assortment of budget-priced beers from Lithuania and beyond. The menu features beer soup and the prerequisite pigs’ ears and peas, there’s basketball on television when a big game’s on and if you don’t like beer (they don’t sell anything else to drink except mineral water) or rock music you may want to give this place a miss. Of the former, we had a dark Varniukų and a light Miežinis, and then we had another one.QG‑6, A. Goštauto 8, tel. (+370) 52 60 96 37/(+370) 68 72 89 30, www.alausnamai.lt. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Thu 12:00 - 01:00, Fri 12:00 - 05:00, Sat 15:00 05:00, Sun 15:00 - 23:00. PAEBW ALINĖ LEIČIAI The next logical step in the evolution of the specialist Lithuanian beer bar, Leičiai also doubles as a restaurant serving classic traditional local food. As well as a space for drinking the range of superb Lithuanian beers on offer from small microbreweries around the country, this pleasant watering hole also features two dining halls, one with an open kitchen and a small beer garden out the back.QI‑10, Stiklių 4, tel. (+370) 52 60 90 87. Open 11:00 - 24:00. PJA6BSW ALYNAS You will have to go a long way to find a better selection of beer than this place offers. Part of a wider chain of beer shops, the main central location is a top venue for serious connoisseurs of beer. Serving a number of superior brews from microbreweries all around the country, this is very facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
in Lithuania, like Franciacorta from Brescia in Lombardy or, from France, Crémant d’Alsace. They also pour a refreshing spritz. There’s no outdoor seating, but it’s cosy on colder days.QI‑10, Rūdninkų 18, tel. (+370) 65 55 94 13/(+370) 52 60 84 55. Open 15:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PJAW DECANTUS This weeny but ideally located wine bar has a dark and cosy interior and a tiny table or three on the cobbles of Pilies Street in warmer weather. The wines are Italian, Spanish and a smattering of Portuguese, but there’s not a lot in the way of unusual vintages. It’s just great for glugging a bottle in good company, with late-afternoon happy hour involving discounts on the bottle not the glass.QPilies 6, tel. (+370) 67 26 04 61. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. JA
much the thinking-man’s Vilnius boozer. Get in.QH‑8, Jogailos 6, tel. (+370) 65 06 87 52, www.alynas.lt. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Mon, Sun 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 02:00. PJAW BŪSI TREČIAS Meaning something along the lines of You’ll be the third, which in this part of the world spells bad luck, Būsi Trečias functions as one of the capital’s only microbreweries as well as a better than average place to dine on gut-busting local dishes. Downstairs is a genuinely good bar, whilst the large upper level has the feel of a demented German beer hall complete with sozzled groups of locals singing patriotic songs and falling off the wooden benches. The in-house beer is good stuff, although we recommend you steer clear of the flavoured versions.QI‑8, Totorių 18, tel. (+370) 61 81 12 66/(+370) 52 31 26 98, www. busitrecias.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Thu 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 02:00. PJABW ŠNEKUTIS Not a microbrewery as such, Šnekutis sneaks into this section on account of hoarding traditional, microbrewerybrewed beers from all corners of the country. Some of this is live, meaning it only lasts a few days, not unlike the hangover that goes with the superb 12% Stačias from Panevėžys. A couple of large ones of these and you might find yourself rolling down the mysterious staircase by the toilet. Should this happen, don’t be surprised to find yourself fished out by the barman, a personable gentleman with a theatrical moustache. Highly recommended, and extremely popular, meaning it’s not uncommon to find yourself sharing a bench with a strange Lithuanian man eating unidentified animal parts from a bowl. Rare for Lithuania, Šnekutis doesn’t have table service. Order at the bar.QI‑11, Šv. Mikalojaus 15, tel. (+370) 65 04 70 54, www.snekucioalaus-pasaulis.lt/. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Also at Polocko 7a, Šv. Mikalojaus 15. PJAS December 2016 - April 2017
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LA BOHÈME Good for either food or drink, the grandiose medieval interior is perfect for group celebrations and the wine list is both thoughtful and extensive. All in all a most suitable venue for everyone, from passing lads on the pull to a coach-load of grandmothers.QI‑9, Šv. Ignoto 4/3, tel. (+370) 52 12 10 87. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Thu 11:00 - 01:00, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 12:00 24:00. JABSW NOTRE VIE For a relaxing evening in romantic or close company over agreeable wine and tasty snacks, you can do no better than this unpretentious little corner in the Old Town. Occasional live music on weekend evenings adds an extra dose of intimacy. On our last visit, burritos (weekends only) and quesadillas added a touch of spice.QI‑9, Stiklių 10, tel. (+370) 61 42 45 21. Open 15:00 - 24:00, Mon 17:00 24:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 15:00 - 02:00. PJA6EB SW
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vilnius.inyourpocket.com 50 Vilnius In Your Pocket
IN VINO Virtually launching the craze for wine bars in the city when it opened 10 years ago, In Vino clearly has a genuine appreciation for wine and on warmer days and evenings there are few more pleasant spots than the courtyard seating out back. Perhaps best enjoyed on a busy Friday or Saturday night, this is one of the Old Town venues to mingle with the cream of the city’s C-list celebrities.QJ‑10, Aušros Vartų 7, tel. (+370) 52 12 12 10, www.invino.lt. Open 16:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 04:00. PJA 6 BSW
ÉPERNAY This exclusive cellar bar at the high-end of town livens up on Thursdays when fresh boxes of oysters arrive, often including Muirgen, Tsarskaya, Gillardeau, Perle Blanche and Fines de Claire. Slurp them down among the city’s wealthy elite with cool champagne, classy cocktails - or just beer.QEtmonų 2, tel. (+370) 63 33 32 85. Open 17:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Sun. JBW THE BUBBLES. CHAMPAGNERIA New to Vilnius but a simple concept, this is an evening bar dedicated to champagnes, sparkling wines and prosecco, at least 30 of each, and on the board a small selection available on that day by the glass. Bubble freaks can spend quality time with a bottle in an ice bucket between them. The interior is 50 shades of black, but it’s friendly, elegant and spotless, the cool dark emphasising the views of the street and the park and the sparkles in your glass.QH‑9, Vilniaus 35, tel. (+370) 64 77 25 57. Open 17:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 04:00, Sun 17:00 - 01:00. JAW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Nightlife STRIP CLUBS DOLLS This club across the river from the Old Town spotlights some outstanding dancers. Positively alluring, slightly tonguein-cheek shows include the girls dressing up as kinky nurses. Often a DJ adds to the proceedings too. Call for a free limousine ride to the club from the Old Town.QH‑6, Konstitucijos 18, tel. (+370) 52 72 84 82, www.oldtown. lt. Open 20:00 - 05:00. Closed Sun. Entrance €20. PA KALIGULA After a hard day building bridges, killing people on a whim and trying to get your horse ordained as a priest, swish into this little nook for some upper-class depravity. Small, simple and stylish, it’s just the right size for private parties, so we hear.QI‑10, Pylimo 38, tel. (+370) 52 63 63 24, www.kaligulaclub.lt. Open 21:00 - 06:00. Entrance €30. PJA OLD TOWN STRIP CLUB Expect a thumping, throbbing experience on and around the plump sofas of this red-lit club at an Old Town address. There’s more theatre to these shows, which tend to attract a bigger crowd than similar venues around the city.QI‑10, Rūdninkų 14, tel. (+370) 52 12 13 49, www.oldtown.lt. Open 20:00 05:00. Closed Sun. Entrance €20. PJA
December 2016 - April 2017
Vilnius, architectural jewel
Countless cities around the world can justly brag about their breathtaking buildings. Vilnius is one of them, with its flamboyant Baroque, red-brick Gothic and more austere Classical, Renaissance and other styles. The earliest of these styles that can be seen in the city is Gothic, which dominated during and after the country’s conversion to Christianity in 1387. One beautiful building that actually predates this is the Church of St Nicholas (Šv. Mikalojaus 4), which sits in an old courtyard in the Old Town and was built by German merchants in the early 1300s. The city’s most famous examples of Gothic are located next to each other – flamboyant St Anne’s (Maironio 8), which more than 300 years after it was consecrated Napoleon said he wanted to take back to Paris on the palm of his hand, and the Bernardine Church (Maironio 10) behind it. As it has had several alterations over the years, this last church also has recognisable Baroque features, such as the scrolls at the top of its façade. There was a brief flowering of Renaissance architecture in Lithuania, examples being Biržai Castle in the north of the country and, in Vilnius, St Michael’s Church (Šv. Mykolo 9) close to St Anne’s, and the delightful Alumnatas courtyard off Universiteto Street.
GORGEOUS BAROQUE But it was Baroque that came to dominate the Vilnius skyline. Coming from Italy via Poland, this elaborate style wound its theatrical tentacles into virtually every important structure created in the 17th and 18th centuries. More than 20 churches in Vilnius were either built or renovated in the style, most of which have miraculously survived the tumultuous centuries. Their stucco surfaces and richness of form gave the city a special feeling of warmth and dynamism. Among other buildings the cathedral was remodelled, and although much did not survive a later alteration into Classicism, one part of it can still be marvelled at – St Casimir’s Chapel, towards the back on the right-hand side. The intricate decoration is by Constantino Tencalla (161047), a sculptor who had worked on St Peter’s in Rome before heading north to work for the Polish royal court. Influenced by Michelangelo, he combined the decorative properties of marble with architectural form and was one of the most prominent young artists willing to 52 Vilnius In Your Pocket
work outside Italy. Before his early death in Warsaw, he lent his skills to adorn also the stunning interior of St Theresa’s (Aušros Vartų 14) as well as several palaces in the capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A brutal 13-year war with Russia erupted soon afterwards in which Vilnius was captured, pillaged and burned in the 1650s, many of its buildings and monuments destroyed, its population massacred. But this led to another flowering of the Baroque style as repairs got underway. It was during this stage that the Church of St Peter & St Paul (Antakalnio 1) was rebuilt, with its gorgeous interior lavishly decorated by Italians in countless stucco sculptures of figures, faces and symbols. Today, seeing this building is absolutely one of the highlights of many people’s stays in Lithuania. In the 1700s, an architect whose work had a huge impact on the look of the city was Jan Krzysztof Glaubitz (1700-67), who came from the western Polish region of Silesia. At a time when Baroque was developing into Rococo, he rebuilt a number of churches after a devastating fire, including magnificent St John’s (whose façade can be seen from inside Vilnius University), St Catherine’s (Vilniaus 30), the forlorn but still striking Church of the Ascension of the Lord (Subačiaus 26), the towers of the Holy Trinity Church (Aušros Vartų 7b) and the impressive Basilian Gate at the bottom of Aušros Vartų Street. Glaubitz is probably the single architect most closely associated with the overall image of Vilnius, and his work is responsible for the term Vilnius Baroque.
CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY The next style to have a major influence on the city was Classicism, the spread of which was assisted by the university’s department of architecture, opened in the second half of the 18th century. One of the key figures there was the professor Martin Knackfus (1740-1821), who designed the sprawling Verkiai Palace, two wings of which survive today, and the university’s Astronomical Observatory. One of his Lithuanian students, Laurynas StuokaGucevičius (1753-1798) became even more renowned, creating the Town Hall (Didžioji 31), the one-of-a kind rotunda church in the nearby town of Sudervė, the present-day look of the cathedral, which was remodelled after a Greek temple, and other unique structures. Both Knackfus and Stuoka-Gucevičius were caught up in the events of their time and got involved in the Kościuszko Uprising, an ultimately doomed attempt in 1794 to liberate the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Russian influence. Stuoka-Gucevičius was one of the leaders of a local militia and was wounded during a battle with a Russian garrison. The Classical style continued to dominate until well into the 19th century, with local architects designing mansions in the style on streets like Trakų and Pylimo. Since then other styles have come and gone. Thankfully Vilnius continues to be known as a Baroque city, the scrolls and flourishes of this exuberant style giving the city its unique character. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
New adventures at every turn in the Old Town | Photo by Lorenzo Lorio
The Lithuanian capital’s first period of growth took place immediately south of today’s Cathedral Square, eventually becoming the toothsome jumble of Baroque, Gothic, Neoclassical and Renaissance architecture now known as Old Town. Although most people flock to the city to visit this undeniable gem, there are plenty of other things to see when in town, from the very Lithuanian eccentricities encountered over the imaginary border in the self-styled Republic of Užupis to the few remaining relics of a once thriving Jewish community to the occasional Soviet-era masterpiece. Fill the buildings with a reasonably interesting collection of museums and galleries, put some decent parks in the spaces in-between and you’ll find it hard to not find a reason to visit.
ESSENTIAL VILNIUS GATES OF DAWN (AUŠROS VARTAI) Completed in 1522, the Gates of Dawn (or Sharp Gate (Ostra Brama) as it’s known to the Poles) is the only remaining gate from the city’s original defensive walls. As was common at the time, an image of the Virgin Mary was placed above all gates to protect the city, and the story of the Gates of Dawn starts from this simple historic fact. The current image, known as The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, was painted on eight pieces of oak in around 1630 by an unknown artist, was embellished with gold and silver about 40 years after that, was housed inside a purpose-built chapel above the gate in 1706 and is believed to have magical healing powers. Interestingly, the site is revered by both the facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
Catholic and Orthodox faiths and is such an important part of the city’s cultural heritage that it remained open throughout the Soviet occupation. Watch as people walking underneath say a silent prayer. The chapel is open to the public and is accessed via a small door on the left as you’re walking up the hill.QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 14, tel. (+370) 52 12 35 13. Open 06:00 - 19:00. Open 07:00 - 19:00 (November - April). Mass 07:30 (Latin), 09:00 (Lithuanian), 10:00 (Polish), Sun 09:30 (Lithuanian). J GEDIMINAS CASTLE & MUSEUM (GEDIMINO PILIS IR MUZIEJUS) Dating from the 13th century, the castle was rebuilt in 1419 by Grand Duke Vytautas following the great fire of Vilnius. In 1610 it was used as a prison for the ruling classes, and during the chaotic 1655-61 Russian occupation the towers and defensive walls were almost completely destroyed, with partial restoration work beginning as late as 1930, presumably by the thenoccupying Poles. Inside the tower itself find models of the structure as it appeared in the 14th and 18th centuries plus other bits and pieces on the building’s history and knights in dented armour. The views from the castle and the hill are ideal to start a tour of the city. The walk up is a bit of a struggle for many, though there are benches thoughtfully provided along the way. QJ‑8; K‑8/9, Castle Hill, tel. (+370) 52 61 74 53, www. lnm.lt/en/gediminas-castle-tower/. Open 10:00 18:00 (October - March). Open 10:00 - 21:00 (April September). Admission €5/2. J December 2016 - April 2017
CATHEDRAL-BASILICA OF ST. STANISLAUS & ST. LADISLAUS (VILNIAUS ŠV. STANISLOVO IR ŠV. VLADISLOVO ARKIKATEDRA BAZILIKA) The most important Catholic building in Lithuania, Vilnius Cathedral as it’s more commonly known was first built in 1251 by newly converted Grand Duke Mindaugas on the site of a pagan temple. Returned to pagan use after Mindaugas’ death in 1263, it was given back to the Catholic Church on the country’s official conversion to Christianity in 1387. The building that now stands in its place has little to do with the original structure. The current building dates to around 1419, with countless modifications and additions made after that. The NeoClassical form is largely down to Lithuania’s first true architect, Laurynas Stuoka Gucevičius (Pol. Wawrzyniec Gucewicz, 1753-98), who was also responsible for a number of other notable buildings in the city including the Town Hall. The rather plain nave betrays eleven chapels, among them the must-see High Baroque Chapel of St. Casimir (1458-84), named after Lithuania’s patron saint. Built in 1636 to house his remains, the chapel is one of the country’s national treasures. On the roof of the cathedral, the three statues of Sts. Stanislaus, Helena and Casimir, supposedly representing Poland, Russia and Lithuania, are 1997 copies of the 18th-century originals which were destroyed by the Soviets in 1950. Spending several years as an art gallery and even a car repair workshop, the cathedral was returned to the Catholic Church on October 22, 1988 during the eventful Sąjūdis Congress and re-consecrated on February 5, 1989. The 57-metre free-standing bell-tower, now a popular meeting place, was originally part of one of the gates in the city’s defensive wall and has been added to several times over the centuries, giving it its peculiar shape. It 54 Vilnius In Your Pocket
© Vytautas Abramauskas
received six new bells in 2002, baptised by the cardinal in a special ceremony.QJ‑8, Katedros 1, tel. (+370) 52 61 11 27, www.katedra.lt. Open 07:30 - 19:00, Mass 08:00, 17:30, 18:30, Sun 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:15, 12:30, 17:30, 18:30 (Latin). J PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA (LIETUVOS DIDŽIOSIOS KUNIGAIKŠTYSTĖS VALDOVŲ RŪMAI) Positioned at the centre of the historical and cultural heritage of the early Lithuanian state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (13th-18th c.), and its rulers, the original Palace on this spot was destroyed by invasion and fire, falling into ruins that eventually fell to the ground 200 years ago. But its reconstruction became one of the most important features of Lithuania’s Millennium Programme in 2009. Today, the reconstructed palace is seen as a symbol of Lithuania’s statehood, reflecting the twists and turns of the nation’s destiny in history, as well as its strong European ties. Visiting the Palace now, you’ll uncover most important historical facts about Lithuania and how common rulers reigning in Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and other countries resided here and generously hosted envoys from Turkey, Persia, Spain, Italy and many European countries. Displays on the lower floors present the surviving authentic ruins as well as unique archaeological finds and rich Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art collections, reflecting the artistic connections between Lithuania’s Grand Dukes and Europe’s most powerful dynasties and an understanding of Lithuanian cultural heritage in the European context.QJ‑8, Katedros 4, tel. (+370) 52 62 00 07, www.valdovurumai.lt. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission €3/1.50. Guide €22. JA vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Sightseeing GENOCIDE VICTIMS’ MUSEUM (GENOCIDO AUKŲ MUZIEJUS) The sign outside reads that between 1940 and 1991 this building housed the representative institutions of the NKVD and KGB, and, accordingly, the exhibits inside relate almost exclusively to the period of oppression and the so-called genocide of the Lithuanian people by the Communist regime. Understandably a must-see part of any trip to Vilnius for people wishing to understand this often bleak and violent period in the country’s history, what the sign fails to point out is that between 1941 and 1944 the building was controlled by the Gestapo, whose role in the systematic murder of the vast majority of the city’s Jewish population with the willing participation of many ethnic Lithuanians is, somewhat bizarrely, almost completely overlooked, although the recent addition of a room dedicated to just this issue is a welcome addition. Controversy aside, as a testament to the suffering endured by the ethnic Lithuanians, especially under the lunacy of Stalin, the place is essential for any visitor to Vilnius.QG‑8, Aukų 2a, tel. (+370) 52 49 62 64, www.genocid.lt/ muziejus. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission €4/1. J ST. ANNE’S CHURCH (ŠV. ONOS BAŽNYČIA) Unquestionably one of the city’s most famous landmarks, and quite rightly so, St. Anne’s has a history that starts with the alleged construction in the 14th century of a wooden house of worship on this spot in honour of Ona, wife of Vytautas the Great. The first historical records of a church here date from 1394, but the current Gothic masterpiece is believed to have been built between 1495 and 1500 to a design by the Bohemian architect Benedikt Rejt (14531534), who is most famous for designing parts of Prague Castle. Unlike other historical churches in Vilnius, St. Anne’s has managed to escape the ravages of time almost unscathed and is arguably the least changed of them all. Composed of 33 different styles of brick assembled into a delicate and intricate whole, the effect is simply quite stunning. It’s been said the façade incorporates the Pillars of Gediminas, one of the country’s earliest symbols, although this is hardly clear from looking at it. The interior is refreshingly free of ostentation. The separate bell tower has nothing to do with the original design, being built only in 1873. Visiting in 1812, Napoleon famously noted that he wanted to take the building back to Paris on the palm of his hand.QJ‑9, Maironio 8, www.onosbaznycia.lt. Open 16:30 - 18:30, Sat 10:30 - 18:30, Sun 08:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Mass Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 17:30. Sun 09:00, 11:00. J STS. PETER & PAULS’ CHURCH (ŠV. APAŠTALŲ PETRO IR POVILO BAŽNYČIA) Believed to have been built on the site of a site of worship to Milda, the pagan goddess of love, this breathtaking late Baroque masterpiece was commissioned to celebrate victory over the Russians in 1668 by Michael Casimir Pac, the Grand Hetman of the Lithuanian armies, who never lived to see its completion. Financed by two of Pac’s facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
cousins and completed under several master craftsmen including the Polish Jan Zaor and Italian Gianbattista Frediani, the rather plain façade betrays an interior by Giovanni Pietro Perti and Giovanni Maria Galli that’s quite simply out of this world. Containing over 2,000 astonishing stucco mouldings representing miscellaneous religious and mythological scenes, of equal magnificence are the 20th-century altar containing a wooden figure of Christ, Antakalnio Jėzus (Jesus of Antakalnis) which features real human hair brought from Rome in 1700 and the Latvian chandelier made of brass and glass beads and dating from 1905.QL‑6, Antakalnio 1, tel. (+370) 52 34 02 29, www. petropovilobaznycia.lt/lt_LT/. Open 06:30 - 18:45, Mass 07:00, 08:30, 17:00 (Polish), 18:00. Sun 07:30, 08:30 (Polish), 10:00, 11:30, 13:00 (Polish), 18:00. VILNIUS UNIVERSITY (VILNIAUS UNIVERSITETAS) Established in 1579 and one of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe, the splendid ensemble that makes up Vilnius University’s main campus buildings embraces just about every major architectural style of the last 400 years. Originally belonging to the Catholic Church, the university became a secular seat of learning in 1773 and has remained so ever since. Closed for much of the 19th and the first 18 years of the 20th century, famous students who studied here include the Polish Romantic poets Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki, Lithuanian author and historian Simonas Daukantas and Lithuania-born Polish Nobel Prize-winning author Czesław Miłosz. As well as housing the oldest library in the country, Vilnius University is also famed for its lovely courtyards, of which depending on your definition of what a courtyard is, there are either 12 or 13. The university itself claims 13, although by rights the correct number should be 12 as one of them only has three walls, the fourth having been destroyed when the neighbouring Presidential Palace was built. The ensemble was fully restored in 1979 and is well worth investigating. A map can be found at Universiteto 7 explaining where everything is.QJ‑9; I‑9, Universiteto 7, tel. (+370) 52 68 72 98, www.muziejus.vu.lt. Open 09:30 - 17:30. Closed Sun (November - February). Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun (March - October). Admission €1.50/0.50. J
Sts. Johns’ Church inside Vilnius University (see p.62) © www.vilnius-tourism.lt
December 2016 - April 2017
Get an inspiring history lesson at the National Museum
MUSEUMS ADOMAS MICKEVIČIUS MUSEUM The great Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz wrote his masterpiece Pan Tadeusz with its opening lines, “Oh Lithuania, my country, thou art like good health; I never knew till now how precious, till I lost thee”. Both Poland and Lithuania claim him as their national poet. A student in Tsarist-occupied Vilnius from 1815, he lived at this apartment, wrote and published his first poems, met his first love but was from too low a social class to marry her, and helped found a secret organisation called the Philomaths whose aim was to promote the idea of restoring Polish independence. He was arrested in 1823, imprisoned in the Basilian monastery (beyond the Basilian Gate on Aušros Vartų) and then banished forever from the city.QJ‑9, Bernardinų 11, tel. (+370) 52 79 18 79, www.mb.vu.lt/en/about-library/structure/adomasmickevicius-museum. Open 10:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Mon. Admission €1.50/0.70. AMBER MUSEUM-GALLERY (GINTARO MUZIEJUS-GALERIJA) Although not officially a museum this two-storey ode to amber offers explanations in English, German and Lithuanian about the formation, colour, harvesting and processing of Baltic Gold. Follow amber’s history through a series of ancient rooms in the cellar. Amber polishing demonstrations available upon request. The nice people here also run the nearby AV17 gallery at Aušros Vartų 17, which is the only place of its type showing both contemporary art and jewellery. QJ‑9, Šv. Mykolo 8, tel. (+370) 52 62 30 92, www. ambergallery.lt. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Also at Šv. Mykolo 12. Admission free. J 56 Vilnius In Your Pocket
APPLIED ARTS MUSEUM (TAIKOMOSIOS DAILĖS MUZIEJUS) In the 16th century, this was the far northeastern corner of the city’s original defensive walls and held one of the region’s largest armouries. Though much of the Old Arsenal was destroyed during World War II, segments of the earlier structure including an original gate can still be seen inside. This worthy inclusion into the city’s national treasures was rebuilt in 1986. Today it displays Lithuanian and foreign applied art, hosts concerts and, since 2010, has offered a revealing look at authentic historical costumes from the fascinating collection of the fashion historian Alexander Vassiliev.QJ‑8, Arsenalo 3a, tel. (+370) 52 62 80 80, www.ldm.lt/en/. Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission €1.80/0.90. J ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM (ARCHEOLOGIJOS MUZIEJUS) Rather awkward to find hidden away inside a courtyard opposite the funicular station, this often overlooked collection of clothing, documents and other articles tracing the history and culture of Lithuania from the 13th century to the present is equally interesting for being housed inside a splendid historical building that once made up part of the city’s defensive wall. Blind you with its ingenuity it won’t, but for a pleasant 30 minutes that takes in one or two especially lovely exhibits, locating the hole in the wall to find the entrance is definitely worth the bother.QJ‑8, Arsenalo 3a, tel. (+370) 52 62 94 26, www.lnm.lt. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €2/1. J BASTION OF THE VILNIUS DEFENSIVE WALL (VILNIAUS GYNYBINĖS SIENOS BASTĖJOS EKSPOZICIJA) Recently patched up and polished, perhaps a little too vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Sightseeing tastefully, the Bastion is one of the last surviving parts of the city’s old defences against the Russians and the Swedes, dating back to the early 16th century. A museum now sits inside the thick, dank walls and though there’s not a lot to see, much can be imagined of the history of the structure. It fell into ruin during the 19th century and was used as a pitiful orphanage and later as a city dump and public toilet. Vegetables were stored here under Soviet rule before it was restored in 1966 and opened as a museum in 1987. An information point beside the Bastion reveals how one of the characteristic gates of the city once stood close by. Another part of the wall still stretches up little-used Šv. Dvasios Street on the other side of Subačiaus.QBokšto 20, tel. (+370) 52 61 21 49, www.lnm.lt/en/. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €4/2. J HOUSE OF SIGNATORIES (SIGNATARŲ NAMAI) In the shaky days of 1918, neither peace in Europe nor Lithuanian independence looked certain. But on February 16 of that year, a group of politicians and cultural figures met in this house to sign the Act of Independence. The building itself, located in the middle of the tourist action on Pilies, dates from the 16th century. One of the signatories, linguist and activist Jonas Basanavičius, once rented rooms here and short displays detail his life and the circumstances of the act’s signing.QJ‑9, Pilies 26, tel. (+370) 52 31 44 37, www.lnm.lt/en/. Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Group of 1-2 people €2; 3-10 people €6. JONAS MEKAS VISUAL ARTS CENTRE (JONO MEKO VIZUALIŲJŲ MENŲ CENTRAS) Legendary filmmaker Jonas Mekas, famous for documenting the New York arts scene of the 1960s and 1970s and friend of Lennon, Ono and Warhol, gave his name to this avant-garde and contemporary arts space in his native Lithuania. Located in the suitably bohemian district of Užupis, some absurdist Fluxus materials may be on show but expect mainly nascent local artists and little by Mekas himself. Check mekas.lt for what’s on.QK‑9, Malūnų 8, www.mekas.lt/. Open 12:00 - 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. J LITHUANIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM (LIETUVOS GELEŽINKELIŲ MUZIEJUS) Recently moving to much larger premises inside the train station itself, the Lithuanian Railway Museum may not be to everybody’s taste, but is still worth a visit if you’re in the area, or for that matter if you’ve got a while to wait for your train. Made up of three main exhibition halls the museum charts the history of the railways in Lithuania, looks at some of the technical aspects of trains and the tracks they run on, is bursting with old railway-related paraphernalia and also has a couple of models that children can play with. Find it to the right of the main entrance to the station.QI‑12, Geležinkelio 16 (Train Station), tel. (+370) 52 69 37 41, www.litrail.lt. Open 09:00 - 17:00, Sat 09:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission €1.20/0.65. J facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
OLD TOWN TOUR Begin at Vilnius Cathedral (J-8) and take a peek inside at the Baroque St Casimir’s Chapel. Climb the cathedral bell-tower for views, learn a bit of history at the Palace of the Grand Dukes and the National Museum, then jump on the funicular up to Gediminas Castle for more fine views. Stroll back down and head south to J-9 and Gothic St Anne’s. Cross the River Vilnia into Užupis to see the Angel monument, the witty ‘constitution’ and arty shops, galleries and cafés before heading west back across the river past the white Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Mother of God and up Latako to find charmingly tiny St Paraskeva, visited in 1705 by tsar Peter the Great who served here as godfather to Abram Gannibal, Afro-Russian nobleman and greatgrandfather of Alexander Pushkin. Proceed southwards up Didžioji, popping into Vilnius Picture Gallery if you’re intrigued by art history, then passing stunning Baroque structures like St Casimir’s, the Basilian Gate, the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit and St Theresa’s with its gorgeous interior, to find the Gates of Dawn (J11) and its miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. Pass under the gate and turn right to walk down Bazilijonų to get a taste of the real Lithuania at Halės Market (I-11) before heading north again. On a building at the corner of Visų Šventųjų and Rūdininkų is a map showing the terror-stricken ‘ghetto’ where the city’s large Jewish population was herded between 1941 and 1943. On Vokiečių, a leafy a leafy avenue lined with shops, cafés and restaurants, is a modern building housing the Contemporary Art Centre (I-10). Down at the bottom of the street, hang a right to discover the magical interior of the Church of the Holy Spirit and, turning left onto Universiteto, the Alumnatas Courtyard. Further down Universiteto is the entrance to Vilnius University, through which you can explore its courtyards, frescoes in the Littera bookshop and, up the steps, St John’s and its separate bell-tower with sweeping Old Town views. That concludes your Old Town tour. Now relax with a well-deserved brew at one of the restaurants or summer terraces on or around Pilies Street (J-9), or just do some shopping. December 2016 - April 2017
Sightseeing 03 34/(+370) 52 68 03 37, www.pinigumuziejus.lt/en/. Open 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun (November - March). Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Sun (April - October). Admission free. J NATIONAL MUSEUM (LIETUVOS NACIONALINIS MUZIEJUS) Lithuania’s oldest museum, parts of the collection inside this intriguing history lesson date back to the 13th century. On permanent display are religious and secular items highlighting the cultural and ethnographic life of the nation, including recreations of traditional homesteads, clothing, paintings and much more. Also to be found are some of the things unearthed in the mass grave of Napoleonic soldiers nearby in 2001. The museum also puts on temporary shows, of which some are truly outstanding. A vital key for unlocking the secrets of the Lithuanian people.QJ‑8, Arsenalo 1, tel. (+370) 52 62 94 26, www. lnm.lt/en/. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €2/1. J
LITHUANIAN THEATRE, MUSIC & CINEMA MUSEUM (LIETUVOS TEATRO, MUZIKOS IR KINO MUZIEJUS) Originating in 1926 as a theatre museum and slowly collecting departments and exhibits over the decades, this mildly interesting cultural diversion inside an 18th-century palace and theatre charts the Lithuanian history of the three arts. Among several badly ventilated rooms full of harmoniums, 19th-century theatre posters and recordings of famous Lithuanian opera singers are one or two gems including several displays given over to the life of the actress Unė Babickaitė (aka. Une Baye or Bye, 1897-1961), who fund a modicum of cinematic success in the United States in the 1920s. The museum also features temporary exhibitions of painting and photography. If you can prevent the old ladies who guard the place from pestering you every couple of minutes you might just enjoy this place. Entrance is around the back of the building.QI‑9, Vilniaus 41, tel. (+370) 52 31 27 24, www.ltmkm.lt. Open 11:00 18:00, Wed 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission €2/1. Family ticket €3. J MONEY MUSEUM (PINIGŲ MUZIEJUS) Featuring five small rooms on two floors celebrating the history of world and Lithuanian money, despite the inclusion of lots of fancy interactive bits and bobs and plenty of information in English, this relatively new museum’s best attribute is the fact that it’s free to enter. If money’s your hobby then there’s no doubt it’s worth a visit. If it isn’t, then it probably isn’t.QI‑8, Totorių 2/8, tel. (+370) 52 68 58 Vilnius In Your Pocket
VYTAUTAS KASIULIS ART MUSEUM (VYTAUTO KASIULIO DAILĖS MUZIEJUS) Opened to coincide with Lithuania’s 2013 Presidency of the Council of the European Union and housed inside a fine Neoclassical building dating from the early 20th century, this combined museum and art gallery contains a permanent collection of colourful, Chagall-esque works by Vytautas Kasiulis (1918-95) who escaped Lithuania in 1944 for Austria and then Germany and who spent the rest of his life in Paris. The museum also has space for temporary shows and plays host to a range of music concerts.QH‑7, A. Goštauto 1, tel. (+370) 52 61 67 64, www.ldm.lt/en/. Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 12:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission €1.80/0.90. J WAR MACHINERY AND TRANSPORT MUSEUM On grounds that have belonged to whatever military has been in charge since the 18th century is an impressive outdoor display of fighting vehicles, a few kilometres east of the Old Town. These include Soviet-era relics from the Cold War such as T-55 and T-72 tanks, armoured cars, motorcycles and a boat.QOlandų 21a, tel. (+370) 52 61 96 06/(+370) 52 69 76 98, fax (+370) 52 69 76 97, www. muziejai.lt/Index.en.asp. Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Entrance for free.
CHURCHES BERNARDINE CHURCH & MONASTERY (BERNARDINŲ BAŽNYČIA IR VIENUOLYNAS) Once forming part of the city’s original defensive walls and constructed on the site of an earlier wooden church dating from the middle of the 15th century at the behest of an order of Bernadine monks, the current vast Gothic church with Baroque and Renaissance additions dates from the early part of the 16th century onwards. As the old photographs on display show, the church interior was truly breathtaking before the Soviet authorities took control of vilnius.inyourpocket.com
The glorious Gothic duo of St Anne’s Church (left) and the Bernadine Church
the building, handing it over to the Vilnius Art Institute who among other things allegedly incorporated parts of the interior into the works of art the academy was producing. Returned to the monks soon after independence, a mammoth restoration project continues to this day. Current highlights include 14 magnificent rococo altars and the oldest known crucifix in the country, dating from the 15th century. The neighbouring monastery is the oldest part of the ensemble. Once famed for its extensive library and independent-minded monks, the monastery was closed soon after the failed Uprising of 1863 and turned into a barracks for tsarist troops before falling into the hands of the city’s Art Academy at the end of WWI. The building now houses the Vilnius Art Academy.QJ‑9, Maironio 10, tel. (+370) 61 60 11 59, www.parapija.bernardinai.lt. Open Mon, Tue 07:30 - 18:00, Wed, Thu, Fri 07:30 - 19:00, Sat 08:30 - 19:00, Sun 08:30 - 18:00, Mass Mon - Fri 07:30, Wed, Thu, Fri 18:00, Sat 09:00, 18:00, Sun 09:00 (English), 10:30, 13:00, 17:00. J CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD (VILNIAUS MISIONIERIŲ BAŽNYČIA) Its two towers dominating the landscape from a hilltop above Maironio Street and Užupis, this 18th-century Baroque church has a far more striking exterior than interior. In any case you’ll be lucky to find it open, and the surrounding former monastery buildings belong to a hospital. Initially built for missionaries, it was closed during large parts of the Tsarist and Soviet periods and was used variously as a war hospital, an institute for young ladies of noble families and an insane asylum.QSubačiaus 26. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
Photo by Lorenzo Lorio
CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS (ŠV. KRYŽIAUS BAŽNYČIA) On the other side of the Presidential Palace from the university, this charming little church’s history dates back to 1543 and the building of a chapel on the site to commemorate the martyrdom of a group of 14th-century Franciscan friars. Slowly added to over the centuries, including the attached Bonifratri Monastery, it is now more-or-less late Baroque in appearance with a few rococo flourishes and is the only church in Vilnius converted from an ordinary house rather than being purpose-built. The interior is worth having a peep at if the doors aren’t bolted, the most outstanding feature being the painting Holy Virgin Mother of Snow on the high altar, an image of which appears on a fresco above the entrance. The small square in which the church is located also features a stylised, Sovietera bust of Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius (1753-1798), Lithuania’s first serious architect who was responsible for the contemporary look of the cathedral, the town hall and other buildings in the city.QI‑9, S. Daukanto 1, tel. (+370) 52 60 93 47. Mass 17:15, Sun 09:30, 12:00. J
SIGHTSEEING TOURS VILNIUS CITY TOUR Tours of the historic centre in a number of languages. Also audio guides available.QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 7, tel. (+370) 69 95 40 64, fax (+370) 52 61 55 58, www. vilniuscitytour.com. JA December 2016 - April 2017
Sightseeing CHURCH OF THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD (SKAISČIAUSIOS DIEVO MOTINOS CERKVĖ) Originally dating back to the middle of the 14th century, this slightly unusual-looking church which also functions as the city’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral and that as such is often referred to as the Cathedral of the Theotokos in Vilnius owes much of its partial Neo-Byzantine design to reconstruction work completed in 1522. In 1808, soon after the start of tsarist rule in Vilnius, the building fell into the hands of Vilnius University who divided it into two floors, constructing a library, classrooms and dissection rooms for anatomy classes inside. In 1842 soldiers moved in as the church acted as a barracks before it took on several other uses before General Muravyov and his brother had it restored to its current Georgian appearance and used as a house of worship towards the end of the 1860s.QJ‑9, Maironio 14, tel. (+370) 52 15 37 47. Open 09:00 - 17:00. J CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (ŠVENTOSIOS DVASIOS BAŽNYČIA) Like many of the city’s churches, the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit was built on the site of a former wooden house of worship that met a fiery fate. The current building’s appearance started taking shape towards the end of the 14th century. In 1501 it was given to an order of Dominican monks who built a monastery nearby. Its present Baroque appearance dates to the mid-18th century when the church was rebuilt after serious fire damage. Inside is a wealth of Baroque and rococo splendour, well worth further investigation. Interestingly, the building, which functions as Vilnius’ Polish Catholic community’s main church, remained opened throughout the entire Soviet occupation. Gaining rare access to the church’s crypts promises a ghoulish adventure amidst some 2,000 corpses in varying states of repair. Dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, the bodies are supposedly victims of the plague.QI‑9, Dominikonų 8, tel. (+370) 52 62 95 95. Open 15:00 - 19:00, Mass only in Polish 15:00, 18:00, Sun 08:00, 09:00, 10:30, 12:00, 13:00, 18:00. J EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH (EVANGELIKŲ LIUTERONŲ BAŽNYČIA) Built in 1555, two years after the first German-speaking Lutheran community is said to have arrived in Vilnius, the crowning glory of this small gothic and baroque church is the gorgeous rococo altar, dating from 1741, the work of Johann Christoph Glaubitz (Jonas Kristupas Glaubicas, c.1700-67), a Lithuanian of German extraction and the city’s foremost architect at the time. Serving as a workshop and a basketball court in the Soviet Union, it was returned to its congregation in 1991 and has since become the predominant house of worship for the capital’s multi-denomination, Englishspeaking Christians. In addition to the weekly Englishlanguage worship at 09:30 every Sunday, the International Church of Vilnius runs midweek Bible studies, courses to explore the Christian faith and various social events.QI‑10, Vokiečių 20, tel. (+370) 52 12 21 25, www.vilniuschurch. org. Service Tue, Thu 08:00, Wed 18:00, Fri 17:00, Sun 09:30 (English, Ecumenical Protestant), 11:00 (Lithuanian). J 60 Vilnius In Your Pocket
FRANCISCAN CHURCH (PRANCIŠKONŲ BAŽNYČIA) The Franciscan Church, or the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Franciscan Abbey in Vilnius to give it its full title, dates from the middle of the 14th century. Currently a beguiling building site of crumbling Gothic and Baroque magnificence, work continues both inside and out to restore it to its original beauty. Amidst the hastily assembled wooden seating, pile of bricks on the sanctuary and scaffolding towers, work is slowly moving forwards. At the time of our last visit, the Chapel of the Virgin Mary, complete with a statue of the lady reputed to have miracle-working powers, was nearing completion, giving some indication of how things will eventually look.QI‑10, Trakų 9-1, tel. (+370) 52 61 42 42. Mass 17:30 (Lithuanian), 19:00 (Polish), Sun 10:00 (Lithuanian), 11:30 (Polish), 13:00 (Polish). J HOLY TRINITY CHURCH & BASILIAN GATE (ŠV. TREJYBĖS CERKVĖ IR BAZILIJONŲ VARTAI) Consisting of a church, monastery, belfry and beautiful rococo gate, with the exception of the latter much of it in a state of hideous disrepair, the Holy Trinity Church originally dates from 1514 and features elements of Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Byzantine architecture. Built at the behest of the Belarusian national hero Konstantin Ivanovich Ostrozhsky (Konstantinas Ostrogiškis, ca. 14601530), the church, which was extensively altered after a serious fire in the middle of the 18th century, belongs to the Uniates or Eastern Catholic Church, a peculiar faith which fuses together many Orthodox beliefs whilst recognising the Pope as God’s representative on Earth. The church is a complete mess inside, almost completely empty with the exception of some wonderful, barely visible frescos both inside and out. There’s also a small chapel on the right as you enter. Renovation work is slow. The elaborate, 17.9m gate was built in 1761 to a design by Johann Christoph Glaubitz (Jonas Kristupas Glaubicas, ca. 1700-1767).QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 7b, tel. (+370) 52 12 25 78. J ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST. PARASKEVA (PYATNICKAYA) Dating back to the middle of the 14th century and itself built on the site of what many believe to be a former pagan place of worship, the charming albeit somewhat diminutive Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva can not only claim to have been the first church in Vilnius to be made of stone but is also the alleged location of the baptism in 1705 of none other than Hannibal, the African prince and great grandfather of Alexander Pushkin who was brought to Russia by Peter the Great from the part of Africa that’s now Eritrea. Originally in the hands of the Uniate Church, the building, which had been rebuilt on several occasions due to fire, fell into disrepair around the time of the Third Partition of 1795, laying abandoned for seven decades before being almost completely rebuilt in 1864 only to suffer major fire damage during WWII. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (STAČIATIKIŲ ŠV. DVASIOS CERKVĖ) Dating originally from the mid-16th century but predominantly now the combined work of the city’s most renowned and prolific religious architect Johann Christoph Glaubitz (Jonas Kristupas Glaubicas, ca. 17001767) who spent four years on the rococo design between 1749 and 1753 and later 19th-century Neo-Byzantine modifications, the entire ensemble is comprised of the church, a free-standing bell tower, monastery and convent although it’s the church interior that’s of most interest, being positively bursting with frescos, icons, a magnificent cupola and rich blue and green colours. A particular quirk of the church’s crypt saw it being chosen in the middle of the 19th century as the final resting place of the supposedly incorruptible Saints Jonas, Eustachius, and Antanas, couriers of Algirdas whose remains are displayed dressed in white at Christmas, in black during Lent, in red on all other occasions with the exception of June 26 when they’re put on display entirely naked.QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 10, tel. (+370) 52 12 77 65. Service 07:00, 17:00, Sat 07:00, Sun 07:00, 10:00. J ST. CASIMIR’S CHURCH (ŠV. KAZIMIERO BAŽNYČIA) St. Casimir’s in many ways represents a microcosm of Lithuania itself. Founded by the Jesuits and dedicated to Lithuania’s patron saint Prince Casimir Jagiellon (14581484), construction on the mighty building began in 1604 and was completed in 1635. Burnt to the ground just 20 years later when the Russians invaded in 1655, conflagration visited twice again within the next century in 1709 and 1749 before the architect, mathematician and astronomer Tomas Žebrauskas (Pol. Thomas Zubrówka, 1714-1758) restored it to more or less the form it’s seen in today. Over the centuries the church fell into the hands of the Augustinians, Napoleon’s Grande Armée, the Russian Orthodox Church (who significantly altered its appearance), the Lutherans (who used it as the garrison facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
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ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE APPARITION OF THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD (ZNAMENSKAYA) Built in 1903 and topped with several beautiful NeoByzantine cupolas, this is one of the best-loved Russian Orthodox churches in Vilnius. Among the numerous icons hanging inside are potted plants that make the place feel alive. Next to the icons are prayers for each saint, but as everything in the church is written in Old Slavonic you’ll need a translator to work them out. The church was fully restored, inside and out, in 2009.QE‑7, Vytauto 21, tel. (+370) 52 75 13 75. Open 09:00 - 16:30, Service Sat 10:00, 16:00, Sun 09:00.
Reconstructed in 1949, the building closed in 1961, opening a year later as a museum of painting before being returned to the Orthodox Church on May 31, 1991. Unusually for a Russian Orthodox Church in Lithuania, services are conducted in Lithuanian once a week on a Sunday.QJ‑9, Didžioji 2. J
church for the occupying German Army during WWI) and others, including the Soviets who turned the whole place into a museum of atheism no less. Returned to the Catholic Church in 1988, the building was consecrated in 1991 and has since undergone a massive renovation project, restoring its predominantly Baroque style with Gothic and Renaissance touches. Of particular interest inside are three late Baroque altars and a recently discovered 17th-century crypt containing dark bas-reliefs featuring miscellaneous religious motifs.QJ‑10, Didžioji 34, tel. (+370) 52 12 17 15, www.kazimiero.lt/. Open 16:30 - 18:30, Sun 09:00 - 13:30, Mass 17:30, Sun 09:00 (Russian), 10:30, 12:00. J
VILNIUS CITY CARD Available from any Tourist Information Centre in the city and online via www.vilnius-tourism.lt, there are two different types of card valid for either 24 hours (€20) or 72 hours (€30), both of which come with public transport, with a further 24-hour version without public transport for just €15. The Vilnius City Card entitles holders to all sorts of deals including free museum entry and guided tours as well as discounts on a range of things including concerts, meals in restaurants and hotel bookings. Check the aforementioned website for more detailed information. December 2016 - April 2017
Sightseeing EUROPOS PARKAS EUROPOS PARKAS (OPEN AIR MUSEUM OF THE CENTRE OF EUROPE) Founded in 1991 by Lithuanian sculptor Gintaras Karosas, this wildly varied and recommended countryside excursion brings together some big names in local and international sculpture including Karosas himself, Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz as well as Dennis Oppenheim and the late Sol Le-Witt from the United States to create a vision that in the words of the park’s founder “gives artistic significance to the geographical centre of the European continent”. Featuring around 100 works by artists from countries as diverse as Armenia, Japan and Venezuela, the park is spread out over 55 hectares of rolling hills and woodland and includes static and interactive art as well as Info Tree, Karosas’ crumbling shrine to propaganda made up of some 3,000 televisions with a prostrate Lenin at its centre. With the addition of a restaurant and gift shop, the park offers a fun few hours away from the city for people of all ages. To get there by car, take Kalvarijų Street north to the Santariškės roundabout, turn right towards the Green Lakes (Žalieji Ežerai) and follow the signs. Bus N°66 leaves from the Žalgirio stop on Kalvarijų and goes all the way.QJoneikiškės, 10km north of Vilnius, tel. (+370) 52 37 70 77, www.europosparkas.lt. Open daily 10:00 until two hours before sunset. Admission €8/6/4.
Space of Unknown Growth
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ST. NICHOLAS’ CHURCH (ŠV. MIKALOJAUS BAŽNYČIA) Pre-dating the country’s conversion to Christianity by some seven decades, Vilnius’ oldest surviving church was built in 1320 by German merchant immigrants. Mentioned for the first time in 1387, the impressive, classic red brick Gothic exterior remains pretty much as it looked the day it was finished with the interior having received numerous changes and additions over the centuries. During the disputed annexation of the Vilnius region during the two World Wars, this was the only church in the city open to the city’s small Lithuanian-speaking Catholic community.QI‑10, Šv. Mikalojaus 4, tel. (+370) 52 62 30 69, www.mikalojus.lt/. Mass Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri 08:00, 18:00, Sat 09:00, Sun 08:00, 10:00, 14:00. J ST. NICOLAS’ CHURCH (ŠV. NIKOLAJAUS CERKVĖ) The forerunner to this church supposedly dates back to the second decade of the 16th century, belonging from 1609 until 1827 to the Uniate Church. At some time during the 18th century the original church burnt down and was replaced soon after in the Late Baroque style. At the height of the tensions between the Russians and several other ethnic communities in the city, the church was confiscated on the orders of General Muravyov and converted into a Russian Orthodox church with several Neo-Byzantine additions made in 1865. With its predominantly Catholic tower and typically Orthodox dome the church is one of the most peculiar looking houses of worship in the capital.QJ‑10, Didžioji 12, tel. (+370) 52 61 85 59. Services Sat 09:00, 17:00, Sun 09:00. J STS. JOHNS’ CHURCH (ŠV. JONŲ BAŽNYČIA) Built at the same time as Lithuania’s conversion to Christianity in 1387, albeit with numerous radical alterations through the centuries, the vast and imposing Sts. Johns’ Church was given to the Jesuit Church in 1571 by Zygmunt II August (Žygimantas Augustas, 1520-1572). On the dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773, the church was handed over to the adjoining University. The present building, which contains elements of all of the major architectural styles associated with Old Town boasts an extraordinary and predominantly Gothic interior whose crowning glory is its organ of which parts date back to an organ that came from the Belarusian city of Polotsk in 1831. The organ, the largest in country and that received a complete overhaul in stages between 1974 and 2000, is used extensively in classical concerts the church is now famous for. Note that the church is part of the Vilnius University complex and can’t be visited seperately: you will need a ticket from the university itself.QJ‑9, Šv. Jono 12, tel. (+370) 52 68 71 55, www.muziejus.vu.lt. Mass Tue, Wed, Thu 18:00, Sun 11:00, 13:00. J ST. THERESA’S CHURCH (ŠV. TERESĖS BAŽNYČIA) Probably Vilnius’ best surviving example of Early Baroque religious architecture, work on the first incarnation of St. Theresa’s was completed in around 1650. Built at the behest and expense of the then Deputy Chancellor Steponas Pacas (Pol. Stefan Pac), the straightforward idea behind its construction was to create the most beautiful church in the vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Sightseeing city, a fact that can clearly be seen by its elaborate façade, predominantly the work of the Swiss-born Constantino Tencalla (1610-1647) who also worked on St. George’s Chapel inside the city’s Cathedral. The spectacular and predominantly rococo interior, much of it added in the middle of the 18th century, is a riot of golds and pinks.QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 14, tel. (+370) 52 12 35 13. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 07:00 19:00, Mass 17:00, 18:00. Sun 09:00 (Polish), 11:00, 13:00 (Polish), 17:00 (Polish), 18:00. J
PARKS & GARDENS Although they like to flee en masse to the countryside during the warmer part of the year, the good people of Vilnius are also fond of spending time in the city’s many public green spaces. Regardless of the fact that there’s very little in the way of chaos to get away from, Vilnius’ parks and gardens can still provide a welcome relief from the immediate concerns of the 21st century. Here are some of the highlights. BERNARDINE GARDEN (SEREIKIŠKIŲ PARK) (BERNARDINŲ SODAS (SEREIKIŠKIŲ PARKAS)) Nestled inside a loop of the Vilnia river just east of the Old Town, this popular spot for walks was once the site of the city’s late 18th-century botanical gardens. Redesigned and renamed the Youth Park after WWII, it has recently seen the benefit of investment and is now looking better than ever. It boasts rather avant-garde fountains, rock gardens and some of the best childrens’ playgrounds in the city. Well worth a look.QJ‑8, B. Radvilaitės 6b. Open 07:00 - 22:00. J KALNŲ PARK (KALNŲ PARKAS) Covering some 25 hectares immediately northeast of Old Town at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia, Kalnų Parkas (Hill Park) is a popular retreat for walks and, during the summer, concerts on the park’s Soviet-era outdoor stage. Also home to the Hill of Three Crosses (see Places of interest), the area the park now occupies is shrouded in a number of contentious mysteries. The so-called Gedimino Kapo Kalnas (Gediminas’ Grave Hill) for example, one of the park’s four hills and now a spiritual gathering ground for many followers of the country’s pagan Romuva organisation, is supposedly the site where the founder of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Grand Duke Gediminas (ca. 1275-1341) is buried. No such evidence exists to support the claim however. QK‑8. J VINGIO PARK (VINGIO PARKAS) Situated to the west of the city along the meandering Neris river, this wooded park covering 160 hectares of pine woods was famed as far back as the 16th century. It’s believed that Alexander I was at a ball here when he received news of Napoleon’s invasion in 1812, an event mentioned in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. The park is more famous these days as the setting for rock concerts, firework displays, jogging and the launching of hot-air balloons during balmy summer evenings. Also within its confines are a botanical gardens and a fabulous little children’s zoo.QC‑9. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
EXPLORE LITHUANIA Besides alluring Trakai (see separate section) and Lithuania’s other buzzing cities like coastal Klaipėda and lively Kaunas, both of which we publish guides about once a year, the country is crammed with castles and manors, ancient forests, pretty towns and attractive landscapes, diverting at any time of the year. Here are some tips. SPA RESORTS As fun-filled as it is hard to pronounce, Druskininkai is famed for its mineral-packed muds and waters and also boasts a waterpark, massive indoor ski slope, Soviet sculpture park and countless spa hotels. Far quieter is Birštonas, a relaxed riverside town with spas and oldfashioned sanatoriums. ŠIAULIAI AND THE HILL OF CROSSES Ever since the local pagan Samogitians beat the Catholic Sword Brothers at the Battle of the Sun in 1236, Šiauliai has been at the heart of Lithuania. Today it has quirky museums to cats, bicycles and cameras, but the real draw is the nearby Hill of Crosses, a mystifying miracle of faith defying decades of oppression, with thousands of crosses ‘growing’ eerily on a hillock. CURONIAN SPIT An extraordinary natural coastal phenomenon, the spit is a narrow sliver of sand and pines with fishing villages, cycle lanes, a Hill of Witches, amber washing up on the beaches, and dunes towering like cliffs above the water. NATIONAL PARKS Lithuania’s protected national parks include lake-strewn Aukštaitija, Žemaitija with its myths, legends and Soviet underground nuclear missile silo, and Dzūkija’s thick pine forests, thatched farmsteads and undisturbed, swampy Čepkeliai Marsh. December 2016 - April 2017
Sightseeing PLACES OF INTEREST ALUMNATAS COURTYARD Built in the style of the Italian Renaissance back in the 17th century, this is one of the Old Town’s most atmospheric courtyards, usually with a few outdoor tables from a café in summer burbling with conversation and clinking glasses. Originally a seminary, the building later became part of the university and is now mostly office space. At the back, a passage leads to a viewpoint of the rear end of the Presidential Palace.QUniversiteto 4. CENTRE OF EUROPE (EUROPOS CENTRAS) Lithuania has the proud and noble distinction along with at least six other places of being smack in the middle of Europe. The Lithuanian claim stems from a 1989 ruling by Jean-George Affholder of France’s Institut Géographique National who announced that the site lies at Bernotai, close to the village of Purnuškės some 26km north of Vilnius. The exact point, which can be reached by driving out of the city on the A14 in the direction of Molėtai and looking for the signs, has been commemorated with the construction of an expensive monument, a fact that may go a long way to explaining why a recent recalculation placing the centre of Europe six kilometres closer to Vilnius is being more or less ignored by the cash-strapped nation. Ultimately one should remember that Europe is a concept and not actually a continent at all, making the whole affair slightly ridiculous in the first place.QGirija vlg, 30km from Vilnius. HILL OF THREE CROSSES (TRIJŲ KRYŽIŲ KALNAS) Legend has it that long ago seven Franciscan monks were crucified here. Originally erected in the 17th century, Stalin had the crosses removed and buried, and only in 1989 were they rebuilt according to the original plans. The crosses are a great symbol of both Lithuanian mourning and hope. An excellent view of Old Town is also to be found at this spot. QK‑8. J KENESA The Lithuanian Karaite or Karaim are the smallest ethnic historical community in Vilnius, with just 150 or so remaining members of a people who settled in the region in the 14th century. The Karaite, from whom they get their name, are a Jewish sect who can be traced back to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) who adhere to the Old Testament and the Decalogue, but don’t accept the Talmud. The Lithuanian Karaite were originally Tatars living on the Black Sea, almost certainly Muslim and who were converted to the Karaite faith in the 13th century. Enigmatic and as yet not properly understood, the Lithuanian Karaite, who number less than 500 nationwide, are on the edge of extinction. During the Soviet occupation, their Moorishlooking kenesa, built in 1922, was closed and made into a warehouse. Like the country’s other remaining kenesa in Trakai, the building is almost always locked.QE‑7, Liubarto 6. 64 Vilnius In Your Pocket
LITERATŲ STREET (LITERATŲ GATVĖ)
Inspired by Aidas Marčėnas’s poem Literatų Gatvė about a wistful young man drinking and smoking with his friends on the street of the same name, the highly recommended permanent outdoor gallery on Literatų is dedicated to writers past and present who’ve all left their mark on the city. Comprised of small, mixed-media prints, drawings and paintings celebrating everyone from Jonas Mekas to Czesław Miłosz to Romain Gary, the gallery, all the work of local artists, grew from humble beginnings in 2008 and now features over 100 superb pieces.QJ‑9, Literatų. J M. K. ČIURLIONIS’ HOUSE (M. K. ČIURLIONIO NAMAI) Although more famous for his painting, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911) has quite a reputation as a composer. This is the house in which the great man lived for a short time in a small room that can be visited. The rest of the building, which during Čiurlionis’ time was both a family house and a shop, features reproductions of his paintings and a small concert space which stages musical productions: check the website to see when the next performance is.QJ‑10, Savičiaus 11, tel. (+370) 64 65 35 03/(+370) 52 62 24 51, www.mkcnamai.lt. Open 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. J PLANETARIUM (PLANETARIUMAS) A classic old school 1960s sci-fi adventure, Vilnius’ dilapidated but charming Planetarium is available for prearranged tours of 15 people or more, or take your chance at the times listed below. Featuring a galaxy of projectors aimed at the inside of the building’s dome, shows include the fabulously named Venture into Space and Stars and Music. Find the entrance on Šnipiškių, just south of Konstitucijos.QH‑6, Konstitucijos 12a, tel. (+370) 61 57 70 54, www.planetarium.lt. Open 10:00 - 16:00, Fri 10:00 - 14:30. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission €3.50/2.50/1.50. J
Five secrets of Vilnius
Peer into cracks and reach into hidden courtyards and you’ll always discover something unique | Photo by Lorenzo Lorio
The odd thing about Vilnius is how quickly cool new places get overrun by crowds, through word-of-mouth enthusiasm, and then just as quickly get ignored and forgotten, like last season’s fashions. There are some special spots around the city that rarely see more than a handful of visitors at a time, however, and you can get that feeling you’re discovering or exploring somewhere few others get to see. Here are some examples. SECRET CEMETERY If a stroll between chipped and mossy gravestones is what you crave, head through the attractively bohemian district of Užupis, poking your head into a couple of quaint and slightly creepy courtyards along the way, and take a right off Polocko Street as the road curves left to find the tiny Bernardine Cemetery. Clinging to a tree-filled hilltop above the bubbling River Vilnelė, it contains cloaked and mournful stone figures clasping crosses and cherubs standing in prayer, with little paths winding between them. HIDDEN VIEWPOINT One of the finest viewpoints across the Old Town and its countless spires and tiled rooves can also be found in Užupis - and surprisingly few people know about it. From the Angel of Užupis statue, head up the hill and bear left where the road forks. Pass the excellent Šturmų švyturys fish restaurant and continue for another 200 metres. Venture behind the school on the left, passing a few garages, and climb the steps and grassy slope at the back to find the viewpoint at the top. From there you can either double back or continue to the right, passing the forlorn Hill of Grand Duke Gediminas’ Grave and descending uneven steps through bushes and trees to feel your way towards the River Vilnelė and the Hill of Three Crosses. POET’S MUSEUM The fame of Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s great poet of the Romantic era, stretches far and wide, yet Vilnius’ Pushkin facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
Memorial Museum and its unruly grounds are strangely unpublicised. This may be because it’s at the far end of the poor suburb of Markučiai, where some locals still use wells to get their water, or because Lithuania tends to play down any past connections with Russia. Set on a hilltop in a wooden house that once belonged to Pushkin’s son Grigorij, the museum is now home to old volumes of the poet’s works and is furnished in the style of the late 19th century. Even if it’s closed you’re still free to wander behind the house, past a bust of Pushkin and into peaceful grounds set around a lake and, if you wish, into the countryside beyond. FINEST PASTRIES Kibinai are Lithuania’s tastiest pastry snack, filled with anything under the sun but usually pork, mutton or chicken. There are even venison, mushroom, spinach-and-curd and chocolate-and-hazelnut versions. The village of Trakai, set amid lakes about 30 kilometres west of Vilnius, makes for a wonderful day out of the city with its fairytale Island Castle and wooden bridges. But no visitor should leave without sampling the kibinai that Trakai is so famous for, sold in little lakeside restaurants in all seasons of the year. HIPSTER DISTRICT At the southern tip of the Old Town lie the train and bus stations and Halės Market, in a neighbourhood that still feels fairly edgy but is gradually being reclaimed by hip bars and cafés for the young and trendy, where pleasantly fuzzy indie rock and avant-pop accompany the noisy hum of conversation. By day the market itself is worth a look with its new eateries and stalls selling everything from locally grown chilli peppers to bloody pigs’ trotters. From 5pm, bars like Turgus and Dėvėti open their doors to pour craft beers and rustle up delicious, almost gourmet snacks. Not really a Vilnius secret, but definitely an exciting trend. December 2016 - April 2017
Sightseeing PRESIDENTIAL PALACE (PREZIDENTŪRA)
people of Chechnya and the diminutive Chapel of the Virgin Mary, dedicated to the people of Lithuania who gave their lives whilst defending the country in 1991. Guided tours of the Seimas itself run daily during the week and include details of the events of 1991 as well as a look at some of the interior’s more interesting features including Kazys Morkūnas’ extraordinary stained glass windows. Tours must be booked two weeks in advance and are in Lithuanian unless otherwise requested. Curiously, the word seimas is also used to describe storks, Lithuania’s unofficial national bird, when they gather for winter migration.QF‑7, Gedimino 53, tel. (+370) 52 39 60 60, fax (+370) 52 39 62 89, www.lrs.lt.
The official residence of the President of Lithuania, the palace started life in the 14th century as a much smaller structure built at the behest of the city’s first Bishop, Andrzej Jastrzębiec (d.1398). Gaining its late Classical appearance much later, the building remained the home of the cream of the city’s Catholic clergy until the 1795 Partition when it became the residence of Vilnius’ tsarist governors. Many illustrious figures have spent a night in the building over the centuries, among them Tsar Alexander I, Napoleon Bonaparte and local boy, some-time dictator, military giant and Polish national hero Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935) to name but a few. After independence in 1990 the building served several purposes until assuming its current role in 1997. The presidential flag can be seen flying over the building when the president is in residence or in the city. Changing of the Guard takes place on Sundays at 12:00. From spring to the start of October, at 12:00-18:00, it is possible to enter the courtyard without being part of an excursion.QI‑9, S. Daukanto 3, tel. (+370) 70 66 40 73, www.lrp.lt. Free tours of the Presidential Palace take place on Fridays from 16:45, Sundays and Sundays 09:00 - 14:30. Tours are limited to 25 people. For more information, see www.lrp.lt or call tel. (+370) 706 640 73. J
SEIMAS (PARLIAMENT) The word Seimas refers to the Lithuanian parliament and can be traced linguistically to the Polish word sejm, meaning a gathering or assembly. With its origins in the second half of the 15th century, the contemporary Seimas is based on the First Seimas, which convened in Kaunas in 1922-1923. The work of architect brothers Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis, today’s Seimas building dates from 1982 and is unremarkable on the outside with the exception of the remains of the barricades built to defend the self-proclaimed independent Lithuanian Supreme Council building after Soviet forces tried to reinstate a Moscow-backed government with the storming of the Television Tower and other buildings in the early hours of 13 January 1991. Located on the western side of the building, the barricades are protected by huge sheets of glass but are clearly visible and retain the original political graffiti of the time. A small exhibition space has been added which hold public exhibitions related to the struggle for independence. Also find a memorial to the 66 Vilnius In Your Pocket
About halfway between the cathedral and the bell tower is the stebuklas, or miracle. Essentially a piece of stone believed to perform wonders and with the word stebuklas written on it, the site marks the spot where one end of the human chain of some two million protesting Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians stretching the 650km or so to Tallinn was formed on August 23, 1989. A symbol of freedom and hope, stand on the miracle, turn a complete clockwise circle and make a wish.QI‑8, Arkikatedros Square. J TELEVISION TOWER (TELEVIZIJOS BOKŠTAS) The tallest structure in the country, the 326m Television Tower was built from reinforced concrete and steel between 1974 and 1980 to a design by Lithuanian architects. On 13 January 1991, as the disintegration of the USSR reached a frenzied pace and Moscow attempted to retake control of the Lithuanian media, Soviet tanks surrounded the tower in an assault that killed 14 unarmed civilians. The tower has since become a potent symbol. Around it are a few monuments and photographs of those who lost their lives and whose names the nearby streets are now called in honour of. Inside at ground level is the small Sausio 13-osios ekspozicija (January 13th Exhibition) commemorating the brutal events including a copy of the original Soviet military attack plan, weapons used to beat protesters and some affecting photographs. The exhibition is free, but the fast ride in the lift to visit the combined 270m restaurant and viewing station isn’t. The ticket office vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Sightseeing also sells several Television Tower souvenirs. A taxi from Old Town costs somewhere in the region of €6. Alternatively, take trolleybus Nº 16 from the train station to the Televizijos Bokštas stop. Nºs 1 and 3 and bus Nº 2G also stop nearby. QSausio 13-osios 10, tel. (+370) 52 52 53 33, www. tvbokstas.lt. Open 11:00 - 21:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 22:00. Admission €6/2.60. TOWN HALL (ROTUŠĖ) First mentioned in 1503, the Town Hall most likely dates from the 15th century, while the present Classical structure was built at the end of the 18th century. In 1810 the governor general ordered that the Town Hall housed a theatre, which gave performances on and off until 1924. Since then its interior has been a museum. Until the reestablishment of independence it served as the Lithuanian Art Museum. Today it’s the Artists’ Palace where you can see gallery art.QI‑10, Didžioji 31, tel. (+370) 52 61 80 07, www. vilniausrotuse.lt. Open 11:00 - 18:00, Fri 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun, Exhibitions held at the Town Hall are open to visitors, but note that during some events the building can be closed to the public. Check the Town Hall’s website vilniausrotuse.lt for up-to-the-minute information regarding opening times. J VILNIUS CATHEDRAL BELL TOWER (VILNIAUS KATEDROS VARPINĖ) Closed for more than a decade, the Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral has finally reopened to visitors. One of the city’s defining monuments and a popular meeting place, the tower originally formed part of the city’s 13th century defensive wall, becoming a belfry in the 16th century. Fiftyseven metres tall, it was remodelled and given its current look in the 19th century. Besides offering fine views from the top, it hosts an exhibition of bells and also documents the building’s reconstruction.QI‑8, Katedros 2, tel. (+370) 60 01 20 80, www.bpmuziejus.lt. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. €4.50/2.50. JA
MONUMENTS FRANK ZAPPA Freak out! Deceased rock and roll pervert, part-time classical composer, father of Moon Unit and all round creative genius Frank Vincent Zappa (1940-93) has had his head immortalised in brass and stuck on a steel pole in a lacklustre courtyard just west of the Old Town. Commissioned by a student and created by sculptor Konstantinas Bogdanas (1926-2011), who once churned out Lenins and other comrades for the bureaucrats in Moscow, the bust is the first monument to the man to be erected anywhere in the world. As Zappa once said, “Without deviation, progress is impossible.” If you’re wondering what the link is between Vilnius and Frank Zappa, don’t. There isn’t one. QH‑9, K. Kalinausko 1. J MINDAUGAS Taking pride of place outside the National Museum since July 6, 2003, the 750th anniversary of the crowning of the country’s one and only king in 1253, Mindaugas (Pol. Mendog, 1200-1263), who’s generally considered to be the founder of the Lithuanian state, was a bit of a character to say the least. Clumsy in his personal affairs and switching from paganism to Catholicism and back to paganism to suit his needs, Mindaugas was eventually assassinated by his nephew and served as little more than a footnote in Lithuanian history until he was resurrected by the national revival movement of the late 19th century. R. Midvikis’ granite likeness of the man sees him sitting on his sostas (throne), from which the Lithuanian language gets its word for capital, sostinė, literally ‘the place where the throne is’.QJ‑8, Arsenalo 1. J UŽUPIS ANGEL The tall pillar in the heart of Vilnius’ breakaway republic Užupis (where every dog has the right to be a dog) gave birth to a long-awaited angel on April 1, 2002, the official independence day of the wacky district. After a long and sometimes tedious unveiling ceremony the covers were finally lifted, and in a burst of billowing balloons the surprisingly beautiful figure of an angel was revealed, playing a trumpet and generally being rather awesome. The work of local sculptor R. Vilčiauskas, find it at the junction of Užupio and Malūnų.QK‑9, Užupio. J UŽUPIS CONSTITUTION The writing is on the wall. Literally. But don’t take it literally. All 41 of the witty ‘rights’ of the constitution of the self-proclaimed artists’ republic of Užupis have been hammered into mirror-like plates of metal, allowing you to take a selfie with your favourite lines. Thoughtfully, it’s in English too, though one or two are lost in translation. Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat. Everyone has the right to appreciate their unimportance. Everyone has the right to have no rights.QK‑9, Paupio Street.
December 2016 - April 2017
Vilnius’ beautiful cemeteries A trip to a cemetery may seem like a grim way to spend a couple of hours exploring the character of Lithuania, but Vilnius’ burial sites are cultural monuments that give intriguing insights into the country’s history and the array of nationalities, languages and beliefs represented here. Their natural landscapes and serene locations also make them beautiful places to escape the city. Some people might be forgiven for thinking cemeteries and churchyards are the last places you’d consider for a stroll when visiting a foreign land. They may be more easily associated with horror-movie images of zombies and ghouls, ghosts and vampires forcing their way out of the earth. But Lithuanians have always had a different approach to dealing with the dead. Wulfstan, a ninth-century traveller from Germany, wrote about a strange custom of the people on the Baltic’s eastern shores who kept their dead frozen for months, feasting and playing, before eventually burning them. This was considered to be the most honourable farewell they could give. For many centuries, Lithuanians believed that the soul leaves the body in two breaths, from the throat and from the chest, and all of the windows and doors were opened so that the souls – and all the dead relatives’ souls who had come to meet them – could fly out freely. No one was allowed to sleep at this crucial time, even babies, animals and bees, as their souls could be swept along. The recently passed would be dressed in their finest clothes or in special shrouds, and sending them off was like a festival, with decorations, plentiful food and drink, songs and prayers. Before taking them to the cemetery, the bodies would be placed on boards in the best room in the house with their feet facing the door, for three days or more. There was also the ritual drinking of beer to honour the earth goddess Žemyna. The inside of the coffin, the dead relative’s new home, was lined with white cloth and sacred herbs were placed within. Right up until the 20th century, tools and other items were also put inside as necessities for the afterlife. Also until quite recently, white was the colour of mourning and suffering, not black. Women would wear white kerchiefs, as in centuries past the dead would be dressed in white and white was the colour of death. Some of the most serene and soothing places in Vilnius are the city’s cemeteries (kapinės). Here are some suggestions. Deceptively isolated Rasos kapinės can be reached by strolling from the Old Town up Subačiaus and then Rasų Street. This waving terrain of crosses contains the graves of famous locals like Jonas Basanavičius, linguist and founder of the first Lithuanian-language newspaper Aušra. He lies close to the chapel, while uphill from the main entrance lies the tombstone of revered, mystical painter and composer M K Čiurlionis. Next to entrance is a more controversial site, a plot for Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, the man responsible for annexing the Vilnius region to Poland in 1920. Born in the village of Zalavas, northeast of Vilnius, he was buried in Krakow, but his heart was cut out according to his wishes and buried in Vilnius, here in this tomb, in 1935. 68 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Rasos Cemetery chapel
Rasų Cemetery is beautiful at all times of the year but especially in the leafy autumn and at Vėlinės on November 1-2, when countless candles flicker across the hillside by night. It has also long been a place of spiritual meaning during troubled times, for example when a group of daring Lithuanians gathered here in October 1956 in support of the Hungarian anti-Soviet uprising. The biggest cemetery in central Vilnius is Antakalnio kapinės, which can be reached by bearing right from Antakalnio onto L Sapiegos Street, following it round and turning right on Kuosų. Elegantly carved headstones cover the rolling, tree-shrouded landscape, the crosses and tombs inscribed in Lithuanian, Russian and Polish. Following the paved path, you’ll eventually see a series of identical stone crosses to the left. They are dedicated to Polish soldiers killed during World War I – as bloody and tragic a conflict in the east as it was in the west. Taking paths to the right will take you to broadly chiselled Sovietera statues in the Socialist Realist style to poets and political leaders who were largely faithful to the party. Cut into a hill at the heart of the cemetery is a sweeping, semi-circular memorial to the 14 people who died defending the TV Tower and Parliament building in January 1991. Perched on a high bank above the bubbling River Vilnia at the far end of the Užupis suburb is tranquil Bernardinų kapinės, tightly packed with lopsided metal crosses and tiny, uneven plots. Founded in 1810, this quiet retreat holds the final resting places of university professors, painters and other cultural figures. Eerie and cut off from the rest of the city, find it off Polocko Street, at the end of a leafy little lane. Over the long years, trees have gently elbowed their way between the tombs, making them even more higgledy-piggledy, while the tree bark has slowly spilled through railings that fence off the graves. A lot tidier than it was in the 1990s, it has an unmatched atmosphere of calm and stillness. Many languages including Yiddish, Russian, Lithuanian, Polish and English, as well as intriguing and faded black-and-white photos, adorn the graves at vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Vilnius’ beautiful cemeteries the Žydų kapinės (Jewish Cemetery) north of the city centre. It was initially opened shortly before the chaos of World War II, but after the war the Soviets destroyed two much older Jewish cemeteries in the city and transferred just a handful of graves and monuments of famous people to this new site. Paved pathways cross and snake through this thickly wooded area, making it as evocative as any other cemetery in Vilnius. Local Jewish people tend to some of the plots, but other graves appear to have been forgotten for many years. The grave of the Vilna Gaon, the revered 18th-century Talmudist and kabbalist, attracts many visitors who leave notes and prayers by the graveside. To the left of the cemetery entrance is a small office where, if it’s open, maps of the grounds can be obtained. To get to the Žydų kapinės, hop on bus 43 from the Green Bridge, bus 73 from the Juozo Tumo-Vaižganto stop near Lukiškės Square, or call a taxi. ANTAKALNIS CEMETERY (ANTAKALNIO KAPINĖS) Thought to have begun life as a cemetery way back in 1809, the so-called Soldiers’ Cemetery (Karių Kapinės) can be found in the forested area of Antakalnis a couple of kilometres or so from Old Town. The Polish soldiers’ graveyard, distinguished by undulating rows of identical headstones, lies to the left of the entrance. Nearby stands a small collection of Tartar graves complete with Islamic symbols. To the left and deeper into the cemetery, large Soviet soldiers guard the (no-longer burning) eternal flame. To the soldiers’ right is the ghastly Soviet memorial encasing the graves of Soviet Lithuania’s dignitaries. Take a hike up the stairs on your left to reach the ‘red star’ graves of Soviet soldiers who died fighting Lithuanian partisans. Perhaps most poignant are the graves of the border guards murdered by the Soviets at Medininkai on July 31, 1991 and the civilians killed by Soviet paratroopers during the January 1991 demonstrations, all guarded by a stunning Pietà. Still in use, among the more notable recent additions are a large patch of grass surrounded by a tiny concrete wall and containing the remains of the Napoleonic soldiers discovered in the city in 2002, and the final resting place of the often overlooked Lithuanian composer Antanas Rekašius (1928-2003).QN‑5, Karių Kapų 11. BERNARDINE CEMETERY (BERNARDINŲ KAPINĖS) Founded in 1810 by Bernardine monks, the cemetery is perhaps the most attractive and romantic cemetery in Vilnius. Located over a little less than four hectares on a rolling hill running down to the Vilnia river, the cemetery fell into disrepair soon after WWII before being finally shut in 1970. Independence has seen it flourish with the assistance of the Lithuanian and Polish governments, although much work remains to be done. Of particular interest are the columbaria, once used for holding urns full of ashes and now slowly crumbling away. Among the eminent university professors, scientists and painters buried here facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
find a few surprises including Geleda Dzerzhinskaja (18491896), whose claim to fame was giving birth to the founder of the forerunner of the KGB, Felix Dzerzhinsky (Feliksas Dzeržinskis).QL‑9, Žvirgždyno 3. J LITHUANIAN KARAITE & TATAR CEMETERY (KARAIMŲ IR TOTORIŲ KAPINĖS) Following the destruction in the mid-1960s of the original cemetery in Lukiškės, the former traditional home of the city’s Lithuanian Karaite and Tatar communities, a new cemetery was opened in a remote area in the southern part of Vilnius close to the airport. Among the graves, which are marked in an extraordinary mixture of Hebrew (Lithuanian Karaite) and Arabic (Tatar), is that of the Lithuanian Karaite scientist, historian and head of the Lithuanian and Polish Karaite communities Chadži Seraja Chan Šapšalas (Pol. Hadżi Seraja Chan Szapszał, 1873-1961). The cemetery is still in use, but is generally closed to visitors (although the fence surrounding it is hardly very high). According to tradition, women are forbidden from visiting. Find it on the stretch of Žirnių to the east of the road to the airport, before the ski slopes on the north side.QŽirnių. RASOS CEMETERY (RASŲ KAPINĖS) Founded in 1801 and the final resting place of many of the country’s social elite, this extraordinary cemetery stretched over a large area divided by a main road is still in use today, providing an extraordinary snapshot of the cultural history of the city. Hidden away here find the artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911), the author and publicist Jonas Basanavičius (1851-1927), whose grave is inscribed with a peculiar, 19th-century version of Lithuanian that predates its written standardisation, and the heart of Marshall Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935), the localborn Polish general who played a key role in re-establishing Polish independence in 1918 as well as the country’s subsequent annexation of Vilnius in 1920. Buried with his mother under a black granite slab and surrounded by the graves of Polish soldiers, the rest of him lies in Poland’s most sacred burial place under Kraków’s Wawel Cathedral. QL‑12, Rasų 32.
Passing by the cultural elite at Rasos Cemetery
December 2016 - April 2017
Jewish Vilnius JEWISH LIFE CHABAD LUBAVITCH CENTRE (CHABAD LUBAVITCH ŽYDŲ RELIGINĖ BENDRUOMENĖ) This combined community centre and synagogue is engaged in numerous religious projects aimed at enlightening those who need enlightening and restoring the spirit and sensibilities of religious Jewish life. Led by the Boston-born Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky, the only truly resident rabbi in Lithuania over the last decade and a half, Chabad is especially known for its festive Jewish holiday celebrations, at which everybody is welcome. It also supplies visitors with kosher food and needed religious items and services.QJ‑10, Bokšto 19, tel. (+370) 52 16 60 73/(+370) 61 58 38 12. Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. J CHORAL SYNAGOGUE (CHORALINĖ SINAGOGA) Built in a Moorish style in 1903, this is the sole survivor out of more than 100 pre-war Jewish prayer houses in Vilnius. The term Choral Synagogue relates to the inclusion of a choir section, a feature considered by some to be a revolutionary form of modernisation and assimilation at the time it was built.QI‑11, Pylimo 39, tel. (+370) 52 61 25 23. Open 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sat. J JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LITHUANIA (LIETUVOS ŽYDŲ BENDRUOMENĖ) This is the country’s primary address for its living Jewish people, providing a wide range of cultural, communal and social services from kindergarten through to senior level. Led by the redoubtable Dr. Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavičius), legendary for standing up for Jewish rights however and whenever the community comes under challenge. Along with the two functioning houses of worship, this is where you can meet the genuine Jewish locals. The building also houses a youth club, Jewish Student Union, Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Inmates and the Union of WWII Jewish Veterans.QH‑9, Pylimo 4, tel. (+370) 52 61 30 03, www.lzb.lt. Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. J
MUSEUMS HOLOCAUST EXPOSITION (HOLOKAUSTO EKSPOZICIJA) The green wooden house reached via a tiny lane up from Pamėnkalnio Street is the location of the Holocaust Exhibition of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, to give its full name. There you will find in-depth information about the once flourishing culture and history of Lithuania’s Jews, also known as Litvaks in Yiddish. The tragedy of the Holocaust, in which so much of this community was lost, is of course also covered in grim detail. The museum is not afraid to talk about Lithuanian collaboration in those dark times and leaves no aspect of the topic untouched. One unusual section is the Malina, a ghetto hideout video and audio installation in which real diary entries can be experienced. Guided tours available in English, Lithuanian, German and Russian.QH‑8, Pamėnkalnio 12, tel. (+370) 52 62 07 30, www.jmuseum.lt. Open 09:00 - 17:00, Fri 09:00 - 16:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sat. Admission €3/1.50. J 70 Vilnius In Your Pocket
JEWISH TOURS Professional guides lead tours in English and Hebrew through the Baltics and Belarus. Yulik Gurevitch Tel. (+370) 699 907 09 Ilya Lempertas Tel. (+370) 687 132 85 Regina Kopilevich Tel. (+370) 699 054 56 Daniel Gurevich Tel. (+370) 655 174 91 PANERIAI MEMORIAL MUSEUM (PANERIŲ MEMORIALINIS MUZIEJUS) Between July 1941 and July 1944, approximately 70,000 people of whom over half were Jewish were murdered at this site by the Nazi Security Police (Gestapo), the SS security service and the Vilniaus ypatingasis burys (Vilnius Special Squad), in which the majority were Lithuanians. Find several monuments and the remains of pits where the victims were killed and burned. A tiny museum inside the territory displays copies of archival photographs – not recommended for children – and documents, explained in an irregular mix of languages. Paneriai (Ponar to the Jews, Ponary to the Poles, Paneriai to the Lithuanians) is about 10km southwest of the Old Town. Catch a Trakai- or Kaunas-bound train, get off at Paneriai, turn right from the station and walk about 800 metres along Agrastu Street. The site is at the end of the road. To get there by car, leave Vilnius via Švitrigailos Street and follow the same road, bearing right on Eišiškiu plentas (near the Statoil fuel station) and then follow the signs. You also can reach the memorial via the city’s western bypass keeping the direction to Lyda and Minsk. It’s possible to find using a GPS or online route planner (e.g. www.google.com/ maps). Going by bus is complicated, entailing several changes. For a chilling eyewitness account of the events that took place here, read Kazimierz Sakowicz’s extraordinary book Ponary Diary, 1941-1943, published by Yale, or Martin Winstone’s book The Holocaust Sites of Europe: An Historical Guide published by I B Tauris.QAgrastų 15, tel. (+370) 66 28 95 75/(+370) 69 99 03 84, www.jmuseum.lt. Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, By appointment only. Admission free for individual visitors. For groups of up to 30 people €30, up to 15 people €16.
STATUES & MEMORIALS JEWISH CEMETERY (ŽYDŲ KAPINĖS) By Soviet order, both old Jewish cemeteries were destroyed after the war. With the help of foreign diplomacy only a few graves of famous people such as the Gaon of Vilna were moved here in a concession to the community. This new Jewish cemetery was actually opened just before the war and nowadays, especially on Sundays, is a place where Jewish people visit the graves of their beloved and you can meet interesting locals. The Gaon’s grave attracts visitors from many countries who leave notes of supplication by the graveside. To the left of the entrance is a small office where maps of the cemetery can be obtained if it’s open. Gravestones are covered in the writing of many languages including Yiddish, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish and English. To get there from the centre, take bus Nº73 from the Juozo Tumo-Vaižganto stop or Nº43 from the Lukiškės bus stop.QB‑2, Sudervės Kelias 28. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
The five Lithuanias
The lakes of Aukštaitija National Park
Though the borders between them are a bit fuzzy, there are five regions with distinct differences in Lithuania. These ‘ethnographic’ regions even occasionally stray over the borders into neighbouring countries, but they are cultural and linguistic rather than political or administrative, highlighting traditions, songs and folk tales. Lithuanians are proud to have them all the same. And besides journeying around the country by car or by bus to experience them first hand (we especially recommend the mystical, pagan side to rural Žemaitija and deep, thickly forested Dzūkija, for example) you can also visit the Open-Air Museum at Rumšiškės near Kaunas, which features farmsteads, churches and folks dressed in traditional garb from each of the regions. Taking up much of eastern and central Lithuania is Aukštaitija, the country’s ‘highlands’ – comparatively speaking. The fertile central plain includes the city of Panevėžys, while the lakes and undulating hills of the east are a draw for tourists, especially the beauty spots of the gorgeous Aukštaitija National Park and the village of Palūšė. According to tradition in these parts, Aukštaitijans would divide their farms among their sons, accounting for the large number of small farms there. Villages tended to be built along a single high street and have survived in this form for centuries, along with their crafts and features of communal life. Some villages over the border in south-eastern Latvia and north-western Belarus have the same ethnic culture. In the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius it’s the dialect of Aukštaitija that dominates, in politics and in the media. But with just as much historical stability as Aukštaitija is Žemaitija, the ‘lowlands’ of the west, which was known during the Dark Ages as Samogitia. The people here fiercely defended their territory from invasion and because of this it was the very last part of Europe to be dragged from paganism to Christianity. Yet pagan practices continued right up until the 19th century and symbols can still be seen that combine pagan and Christian elements. The city of Šiauliai is Žemaitija’s biggest, and it was near here in 1236 that the pagan Samogitians bravely fought off the Catholic military order the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, who invaded from the north, at the Battle of the Sun. The local dialect has a broken intonation with rises and falls that are similar to Latvian, while the farms have always been larger and more prosperous than in Aukštaitija. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
Often left out of lists of Lithuania’s regions is Mažoji Lietuva, or Lithuania Minor, otherwise known as Prussian Lithuania, much of which exists over the border in what is now the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Also including the important port city of Klaipėda, known as Memel until the aftermath of World War I, Mažoji Lietuva was historically part of East Prussia and buildings in towns like lovely Šilutė still have those low, red-tiled Prussian rooves. A journey between Kaunas and Klaipėda along route 141 should not be missed for its stunning riverside landscapes and delightful towns and villages like Šilutė. To the south-east is Suvalkija, by most accounts Lithuania’s youngest ethnic region, which derives its name from the town of Suwałki over the border in Poland – where towns like Puńsk and Sejny have large Lithuanian populations. Suvalkija includes the bustling town of Marijampolė and sleepy lakeside Vilkaviškis. Also known as Sūduva, in medieval times this region was brutalised by the repeated incursions of the formidable Catholic power the Teutonic Order in its bloodthirsty northern Crusades, despite the brave defence of the local Yotvingian warriors and hunters. As part of the Duchy of Warsaw established by Napoleon in 1807, serfdom in Suvalkija was abolished earlier than the rest of Lithuania and literacy was higher. Folk costumes – especially in Zanavykai, the northern part of the region – stand out for their colour, splendour and richness, with images like lilies and clover being embroidered into the aprons, shirts and skirts. Dzūkija in southern Lithuania is thickly forested and famed for its mushrooms. In these picturesque parts, with their winding rivers and fairly infertile land, farmers have learned since ancient times to supplement their harvests with plentiful mushrooms and wild berries. Alytus is regarded as the region’s capital, although by most accounts Dzūkija stretches to Vilnius and even further east. Sparsely populated, a journey through Dzūkija is rewarding for such memorable out-of-the-way spots as Zervynos, a forest village of thatched rooves, and the hushed natural wilderness of Čepkeliai marsh, as well as the unique spa resort of Druskininkai. The Dzūkijan dialect is distinctive for pronouncing d and t as dz, ts, but as with elsewhere in Lithuania these dialects are, unfortunately, slowly dying out. December 2016 - April 2017
Trakai Castle and the many lakes that surround it | © V. Samarinas, www.trakai-visit.lt
GETTING TO TRAKAI Several ludicrously cheap buses leave daily from Vilnius’ bus station, starting before dawn and running until the early evening. The journey time is around 30-40 minutes. Trakai’s bus station is a shabby concrete shell with no facilities. As with the train station it’s also a ridiculously long way from the main sights, a good 20-minute walk north up Vytauto. Starting and ending around the same time as the buses but running less frequently, trains take about 40 minutes to make the journey and cost next to nothing. Taxis are usually parked outside both the bus and train stations. A trip to the centre shouldn’t cost more than €2. To reach Trakai by road, take the A1 (E85) road west out of the city, followed by the A4 in the direction of Druskininkai, then the A16 (E28), which takes you the rest of the way. Driving time depends on traffic but is 20 to 30 minutes. A taxi, if called in advance, will cost €25-30. BY BUS BUS STATION QVytauto 90, tel. (+370) 52 85 13 33, www. trakuautobusai.lt. Open 07:00 - 10:00, 12:00 - 20:00. BY TRAIN TRAIN STATION QVilniaus 5, tel. (+370) 70 05 51 11, www.litrail.lt. It works 15 minutes before train leaves. 72 Vilnius In Your Pocket
First mentioned in 1337 by the Teutonic Knights and one of Lithuania’s former medieval capitals, despite being home to just 5,400 souls the town of Trakai and the national park it’s located in provide plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience and enjoy this unique part of the world. Crowned by a magnificent Gothic castle, Trakai is known for its many different inhabitants both past and present, among them Lithuanians, Jews, Poles (who still make up a substantial percentage of the population and who know the town as Troki), Russians, Tatars and the Lithuanian Karaite, an intriguing, Turkic-speaking offshoot of the larger Judaic Karaite movement who arrived in the town from the Crimea at the end of the 14th century and who are currently teetering on the edge of extinction. Just 28km west of Vilnius, Trakai is both a tempting daytrip and a destination worthy of further attention thanks to the aforementioned park.
WHAT TO SEE There’s still some way to go before Trakai’s up there with Paris and Barcelona, but compared to how it was not so long ago the town’s cultural offerings have simply ballooned. The Castle is the obvious draw, but do make time to see a few of the other treats the town has to offer. UŽUTRAKIS PALACE In its glory this mansion, built on land formerly occupied by the local Tatar community, belonged to the prominent Tiškevičius (Polish, Tyszkiewicz) family who lived in it until 1939. Built in the 19th century in a neo-Renaissance style, vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Trakai the palace itself is closed, but the grounds, designed by prominent French landscape gardener Edouard André (1840-1911). In summer this is a prime spot for a picnic and a stroll around the palace grounds. Catch a passenger ship and say you want to get off at Užutrakis, or rent a rowing boat. Alternatively, a taxi will set you back somewhere in the region of €7.QUžtrakio 17, tel. (+370) 52 85 50 06, www.seniejitrakai.lt. Open 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Tue (August - September). Open 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu (October - April). Admission €3/1.5.
THE KARAITE Not to be confused with the much larger world Judaic Karaite movement, the Lithuanian Karaite (or Karaim, or even sometimes Karaimic) are as perplexing as the confusion surrounding their name suggests. Settled in Trakai from the Crimea by Grand Duke Vytautas at the end of the 14th century, the Lithuanian Karaite form a link in a bizarre chain connecting the two distant and contradictory worlds of Lithuania and Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), the birthplace of the original Karaite movement. The original Karaite were a puritanical Jewish splinter group who among other things rejected the Talmud and who somehow initiated the conversion to the Karaite faith of several Turkic tribes living on the Black Sea shores in the 13th century. It was some of these ethnically Turkic families who came to Trakai and other parts of the then Grand Duchy of Lithuania, first as bodyguards and later as successful farmers. Granted Magdeburg rights by Casimir IV (Lithuanian: Kazimieras) in 1441, the Lithuanian Karaite have, much like Trakai itself, suffered swings of both good and bad fortune over the centuries and have even found time to court controversy, namely during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania during WWII (1941-1944) when the then head of the Lithuanian and Polish Karaite movement Sereya Shapshala (1873-1961) handed over a list of the names of all Karaite members in order to protect them from the fate of the Jews. In the mid-1930s, Germany’s fledgling Nazi party formally defined the Karaite as not Jewish under the malevolent and sinister 1935 Reich Citizenship Law, a historical fact used by many Eastern European Jews during the Holocaust, who attempted to disguise themselves as Karaite in order to stay alive. Shapshala’s List as it became known effectively sealed the fate of many Lithuanian Jews and continues to be an emotive blot on relations between the communities. Lithuanian Karaite religion is based on the Jewish faith with the above differences. Originally all religious services were conducted in Hebrew inside a kenesa, which has many similarities to a synagogue but which also witnesses a number of startling disparities including the necessity to remove footwear before entering the building, something known universally in the Islamic faith but entirely alien to Judaism. The Lithuanian Karaite language that eventually replaced Hebrew as the official religious language is a facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
TRAKAI CASTLE Drawing mild comparisons to the vast, red brick Teutonic fortress in the Polish town of Malbork, Trakai Castle (or Island Castle as it’s also known) may not be as grand as its Germanic cousin, but what it lacks in stature it more than makes up for in location. Sat splendidly on a diminutive Lake Galvė island at the northern end of the town, construction began in the 14th century at the behest of the then ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Kęstutis, and was completed at the start of the 15th century by his son Vytautas the Great. Built as part of an expansion programme of the neighbouring Peninsular Castle, its completion came at more or less the same time its military importance came to an end after the victory of the combined Polish-Lithuanian armies led by Vytautas against the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Grunwald (Lithuanian: Žalgiris) in 1410. Its second life as a residential palace saw it enter a golden age, with the castle visited and admired by many foreign dignitaries including Flemish diplomat Guillebert de Lannoy (1386-1462), who mentioned it favourably in his memoirs. The castle’s demise came with the vicious war with Muscovy in 1655, which saw it seriously damaged and eventually abandoned. Attempts to rebuild it have been ongoing since the 19th century, with wars and border shifts complicating each new project as it arose. Ironically it was during the Soviet occupation that it was eventually restored to its former glory, with work beginning soon after the end of WWII. Reached by crossing two footbridges and one island, Trakai Castle is essentially two structures, namely the defensive outer section and the Ducal Palace. Entrance to the island and lakeshore around the castle is free. CASTLE & TRAKAI HISTORY MUSEUM (TRAKŲ PILIS IR TRAKŲ ISTORIJOS MUZIEJUS) More like a giant game of snakes and ladders designed by MC Escher than an enriching cultural experience, the Trakai History Museum is spread around the castle and linked via a baffling array of higgledy-piggledy wooden steps and dark, plunging spiral staircases. The two main collections are to be found inside the western casemates (casements) and the Ducal Palace, the former and least interesting made up of 19th-century European glassware, ivory walking stick handles and the like and the latter a collection of items dug up in the vicinity of the castle, a huge collection of coins, a small exhibition dedicated to the Karaite and a few life-size models of medieval gents with enormous moustaches. More than worth a visit for a poke around if nothing else.QKęstučio 4, tel. (+370) 52 85 39 46, www.trakaimuziejus.lt. Open 10:00 - 19:00. Admission €6/3. December 2016 - April 2017
Trakai SENIEJI TRAKAI The Lithuanian capital for seven medieval years before Trakai itself took the reigns, Senieji (Old) Trakai, 6km or so southeast of Trakai, is an intriguing excursion for anyone with a pronounced interest in history or obscure rural churches. It boasts two sights worthy of investigation for the hardcore tourist. The village itself is a dull square of not particularly pretty wooden houses punctuated with the occasional Soviet monstrosity and sliced through the middle by the first point of interest, Trakų, a continuation of the road from Trakai. Trakų is lined with, as we said, mostly wooden houses and supposedly represents many elements of a typical Dzūkai village. You decide. At Trakų’s southernmost tip as it curves around to the right is the site of the once grand castle. This was the birthplace of Vytautas the Great, who in 1405 built a monastery here and settled an order of Benedictine monks inside. The castle is long gone, but the monastery remains, albeit in a poor state. In the 19th century part of the monastery was converted into a neo-Gothic church, which functions as Senieji Trakai’s main house of worship. Its relatively plain interior complete with peeling paint provides a rare glimpse inside small-town religious faith in this corner of the world. Senieji Trakai provides no other forms of enlightenment or entertainment, not even a café. After spending an hour or so here, it’s not hard to see why they moved the capital up the road. The train station is 1km north of the church and monastery. To get from the former to the latter, turn right on exiting the station followed by the first left onto Trakų and follow the road all the way down. unique intermingling of the original Turkic tongue spoken by the community mixed with local Lithuanian and Polish inclusions. Like the Lithuanian Karaite themselves, the language is dying, with what few remaining members of the total Lithuanian count of around 250 Lithuanian Karaite integrating with Western society. At this rate it’s only a matter of time before the community and its culture are gone forever. Trakai remains the spiritual home of the Lithuanian Karaite movement and shamelessly exploits the Karaite myth for the purposes of tourism. Visitors are treated to a watereddown version of Karaite culture including all of the sights listed here and not forgetting kibinai, the signature pastries of Karaite cuisine, and the traditional wooden houses along the street each with three windows facing the road. At present there remain about 50 Lithuanian Karaite living in Trakai. Those wanting to know more about a dying race of people who it could be argued bridge the gap between the Jewish faith and Islam, contact the Lithuanian Karaite Community House in Trakai via the site karaimai.lt. 74 Vilnius In Your Pocket
TOURIST INFORMATION TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE Staffed by friendly, knowledgeable locals, come here for armloads of brochures and information on cultural events, places to stay and lots more.QKaraimų 41, tel. (+370) 52 85 19 34, www.trakai-visit.lt. Open May - September 09:00 - 18:00. Open October - April 08:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. JW TRAKAI HISTORICAL NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION BUREAU (TRAKŲ ISTORINIO NACIONALINIO PARKO DIREKCIJA) They can and will organise excursions inside the 8,200-hectare park. These are the people to see if you need a camping or fishing permit too. They also stock a number of brochures, postcards, souvenirs and maps. Hard to miss, find it located inside the big blue wooden former Post Office building.QKaraimų 5, tel. (+370) 52 85 57 76, www.seniejitrakai.lt. Open 08:00 - 17:00, Fri 08:00 15:45. Closed Sat, Sun.
EAT & DRINK To visit Trakai and not eat kibinai is like going to Japan and circumventing the noodles. As well as the aforementioned Karaite speciality, the town can also provide sustenance from one or two other corners of the world. Don’t expect too much in the way of fine dining, but do be thankful that you won’t have to pack sandwiches. What little nightlife there is in Trakai tends to take place in its restaurants, although a couple of clubs open for the summer. Consult inyourpocket.com/trakai, or ask a local.
CAFÉS AJ ŠOKOLADAS Perched on a corner near a church midway between the bus station and the castle, find a selection of squidgy pvc seats plus the added bonus of outdoor seating on warmer days. Really the only proper café in town, as the name implies AJ Šokoladas serves chocolates and hot chocolate as well as coffee and tea.QVytauto 4, tel. (+370) 65 57 11 43, www.ajsokoladas.lt. Open 08:30 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00. PA ULBSW
GEORGIAN PIROSMANI Named after Georgia’s most famous painter, this round restaurant overlooks one of the lakes and can be found on the walk or drive into town on the left of the main road. The menu is bursting with classic and extremely good Georgian food, plus there’s a small barbecue outside that churns out spectacular grilled meat during the summer.QKaraimų 2, tel. (+370) 52 85 61 78, www.pirosmani.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00. €6. PTU LBSW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Trakai INTERNATIONAL APVALAUS STALO KLUBAS A menu of ostentatious fare alongside more traditional Lithuanian offerings and a splendid view of the castle make Round Table Club the town’s most sought-after dining address. Warmer months herald the opening of a charming glassclinking terrace by the lake, while the menu embraces upscale munchies like foie gras, hare siloin and Uruguayan beef steak. There’s even a champagne menu.QKaraimų 53a, tel. (+370) 65 56 80 12, www.asklubas.lt. Open 12:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:00. €23. PTAUIEBSW
KARAITE KYBYNLAR Widely reputed as one of Trakai’s best spots for a food stop, on colder days enjoy this authentic Karaite eatery’s cosy and colourful eastern-style sofas upstairs, or in summer sit on the lakeside terrace. Unique circular crusty pies filled with fish, lamb or chicken are perfect with a beer, as are the more typical smaller Cornish pasty-style kibinai. Moroccan-inspired dishes like tajine are delicious too, as is the fried trout in grape leaves, though you may have to wait a while for these. Don’t forget to try the traditional herby Karaite liqueur.QKaraimų 29, tel. (+370) 69 80 63 20/(+370) 52 85 51 79, www.kybynlar.lt. Open 11:00 - 23:00. €6. PTAUBSW
TRAKAI HISTORICAL NATIONAL PARK
Authentic Trakai feast of kibinai, at Kybynlar
SENOJI KIBININĖ Trakai’s oldest Karaite restaurant churns out endless hot kibinai pastries with various fillings to an appreciative audience packed inside a wooden house like families of sardines. It’s a long way off getting a Michelin star but if you don’t mind waiting for a table and people treading on your toes, bingo, this is a Trakai institution worthy of a visit. QKaraimų 65, tel. (+370) 52 85 58 65/(+370) 65 97 21 32, www.kibinas.lt. Open 10:00 - 23:00. €5. TABS
WELLNESS TRASALIS Massage, mud baths, chocolate-antistress procedures, wine therapy and other tantalising ways in which to part with your money in exchange for an overall feeling of wellbeing. See the website for a full list of what’s available. QGedimino 26, tel. (+370) 65 63 88 54/(+370) 52 83 22 04, www.trasalis.lt. Open 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 21:00, Sun 09:00 - 20:00. AUFLKDCwW facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
One of a total of five national parks in Lithuania, at just 8,200 hectares Trakai Historical National Park is the smallest but by no means the least interesting. Set amidst gently rolling hills formed during the last Ice Age about 14,000 years ago, the park contains a total of 32 lakes, some truly spectacular scenery, one or two ethnographic sights of particular interest and the town of Trakai itself. A population of 14,000 rosy-faced locals, of whom many remain tied to the land, sprinkle the park with humanity, giving it an agreeable lived-in feel lacking in many other rural areas in the country. The proud recipient of national park status in 1992, Trakai Historical National Park is on the Unesco World Heritage tentative list. Things in its favour include its aforementioned comeliness and the town inside it that gives it its name, woodlands brimming with wildlife, traditional farmsteads and villages, manor houses, heaps of fresh air and a sense of having gone back in time. For more information, visit the Trakai Historical National Park Information Bureau in Trakai or browse the park’s website online at www.seniejitrakai.lt. December 2016 - April 2017
Whisky Shop By Duoklė Angelams
Shopping in Vilnius is fun and, in the case of certain products (local booze, amber, cigarettes), a hell of a lot cheaper than it is in Western Europe. The main shopping areas can be divided neatly into the Old Town (antiques, amber, linen, some snazzy pieces of art) and parts of classy Gedimino Avenue (designer clothes, for example). The city’s markets are also worth a visit for an authentic, blast-from-the-past experience if nothing else, as indeed are the increasing number of large shopping centres around the edge of the city where among other things you’ll find all the clothing and footwear we’ve chosen not to list here.
AMBER AMBER MUSEUM-GALLERY A great little place apt at displaying amber at its best. The knowledgeable and friendly staff speak English, and can waffle on for hours about the stuff if you want to know all about it.QJ‑9, Šv. Mykolo 8, tel. (+370) 52 62 30 92, www.ambergallery.lt. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Also at Šv. Mykolo 12. JA
ANTIQUES Unless the item in question is less than 50 years old, some degree of bureaucracy will almost certainly be required to get antiques out of the country. A reputable antiques salesperson will assist you with this. If they can’t, you might like to think again about making the purchase. 76 Vilnius In Your Pocket
SENASIS KUPARAS A fine little shop full of beautiful and highly sought-after antiques, from Russian icons to silverware to furniture. QI‑9, Dominikonų 14, tel. (+370) 52 62 10 24, www. kuparas.lt. Open by appointment. JA
BOOKS ETC. Bookworms and cheapskates should note that in addition to the following bookshops reading matter can be found at various libraries, listed in our Directory at inyourpocket. com/vilnius. International press is best found in the city’s better hotels, some of which offer a pre-ordering service for newspapers and magazines, as well as at Narvesen in Europa (see shopping centres). AKADEMINĖ KNYGA A wide range of works for lexicographers, plus the usual dictionaries, reference books and paperback novels. One of the better places in town for foreign literature, which you’ll find downstairs.QI‑9, Universiteto 4, tel. (+370) 52 66 16 80, www.humanitas.lt. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 15:00. Closed Sun. JA DIDYSIS PEGASAS Extended during the summer this is now easily the biggest bookshop in the Baltics. And it’s a proper bookshop too, with sofas, armchairs and scatter cushions for reading on, as well as stationery and toys. You’ll do well not to spend an entire afternoon (and loads of money) here.QF‑2, Ozo 25 (Akropolis), tel. (+370) 52 38 77 52, www.pegasas.lt. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Shopping DRAUGYSTĖ This former largish bookshop recently removed half its stock and replaced it with a money-spinning café. Englishlanguage novels can be counted on one hand, but also find a few glossy tomes about Lithuania in English.QI‑8, Gedimino 2, tel. (+370) 52 68 50 80, www.vaga.lt. Open 08:00 - 21:00, Fri 08:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00, Also at Gedimino 9 (GO9), Gedimino 13, Gedimino 50, Pilies 22. JA HUMANITAS Glossy books about art, architecture, interior design, shoes and Jamie Oliver. Also travel guides and atlases.QI‑9, Dominikonų 5, tel. (+370) 52 62 11 53, www.humanitas. lt. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. JA
COMPUTERS IDREAM The best place in town for Apple products, from laptops to iPods.QF‑2, Ozo 25 (Akropolis), tel. (+370) 60 61 87 99, www.idream.lt. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A
FASHION BALDININI Clumpy or high-heeled, sturdy or feline, however you like your footwear, it’s here in the local store of the ultrafashionable Milano brand.QVokiečių 11, tel. (+370) 64 09 33 53, www.baldinini-shop.com. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00.
THE WHISKY SHOP BY DUOKLĖ ANGELAMS A dazzling array of more than 450 whiskies are on sale at this Old Town store found down a tiny sidestreet from Pilies. Those from Scotland are on the shelves furthest from the door, with smoky ones topleft, a fine selection from the misty isles and even some from distilleries that have been closed. Whiskies distilled in the rest of the world can be found closer to the door, including gold-medal winning Kavalan from Taiwan, Mackmyra from Sweden, rare Hammer Head from the former Czechoslovakia, the traditional Irish moonshine Poitín, the highly original buckwheat whisky Eddu from Bretagne, India’s hugely popular Amrut, and much more. Prices range from €15 to almost €5,000 for an exceedingly rare 1978 Karuizawa single malt from Japan. The Whisky Shop also sells several rums, gins, tequilas, cognacs, Armagnac and Calvados.QPilies 25, tel. (+370) 68 22 16 21/(+370) 67 17 63 08, www.duokleangelams.lt. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
WHAT TO BUY IN VILNIUS AMBER The fossilised sap has been washing up on Lithuania’s sandy shores for aeons. If you can’t be bothered gathering tiny bits of it on the beach (best after choppy weather), chunks are plentiful in the shops. And for something gleaming, millions of years old and sometimes containing ancient plants and insects, it’s ridiculously cheap. There are shops all the way up Pilies, Didžioji and Aušros Vartų (J-9, J-10, J-11). LINEN The deeply ingrained tradition of flax growing is centuries old, and while you won’t find endless fields of it blowing in the wind these days, the durable yarn is still woven into tablecloths, runners, napkins, chair covers, etc. As clothing, linen easily absorbs perspiration, making it pleasant to wear in summer. Try the shops on Stiklių (I-9, I-10). HONEY Lithuanian mythology says bees are holy, and the buzzy beasts are still revered. To try some honey, head to Bitinėlis (V Šopeno 12, I-11, open Mon-Sat) or find a stall at Halės Market (I-11, open Tue-Sun). LOCAL FOOD In any supermarket you can find easily transportable hard white cheeses with caraway seeds or herbs in the dairy section, or Lithuanian black bread and local biscuits. MUSIC There aren’t many music shops around these days, but for Lithuanian classical, folk and pop CDs you could try Rūdninkų knygynas near All Saints’ Church (Rūdninkų 20, I-11, open daily). STARKA AND MEAD There’s lots of local firewater to guzzle yourself or take home as a souvenir from the airport’s Duty Free shops. Starka is a traditional caramel-coloured, slightly sweet vodka made from natural rye spirit. Mead is also a great souvenir, often packaged in attractive wee boxes. And look out for Trejos devynerios (Three Nines), an infusion of 26 herbs, and the strong, sour Malūnininkų. SWEETS Based in the city of Šiauliai, Rūta has been churning out the sweet stuff for over 100 years. Though its founding family was persecuted during the Soviet era, the firm is now back in family hands and its chocs, truffles, soufflés and creams are the tastiest in the land. Rūta has shops at Klaipėdos 1 (H-9), V Šopeno 6 (I-11) and A Jakšto 5 (H-7), among other places. December 2016 - April 2017
BALTAS MIŠKAS ‘White Forest’ is a pristine space displaying the finest and freshest in Baltic fashion.QŠv. Mikalojaus 13, tel. (+370) 69 31 12 60, www.baltasmiskas.lt/. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. BURBERRY Quality British fashion brand known around the world for its craftsmanship and innovation – and that iconic check design.QDidžioji 20, tel. (+370) 52 65 55 28, https:// us.burberry.com/store-locator/lithuania/didziojivilnius/a0tD0000004lkdi. Open 11:00 - 19:30, Sat 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. HOUSE OF NAÏVE Naïve in a good way. You’ll love the quirky objects, clothes, shoes, accessories, even chocolates in this very 21stcentury curiosity shop.QDidžioji 38, tel. (+370) 61 69 96 65, www.houseofnaive.com/about/. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. LA PERLA The local outlet of the Italian luxury lifestyle company, with intimate apparel for women and men.QVokiečių 5, tel. (+370) 61 01 82 22, www.laperla.com/us/. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. ANGELO KIDS Achingly cute clothes for girls, boys and babies can be found in two bright and cheerful rooms just around the corner from the Toy Museum, close to the Cathedral. Besides brilliant brands like RuffleButts from the US, JoJo Maman Bébé from the UK and Monna Rosa from Milan, Angelo Kids also creates its own colourful collections in the studio next door. Look no further for Christening dresses and costumes, baby clothes and basically anything wonderful to wear for ages 0 to 13. E-shopping is also perfectly doable.QB. Radvilaitės 7, tel. (+370) 64 77 11 77, www.angelokids.lt/lt/. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00, Also at Šeimos aikštė 5 (Ogmios miestas). A 78 Vilnius In Your Pocket
MOUSTACHE BOUTIQUE At this innovative local design workshop and store, with an entrance from Benediktinių Street, find everything from unique clothes and shoes to cute trinkets and accessories, for women and men.QVilniaus 28, tel. (+370) 60 01 23 48, www.moustache. lt/. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
FOOD & DRINK BIOSALA A superior selection of mostly organic food in tins and packets plus a few extras like biodegradable washing powder, etc.QI‑9, Vokiečių 13, tel. (+370) 61 06 53 40, www.biosala.lt. Open 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00, Also at Konstitucijos 7a (Europa), Saltoniškių 9 (Panorama), Linkmenų 22 (Rimi Hypermarket), Lukšio 34 (Banginis). JA DELIKATESAI MAMMA MIA! A highly recommended deli in the heart of Old Town selling a superb range of food and drink, mostly from small producers in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Germany. As well as a shopping space there’s also a small café inside, where coffee and other drinks are served alongside the aforementioned wonderful food.QI‑10, Stiklių 7, tel. (+370) 67 39 13 92. Open 08:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 22:00. JAVSW LIVINN A fine selection of mostly food products, including a range of goods from the UK-based Infinity Foods. Among the selection are Fair Trade organic basmati rice, organic peanut butter and large tins of ghee.QH‑8, Vilniaus 15, tel. (+370) 65 90 36 63, www.livinn.lt. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun, Also at Gedimino 9 (GO9), Saltoniškių 9 (Panorama), Ozo 25 (Akropolis), Žirmūnų 64 (Rimi Hypermarket), Mindaugo 11 (Maxima), Ukmergės 369 (BIG). JA
GIFTS & SOUVENIRS AUKSO AVIS Textile works of Lithuanian artists, expressing Lithuanian culture through a modern context.QJ‑9, Pilies 38, tel. (+370) 52 61 04 21/(+370) 61 22 05 60. Open 11:00 19:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. JA vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Shopping BALTA BALTA In a sheltered courtyard just off Pilies Street is this fascinating shop selling handcrafted products created by local artists out of ecological materials and natural dyes. Silk, wool and linen are used to make scarves and hats, cushions and things for the home, clothes for adults and for kids, a gorgeous range of vintage-style soft toys, a swing made of thick local wool and much more. There are also some woollen carpets from Iran, of all places. Natural cosmetics, toothpastes and vitamin-packed immunity-boosting ‘bee bread’, all made locally, are on offer too.QJ‑9, Pilies 32-2, tel. (+370) 68 58 04 05, www.baltabalta.com. Open 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. JA STIKLO PASLAPTIS (WORLD OF GLASS) An intriguing selection of decorative and functional Lithuanian glassware. The people who run this place also offer glass-blowing workshops.QJ‑10, Didžioji 38, tel. (+370) 65 61 88 91, www.stiklopaslaptis.lt. Open 11:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00, Also at Dominikonų 14. JA
JEWELLERY BAREKET Silver and gold melt together in fantastic medleys. If you’re looking to propose, the Bareket people are also deep into the diamond business.QG‑7, Vasario 16-osios 16-2, tel. (+370) 52 12 30 87/(+370) 52 12 30 92, www.ebareket. lt. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. JA
LINEN Grown in the fields of Lithuania for centuries, flax is a plant yielding fibres which, after a laborious process, can be woven together to create a durable, ecological and highly valued textile called linen. Clothing made from linen is especially good for hot weather as its absorbent nature keeps the skin cool. Flax seeds, meanwhile, are a healthy source of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 acids. In a typical Lithuanian rural household, tablecloths, table runners, bedding, towels and other objects were often made of linen. These days, linen products and souvenirs in the Vilnius shops are almost as popular as amber. LINEN TALES Find beautifully designed and crafted linen for bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and much more besides, all made by Lithuanians to the highest possible standards. This shop is an excellent option for visitors searching for outstanding gifts and souvenirs, as well as locals looking for something unique for their homes.QI‑10, Stiklių 4, tel. (+370) 62 66 89 61, www.linentales.com. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00, Also at Bernardinų 10, Vilnius Airport, A4 gate. JA facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
HALĖS MARKET (HALĖS TURGUS) The modern, glass-covered affair to the left selling clothing that went out of fashion in Albania in the 1980s and raw meat at the back is perhaps best worth avoiding, but the beautifully restored brick building dating from 1900 is more than worth a look inside. A trip through the doors rewards visitors with a nasal blast of several tonnes of smoked meat, which can be bought here along with other specialities including fresh fruit and vegetables plus a nice range of locally-produced honey you can taste before you purchase.QI‑11, Pylimo 58, tel. (+370) 52 62 55 36, www.halesturgaviete.lt. Open 07:00 18:00, Sun 07:00 - 15:00. Closed Mon. J TYMO TURGUS Labouring under the unofficial moniker The Little Good Food & Culture Festival, this twice-a-week (Thursday and Saturday) jaunt into the world of possible alternatives churns out all manner of environmentally friendly food from local farmers and well as soaps, cosmetics and the like. Politically edgy in the fluffiest sense, the market also hosts a regular event where people can vent their spleens a la Hyde Park Corner, plus there’s a place to go for free second-hand clothing and the occasional musical performance.QK‑10, Aukštaičių/Maironio, tel. (+370) 61 13 12 94, www.tymoturgelis.lt/. Open Thu 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun. J VERSLO PARKAS GARIŪNAI Covering a vast area of 120 hectares (there are some who say it’s the largest outdoor market in Europe) and attracting an average 50,000 shoppers every day, Gariūnai sells cars on one side of the road plus all manner of cheap consumer goods of dubious quality on a truly expansive scale on the other. A taxi from a reputable firm costs around €10 to get there from the city centre. Alternatively, look for the minibuses around the train and bus stations with Gariūnai signs on the front.Q4km from Vilnius just off the Kaunas highway, tel. (+370) 66 97 77 79, www.gariunai.lt. Open 05:30 - 14:00, Tue 02:30 - 14:00, Thu 03:00 - 14:00, Sat 04:30 - 16:00, Sun 05:30 - 16:00. Closed Mon. December 2016 - April 2017
Shopping FOR KIDS & TEENS
Adventure playgrounds, cafés you can make a mess in, places where you can run wild – Vilnius has all this and more. The venues listed below are designed to bring welcome relief to parents and childminders. ILLUSION ROOM Kids, teens and adults alike are bound to have fun at this museum of illusions in the Old Town, a first for the Baltics. To say much more would spoil the surprise. Amazing, intriguing, friendly and highly recommended. QVokiečių 6, tel. (+370) 67 22 54 14, www.vilnil.lt/ en/. Open 10:00 - 21:00. TOY MUSEUM (ŽAISLŲ MUZIEJUS) Inspired by similar initiatives in Europe and around the world, this recently opened interactive museum is a private venture aimed at children of all ages from four to 90. Tracing the history of toys and games from around the 12th century onwards, the museum features exhibits including a whirligig dating from the 14th century that was found during excavation work nearby, teddy bears galore and some simple wooden vehicles made in Lithuania during the Soviet period. Indeed, most of the original items on display date from the Soviet period and as such offer a fascinating insight into the former everyday lives of children behind the Iron Curtain. Many of the things on display are there to be touched, played with and generally mauled, making the place a really recommended place for visitors to the city with children in tow who are already fed up with churches and the like. Not the easiest place to find in the world, keep an eye out for the sign on the wall along with a lot of other signs. Entrance is through the door just to the right.QJ‑8, Šiltadaržio 2, tel. (+370) 60 40 04 49, www.zaislumuziejus.lt. Open 14:00 - 18:00, Thu, Fri 14:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission €4/3. J VICHY AQUA PARK A big splash of aquatic fun with a pleasantly uplifting Polynesian theme. There are dizzying water-slides, a pretend beach with real waves, oodles of pools of various types (one with a bar) and all sorts of saunas and spa baths. Out in the northern suburbs, the taxi fare is worth it, or take bus N°53 if you’re feeling cheap.QH‑1, Ozo 14c, tel. (+370) 52 11 11 15, www. vandensparkas.lt. Open 12:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. TAEKDC 80 Vilnius In Your Pocket
SHOPPING CENTRES AKROPOLIS An enormous place full of just about every shop you can possibly imagine, including more than a few you won’t find anywhere else in Lithuania. Besides the massive scope for retail therapy there’s ice-skating, bowling, a cinema and also a rather entertaining 5D cinema. Throw in a decent range of eateries and even a casino and you won’t want to leave. Bus No. 53 will get you there.QF‑2, Ozo 25, tel. (+370) 52 49 28 79/(+370) 65 92 36 32, www.akropolis. lt. Shops 10:00 - 22:00, Entertainment 10:00 – 24:00, Maxima Supermarket 08:00 - 23:00. PTAUL KXW EUROPA Just north of the river, across the road from the Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, find three polished curvaceous floors of mostly clothes shops, a gym and a couple of restaurants. The tiny Narvesen shop is handy for several international newspapers.QH‑6, Konstitucijos 7a, tel. (+370) 61 69 56 80, www.pceuropa.lt. Shops 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 20:00, Maxima 08:00 - 22:00, Lemon Gym 06:30 - 21:30, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 19:00, restaurants 10:00 - 21:00. PT JAULKW OZAS The large Ozas shopping centre offers more gargantuan shopping and restaurant services to the city. Find inside a veritable cavalcade of shops selling everything from designer clothes to food. The large Prisma supermarket stocks one of the most extensive ranges of alcohol in Vilnius.QH‑1, Ozo 18, tel. (+370) 52 10 01 50/1588, www.ozas.lt. Shops 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00, Entertainment 10:00 – 22:00, Prisma Supermarket 08:00 - 23:00. PT A U L KX W PANORAMA Loads of retail outlets, entertainment spots and restaurants can be found at this airy mall by the Žvėrynas suburb, next to the busy road T.Narbuto. Many high-street names are within, plus a top floor of eateries, the country’s first electric go-carting centre and smoking rooms by the public toilets.QE‑5, Saltoniškių 9, tel. (+370) 52 19 58 11/(+370) 68 63 90 60, www.panorama.lt. Shops 10:00 - 22:00, Rimi Hypermarket 08:00 - 23:00. PTAU LKXW VCUP First opened in 1974, this was more-or-less the first modern indoor shopping area to open in Vilnius. After much renovation, today it’s still one of the better places to shop in the city centre. The stores are small but varied, with eating and drinking options and sweeping river views.QH‑6, Upės 9, tel. (+370) 52 73 15 15, www.vcup.lt. Shops 10:00 - 22:00, Maxima Supermarket 08:00 - 22:00, restaurants 10:00 - 24:00. PAULW vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Hot in the right places at Exotic Massage Salon
As tempting as it may be to just sit around in cafés and bars enjoying the city, there might be occasions when you might want to actually do something. Whether it’s relaxation or action, we’ve hand-picked a bunch of options and stuffed our pages with stuff to do.
BOWLING & BILLIARDS FUKSAS Use any of the 12 high-quality pool tables, including one for Russian pool, and make good use of the well-stocked bar. Or just enjoy a drink.QGedimino 28/2, tel. (+370) 52 60 89 26, www.fuksas.lt/en.php. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Thu 11:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 03:00.
ESCAPE ROOMS 007 ROOM You’ve seen the movies and mixed the martini. Now you can really become like James Bond for an hour. Your main enemy at this escape room, located in a side street off Gedimino Avenue, is time. You and your team of spies have just 60 minutes to use the clues, solve the puzzle and escape from the trap. QRotundo 2, tel. (+370) 61 55 45 58, www.007room.com. DECODE ROOM At this clever escape room next to the train station, collect the clues in rooms set up to resemble a spy’s Moscow apartment and solve the puzzle. Teams of two to six players work best, ideally four, with tweens and teens welcome too.QGeležinkelio 6, tel. (+370) 66 60 16 03, www. decoderoom.lt/. Open 12:00 - 21:00. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
ILLUMINATI ROOM At this escape room requiring equal parts logic and imagination in order to make it out, work through a variety of clues and challenges for you and your team to find the answers in less than 60 minutes. Go!QA.Rotundo 2, tel. (+370) 61 55 45 58, www.illuminatiroom.lt/apieilluminati-room. Open 10:00 - 22:00. LABYRINTHUS Enter a dark door concealed within the concrete maze of the city’s western suburbs and you will be plunged into an escape game from which you may never emerge. Teams lead themselves through scary, dimly lighted corridors and tight passages, interpreting messages to open the right doors. One game is for kids aged 12 to 16, another for those aged 14 and up. Website in Lithuanian only.QLaisvės 60, tel. (+370) 68 78 21 18, www.labyrinthus.lt/en/. Open 11:00 - 22:00.
FITNESS & GYMS FORUM SPORTS CLUB Gym, aerobics, 25m pool, saunas, modern equipment and the option of a personal trainer to shout at you while you use it.QG‑5, Konstitucijos 26, tel. (+370) 52 10 31 49, www.forumfitness.lt. Open 06:30 - 22:30, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00. AFDC
Read more reviews online: vilnius.inyourpocket.com December 2016 - April 2017
Leisure ON WHEELS KARTLANDAS VILNIUS The city’s only indoor go-kart track is located southwest of the city centre close to the Litexpo exhibition centre. The open-wheel cars come in different sizes, for adults and kids even as young as aged 4, and training, helmets and other gear are to hand.QParodų 1, tel. (+370) 62 63 35 55, www.vilnius.kartlandas.lt/kontaktai/. Open 14:00 23:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:00.
SAUNAS RADISSON BLU ASTORIJA A gleaming facility tucked away under one of the city’s finest hotels. Sauna, pool, spa bath and some fitness kit are all present. You can watch people swimming while you’re on the treadmill. And then join them.QJ‑10, Didžioji 35/2, tel. (+370) 52 12 01 10, fax (+370) 52 12 17 62, www. radissonblu.com/hotel-vilnius. Open 06:00 - 23:00. JA THE NARUTIS HOTEL – PREFERRED BOUTIQUE There’s a sauna, steam room and a modest pool with spa bath. And a nice little fountain. A hidden treat on the main tourist promenade of Old Town.QJ‑9, Pilies 24, tel. (+370) 52 12 28 94, www.narutis.com. Open 06:00 - 21:00. JA
SPA & BEAUTY STIMULUS Opened in 2009 and the first of its kind in the country, Stimulus is an almost exclusively women-only venue (exceptions are few and far between and males generally only ever visit on invitation) offering a wide range of regimes, therapies, courses and other such things aimed at achieving a strong and healthy body and mind combined with inner balance for a harmonious lifestyle. It focuses on Callanetics but also offers Pilates, yoga, balance training, modern dance exercises, exercises for expectant mothers and a host of other stuff, all overseen by professionals and the majority of it available in English.QH‑6, Konstitucijos 6, tel. (+370) 64 52 84 16, www.stimulus.lt. Also at Aguonų 12. PJW
KARAOKE SING The best karaoke bar in the land has more than 40,000 songs, a great bar and separate stylish rooms for pop (the biggest), disco, rock, jazz and classics. Rent the rooms by the hour, with packages available, plus optional vocal effects synthesizer.QGedimino 27, tel. (+370) 69 87 75 53, www.singkaraoke.lt/index.php. Open 18:00 - 02:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun.
@InYourPocket 82 Vilnius In Your Pocket
AZIA SPA Offering a full menu of eastern-style massages with a Buddhist philosophy, Azia Spa also provides the pleasure of exotic facials, body scrubs, wraps and more. Pressurepoint massages and herbal baths add to the experience, and special pampering massages for two are also available.QI‑10, Šv. Mikalojaus 5, tel. (+370) 52 44 46 46/(+370) 64 40 30 00, www.aziaspa.lt. Open 11:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00, Also at Odminių 3, tel. (+370) 52 53 13 13. JA BARZDASKUČIAI BARBER SHOP Takes male grooming in Vilnius to a whole new level. Get yourself a haircut, a shave or even one of those vigorous facial massages that are a feature of this part of the world. You can even get your shoes shined. Best of all though you will love the fantastic original, old-fashioned barber’s chairs, which must be worth an absolute fortune.QI‑10, Žydų 2-8, tel. (+370) 52 62 58 87, www.barzdaskuciai.lt. Open 11:00 - 20:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 02:00, Sun 11:00 - 19:00, Also at Vilniaus 31. JAW EXOTIC MASSAGE SALON Spice up your life with a range of massages including several delivered with the aid of stones, honey and even chocolate. They also offer their all body massages alongside a range of facials, body masks and scrubs.QJ‑10, Didžioji 40/2, tel. (+370) 52 12 55 99/(+370) 68 69 94 99, www.eastisland. lt. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. J vilnius.inyourpocket.com
EXOTIC SPA MOROCCO A tiny but warming oasis of the exotic lies off a narrow lane in the the Old Town offering classical, relaxing, sports, anticellulite, hot-stone and other massages, treats for couples and a few saucy options for gentlemen. Check the website for the full spread.QI‑10, Šv. Mikalojaus 5, tel. (+370) 52 12 12 15, www.exoticspa.lt. Open 11:00 - 21:00. J RJ HAIR CULTURE Go home with a completely different hairdo courtesy of this rather good beauty salon. It’s worth noting that they’ve worked abroad, so there is no language barrier (not always the case when trying ot get a haircut in this town). If you want make-up done, you will need to make an appointment in advance.QI‑9, Dominikonų 16, tel. (+370) 64 05 40 00, www.rjhair.lt. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. J
ICE PALACE (LEDO RŪMAI) Vilnius’s ‘proper’ skating rink, capable of hosting 400 skaters (provided most of them stay vertical). You can also go to watch the fights and see an ice hockey game break out. Skating sessions every hour.QB‑3, Ąžuolyno 9, tel. (+370) 52 42 44 44, fax (+370) 52 42 44 00, www.pramoguarena.lt. LIEPKALNIS SKI SLOPE This fabulous outdoor slope lies southeast of the city centre with skiing, snowboarding, a handheld ski lift for getting back up again, and equipment rental in case you didn’t bring your slalom skis with you. Professional, English-speaking specialists are there to help, and you’ll also find a ski school for kids, a little café and marvellous views of the city.QMinsko pl. 2, tel. (+370) 62 05 22 22, www.liepkalnis.lt/en/. Open 12:00 23:00, Mon 14:00 - 23:00, Sat 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 09:00 - 22:00.
SPA CENTRE EAST ISLAND At one of the city’s largest spas, enjoy an aromatic bath, a wide range of Thai massages, facials, etc., and a wealth of cosmetic procedures to make you feel reborn. The centre comes complete with Oriental ambience including representations of Buddha on the wall and a tranquil soundtrack.QG‑5, Konstitucijos 26 (Forum Palace 1st floor), tel. (+370) 52 72 22 27/(+370) 68 23 32 22, www.east-island.lt. Open 10:00 - 21:00. A
WINTER SPORTS AKROPOLIS ICE (AKROPOLIO LEDAS) It’s skating in a shopping centre, and it’s cooler than it sounds.QF‑2, Ozo 25, tel. (+370) 65 99 19 74, www. akropolis.lt. Open 08:30 - 23:00. SENAMIESČIO GROŽIO SALONAS The Old Town Beauty Salon offers a superb selection of procedures and services for the benefit of mind and body. Using a combination of natural, high quality ingredients and highly trained professional staff, they also provide waxing procedures, massage, hair care, manicure and a lot more besides. QI‑10, Rūdninkų 16, tel. (+370) 52 31 29 22/(+370) 65 22 24 49, www.senamiesciosalonas.lt. Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. JW facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
December 2016 - April 2017
Health DENTISTS A IR B MACKEVIČIŲ ODONTOLOGIJOS KLINIKA QI‑8, L. Stuokos-Gucevičiaus 9-9, tel. (+370) 52 61 25 12/(+370) 68 63 05 26, www.dentaltravel.lt. Open 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun, Also at Nemenčinės 54a (Baltic-American Clinic), K. Dineikos 1, Druskininkai (SPA Vilnius). JA
HOSPITALS VILNIUS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (RESPUBLIKINĖ VILNIAUS UNIVERSITETINĖ LIGONINĖ) QŠiltnamių 29, tel. (+370) 52 16 90 69, www.rvul.lt. Open 24hrs.
MEDICAL SERVICES BALTIC- AMERICAN CLINIC QNemenčinės 54a, tel. (+370) 52 34 20 20/(+370) 69 85 26 55, www.bak.lt. Open 24hrs. A KARDIOLITAQA‑1, Laisvės 64a, tel. (+370) 52 39 05 00, www.kardiolita.lt. Open 07:30 - 20:00, Fri 07:30 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. A MEDICINE GENERAL PRIVATE CLINICS QI‑8, Gedimino 1a-19, tel. (+370) 52 61 35 34, www. clinic.lt. Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. JA
84 Vilnius In Your Pocket
Directory COMPUTER REPAIR
MATRIX Hard drive recovery et al.QF‑10, Vytenio 10, tel. (+370) 52 13 45 74, www.matrix.lt. Open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. A
RAKTINĖ QJ‑8, B. Radvilaitės 7, tel. (+370) 69 83 34 13, www. raktine.lt. Open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun, Also at Pylimo 49. J
DRY CLEANERS & LAUNDERETTES JOGLĖ The full range of dry cleaning and laundry services.QF‑8, J. Jasinskio 16 (entrance from A. Goštauto), tel. (+370) 52 64 91 64, www.jogle.lt. Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 09:00 16:00. Closed Sun, Also at Gedimino 9 (GO9), Mindaugo 11 (Maxima), Ozo 25 (Akropolis), Konstitucijos 7a (Europa). A
GENEALOGY LITHUANIAN CENTRAL REGISTRY ARCHIVE (ISTORIJOS ARCHYVO SKYRIUS) The entire Lithuanian civil registry archives from 1940 to the present day, including records of all births, deaths and marriages. In order to use this service, location and approximate date are essential.QG‑9, K. Kalinausko 21, tel. (+370) 52 33 78 46, www.archyvai.lt. Open 08:00 - 12:00, 12:45 - 17:00, Fri 08:00 - 12:00, 12:45 - 15:45. Closed Sat, Sun. J LITHUANIAN CENTRAL STATE ARCHIVE (LIETUVOS CENTRINIS VALSTYBĖS ARCHYVAS) When the Nazis invaded Lithuania, one of their first tasks was to prepare an extensive set of records of everyone living in the country. Those looking to trace people living in Lithuania during the period 1941-42 should consult this archive.QO. Milašiaus 21, tel. (+370) 52 47 78 30, www. archyvai.lt. Open 08:00 - 12:00, 12:45 - 17:00, Fri 08:00 12:00, 12:45 - 15:45. Closed Sat, Sun. LITHUANIAN STATE HISTORICAL ARCHIVES (LIETUVOS VALSTYBĖS ISTORIJOS ARCHYVAS) The same as the Lithuanian Central Registry Archive (see above), only these archives are from the church registry up until 1940.QC‑12, Gerosios Vilties 10, tel. (+370) 52 13 74 82, www.archyvai.lt. Open 08:00 - 12:00, 12:45 - 17:00, Fri 08:00 - 12:00, 12:45 - 15:45. Closed Sat, Sun. REGISTRY (GYVENTOJŲ REGISTRO TARNYBA) If you have a name and need an address these people will help you locate the person in question (the addition of a town helps speed things up), although non-Lithuanians be warned that if the person in question is located they are first asked if they actually want to be ‘found’ before the address is given. The sensible thing for non-nationals to do is to use this service with a Lithuanian intermediary. QG‑10, Vinco Kudirkos 18-3, tel. (+370) 52 68 82 62, www.registrucentras.lt/en/. Open 08:00 - 17:00, Fri 08:00 - 15:45. Closed Sat, Sun, Open 07:30 11:30, 12:15 - 16:30, Fri 07:30 - 11:30, 12:15 - 15:15. Closed Sat, Sun. facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
SHOE REPAIR BATASQGedimino 43a, tel. (+370) 65 95 01 73, www. avalynes-taisykla.lt/. Open 08:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 16:00. Closed Sun.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF VILNIUS This long-established association welcomes women from all cultural backgrounds living in the Lithuanian capital. As well as organising regular events including coffee mornings, social evenings and a book club, it hosts a number of charitable events, such as the annual, muchloved International Christmas Charity Bazaar in early December.Qwww.iwavilnius.com.
VETS & PETS SENAMIESČIO VETERINARIJOS KLINIKA House calls can be arranged.QI‑9, Liejyklos 6, tel. (+370) 69 96 12 65, www.veterinaras.lt. Open 09:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. JA
LGBT The websites www.lgl.lt/ en and www.gayline.lt have information about LGBT organisations and events in Lithuania, plus community news, chat rooms and personal ads. Lithuania has a record of limited rights for members of the LGBT community, but attitudes are changing. In June 2016, Baltic Pride took place along central Gedimino Avenue in Vilnius for the third time, attracting a crowd of 3,000 people. Lithuania’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights association LGL is the country’s only NGO exclusively representing the interests of the local LGBT community. Working for 20 years for advocacy, awareness and community building, it pushes for progress in the field of LGBT rights. The LGL office is located at Pylimo 21, which is also home to Lithuania’s only LGBT centre, open to all well-meaning visitors wanting to know more about LGBT rights here. The LGL website above has more info in English on current events.QH‑10, Pylimo 21, tel. (+370) 52 61 03 14, www.lgl.lt/en/. December 2016 - April 2017
Directory EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPRESENTATION IN LITHUANIAQH‑8, Gedimino 16, tel. (+370) 52 31 31 91, ec.europa.eu/lietuva. THE EUROPEAN INFORMATION CENTRE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INFORMATION OFFICE AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPRESENTATION IN LITHUANIAQH‑8, Gedimino 16, tel. (+370) 52 31 31 83, www.ec.europa.eu/lietuva/ eu_information_network/eic/index_lt.htm. THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTE FOR GENDER EQUALITYQH‑8, Gedimino 16, tel. (+370) 52 15 74 00, www.eige.europa.eu/lt. THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INFORMATION OFFICE IN LITHUANIAQH‑8, Gedimino 16, tel. (+370) 52 12 07 66, www.europarl.lt.
FOREIGN REPRESENTATIONS BELARUSQF‑10, Muitines 41, tel. (+370) 52 13 22 55, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lithuania.mfa.gov.by. CANADAQH‑8, Jogailos 4, tel. (+370) 52 49 09 50, email@example.com, www.lietuva.gc.ca.
BUSINESS CONNECTIONS AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCEQG‑5, Konstitucijos 26, tel. (+370) 52 61 11 81, www.amcham.lt. ASSOCIATION OF LITHUANIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY & CRAFTS (LIETUVOS PREKYBOS, PRAMONĖS IR AMATŲ RŪMŲ ASOCIACIJA)QG‑7, Vašingtono 1-63a, tel. (+370) 52 61 21 02, www.chambers.lt.
CZECH REPUBLICQD‑8, Birutės 16, tel. (+370) 52 66 10 40, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mzv.cz/vilnius. DENMARKQL‑6, T. Kosciuškos 36, tel. (+370) 52 64 87 60, email@example.com, www.ambvilnius.um.dk. ESTONIAQE‑7, A. Mickevičiaus 4a, tel. (+370) 52 78 02 00, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.estemb.lt. FINLANDQG‑9, K. Kalinausko 24 (2nd floor), tel. (+370) 52 66 80 10, email@example.com, www.finland.lt. FRANCEQJ‑9, Švarco 1, tel. (+370) 52 19 96 00, ambafrance. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ambafrance-lt.org.
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCEQJ‑9, Didžioji 5, tel. (+370) 52 69 00 62, www.bccl.lt.
GEORGIAQE‑6, D. Poškos 13, tel. (+370) 52 73 69 59, email@example.com, www.lithuania.mfa.gov.ge.
CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE FRANCO-LITUANIENNE (PRANCŪZIJOS-LIETUVOS PREKYBOS RŪMAI) QJ‑9, Švarco 1, tel. (+370) 65 57 79 84, www.cci-fr.lt.
GERMANYQF‑9, Z. Sierakausko 24, tel. (+370) 52 10 64 00, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vilnius.diplo.de.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS NETWORKQP.O. Box 1125, www.ebn.lt. INVEST LITHUANIA (INVESTUOK LIETUVOJE) QH‑8, Jogailos 4, tel. (+370) 52 62 74 38, www. investlithuania.com. VILNIUS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY & CRAFTS (VILNIAUS PREKYBOS, PRAMONĖS IR AMATŲ RŪMAI)QG‑11, Algirdo 31, tel. (+370) 52 13 55 50, www.cci.lt. 86 Vilnius In Your Pocket
GREECEQI‑10, Rūdninkų 2, tel. (+370) 52 61 05 26, email@example.com, www.mfa.gr/vilnius. HUNGARYQH‑8, Jogailos 4, tel. (+370) 52 69 00 38, firstname.lastname@example.org. ICELAND (CONSULATE)QD‑11, K. Konarskio 28a, tel. (+370) 52 15 05 75, email@example.com. IRELANDQI‑8, Gedimino 1, tel. (+370) 52 62 94 60, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.embassyofireland.lt. ISRAELQH‑6, Konstitucijos 7 Europa Business Center, tel. (+370) 52 50 25 00, email@example.com. vilnius.inyourpocket.com
ITALYQE‑8, Žvejų 14a, tel. (+370) 52 12 06 20, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ambvilnius.esteri.it.
UKQL‑6, Antakalnio 2, tel. (+370) 52 46 29 00, be-vilnius@ britain.lt, www.gov.uk/government/world/lithuania.
JAPANQE‑9, M. K. Čiurlionio 82b, tel. (+370) 52 31 04 62, email@example.com, www.lt.emb-japan.go.jp.
UKRAINEQG‑8, V. Kudirkos 22, tel. (+370) 52 33 07 82, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mfa.gov.ua/lithuania.
LATVIAQE‑9, M. K. Čiurlionio 76, tel. (+370) 52 13 12 60, email@example.com, www.latvia.lt.
USAQG‑9, Akmenų 6, tel. (+370) 52 66 55 00, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vilnius.usembassy.gov.
NETHERLANDSQL‑6, T. Kosciuškos 36, tel. (+370) 52 11 36 00, email@example.com, www.lithuania.nlembassy.org/.
VATICANQK‑7, T. Kosciuškos 28, tel. (+370) 52 12 36 96, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vatican.va.
NORWAYQG‑9, K. Kalinausko 24 (3rd floor), tel. (+370) 52 61 00 00, email@example.com, www.norvegija.lt.
POLANDQM‑3, Smėlio 22a, tel. (+370) 52 19 47 00, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wilno.msz. gov.pl. ROMANIAQG‑10, A. Vivulskio 19, tel. (+370) 52 31 05 57, email@example.com, www.vilnius.mae.ro.
BALTICK LANGUAGE SERVICESQJ‑9, Bernardinų 9-4, tel. (+370) 52 12 29 24, www.bv-translations.eu.
LEGAL & FINANCIAL SERVICES
RUSSIAQC‑6, Latvių 53, tel. (+370) 52 72 38 93, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lithuania.mid.ru.
ADVIX BELEVIČIUS, BUKAUSKAS, ČIUPAILA IR PARTNERIAIQUlonų 5, tel. (+370) 52 78 87 45, www. advix.lt/.
SPAINQG‑7, Gedimino 35, tel. (+370) 52 31 39 61, emb. email@example.com, www.exteriores.gob.es
SABALIAUSKAS IR PARTNERIAIQI‑8, Ž. Liauksmino 3, tel. (+370) 52 12 42 44, www.siplaw.lt.
SWEDENQJ‑10, Didžioji 16, tel. (+370) 52 68 50 10, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TURKEYQJ‑10, Didžioji 37, tel. (+370) 52 36 42 00, email@example.com, www.vilnius.emb.mfa.gov.tr.
EUROPEAN CONSUMER CENTREQI‑8, Odminių 12, tel. (+370) 52 65 03 68, www.ecc.lt.
December 2016 - April 2017
The quiet entrances to the Shakespeare Boutique Hotel, Litinterp Guest House and Bernardinų B&B
Vilnius has a wide range of accommodation options in all parts of the city. Prices remain lower than in Western Europe, sometimes considerably lower, meaning staying right in the centre is always an option. Booking a room in advance is recommended, especially in summer.
CREAM OF THE CROP KEMPINSKI HOTEL CATHEDRAL SQUARE QI‑8, Universiteto 14, tel. (+370) 52 20 11 00, fax (+370) 52 20 11 20, www.kempinski.com/vilnius. €210 2800. PiTJHARUIFLKDC W hhhhh
SYMBOL KEY P Air conditioning
A Credit cards accepted
H Conference facilities
U Facilities for the disabled
F Fitness centre
L Guarded parking
R LAN connection
J Old town location
C Swimming pool
88 Vilnius In Your Pocket
RADISSON BLU ROYAL ASTORIJA QJ‑10, Didžioji 35/2, tel. (+370) 52 12 01 10, fax (+370) 52 12 17 62, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-vilnius. €99 - 900. PiJHARUFKDXCW hhhhh RAMADA HOTEL & SUITES VILNIUS QJ‑10, Subačiaus 2, tel. (+370) 52 55 33 55, fax (+370) 52 55 33 12, www.ramadavilnius.lt. €133 - 388. PiT JHAR6UIFLKDXW hhhhh RELAIS & CHATEAUX STIKLIAI HOTEL QI‑9, Gaono 7, tel. (+370) 52 64 95 95, fax (+370) 52 12 38 70, www.stikliai.com. €175 - 1200. PiJHA R6UIFKDXCW hhhhh THE NARUTIS QJ‑9, Pilies 24, tel. (+370) 52 12 28 94, www.narutis. com. €100 - 600. PiTJHAUIKDCW hhhhh VILNIUS GRAND RESORT QEžeraičių 2, Ežeraičio village, Vilnius district, tel. (+370) 52 73 97 00, fax (+370) 52 73 97 30, www. vilniusgrandresort.com. €100 - 500. PiTHA6 IFKDCW hhhhh
UPMARKET AMBERTON HOTEL QI‑8, L. Stuokos-Gucevičiaus 1, tel. (+370) 52 10 74 61, www.ambertonhotels.com. €69 - 169. PiJHA ULKW hhhh vilnius.inyourpocket.com
Hotels ARTIS CENTRUM HOTELS QI‑9, Totorių 23, tel. (+370) 52 66 03 66, fax (+370) 52 66 03 77, www.artis.centrumhotels.com. €99 - 225. Pi JHAUFLKDCW hhhh
MABRE RESIDENCE QJ‑9, Maironio 13, tel. (+370) 52 12 21 95, fax (+370) 52 12 22 40, www.mabre.lt. €118 - 271. PiJHAR 6ULKDXCW hhhh
ATRIUM QJ‑9, Pilies 10, tel. (+370) 52 10 77 77, fax (+370) 52 10 77 70, www.atrium.lt. €77 - 199. PiJ HA 6U LKDW hhhh
MOON GARDEN HOTEL QJ‑11, Bazilijonų 10, tel. (+370) 52 19 99 49, www. moongardenhotel.com. €64 - 120. PiJHAR UILKW hhhh
BEST WESTERN VILNIUS QH‑6, Konstitucijos 14, tel. (+370) 52 73 95 95, fax (+370) 52 73 95 00, www.vilniushotel.eu. €130 - 209. PiHA6UFKDCW hhhh
NERINGA QH‑8, Gedimino 23, tel. (+370) 52 12 22 88, fax (+370) 52 12 22 99, www.neringahotel.com. €69 - 159. Pi JHAR6UFLKDXW hhhh
CITY HOTELS ALGIRDAS QG‑10, Algirdo 24, tel. (+370) 52 32 66 50/(+370) 65 23 06 45, www.cityhotels.lt. 42 Total rooms. PJHA ULKXW hhhh
NOVOTEL VILNIUS CENTRE QH‑8, Gedimino 16, tel. (+370) 52 66 62 00, fax (+370) 52 66 62 01, www.novotel.com. €67 - 200. PiTJ HA6UFKDW hhhh
CONGRESS AVENUE QI‑8, Gedimino 12, tel. (+370) 52 12 17 16, fax (+370) 52 10 20 91, www.congressavenue.lt. €80 - 230. Pi JHAUKW hhhh
RADISSON BLU HOTEL LIETUVA QH‑6, Konstitucijos 20, tel. (+370) 52 72 62 72, fax (+370) 52 72 62 70, www.radissonblu.com/lietuvahotelvilnius. 291 Total rooms. PiOTJHARU FLKDW hhhh
CONTI QI‑11, Raugyklos 7/2, tel. (+370) 52 51 41 11, fax (+370) 52 51 41 00, www.contihotel.lt/index.php/pageid/99. €46 150. PiJHAR6UFLKD W hhhh CROWNE PLAZA VILNIUS QD‑9, M. K. Čiurlionio 84, tel. (+370) 52 74 34 00, fax (+370) 52 74 34 20, www.cpvilnius.com. 108 Total rooms. PiJHA RUFLKDXCW hhhh DVARAS QI‑8, Tilto 3/1, tel. (+370) 52 10 73 70, fax (+370) 52 61 87 83, www.dvaras.lt. €76 - 129. PiJARL KW hhhh EMBASSY HOTEL BALATONAS QD‑6, Latvių 38, tel. (+370) 52 72 22 50, fax (+370) 52 72 21 34, www.embassyhotel.lt. €53 - 110. PiHA ULKDW hhhh
SHAKESPEARE BOUTIQUE HOTEL QJ‑9, Bernardinų 8, tel. (+370) 52 66 58 85, fax (+370) 52 66 58 86, www.shakespeare.lt. €85 - 220. PiT JHAR6ULKW hhhh VIEŠBUTIS CONGRESSQI‑7, Vilniaus 2/15, tel. (+370) 52 69 19 19, fax (+370) 52 51 42 80, www.congress.lt. €70 - 174. PiJHAFLKW hhhh
MID-RANGE AIRINN VILNIUS QRodūnios Kelias 8, tel. (+370) 52 32 93 04/(+370) 69 81 39 09, fax (+370) 52 13 64 63, www.airinn.lt. €58 - 94. iHA6IFLKDW hhh ALEXA OLD TOWN HOTEL VILNIUS QI‑11, Pylimo 53/2, tel. (+370) 52 19 17 80, fax (+370) 52 78 40 95, www.hotelalexa.eu. €40 - 100. JHA 6ULKXW hhh
EUROPA ROYALE VILNIUS QJ‑10, Aušros Vartų 6, tel. (+370) 52 66 07 70, fax (+370) 52 61 20 00, www.europaroyale.com. €89. PiJH A6ULKXW hhhh
APIA HOTELQI‑9, Šv. Ignoto 12, tel. (+370) 52 12 34 26, www.apia.lt. €60 - 200. PiJAW hhh
GROTTHUSS BOUTIQUE HOTEL QI‑10, Ligoninės 7, tel. (+370) 52 66 03 22, www. grotthusshotel.com. €59 - 200. iJHA6LK XW hhhh
CENTRO KUBAS QI‑10, Stiklių 3, tel. (+370) 52 66 08 60, fax (+370) 52 66 08 63, www.hotel.centrokubas.lt/. €86 - 104. PiJ HAR6UXW hhh
HOLIDAY INN VILNIUS QI‑6, Šeimyniškių 1, tel. (+370) 52 10 30 00, fax (+370) 52 10 30 01, www.holidayinnvilnius.lt. €70 - 140. Pi JHAUFLKDW hhhh
CITY GATE HOTEL QJ‑11, Bazilijonų 3, tel. (+370) 52 10 73 06, fax (+370) 52 10 73 07, www.citygate.lt. €48 - 94. iJHAU LKXW hhh
December 2016 - April 2017
Hotels CITY HOTELS RŪDNINKAI QI‑11, Rūdninkų 15/46, tel. (+370) 52 61 39 16, fax (+370) 52 12 05 07, www.cityhotels.lt/rudninkai/en. €45 - 120. PiJAULKDW hhhh COMFORT HOTEL LT QH‑11, Kauno 14, tel. (+370) 52 50 51 11/(+370) 65 72 76 77, www.comforthotel.lt. 200 Total rooms. PiH AR6UFLKW hhh DOMUS MARIA QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 12, tel. (+370) 52 64 48 80, fax (+370) 52 64 48 78, www.domusmaria.com. €55 - 121. iJHARULKW hhh EUROPA CITY VILNIUS QF‑8, J. Jasinskio 14, tel. (+370) 52 51 44 77, fax (+370) 52 51 44 76, www.europacity.lt. 128 Total rooms. Pi JHAR6UFLKDW hhh GRATA HOTEL QF‑10, Vytenio 9, tel. (+370) 52 68 33 00, fax (+370) 52 13 27 60, www.gratahotel.com. €40 - 120. iTH A R6ULKDCW hhh HOTEL TILTO QI‑8, Tilto 8, tel. (+370) 52 10 00 21, www.hoteltilto. com. €44 - 88. PiJAKW hhh IBIS STYLES VILNIUS QMinsko 14, tel. (+370) 52 03 22 82, www.ibis.com/gb/ hotel-A076-ibis-styles-vilnius/index.shtml. €39 - 106. PiHA6ULKW hhh
ŽEMAITĖSQE‑12, Žemaitės 15, tel. (+370) 52 13 31 93, fax (+370) 52 13 33 37, www.hotelzemaites.lt. €34 - 72. PiHAR6ULKDCW hhh
GUESTHOUSES DOWNTOWN FOREST & CAMPING QL‑10, Paupio 31a, tel. (+370) 68 68 45 23, fax (+370) 52 64 31 12, www.downtownforest.lt. €6 - 66 Breakfast not included. A6ILW LITINTERP GUEST HOUSE QJ‑9, Bernardinų 7, tel. (+370) 52 12 38 50/(+370) 68 99 85 17, fax (+370) 52 12 35 59, www.litinterp.com. €18 51 Breakfast not included. iJAR6W MANO LIZA QI‑10, Ligoninės 5, tel. (+370) 52 12 22 25, www. hotelinvilnius.lt. €50 - 100. iJALK hhh
BUDGET CORNER HOTELQG‑10, T. Ševčenkos 16, tel. (+370) 52 10 23 61, www.cornerhotel.lt. 146 Total rooms. iH A6UW hhh ECOTEL VILNIUSQI‑6, Slucko 8, tel. (+370) 52 10 27 00, fax (+370) 52 10 27 07, www.ecotel.lt. €58 - 81. iJHAR6ULW hhh MIKOTEL QI‑11, Pylimo 63, tel. (+370) 52 60 96 26, fax (+370) 52 60 96 27, www.mikotel.lt. €39 - 61. iJA6W hh
IVOLITA VILNIUS QI‑11, Gėlių 5, tel. (+370) 52 64 88 33, fax (+370) 52 64 88 32, www.ivolita.lt. €42 - 99. iJHAW hhh
VILNIUS CITY HOTELQG‑11, Švitrigailos 11d, tel. (+370) 68 98 77 77, fax (+370) 52 15 04 11, www.vilniushotel.lt. €29 - 70. PiJHAULKW hhh
KAROLINAQSausio 13-osios 2, tel. (+370) 52 16 89 34, fax (+370) 52 16 93 41, www.karolina.lt. €34 - 72. iH AR6KDCW hhh
BED & BREAKFAST
PANORAMAQI‑12, Sodų 14, tel. (+370) 52 33 88 22, fax (+370) 52 33 88 23, www.panoramahotel.lt. €53 130. iOJH A6KW hhh RINNOQH‑10, Vingrių 25, tel. (+370) 52 62 28 28, fax (+370) 52 62 59 29, www.rinno.lt. €59 - 119. iJH A6LKW hhh SENATORIAI QI‑8, Tilto 2, tel. (+370) 52 12 64 91, fax (+370) 52 12 63 72, www.senatoriai.lt. €45 - 95. iJA6KW hhh VIVULSKIO APARTAMENTAI QVivulskio 12B-1, tel. (+370) 63 00 01 62, fax (+370) 52 19 97 81, www.vivulskioapartamentai.lt/en. €27 - 160 Breakfast not included. iA6LDW hhh 90 Vilnius In Your Pocket
B&B FLORENS QI‑11, Sodų 4, tel. (+370) 61 88 05 05, www.guesthouse. lt. €30 - 60. iW BERNARDINŲ B&B HOUSE QJ‑9, Bernardinų 5, tel. (+370) 52 61 51 34/(+370) 65 64 32 84, fax (+370) 52 60 84 10, www.bernardinuhouse. com. €29 - 70 Breakfast not included. JALW VILNIUS HOME B&B QH‑9, Pylimo 14b, tel. (+370) 65 60 50 36, www. vilniushome.eu. Check in hours 14:00 - 18:00. €23 - 82. iJAW
LONG TERM RENTAL REBALTIC QI‑9, Šv. Ignoto 1/3, tel. (+370) 65 74 22 34, www. rebaltic.lt. Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. J vilnius.inyourpocket.com
STIKLIŲ DVARAS (STIKLIAI APARTMENTS) QI‑9, Dominikonų 13, tel. (+370) 52 64 95 95, fax (+370) 52 12 38 70, www.stikliai.com. €2000 - 3800. PTJ HARFLKDXC
SHORT TERM RENTAL ANRE GUEST HOUSE QI‑10, Šv. Mikalojaus 7-15, tel. (+370) 69 82 99 09. Also at Šv. Mikalojaus 7-12 and Šiltadaržio 4-8. €40 - 75. J BARBACAN APARTMENTS QJ‑10, Bokšto 19/12, tel. (+370) 61 51 26 88, www. barbacan.lt. €55 - 85. TJALW RENTIDA APARTMENTSQI‑10, Šv. Mikalojaus 5, tel. (+370) 60 55 56 66, www.rentida.lt. €42 - 75. JALW STASYS APARTMENTSQtel. (+370) 69 93 26 72, www.apartment-vilnius.com. €30 - 70. ARW VILNIUS APARTMENTSQI‑10, Stiklių 6-1, tel. (+370) 60 01 28 22, www.euapartments.lt. €48 - 80. J
HOSTELS DO RE MI VILNIUS HOSTELQG‑8, Aukų 3, tel. (+370) 52 40 59 58, www.doremihostel.com. €25 - 60 Breakfast not included. ARW facebook.com/VilniusInYourPocket
FABRIKA HOSTEL & BAR QH‑8, A. Vienuolio 8, tel. (+370) 52 03 10 05, www. fabrikahostel.com. €8 - 40. PJA6W FILARETAI HOSTELQL‑8, Filaretų 17, tel. (+370) 52 15 46 27, www.filaretaihostel.lt. €5 - 42 Breakfast not included. A6W HOSTELGATE QJ‑11, Aušros Vartų 17-1, tel. (+370) 63 83 28 18, www. hostelgate.lt. €8 - 12. JAILDW HOSTEL JAMAIKA QI‑11, Visų Šventųjų 9, tel. (+370) 68 87 67 66, www. vilniushostel.com. €10 - 45 Breakfast not included. JAW JIMMY JUMPS HOUSE QJ‑10, Savičiaus 12-1, tel. (+370) 52 31 38 47, www. jimmyjumpshouse.com. €9 - 30. JLW POGO HOSTEL QJ‑8, B. Radvilaitės 3, tel. (+370) 68 46 70 60. €12 - 45 Breakfast not included. JAW
Read reviews online: vilnius.inyourpocket.com December 2016 - April 2017
St. Philip and St. Jacob’s
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Dvaras - Manor House
Energy & Technology Museum
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Applied Arts Museum
Gediminas Castle & Museum
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Arts Printing House
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Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Grand Duke Gediminas
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Holiday Inn Vilnius
Vilnius Congress Concert Hall
Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Theatre
Vilnius Small State Theatre
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Church of St. Raphael the Archangel
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Hill of Three Crosses
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ų g. ų g. g. Lithuanian ikon Žyd Trakų Theatre, Music omin P D Evangelical r & Cinema Museum Franciscan
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Lithuanian Russian Drama Theatre
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1 VILNIUS CITY
Scale 1:26 000 1 cm = 260 m
V. Gerulaičio g.
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V. Šop eno g. g.
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Art Factory Loftas
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o g. Mindaug
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Lithuanian Radio & Television Museum
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Crowne Plaza Vilnius
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Vingis Park Soldiers Cemetery
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St. Philip and St. Jacob‘s
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Compensa Concert Hall
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Gaile sting . ųjų s erų g Se
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Subačia Pushkin Memorial Museum us g
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Church of the Ascension of the Lord
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ų g. auz enh Tyz
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ų g. Vart
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. ko g Lata
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sko g .
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War Machinery and Transport Museum
Hill of Three Crosses
g. . og d K ė P y l im
. nų g Švarco g. iniko Dom
Ligo ninė s
a r i o g.
no g. niū Vai
Bern ard inų St. Anne’s g. Presidential Vilnius Palace
io g. insk buž Do
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Archeology Museum Gediminas hill National Museum Vilnius Cathedral
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os g. Lyd
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aitės g. Š v e ntaragio g. B . Radvil
K an kli ų g .
Kari ų Ka pų
Sts. Peter & Pauls' Church
l o s g.
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Žirm brid ūnų ge
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SENAMIESTIS v. Jono g.
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Tuskulėnai Peace Park Memorial Complex K. Jau n ia u s g.
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P. Rim šos g.
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evelio g .
ų g. druli
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M. Katkaus g.
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Afghanistan War Memorial
Orthodox Church of Michael and Archangel H. Man to g . Kalvarijų Market
ydžio g .
Maišiagalos g .
J. Galv J. Tre
N P. Širvio g.
Ne r i s
Kuosų g .
L Žirmūnų g.
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ag Ta ur
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Street Register A. Domaševičiaus g. G-7/8 A. Goštauto g. F-6/8; G-6/7; H-7 A. Jakšto g. H-7/8 A. Jaroševičiaus g. I-12 A. Juozapavičiaus g. I-6/7; J-7 A. Rotundo g. F-7/8; G-7 A. Strazdelio g. J-11 A. Stulginskio g. H-8 A. Volano g. J-9 Aguonų g. H-10/11 Aido g. K-12 Akmenų g. G-8/9 Alantos g. I-2 Algirdo g. G-9/11; H-11/12 Alkūnės g. J-11/12; K-12 Aludarių g. G-8 Amatų g. G-11 Ankštoji g. F-7; G-7 Apkasų g. I-3; J-3/4 Arsenalo g. J-7/8 Ašmenos g. I-10 Augustijonų g. J-10 Aukštaičių g. J/L-10 Aukų g. G-8 Aušros Vartų g. J-10/11 B. Laurinavičiaus skv. I-4 B. Radvilaitės g. J-8 Balstogės g. K-11; L-11 Baltasis skg. K-9; L-9 Bazilijonų g. I-11; J-11 Benediktinių g. H-9; I-9 Bernardinų g. J-9 Bokšto g. J-9/10 Ceikinių g. I-6 Dainavos g. G-7/8 Daugėliškio g. G-5; H-4/5; I-4 Didžioji g. I-10; J-9/10 Dominikonų g. I-9 Drujos g. J/L-11; L-10; M-9/10 Dubingių g. H-2/4 Durpių g. H-2/3 Etmonų g. I-10; J-10 Gaono g. I-9 Gedimino Baravyko g. F-5; G-5/6 Gedimino pr. F-7; G/I-8; G-7 Geležinio Vilko g. C-11/12; D-9/11; E-9; F-3/9; G-1/4 Geležinkelio g. H/J-12; J-11 Gėlių g. I-11 Gervėčių g. K-11; L-11 Giedraičių g. H-3/5; I-2/3 Gudų g. I-12; J-12 H. Manto g. I-4 Išganytojo g. J-9 Islandijos g. H-8/9 J. Basanavičiaus g. F/H-9; H-10
96 Vilnius In Your Pocket
J. Biliūno g. J-9 J. Galvydžio g. J-2; K-2 J. Jablonskio g. H-11 J. Jasinskio g. F-7/8; G-8 J. Kubiliaus g. K-1/3 J. Lelevelio g. H-7/8 J. Ralio g. H-1 J. Savickio g. G-7 J. Treinio g. I-2; J-2 J. Tumo-Vaižganto g. G-7 J. Žemaičio a. I-9 Jogailos g. H-8 K. Griniaus g. H-8 K. Kalinausko g. G-9; H-9 K. Ladygos g. K-2/3 K. Sirvydo g. I-8 K. Vanagėlio g. J-11; K-11 K. Vasiliausko skv. H-7 Kaltanėnų g. I-3/4 Kalvarijų g. H-7; I-1/7 Kareivių g. I-1; J-1 Karmelitų g. I-10/11 Kaštonų g. G-7; H-7 Kauno g. F-12; G-11/12; H-11 Kazliškių g. I-5; J-5 Kėdainių g. H-10; I-10 Kenos g. K-11/12 Kernavės g. H-2/4 Kintų g. H-4/5 Klaipėdos g. H-9; I-9 Konstitucijos pr. G-5; H-5/6; I-6 Kražių g. F-7; G-7 Krokuvos g. G/I-5; I-6; J-6 Krosnies g. G-4 Kruopų g. H-11; I-11 L. Stuokos-Gucevičiaus g. I-8/9 Labdarių g. H-8; I-8 Lakūnų g. J/L-1 Lapų g. J-11 Latako g. J-9 Liepkalnio g. J-11/12; K-12 Ligoninės g. I-10/11 Literatų g. J-9 Lukiškių g. F-6; G-6/7 Lukiškių skg. F-6/7; G-7 Lvovo g. G-5; H-5/6 Lydos g. H-10; I-10 M. Antokolskio g. I-9/10 M. Daukšos g. J-11; K-11 M. Katkaus g. J-4; K-4 M. Valančiaus g. F-9; G-9 Maironio g. J-8/10; K-10 Maišiagalos g. I-2/3 Malūnų g. J-9; K-9 Marijampolės g. G-12; H-12 Mečetės g. G-6 Mielagėnų g. K-11 Mindaugo g. G-9; H-9/12
Naručio g. K-11/12 Naugarduko g. E-12; F/H-11; F-12; H-10 Naujininkų g. J-12 Odminių g. I-8 Olimpiečių g. J-7; K-6/7 Ozo g. C/H-2; C-3; H-1; I-1 P. Lukšio g. I-1; J/L-2; J-1 Pakalnės g. F-8; G-8 Pamėnkalnio g. G-8; H-8 Pasažo skg. I-10; J-10 Paupio g. K-9/10; L-10 Pelesos g. I-12; J/L-11; J-12; L-12 Pilies g. J-8/9 Pirčiupių g. K-12 Plačioji g. I-10/11 Pranciškonų g. I-10 Punsko g. H-12 Pylimo g. H-8/10; I-10/11; J-11/12 Radvilų g. I-7/8 Raitininkų g. J-6; K-6 Ramybės g. K-11/12 Rasų g. K-11/12; L-12 Ratnyčios g. H-2/3 Raugyklos g. H-11; I-11 Rinktinės g. I-4/5; J-4/7 Rožių al. H-9 Rūdninkų g. I-10/11 Rudnios g. H-3/4 Rusų g. J-9 S. Fino g. H-5; I-5 S. Skapo g. I-9; J-9 S. Žukausko g. J-3; K-2/3; L-2 Šaltinių g. G-11; H-11 Saracėnų g. I-4/5 Šatrijos g. H-4 Savanorių pr. C-12; D-11/12; E-10/11; F-9/10 Savičiaus g. J-10 Šeimyniškių g. I/K-6 Seinų g. I-12; J-12 Šermukšnių g. G-7; H-7 Šiaudinės g. G-4/5 Šiaulių g. I-10 Šiltadaržio g. J-8/9 Šilutės g. H-4/5; I-3/4 Širvintų g. H-2/4 Slucko g. I-6 Sluškų g. K-6/7; L-6 Sniego g. I-12; J-12 Sodų g. I-11/12 Sporto g. J-6; K-6 Stadiono g. J-12; K-12 Stasio Vainiūno g. K-7 Stiklių g. I-9/10; J-10 Stoties g. I-12
Subačiaus g. K/M-10; L/O-11; O-12 Suvalkų g. G-9 Šv. Brunono Bonifaco g. J-9; K-9 Šv. Dvasios g. J-10/11 Šv. Jono g. I-9; J-9 Šv. Mikalojaus g. I-10 Šv. Mykolo g. J-9 Šv. Stepono g. H-12; I-11/12 Švarco g. I-9; J-9 Švenčionių g. K-11; L-11 Šventaragio g. I-8; J-8 Švitrigailos g. F-9; G-9/12 T. Kosciuškos g. J-7; K-6/7; L-6 T. Ševčenkos g. E-11; F-10/11; G-10 T. Vrublevskio g. I-8; J-7/8 Tauragnų g. I-1 Tauro g. G-8; H-8/9 Teatro g. H-9 Tilto g. H-7; I-7/8 Trakų g. H-10; I-9/10 Trimitų g. I-4; J-4 Turgaus g. I-5 Turgelių g. J-11/12; K-12 Tuskulėnų g. J-4/5; K-5/6 Tyzenhauzų g. J-12 Ulonų g. J-2/3 Upės g. E/H-6; H-7 Utenos g. G-3; H-3 Užupio g. J-9; K-9 V. Gerulaičio g. G-1; H-1 V. Kudirkos g. F-8/9; G-7/8 V. Mykolaičio-Putino g. G-8/9 V. Nagevičiaus g. K-2/3 V. Šopeno g. H-11; I-11/12 Varšuvos g. K-12 Vasario 16-osios g. G-7/8; H-7 Vašingtono a. G-7 Veprių g. H-4/5 Verkių g. I-3/4; J-1/3 Vilniaus g. H-7/8 Vingrių g. H-10; I-10 Visų Šventųjų g. I-11 Vokiečių g. I-9/10 Vytenio g. F-9/11; G-11/12 Žemaitijos g. H-10; I-10 Žirmūnų g. K-5; L-1/5 Žiupronių g. K-10/11 Žvejų g. H/J-7 Žydų g. I-9/10 Žygimanto Liauksmino g. I-8 Žygimantų g. H/J-7; J-8 Žygio g. J-2/4
Index 007 Room 81 Adomas Mickevičius Museum 56 AirInn Vilnius 89 Akademinė Knyga 76 Akropolis 80 Akropolis Ice 83 Alaus biblioteka 45 Alaus Namai 49 Alexa Old Town Hotel Vilnius 89 Alinė Leičiai 49 Alumnatas Courtyard 64 Alynas 49 Amber Museum-Gallery 56, 76 Amberton Hotel 88 Angelo Kids 78 Anre Guest House 91 Antakalnis Cemetery 69 Apia Hotel 89 Apoteka (tales & cocktails) 46 Applied Arts Museum 56 Archaeology Museum 56 Artis Centrum Hotels 89 Atrium 89 Aukso Avis 78 Azia Spa 82 Baldinini 77 Balta Balta 79 Baltas miškas 78 Balti Drambliai 39 Barbacan Apartments 91 Bareket 79 Barzdaskučiai Barber Shop 82 Bastion of the Vilnius Defensive Wall 56 B&B Florens 90 Bernardine Cemetery 69 Bernardine Church & Monastery 58 Bernardine Garden (Sereikiškių Park) 63 Bernardinų B&B House 90 Bernelių Užeiga 25 Best Western Vilnius 89 Biosala 78 Bistro 18 32 Bistro Pranciškonai 29 Blue Lotus 28 Boom! Burgers 31 Briusly 28 Bukowski baras 45 Bunte Gans 31 Burberry 78 Burbulio Vyninė 49 Būsi Trečias 49 Capo Pizza Bar 38 Carré 32 Cat Cafe (Kačių kavinė) 41 Cathedral-Basilica of St. Stanislaus & St. Ladislaus 54 Centre of Europe 64 Centro Kubas 89 Chabad Lubavitch Centre 70
Choral Synagogue 70 Church of the Ascension of the Lord 59 Church of the Holy Cross 59 Church of the Holy Mother of God 60 Church of the Holy Spirit 60 City Gate Hotel 89 City Hotels Algirdas 89 City Hotels Rūdninkai 90 Comfort Hotel Lt 90 Congress Avenue 89 Conti 89 Corner Hotel 90 Cozy 33 Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories 40 Crowne Plaza Vilnius 89 Decantus 49 Decode Room 81 Delikatesai Mamma Mia! 78 Dėvėti 45 Didysis Pegasas 76 Dirty Duck 45 Distilerija 46 Dolls 51 Domus Maria 90 Don Simon 38 Do Re Mi Vilnius Hostel 91 Downtown Forest & Camping 90 Draugystė 77 Dublis 28 Dvaras 89 Ecotel Vilnius 90 Elfa GastroBar 30 El Gaucho Sano 26 Embassy Hotel Balatonas 89 Épernay 50 Europa 80 Europa City Vilnius 90 Europa Royale Vilnius 89 Europos Parkas 62 Evangelical Lutheran Church 60 Exit Vilnius 47 EXOTIC massage salon 82 Exotic Spa Morocco 83 Fabrika Hostel & Bar 91 Filaretai hostel 91 Fish Makers 29 Fortas 33 Forto Dvaras 25 Forum Sports Club 81 Franciscan Church 60 Frank Zappa 67 Fuksas 81 Galo do Porto 37 Gates of Dawn 53 Gediminas Castle & Museum 53 Genocide Victims’ Museum 55 Grata Hotel 90 Grotthuss Boutique Hotel 89 GYVAS baras 39 Halės Market 79
HBH 29 Hill of Three Crosses 64 Holiday Inn Vilnius 89 Holigans 39 Holocaust Exposition 70 Holy Trinity Church & Basilian Gate 60 Hostelgate 91 Hostel Jamaika 91 Hotel Tilto 90 House of Naïve 78 House of Signatories 57 Humanitas 77 Huracán Coffee 40 Ibis Styles Vilnius 90 Ice Palace 83 iDream 77 Illuminati room 81 Illusion room 80 In Vino 50 Ivolita Vilnius 90 Jazz Cellar 11 48 Jewish Cemetery 70 Jewish Community of Lithuania 70 Jimmy Jumps House 91 Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Centre 57 Jurgis ir Drakonas 38 Kablys 45 Kaligula 51 Kalnų Park 63 Karolina 90 Kartlandas Vilnius 82 Kavos era 40 Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square 88 Kenesa 64 King & Mouse 45 Kitchen 33 La Bohème 50 Labyrinthus 81 La Perla 78 Liepkalnis Ski Slope 83 Linen Tales 79 Literatų Street 64 Lithuanian Karaite & Tatar Cemetery 69 Lithuanian Railway Museum 57 Lithuanian Theatre, Music & Cinema Museum 58 Litinterp Guest House 90 Livinn 78 Local T 41 Mabre Residence 89 Maghrib 36 Mano Guru 38 Mano Liza 90 Marsas 45 Meat Lovers Pub 37 Mikotel 90 Mindaugas 67 Miyako 35 M. K. Čiurlionis’ House 64 Mojo Lounge Vilnius 47 Money Museum 58 Moon Garden Hotel 89
Moustache Boutique 78 Mykolo 4 26 National Museum 58 Neringa 89 Niño 38 Notre Vie 50 Novotel Vilnius Centre 89 Old Town Strip Club 51 Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva 60 Orthodox Church of the Apparition of the Holy Mother of God 61 Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit 61 Ozas 80 Pabo Latino 48 Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania 54 Panama Food Garden 31 Paneriai Memorial Museum 70 Panorama 80, 90 Pantera 48 Paparazzi 46 Peronas 46 Phun Kee Duck 38 Pilies Katpėdėlė 26 Pilies Kepyklėlė 40 Pink Milk Shake 41 Planetarium 64 Plus Plus Plus 30 Pogo Hostel 91 Presidential Palace 66 Prie Angelo 41 Radisson Blu Astorija 82 Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva 89 Radisson Blu Royal Astorija 88 Ramada Hotel & Suites Vilnius 88 Ramenas ir pagaliukai 36 Rasos Cemetery 69 Rebaltic 90 Relais & Chateaux Stikliai Hotel 88 René 30 Rentida Apartments 91 Rhum Room 46 Rinno 90 Rise 35 Rishon 36 RJ Hair Culture 83 Saint Germain 29 Seimas 66 Senamiesčio Grožio Salonas 83 Senasis Kuparas 76 Senatoriai 90 Senoji Trobelė 26 Shakespeare Boutique Hotel 89 SING 82 Šnekutis 49 Sofa de Pancho 36 Soho 48 Sorrentino 34
Spa Centre East Island 83 Špunka 46 St. Anne’s Church 55 Stasys Apartments 91 St. Casimir’s Church 61 Steakhouse Hazienda 37 Stebuklas 66 Stiklių Dvaras 91 Stiklo Paslaptis 79 Stimulus 81 St. Nicholas’ Church 62 St. Nicolas’ Church 62 Strange Love 31 Sts. Johns’ Church 62 Sts. Peter & Pauls’ Church 55 St. Theresa’s Church 62 Šturmų Švyturys 29 St. Valentino 35 Sue’s Indian Raja 34 Sugamour 40 Sweet Root 28 Tamsta 49 Taste Map 41 Telegrafas 29 Television Tower 66 The Bubbles. Champagneria 50 The Narutis 88 The Narutis Hotel – Preferred Boutique 82 The Town Contemporary Grill & Bar 32 The Whisky Shop by Duoklė Angelams 77 Thierry Kepykla 41 Town Hall 67 Toy Museum 80 Trasalis 75 Trinity 33 Tymo Turgus 79 Užupis Angel 67 Užupis Constitution 67 Vapiano 35 Variokas Steampunk Bar 47 VCUP 80 Vegafe 39 Verslo Parkas Gariūnai 79 Vichy Aqua Park 80 Viešbutis Congress 89 Vilnius Apartments 91 Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower 67 Vilnius City Hotel 90 Vilnius City Tour 59 Vilnius Grand Resort 88 Vilnius Home B&B 90 Vilnius University 55 Vingio Park 63 Vivulskio apartamentai 90 Vytautas Kasiulis Art Museum 58 War Machinery and Transport Museum 58 Wok to Walk 38 ZATAR falafel&hummus 39 Žemaitės 90 Zoe’s Bar & Grill 32 Žuvinė 29
December 2016 - April 2017
Published on Dec 3, 2014
Locally-written and produced guide to Vilnius, Lithuania. Since 1992 Vilnius IYP has been the only guide to the Lithuanian capital you need.