Vilnius

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Vilnius (also known under its Polish and Yiddish name, Wilno and its German name, Wilna) is the capital and largest city of Lithuania. It lies on the bank of Neris river and has approximately 560,000 inhabitants. Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture in 2009, along with Linz in Austria.

Understand[edit]

View from Gediminas Tower to the TV tower in the west

Demographics[edit]

Inhabited since the Middle Ages, Vilnius has always been a multinational city with Polish, German, Jewish, Russian and Belorussian people making a substantial share of its population. According to the last census of 2011, the population included 63.2% Lithuanians, 16.5% Poles, 12% Russians, 3.5% Belarusians, and 1.0% Ukrainians. During World War II, 80,000 Jews from Vilnius were murdered by the Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators at the forest of Paneriai and other nearby places. After the war, most of the urban Polish population was moved to Poland, while during 1950–1970 they were replaced by people from parts of Lithuania, neighbouring parts of Belarus, as well as Russia, Ukraine and other Soviet republics.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Entrance of the airport

Vilnius International Airport (IATA: VNO), Rodunios kelias 10a, +370 5 273 9305, is the largest civil airport in Lithuania and is 6km south of city center. There are flights to most major airports in the northern half of Europe and a few destinations nearby former CIS countries and some regular and charter flights to Mediterranean destinations. Over half of the destinations are served by either budget or charter airlines. List of airlines can be found here.

Transfers[edit]

  • By bus: The bus ride to the center takes 15 minutes and buses depart from the airport every 10–15 minutes. Single one time tickets can be purchased from the driver for 3.50LTL. Alternatively Vilniečio kortelė can be bought for 4LTL at Narvesen kiosk in the airport which provides ability to buy time based tickets. Also, tourist-oriented Vilnius City Card can be bought at Vilnius Tourist Information Centre in the airport. Only one piece of hand luggage the size of single seat is allowed. For larger luggage, extra tickets should be bought.
    • Bus #1 goes from the airport (lithuanian: Oro uostas) to the central bus/train station ("Stotis").
    • Bus #2 goes from the airport to the bus/train station , passing the football stadium at Liepkalnis street.
    • Bus #88 goes from the airport to the City Business Centre (Konstitucijos avenue, Europa square), riding through the Old Town first.
    • Bus#3G goes to the north through the centre (Lukiškės square), business centre (Konstitucijos avenue), continuing on to Fabijoniškės sleeping district in the north, near beginning of the A2 highway towards Riga (within city limits the highway is called Ukmergė street). The bus number's trailing letter "G" on a green background stands for "Greitasis" which means "Express bus". It stops at all relevant stops in the centre, while skipping some regular stops before and after the centre.
  • By train: Lietuvos Geležinkeliai operates trains from the airport to the main train station for 2.50LTL. Tickets are bought in the train from the conductor. The train ride takes 7 minutes, but trains depart every ~45 minutes.
  • By taxi: It may be somewhat cheaper to book taxi online before arrival or by phone once you have arrived rather than using the taxis waiting at the airport. Prices for trips within city limits should be in a range of 20-100LTL.

Kaunas International Airport (IATA: KUN), is the second busiest civil airport in Lithuania located ~100km west of Vilnius in a small town Karmėlava NE of Kaunas.

Transfers from Kaunas airport to Vilnius

  • There are direct scheduled minibus rides from Kaunas Airport to Vilnius railway station after each arriving flight. The same buses go to Kaunas Airport from Panorama Hotel before each outgoing flight.
  • Kaunas city bus #29 goes regularly from the airport to Kaunas railway station in the centre where you can transfer to a train or intercity bus to Vilnius.

By train[edit]

Vilnius railway station

Lietuvos Geležinkeliai operates trains from major destinations. There are daily train connections with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Minsk. The line between Vilnius and Warsaw closed in September 2013 for track works, expected to be complete in 2015. The train station in Vilnius is located just south of downtown.

By car[edit]

Motorways serve Vilnius from Klaipeda via Kaunas and from Panevezys. The modern four-lane motorways and main roads are in a very good state, however, in the winter smaller roads are not cleared. The speed-limit is 130 km/h on the motorways (110 km/h in winter), but 100 km/h on the Vilnius-Kaunas sector, 90 km/h outside towns and 50 km/h in built up areas.

By bus[edit]

The bus station is located across the street from the main train station. A schedule of all regional buses is posted near the ticket window.

Eurolines and Ecolines operate service between Vilnius and Kaunas, Kaliningrad, Riga, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw, with further connections all over Europe.

You can find some schedules for regional buses and trains here.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

Although the Old Town is one of the largest in Europe, it can easily be explored on foot.

By bus or trolleybus[edit]

Vilnius Transport operates buses and trolleybuses in Vilnius. A single ticket for either bus or trolleybus use costs 3.50LTL, purchased from the driver (cash only). Ticket bought from the driver needs to be stamped by putting it into the tiny red machine near the driver cabin and pulling the rear part towards you to punch the ticket.

If you are planning to use public transportation more than a few times, buying a Vilniečio kortelė debit card may be significantly cheaper option. 24hour ticket costs 12LTL, 72hour - 21LTL, 240hour - 41LTL, 30day - 100LTL. Ticket must be validated on your first journey by swiping the debit card at the yellow electronic reader on the bus. Seniors older than 70 years are eligible for 50% discount, while European Union students studying in the EU universities are eligible for 80% discount. ISIC and/or ID card (or passport) must be provided while prepaying debit card and in case of ticket control during the trip.

For less frequent trips you can top-up your Vilniečio kortelė card with 30min and 60min (2.2LTL and 3.2LTL) tickets (students and seniors are eligible for 50% discount). Validated tickets let passengers to change buses during the trip.

Vilniečio kortelė debit card can be purchased from a Lietuvos spauda either Narvesen kiosks, Maxima grocery stores, Lithuanian post offices, or at Customer Service Center (Gedimino pr. 9A) for 4LTL. You can prepay this card in these locations and in PayPost offices.

Alternatively tourist-oriented Vilnius City Card includes unlimited use of public transportation.

Official public transport route map can be found here.

Beware that trolleybuses and other buses use the same numbering system but the routes are completely different.

There are several routes of the fast buses (not trolleybuses) called "Greitasis" (Express) which stop only at major stops and connect important parts of the city (residential districts - centre - air port and such), they have the route number with a trailing letter "G" on a green background, the schedules and routes are marked in green. Routes and numbers of the regular buses are marked in blue, those of the trolleybuses are marked in red.

By taxi[edit]

A regular cab may cost about 20-50LTL if you need to get from periphery of the city to the center, while shortest trips will cost you 10-15LTL. You should always call a taxi by phone, even if you see a taxi on the street nearby. Street taxis charge as much as twice the price as taxis called by phone. Good practice is to dial the number written on the vehicle you see, tell dispatcher the address you're at, and you will most likely get the same vehicle for a lower price.

Somewhat higher priced and higher class taxi companies are Jazzexpress, Smarttaxi, and municipality-owned Vilnius veža. Every car is relatively new and equipped with card reader so you can pay for the trip using your debit or credit card.

Also you can order taxi on the internet here. Smartphone apps may be found at the bottom of the screen.

All taxi cars must have yellow license plate starting with letter T with additional 5 numbers and a 'Taxi' sign on the roof. Detailed price list alongside driver's taxi-operator license must be placed on the panel right in front of passenger seat next to the driver.

While paying for the taxi service it is expected to leave 1-3LTL tip for the driver.

By car[edit]

Traveling by car is not advised during rush hours (7-9AM and 4-6.30PM) to and from the city center due to traffic jams.

Car rental[edit]

There are several well known foreign car rental companies as well as several domestic companies in Vilnius.

It is advised to book online from an English language website such as Car Rental or Neo Rent. Cheaper options available are: RentDay, JARR autoservisas, Drive.lt.

City-Bee operates a car sharing network where you can rent a car by the hour. There is no contract nor monthly fee, you pay only for the service when you use the car, no parking expenses when you are not using it. There are 13 pick-up points throughout the city, mostly in the centre and some relevant points in northern districts.

By bicycle[edit]

In the city centre you often find bike lanes; however, that doesn't mean they are well respected. The only "real" bicycle path leads along the river Neris North to Verkiai Nature park and the "Green lakes".

Bicycle trails[edit]

Five reasonable bicycle routes within city limits and Green Lakes area are presented in bilingual leaflet Bicycle Routes in the City of Vilnius. Development of bicycle path connections and improvement of the existing network is scheduled to complete until 2020. New paths to the most remote districts and recreation areas as well as densification of the network in the centre is scheduled to complete in c.2027. So far development is fragmentary and carried out in relevant spots "step by step".

Bicycle rental[edit]

  • Cyclocity Vilnius. A self-service bike rental system that features 36 stations in central locations operating annually during May-September. Every station has at least 9 bike stands. The stations require a Cyclocity Vilnius Card (obtained at Tourist Information Centers), Vilnius Citizen Card (the Vilniečio kortelė - public transport card), or a 3 Day Ticket card. Seasonal subscription: 69LTL, 30-day subscription: 14LTL, 3-day Ticket: 10LTL. Service: 1st 30 minutes: free, second 30 minutes: 1.5LTL, 3rd 30 minutes: 5LTL, fourth 30 minutes and over: 12LTL.
  •    Vilnius Bike ToursAušros Vartų St 7 (at the National Philharmony),  +370 674 12123. Daily 11AM (April-September). Information on cycling in English. 50LTL.
  •    Velo-City VilniusAušros Vartų St 7 & Kauno St 5 (at the National Philharmony),  +370 674 12123. Aušros Vartų St 7: daily from 9 a.m. to 21 a.m. / Kauno St 5: weekdays 2PM-6PM from April to October. Used bikes sales and rentals and self-repair workshop, including helmets, locks and lights. Bike rental 10LTL; First hour, each following: 5LTL.
  • VelotakasGedimino av. 26 +370 618 45727. Free delivery of a bicycle to all hotels in Vilnius city, free helmets and locks. No deposit needed. 30LTL/day.

See[edit]

Three Crosses
Tower at Cathedral Square
Old house on Pilies
Business center at night
Cemetery of the Sun

Vilnius Tourist Information has 3 offices in the old town and a kiosk in the airport where you can obtain maps and suggestions free of charge.

Old town[edit]

It is a district which has developed during Middle Ages as a city surrounded by a defensive wall. The urban structure reflects the development from ca. 14th century, the architecture of the buildings is mostly from late Renaissance to Classicism periods. There are 4 rather distinct areas of the Old Town: Castle complex with an old hill fort, Cathedral and newly reconstructed Ducal Palace, these all buildings and a Cathedral square form the very centre of the city; old Town Hall with its vicinity form the centre of the Old Town itself; "Užupis", a "subdistrict" separated by the Vilnia River (it reflects in its name, literally a "Place On The Other Side Of The River"); and the north-west area featured by Vilnius street, largely damaged during the WWII.

The most attractive part, historically known as a block of artisan guilds, in the beginning of WWII was turned into two Jewish ghettos, commonly known as Vilnius Ghetto. It operated until 24 Sept 1943. In 1994, the Old Town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  •    Gediminas Castle (Climb up to it from the Cathedral Square or take the funicular on the other side of the hill, facing the river). The red-brick tower is restored from the Higher Castle erected in the 13th–14th centuries by Dukes of Lithuania. The top of the towers offer the best view of Vilnius.
  •    Three Crosses Hill. A monument to seven Franciscan monks that were tortured here by pagans before the conversion of Lithuania to Christianity. Also symbolizes the importance of Christianity to Lithuania.
  •    Vilnius CathedralCathedral Square. 7:00-19:30. An original cathedral was built here in 1251. In 1387 a Gothic style cathedral was built. Now it is a classical style cathedral build by the project of Laurynas Gucevicius. The most beautiful part of the Cathedral, the baroque chapel of St. Casimir, was built in 1623–1636. The crypt shows a cross section of Vilnius through the ages, well worth seeing. You can also take a tour through the catacombs under the cathedral. 57m high belfry. Outside the Cathedral, in the square, look for a particular tile on which there is written a word "Stebuklas" (means "miracle" in Lithuanian). Stand on it, make a wish and turn around three times. Your wish should come true :) This tile also marks the end of the Vilnius-Tallinn human chain in the 1989 protest of the Soviet Union.
  •    Literatu Gatve (Street)Literatu str. (starts near the home No 32 Pilies St). 24/7. Small artworks, dedications mounted on the walls. Dedications to the literature workers: writers, translators, everyone who has link with Lithuania and is important for Lithuanian or world literature. Artworks crafted in various outdoor-proof techniques: ceramics, sculpture, glass, wallpainting.
  •    St. Ann's Church (near Uzupis District). One of the most beautiful churches in Vilnius and in Lithuania. Very small in size, but a very beautiful example of Gothic architecture. There is a legend that when during his conquests Napoleon came to Vilnius and saw this church he said he would like to take it on his palm and bring to France.
  •    Angel of Uzupis StatueUzupio & Malunu gatve. Statue of an angel blowing a trumpet.

Užupis District[edit]

A largely unrestored area primarily occupied by artists, dreamers, squatters, and drunks. In 1998, the residents unofficially declared the area to be an independent republic, with its own president, anthem, flag, and constitution. Great to visit on April Fools day, when mock border guards stamp passports and the entire area erupts into a party.

Churches[edit]

  •    St. Peter's and Paul's Church (trolley #2 or #20 from the bus/train station). Another shockingly beautiful church. Not so special from the outside, but extremely beautiful inside, with all the interior overcrowded with baroque sculptural works.
  • Artillery Bastion of Vilnius Defensive Wall. Currently closed for reconstruction.
  •    Belfry of Saint John ChurchSv.Jono street.12. From the top of baroque style belfry, which is the tallest building in the old town, you can see an amazing panorama of the city. Adult: LTL8; Child: LTL5.

Museums[edit]

  •    Museum of Genocide Victims aka KGB Museum2a Auku St +370-5-2498155. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 10AM-3PM. Occupies the former KGB headquarters. The bottom bricks of the buildings have the names of those who were believed to be executed inside the building. Visit the former prisoner cells. Admission: 6 LTL; Audioguide: 8 LTL; English-speaking Guide: 30 LTL.
  •    National Museum of LithuaniaArsenalo Str. 1 +370-5-2629426. Tuesday-Sat: 10-17; Sun: 10-15. Biggest and oldest source of national cultural heritage in the country, which systematically collects, stores, displays, and popularises the history of the state. Adult: LTL5; Child: LTL2.

Monuments & statues[edit]

  •    Angel of Užupis StatueUzupio & Malunu gatve. Statue of an angel blowing a trumpet.
  •    Frank Zappa StatueKalinausko str. 1 (west of Old Town). The first statue in the world for honoring this great musician. Erected in 1995 by the local Frank Zappa fan club. A replica of the statue has been erected in Baltimore. Free.

Parks & cemeteries[edit]

There is an interesting Jewish cemetery in Šeškinė that includes the grave of Vilna Gaon, a very important rabbi. By the entrance to Vingis park is a war cemetery with Russian, German, Hungarian, Polish and Turkish soldiers from both wars. Oldest cemeteries are Rasų and Bernardinų. Also Saulės kapinės (Cemetery of the Sun) in Antakalnis district.

  •    European ParkJoneikiskiu k (+370 5) 2377 077, e-mail: . 10-sunset. The sculptures, which are the works of sculptors from more than 70 countries worldwide, are exhibited in the open area of 55 ha. Sometimes there is a very bad mosquito problem here, though not in winter time. overpriced..
  •    Vilnius UniversityUniversiteto street.3. Vilnius University is famous for its library, 13 courtyards of various sizes, astronomical observatory, and the Church of St. John. Adult: LTL5;.
  • Verkiai Regional ParkŽaliųjų ežerų St 53. One of the biggest parks in Lithuania, located almost entirely in Verkiai elderate in the north of the city. One can reach the park by bus #35 or #36. It is known for Verkiai Calvaries, which have been constructed exactly following the plan of Jerusalem, with the distances, water bodies and elevations being very close to the original Way of the Cross. Way of the Cross consists of 22 chapels, 7 wooden and brick gates, and two baroque church ensembles. It is advisable to visit this park for those who likes great panoramic views.

Do[edit]

Throughout the year, there are a variety of cultural, music, cinema, theatre, art, and fashion festivals taking place.

Spectator sports[edit]

  •    Lietuvos Rytas Basketball GamesOzo str 14 (East of Šeškinė district,). The city's main team is named after one of its sponsors, Lietuvos Rytas Newspaper. It uses Siemens Arena for its home games in European competition, as well as high-demand domestic games, most notably the national derby against Žalgiris of Kaunas. Other games are held at the adjacent Lietuvos Rytas Basketball Arena.

Music and theater[edit]

  •    Lithuanian Opera and Ballet TheatreA. Vienuolio str 1 (Centre, near the Green Bridge (Žaliasis tiltas)),  (+370 5) 262 07 27. beautiful ornate building. Three or four weekly performances. From LTL 10 to LTL 120.
  •    Lithuanian Russian Drama TheatreJono Basanavičiaus str 13 (Very close to Old Town),  (+370 5) 262 05 52. performances mostly done in Russian language. From LTL 17 to LTL 50.

Adventure activities[edit]

  •    Super SegwayVilniaus str. 45 +370 526 20215. Take a cheap, guided, segway tour around the main attractions of the city. Note that the price is low because of insurance related issues. LTL60 per hour.
  •    Go KartsPlytinės Street 27 +370 (699) 56704. Try go karts in one of two tracks: open track at the outskirts of Vilnius or inside track with battery powered karts in Panorama Mall. 20-30 LTL per 10 minutes.
  • Hot air balloon tour. One of the favourite tourists' activities in Lithuania. It's an interesting way of sightseeing.

Learn[edit]

  • Vilnius University. Founded in 1579 by King of Poland Stefan Batory, it is one of the oldest Universities in Eastern Europe.
  • Vilnius Academy of Arts.
  • Vilnius Cooperative CollegeKonstitucijos pr. 11. Has probably the best location of all the educational institutes in Vilnius as it is located right in the business center on the northern bank of the river Neris. The college has also very cheap accommodation building 20 meters from the college (including guests rooms for visitors) and a good canteen (lunch for less than 10LTL / 3 €. Open for the public also. Discount for students).
  • Lingua Lituanica is a language school in the center of Old Town and teaches small group classes and private sessions. Great atmosphere and value.

Work[edit]

The average wage is around €670 a month. Lithuania's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the European Union.

Buy[edit]

Small market in old town opening

ATMs are very common in Vilnius and most shops accept major credit cards.

Vilnius is famous for its amber, wool socks, hats and flaxware.

Upscale retailers present in Vilnius include Hugo Boss, Armani, Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, John Richmond, ZARA, United Colors of Benetton, H&M and Mango. There are also some young local designer butiques in Stiklių street. Pilies street is where you can find tourist souvenirs. Instead of going to the big stores, you can buy from the road side stalls, and you will have a very good deal on hand made socks, necklaces, earrings and other souvenirs.

Chains of grocery stores and large supermarkets are: Maxima, Rimi, Iki, Prisma, Freshmarket, Aibė and Norfa.

Shopping Malls[edit]

  •    BanginisP. Lukšio St 34 (Žirmūnai district, Northern Town (Šiaurės miestelis) subdistrict). 08:00-20:30. The shopping mall name means "Whale". Has the one of the largest stores of the construction, exterior and interior decoration materials, tourism equipment and electronics Senukai. There are several other stores that can't be found in the centre, restaurant-tavern of Lithuanian cuisine "Katpėdėlė", Wine Room "Vynoteka" (has several Vynoteka's in Vilnius and other cities) and a grocery store "Iki".
  •    Centro pasažasGedimino av 16 (Edge of the Old town in front of Kudirka sq.).
  •    EuropaKonstitucijos av. 7A (City business centre on a northern bank of Neris river),  +370 616 95680, e-mail: . 07:00-24:00, some stores have different working hours. The name refers to the opening date of 2004 when Lithuania joined EU, the square and all surrounding complex of buildings including the business centre tower was named after Europe to commemorate this event.
  •    GO9Gedimino av. 9 (Old town),  +370 659 94 639, e-mail: . Shopping mall in the heart of Vilnius, home of biggest H&M store in Lithuania.
  •    OzasOzo str 18 (Šeškinė district, next to the aqua park Vichy and the biggest sporting and concerts venue in Vilnius Siemens arena]),  +370 5 210 0150fax: +370 5 210 0151, e-mail: . 10:00-22:00. One of the biggest shopping malls in Vilnius, variety of different stores and services, including multi-hall cinema center Multikino and game park for kids X-Planet.
  •    VCUPKonstitucijos av 16 (City business centre, by Neris river near the White Bridge),  +370 5 273 1515. Stores 10:00-22:00, restaurants 10:00-24:00. Second oldest of such kind of shopping centres in Vilnius, operates since 1974

Eat[edit]

In addition to the restaurants listed below, almost all of the bars in Vilnius serve reasonably priced good quality food.

Budget[edit]

  •    Eat EastKonstitucijos ave. 23 +37064034443. Asian cuisine, offering WOK fried rice and noodle dishes, sushi. Take away food and coffee. Prices: 10-14 LTL.
  •    Wok to WalkVilniaus str. 19 +370 655 91919. A famous Wok to Walk franchise in Vilnius. More like LTL20 for rice, sauce, vegetable/ meat selection and drink. Prices: LTL10-16.
  • Čili PicaDidžioji g. 5, Gedmino 23 and 8 other locations. Chain of restaurants offering pizza, pasta, salads. If you are after a good pica - this is a place to avoid. Better try one of upscale Italian restaurant offering pizzas at the same price. Medium pizza(30cm): 20-30 LTL.
  • Jammi (Several spots across the all city). Chain of kebab shops that offers very good value.
  • Maxima. The largest Lithuanian supermarket chain. Sells prepared food.
  •    RadhaRaneGedimino prospektas 32. Especially for vegetarians. Menu has Indian curries, fragrant rice and bread. Also for a smaller bite, they have baked samosas. LTL10-13.

Mid-range[edit]

Rotušės square
  •    CozyDominikonų str. 10. Suave but laid-back restaurant upstairs, DJ-bar downstairs, serves hearty modern food with a few vegetarian options.
  •    Fortas (Fort)Algirdo str. 17. Pub-style traditional Lithuanian food. Main courses: LTL16-30.
  • Mano Guru (My Guru). All of the staff are former drug addicts. Fresh food. No alcohol. Food is mostly vegetarian. LTL40.
  •    VapianoKonstitucijos pr. 7A (Europa Shopping Center),  +37052383489. Italian style, fast casual restaurant. Tasty salads, à la carte pastas and pizzas are made in front of the guest.

Splurge[edit]

  •    BalzacSaviciaus 7. Mon-Thurs 11:30-23:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:00. Traditional French cuisine, magnificently executed, great atmosphere. 50LTL.
  •    Belmontas Outdoor CafeBelmonto str. 17 (Belmontas suburb within Pavilniai Regional Park, east of both Old Town and centre.). A recreation area with folk-themed eateries near an old French mill and beautiful waterfall. Beautiful setting suitable for various events. A 15 minute drive from the center of Vilnius. LTL90.
  •    Bistro 18Stiklių str. 18 (Old Town). Small restaurant and wine bar with good selection of cuisine. Main courses: LTL26-42.
  •    Čagino (Chagin's)Basanavičiaus str. 11 (New Town district). Named after the famous Russian architect Nikolai Chagin. Live Russian music played on a guitar. Main courses: LTL26-41.
  •    Da AntonioVilnius str. 23. Excellent Italian food, more upscale than Čili Pica. LTL80.
  •    El Gaucho SanoPilies str. 10 (In Hotel Atrium). Argentinian-style food (lots of meat) in a spacious restaurant. Good service. LTL115.
  •    EphesusTrakų str. 15. M-Sa: Until 6:00; Sunday: Until 1:00. Turkish restaurant. Generous portions at a reasonable price. Water pipes. LTL60.
  •    Ida BasarSubačiaus str. 1 (In the guesthouse of the same name, at the southern end of Old Town), fax: +370 5 262-7834, e-mail: . 12:00-22:00. Specializes in historical meals of Grand Duchy Of Lithuania, has a Culinary Heritage Museum. LTL100.
  •    La ProvenceVokiečių str. 22 +370 852616573, e-mail: . French food. House specials include roebuck with cherry sauce. Popular among French people. Starters: LTL30; Main courses: LTL 60; Extensive wine list: From LTL 80..
  •    LokysStiklių str. 8 (Old Town, block of artisan guilds). Medieval restaurant. Specializes in Lithuanian traditional cuisine and game meals. LTL80.
  •    MedininkaiAušros Vartų str. 8 +370 52260771. Part of Hotel Europa Royale. 18th century Italian artwork and courtyard. Lithuanian fusion food. LTL100.

Drink[edit]

The most popular local beer is Švyturys, meaning lighthouse. Available in lots of different styles but "Ekstra" is probably the best. The other brands of beer include Kalnapilis, Tauras, and Utenos. All of them are variations on the theme of bog-standard euro-lager. If you're a beer enthusiast forget Svyturys and other big brands - try Alaus namai (The House of Beer) and Bambalynė (see section Bars).

Lithuanian vodka (Lithuanian degtinė) is of excellent quality. The brand 'Lithuanian Vodka' is quite popular. The gold is the premium version. Cranberry is also nice.

Drink carefully as most bars will politely ask you to leave if they notice that you appear drunk (staggering, yelling, grabbing strangers). Falling asleep in bars is not tolerated. If you break a glass, many places will expect to be repaid for it on the spot but it's usually a very reasonable price.

Smoking is banned in all public places. However, a number of nightclubs have internal smoke rooms; the ventilation can be of variable quality. If you leave a club to smoke outside, make sure you get stamped and get eye contact from the bouncers so you won't have problems getting back in. It can be a good idea to show the bouncer your cigarette or cigarette packet, before exiting the premises.

Clubs[edit]

  •    BIXEtmonų str. 6. Tarantino-style bar founded by the Lithuanian rock band of the same name. Live rock/hardcore/metal bands on Friday nights, karaoke on Thursdays, and rock music (all the time) on the dance floor, made in the vault. Nice food and drinks!
  •    BrodvejusVokiečių str. / Mėsinių str. 4 (Old Town). Until 5:00. Cozy bar/nightclub, playing mostly pop music. Popular among both tourists and locals. Courteous staff. No cover on weekdays. Beer: LTL5.
  •    Men's Factory Gay Club1 Zygimantu/16 Deveenkos. Formerly a gay-oriented venue, it now attracts a predominantly heterosexual clientele. Admission: LTL25.
  •    Prospekto PubGedimino pr. 2/1. Fun place with non-trendy music, good drinks and a good atmosphere. The front door staff exercise a large amount of face control and may choose to not let you in, especially if you look like a local and are a male. The club is popular with locals and expatriates/tourists. Has a cover every night..
  •    Soho ClubŠvitrigailos str. 7/16. Opens at 22:00. Popular with all sections of the LGBT community. Admission: Free until 23:00, LTL25 after.

Bars[edit]

  •    Alaus namaiGoštauto str. 8 (275 m north-west of the White Bridge),  +370 68728930. Big saloon type bar with raw beer of smaller Lithuanian beer brands from countryside.
  •    ApuokasSubačiaus str. 6. Heavy metal bar (especially in the underground basement). Friendly metalheads, memorable personnel, great beer and famous chenachai (Karaitian meat dish).
  •    ArtistaiKazimiero str. 3, e-mail: . The large popular courtyard is a great place to relax and watch the sunset. Friendly service. Rock music.
  •    BambalyneStikliu str. 7 (Just off Town Hall Square),  +370 676 00075. Located in a hidden underground cellar, this bar specializes in rare beers and meats from the Lithuanian countryside. Great atmosphere and cheap prices! sausage platter + a beer:LTL13.
  •    Būsi TrečiasTotoriu str. 18 +37052312698. The first bar/pub, which started to brew its own beer in Vilnius. Besidel lager type beer, they brew dark black beer and also make various beer cocktails. Besides its main attraction beer, there are some good food. The food prices are rather low. Good place for communication.
  •    CactusBokšto str. 7 +370 601 12555, e-mail: . Su-Th 11-02, F-Sa 11-04. Vilnius's only tequila bar, tucked away in the alleys of the city. A warm, cozy atmosphere with unbelievably friendly staff, and great food. Play Tequila Checkers on their game board. Free shots of tequila at midnight. Serves exotic dishes such as crocodile, shark, and pheasant
  •    PogoVilniaus str. 12 (right in front of Cozy). Nice decoration and also serves good Italian food for a good price.
  •    Prie UniversitetoUniversiteto str. (Old Town),  (+370) 604 195 67. Rock/punk rock music, friendly stuff and cheap prices. Best place for students and other not so serious people.
  •    Savas KampasVokiečių str. 4. Until 4:00. Cozy, friendly and always welcome place. In the summer,there is also a terrace to enjoy warm evenings.
  • Jalta. Is quite a far walk from Old Town but one of the coolest bars in the city, especially in the Summer. Built in an old wooden house in a Ukrainian style. Retro art and furniture, uber hip, outdoor greenhouse for relaxing in warm weather, and good music. Worth the walk.

Cafes[edit]

There are plenty of cafés in Vilnius, including few coffee shop chains: Coffee-Inn, AJ Šokoladas, Šviežia Kava which are easy to find anywhere without any guidance. A proper café typically is not just a coffee shop but some sort of a restaurant which features certain café-like interior and has a rather democratic etiquette policy. During day time they often operate like simple eateries, in the evening they turn to the family style or youth restaurants.

  • BugaAsanavičiūtė St 17 (Karoliniškės district, not far from TV tower),  +370 5 240-2400, e-mail: . M-Th 08:00-23:00, F 08:00-01:00, Sa 09:00-01:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Does not use semi-finished products. Hot chicken with chanterelles, hand-made dumplings, fresh kybyns, pizzas, carp steak "Ežys" ("Hedgehog"). Live music every Friday and sometimes on Saturday. Breakfast (until 10:30) up to 10LTL.
  • ChaikaTotorių St 7 (Centre, almost the Old Town),  Mobile +370 648 74702, e-mail: . M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 12:00-19:00. Universally cozy café; the interior is contemporary but designed in 70s style, it is Vilnius’s seventies. Many authentic items from soviet times cause cheerful memories of childhood for the local visitors. Café’s Russian name, spelt in English manner, in this case is a pun with several layers of meaning visible only for locals – they would tell you a lot. Variety of tea and coffee; of course Soviet times tea served in Soviet times style is available. Has 2 halls, capacity up to 16 people.
  • FabaiAteities St 21A (Fabijoniškės sleeping district (north of centre), by the main street),  +370 5 273-6464, e-mail: . M-Th 11:00-23:00, F 11:00-24:00, Sa 12:00-24:00, Su 12:00-23:00. Styled like a countryside tavern, has 5 halls: roaster, ballroom, bar, and 2 billiard halls. European and Caucasus cuisine. Day lunch (11:00-14:00) 12-15LTL.
  •    Fėjų kepyklėlė (Little Bakery Of The Fairies), J. Basanavičius St 37 (New Town, on a hill, at the corner with Švitrigaila St),  Mobile +370 685 25157, e-mail: . M-Th 07:30-19:00, F 07:30-18:00. Puff pastries, yeast dough buns, snacks, pizza, several kinds of kybyns, cookies, hot and cold drinks, ice cream, milk cocktails. Traditional menu of Lithuanian fairies. Cappuccino is almost the best in town. Fair price.
  • Ibrahim (Café Ibrahim Passage), Kalvarijų St 24A (Šnipiškės district close to the centre: between the city business centre and Kalvarijos Market, within premises of a small specialized shopping center Ibrahim),  +370 5 273-1743, mobile +370 600 76890fax: +370 5 273-1740, e-mail: . M-F 08:00-18:00; on weekends only upon request. Offer some authentic Turkish drinks: Ayran, Sahleb, Salgam Suyu, Cola turka, Turkish tea. Organize parties (up to 60 persons), buffet (up to 80 persons). Terrace, capacity up to 24 people. Day lunch around 10LTL; dishes around 5-10LTL; festive parties (drinks not included) from 50LTL.
  • Lazdynų žibutė (Hazel Kidneywort), Šiltnamių St 38A (Lower part of Lazdynai district (Lithuanian for “district of Hazels” where the kidneywort is blooming every spring, hence the name), south of Oslo street, east of Emergency Hospital),  +370 5 244-2562fax: +370 5 244-8832, e-mail: . M-Su 10:00-22:00. Operates since 1969, never was closed. Has 3 halls. TV screen, fireplace, sauna. Day lunch 10:00-16:00. Suitable for seminars, conferences. Most popular speciality - Roast Chicken “Žibutė” (“Kidneywort”), several Lithuanian “vintage” dishes, such like rolls with mushroom sauce, herring tower “Metropolis”, and “Karališkasis tortas” (“Royal Cake”) for special occasions. Average price 15-20LTL.
  • Liucijos kavinė-kebabinė (Lucy’s Café/Kebeb-shop), Naugarduko St 30A (New Town, on a hill, between Mindaugas and Algirdas streets),  Mobile +370 646 46770, e-mail: . M-F 11:00-20:00. Homely café, uses mostly Lithuanian products, offer Lithuanian food, as well as local modification of doner kebebs which gained popularity among Lithuanians since c. 2005. Take-away food, orders and pre-orders via phone. Day lunch from 10LTL; one kebab 6-10LTL, any other dish around 5-15LTL.
  •    Mažoji Ragainė (Little Ragnit), Įsruties St 22 (Pilaitė district: south of Pilatė av., between Pilaitė av. and Vydūnas St.),  Orders +370 5 270-7265, e-mail: . M-Su: summer season 11:00-23:00, winter season 09:00-21:00. Café-bar, a division of culinary-confectionery company. Has a confectionery shop next door, also has another shop at Žukausko St 26 in Northern Town (Šiaurės miestelis), Žirmūnai district. Apart from a large variety of cakes and pastries offers ~100 kinds of salads, homemade dumplings with various fillings, cold snacks and hot meals. Average price ~10LTL; family event ~20LTL, banquet ~45LTL per person.
  • Pas Metą (At Metas), Antakalnio St 86 (Antakalnis district, in the middle between the bus stops “Klinikos” and “Tverečiaus”, by the main street),  +370 5 234-1791fax: +370 5 244-8832. M-Su 11:00-23:00. Lithuanian cuisine; fresh juice, Lithuanian beer, also a Belgian beer Grimbergen; take-away food. Has a separate hall (up to 24 people) for the business and family events. Second course 10-15LTL; day lunch ~7LTL (11:00-16:00), business lunch ~20LTL.
  • Pilies kepyklėlė (Castle’s Little Bakery), Pilies St 19 (Old Town),  +370 5 260-8992, e-mail: . M-Su 09:00-23:00. Old time’s Ice Cream House; converted to a café-bakery, as the new owners had idea to bake the buns and serve them with a milk. During the restoration of the interior were uncovered excellent arches, this alone made the café very popular among locals. Assortment soon has become very rich: different types of cakes, cookies, sweets, curd desserts. The most popular are “Trapusis vyšnių pyragas” (Brittle Cherry Cake) and a “Karališkasis tortas” (Royal Cake), coffee of course. Also offer steaks, crepes, soups, salads. Has an outdoor tarrace in summer. Average price ~16LTL.
  • Prie Neries (By Neris River), Žvejų St 2 (Centre, northern bank of Neris river between the Green bridge and Mindaugas bridge),  +370 5 272-2102, mobile +370 654 74985, e-mail: . M-F 09:00-16:00; on weekends only upon request. Relatively remote location, easily accessible, good view through the large windows. Almost perfect place for business lunch, banquet or a private party for up to 80 people. Has 2 halls (spacious ballroom), sauna, outdoor café. Day lunch around 10LTL.
  •    SakwaM. K. Paco St 1/2 (Antakalnis district, near St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, next to the parking lot by the roundabout),  +370 5 215-4562, mobile +370 687 51101, e-mail: . M-Su 10:00-23:00. Café in the new two-storey building with an attic, retro styled like a suburban house. Lithuanian, Polish and European cuisine. Day lunch 11:00-15:00 ~15-20LTL.
  • VegaféTwo vegetarian cafes: Totorių St 3 (Centre, close to Gediminas av., within premises of Ananda Yoga House and Augustijonų St 2-3/ Savičiaus St 13 (Old Town, close to Town Hall square – west of square towards Bokšto St, within premises of yoga ashram Info and reservation: at Totorių +370 659 77411; at Augustijonų +370 659 77072, e-mail: . At Totorių: M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa-Su 12:00-22:00; at Augustijonų: M-Sa 11:00-21:30, closed on Su. Vegetarian meals from natural products, adhered principles of ayurvedic food production. Represent lacto-vegetarian nutrition system. No microwave. Soup 4-10LTL, salad and cold snacks 9-17LTL, hot meals 5-25LTL, fresh juice 200/300 ml 7-15/9-20LTL, tea, cacao 4-10LTL, fancy sweets 7-14LTL.
  •    Žaliasis bambukas (Green Bamboo), Latvių St 7A (Žvėrynas district),  +370 5 260-8080, mobile +370 679 94696, e-mail: . M-F 11:00-15:00, closed on weekends. Seminars and workshops on 2nd half of day (usually since 18:00) and weekends, advance registration via mail or phone is required, the price varies. Vegetarian and vegan café. Menu: five grain soup, kus-kus with vegetables and seeds, baked pumpkin, apple chutney, cake, thyme tea. Take away food: samosas with vegetable, apple, cottage cheese or caramel fillings; homemade unleavened bread, non-alcoholic wine, melted butter ghee. Day lunch 17LTL, green cocktail 8LTL.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Domus Maria. Unique and popular guesthouse within a monastery. Dorm bed: 75 LTL; Single: 175 LTL; Double: 250 LTL.
  •    Filaretai Youth HostelFilaretų gatvė 17 (Uzupis District. Take Bus 34 to Filaretai). Chilled out place. Dorm bed: LTL31-34; Double room: LTL90-100. 5% discount for HI members..
  •    HostelgateSv. Mikalojaus gatve 3 +370 63832818, e-mail: . Small hostel. Free wi-fi and internet, free tea and coffee, free parking. Dorm beds: LTL 39-45; Double rooms: LTL110-115; Triple room: LTL150; Quad room: LTL188.
  •    JNN HostelSv. Stepono g. 11 (between the railway station and the old town),  +370 5216 0254. TV and kitchen. Dorm bed: LTL35.
  •    Litinterp Guesthouse VilniusBernardinu str.7 +370 85 2123850. Located inside a historic building on one of Old Town’s prettiest streets. Facilities are basic but more than ample, with options for everybody from single guests to families. There's a choice of en-suite and shared bathroom facilities, plus all rooms have access to small kitchens. Single: LTL70-100; Double: LTL120-160. Breakfast included.
  •    Old Town HostelAusros Vartu 20-10 (Half a block from gates of old town, 5 minutes walk from train/bus stations.),  +37052625357. Helpful staff and good common space and kitchen with computers and wi-fi. Dorm bed: LTL35.
  • Pogo HostelB. Radvilaitė St 3-1 (In front of Cathedral squere),  (+370)67079591, e-mail: . Check-in: from 2:00PM, check-out: 12:00PM. Unique for it's interior and cozyness. Unbelievably helpful staff, free coffee, tea. Free wi-fi, internet. Also you will find foosball table, PS2 console and many other activities. It's a good value for the price. Dorm bed: €11; Double: €30.
  •    Vilnius GuesthouseS.Staneviciaus 79 +370 61293597, e-mail: . Vilnius Guest House is located within the city, yet in a quiet area surrounded by a small forest, it offers accommodation with a sauna and billiards. Secure Private Car Parking is available. The rooms at Vilnius are spacious and individually decorated in various colours. Each comes with a TV with cable channels, a wardrobe and a bathroom fitted with a shower. Free Wi-Fi is also provided. Breakfast included. There's a choice of en-suite and shared bathroom facilities Single: €35, double: €45.

Mid-range[edit]

  •    Ecotel VilniusSlucko St. 8 +370 5 210 27 00, e-mail: . 168 room hotel that occupies a former shoe factory. 10 minute walk to everything. Popular among sports groups as it is right near the stadium. Extra long beds for tall people. Single: €58; Double: €66; Triple: €81.
  • Europa Hotels. Operates 3 hotels in Vilnius - a 2 star, 3 star, and 4 star.
  •    Hotel Vilnius EuropolisŠvitrigailos g. 11D +370 52150410fax: +370 5 2150410, e-mail: . 26-room hotel in Vilnius offering free parking, wireless internet (all rooms), cafe and outdoor summer terrace. Single from €29; Double from €35; Triple from €47; quad €65.
  • Mano Liza Guesthouse. 8-room family-run guesthouse popular with American and Canadian tourists. Nice artwork. From €81, 50% discounts available..
  •    Old Market GuesthousePylimo 57 +37052404923. Check-out: 10:00. Hostel style bed-and-breakfast within walking distance of the bus and train station in Old Town. In-room breakfast, wireless internet, free parking, and satellite TV are all provided. Old Market also rents flats for short-term stays. Discounts for winter stays. Staff is friendly and helpful. €52-€62 high season, €30-€50 winter.
  •    Ratonda Centrum HotelsGedimino Ave 52/1 +370 5 212 0670, e-mail: . 48-room hotel. Sauna and fitness center. Popular among politicians for its location near parliament. From €59.

Splurge[edit]

  •    Hotel TiltoTilto str. 8 +370 5 2100021, e-mail: . Irish-owned hotel in the centre. The 3-storey hotel features 35 fully equipped rooms, a cosy restaurant, and a leisure centre. In 2009 won the most hospitable hotel in Vilnius award.
  •    Mabre Residence HotelMaironio str. 13 +3705 212 20 87, e-mail: . This 41 room hotel occupies a grand neo-Classical Russian Monastery. High walls give it an exclusive feel. Sauna, fitness center, and pool. Wi-fi in rooms. The Steakhouse Hazienda is located in the hotel.
  •    Novotel Vilnius CentreGedimino av. 16 (+370)5/2666200, e-mail: . Very popular 159 room hotel opened in 2003. Tall building located in the centre, close to both Opera House and Cathedral square.
  •    Šarūnas HotelRaitininkų str. 4 (East of city business centre, Šnipiškės district, calm location near Neris river.),  +370 5 2724888, e-mail: . 55-room hotel owned by and named after a Vilnius basketball star. Sauna, fitness center, and laundry services.
  •    Neringa HotelGedimino Ave. 23 +370 5 268 19 10, e-mail: . 60-room hotel. Foreign magazines, beautiful flowers, sauna, fitness center, wi-fi, pool, bar. Breakfast included.
  •    Shakespeare HotelBernardinu str. 8/8 +370 52 665 885, e-mail: . 31-room boutique English country-style hotel. Rooms are named after famous writers and books of that writer are inside each room. Nice views of nearby landmarks. Wi-fi included. Breakfast included. Single: from €105; Double: from €162.

Connect[edit]

Wi-fi[edit]

There are abundant free wi-fi hotspots all over the city, including Gedimino prospect, Vokiečių street Gatve, Pilles street, Cathedral Square, and Town Hall Square. Free wi-fi is also available in some restaurants.

Internet terminals[edit]

There are not many public internet terminals in Vilnius. The following offer access to a computer:

  •    AlderadaPylimo str. 21 +37052649797. 9-18. VOIP calls, Internet phones, cheap international calls Internet: LTL5 per hour.
  •    OmnitelGedimino prosect 12. 9-18. Internet: LTL2 per hour.
  • Despina (within premises of Mokymo centras - Teaching Centre Kareivių St 2 (Žirmūnai district, NE corner at the Kalvarijų/Kareivių crossing; 1st floor),  +370 5 266-4520, e-mail: . M-F 08:30-16:00 (lunch break 12:30-13:30). Cozy place to check your e-mails, chat, talk via Skype, learn and work. 3LTL/hr (8:30-12:30) and 5LTL/hr (13:30-16:00).
  • Senoji raštinė ((Old Office))Pylimo St 54 (Close to the bus/railway stations at the SW edge of the Old Town, near Rūdininkai bus stop),  Mobile +370 683 77680fax: +370 5 269-1745, e-mail: . M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. Shop of stationery and office products and services. Offer internet access as a part of office services: to receive and send e-mail, print, burn a CD or DVD. Web surfing 3LTL/hr.
  • Taškas (Dot), J. Jasinskis St 1/Dainava St 8 (Centre, SW of Lukiškės Square, close to the Lukiškės bus stop; entrance from Kudirkos St, 2nd floor),  Mobile +370 685 24024. M-Su 00:00-24:00. Internet cafe service. 1LTL/10min; small fee for printing.

Postal service[edit]

Vilniaus centrinis paštas operates 173 post offices in Vilnius, including the large central post office at Gediminas ave 7. These offices handle all postal services, money orders, and Western Union money transfers.

Stay safe[edit]

Business center and a White Bridge at night

Taxis in tourist areas can overcharge 3 times the normal rate.

Vilnius is a relatively safe city; however, crimes do occur. Use typical common sense.

Try and walk with confidence and never look lost. Being drunk and acting obviously foreign in the middle of the night is a bad idea. If you have traveled by train to visit a nightclub or other venue, take taxis to and from your venue, and upon return to the railway station remain in the ticket hall, which is patrolled by security guards.

Dangerous areas[edit]

  • The area around the central train station is particularly dodgy and frequented by prostitutes and their clients.
  • It is recommended not to enter South Vilnius suburbs, including Naujininkai and Kirtimai, especially at night, as well as some parts of Šnipiškės which are located any deeper than its business district.
  • The 148 train to Moscow is a noted target and many have reported having their baggage forcefully stolen. The police are also not very helpful.

Cope[edit]

Left luggage[edit]

The coin-operated baggage lockers in the cellar of the railway station are a secure place to store bags and other items for LTL3 per day. Ensure that nobody is around when you are getting the receipt, because there are thieves who pretend to be station staff.

Medical help[edit]

  • Medicina Generalis (Med General Private Clinic), Gedimino av. 1A-19 (Centre; 2nd floor),  +370 5 261-3534fax: +370 5 261-3537, e-mail: . By appointment M-F 09:00-17:00. English-speaking. Adult and Children's Health Care.
  • Santariškių klinikos (Santarishkes Clinic), Santariškių St 2 (Santariškės district, northern edge of the city),  +370 5 236-5000fax: +370 5 236-5111, e-mail: . Hospital complex encompassing the provision of medical care in heart and vascular medicine, transplantology, oncohematology, oncology and surgical oncology, radiology and nuclear medicine, children’s diseases and rehabilitation.

Dentists[edit]

Embassies[edit]

  • Greece GreeceRudninku 2 +370 5 2610526/2610527, Emergencies:+370 6 1384438fax: +370 5 2610536, e-mail: . M-F: 9AM-16PM.

Go next[edit]

  • Trakai - A very worthwhile day or half-day trip, home to five peaceful lakes and two castles. Previous capital of Lithuania, current centre of Trakai Historical National Park. Buses leave often from the central bus station, cost a few Lits and take about 40 minutes. Trains depart a few times a day.
  • Kaunas - the second largest city, which served as the national capital in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Purnuškės - 25km to the North of Vilnius, is one of the centres of Europe, this one marked by The National Institute of Geography of France in 1989. (It has now somehow moved a little closer.)
  • Nida - a resort town in Lithuania, located on the Curonian Spit. Curonian Spit is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This city travel guide to Vilnius is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page
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