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Vilnius Guide




Areas to visit

Old Town

Old Town is the beautiful UNESCO bit of Vilnius, it’s where you’ll find the cathedrals and the bell towers and the gates, as well as all the baroque and gothic architecture you can handle.

Uzupis

A little area which declared independence from Vilnius (and Lithuania) in 1989. It’s full of bohemian, artsy types and we don’t think they’re taking their declaration of independence entirely seriously, but they do have their own flag, national anthem, 20 man army, and –if you visit on April 1st – they’ll stamp your passport for you.

See

Vilnius TV Tower

The tallest building in Lithuania, and also a hugely important historical site. At the ground floor there’s an exhibition dedicated to the unarmed civilians who died when the Soviet army seized the tower, and further up there’s the only observation deck in the city that gives you complete panoramic views of Lithuania. It’s also a restaurant too, so you’ve got some fantastic food to enjoy at the same time.

Stebuklas Tile

In 1989, 2 million Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian people held hands in a huge human chain stretching on across 650km and three countries in protest against Soviet Occupation. This tile marks one end of the chain. It also serves as a wish-granting tile apparently, if you stand on the tile, make a wish and spin around 6 times.

Frank Zappa Statue

It started with the world’s first Frank Zappa statue, and now he’s become the patron saint of Uzupis. We have no idea what’s going on, but it’s worth a look for yourself.

Parks and open spaces

Vingis Park

The largest park in Vilnius, and the ideal spot for lazing around on a rare sunny day. If it’s still a little chilly when you’re there, head to one of the many cafes in the park instead.

Riverbank

The Neris is bordered with flat walkways, grass and trees, making it a great place for a wander if you’ve got any spare time or want to stretch your legs.

Shop

Tymas Market

The best food market around, if you fancy stocking up on local breads, cheeses and cakes you’ll want to stop by here – early, since the best food goes quickly!

Blusturgis Market

This flea market is full of antiques, vintage items, and Soviet-era memrobilia. Since home-made goods are limited, and mass-produced goods banned, it’s the perfect place to pick up a truly unique souvenir.

Getting around

As with most European countries, there are plenty of taxis around if you fancy a lift- and as with most European countries, it’s definitely better to call a taxi firm than pick one up from the street, and agree a price before you get in! If not, travelling on foot gives you some valuable sightseeing opportunities, particularly around Old Town, or the trolleybus can be picked up all around the city. Buy tickets from the driver, then punch them on the machines located further down the bus.

Learning Lithuanian

There are plenty of guidebooks and websites out there if you want to brush up on your Lithuanian skills before you head off, but until you’ve tracked down your Lonely Planet guide, here are a few of the key ones:

Kur yra tualetas? - Where’s the toilet?
Aš vegetarė. - I’m a vegetarian.
Nekalbu lietuviškai. - I can’t speak Lithuanian.
Labai šalta. - It’s freezing.
Aš esu ištekėjusi - I’m married.
Ar tu ištekėjusi? - Are you married?
Aš esu vieniša. - I’m single.
Ar tekėsi už manęs? - Would you marry me?
Aš tik juokauju, - I’m just kidding.
Aš rimtai. - I’m serious.
Prašau stiklinę balto vyno. - A glass of white wine, please.
Butelį jūsų geriausio balto vyno. - A bottle of house red wine.
Norėčiau džino su tonika. - A gin and tonic, please.
Degtinė. - Vodka.
Neturiu pinigų. - I have run out of money.


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