This month we would like to focus on the beautiful Capital of Lithuania.
The Medieval Old Town dates back to the 14th Century – one of the oldest and largest in Europe – and is a UNESCO Heritage site. In the narrow streets it is possible to admire a mixture of European architecture which reflects the grandeur of the past.
But Vilnius is also a vibrant city, which combines history with green areas, clean air and urban modernity. Every season is full of activities, from the Christmas Markets and snowboarding in the urban snow parks during Winter to kayaking on the river and beach volley during Summer.
These are some of the reasons why Lonely Planet included Vilnius in the top 10 cities to visit in Europe in 2018. If we add that they have the world’s fastest public Wi-Fi and it is possible to fly over the city centre with a hot balloon you can see why it is a must-see destination for your itineraries.
MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS
- Vilnius Cathedral –> the full name is Cathedral of St Stanislav and St Vladislav. It is a national symbol and was built in 1387-38 on a spot originally used for the worship of Perkūnas, the Lithuanian thunder god.
- Presidential Palace –> the changing of the guard every day at 6pm, and the flag-hoisting ceremony on Sunday at noon are must-see events. Guided tours (available in English during summer) must be booked in advance.
- Gates of Down –> the only gate left out of the first original five gates in the city wall built between 1503 and 1522. Famous around the world for the painting of the Virgin Mary which is revered equally by the Catholic, Orthodox and Uniate (Greek Catholic) faiths.
- Užupis Republic Constitution –> one of the oldest quarters of Vilnius, it is now a real republic of artists with its own government, constitution, anthem, traditions and festivals. Among other things, its citizens have the right to be unique, to love, to be free, to be happy (or unhappy) and to be a dog.
- Gediminas Castle & Museum –> the observation deck on the top of the tower is the best place to appreciate a magnificent view of the city
- The Road of Freedom –> Erected in 2010, the sculpture is 60m long and built with 20000 bricks. It is a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the restoration of the State of Lithuania. Everyone can contribute to the Project by donating a brick which will be put in the sculpture. Each brick will be the in the colours of the Lithuanian flag and the name of the person who has contributed to the sculpture will be stamped on it.
FOOD & DRINKS
- Lithuania is very popular in Europe for its beer. The traditional brewing method of using clear water, malt, hops and no artificial ingredients is still alive in the north of the country. In Vilnius, you’ll find beers produced by microbreweries from all over Lithuania.
- Lithuanian cuisine has preponderance of potatoes dishes and the most famous one is the Cepelinai (Zeppelins): large boiled potato dumplings filled with minced meat or cottage cheese.