Vilnius city walk

While Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, it is really not a big place. If you omit all the residential suburbs you can easily see everything in a single day. Don't be disappointed by the small size of it - it is one of the UNESCO heritage sites for a reason, and I'm sure the beautiful cozy old town will captivate you.

While the public transport is a little confusing, Uber is extremely cheap here (~€4 from the Airport into town), so don't be afraid to just use Uber for everything! In the summer months (April-October) there is also a bike rental scheme that works the same as in most cities (London, NYC).

Below you'll find a list of places we ended up visiting, but you should just feel free to get lost in the narrow streets and find your favourite coffee or cake shop and embrace the atmosphere. Enjoy and let us know if we missed something!

1. KGB museum. This museum is set up in the old KGB building itself, so you get to see the prison cells, torture and execution chambers first-hand. If you really get deep into the topics covered, it can become a very emotional experience - but it's certainly worth finding out what the east of Europe was going through while the West was all jolly recovering from the World Wars. €4 tickets + €3 audio guide (although only rent it if you prefer listening to reading - almost identical descriptions are available by each room). Plan for approx 1-2 hours.

2. The National Library has transformed over the years into a wide open working space with an exhibition and events area. Pop in for a quick browse!

3. The Lithuanian Parliament is not much of architectural marvel, but a lot of history is concentrated here. There are memorials for the various Soviet occupations here, reminding people of numerous attempts of takeovers.

4. Gedimino pr. is the main street in Vilnius, littered with shops on both sides. It is a beautiful walk from the Parliament to the cathedral and all day round it is buzzing with people.

5. The Cathedral Bell Tower is a fairly recent addition to the tourist attractions list but it is well worth going up. You'll see a working bell tower mechanism (and if you're very naughty you can even manually start ringing the bells!) and the views from the top are truly enchanting.

6. For a combo price of €7.50 for both, the bell tower and the cathedral, you can see the Cathedral Underground. The tour gets a little long (1h), but I thought it was pretty cool to see the underground, the layers upon which new cathedrals were built and the tombs of old knights burried there. Make sure to check on their website what time the tours are on, and even call to confirm, they are only once or twice on specific days!

7. Uzupio Republic is a self-proclaimed republic in the city. It's a gathering of all the crazy, funny and other out-of-this-world artists who dwell in this area. April 1st is the Independence day, so make sure to attend the events, otherwise bring your passport and you'll even get a customs stamp - ask at the arts incubator (see map).

8. St Anne's Church is considered to be an architectural marvel and even Napoleon was so impressed, he said he was going to take it on his palm back to Paris...

9. Personally, I prefer St Peter and St Paul's Church, but it is a little out of the way. While on the outside it's a little modest, you'll find a ceiling sculpted to stunning minute detail. If you are keen on architecture, this is your little hidden gem!

10. Town hall and the square in front of it is full of expensive fashion shops, but it can become a busy place in the summer to hang out.

11. Ponių Laimė ("The Joy of Ladies", or maybe "The Joy of Ponies", in this case it's hard to tell if the word "ponių" refers to Ladies or Ponies) is a very cute little bakery that belongs to the Stiklių hotel. However, it has particular significance, because the first LGBTQ youth organization back in ~2005 used to hold its stylish weekly board meetings here: with lots of cake and tea.

12. If you have time in the evening and want something a little romantic, hike up to the Three Crosses. It's not very crowded normally, but the views are great and it has a romantic atmosphere. I suggest attempting the climb by following the path past the Dutch Embassy across the park.

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