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Vilnius 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.
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Points of Interest in Vilnius
- Old Town. Until the Holocaust, much of the Old Town (Senamiestis) was the Jewish ghetto. Most of the buildings date from the 13th-19th centuries. 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.
- Upper Castle Museum. Adult: 5 LTL; Child: 2 LTL.
- 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 Cathedral, Cathedral Square. 7am-7:30pm. 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.
- Uzupis District. 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.
- St. Ann's Church (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 Statue, Uzupio & Malunu gatve. Statue of an angel blowing a trumpet.
- St. Peter's and Paul's Church (trolley #2 or #14 from the bus stop). 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.
- Museum of Genocide Victims aka KGB Museum, 2a 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 Lithuania, Arsenalo Str. 1, ☎ +370-5-2629426. Tuesday-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 10am-3pm. Biggest and oldest source of national cultural heritage in the country, which systematically collects, stores, displays, and popularises the history of the state. Adult: 5 LTL; Child: 2 LTL.
- Frank Zappa Statue, Kalinausko 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. Later a replica of the statue in Vilnius has been erected in Baltimore. Free.
- European Park, Joneikiskiu k, ☎ (+370 5) 2377 077, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-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..
- Old Arsenal Building, Arsenalo Str. 3.
- Cemeteries. There is an interesting Jewish cemetery in Šeškinė (a little outside the centre) including the grave of some 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.
- Contemporary Art Center, Vokieciu str. 2. There are always many extremely interesting modern art exhibitions.
- Literatu St, Literatu str. Vilnius (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.
- Belfry of Saint John Church, Sv.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: 8 LTL; Child: 5 LTL.
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.
Throughout the year, there are a variety of cultural, music, cinema, theatre, art, and fashion festivals taking place.
- Lietuvos Rytas Basketball Games. 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.
- Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre, A. Vienuolio 1 (Near the Green Bridge (Zaliasis tiltas)), ☎ (+370 5) 262 07 27. beautiful ornate building. Three or four weekly performances. From 10 LTL to 120 LTL.
- Oskaras Korsunovas Theatre (OKT). one of the most original modern theatres in Europe
- Super Segway (Vilniaus 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. 60 LTL per hour.
- Go Karts, Plytinės Street 27, Vilnius, ☎ +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 is one of the favourite tourists' activities in Lithuania. It's a new and interesting way of sightseeing. 
- Velo-City Vilnius, Kauno g. 5, ☎ +370(674)12123. 3. Vilnius Bike Tours. Used bikes and self-repair workshop. Grab a map and a bike to tour on your own. Bike rental from 10Lt (3€) per hour. Including helmets, locks and lights.
- Velotakas, Gedimino g. 26, ☎ +370(618)45727. Bike rent in Vilnius city for 30LT/8€ a day. Free delivery of a bicycle to all hotels in Vilnius city, free helmets and locks. No deposit needed.
In addition to the restaurants listed below, almost all of the bars in Vilnius serve reasonably priced good quality food.
- Apuokas, Subaciaus st.5, ☎ +37052627931. One of the cheapest but still qualitative bar in the Old Town. Mostly famous as the gathering place for local underground people. May look scary, but perfectly safe. Recommended dish - čenachai. Prices: 15 LTL.
- Eat East, Konstitucijos ave. 23, ☎ +37064034443. Asian cuisine, offering WOK fried rice and noodle dishes, sushi. Take away food and coffee. Prices: 10-14 LTL.
- Wok to Walk, Vilniaus str. 19, ☎ +370 655 91919. A famous Wok to Walk franchise in Vilnius. More like 20 litas for rice, sauce, vegetable/ meat selection and drink. Prices: 10-16 LTL.
- Čili Kaimas. Chain of restaurants offering Lithuanian traditional food. Try the zeppelini.
- Čili Kinija. Chinese restaurant in Vilnius. Serves Tsingtao beer.
- Čili Pica, Didžioji 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 (e.g. Sorrento) Medium pizza(30cm): 20-30 LTL.
- Jammi. Chain of kebab shops that offers very good value.
- Maxima. The largest Lithuanian supermarket chain. Sells prepared food.
- RadhaRane, 32 Gedimino prospektas, Vilnius 01013, Lithuania. Especially for vegetarians. Menu has Indian curries, fragrant rice and bread. Also for a smaller bite, they have baked samosas. 10-13 LTL.
- Amatininkų užeiga, Didžioji 19/2 (Town Hall square (Rotuses aikste)), ☎ +37052617968. until 5AM. Lithuanian and international food.
- Balti Drambliai (White Elephants), Vilniaus str. 41. Cozy vegetarian-vegan cafe, world/reggae music, live concerts in the evenings.
- Cozy, Dominikonų str. 10. Sauve but laid-back restaurant upstairs, DJ-bar downstairs, serves hearty modern food with a few vegetarian options.
- Centro baras (Center Bar), Totorių str. 5, ☎ +370 686 41124. 10.30 - 23.00. Best balance between quality and price in the mid-range costs. Owner of the bar is a chef himself. Does not work on Saturdays and Sundays. ~30 LTL.
- Fortas (Fort), Algirdo str. 17. Pub-style traditional Lithuanian food. Main courses: 16-30 LTL.
- Mano Guru (My Guru). All of the staff are former drug addicts. Fresh food. No alcohol. Food is mostly vegetarian. 40 LTL.
- Marceliukės klėtis, Tuskulėnų str. 35, ☎ +370 5 2725087. Hearty portions of traditional Lithuanian food. 40 LTL.
- Piti, Islandijos str. 4, ☎ 852627560. Azerbaijani food. E.g. the Spicy Piti dish with beef and potatoes in a clay pot. 20 LTL.
- Vapiano, Konstitucijos 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.
- Žemaičiai (The Samogitians), Vokiečių st. 24, ☎ +370 5 2616573. Traditional food from western Lithuania. You can sit on a throne or a bed. Great beer as well. 70 LTL.
- Zoe's Bar & Grill, Odminių str.. 3, ☎ +370 5 212 3331. Great Thai food, salads, soups, and cocktails. 90 LTL.
- Balzac, Rue Saviciaus 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 Cafe, Belmonto str. 17. Folk-themed eateries near an old French mill and beautiful waterfall. Beautiful setting popular for weddings. A 15 minute drive from the center of Vilnius. 90 LTL.
- Bistro 18, Stiklių str. 18. Small restaurant and wine bar with good selection of cuisine. Main courses: 26-42 LTL.
- Cagino, Basanavičiaus str. 11. Named after the famous Russian architect. Live Russian music played on a guitar. Main courses: 26-41 LTL.
- Da Antonio, Vilnius str. 23. Excellent Italian food, more upscale than Cili Pica. 80 LTL.
- El Gaucho Sano, Pilies str. 10 (In Hotel Atrium). Argentinian-style food (lots of meat) in a spacious restaurant. Good service. 115 LTL.
- Ephesus, Trakų str. 15. M-Sa: Until 6:00AM; Sunday: Until 1:00AM. Turkish restaurant. Generous portions at a reasonable price. Water pipes. 60 LTL.
- Ibish Lounge, Aušros Vartų str. 11 (Near the Gates of Dawn). Selection of over 100 cocktails. Try the salmon. 100 LTL.
- Ida Basar, Subačiaus str. 1 (In the guesthouse of the same name, at the southern end of Old Town). Specializes in German food and beers. LTL 100.
- La Provence, Vokiečių str. 22, ☎ 852616573, e-mail: email@example.com. French food. House specials include roebuck with cherry sauce. Popular among French people. Starters: 30 LTL; Main courses: 60 LTL; Extensive wine list: From 80 LTL..
- Lokys, Stiklių str. 8. Medieval restaurant. Specializes in exotic meats. 80 LTL.
- Markus ir Ko, M. Antokolskio str. 11, ☎ (+370) 5 262 31 85. Great steaks and live music. 100 LTL.
- Medininkai, Aušros Vartų str. 8, ☎ +370 (5) 2260771. Part of Hotel Europa Royale. 18th century Italian artwork and courtyard. Lithuanian fusion food. 100 LTL.
- Narutis Hotel - Cellar Restaurant, Pilies str. 24, ☎ +370 5 2122894. Eastern European food. Live violin music Th-Sa. 100 LTL.
- Sorena, Islandijos str. 4, ☎ +370 5 262 7560. Genuine Azerbaijani food. Try the Tebriz (beef skewer). 80 LTL.
- Sorrento, Pylimo str. 21A, ☎ +370 5~2 644737. Italian restaurant with wood-fired oven and great pizzas for incredibly good prices.
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.
- BIX, Etmonų 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!
- Brodvejus, Vokiečių str. / Mėsinių str. 4. Until 5AM. Cozy bar/nightclub, playing mostly pop music. Popular among both tourists and locals. Courteous staff. No cover on weekdays. Beer: 5 LTL.
- Gravity, Jasinskio str. 16.
- Galaxy. Youths, techno music night club.
- Havana Social Club, Šermukšnių str. 4A, ☎ 8-526 10812, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lindyhop.lt Klubas, Kalvarijų str. 294d-16 (5km north of the old town), ☎ +37064771111, e-mail: email@example.com. Mon - Thurs: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm; Sun: 8:00 pm - 12:00 am. The coolest and oldest Lindy Hop club in Lithuania.
- Men's Factory Gay Club, 1 Zygimantu/16 Deveenkos. Formerly a gay-oriented venue, it now attracts a predominantly heterosexual clientele. Admission: 25 LTL.
- Olialia, A. Tumėno str., ☎ 8~620 22044.
- Prospekto Pub, Gedimino 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..
- Salento Disco Club, Didžioji str. 28.
- Soho Club, Švitrigailos str. 7/16. Opens at 10PM. Popular with all sections of the LGBT community. Admission: Free until 11PM, 25 LTL after.
- Alaus namai, Goštauto str. 8, ☎ +370-687-28930. Big saloon type bar with raw beer of smaller Lithuanian beer brands from countryside.
- Apuokas, Subačiaus str. 6. Heavy metal bar (especially in the underground basement). Friendly metalheads, memorable personnel, great beer and famous chenachai (Karaitian meat dish).
- Artistai, Kazimiero str. 3, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The large popular courtyard is a great place to relax and watch the sunset. Friendly service. Rock music.
- Bambalyne, Stikliu 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: 13 LTL.
- Būsi Trečias, Totoriu 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.
- Cactus, Bokšto str. 7, ☎ +370 601 12555, e-mail: email@example.com. Su-Th 11:00AM-2:00AM, F-Sa 11:00AM-4:00AM. 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
- Pogo, Vilniaus str. 12 (right in front of Cozy). Its entrance is marked with a big UK flag. Nice decoration and also serves good Italian food for a good price.
- Prie Universiteto, Universiteto str. (10 metres from 'Flagman' supermarket), ☎ (+370) 604 195 67. Rock/punk rock music, friendly stuff and cheap prices. Best place for students and other not so serious people.
- Savas Kampas, Vokiečių str. 4. Until 4AM. Cozy, friendly and always welcome place. In the summer,there is also a terrace to enjoy warm evenings.
- Soleluna, Universiteto str.. Starting point for Erasmus students parties! Small but with friendly people.
- 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.
- Coffee Inn, Trakų str. 7. 7:00AM-9:00PM. Nice and relaxing coffee shop and bakery. Nice artwork. Free wi-fi. Pets welcome. 4-7 LTL.
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, and Mango. There are also some young local designer butiques in Stikliu street. Pilies street is where you can find tourist souvenirs. Instead of going to the big stores, buy from the road side stalls, and you will be a very good deal on hand made socks, necklaces, earrings and other souvenirs. Vilnaus gatve(street), area near the cathedral, is probably a very good place for this.
There is a wide range of grocery stores managed by 3 biggest retail chains: Maxima, Rimi and IKI. Almost anything can be bought at one of shopping malls that are in Vilnius:
- Panorama, Saltoniškių g. 9. 08:00-23:00.
- Akropolis, Ozo str. 25. 08:00-23:00.
- Ozas, Ozo g. 18. 10:00-22:00.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Vilnius on Wikivoyage.