Vilnius Travel Guide

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Vilnius Travel Guide

Vilnius Local History

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and one of the country's oldest cities. It stretches along both banks of the fast flowing Neris River, and is set among hills pine forests. The city has an international flavour, partly due to the influence of the big Lithuanian diaspora and partly because it has always been exposed to influences from central Europe and beyond. In the 16th century, Vilnius was one of the biggest cities in eastern Europe; it played a part in Poland's 17th-century 'golden age' and became an important Jewish city in the 19th century.

Germany, Poland and Russia have all played pass-the-parcel with Vilnius this century. Post-WWII, with the Poles and the Jews mostly gone, Vilnius developed into the chief focus of Lithuania's push for independence. Particularly dramatic and tragic events took place here in January 1991, when Soviet troops trying to destabilise the situation stormed the city's TV installations, killing 13 people and injuring many others.

Vilnius Attractions

Vilnius Parks & Gardens

There are very few recreational parks in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The most visited one is actually a collection of beautiful rock formations.

Pushkoriai - a unique rock formation in Pavilnys Park, is in danger of disappearing because of the impact of human activities.

Vilnius Restaurants and Bars

Dairy products and potatoes are the staple foods of the Lithuanian diet, pancakes are a popular sweet. A traditional meal is cepelinai, a zeppelin-shaped parcel of a glutinous substance with cheese, meat or mushrooms in the centre. It comes topped with a sauce made from onions, butter, sour cream and bacon bits..

Sakotis is a tall, Christmas-tree shaped cake generally served at weddings, while dinner on Christmas Eve consists of 12 different vegetarian dishes..

Utenos and Kalnapilis are the best local brands of beer.

Vilnius Restaurants

Brasserie Astorija - serves modern international cuisine of the highest standard.

Cili , Didzioji 5 - popular place offering good choice of thin-crust and deep-pan pizzas in bright and breezy surroundings.

Stikliai , Gaono 7 - french food and Lithuanian fare in the beer-cellar-style restaurant downstairs.

Zemaiciu Smukle , Vokieciu 24 - the top place for traditional Lithuanian cuisine. An excellent place to try cepelinai (potato dumplings stuffed with meat), or the similarly stuffed zemaiciu blynai (potato pancakes).

Vilnius Bars & Clubs

Amatininku Uzeiga , Didzioji 19/2 - rustic cafe-bar right on Town Hall square.

Bix , Etmonu 6 - great bar with industrial decor, lively atmosphere and an enjoyable disco in the cellar - run by members of local rock band Bix.

Brodvejaus Pubas (aka "Broadway"), Mesiniu 4 - popular drinking venue built around a long, galleried space packed with tables - with a stage at one end for live bands.

The PUB , Dominikonu 9 - popular bar with dark wooden interior, frequent live music, big-screen sport and extensive pub-grub food menu.

Gero Viskio Baras, Pilies 34, Vilnius - a trendy two-floored chrome and curves bar on Pilies, the main street in the Old Town.

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