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Lithuania : Vilnius - July 2010

Country Code: Dial ++370 for Lithuania

Getting around

Vilnius International Airport

Bus: The no. 1 bus goes to the central train station every 10–15 minutes. Tickets bought onboard cost €0,40/LTL 1.40.
Train: A fast train leaves every hour from the airport between 6am and 9pm and takes 10 minutes to get to the central station.
Taxi: A taxi from the airport to the city centre takes about 15 minutes and should cost €11,60/LTL 40
Tourist information: The main tourist office is at 22 Vilniaus Gatve (tel. 5 262 9660, vilniustourism. lt).

OLD TOWN

July sees the splendid Old Town burst into life. The ancient part of the city is a hive of activity, with most bars and restaurants offering outdoor seating.

Sleep soundly – One of the capital’s few five-star hotels, the recently rebranded Radisson Blu Astorija (35 Didžioji Gatve, tel. 5 212 0110, radissonblu.com, rooms from €116/LTL 400) is a wedding-cake beauty in a prime location.

Culture vultures – Running throughout July and August, Vilnius’ magnificent St Christopher Summer Festival features predominantly classical music of international repute. Performances take place in a wide range of venues, including churches and parks.

Must eat – The Korean chefs at Labuki (28 Didžioji Gatve, tel. 5 261 1188) churn out large wooden boats of glorious sushi and the best noodle dishes in Lithuania.

Must drink – Rub shoulders with celebs on the terrace of In Vino (7 Ausros Vartu), by far the best wine bar in the Old Town.

Dance the night away – The fabulous Brodvejus (4 Mesiniu Gatve) offers everything from cheesy disco to table football tournaments – but things don’t really get going until after midnight.

Shop til you drop – A traditional deli with a twist, Senamiescio Krautuve (5 Literatu Gatve) sells only locally produced specialities, from smoked sausages to fresh bread.

CITY CENTRE

Immediately adjacent to the Old Town, the city centre runs in a straight line between the Cathedral and Parliament and is the hangout of choice for the city’s nouveau riche.

Sleep soundly – Splash out at the Scandic Neringa (23 Gedimino, tel. 5 268 1910, scandichotels.com, rooms from €73/LTL 250), complete with an original, Soviet-designed restaurant, or go for a great budget option at the Ambassador (12 Gedimino, 5 261 5450, ambassador.lt, rooms from €38/ LTL 131), located less than a minute from the Cathedral.

Culture vultures – Fluxus Ministerija (27 Gedimino) offers free exhibition space to young artists, and has plenty of shows and a decent bar.

Must eat – Prie Katedros (5 Gedimino, priekatedros.lt) makes its own beer, putting a lot of it into the international food that it serves up.

Must drink – Arguably the craziest bar in Eastern Europe, Suokalbis (6 Sirvydo Gatve) features middle-aged ladies dancing on the tables and games of vodka-fuelled chess late into the night.

UŽUPIS

Bohemian, wacky and everything the rest of the city isn’t, Vilnius’ eccentric Užupis district offers the ultimate alternative experience.

Must drink – Užupio Kavine (2 Užupio Gatve) has the best terrace in the city, next to the River Vilnele.

ŽVERYNAS

Leafy Žverynas is a peaceful patchwork of wooden houses close to the centre of the city. Often overlooked, it’s worthy of further investigation.

Must eat – Try meals made with fresh produce from local smallholdings in the wonderful surroundings of the garden at Jalta (17a Vykinto, tel. 5 6997 7925).

Must drink – The back garden at Veranda (39 Kestucio Gatve) is popular with a mixed bunch of locals and is an excellent place to soak up equal measures of atmosphere and alcohol.

SUBURBS

Not everything’s located right in town – there’s plenty to see further afield.

Sleep soundly – By the Neris River in the north of the city, Vila Valakampiai (6a Vaidilutes, tel. 5 270 0609, vila valakampiai.lt, rooms from €81/LTL 280) wins on its location. The great-value rooms at Vilniaus Europolis (11d Svitrigailos, tel. 5 215 0410, europolis.lt, singles from €26/LTL 90) are more spartan, but much closer to the centre.

Must eat – For a classic Mongolian barbecue in a businesslike setting, the recently opened Wall Street (25 Lvovo Gatve, tel. 5 219 5916) is recommended.

Shop til you drop – This year’s sensation is beer from microbreweries around the country. Gyvo Alaus Krautuvele (16 Konstiticijos) sells a range of such brews, on the ground floor of the VCUP shopping centre.



Compiled by Richard Schofield

Previous issues for Vilnius
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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