*1 Quick Travel notes
End of November, -15° Celsius degrees waiting for me in the city, snow everywhere. This is how Vilnius welcomed methe first time I arrived there: and for me, coming from the Mediterranean side, it was a fabulous landscape.
Love at first sight! I still remember when I first landed with the plane, just by seeing all that nature, the snow, discovering the city in such a magical atmosphere.
I was so excited to discover more about this country, its history and curiosities that I even did not feel the cold weather. I put on a scarf, a warm hat, then my gloves, another sweater, another scarf (just to be sure, you know), and I felt almost comfortable and super ready to start the trip.
*2 How to get there
Based on my personal experience (I tried to choose the best itineraries)
Airport: Tarptautinis Vilniaus oro uostas (Vilnius International Airport)
Distance from the city center: 7 km
To the city center:
- Number: 1,2
- Terminal station: Vilnius Bus station (the Train station is in the same square)
- Travel time: 15 minutes
- Frequency time: each 10/15 minutes
- Price: 1 Euro
- Direction: Vilnius Train station (Bus station is in the same square)
- Travel time: 7 minutes
- Frequency time: each 45 minutes
- Price: 0,70 Euro
*3 City tour
If you are planning to visit the Capital of Lithuania, well here are some suggestions of what to see. Ready for the trip? Let us move on!
- Vilniaus senamiestis (Vilnius old town)
UNESCO World Heritage, just by walking into this area you can feel the history of the city. There are a lot of pedestrian areas, so you can enjoy each single meter of it. The main sites are the Cathedral Square, Pilies street, the Jewish Quarter and the Uzupis one.
- Gedimino pilies bokštas (Gediminas Castle Tower)
Once it was a castle and today you can still admire the Tower, from where you can also have an unique view of the city with its monuments, buildings and river. If you love postcard sceneries, to dream and to take pictures, well this is definitely your thing, your spot. And there is also a museum in there, just to keep your level of culture very high standard.
- Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo arkikatedra bazilika (Vilnius Cathedral)
One of the best monuments of the city is the Cathedral, it’s marvelous. In between the Cathedral and the beltry, there is a “magical piece of stone”, known with the word Stebuklas (which means miracle) written on it. So, when you find it, stand on it, turn a circle and make your wish, Lithuania will help you to get to your dreams.
- Užupis (Republic of Uzupis)
This is a city in the city. This “republic” hosts artists and, as a real country, it has its own Constitution and its rules. You have to go and take a look at this magical area, and also read their Constitution, which is written in many languages.
Distance from Vilnius: 10 km
If you are travelling by car, another beautiful park around Vilnius is Belmontas. There is a river, a nice park, where you can walk and get lost into the beauty of the nature, and you will also find a nice restaurant as well, where you can enjoy the Lithuanian typical cuisine.
Yes, I think you do not need anything more.
- Trakų salos pilis (Trakai Island Castle)
Distance from Vilnius: 28 km
If you have more time to explore all around, a cool idea is Trakai Castle. Pretty famous area, you cannot miss the chance of visiting the Galve lake, and the castle which is built in the island. Always in my heart. Go for it!
*4 Food planet
What about eating? Yes, it is always a key point. Especially after walking for some time, especially when it is cold, especially when… you are just hungry!
I love exploring the food qualities, some secrets, some specialties and so any time I can I try something new.
Here are some typical Lithuanian dishes I had the chance to try, and also a great place where to eat them. Read on.
- Kepta duona
(Fried rye bread, flavoured with garlic and accompanied with creams or yoghurt-based sauces)
I do not eat bread in general, but for Kepta duona I can do an exception! It is super tasty, crunchy and delicious, if you try it with a beer you will fall in love instantly. Just thinking of it made me hungry and smiling. Super!
(Mushroom soup served in a box made of bread)
Besides the fact I really like mushrooms, this soup is served into a bowl made of rye bread, that you can eat at the same time. Besides being very tasty, it is a very nice “piece of culinary art”, so creative!
(Potatoes pudding, served with bacon or sour cream sauce)
And what about this? This potatoes pudding is awaiting for you! Since I love to add sauces, on this dish they fit very well, since when you add some bacon or sour cream sauce… you will fly, it is a very nice mix!
(Cold beetroot, usually served with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs)
The famous “Lithuanian pink soup”: yes, it is pink; the colour is due to the beetroot, and it’s served cold. To try, especially in summertime.
First time I saw it, I started to wonder what it was. 10 minutes later, I was enjoying it at the table. Besides you will get potatoes. A cool mix. Super nice.
- Cepelinai or didžkukuliai
(Potato dumplings filled with minced and flavored meat or cheese, served with bacon or sour cream sauce)
This is another of the Lithuanian national dishes. The mix of potatoes with meat or cheese, with those sauces, makes this dish very tasty.
- Svyturys Ekstra and Svyturys Baltas
Well. I am not a beer lover, but… this is probably one of the best beers I have ever tried. These 2 types (Ekstra and Baltas, extra and white) are incredibly tasty and refreshing. Try them when they are very cold and you will immediately start to dream. Guaranteed.
- Skanaus! Enjoy your meal!
- Example of Menu
1 appetizer/starter (or dessert), 1 main course, 1 drink (beer/wine)
Around 7 / 8€ (euro)
- Tips – Where to eat
I had the chance to have dinner in Forto Dvaras restaurant, in Pilies street, number 16, Vilnius old town. I strongly recommend you this place, since the personal is very kind and efficient, and it is also wearing traditional clothes. A trip to the very Lithuanian culture and traditions. It is always full of people so be ready for the line, it is very worthy of the wait.
*5 Lithuanian keywords
And what about learning some Lithuanian words before your trip?
Of course, here you go!
- Hello – Labas
- Yes / No – Taip / Ne
- Thank you – Ačiū
- You are welcome – Prašom
- Excuse me – Atsiprašau
- Good morning – Labas rytas
- Good afternoon – Labą dieną
- Good evening – Labas vakaras
*6 Lithuania basic information
- Name: Lithuania (Lietuva)
- Continent: Europe
- Location: North-Eastern Europe, UTC+2 (EET)
- Country code: +370
- Currency: Euro
- Capital city: Vilnius
- Main airports: Vilnius, Kaunas, Palanga