Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a city stuffed with churches. There are also castles, museums, palaces, a university, parks and monuments beckoning. The Unesco listed Old Town is particularly beautiful with a mix of Classical, Gothic and Rennaissance styles. The old town used to be surrounded by a wall much like Tallinn but little remains of that now. Most places of interest to the tourist are in the Old Town and the city centre south of the River Neris.

There are other delights outside of the centre and over the river that are worth seeking out. These include the self declared Republic of Užupis which is on the Eastern side of the old town and Trakai town and Castle which is a worthy day trip to west of Vilnius.

Our trip in 2022 took place when the country was in a State of Emergency due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We were a little worried by this but in the end it barely impacted on our stay, the support of Ukraine by the Lithuanians was visible everywhere.

This trip was also one of the cheapest City Breaks that I have undertaken – 5 nights in a 3* hotel [including breakfast], return flights from Luton and airport parking cost around £135 per person! [You will be hard pushed to do similar in the UK].

If you cross the River Neris there is the Televison Tower which is the tallest structure in Lithuania. In January 1991 this was the scene of the massacre of 14 unarmed civilians by the Soviet Military. The tower now houses an exhibition and a restaurant with a rotating platform. The renovated National Art Gallery is also on this side of the river as is the Radisson Blu Hotel. The Skybar on the top floor is worthy of a visit for the views [and perhaps a drinky].

Lithuanian Cusine may be a challenge for some – with lots of boiled meaty dishes, potatoes and cabbage, but you can choose to eat Italian, Ukrainian, Asian or even Greek if you wish. There are many bars that serve a large choice of Lithuanian beers but we did find that wine and house wines in restaurants were expensive when compared to the UK. For more information on eating and drinking in Vilnius click –HERE.

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