Vilnius Travel Blog› entry 2 of 15 › view all entries
We woke up at 7.30 as scheduled and we went down to have breakfast in the hotel. The place used to be a refectory so it had lots or personality. Besides, breakfast was quite good, it was a self-service and you had almost everything. Around 8.30 we headed to the Gate of Dawn (Ausros Vartai), one of the symbols of Vilnius dated back to 1514. At the time, the defensive wall of Vilnius had 11 gates, and there is only one remaining. Next stop was to visit St. Therese´s Church which is one of the early Baroque buildings in the city. Very close from it we had the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit.
If you keep going down Ausros Varty g. you reach the town hall square. There was some kind of festival going on but at the time we passed by, they were still organizing it!. I read that it has been the central square of Vilnius for the past 600 hundred years! From there we walked until the Cathedral square but on the way we stopped in a souvenir store and I bought some patches! :) Along this entire street we found tons of small stores, restaurants, bars and hotels. I guess this area is for people with high income as everyone is well dressed and very polite. Actually I have felt very secure in Vilnius, no signs of anything that would make us feel unsecure.
Once we got
to the Cathedral Square we went to the tourism office to get a map and some
info about what we had to see in 1 day! The Cathedral Square is the historical
heart of the city.
From there we headed to Reval Hotel Lietuva, where you find the skybar, well known and highlight of the city if you are looking for panoramic views. We got there around 12.30pm so it was closed :( they open up around 5pm. We talked to the people in reception and we could go up to take a couple of photos. Next to the hotel you have the Vilnius Beach! Beautiful place with volleyball nets, a bar-restaurant and plenty of space to lie down on the grass and sunbathe in front of the river Neria. We ate at Mambo pizza (I am attaching a review). By the way, people eat from 12h-14h and have dinner around 7-8pm! And if you want a good local beer you can choose between Svyturys Ekstra and Kalnapilis, both are quite good.
When we were having lunch we saw a group of people doing a wedding photo shoot. It seems to be that is very common for Lithuanian people to do that in Vilnius or other cities such as Trakai. During all day we saw at least 15 groups of people taking wedding photos around the city. It must be a traditional thing to do. It is interesting as I have never seen anything like that in Spain. You normally get photographed in a wedding but right where they celebrate dinner, there are no large groups walking around any city taking photos :) From Vilnius beach we headed to the university, which is one of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe. All buildings were built during several centuries and, as a result, you have gothic, baroque and classical styles. At present there are 12 faculties and about 23,000 students.
finished our visit to the University (by the way, it is 5 litas per person), we ended up in a bar called Cozy.
We read it was a good place in Lonely Planet, so we decided to go in and have a
couple of Russian coffees (coffee with vodka). By the way, Emi was still had
some hangover and his head was still out or order… he tried to pour some sugar in his coffee and he knocked down the glass over his friend Tirso (me) :) All his coffee ended up on my
Lonely Planet and my clothes!
Next stop was Uzupis, a neighborhood sometimes compared to Monmartre in Paris. It is a republic of artists with their own anthem, constitution, president, bishop, two churches, seven bridges and a guardian (the bronze angel of Uzupis). The name Uzupis means “place beyond the river”.
Damn! We were very tired, so we got back to the hotel and we got ready to go for dinner. They recommended us to go to Cili Kaimas to have local food so we did! For drinks we went to Opus 3 Terasa and around 12pm we headed Prospekto pub.(Attaching both reviews)