One day stroll in Vilnius

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I was in Vilnius recently for work and had only one day to walk around the city – it was definitely a perfect day! Vilnius city center is quite small so very easy to discover by foot. At first, I wandered around without a clear objective in which then turned out to be the Jewish ghetto. As a matter of fact the city was once known as the Jerusalem of the North and you can still see many traces of this community in the narrow and historic streets of this part of town.

I was in Vilnius recently for work and had only one day to walk around the city – it was definitely a perfect day! Vilnius city center is quite small so very easy to discover by foot. At first, I wandered around without a clear objective in which then turned out to be the Jewish ghetto. As a matter of fact the city was once known as the Jerusalem of the North and you can still see many traces of this community in the narrow and historic streets of this part of town.

In Pylimo Gatvé, where the synagogue is, I went up the street until I bumped into a building that vaguely reminded me of a train or bus station but turned out to be…a market hall!! The sight was amazing and colorful with people and all kinds of food everywhere. A great place to take photographs so I was just too gutted to have only ONE frame left on my film! Aaaaargh! Anyway, after leaving the market, I strolled down to the historic centre passing by the many barroque churches and buildings (Vilnius center is part of UNESCO’s world heritage).

Then I headed towards the river, down Pilies Gatve, which is the main street in the old town, with tourist information, lots of shops and street stalls with mostly kitschy souvenirs, but among all the matryoshkas and woolen stuff, I found…a vilia automat in very good condition! That made my day and after getting some fresh film I was ready to climb a mountain. And so I did: I went pass the cathedral and took the funicular up to Gediminas hill to enjoy an spectacular view of town. And from there I saw it: on the other side of the river Neris stood proud and crumbling the massive Palace of Concerts and Sports, a relic of Soviet times. After photographing it from every possible angle, I continued my walk along the river, where you can see many fishermen, people reading under the sun…Very nice atmosphere. And then to my great surprise, I bumped into what must be the last remaining communist statues in town. Standing 3,2 meters high at the four corners of the Zaliasis Tiltas or green bridge, they represent agriculture, industry, peace and youth.

If all this tourist activity makes you hungry, as it does to me, don’t worry: Vilnius is a great place for cafés. I didn’t have much time to discover them, but I definitely recommend at any time of the day the café/bar at the Contemporary Art Center (very nice dark yet warm interior with good architectural design and music) and for an afternoon tea with cake the Skonis ir Kvapas (Traku 8), which is located in one of the many courtyards that lay parallel to the streets. If you want something more consistent, then go for the Bistro 18 at Stikliu 18.

written by jelga on 2008-11-18 in #world #locations #stroll #ghetto #neris #walk #river #wander

One Comment

  1. lonur
    lonur ·

    very interesting entry; would love to visit lithuania, for sure.. i went to croatia (i've just sent you a roll for doubles) in may and loved it. but i've been lazy to write in a blog entry, hahah. hey, i loved the profile pic, the carpet looks ace!

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