How I got famous in Vilnius
So first things first, after arriving to the main Bus Station I walked to the hostel some 15 minutes to the hostel. The city is quite flat so it is easy to just walk around.
Just after 5 minutes of walking I could tell the city had a cool and relaxed vibe.
Go to one of the Kiosks and buy a card for the public transports. I was lucky to have one from my lovely Lithuanian friend Ieva. Paid 6 euros for a 3 day pass. Offical website.
Since I didn’t had any data and wanted to use the public transportation I found this very useful app called TRAFI to help me. It saved my life but I still was able get off at the wrong stop sometimes 🙈
Airport to city centre
Be very careful when taking a taxi, I knew people that got charged something like 20€ for a 20 minute ride to the airport. It is supposed to be pretty cheap like 6€. I would recommend asking the hostel you are staying to call one for you. I took a convenient mini bus to the airport for the fair price of 1€!
Šnekutis (typical Lithuanian food and deco, be aware that there is also a Šnekutis BAR very close to this place).
Hostel — Jimmy Jumps House
The hostel is located on a very cool part of the city. The street is full of tables outside where people hangout for some food and drinks. As I got there I had to get in through the smallest door on earth (I am 6"4 so yeah it was like playing limbo every time I got in or out of the hostel).
Checkin done, backpack dropped, its the end of the afternoon but the sun shines until 10pm so time to do some exploring.
I have a bit of a problem with high viewpoints so I decided to start walking towards Gediminas tower and then to the Three Crosses.
A thing that you notice straight away is that Vilnius is a very green city, there are loads of trees and parks around the city. And Lithuanians make sure they enjoy all that mother nature has to offer.
Saturday night means going out for party and checking out how the city’s nightlife is. It happened to be the Champions League final (Real Madrid x Juventus, Hala Madrid!) and Cristiano scored 2 goals on the final, the best 😍 🇵🇹! The hostel had the game being projected into the kitchen’s wall where we all gathered to see Cristiano make his magic. Coming from Portugal it was great hearing everyone talking about Ronaldo and all his achievements. I made sure they all knew that the Madeira’s airport had just been renamed after him! A true national hero for us 🇵🇹 ÉS O MAIOR CARALHO!
After the match I went out with these 2 nice french guys I had just met in the Hostel. It turned out that the city was pretty quiet, and later after meeting a few Lithuanian girls they explained to us that normally Fridays is the big night in Vilnius, that on Saturday everyone is hangover. Since it was such a great weather as well, people preferred to get up earlier and go enjoy the nature outside.
We grabbed a few drinks in what we called “our pub” and after that they went back to the hostel. I was still too curious about how Lithuanians partied so I ventured on my own into a Latino music club named Pabo Latino to show off my dance moves!
The Iron Wolf (Geležinis Vilkas)
Grand Duke Gediminas once dreamt of a giant iron wolf on top of a hill howling strong and loud as 100 wolves. After that he asked a pagan priest to interpret his dream and he told him that:
“What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site. This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, and the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world”
Užupis the artist republic
Yes Vilnius has a neighboorhood which on April 1, 1997 was declared an independent Republic. It has its own constitution and 3 mottos:
Everyday at 12 am there is a free walking tour starting on the city hall. Me and a few guys in the hostel were going to that but a lovely Lithuanian girl told us that she could do an alternative tour with us and in return we could help her getting a train ticket so she could visit her grandparents.
Midway the tour there were these 2 musicians filming a videoclip. There were like 8 of us in the group and we started teasing each other like “You know what, we should all start dancing as well”. After noticing our amazing dance skills the musicians started laughing and came to us, the filming crew followed and a video clip was born. What a tour this one! I managed to find the artist’s twitter.
The latest Tweets from Boris Iskakov (@planetapalm). Если хочешь добиться успеха, продолжай верить в себя и тогда, ког…twitter.com
They told us that the videoclip will be released in a month or so lets wait and see!
I had almost forgotten about this 6 months later but I was able to finally find it
Everywhere I go I always make sure to look for street art and Vilnius has plenty of it.
Lithuania was one of the last countries in europe to be Christianised, but you still have loads of churches nevertheless, and I thought Portugal had a lot of them.
Lithuanians seem to be very active and enjoy practicing sports. Basketball is king and you could even call it a religion there. Everyone knows how to play. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to play against these Baltic giants! Although they don’t have the sea in Vilnius I still was able to find a beach volley court. Impressive guys!
They are all over the place, some of them are so big that you can even call them forests. In sunny days they get swarmed by Lithuanians. I saw a lot of families bringing their kids for walks, bycicle rides and so many other things. They really get the most of Nature there when the weather allows.
Love forests and hiking? Then make sure to save half day to go to Pūčkorių atodanga. It might be a bit tricky to get there but its worth it. You will need to get the bus 14 or 27 to get there and make sure you get off the stop Viadukas. Be VERY careful because you will need to cross the HIGHWAY to get there. The buses go for like 2 times an hour so be careful with this too.
I always make sure to go to the highest point wherever I travel so I had to visit Vilnius TV Tower. I think I paid something like 7€ to go to the top. After getting up the lift to the 19th floor you will be on the viewing platform which is also a rotating restaurant.
Coming from a latin culture where people are considered very warm and friendly I felt that Lithuanians are pretty closed people. They don’t smile much and always have a serious look on them. The first contact is definitely cold but if you get them to open up a bit they are really nice people. They also seem very relaxed, artsy and creative people in general.
The customer service in restaurants is not great, I remember asking a waitress if they were still open and she didn’t seem that eager to help as she just walks off with a half answer. Some don’t even make an effort to look you into the eyes when talking to you. The younger people usually speak good english but not the elderly.
Vilnius city centre is very fancy and posh, which was something was not expecting at all. I also walked around the suburbs and its much more poor and you have a lot of abandoned building all over the city. I was told that there is no money to rebuild those.
Nevertheless I enjoyed visiting Vilnius and recommend everyone to visit.
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