Dancing movement in Lithuania

Oh hey! Didn’t see you here. Its’ me, your slavic reporter, reporting on his home country. This chapter of the tale is the one I’ve been the most excited to tell you about. I am going to tell you about the nightlife of Vilnius!

As I’ve said in the previous chapters, Vilnius’ cultural diversity is relatively big, having in mind that it’s a Lithuanian city, of course. So the options of where to go spend the night at are pretty wide as well.

Firstly, we need to get one thing straight. When talking about the nightlife, I will be talking specifically about the oldtown of Vilnius. Trust me, you do not want to spend the night at some sketchy bar in one of the mikro-regions. Unless, of course, you like to get robbed on your free time and get your teeth kicked in.

Now, for the beginning of the night I’d recommend having a glass of beer at one of the pubs that the old town has to offer. Most of them borrowed the style of Brittish pubs. Although very rarely you would find a place where visitors would stand with a glass in their hand. Usually if there are no places to sit, by Lithuanian standards the place is considered to be packed and unsuatable for the evening. Although on some nights finding a place to sit might be a challenge, in that case you are more than welcome to stand. You can find a foosball table in pretty much each of those places, though here we don’t usually use the ford “foosball”, rather we simply call it table football. You can have a glass of beer for about 3 euros everywhere, some places are even cheaper, but that does not necessarily mean they are of lower quality or anything.

When the clock starts counting down the minutes to midnight, you can start polishing you dance shoes. Most entrances are not for free and the price varies from 5 to 10 Euros.

If pop-house-edm dance music suits you, some options would be Cocain disco club (yes, that is actually the name of the club), Disco Buda 311 (has nothing in relevance to the bhuddist culture, neither to peace or love or anything positive altogether) or University Pub (cheap beer, even cheaper women). Personally I am not very fond of either of those places, but I guess it depends on the person and the taste of music. These places are the most advertised clubs in the city, but, of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best places to go to. I must warn you- If you visit either of these clubs, there’s a good chance you will get in to a fight with someone. These places are some of the most popular for police visits as well.

Now, the places I really wanted to tell you about.

Opium Club

Don’t confuse it with Cocain disco club because of another drug reference in the name. These places have nothing in common. From all the times I’ve been to Opium, never have I seen anyone fighting. Right away I need to inform you, that as well as at the other places I’ll be writing about from now on, Opium has a fairly strict face control system and the security guy near the entrance stop you from going in without giving any reasonable explanation. The system is pretty strict, but it prevents any problematic people from getting inside. Do not be worried though, if you are not too drunk and are polite, most likely you would get in. The music in Opium is mostly techno. It is also a residency for the best Lithuanian techno DJ- Manfredas. The man is widely considered to be the godfather of techno culture in Lithuania. Actaully, few times a year he is even invited to come play at one of the clubs in Amsterdam. He has a very distinctive sound and is definitely not afraid to experiment with his music.Each month there is an event held in Opium, called “Smala”. The headliner is always the great Manfredas himself. This event series has gathered a lot of followers and techno lovers from Lithuania. The music in this event is so unique, that, honestly, I really haven’t heard anything like it. The whole movement has evolved so much, that you might even say it has become like a new branch, a new category of techno music in Lithuania. A few friends of mine actually went to an event in Opium a couple of weeks back. The event wasn’t “Smala”, but the headliner and the only DJ was Manfredas. The man played for 10 hours straight by himself and my friends had nothing but good things to say about the party.

The club itself has more of a “drug vibe” than say alcohol. Do not be too surprised if you are offered a pill in here. There aren’t really any tables to sit and have a beer. People come here to dance and most of the talking happens in the balcony outside when people want to take a breather or have a cigarette. Also on some occasions, the place may seem overpacked, especcially at “Smala” events, but if you just look a bit, you can definitely find a place to dance freely.

Trademark of Opium club — a bear.

Culture bar Kablys

“Kablys” is a Lithuanian word for “hook”. It is the only place located outside of the old town I like to go to in Vilnius. To get there you basically need to get to the main station. The culture here is much darker than in Opium. Now that doesn’t mean the people in here a unfriendly or aggressive, not at all. Simply the music is a bit “harder” and the place itself has dark lightning. While the face-control here is pretty strict as well, the club welcomes all sorts of people, as long as they are friendly. The atmosphere here is very free, you can do what you want, as long as you do not disturb other peoplpe. It is much larger than Opium and has a separate lounge area, where you can simply have a drink and chat. The music here is mostly techno, but on some events you can hear drum and bass, trap and all sorts of other underground club music as well. Usually there’s an event over the weekend where there are separate stages open and about 3 times a year there’s an event called “Sirius” when there would even be 4 stages. It is also the only club, which sometimes offers a free entrance if you press “going” on the event page on Facebook. Like Opium, it also has a different vibe from other typical Lithuania clubs .

“Kablys” from the oustide (notice the hook).

The last place I will tell you about in this episode is called “Cult”. Last year it was still known as “Opalocka”, but the management changed and the club changed quite a bit as well. For the better. This place is somewhat of a mix between Kablys and Opium. The music is techno. The drink are quite expensive by Lithuanian standards- 3.50 for a 0.3 litres of beer. The place is basically like an alternative to Opium as it is located about 200 meters away. There’s a single stage and a bar. Before going to an event there you should definitely first check who’s playing, because sometimes they somehow mange to book DJ’s from the top 10–20 list from “Resident advisor” magazine, so on some nights it is really the best place to visit. Also, if you didn’t have enough at Opium or Kablys, you can usually go here, because the place works untill about 10–11 am, so it is a common last stop for people before going home.

Alright people, unfortunately that’s all the time we have today. I’ve described the places I really wanted to promote, but really Vilnius has a lot more to offer. Best you get there and experience it yourself!

See you next time!