Vilnius

by Ucman Scher
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Solo Gay Trip Guide to Vilnius – the Capital of Lithuania

If you have been looking for the G-spot of Europe, look no further. it has been found in Lithuania and happens to be its capital; Vilnius. That brings to mind some other body parts that are close to the G spot and how the rest of Lithuania would fit into that but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Across the river Neris

Jokes aside, it is quite a beautiful city and definitely deserves a visit. There is plenty to see and do here and it can be easily explored in a couple of days. Furthermore, you can explore the gorgeous city of Trakai and its amazing Island castle on an easy day trip from Vilnius.

Check out my country guide for Lithuania for all your travel questions.

Fun Fact: If you are a basketball fan, Lithuania is your country. It is the most popular sport and played vehemently throughout the country especially Vilnius.

Official Visit Vilnius Site – https://www.govilnius.lt/visit-vilnius

Across the river Neris

Insta Stories for Lithuania

Check out my stories from Lithuania on Instagram.

Getting to Vilnius

Vilnius has its own International airport (VNO) and it is some 6.6 km away from the city centre. Despite being the biggest airport in the country it is quite small and compact and not glamorous. I remember landing and heading out to take the bus to the city centre but the driver not only wanted exact change (€1), he also very rudely told me to get off the bus as well. The bus was gone by the time I got the change. Not a great start to a trip really!

A basketball hoop in a courtyard in Vilnius

Lithuanians and their love of basketball

The buses are quite frequent and most of them take you to the city centre, you can take bus 1,2, 88 and 3G. I wrote down the address of the nearest street and showed it to the driver who confirmed and also told me near the stop to get ready, that guy totally redeemed his country.

There is a train that runs between the city and the airport as well but it runs only every 45 minutes and drops you at the train station. Another option is to use a taxi or getting a cab through apps.

Getting Around in Vilnius

A trolleybus in Vilnius

How cool is that!

Vilnius is very small and every place on the tourist map can be easily accessed on foot which is what I did. Vilnius is also very cycle friendly and in good months, I’d highly recommend getting a cycle. it is quite cheap to rent.

Another option is to use taxi apps. There are 4 that work here and Bolt is my favourite; Bolt, Ubertaxi.lt or eTaksi.

For buses and trolleybuses, use the link to Vilnius Transport for more information, schedules and ticket prices.

Food in Vilnius

This is perhaps the most disappointing side of Baltics. Food was pretty basic and even some ‘good’ restaurants I went to were pretty average. Lithuanian food is pretty basic and tasteless (sorry for being harsh but that’s the truth). The main street in Vilnius for food is Aušros Vartų g.

Three nuns

The three nuns guarding a shopping mall?

Where to Stay in Vilnius

City Centre is the best place to stay in Vilnius. I stayed near the Vilnius main train station which was very close to the city centre and a very easy walk. Vilnius isn’t a very crowded city so even if you stay right in the heart of the city, the noise level isn’t too bad. Accommodation is also quite cheap. I got a studio apartment for 3 nights and it cost me £28 each night.

Vilnius, The colourful neighbourhood where i stayed.

Best Time to Visit Vilnius

Winters are pretty cold in Lithuania and I don’t really think Vilnius would make a fun place to visit with snow and sleet. Part of the charm is the greenery. I visited in summer and I’d recommend visiting between June and August for a great summer experience.

How Many Days for Vilnius

You can easily experience the best of Vilnius in 2 days. I’d highly recommend a day trip to Trakai for the third day.

Frank Zappa Statue, Vilnius

Lithuanians tore down the statue of Lenin and replaced it with Frank Zappa

Gay Vilnius

The gay culture in Lithuania is mostly underground with no openly LGBT venues in the rest of the country but Vilnius is an exception. It has a gay club called ‘Soho Club’. It is not only fun in usual terms, but it is also different from the ‘usual’ clubs you and I are accustomed to. For example, but it also offers food as well as drinks, I was a bit surprised to find sushi on counters. The drinks were cheap and nice and the atmosphere quite laid back. The crowd isn’t the friendliest but that’s in keeping with the general culture.

On the dating apps, there are barely any guys with faces on and most of them are generally suspicious if you ask for face pics straight away. I did talk to a few guys and met one as well but it was a quick stroll in the park. I hope it gets better for Vilnius soon. For a g-spot, there was no tickle in Vilnius!

Lithuanians and their love of naked women statues seems endless

Free Walking Tour of Vilnius

I joined the Free Walking Tour in Vilnius with Vilnius With Locals. The guide was very friendly and she took us through small courtyards, showed us around and provided some fun insights about the city and culture both. The tour started in the Town Hall Square and last some two and a half hours. Highly recommended!

A grand building in vilnius

There is no lack of gorgeous architecture in Vilnius

How to Explore Vilnius

Vilnius is easily explorable on foot and the city centre is so small, it is a waste to take the buses or public transport. I started from the gate of dawn and went around the city in the old city centre followed by the places nearby including Cathedral Square, Vilnius Cathedral and then the Hill of Three Crosses and Tower of Gediminas Castle. You will also need half a day in Uzupis to appreciate this crazy art-filled district.

A statue in the old town with Town Hall in the background

Top Things To Do In Vilnius

Fun Fact: The name Vilnius is the masculine for Vilnia which is the River that passes through the city.

St George seems to be my new travel mate with his dragon slaying skills.

Explore The Republic of Uzupis

Uzupis is perhaps the most amazing thing in Vilnius. It is an independent republic inside the boundaries of Vilnius with its own flag, anthem and constitution. On the independence day (April 1st, the borders are reinstated and you must bring your passport to cross into Uzupis. You must also use Uzis which is the currency of Uzupis. There are also rumours of beer from a never-ending tap for the day in the main square with Angel of Uzupis statue. The place is in full party mode on the day.

bridge of Uzupis

Entering Uzupis through the Bridge of Uzupis

It is the artist and hip neighbourhood with strong ties to many artistic and humane movements around the world from the Tibetan cause to staunch support for human rights. Most important than everything there is a real sense of freedom and the vibe is really chilled out. Uzupis used to be a very rough neighbourhood (the name literally means ‘across the river’) and with efforts from artists, the district has lifted itself up from its ashes. It also has a post office from where I sent myself a postcard, I still have it as a memory.

A street in Uzupis

A street in Uzupis

The entire neighbourhood is very colourful, full of beautiful studios and shops and also some interesting restaurants as well. There is lots of graffiti on the walls with lots of sculptures scattered across the entire neighbourhood. Uzupis is a masterpiece in itself. I walked around the entire morning and every time found a new street with more interesting artwork. If I ever go back to Vilnius, this will be my first stop.

Constitution of Uzupis

Uzupis has its own constitution which is available to read in multiple languages on Paupio street. It is based on humanitarian principles and while some of it is quite funny(A dog has the right to be a dog), it does have some though-provoking clauses too (Every man has the right to have no rights). Not to be missed!

Tibet square, Uzupis

The Tibet Square

Angel of Uzupis

The central square has the statue of an Angel called the Angel of Uzupis. This is where Uzupis declared its independence and the angel blowing a trumpet was erected in the square. Previously, it was an egg which was sold to raise funds for the angel statue along with miniatures of the angel. It is slightly disappointing in size but still a beautiful spot.

The Uzupis Angel

The uzupis Angel

Jesus Christ The Backpacker

Right next to the Bridge of Uzupis, there is the statue of Jesus Christ the Backpacker with a piano and not too far from it is the statue of Mermaid of Uzupis.

The Uzupis Mermaid

The Uzupis Mermaid

Both are amazing spots. I have not had so much fun in a place in such a long time as I have had in Uzupis. The restaurant/bar (Uzuois Kavine) is perfect for drinks and also rumoured to be the spot where the parliament of Uzupis sits.

Jesus The Backpacker

Jesus The Backpacker

Note: Uzupis is not recognised by any state or international body but at the same time, it isn’t exactly clear if the independence declaration is serious or not. The place just became so much more interesting after I learnt this.

Get Lost In The Old Town (Senamiestis)

The Old Town of Vilnius is the biggest in Europe and it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. In older times, buildings in Vilnius used to be predominantly made of wood but that changed with some fires that brought down the entire city at times. The city also had a wall around it. It is a beautiful part of the town and Uzupis is technically part of the Old City.

A hidden derelict courtyard in Vilnius

A hidden derelict courtyard in Vilnius

Living near the old city was a great idea because I could experience it in different parts of the day. I walked many times through the narrow, winding streets of the old town to small colourful squares, charming streets, adorable cafes but most importantly the hidden courtyards.

The Free Walking Tour guide took us to a few and all of them were beautiful in their own way even if time hasn’t been kind to some of them. Some of the spots not to be missed in the old town are the statue of Medeina on a Bear, the old Jewish quarter, the street of Writers, Gate of Dawn and the beautiful churches that are scattered throughout the old city.

Medeina on Bear Statue

Tucked away in a small courtyard (that I couldn’t find after the tour) is the small statue of medeina on a bear. Medeina was the Baltic goddess of hunting and nature. She rides bare and there is something very impressive about this statue for sure.

Medeina on a bear

Medeina on a bear

Stiklių Street and Pilies Street

These are the two most adorable streets in the old town. Stikliu Street used to be at the centre of previous Jewish Quarter. Since the Jewish Quarter no longer exists, it is now a small street with small boutiques and artisanal stores.

The nearby Pilies street is probably the oldest street int he entire Old Town of Vilnius, equally adorable!

Literatų gatvė (Street Of Writers)

Right next to Pilies street is another small street called the Street of Writers. The street is full of small tributes to anyone and everyone who is important for Lithuanian Literature. Another cute spot not to be missed.

Writers Street

Writers Street

Town Hall Square & Town Hall (Vilniaus rotušė)

The Town Hall and the Square is the start of Free Walking Tour. The building is pretty meh but the square is nice and big and gives way to both sides of the Old Town.

Heading to the Old city with St Nicholas Church in the background

The Church of St. Nicholas on one side, with its gorgeous yellow and red facade, is another attraction here. It is the spot for many festivals and concerts happen throughout the year. It is the main square for Vilnius.

Gate of Dawn

It is also called Sharp Gate and it is located at the other end of the town from Town Hall. The area near the gate is quite lively and has multiple nice cafes and restaurants. It used to be a very well adorned city gate to protect and guard the citizens of Vilnius and bless the travellers. It is still an important site for Catholic pilgrimages in Lithuania. Not sure about the religious side but it definitely is a lively part of Old Town life for Vilnius.

Gate of Dawn

Gate of Dawn

Visit The Churches of Vilnius

Like most Catholic cities, Vilnius has a huge list of churches in every nook and cranny of the city. There are so many churches that you don’t need to go looking for any of them, they just come at you after crossing each street. What I really liked about the churches of Vilnius are the colours. The absolutely grand facades in a variety of colours. It is markedly different from the rest of Catholic churches elsewhere in Europe. Most of the colours are also very soothing. I’ll mention a few which you should definitely not miss.

St Anne’s Cathedral (Šv. Onos bažnyčia)

It is my favourite building in the entire Vilnius old town. No wonder when Napolean passed through Lithuania (after conquering it of course), he looked at this gorgeous church and said he wished he could take it to Paris on his palm. The crimson red bricks and the Gothic architecture have done wonders. It isn’t very big but you know what they say; quality over quantity.

Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard (Šv. Pranciškaus Asyžiečio bažnyčia)

Right next to St. Anne’s Cathedral is the church of St. Francis and St. Bernard. It somehow seems a part of St Anne’s cathedral. While not as detailed in the facade, the Gothic architecture also highlights this church as a beautiful building. You won’t be able to miss it.

St. Anne's Cathedral and St Bernard

St. Anne’s Cathedral and St Bernard

There is a statue of a nun and it was the time when the UK had just passed the law making upskirting illegal, we took the picture to celebrate this achievement for women.

To celebrate upskirting becoming illegal

Church of St. Casimir

St. Casimir is the patron saint of Lithuania and he was the only King of Lithuania who was canonised (made a saint). The church has a soothing pink/light peach/beige facade and you can’t miss its dome and grand structure. It is right next to the town hall and it is a Baroque church.

St Casimir Church

St Casimir Church

Fun Fact: The crown on the top of the church represents the royal bloodline of the saint. Guess old habits and royal bloodline show-offing die hard.

Saint Catherine’s Church (Šv. Kotrynos bažnyčia)

Another beautiful church on the other side of the town near the Dawn Gate. I don’t think it is in use these days but the facade and interior are stunning. Another Baroque beauty in Vilnius.

St. Nicholas’ Church (Šv. Nikolajaus cerkvė)

You can’t miss this cute church if you are passing from the Town House to the Old City. It was closed during my visit but even the facade with its red and yellow is quite bold and unique. It is not a very big church but worth a look for sure.

St. Nicholas, Vilnius

Church of St. Nicholas

Vilnius Cathedral (Vilniaus arkikatedra bazilika)

This is the main cathedral of Vilnius and very beautifully decorated. The white facade, delicate ceiling work and a delicate dome, the cathedral is worth the wait due to mass. You are not allowed to go in at that time.

Vilnius cathedral facade

Vilnius cathedral

It is relatively new but combined a lot of elements from previous cathedrals that stood in its place (as well as the original pagan temple). There is an exhibition arranged and you can see the crypts as well underground but that\s with a guide and I was interested in the square and bell tower outside than the crypts.

Cathedral Square, Bell Tower & The Monument to Grand Duke Gediminas

The cathedral square is the centre of life on sunny days, it is very lively and perhaps the best spot for people-watching in Vilnius. The square also has the octagonal bell tower as well which we decided not to climb because it seemed like a waste of €5 since we were headed to the Hill of Three Crosses with a better view. The square also has a small tile, you can’t miss it, it always has people around. the legend is that if you make a wish standing on the tile and turn three times, your wish comes true. My wish still hasn’t come true still, I’ll let you decide for yourself. (I wished for a private jet btw, buying tickets is so annoying). The tile has the word “Stebuklas” on it, which means miracle in Lithuanian.

The bell tower is beautiful and has its own presence in the square. As I mentioned above, the ticket to climb the tower is €5.

The bell tower of Vilnius Cathedral

On the other side of the square next to cathedral si the rather rugged statue of Grand Duke Gediminas. The duke is seen as the father of Lithuania and he is also credited for building Vilnius. I wonder what he’d think of the whole G- spot thing? There is also legend that the statue was initially radioactive and it was replaced later but it is safe to be around now.

Check The Tower of Gediminas Castle (Gedimino pilies bokštas)

Before heading to the Hill of Three Crosses, we stopped for a quick look at the Tower of Gediminas Castle. it is a beautiful red brick tower. It has the Lithuanian national flag hoisted atop and it is important for Lithuanians because it reminds them of the time of their original independence in 1919. Since we had limited time, we didn’t go inside and headed to the Hill of Three Crosses. If you get time do check it out as well.

Tower of Gediminas Castle

Tower of Gediminas Castle

Take the view from The Hill of Three Crosses (Trys kryžiai)

On the last day, we headed to spend the rest of our day on the Hill of Three Crosses. It is one of the best pots to see Vilnius. We left the cathedral square behind and took the scenic route to the top of this mountain. The walk was 15 minutes but we took an hour enjoying the dense vegetation around us. The route to the crosses has been well defined and there were a lot of people walking their dogs or just jogging or running past us. the cake we grabbed with tea was totally worth once we got to the top. Vilnius is stunning from this panorama and there are multiple points where you can see different sides of the city, the grand towers of churches, the colourful houses.

The crosses were erected to honour the Franciscan monks who were tortured and beheaded here. Don’t forget to bring shoes with good grip though because the climb up is steep at a few points.

Panorama of Vilnius from Hill of Three Crosses

Panorama of Vilnius from Hill of Three Crosses

It also happens to be the best place to watch the sunset over Vilnius but the luck wasn’t on our side this time and it was quite cloudy on the day so we headed back. The views were still absolutely worth it.

Three Cross

The Three Crosses

Vilnius is definitely interesting and Lithuania has a lot to offer to tourists. With its slightly off the beaten path vibe and beautiful architecture, I would recommend a trip to Vilnius to see if you get any joy spending some time in the G-spot as well. (This was my last joke for that).

 

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