Friday, May 24, 2013

Vilnius, Lithuania


by Aurelija Brazenaite

Vilnius is the biggest city and the capital of Lithuania. Vilnius is located in the Southeast of Lithuania and even two beautiful rivers flow through it. Vilnius is one of the greenest capitals in Europe. More than 40 % of territory is covered with green trees and plants. Vilnius has five Tourism Information Centers. Go there and get your free maps and the best advices.
There are many interesting and attractive sightseeings that must be seen and many activities that you should try. From the Gediminas Castle hill you can admire green and historical Vilnius panorama or an amazing sunset, which all colors in red. If you really enjoy watching town’s panorama, you also should go to the Hill of Three Crosses.

The Old Town with small streets is worthy for tourists attention as well. There are several museums like Museum of Genocide Victims and the Cathedral in the heart of Vilnius. Vilnius is very rich with many churches of different styles and epochs. The most famous is gothic Ona Church. Once you are in Lithuania, do not miss your chance to visit very cozy artists’ district called Uzupis.
Nature lovers will be amazed by beautiful and very green Verkiai and Pavilniai National Parks. Also, there are other beautiful parks such as Sereikiskiai and Vingio.
Couples, singles or families can rent bikes, canoes. Also, you can take long promenades in the most beautiful parks or have some extreme sports like climbing trees.

Vilnius is full of restaurants, cafes and night clubs. If you are searching for places where to eat or have
fun, you will find it without any efforts. You should be aware that only 18 years old or in some places only 21 years old can enter a night club. Do not forget that most of night clubs are opened on weekends.
Lithuanians are friendly, but at first sight it may look contrary, because not everybody likes to speak with strangers, especially in other language. Mostly older people do not know English, but they know Russian language very well. You should ask younger people for advices or other help.

Try to avoid visiting sleeping dorms, dark places and market zones, where you can be robbed and cheated. Also, if possible never allow yourself to be provoked by drunken clubbers. You should know that prostitution is illegal in Lithuania, so be very careful with some women.
Most of Lithuanians are Christians and they do not have any special customs. They celebrate all National and Christian holidays. It is very common to say hello by shaking hands between men. Women kiss each other into cheeks only if they are very good friends.

People living in Vilnius often go to eat in local restaurants or cafes. Most of restaurants bring outdoor furniture for warm seasons. You can sit outside and watch passers-by and admire the town. You should try a cold soup called Saltibarsciai. It is made of kefir, eggs, cucumber, beetroots and onions. It is the best dish for the hot day. Also, do not forget to eat Cepelinai, which main ingredients are potatoes and
minced meat.

Lithuania is very famous for its tasty beer. Try our local live dark or light beer.
If you are a fan of fast food, you can go to McDonald's or Hesburger. Mostly Lithuanians do not eat fast food very often. They prefer cooking at home.

Vilnius has very good public transport infrastructure. Students, young persons and retirees prefer going by bus or by trolley. Working people usually go to work by car. You should be aware that you can stick in traffic after working hours.

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