It can sound like a cliche, but I am a big fan of Christmas Markets from everywhere… and mulled wine and gingerbread. Without doubt, from what I saw until now, the place that embraced the Christmassy spirit to the highest level is Vilnius. Hotels, restaurants, trees, street lamps, everything is shinny and joyful:
There are 2 main squares that compete for the superstar title, Town Hall Square and Cathedral Square. The carousel of colors fills you with energy; the little wood houses full of sweets and hand-made stuff warm your heart with their authenticity. I can not write this without being cheesy because it is all about creativity, not a kitsch.
Besides all that, the people welcome you with a big smile and they cooperate quite well with the camera. I chose some spices, tea and a super cozy wool hat to get warm. In Vilnius you can find a big and nice diversity of winter accessories, and the quality-price ratio is more than satisfying.
A very special thing about this city is the Užupis neighborhood also known as Republic of Užupis. I keep its Constitution in the spotlight of the showcase, in my living room. There is the home of many artists that beautify every street and building with their creations. Even though I have captured some great images there, I do not want to ruin the surprise for you so I will not add them here. Also, in that place I found the coquettish antique store Keistoteka, full of goodies for all the pockets. A nearby architectural masterpiece nearby is the Church of Saint Anne.
I have another set of photos that I do not want to expose here, the ones from the Museum of Illusions. We had lots of fun there while learning.
Another important aspect is that if you want to walk around Vilnius just like a tourist, you really do not need to buy any transport method. Even if you go out to party on the famous Vilniuas street, in spots like reBUPlic No. 4, it is ok to walk on your own feet. You can take advantage of the opportunity and stop by ZATAR falafel & hummus which is open until dawn.
A big extra point goes to this capital for the food: tasty and at an accessible price, quite similar with the Eastern European food. I even liked the coffee in this country and I usually do not drink coffee… so if you encounter any Caffeine in your way, I strongly recommend you to go inside. Spots like Leičių Bravoras (which contains in its menu traditional home-made beer as well), Gusto Blyninė (for a delicious breakfast with a multitude of pancakes options) delighted my taste buds. But honestly, when I made quite a brave choice and ordered pig ear with some kind of sauce… it was definitely not the best gourmet experience of my life, but hey: there is a place under the Sun for everyone!
I could not end this article without my signature recommendation: panorama view points. For this one I have 2 suggestions: Tree Crosses (you have to go up on a big number of slippery stairs) and for a night walk between the lights along the Bastion of the Vilnius Defense Walls.
Extra tip: We also visited “Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania”, but I do not consider it a must if you are not a big lover of history.