10.02.2015 - 11.02.2015 0 °C
The main thing to learn about the old town of Vilnius is probably the vast number of churches that are spread around the city. Almost on every corner you can find a chapel or cathedral, every single one with its own history. Some are old, some are simply stunningly beautiful. But obviously you can't spend the time to see every single church, no matter how unique. There is the Vilnius Cathedral, which is a national symbol. There is also St. Anne's church, which was Napoleon's favourite. And take a look at St. Casimir, it has a really nice exterior. Apart from the churches, Vilnius has an old town district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage and therefore wandering through the little streets is a must when visiting the city. Although some areas may not be in the best shape and need some restauration, the little cobblestone streets have a special magic going on, especially after dark. Then you can easily let your imagination drift back to the time, when Vilnius was the key city in medieval Lithuania.
Another must - do is the walk up to the castle. It takes about 10 minutes, starting at the cathedral and you'll be rewarded with an epic view of the city.
If you are looking for the place to relax, I can recommend the many Coffee Inn locations around the city. Those are cozy little coffee shops with free Wi-Fi. And if you are used to Starbucks prices, prepare to be dazzled by the low prices here. A good place to have some Lithuanian food is Snekutis. Many locals go here and they have their own microbrew. Order Cepelinai (meat-stuffed dumplings) and a large dark beer, and you'll pay less than 6€ for your dinner. As a sleeping place I can recommend the hostel Hostelgate, situated directly at the Gates of Dawn, close to the main station. Rates are low and the house is clean and friendly, you'll like it there.
My trip now takes me to the Latvian capital Riga. It's a 4,5 hour bus drive, but the buses are comfy and the journey enjoyable. Try Lux Express: free Wi-Fi, great legroom, free coffee, and I only paid 14€.