One of my favorite places to visit in the Baltics is Vilnius. It’s a much more chill spot than Riga and Tallinn. This is the place to visit if you want a relaxed atmosphere and aren’t looking for much of a party.
5 Things to Do/See:
- The Gates of Dawn
- The Museum of Genocide Victims
- Gediminas Castle/Tower
- Hill of Crosses
- Vilnius Cathedral
Honorable Mention: National Museum of Lithuania
Places to Eat
- Meat Lovers Pub: It’s relatively small on the inside so if you’re with a group bigger than 2-3 it may be hard to get a table. This one is just up the road from the Ministry of Defense. It’s got an awesome menu selection and is the perfect little place to pop in for burgers,ribs, roast or chicken. My favorite is the Lovers burger. Just a big old awesome burger with cheese and the fixins.
- Zoe’s Bar and Grill:This place is right across the street from the Cathedral plaza and Gediminas castle. Also maybe 100m from the Amberton hotel mentioned below. A wide menu selection with the menus being on old vinyl record sleeves, with records still in them.
- The Old Green House: Good food here, it’s really more of a restaurant than a bar but I’ve listed it below in that section too. Good locally brewed beer and a large menu. One time I went they had a Lionel Ritchie recorded concert (on DVD) on repeat, so that was awesome.
3 Bars to go to
- Mojito’s: This is a low key bar that’s off the beaten path. Some of the locals I know tell me it is a bit touristy but I don’t know. I’ve run into plenty of locals there. If you go here any day other than Friday or Saturday, it will be dead. I mean, nearly completely empty. This is part of what I liked about it. If you want a quiet place to get a drink where you can monopolize the bartender’s time, this is it.
- Piano Bar: This is just up the road and around the corner from the Novotel. As can be imagined it has live piano music. A decent local crowd and gets quite busy on the weekend nights.
- The Old Green House: This is borderline restaurant. They brew their own beer here and it’s pretty not bad. The staff is friendly and it’s conveniently located between all three hotels I recommend.
Honorable Mention: Club Cocainn (Cocaine): Thankfully, despite the namesake I’ve never seen any illicit drug activity here. This is your standard “club” with pumpin music and a mixed crowd.
3 Places to Stay
- Ramada: Your standard Ramada hotel here but the location is phenomenal. It’s located right in the town square area maybe 100m from the Gates of Dawn, 50m from the town hall and is surrounded by plenty of night life when the sun goes down.
- Novotel: Nice, mid-sized rooms here and right across from a little park that is full of activity on nice days. It is comparable to the other Novotel’s out there as it is part of the chain. What I like about this one is the location. It isnt right in the old town area but it is next a fairly poppin pedestrian street with lots of food and shops. Maybe a 3 minute walk to the Cathedral Plaza.
- Amberton Hotel: I like the design of the inside here. There is a very nice pseudo-atrium where the rooms are at that gives it a nice open feel, the rooms also have windows that face that area so it almost as a row house feeling to it. The Amberton is even closer to the Cathedral Plaza. The Kempinski (see below) is right across the street and Zoe’s bar and grill is maybe 100m.
Honorable Mention: Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square: This hotel is definitely an up scale establishment. If you have the $$ and want to ball out while visiting Vilnius, this is the place to stay. Although, I recommend staying at other, less pricy, places so you have more money for other activities.