Come and visit the capital of this Baltic state, the Vilnius. While Lithuania might not be the first country one thinks of when travelling to Europe, its capital Vilnius is definitely worth a stop. It’s the European capital of culture for 2009, and for a good reason Vilnius is loaded with character.
The atmosphere is a mix of the charms of the Baltic and Central Europe. Small and cozy streets are characteristic for the city center while around its modern buildings can be found. A variety of churches of different confessions shape the towns along with diverse shopping possibilities and cultural as well as gastronomic encounters.
A long and strong history has led in an edgy, interesting city. Eccentricities are everywhere, from the Frank Zappa sculpture to the self-proclaimed republic in the center of the city. It is great, but Vilnius will not be to everyone’s taste. The 20th century was not a happy time for this area of the world: Polish, Nazi and Soviet occupation have all left their damaging mark on the city and its people. Buildings and streets are sometimes in disrepair, though a lot of restoring is going on. However, all this does not mean that it is off the beaten path, and there are fewer camera-toting tourists to obstruct your view of this eccentric city.
For tourists, this has all been combined in an attractive setting of old building designs, cultural sites and a multitude of churches. Add to this the fact that Vilnius is not too big to only use your own feet as a way to get around, and it is not difficult to see why this town has been flourishing with tourists during the last decade or so. However, the historical center is not small at all and is one of the biggest in Europe with a mix of building styles. The medieval part of the town is probably the most appealing. The city has good facilities as well for all kinds of tourists and in general is relatively inexpensive to visit.
Safety Information by travelling to Vilnius
Safety in Lithuania is not a significant problem for tourists, the country is devoid of civil unrest and the terrorism threat is low. Car theft is rife, and there is a chance of mugging, pick-pocketing and bag snatching especially on trains and buses. Tourists should exercise due care and avoid carrying valuables. It is advisable to carry a copy of your passport for identification purposes. Traffic accidents are common, so extra caution is required for driving, especially in the evening.