Day 1 in Vilnius
Explore the Vilnius Castle Complex!
We recommend you start this time your trip not from the heart of the Old Town, but the ‘birthplace’ of Lithuanian civilization, or, better said, what has still remained from it – Gediminas’ Tower. Gediminas is named in the honor of the city’s founder. As it was expected, the Tower is the most famous symbol of Vilnius and, in general, of all Lithuania, and was part of the Upper Castle, one of the three castles. Nowadays, one of the sections of the Lithuanian National Museum is located in the Tower. Explore the Old Town from the Gediminas Hill, that is about 40 meters high. You can get there by cable car.
Another beautiful view over the historical center can be admired from the nearby Hill of Three Crosses. In the past, the Crooked Castle was situated on this hill, but today the hill is part of the municipal park. On the top of the hill, there is one more popular monument – three tall white crosses of 1,8 meters each, that symbolize the power of faith and the power of the Christian religion. There are lots of legends related to the significance of these crosses, but which one is true… We will never know!
After this, head to Church of St. Anne – a prominent example of Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles. Built of 33 types of bricks stacked in a dizzying pattern of turrets, arches and spires, Anna’s Church is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture. There is a small square next to the church, so you can sit down there are rest while admiring the place’s grandeur.
In the evening, visit the Uzupis district – the most bohemian and free spirited district in the Old Town. The district is very small, yet very lively! There are only 7000 people living there, and almost all of them – representatives of creative professions: artists, musicians, actors, writers, that’s why you can constantly see in clubs, cafes, and in outdoor areas held concerts, performances, exhibitions, and poetry readings. There are many art workshops in Uzupis where you can buy souvenirs, paintings, and handicrafts.
The main architectural landmark of Uzupis is a bronze statue of an angel with a trumpet standing on a tall white column – the Angel of Uzupis. The statue is rather new, originated from April, 4, 2002. The statue symbolizes artistic renaissance and freedom of the district. Another attraction of Uzupis is St. Bartholomew’s Church – the smallest church in Vilnius.
After a day full of exploration, enjoy your supper on the lovely hilltop terrace of the “Tores” restaurant, which is overlooking the red tiled roofs and church spires of Vilnius’s Old Town. Besides divine food, “Tores” has a wine cellar and an art gallery. You can observe contemporary artists’ paintings exhibited on walls.