If you've read my last post and decided that Vilnius is for you, then I'm here to help with a few tips that I'd wish I had known before visiting the Lithuanian capital.
- Stay in Old Town. We stayed about 10 minutes away from central old town by foot and we wish we'd picked a hotel a little closer. We of course didn't know where we would be in comparison to where everything was so picking the hotel we did was best for us. If we were to go again I would probably look to be closer to the Town Hall.
- Research food places. Like I said in last week's post there is a lot of choice for food but it happens to be quite spread out. Do your research on restaurants before you arrive on TripAdvisor and through Twitter. Also it its a great idea to ask the hotel staff when you're in the country for their recommendations.
- Walk but utilise taxis when needed. Okay this seems like an obvious one but what I mean by this is that Vilnius is so easy to access via foot that there is no need to look to public transport unless you really need it. We only used taxis at night when it was darker and the 10 minute walk seemed less appealing.
- Get up high. There are some great vantage points in Vilnius that you should be taking advantage of. The ones that we tried were the Gediminas Castle and Cathedral Bell Tower. The Gediminas Castle was the best for us as it was the easiest to climb for those afraid of heights. We only managed to get so far up the Bell Tower before our fear kicked in and we went back down!
- Visit over the river, but don't put too much emphasis on this. This may differ from person to person, and we may not have seen all there is to see, but we much preferred the Old Town to the other side of the river. There is so much more to see and do that over the river seemed a little quiet and stale. We did have a wander over there and went to a great Italian called Vapiano that I'd definitely recommend. Other than that, I can't say there is much there. (We only visited directly over from Old Town, we didn't venture as far as Žvėrynas).
- Don't get your hopes up for a good brew. Like the majority of Europe, in Vilnius you can not get a decent cup of tea. Even though we came prepared bringing our favourite Yorkshire Tea, the Europeans just can't grasp the concept of black tea with milk and for some reason give you warm milk, or just plain icky milk! Stick to coffee or fruit tea whilst you're out there as there is no good wasting a good tea bag.
- Lastly, the most helpful guide we picked up whilst over in Vilnius was 'Vilnius Guide by In Your Pocket'. With a website, an app and a paper guide, this contains all you'll need to know about the city including what to see, where to eat and lots of great facts.
Rounding up the tips I have for you about Vilnius, I just wanted to touch of two regrets I have about our recent trip. The first is that I didn't actually try Lithuanian cuisine. There are plenty of places we could have tried it but with food being such an important part of my holidays, I was worried I wouldn't like it!
Second regret was that we missed the Christmas Markets! When booking we didn't even research when these would be but a few days before we flew I decided to Google it and found it was the Saturday after our departure date on the Friday. Leaving so soon before they started was very gutting, so I'd definitely suggest Googling the dates for these before booking!
I hope these tips help you in booking your trip to Lithuania. If you need any questions answering, please feel to contact me on twitter (@Danniannie) and I'll help where I can.