Lithuania’s lively capital wears its heart on its sleeve.
Vilnius takes great pride its cultural and architectural heritage, interspersing its majestic towers, spires and domes with attractive green spaces and grand public squares. Yet its battle scars aren't hidden –prominent museums, memorials and Soviet-era concrete relics serve as thought-provoking reminders of past struggles.
Food and drink
Try the local cuisine
It may just be cold beetroot soup, but saltibarsciai – a tasty pink blend created with root vegetables, cucumbers, onion and kefir – is a Baltic classic. Equally iconic is the cepelinai stuffed potato dumpling and the kibinai mutton pasty, the ever-present showpiece of Vilnius baking.
The most famous of Lithuanian beer snacks, kepta duona is the perfect complement to local dark ale. Rye bread is chopped into sticks, pan-fried and served with a creamy cheese sauce, creating a salty, oily, calorific dish that’s perfect for soaking up local brews.
Alus: Lithuanian beer
Lithuania's long-established farmhouse ale scene has broken out into a thriving craft beer industry. Vilnius's atmospheric pubs and cellar bars are full of curious micro-brewery creations, including the award-winning Jovaru Alus, Svyturys Baltas and Tauras Bravoro Rinktinis.
Mead (aka honey wine) is one of the world’s oldest known alcoholic drinks. The traditional beverage has undergone a resurgence post-independence and plays an integral role in ceremonial activities. It may be an acquired taste, but it'd be rude not to try.