TOP list: the alternative #mustgoes in Vilnius!

So last week we counted our favorite almost magical places to warm up. But did you expect that was it? We aren’t just travel addicts; we are also crazy about our town (which is kinda obvious we think), so we have a lot more mustgo places. And this time we present you our alternative choice. Be sure – every place in this list has it’s own special thing. So next time in Vilnius be sure to keep yourself a bit more of the time and try at least one of these!

16i kava
Probably the smallest coffee house in Vilnius, yet adorable and extremely cozy! They really love good coffee here and they know how to do it right. Don’t like coffee? Not a problem, cause here you can get a cup of tea, or a healthy breakfast bite. By the way, it might look like that 16i kava play hide and seek with you because it really hides in Loft area, but the truth is it isn’t that hard to find it. And believe us, this place is worth to be found! Don’t forget – friendly neighbors are always ready to help you, because… everyone here knows where to find the best coffee in all neighborhood. Aaand here’s something more – 16i kava is based in the former secret Soviet Union factory, manufacturing military and astronaut equipment!

Photo Ⓒ 16ikava

Where to find?
T. Ševčenkos 16i

Crooked nose & Coffee stories
This place is a little bit out of the old town, but definitely worth to be visited! These guys are local coffee roasters who will not only present you world coffees, but also introduce to what we call Lithuanian coffee. This place is not just about drinking coffee, it’s about experience! Crooked nose & Coffee stories is probably the best proof, that sometimes pure simplicity and a passion for what you do is everything you need.

Photo Ⓒ Jurga Lau

Where to find?
Šaltinių g. 20 — 17

Keulė rūkė
“Courageous steps take place in history and change our lives, and the fears quickly disappear without any sign,” – says Dominykas, the owner of this place. Well, this man is brave. It feels like everyone (not just Lithuanians) has seen or at least heard about the scandalous wall. You know, the one with Putin’s and Trump’s kiss. But we feel we must warn you – this place is perfect not just for a cool photo in your vacation album. It’s perfect for your tongue’s vacation or a fest of flavor in your mouth! We believe that the magic begins with the spell, which is freshly smoked pulled pork. Seriously, try pulled pork cheese sandwich or smoked pork ribs and tell us – isn’t this something you always wanted to try?

Photo Ⓒ Keulė Rūkė

Where to find?
Pylimo g. 66

Peronas
Peronas is actually placed in the old train station warehouse, so that’s just one good reason to go there. Just kidding, there are a lot more reasons! This is the place for a good chat with a friend, a good beer, music or dance. There is nothing more romantic than a comfortable armchair, good company and a returning train in front of you. Of course, this scenario suits more for a long warm summer night, but don’t let yourself to be tricked – Peronas is a place to visit all year round! Good vibe is guaranteed here, otherwise, how could you explain the magic of dances till the morning? And one more thing… Don’t be surprised by huge Tony Soprano in Chinese bathrobe. I mean… how often can you see this?!

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Where to find?
Geležinkelio g. 6

Dėvėti
It’s been 4 years Dėvėti is one of the most lovable bars by locals. So, if you are looking for a chance to meet some new local people – this is the place for you. During the summer all street is full of chitchats; you’ll find everyone inside when it’s cold. Dėvėti can offer you a good beer, a cocktail, even a good falafel if you fell hungry. And they can definitely show you a really good party. This place is full of adventurous spirit. Looking for something like that? Well, don’t wait anything and join the party!

Photo Ⓒ Dėvėti

Where to find?
Sodų g. 3

The magic quadrangle or Monstro / Prohibicija / Meatballs / Špunka
This quadrangle is also the place where locals love to hang out! One yard – four different places. So, if you are visiting Vilnius, you just can’t miss the opportunity to go there. What’s so special about all these bars? Well, let’s see. Monstro bar is a pocket place with a friendly bartenders and amazing pica. Prohibicija – these guys are real beer hooligans with a great knowledge and the biggest selection of Lithuanian and foreign craft beers that you can find in one place. In the Meatballs bar you’re gonna get literally the best pickles in the town, served with the best meat balls, of course. In fact, this place not just give you good meal, it is one of the best ways to go back to the past. And Špunka is always, always a good place to go. We believe it’s because of the vibe – it’s not that simple to find a place with such chill and good mood. So… is there any hesitations left?

Photo Ⓒ Meatballs_Vilnius / Monstro baras / Prohibicija / Etmonų Špunka

Where to find?
Etmonų g. 3

 

Written by Edita Norkevičūtė

5 opportunities to warm up or Vilnius is full of magical places

Brace yourself… the winter is already here, actually. And everyone seems to be avoiding any necessity to go outside. But you can’t hide from cold by staying at home all winter (or at your hotel if you are travelling). So, we thought that this cold is a perfect opportunity to share our own experience. No matter how low the thermometer column is, we are still enjoying our Vilnius. Because when it is too cold, we have 5 wonderful places to warm up!

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

 

Italala Caffè
„If to celebrate, then everyday“ – believe Italala Caffè owners Ramunė and Julija. And they definitely know how to bring a real celebration of tastes. Not just to your cup, but also to your plate! Where the magic begins here? Well, this place works about two weeks and it seems that it has won a lot of hearts already. So, if you feel cold somewhere near Vokiečių street, don’t hesitate and go grip a sunbeam from Italy. Don’t forget – they say sometimes there’s a little wonder that hides in the bottom of your cup. And if all this is not enough, here’s one more secret – they do have swings there!

Photo Ⓒ Italala Caffè

Where to find?
Vokiečių str 1
Open: Mon-Fri from 7 am to 8 pm, Sat – from 8 am to 9 pm, Sun – from 8 am to 8 pm

 

Mint Vinetu
You know the feeling when you open the doors to somewhere and you could swear that this is another world? Mint Vinetu is definitely one of that kind of places. Cozy, small, yet comfortable, filled with the smell of tranquility and herbal tea. The best part of it? The place is full of small pockets for two, three or four people, so you can have a nice private conversation. The other good thing is that you can go there all by yourself, because you’ll want to explore the endless bookshelves and have no doubt – you’ll find what to read. Long story short, this place is not just for book lovers, it is for everyone looking a place to warm hands, hearts and minds.

Photo Ⓒ Mint Vinetu

Where to find?
Šv. Ignoto str. 16
Open: Mon-Sun from 10 am to 9 pm

 

Chaika
Remember Alice in Wonderland – the part where Alice drinks a magical potion and grows really big? Well, somehow Chaika is a lot like wonderland and everyone there can feel a bit like Alice. Small tables, chairs, comfort mini armchairs and strangest little details on the walls and window stills create a cozy, a bit mysterious (in a good way) and nostalgic atmosphere. But all this is just a bonus, because the biggest magic here is gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly menu, which is more than amazing! Tea, sandwiches, cupcakes, brownies and cakes. Every piece tastes like a cloud! And… even cups in Chaika wears little knitted sweaters.

Photo Ⓒ Chaika

Where to find?
Totorių str. 7
Open: Mon-Fri from 10 am to 9 pm, Sun-Sat from from 11 am to 8 pm

 

Coffee 1
Placed in the very heart of Užupis, Coffee 1  just celebrated their first birthday. The first and last thing that welcome and accompany you is a big, sincere owner’s Skaidrė smile and of course a magical smell of coffee. This is probably the best duet when you are cold, right? So, if you caught yourself looking for new faces, interesting conversations, hospitable neighbor or good cup of coffee – go straitght to Coffe 1 and say Hi from us! Buy the way, last year all city voted – Skaidrė is the most welcoming hostess!

Photo Ⓒ Coffee1

Where to find?
Užupis str. 9
Open: Mon-Fri – from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm, Sat – from 9am to 8 pm, Sun – from  9 am to 6 pm.

 

Downtown Forest Hostel
Cherry on our magical cake. There are so many reasons to go to this forest, but we believe only one word is necessary for you to be convinced that this place is worth to be visited – fireplace. Don’t be tricked by name – yeah, DFH is a hostel, not a coffee house, but they do have good coffee. So it could be your secret special place for a cup of coffee. Or a cup of tea, if you prefer. They can even make you cocoa with marshmallows! Actually, there’s always something happening, so don’t be surprised if you’ll get into a cozy piano night. Or a board game evening. Now you probably understand, why we love this place. Oh, and the most important thing – they have a big yard with the sky of light bulbs and always, always smiles to you. Maybe that’s why this place reminds you home sweet home. And if you are looking for a place to stay, keep in mind, that recently DFH became one of Europe’s luxury hostels!

Photo Ⓒ Downtown Forest Hostel

Where to find?
Paupio str. 31A
Open: 24/7

 

Written by Edita Norkevičūtė

 

Things we never forget to take when traveling

There are hundreds of lists with clever advices saying what you must take when traveling. TOP 3 would be your passport, plane tickets and a toothbrush. It seems with these you can conquer the world! Or at least make your journey as smooth as possible. Despite the fact these 3 are necessary for every trip, they’re kind a obvious, right? What about other, not so obvious, but practical things?

I remembered what I usually pick up, then I thought it would be nice to hear what others do (it’s like a quick yet legal look on friend’s bag). So I did what everyone would do – looked around and asked my friends (some of them were actually getting ready for a trip) – guys, what things do you never forget to take when traveling? Here’s what I found out.

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Comfortable shoes!
Okay, this one isn’t very original, but absolutely good. There’s no need to be Captain Obvious to understand that travel means walking (unless you are going to Barbados or other sunny beach where you don’t need shoes at all. But I’m talking about a different kind of trip here). And if you want to get to know the city you’re visiting, your feet will be the necessity. Preferable without blisters or wounds. So don’t even think to wear a new pair of shoes! Kiss them goodbye and grab a pair of your oldies. “On every travel I need to be sure, that my shoes won’t betray me!” – said my friend Urtė.

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Headphones!
It seems the headphones is that one thing no one forget to take, but some days we forget to take even the head. Especially when this same head is full of “Must do” lists before the trip. “I can’t go on a trip without my headphones not because it’s the only way to escape from crying children in the airplane, – said my colleague Asta. It’s because of music – I like to walk on the streets I never knew, listen to my music and collect new memories. And whenever I hear one or another song, I always remember my adventures.”

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

Nuts!
Or other similar snack. I have a friend who literary doesn’t go anywhere without a small box of hazelnuts. She says that this is how she keeps her mind clear. I agree with her –  hungry stomach plays aren’t exactly what you would like to hear. Or remember. Plus – a little snack in your bag can always help you to avoid overpriced candy bars in airports!

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

Reusable water bottle!
My friend Alina, who by the way travels a lot, shared two things she never leaves when traveling. One of them is reusable water bottle. “In Lithuania we have our liquid gold that comes straight from the tap – our water. I drink a lot of water and I try to never buy water in bottles, especially in plastic. If I have to – I choose glass bottle that can be reused. When I travel, I refill my bottle, but unfortunately water doesn’t taste as good as at home. Except maybe in Iceland,” – smiled Alina.

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

Keepsake bag!
Aaand this one is my favorite! I can’t retell you Alina’s words, I just quote her: “My keepsake bag. It’s a bag with my talismans and memorable things. It’s always in my backpack and goes wherever I am going. What’s in it – a rosary – a gift from my grandma on my first communion, a seashell that travelled with me Camino, a stone from the black sand beach in Iceland, a wooden cross – a gift from my dear friend, and a compass.”

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

So this is how we do it. After all, there’s nothing you can’t do with reliable shoes, good music, bottle of water and full stomach! Well, don’t forget your passport and plane tickets…

Written by Edita Norkevičūtė

Meet locals. Airina: “Every trip is like a small life”

So today I meet Airina – she is the guide in Travel Addicts Club. I think it would be fair to say the passion of her life is travelling. But Airina isn’t just another traveler – there’s something special about her, I just can’t figure out what exactly it is. Then a light crosses my mind – despite all the adventures and stories about other countries, Airina has her own strong, deep travel philosophy. She doesn’t search any adventures, she’s searching an experience. And sometimes adventures find her.

A few days ago Airina got back from Georgia where she spent a month. The next stop on her travel map is India. She’s planning to spend at least a couple of months there. 30 is the number of the countries Airina has already been. And she always travels alone. ”Don’t you miss a friend?” – I ask her. She smiles and says: ”Actually no. I’m really good with myself”.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

For how long do you travel?
First time I travelled about 10 years ago. Till I was 20 years old all foreign countries I’ve seen was our neighbor Latvia. My family didn’t travel at all.

The very first trip was by yourself?
No, no, nothing like that. My first destination was the Balkans. I started the trip with three other guys from France. But they have talked French all the time. So after a couple of days I got bored and decided to continue the trip alone. I remember this trip so well, like it was yesterday. First 10 days on the road alone. I’m sure that if I traveled there now, there wouldn’t be so many impressions. But then it was more than amazing.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

On this trip you’ve realized that you can and know how to be and travel alone?
Definitely yes! It‘s so good to know that you can travel alone, take care of yourself and this isn’t scary.

How do you choose your destinations?
The most often criterion for me is mountains.

Probably people ask you about Lithuania? What do you tell them about us?
First of all, that Lithuania is a small independent country – not a part of Russia. That we have our own language and it is not Slavic. Quite often I just take a map and show where exactly Lithuania is. Sometimes I meet people who know Lithuania really well. It’s nice to hear that they like Lithuania.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

What 3 places would you recommend to see in Lithuania?
First of all Vilnius! No doubts. Then seaside, Nida of course. And – this belongs from how much time you have – I strongly recommend to take a trip and see Lithuanian forests and lakes.

Vilnius. Do you have any special places here?
No, the magical spirit of the city is everywhere. Especially in the old town. So you definitely should find some time to take a walk in cozy old town streets, check out the parks, the churches. Vilnius has so many churches and for those who are interested in this culture, there is so much to see. And if you’re looking for nature – try to climb the Three Crosses Hill – I like to joke it’s practically a jungle there!

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

You mentioned Nida – let’s talk about it. What do you like most about Nida?
Oh, Nida is absolutely one of a kind. The special calm, dunes, reeds in the lagoon – these little things are essence for me. Bike path all along the lagoon or even weather vanes in the sky – you can’t describe it with words, you just have to see it. Feel it.

Would you recommend foreigner to come to Lithuania? Is it worth?
Sure! But then again – what country isn’t worth to see? I think it all depends on your expectations, you should just realize what are you looking for and then every trip gives you something good.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

What does Lithuania mean for you?
To be honest, I don’t know yet. It is my homeland and takes a big place in my heart. I can’t imagine what it would feel like if I couldn’t come back here.

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė

7 ways to have fun on a rainy day in Lithuania

We have a saying in Lithuania, that there is no bad weather, just a bad outfit. And we totally agree with that! Since it was raining for the last two (or three?) weeks, we have some great ideas to share with you what to do when it rains. Believe us – they are tested and voted the best!

Food! 
Everyone loves to eat and we are not an exception. But if you think we are saying you should grab a cheeseburger and lay down in front of TV – you’re wrong! We are talking about an adventure – go to the local food market, find fresh products and make best dinner yourself. Don’t know how to cook? Not a problem, you can always get a guide – professional chef, who knows how the magic in the kitchen works. Also, he knows lots of good local stories, not just about the food. Good company, delicious smell, maybe a glass of wine – and the rain is not a problem anymore!

Photo Ⓒ Marla Singer

Drinks! 
Rainy days make you sleepy – this is not a secret. But don’t waste your time sleeping while you have limited time and so much to do! Well, we know that the coffee is always a good idea, but the cup of really good coffee is probably the best! And if you like the black magic, you should definitely meet Vilnius’ craft coffee roasters. While you’ll be tasting different worlds, they’ll tell so much you haven’t even imagined about coffee. And soon the raindrops on the window will be nothing more than the natural music.

Photo – Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories

Different kind of drinks! 
What can sound sadder than a rainy Friday night? Or any other rainy night in the city on your vacation? Our advice – take an umbrella and go try some local beer! We are talking not about getting drunk, but about tasting different types of beer and learning the difference.  Believe us, it is not as easy as it sounds, but it is a really cheerful pastime. Plus, you will definitely find your favorite beer and then the taste of it would never be the same.

Photo Ⓒ Nendrė Žilinskaitė

Discover!
So it’s raining. You can always run away from the rain and do something you’ve never done before. Something crazy, I don’t know like… visit a nuclear power plant! Sounds incredible? Yet it’s true – you can definitely go to Visaginas and get into a Nuclear Power plant with access to stand on a reactor and a visit to the control station. Don’t forget that this is an unfinished clone of the Chernobyl Power plant and is the biggest in the world. So… who cares about the rain?

Photo Ⓒ Beata Voitechovskaja

Nature!
Okay, sometimes it is the best to face your trouble. In our case the trouble is the rain so we do recommend getting a raincoat and go enjoy the rain! Even more – we know the place where the rain would be perfection. Go to a swamp and enjoy the fresh air, raindrops on your face and use the opportunity to take a close look to nature’s life. See that beauty? Well rain here is the necessary condition. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and if you do – don’t worry, cause the experience is worth a few drops of mud.

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

SPA!
Rainy days are the best for laziness and doing nothing. But then again – you kind of wanna do something. Believe us – we’ve been there and know the feeling. The best solution for this one is a SPA. This relaxing time give you the chance to enjoy everything around you and – this is the best part – you have a legal reason to be lazy. Plus – it’s raining outside…

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Sauna!
However, if SPA looks a bit too calm for you, this one will be perfect. We are talking about the sauna – it’s like a special experience for your body and mind. Be sure, locals love this activity, especially when it rains. So, why not to try?

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

 

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė

Meet locals: What does your life look like when you live in a magical place?

When I met Zolenas, I told him that some of my questions could seem a bit strange, but his everyday life looks almost magical for me. Why? Well, first of all, because he lives in Pervalka – small village in Curonian Spit. And my dearest friends, if there are some magical places in the world, then Curonian Spit is definitely one of them.

24 years – that’s how long Zolenas is a fisherman. ”At the beginning there was no romance at all, it has been just an opportunity to start a business” – says Zolenas. And even though about his experience he talks like this isn’t something big, there is a sparkle in his eyes that gives away a little secret – he loves his work.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Let’s talk about the adventures – is there any memorable stories to share?

I hear this question a lot – smiles Zolenas. But there is just one story – you have to be sure that you’ll be safe. This isn’t a forest where you can find out a way, even if you got lost. A few years ago on spring I didn’t mark the fishing net. We just moved from the shore, when the big fog came. It was so thick that I couldn’t see anything at all. Shore, horizon – all gone. I had no idea, which way I need to go. The funniest part is that I was like 200 meters away from the shore.

What did you do?

I called for my colleague – he was on the shore – and asked him to give me a sign – the sound or the light. Actually, it was a common thing before, especially in autumn. Now it’s easier, especially with all the equipment. I remember at the beginning, it was a bit like spells – you take a compass and a watch. If there is a fog, you must be very careful, always keep an eye on the time. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck on the net or get lost.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Have you ever found another ship in your net?

Yeah, sometimes that happens. Not that long ago I ordered a net – special order, new net. I was so excited to try it! I set the net and when I came back in the morning – the net was all ruined! Brand new net! It didn’t catch not even a small fish. It was sad. But that happens. For that, one morning I’ve found a yacht in my net – what’s the catch!

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

I’ve heard that fishermen and sailors are really friendly – if they see that someone needs help, they always help. Is that true?

Yeah, it’s absolutely true. This is like the unwritten rule. It’s because it’s not that easy to get help when you are in the water – it doesn’t matter it is a sea or lagoon. And when you see that someone is in trouble you can’t just ignore that. It could be that you are the only one who can help.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Let’s talk about Lithuania. What is Lithuania for you?

My homeland. The place I live. Where my family, my kids lives.

Would you like to change it?

Well, I never thought about it, but probably no. I like it here. This is my home.

What TOP 3 places you would recommend for a guest to see?

Every place has something worth to see. It depends on what you’re expecting for. Here I would say that the Parnidis dune is one of the most amazing things. I love the bicycle patch from here to Nida – it’s in the woods, so the journey will be calm and peaceful. But my favorite place probably would be the Dead Dunes. It is sad, that not everyone can see the beauty of Dead Dunes. When you are on it – you can see the view and yes, it is amazing, but real beauty is to see the dunes from water – every time I see this I can’t figure it out how nature does this amazing thing. It is breathtaking view. It is worth to come here just for this one.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė

Guide to Vilnius: Read this before you go

Every time you decide to take your backpack and go on an adventure, you  can hear all kinds of tales and scary stories about your destination. Well, Vilnius isn’t an exception – we’ve heard a lot of stories too! The truth is Vilnius could be city of tales, but those without dragons and monsters. And the scariest creature here would probably be a trolleybus. An old one.

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

So here are some most popular tales about Vilnius – let’s check if it is true.

There’s a story saying that… it takes ages to go to Vilnius

Well… no. Actually, it’s really simple to reach Vilnius. One of the simplest ways is to take a plane. Don’t listen the stories about long, tiring flights – for example, it takes no more than 2,5 hours to come here from London. So it’s like a perfect time to admire the view, chit-chat with a neighbor, take a nap and voilà! Welcome to Vilnius!

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

There’s a story saying that… the prices of taxi are really high

Not true. We have a lot of different taxi companies and they are ready to drive you everywhere you need for a decent price. The journey from airport to the city center takes about 15 minutes and costs about 10€. Convenient and fast train ride (7 minutes) costs less then 2€. Sounds good deal, right? Or you can always use Uber!

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

There’s a story saying that… it’s hard to reach other cities from Vilnius

It’s the question for science-fiction writers. Since there is no problem traveling to Vilnius, there is absolutely no problem to go away. You can choose a flight to 47 different cities from VNO. Soon, there will be 4 more. So this tale might be true only for one reason – once you visit Vilnius, it is too hard to leave!

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

There’s a story saying that… Vilnius is like a medieval city

Actually, this is true. We do have medieval old town. You’ve probably heard that it is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in Northern Europe. And we are proud of it! But that doesn’t mean that we live here without electricity and other facilities. It’s a joke, but we know – a lot of people think that instead of modern capital city Vilnius is more like a big village. Well, it could be true if village means nature. The best part about Vilnius is that here you can find everything from the groves and parks to modern city signs. Some say that Vilnius reminds Paris – with cozy historical old town and a small island of skyscrapers like Défence.

Photo Ⓒ Rytis Šeškaitis

There’s a story saying that… there’s no chance to talk in English here

This one is my favorite! And of course it isn’t true. 20 years ago, it probably would be difficult to find someone who could tell you the right direction on the street. Instead of telling you the price the cashier would write it down. But today everyone knows English. Maybe not everyone could retell Harry Potter fluently, but communication and navigation might be easier than you expect! So next time in Vilnius feel free to ask anything you need to know!

 

There’s a story saying that… Lithuanians don’t smile. At all

Yes, we do. It is true that Lithuanians are serious people and sometimes our face looks like we’ve been eating lemons all morning. But that’s just a camouflage. The truth is that Lithuanians are kind, sincere people who sometimes… just forget to smile. But we always, always smile back. And that’s a good start. I think…

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Let’s come and ruin those myths yourself!

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė