"Very friendly, very historical and inexpensive :-)" Top 5 Page for this destination Vilnius by matcrazy1

Vilnius Travel Guide: 1,770 reviews and 3,663 photos

Vilnius, the Soviet Union, tolerance

I found Vilnius unique city of fascinating past and great future, I am sure, now; city full of hundreds places to discover (believe or not I didn't touch even half!). City of great multicultural, Lithuanian, Polish and Jewish past, always city of dialogue. City where the end of the Soviet Empire started thanks to free minds of its citizens. Look above at the picture painted by anonymous author on the barricade which was put up by the parliament bulding surrounded by Soviet troops in January 1991.

I was keeping my fingers crossed for Lithuanian independence in 1989 - 1991 and as great Polish poet and my friend Kaczmarski sang in his song "The fall of the Soviet Union" in 1991: "a neighbour Lithuania has its independence and I myself feel somewhat more independent".

There are amazing old cities like say Florence, Italy or Krakow, Poland or I am sure Jerusalem in Israel which are never to forget because of their great historical soul and inspiring atmosphere. Now, I add Vilnius here. Why? Welcome to my travelogues and tips... if you are enough patient :-) I created real monster there.

Vilnius taught me to respect sometimes quite different views of Lithuanians and Poles on past history of the city. Vilnius was inhabited by Poles (54%), Jews (41%) and Lithuanians (1.6%) in 1917 (German census).

And since my visit to Vilnius I understand much better feelings of... Germans who (or their parents) lived in what is now called Poland and who come to visit or spend last years of their life in their old German homeland, Poland now.

Well, in Vilnius I had to think over changing borders, moving nations, ethnic cleanings, nationalism, Soviet regime which ruled over half of our globe in not so old past. I thought about (less and less :-) divided Central and Western Europe and genesis of quite different development of these areas, about fast economic changes and not so fast changes in human minds, about (more and more) isolated part of Europe futher East. Well, some my thoughts... in my travelogues. Welcome :-)

Largest Old Town

The Old Town od Vilnius is one of largest among European cities and full of architectural pearls. I doubt whether you find more Baroque churches and buildings in any other city in Europe. I didn't as for now. It's the most eastern and the largest Baroque city north of the Alps.
No wonder that Vilnius Historic Centre is inscribed on The World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Good luck Vilnius!

Vilnius is changing fast nowadays.The city after over 50 years of Soviet occupation came back very, very fast to Europe but in good way that was with great respect to its glorious heritage. Well, it's still a lot of to do... Huge work is going on. Good luck, Vilnius :-)

Well, since Lithuania joined European Union on 1st May 2004, some prices are higher and higher. But anyway, they are mostly much lower than in any Western European capital, but in say... 10 years... who knows. Better do visit Vilnius just now!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:History, architecture (esp. Baroque), Lithuanian food, friendly atmosphere, still inexpensive area
  • Cons:Far...
  • In a nutshell:Escape to secret and lovely little Rome
  • Last visit to Vilnius: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated Jul 14, 2004
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Reviews (389)

Comments (72)

  • Oct 25, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    I very much agree with you. There should at least be one left to show how these museums of Atheism were like..

  • Sandra06's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2009 at 4:19 AM

    Thank you for sharing photo. We have just returned from a holiday in Poland, and have learnt my husband's Grandparents lived in this SAME house. We had a great time learning all about his father's history - the information could make a good film.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Hi Mat, Detailed page, will have to return, researching 23 day tour Moscow to Prague, 2 nights Vilnuis, 2 nighrs warsaw, 2 nights Krakow. I guess it gives a taste.

  • sihi's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2007 at 8:06 AM

    Amazing huge page! Very interesting:) I have some friends in Lithuania and in Vilnius --> Polacy:) Pozdrowionka:)

  • Jul 16, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Why having expensive chinese food in Vilnius? I prefer to overeat for 6 Euros here in Germany. By the way- I got a photo from the mosque in Kaunas! Ate pike+salad+fries for 13 Litas only.

  • Jun 14, 2007 at 10:08 AM

    This could have meant that some locals (there are many Russians, Belarussians living in and around Vilnius) thought they had it better in CCCP and they have a Nazi regime now, when Lithuania is independent. Just a wild guess here, too.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    This is another monster page you've created, Matt. I thought it was full of interesting information on the history and times of Vilnius...so many cathedrals here, too! I'll have to plan on returning to read more about this city. Great job!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2007 at 6:10 AM

    Hi here you are again when i go to do a VT search on somewhere i might go visit next month!thanks for more of your pics and info! ive just had another great trip around Switz and to norway soon!more pics and pages to work on eh!

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2006 at 5:48 AM

    Great photos and most interesting detail in your tips - thank you for all this good work. Frank Zappa lived next door to me in Laurel Canyon - shades of those '60's! Ciao, Carol

  • Kajron's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2005 at 3:03 PM

    It's very special this city. Some friends of mine has gone there by car and in Poland too, they told me very well about your country.Ciao Maciek!


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