Welcome To Lithuania: The Land of The Beautiful Ladies
January 1, 1970
by Ieva Simkute
Just as the lyrics of a song from a famous Lithuanian band Inculto say: welcome to Lithuania, the land of the beautiful ladies. Indeed, it‘s quite commonly known that Lithuanian women are pretty gorgeous and being a 100% Lithuanian I am flattered to hear that. However, beautiful women are not the only reason to visit my country. Lithuania is an undiscovered pearl of the Baltics: it‘s safe here, cities are clean, we have lots of beautiful nature, it‘s much cheaper here than in western or northern Europe, we like and respect foreign travellers, cities are not overcrowded with people what makes them cosy and pleasant to stay.
The first place to visit in Lithuania of course is our capital city Vilnius. It‘s largest city in Lithuania having population of a bit more than half a million people. The architecture in the Old Town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Once you are in Vilnius, make sure to visit:
- Cathedral of Vilnius
- Three crosses hill
- Saint Ann‘s church
- Užupis – the artistic district of the city
- Pilies street – a pedestrian street in the Old Town
- Belmontas – a beautiful area with waterfalls and a restaurant
Once you are in Lithuania, be brave to try our national food. It‘s mainly made of potatoes and is fatty, but majority of my friends foreigners enjoyed our local food. You should try cepelinai (a ball made of smashed potatoes with meat inside), cold beetroot soup (very popular to eat in summer, served with boiled potatoes), vėdarai (intestine of a pig, filled with smashed potatoes), kugelis (a potato pie, might be with meat or chicken or pig ears added into it). You should try our beer too as our beer is competitor to German beer. I personally recommend you to visit bar “Šnekutis” in Vilnius, where you can eat our traditional food, drink good beer and enjoy the atmosphere. There are three “Šnekutis” bars in Vilnius and all three are different in the atmosphere, but all three have good food and beer. For the night life in Vilnius I recommend “Salento” and “Pabo Latino” clubs. “Salento” is loved by students and is the only night club in Vilnius that works every night. “Pabo Latino” has mainly 30-40 year old publics and is a nice place for those who like salsa. Both clubs are in the very heart of the city. If you are more a rock person, go the the “BIX” bar, there you will also find a disco with rock music. If you like to sing karaoke, visit “Brodvėjus” pub, this one is also more for rock souls.
If you ask locals if Kaunas is a city worth visiting, not all of us will tell you yes. I personally do recommend visiting Kaunas. It‘s the second largest city in Lithuania with population of almost 300 000 people. Once you are in Kaunas, don‘t miss out to visit:
- Laisvės alėja (an avenue, 1,6 km long)
- Monastery of Pažaislis
- Kaunas castle
- Devil museum
- Zoo of Lithuania
Whenever I am in Kaunas, I love having a walk at a riverbank close to Kaunas castle. It‘s the place where two rivers Neris and Nemunas come together. We say that this is where the two rivers, male and female are making love; therefore Kaunas is our city of love. For partying in Kaunas I can recommend visiting “Džem‘pub”, which is in Laisvės alėja. The pub is on the fifth floor and has a balcony with a nice view of the alley and the city. For rock lovers I also recommend visiting “Rockpub”, which is in the very heart of the Old town of Kaunas. Here you will be able to watch rock concerts and videos on big tv screens, they have delicious snacks and cocktails. I also love bar “Republic”. There are three of them in Kaunas: “Republic No. 1”, “Republic No. 2” and “Republic No. 3”. There is the fourth bar “Republic”, which is in Vilnius, but talking sincerely, I absolutely prefer the ones in Kaunas.
Klaipėda is our third biggest city, it has 150 000 inhabitants and is at the seaside. Due to history, Klaipėda has German architecture and majority of tourists there are Germans. In 1925 even 57 percent of inhabitants of Klaipėda were Germans. Nowadays the majority are Lithuanians. However, there are plenty remains of the German culture and when walking in the Old Town of Klaipėda you can feel like in a small German town. Once you are in Klaipėda, make sure to visit:
- Old town of Klaipėda
- Lithuanian sea museum
- Museum of the castle of Klaipėda
- Sculpture The Balck Ghost
- Museum of clocks
- Brewery of Švyturys beer
- Indian village Vinetu
As for the bars in Klaipėda, I recommend „Herkus Kantas“. It has a nice atmosphere, good beer and delicious snacks. For the night life in Klaipėda visit clubs „Kaštonas“ and „Raketa“. Club „Kaštonas“ organizes Latin dances and nice concerts. Club „Raketa“ also organizes concerts and when there is no concert, music is quiet and not too loud.
Curonian Spit and Nida
Lithuania has one more special place which is one of the most amazing places in whole Europe. Don‘t miss out to visit it. It‘s the Curonian Spit. You can easily reach it from Klaipėda by ferry. Curonian Spit is 98 km in length and has many sand dunes which are protected by the government. Curonian Spit is a UNESCO World Herritage Site and the views of nature that you can find here, you will hardly find anywhere else in the world. In Curonian Spit you should visit:
- Dead dunes
- The hill of witches
- Cormorants Colony of Juodkrantė
Nida is a resort town. Don‘t expect to find night life here, there is no night life as this town and whole Curonian Spit is the place where you can get away from the crowds of people, feel quiet and find the inner peace. If the weather is nice, you can rent a bike or you can have a walk to the seaside and back. Nida also has beautiful sand dunes. I recommend you to find a boat in Nida which would take you along the dunes, the view is fantastic. If you decide to walk on the dunes in Nida, be careful not to walk too far as there are boarders with Russia in the dunes. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you could see a deer going to drink water or wild pigs waiting for food from people in Nida.
So this is Lithuania – the land of the beautiful ladies. Yes, we have beautiful nature and yes, Lithuanian women are pretty. Come to check it by yourself. Welcome to Lithuania!