OLD TOWNS AND STREET ART: A week in cool Lithuania

When we visited Vilnius for the first time, we knew we wanted to come back. This time we stopped at Kaunas as well, Lithuania’s second city.

Both cities are beautiful and great for exploring. Vegans are well-catered for in both vegan and non-vegan places, and the food is consistently delicious. 


Kaunas is a small but beautiful city, with lots to explore, and friendly locals who are happy to help tourists. Amazing street art is scattered all over town, and local tourist maps point to their exact locations.

Laisveis is a wide boulevard with many bars, restaurants, and cafés. Join the queue at Spurgine to try a traditional doughnut.

Nearby is the Old Town, which leads to Kaunas Castle. Set in a park, it’s a popular weekend destination. You can also see the confluence of rivers Nemuno and Neries, a nice activity for a sunny day.

Favourite places:


We spent time exploring the Old Town and visited Gediminas Tower for views over the city.

See and do:

The new MO modern art museum had a great exhibition marking the 700th anniversary of Vilnius, with pieces by local artists.

Uzupis is a bohemian neighbourhood which declared its independence a couple of decades ago. A nice place for a walk in the afternoon. 

Halle Market is a traditional market with stalls offering both local produce and ready-made food. A delicious fresh smoothie costs only 2.50 euros.

The Open Gallery has many amazing street art pieces in an industrial area.

Food and Drink:

  • RoseHip Vegan Bistro: a great vegan place with plenty of delicious dishes, including the famous Lithuanian cold beetroot soup. They also have another unit, RoseHip Vegan kebabs, with plenty of other great options
  • Vegafe: a cool veggie restaurant with many vegan options, including Lithuanian dishes
  • Vieta: a small and popular vegan cafe in the Old Town
  • Casa la Familia: a veggie pizzeria with plenty of vegan options
  • Snekutis: a fun and popular bar with a large selection of beers on tap
  • Alaus Biblioteka (Beer Library): a cool bar with a great selection of local and international beers
  • There are lots of nice cafes around. I visited Italala, Backstage, Crustum, Brew, and Caffeine, all of which were great.


We stayed at the comfortable Grotthuss Hotel, which is ideally located in Vilnius Old Town. 

The train from Kaunas to Vilnius is quick and frequent. Tickets can be booked online through LTG about one month in advance. The trip takes about 1h30.

A WEEKEND IN VILNIUS, LITHUANIA: Craft beer and sunny days


When I got off the plane after midnight in Vilnius, I had no idea what to expect. I ended up there because it was easy to go for a weekend, and when I boarded the plane I really had no expectations. But a weekend away in a new city never disappoints!

Vilnius is a small and quiet city, but in many ways it has a modern and vibrant atmosphere. You need to look in the right places, but there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants that are very cool.

Old Town


Vilnius’ Old Town is a Unesco Heritage site, with winding roads and historical buildings as you’d expect. There are lots of churches around, and when we visited it seemed like every single one of them had a wedding on. It’s a nice area to spend a few hours exploring, especially if it’s a nice day.

The main street is called Pilies and it cuts through the Old Town starting from the Gate of Dawn, the only remaining gate into the city.

Gediminas Tower and Castle


After exploring the Old Town, we hiked up Gediminas Castle for a view over the city. It was a glorious sunny day, so we could see all the nice buildings in the Old Town as well as the newer areas of Vilnius.



We started our second day walking to the Genocide Museum, which unfortunately was closed. So we crossed the city centre and headed to Uzupis, a neighbourhood home to artists which declared the area an independent republic in the 1990s.


There’s even a local constitution on display. It’s a nice area by the river, so we stopped for a quick beer.



Lithuanian food, as most Eastern European food, isn’t really veggie-friendly, so we did some research in advance to find good options. We had lunch at Namai, a very nice but hard to find vegetarian cafe which served great pasta. Lunch for two including tip cost 17.50€.

We also visited Gyvas, a vegetarian restaurant and bar which had lots of vegan options. It was alright but not great. Dinner and snacks including tip cost 18€. Another place we visited was Radharane, a hare krishna restaurant. Food was good, and the place was nice and a good option for a break. Lunch for two including tip cost 13€.



There were lots of nice bars in the Old Town, many with outside seating which was ideal. I sipped white wine in the nice Franki, watching wedding parties go by. We found the great Manu Kiemas Terasa, reminiscent of Budapest ruin bars, which was lively and pretty cool.

A great find was Bambalyne, a bar with an impressive selection of over 80 local beers. Like other good finds in Vilnius, this place is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.

Lithuania is very cheap by British standards, with beers for £2 and a large glass of wine for less than £3.



  • Go: Wizzair has direct flights from Luton and it’s the cheapest option. It takes about 2.5h. A taxi from the airport should cost about 10€ but they often charge tourists more (not cool).
  • Stay: We stayed at Eloft Hotel which was good and cheap. Vilnius is small so most things are within walking distance.
  • When to go: We went in June, when it was amazingly sunny. Summers can get quite hot, but winters are really too cold – although there are Christmas markets around.





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THE 5-MINUTE TRIP PLANNER: Vilnius, Lithuania

I’m going to Vilnius in June. We were looking for a weekend trip, checked the map, and decided on Lithuania.

I don’t know much about the place, but it’s always good to go somewhere different!


Photo by Mantas Volungevicius


  • GoWizzair has a convenient flight from London to Vilnius, with return flights from only £80 per person.
  • Stay: We chose our accommodation through TripAdvisor. Hotels are quite cheap at around £60 per night for a double room.
  • Do: Wander around the Old Town, which is a Unesco Heritage site. It just looks so pretty!

The 5-minute trip planner: Planning a short trip in no time.