Vilnius City Break

A good trip restores and refreshes. I’m especially refreshed today, after a week spent between Stockholm and Vilnius. While Stockholm is (delightfully) old hat—a place where metro connections between my friends’ apartments and the center of the city are seared into my brain—Vilnius was a new discovery.

The capital of Lithuania is a beautiful place, compact and manageable. It boasts harrowing histories, Baroque architecture, winding alleyways, and a few modernist edges to make the place feel gritty as well as magical.

Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre’s Info Lab

It also has one of the coolest cafes I’ve ever seen. That the Contemporary Art Centre‘s bunker-like cafe hasn’t yet been featured in Wallpaper is surprising, to say the least.

This time of year, Vilnius is haunting, cold, and fairly empty of tourists. Local hotel rates, restaurant prices, and transportation fares are all budget-friendly. The absence of a plethora of direct low-cost air links explains why Vilnius hasn’t popped as its Baltic sister capitals Tallinn and Riga have. I got there a good 100km away from Vilnius, and an interesting city in its own right—and connecting by bus.

More about what makes Vilnius exciting over the next few days.

About the author

Alex Robertson Textor
About the author: Bitten by the travel bug at 11, Alex Robertson Textor has fond childhood memories of ultracheap Spanish hotels (the kind with Styrofoam shelving) and supermarket lunches scarfed on park benches. Formerly an academic, Alex has spent the last several years redirecting his professional life into full-time travel journalism and editing. He has published articles in the New York Times, Guardian Unlimited, Condé Nast Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications.
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