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The ice has melted, and ice cream is back on the menu. If you're new to Vilnius, lucky you - you've chosen one of Europe's most magical cities. True, Homo Stagus Partius may have put the Lithuanian capital on his radar, but he hasn't overrun the city just yet. So pack your shades and make the most of Vilnius - it hasn't look this great in decades.
Reason demands it. Why return to Florence for the umpteenth time when you can fly east and discover a city that's equally romantic? With its fine food, fantastic architecture and redoubtably friendly natives, Vilnius should get your vote. Connoisseurs of the arts will be bowled over by the city's baroque beauties, whilst connoisseurs of bars and nightclubs will also find their fair share of fun. It's a city of many charms. And to help you get off on the right foot, step onwards for the lowdown on all the best restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, cultural gems and places to have fun in the city.
A buoyant new member of the EU, Lithuania continues to be one of the fastest developing countries of the former Soviet bloc. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was at the forefront of the push for democracy, and independence finally came in 1991.
Since then, visitors have been delightedly discovering its comfortable atmosphere and assortment of attractions. Hike up to Gediminas Tower or the Hill of Three Crosses for amazing views of the postcard-perfect Old Town, stroll across the river to Uzupis for an afternoon of gallery-hopping and beverage sipping on the banks of the Vilnia, or venture further afield to Trakai - Lithuania's capital during the Middle Ages, or the ever-popular and ever-changing Geographic Centre of Europe. Whatever your fancy, Vilnius is sure to tickle it.
We're always keen to hear your ums and ahs about the city, so don't hesitate to drop us a line. And if there's any aspect of Vilnius you'd like to see more of on the site, hit that keyboard - OK press it assuredly - we don't want you to get arrested by disgruntled internet cafe owners. But get in touch!
If you're planning on free-wheeling round the former Eastern bloc, don't stop here. Our guides to Krakow, Warsaw and Lviv may come in handy. And if you see a blank on the map that you think you could fill, why not get in touch? We're keen to explore more cities, and if you're mad about this part of the world, why not start a fresh adventure?
With Uzgavenes marking the end of winter and the climate being what it is (untrustworthy, perhaps), Spring seems to have sprung on Vilnius. And that means Kalnu Park will be coming alive with frolicking children and their adoring parents, and all the happy drunks will climb out of their holes to slake their thirst. Don't be the odd man out - grab a two-litre of Svyturys and go hang with the hepcats along the banks of the Vilnia in Uzupis, and don't forget to toast the artsy district on April 1st, its independence day.
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