LNOF Guide to Vilnius
The original eastern Europe party capital.
Lithuania’s capital city is recognised for the baroque architecture of its medieval Old Town, but the buildings found beyond these cobblestoned streets are reflective of many different styles and eras, from the Gothic to the neoclassical. The striking 16th century Gate of Dawn, containing a significant icon of the Virgin Mary, is one of the most important cultural and religious monuments in the whole country.
Since independence from the Soviets in the early 1990s, a party atmosphere and a new lease of life has been injected into a proud and individual population, which makes a stag weekend in Vilnius memorable (to say the least). New clubs and pubs have sprouted up all over the Old Town, with many of them regularly partying the night away until sun comes up. As long as there's a drink in their hand and music to be heard, calling it a night isn’t really the done thing.
I'd never been ice fishing until I went to Vilnius. It was such a good way to bond with the lads. We still talk about it now.
Central to this is the fact that the people of Vilnius are warm and soulful, possessing a vibrancy for life that belies a turbulent 20th century of upheaval and change. Perhaps because of this, there is a durability, and a for-the-moment mischief in their character that’s perfect in any population hosting celebratory weekends. Graceful, winding streets and gorgeous church steeples dominate the city centre, their history and age contrasting with the energy and activity that will leave you hanging on for dear life within hours of arriving. It doesn't slacken off unless you do, so hold on tight.
The price of food and drink is low, the latter being about half of that in large UK cities, and despite this the quality of the fare is out here is excellent. Traditional Lithuanian cuisine centres on hearty stews, soups and pork dishes – perfect for lining the stomach. Our array of organised events and competitive activities is exemplary, so if you want something during the day to keep the boys out of the tavern for a few hours then there’s loads of excellent options to choose from. There is a fine line between many pubs and restaurants, between several bars and clubs, and between most clubs and live music venues but the definition doesn't matter - they just want you to have fun. And, unless you have an aversion to cracking atmospheres, entertaining people, cheap local beers, and long, unspecific opening hours, you most definitely will.
Truth be told, we were the pioneers in promoting the abundant Vilnius stag weekend qualities, and the chances are that, if you've heard of someone whose been there, we probably had something to do with it. As the city continues to nurture a terrific stag reputation despite some noisy neighbours coming to the fore, there's never been a better time to head over and find out what the fuss is all about.