Sensational Vilnius: Lukišķi Prison, Open-Air Cafes and Other Current Experiences in the Lithuanian Capital

The Lithuanian capital Vilnius is presenting a new tourism campaign "Sensational Vilnius", which highlights the most interesting and sensational experiences that can be experienced in the city. Residents and guests of the city will be able to indulge in cultural life and discover the pearls of the city - the former prison chosen by Netflix, the bohemian capital of the capital and open-air cafes.

The Lithuanian capital Vilnius is launching a new tourism marketing campaign "Sensational Vilnius", which presents the colorful and dynamic artistic side of Vilnius, cozy urban corners for leisurely discoveries, captivating designs for gourmets and adrenaline-thirsty tourists, as well as many other objects to visit. from Latvia.

This summer, Vilnius is rediscovering gastronomic, artistic and leisure travel through sensational activities such as a midnight walk in the former prison in the city center, the smallest area popular with artists. In addition, the next 7 summer activities in Vilnius will put the wish list of city visitors at the top.

1. Cultural life in the famous Netflix prison

"Lukišķu Prison 2.0." One of the top activities this summer in Vilnius is the century-old prison and the filming location of the 4th season of the Netflix series Stranger Things - Lukišķu Prison. Despite the fact that the prison building complex has ceased to function since 2019, it is now inhabited by about 250 artists and serves as a home for artistic and cultural events, such as Lukišķu Prison 2.0, which offers concerts, festivals and special tours.

Day tours introduce the history, architecture and daily life of prisoners, including political prisoners. As an example, there were several famous 20th century prisoners. Lithuanian authors, even Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who spent one year in prison in Lukiškės Prison, 1940. Night tours, with the help of a flashlight, offer to feel the undiscovered side of the century-old prison buildings.

2. Gastro-discoveries in Vilnius open-air cafes

After the official opening, the post-pandemic Vilnius gastronomic scene has been complemented by new food adventures, which, as last year, turn the city into an impressive open-air café. The city is full of more than a hundred bars, cafes and restaurants, which are open-air during the summer. Originally thought of as a means of meeting the demands of social distancing, now continuing to socialize safely, the open-air café model makes passers-by stay in the summer sun and enjoy the vibrant city life at one of the many outdoor hotspots.

Traffic is also regulated especially in the Old Town to reduce air pollution, as well as to provide more space for open-air cafes and restaurants, such as Senator's Passage - an old, now renovated mansion with a medieval courtyard, two restaurants and organic food shops, etc.

3. Expedition to an independent, bohemian district

Užupis Republic. Despite the fact that this is the smallest district of Vilnius, next to the Vilnius River, Užupis is full of surprises: in 1997, the residents declared the independence of this district from other districts, forming a bohemian place - Užupis Republic. The previously neglected part of the city has become a favorite place for artists, intellectuals, businessmen, as well as a real place for an open-air gallery.

For example, this area is famous for several sculptures: A Mermaid Hypnotizing Visitors and Inviting Never to Leave the Area, An Angel, an 8.5-meter-high sculpture blowing a horn to announce artistic freedom in the area. The concept of open-air cafes can also be found in Užupis with Residence Bar, which offers not only original cocktails, but also breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

4. A new, modern place with a gastronomic adventure atmosphere

Paupja district. The newest district of the city, very close to Užupis. Paupis freshly complements the charm of Vilnius Old Town. Seven well-known architectural studios transformed the area into a modern place for business and leisure. The area has new residential houses, green areas - fountains, scales, recreation areas - a business center with office space, shops, gym, gastronomic market and a small cinema.

For example, the new Paupja Market in the area combines the magical atmosphere of the old town with a gastronomic experience. Inspired by unspoilt nature, the gastronomic venue combines several restaurants, dining areas and a gourmet alley to show guests that there is no need to leave town to have a real picnic.

5. Digital "pOrtal" unites two nations

Portal. Vilnius and Lublin joined forces to install the world's first teleportation device, or otherwise known as the technical sculpture "pOrtal." As the world opens up, pOrtal allows residents and visitors to both cities to see each other in real time. The technological design sculpture serves as a digital bridge that unites cities during physical separation and engages them in a fantastic, futuristic world adventure.

6. Art-saturated tours in the open-air gallery

Baltic Triennial 14th Infinite Border. The Baltic Triennial 14 highlights the geopolitical competition between Central and Eastern Europe, covering issues of value, aesthetics and everyday life. The exhibition also offers works by Latvian and other European artists, including Lithuanian architects, who have designed the Lithuanian pavilion at the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture.

The works of art are scattered all over Vilnius, both in galleries and under the open sky, inviting visitors to see the city's favorite places. For example, the displays can be found at the Contemporary Art Center, Rupert, an art incubator next to the popular Valakampju beach, as well as "SODAS 2123," in the Station area.

In order to substantiate the outdoor concept, Vilnius is also dedicating its streets to one of last year's most popular art projects. One hundred works of art will be exhibited on stands throughout the city, as well as around 300 works will be available on the project website.

7. Watching the sunset in the sky

Balloons. Vilnius is famous for its fascinating balloons, which often adorn the sky. Not only citizens but also guests can enjoy a smooth flight over the city and adjacent areas. Some balloons also offer dinner at the flying restaurant.

TV tower restaurant. In terms of restaurants in the air, one of the most popular panoramas in Vilnius opens from the tallest state building (326.5 m above the ground), the television tower, which is also one of the most popular places among food lovers and adrenaline enthusiasts. Even the world famous B.A.S.E. jumper, Cedric Dumont, jumped from the tower a decade ago. Now, visitors who are not inclined to extreme sports can enjoy breathtaking views of the city in the restaurant, as well as in the recently opened, 180 m above-ground outdoor cafe.

New, sensational, artistic and adventurous opportunities in Vilnius mark a new post-pandemic section that will satisfy tourists thirsty for cultural, gastronomic adventures. Guests can reach Vilnius by car, bus, direct flights from Riga. 

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