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  • Writer's pictureKatarina Zlatkovic

Lithuania

Updated: May 17, 2023



It has been ten months since I wrote the last travel blog, and ten months since I have traveled somewhere new. Switching jobs, making new visa in the U.A.E and probation periods were in the way between me and the adventure.


I was watching a video on You Tube and the content was about one’s passion in life.

What is my passion, I thought? Realizing nothing was coming to my mind got me scared. I asked myself what do I enjoy doing? What is that one thing that makes me feel lost in time and fills my heart with joy?


I closed my eyes and smiled as my memory projected a little movie of all the countries I have been to and what’s to come. My passion is to travel.

Now let’s talk how we ended up in Lithuania.

One of the best things in living in Dubai is that you get to meet people from all around the world and many of them become friends for life.

Just like that, I met Jogi few years back through work and we became friends sharing long talks, travels and few drinks here and there.


When I received the invitation for her wedding and saw that it was going to happen in her home country, Lithuania, I was thrilled, and I knew I would not want to miss this special moment in her life for anything in this world.

I took a few extra days of holiday to explore Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania and I was stunned to say the least.

I will share the most beautiful sights, food and tips and tricks if you ever happen to visit Vilnius.

Let’s see if you liked it as much as I did!



DAY 1

Coming to Lithuania from United Arab Emirates was relatively easy considering there are no direct flights from Dubai to Vilnius. We flew with Turkish Airlines, having one stop in Istanbul and continuing the journey to our final destination. Total travel time was nine hours so we were not as tired as I thought we could be.

When we landed and were about to take the luggage, I noticed a big poster on the wall inside of the airport saying, “I didn’t know where Vilnius was (Luckily the pilot did)” and it made me laugh because I feel like many of us could relate.

The airport is only fifteen minutes away from the center of the city, just like the Air BnB we rented, and we used Bolt as our transportation as it’s so convenient to book a car through the app.

After we arrived at the apartment we rented, we took a quick shower and went out to get some breakfast and coffee to recover from the long flight.

We noticed that Bolt also provides electric scooters that we booked through the same app and that made us very happy.


Good coffee and breakfast at Taste Map warmed our hearts and we were ready to explore a little bit but also rest as the wedding was next day.


What I loved from the very landing was the weather, and anyone living in the U.A.E will know what I am talking about. Escaping from warm, humid 45 °C to the cloudy, breezy 20 °C felt like a dream come true.

The air was fresh, trees and flowers everywhere we turned, clouds so low it seemed like we could reach them if we just stretched our arms a little. It felt good.



The architecture in Vilnius won me over as we approached the Old Town area that is, by the way, recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage by being the largest Old Town in Europe. Most of the buildings were done between 13th and 19th century carrying so much history and different architectural styles.

We noticed Vilnius has a lot of minimalistic coffee bars, cute bakeries and restaurants that made us think we are in the 17th century with its antique looks.

Another thing that caught our attention was the customer service and overall friendliness of the locals. They were not the most welcoming, don’t want to say rude but maybe a little cold or rough.

Tired and hungry, we had a dinner and some glasses of wine, and went back to the apartment to have a good rest for the important day that was coming.



DAY 2

After a good quality sleep, we woke up fresh and in a big need of coffee so we rented our scooters and headed up to the cute coffee place we discovered the day before.


The weather was changing every hour, rotating between cloudy and sunny but we didn’t mind. We simply enjoyed our breakfast and a slow morning while hoping it won’t rain during the wedding.

The ceremony took place in St. Francis of Assisi and St. Bernadine Roman Catholic Church in the Old Town district, not too far from our apartment. Built in 1516, this church is an important example of Gothic architecture in Lithuania.


On the outside, the façade is so strong in its red tones and apparently 33 types of bricks have been used to create the lace like exterior. While exterior was stunning, once we entered in I was mind blown.


Peaceful, humble and feels as if you could breathe the history.



The ceremony was like a movie. The groom waited by the altar, friends and family seated on the side, all patiently waiting for the bride.


When the music announced the beginning of the ceremony, she walked in looking incredibly beautiful, holding her father’s arm, I almost cried. It was very touching.

There was a party happening right after the ceremony, about 30 minutes' drive from Vilnius city center.

When we arrived at Villa Pjieve around four PM and were greeted by lovely staff that made sure we have a drink as soon as we step in.


Fairy-tale setup, gorgeous flower arrangements and lakefront view were putting every guest in a romantic mood.

As the bride and the groom arrived, we celebrated all night, creating memories that will last forever.



DAY 3

Hangover but happy, we woke up and decided to explore Vilnius as much as we can considering we have only two days left before we went back to Dubai.

We decided to start from the most popular spot and that is The Cathedral Square which is the main square of the Vilnius Old Town just in front of the neo-classical Vilnius Cathedral.

The Cathedral has no entry fee so we decided to take a little peak inside and must admit it is one of the most beautiful churches I have been to.


It was opened 1783 and is representing spiritual center for Catholic Church in Lithuania as it is the main Catholic Church in this country.



Just next to this piece-of-art Cathedral was the famous Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral. It is 52 meters tall and is the heritage symbol of Vilnius.


The breath-taking panoramic view from the top are so worth the visit. Tickets are 5 Eur per person and 3 Eur if you are a student.


Six hundred years ago it served as a defensive tower, and as the city expanded it became a bell tower. The clock on the tower was installed in 1672 and contains the functioning bells that we could hear while we were exploring around that area.


We were so hungry and tired after walking around the Old Town, we decided to have a nice dinner and call it a day.


It’s not super easy to choose where to eat as all the restaurants seemed very cozy and vintage, so we picked out one located in St Mykolo street inspired by 19 century Vilnius bourgeois cuisine.


Food was delicious, unique and traditional. Service could be a little better but overall experience was pleasant.



DAY 4

I forgot how it feels to wake up with the sounds of rain. Living in Dubai made me realize that I truly am a nature person and appreciate it more.

We took umbrellas and went for typical breakfast and coffee at Taste Map. By the time we were done sipping our coffee the weather changed three times but we didn’t bother.

There was an interesting castle-like tower I spotted yesterday up the hill and wanted to check it out.

It’s called Gediminas Castle Tower and is the only part that integrates the ancient castle of Vilnius, which was destroyed by the Russian army in 1802. There is cable car that took us to the top and the ticket was 2 Euro per person.

The view of the city is magnificent, there is a little area to explore and walk around, even a chance to enter the tower but it was super crowded so we gave up and just enjoyed the views.



I found one thing that works wonders with me when I travel and that is, explore few hours, come back and take a nap and continue exploring. It feels as if I spend more time in that place than I actually am. So, that’s exactly what happened after we left the castle.

Now, waking up from a nap meant another pastry, another coffee. Luckily there are so many in Vilnius, literally in every corner, sometimes even unnoticeable as they are all very subtle and minimalistic.

The next very touristic spot we discovered was the Three Crosses Monument. Very popular viewpoint of the city of Vilnius, on an even higher hill than Gediminas Castle Tower. The legend says that the Three Crosses was built by the Christians in memory of the 14 monks that were beheaded there. The monument was demolished by Soviets and rebuilt after as a symbol of resistance to oppression of the Soviet Union.

It’s very easy to reach to the top through the Kalnai Park and the best part is that the entrance is free!


We had to close the day with an excellent meal, so we choose one restaurant recommended by our friend Jogi and it was located in Stikliai Street in the Old Town and the name of the restaurant is Stikliai.


Super creative, isn’t it? Jokes aside, the food was so delicious, so fresh and different, I would recommend it to anyone who ever visits Vilnius. Pretty traditional dishes, professional staff and gorgeous space to dine in.



These were the highlights of this little trip.


There were, of course, many more churches we entered, coffee and pastry shops we tried, enjoyed the crazy weather and we made sure we capture it all so you could check it out on my Instagram page: @katarina.zlatkovic.

Overall experience was pleasant and enjoyable. Lithuania was not really on my Travel Bucket List and God knows if my friend didn’t invite me to her wedding and share that special moment in her life, if I would ever even visit that country. But I’m glad she did.

Hope you guys liked the story and let me know in the comments what you liked the most. 😍
















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