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A weekend in Lithuania
2008Going to Lithuania
< Trips 2008
Air Baltic Boeing 737 in Vilnius
Lithuania, finally here I go!

Itís been a long time since Iíve been waiting for low cost airlines to fly to Lithuania.
Well, Ryanair has flights to Kaunas but not from any city near home.

But Air Baltic has sometimes some discounted fares and I happened to find a really cool promotion on their website. So I finally got the chance to get there.

Believe it or not: Vilnius Airport arrivals Hall
Well let me tell you that you’ll find hard to believe that you’re on a arrivals hall rather than in a 17th Century Palace!

From the moment you get there you get to the airport you have a taste of what’s waiting for you out there in the city, and that’s the best way to put you in the mood.

Oh by the way, if you get there by rail or by bus, well the train station is a good-looking baroque-style building too.

The funny thing is that I’ve visited the Baltic States roughly every 2.5 years. The first one I visited was Estonia in summer 2003, then Latvia in winter 2005, and now Lithuania in 2008. Want to know another funny thing? When I’ve been to Estonia, those countries were not part of the European Union. When I visited Latvia, they were already part of it. And when I visited Lithuania they were already implementing the Schengen Agreement, which means that there are no border controls. What’s next? Well, I’ll come back somewhere around here in 2.5 years and I bet the Euro will be the currency!
Vilnius Airport

OK, I’ll stop the bad jokes, because those 3 small countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are very very different from each other, even if we call them the “The Baltic States”.

It might be because of their size, because they have common borders or because they were all part of the Soviet Union, but they’re actually very different from each other, and they’re all definitely worth a visit.

Vilnius Train Station

This was a short 3 day trip. With a really inexpensive airfare and sleeping in a youth hostel, I didn’t spent much money on this trip, and let me tell you that it was definitely worth.

Vilnius Old Town Youth Hostel

My favourite European cities, in terms of beauty, are Prague, Budapest, Venice, Tallinn and Munich. Well, now I have to add Vilnius to this list, it’s absolutely amazing.

Oh by the way if curious about that, my favourite European cities in terms of party would be Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Madrid and Dublin. And my favourite ones in terms of culture would be Paris, Vienna, London, Rome, Athens and again Berlin.

Vilnius Old Town Youth Hostel

I slept at the Old Town Hostel, which has a great location. It’s not exactly located in the Old Town, but it is right in the middle from the bus and train stations and a short walk to the Gates of Dawn.

It’s very clean, fun, peaceful, cheap and staff is great. I can recommend it highly. 

You can book it online through Hostelworld.

Vilnius Old Town Youth Hostel - No noise after midnight! At the youth hostel I met Maryna, a girl from Belarus who was starting a University course in Vilnius. I wish her all the best.

At Trakai Castle I also met 3 Spanish guys: Fernando, Manuel and Raul. One night we went to eat something with Maryna and as we were getting into the restaurant, well who do I see? Yes, the guys from Spain! Everything turned into a nice party with good food and excellent beer.

By the way, we made a pact: Belarus is a difficult country to visit but we promised that we will definitely go there someday. I’ll tell you about when I’ll go.
Cili Pica Restaurant, where we had a nice party with people from Spain and Belarus

I visited two cities in Lithuania: Vilnius and Trakai. It was OK for three days and even quite short…There are a couple of Museums in Vilnius that I hadn’t time to visit, like the Centre for Stateless Cultures which is housed by the university.

Lithuania was the last of the 27 countries of the European Union that I visited.

This was a very important personal achievement: itís the first region of the world of which I have visited every country.
27 European countries united, all with their distinctive traditions, yet with a common history, a common culture and common roots.
< Trips 2008