We’ve travelled around Spain, Mexico, England, Italy, Portugal, Croatia and Austria. It’s time to visit our own home country. And the perfect place for you to practice your Lithuanian. So, let’s discover Lithuania together! As always, we won’t give you the most popular destinations. Quite the opposite. Here’s an insider look at the country that has many interesting and unknown sights to see. Let’s roll!
Republic of Užupis
Why don’t we start from the Capital city of Vilnius? Or, more precisely, what is surrounded by it. Republic of Užupis is a country within a country. It’s very much like French Montmartre or Danish Christiania. It’s a quite calm district and a haven for artists. The narrow winding streets, old buildings and random pieces of art are scattered throughout the Republic. All these things make it the most bohemian place around Vilnius.
The people there have their own constitution, too. Including entries like “everyone has the right to be unique”. Also, “everyone has the right to love and to take care of the cat”. They don’t forget their pets either because in Užupis “a dog has the right to be a dog”. The Republic isn’t very large. However, every street and every plaza have something unique. You’ll want to get lost out there and stay so until you discover everything.
The Treetop Walking Path
Ever wanted to climb to the top of a tree so you can see the forest unfold before your eyes? Now you can do something very similar. Near the town of Anykščiai, there’s a new attraction that will make your dream come true. It’s a walking path that will take you up above the tree branches. It’s over 20 metres high and it gets better at the end. When you come out of the forest, there’s an even higher observation tower waiting for you.
The view from the top deck is something that words can’t describe. You have to see it for yourself, so make sure you visit it the next time you decide to discover Lithuania!
Are you interested in architecture? Do you like Baroque, Renaissance or Gothic styles? How about pan architecture? The style has only one example. And it’s in Žagarė, almost on the border of Latvia. This example is known as Pan House. Pots, pans, metal household items and scrap decorate the walls of this house. It would fit in Republic of Užupis quite easily. As well as the house owner.
The house owner responsible for this piece of art is Edmundas Vaičiulis. He learned to be a mechanical engineer. However, after a week of engineering, he understood that it wasn’t the way he wanted to live. So, he started carving wooden sculptures and haven’t stopped since. Pan house is just another example of owner’s artsy spirit. If you come visit, don’t forget to check out the wooden sculpture museum in the yard of Pan House. Maybe you’ll meet the artist himself!
Hill of Witches
Lithuania is the last European country to convert to Christianity. And there are places that remind the old beliefs. One of them is Hill of Witches in Juodkrantė. It’s a lovely hill with hiking routes which are dotted with wooden folk art. And not just any art. The sculptures depict devils, imps, witches playing cards, old gods and fairytale characters. Including a throne fit for a king and something that looks like a gateway to hell. You won’t see such things everywhere!
The internet has cat memes. Šiauliai in northern Lithuania has Cat Museum. As the name says, it’s all about cats. Including cat figures from all kinds of materials, toy cats and dishes with cats. Also, cat photos, paintings, post stamps and over 4,000 poems about cats. The items are from all the corners of the world. You can compare Egyptian, Japanese and European depictions of cats. If you ever wondered about cat breeds and their character, this is the place to learn everything about that, too.
Finally, the museum is an indoor zoo. And no, it’s not just cats that live there. Their company includes a number of other species from owls to alligators. It’s all the more exciting considering that the museum was established by a single cat lover!
Lithuania is full of amber shops for tourists. However, we suggest you discover Lithuania in a far more exciting way. The Amber Museum of Palanga is located in the palace of Tiškevičiai, a royal Lithuanian dynasty of 16-19th centuries. Its exposition consists of amber as well as items made of amber, history related to amber and more. The place is always lively, new exhibitions, events and concerts are taking place there all the time. Well, not in the actual museum, but in other parts of the palace or outside of it.
Oh, did I mention that the palace is in the middle of Palanga botanical garden? A majestic place worth visiting on its own.
So, here you go. If want to discover Lithuania, you have to visit at least a few of these places. Otherwise, it doesn’t count. And, finally, don’t forget to have fun and practice Lithuanian while you’re there! :)