Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas… So you came to Vilnius for Christmas! You saw the main Christmas tree already? Took a picture with “Greetings from Vilnius”? Cool! Are you wondering what else can you see, admire and experience around city center this season? Well, we can suggest you couple little things which might bring you big smiles! The list of photo opportunities is at the end of this article.
We have more than one Christmas tree!
Christmas tree in the Cathedral square is sure amazing – 70 000 little lights and 900 toys! But it is not the only one in the city! You can as well visit the tree in the Town hall square and peek into a modern Christmas market around it.
However, if you long for more traditional looking decorations we advise you to leave Vilnius and travel to the independent Republic of Užupis. The Christmas tree here is unique because it was built and decorated by a community of the Republic. So it does not look as shiny as other trees around the city, but it reminds us all of those warm childhood evenings spent making our own Christmas decorations.
You can as well find cute photo opportunity next to this tree – you can become a snowman!
Since we mentioned childhood memories…
If you are really ready to travel down the memory lane of your own childhood memories, we can offer you to visit Toy museum! Located close to the Cathedral square, it is an amazing place to let go of all the grown-ups stuff and become once more a little girl or boy excited about Santa comin’ to town. Here you can not only find out what games and toys children used since the stone age but as well try them all! Do not worry, it is museum appreciated by all age groups, so you will not look weird there. Actually, adults enjoy it more than kids. More info: http://zaislumuziejus.lt/en/en-contact-us
Do not forget the fairy tale!
From 25th till 29th of December a unique 3D projection of a Christmas Fairy Tale will be displayed in all its vivid colors on the main outside wall of Vilnius Cathedral. Lots of local families enjoy this event of lights and music. This years theme is Nutcracker! And do not worry if you missed one screening, the fairy tale is played 3 times a night:
If you are tired of walking – hop on Christmas Train
Vilnius Christmas Train has become somewhat of a holiday tradition and you should join for a ride too! Try this festive tour around Vilnius Downtown and wave to all the people and cars you meet! The ticket is only 2 Euro and the train “station” is located at a special stop opposite Cathedral Square.
When was the last time you were on a sled?
If we are lucky, we will have white Christmas this year! And while building a snowman might be a bit difficult due to snow quality, but the next best thing is to sled down the hill! In Vilnius, we have a couple of hills right in the city center suitable for it: Taurakalnis ( V. M.Putino g.) and Barbakanas hill (best way to approach is from the corner of Maironio g./O. Šimaitės g.). Ok maybe to buy a sled for 5 minutes is a bit too much, but right now most of the shops in town (RIMI, IKI, MAXIMA) sells special plastic plates used as sleds as well (see the picture). Oh, and while you are at the sho an – extra pair of pants would be useful too!
Magic all around us!
The time around Christmas eve in Lithuania is filled with many traditions for either predicting the future or assuring success in the year to come. These traditions predate the Christians coming to Lithuania and, as such, are all pagan beliefs. To be honest most of them are made to predict when the girl is getting married. However, you can as well try some of them to see what a future holds for you.
For example, while you are in your hotel or hostel room, throw your shoe over your shoulder. If the shoe nose faces the door – you will travel a lot. If it is pointing to the middle of the room – you will take care of your home more.
When going out of a building, always listen if you can hear a dog barking. The direction from where you hear it will be your new travel destination. If you feel adventurous you can check the direction on a world map!
This one is for people who are single this year. While in a grocery shop, try to find Kūčiukai. It is a traditional Lithuanian dish served on Kūčios, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner in Lithuania. They are small, slightly sweet pastries made from leavened dough and poppy seeds. When you open the bag, you should grab a hand full of them and then count before eating. If you have an even number of Kūčiukai, you will find a love of your life, if it is not – you will stay single.
All the photo opportunities!
So we mentioned Christmas trees, but there are lots of other spots where you can take an amazing photo or just enjoy the shining lights and pretty decorations. Here are photos of addresses where to find them:
- Carre terrace (Gedimino pr. 9) – the pink forest.
- Sugamour (Vokiečių g. 11) – as pretty as postcard
- Gėlės ir manufaktūra (Ligonines 11 / Rudninku 11) – magical garden
- Stikliu street – cozy and magical
- Presidential palace
- Window display at Trakų g. 12 – city made by kindergardeners