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Urban Weekend Tourism. TOP 10 destinations

2018-05-02

It is not only nature that is blossoming; spring has arrived in the cities, townships and old towns, where exclusive attractions, stories and culinary experiences await the tourists. 

 1. Following the Radziwills’ footsteps in the Old Town of Kedainiai

Kedainiai, which is located practically in the very geographical center of Lithuania, has an extremely photogenic Old Town; one just has to remember the former Scottish merchant’s house, decorated with an artistic installation featuring photographs of more than a hundred real townspeople dressed in medieval clothes. Furthermore, in the central city park one can find one of the two Lithuanian mosques, reminiscent of an exotic love story. Kedainiai is famous both for the legacy of the Radziwills (you can visit their tombs, situated in the basement of the Reformed Evangelical Church, and even sample the “ Radziwill stew” in one of the old town’s restaurants) and for its Jewish heritage: the Great and Small Synagogues have been restored here. By the way, when you happen to be in the center of Kedainiai, finding Jazz Street, the only one in Europe, is an absolute must!

 

2. Wish-fulfilling pigeons in Ukmerge

The words from a song by the band “Antis” – “there are many pigeons in Ukmerge” - inspired an original thematic excursion in the Ukmerge Old Town, where the tourism and business information center offers you to admire the Old Town while searching for ... pigeons! Eight bird sculptures are already perched in certain parts of the city. Moreover, they make your wishes come true if you manage to perform a certain task. For example, one of the pigeons may help you travel to the country of your dreams, another may grant family harmony or wisdom. In addition, next to each sculpture there is a QR code, which, when scanned, plays a song encouraging you to celebrate Lithuania’s Centenary. The route has also presented on 16 February this year.

 
3. A tree for each inhabitant of Birstonas


The image of the Birstonas resort as a quiet green city is becoming ever stronger; the focus is on quality relaxation friendly to the environment. It is even said that there is a tree for every resident of Birstonas. 82 percent of the territory belonging to the Birstonas Municipality is within the boundaries of the Nemunas Loop Regional Park. Here, in the green forests, hunters were once hired for members of European royal families by Vytautas the Great himself. A gigantic sculpture of the Duke stands by the Neman, while the adjacent Vytautas Mountain is equipped with observation benches and stationary binoculars for holidaymakers. In addition, everyone is invited not only to sample some mineral water from the springs at the sanatorium “Tulip”, which has become a tradition, but also to visit the new mineral water pavilion “Birute Villa” where one can to breathe mineral water mist while lying on a bed next to a mineral water fountain. Both of these services are free of charge.

 

4. The cultural capital of Lithuania: from New York graffiti to the ripening cherries of V.Kernagis

The path of dedicated tourists this year has to lead them to Marijampole for the simple reason that it is the cultural capital of Lithuania. The town was made particularly famous at the tourism exhibition “Aventur” by New York artist Ray Bartkus, who organizes annual street art symposia in the capital of Suvalkija. Thus, graffiti fans will be able find great artwork in places other than Vilnius or Kaunas. Marijampole is rich in non-traditional sculptures such as Violeta Urmanaviciute-Urmane’s bench, the Old Town's cats, the beetroot in front of the Sugar Factory or the sculpture in the Poetry Park dedicated to V. Kernagis and inspired by his poem “When the cherries of Suvalkija are ripening”. By the way, you can opt to go on a sightseeing tour with nuns, and, for instance, visit the modern Museum of the Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, which, apart from his postmortem mask, also holds a leg brace that will probably remind many of you of the famous movie about Forrest Gump.

 

5. Stories from uptown Vilnius

Perhaps the residents or guests of Vilnius have already explored the city through and through several times, but one can bet that very few of them have tried out a guided tour of the uptown urban areas or investigated the city’s industrial heritage. These thematic sightseeing tours are not only available for groups with a guide; in fact, local tourists are encouraged to travel by themselves - the municipality of Vilnius has compiled routes through districts such as Zverynas, Markuciai and others. These areas can certainly tell you a great many yet-unheard of urban stories.

 

6. Palanga from a bird’s eye view


We usually admire a view of Palanga from the bridge, but this year’s tourist season has brought a novelty: for the first time, an observation platform at the height of 20 meters has been opened to tourists in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The panoramic view it offers spans the sea as well as the resort. In addition, you can examine the church bells from close up.


7. The stylish Kaunas

Have you heard that Kaunas enjoys the status of a UNESCO design city? After World War I, Kaunas became the place where the ideas and aspirations of the young generation of artists and painters came to fruition. What were people’s aesthetic tastes like at the time? How did the modernist and art deco styles manifest in Kaunas? “Kaunas IN” urges you not to miss the opportunity to become acquainted with the artists and other accomplished people of the interwar period who nurtured and shaped the modernist space and objects in Kaunas between the two wars, or even to take a glimpse beyond the closed doors of the private houses whose interior is unique. Those interested in the architecture of Kaunas are welcome to participate in the tours “Panoramas of Night-time Kaunas”, “Reflections of Modernist Architecture” and “Discover Italy in Kaunas”.

 

8. Siauliai flavors

There is an eruption of thematic sightseeing tours in the city of the Sun. Tourists are equally free to choose the extremely popular literary tour titled “Southern Chronicles”, or “Retro flavors”, which involves sampling foods from the era of President Antanas Smetona, or even become acquainted with the city through its “Gutters, back yards and fences”. More ideas are available at the Siauliai Tourist Information Center.

 
9. Miltinis coffee in Panevezys

 

Apart from regular coffee, the cafes working along Laisves alley in the 5th largest city of Lithuania also offer... coffee named after J. Miltinis! It appears that the maestro, who had made the Panevezys Drama Theater famous throughout Lithuania, would only drink coffee made with fresh roasted beans. The Juozas Miltinis Heritage Center even holds 70 recipes and culinary books written in the director’s own hand. He was known to enjoy foie gras (goose liver pate), mold cheese, olives and dry red wine. You can find out more during the tour offered by the Panevezys Tourism Information Center and titled “Theater Signs in Panevezys, or a gourmet visit to the Maestro's”.

 

10. Presidential cake in Birzai

What kind of cake could Dalia Grybauskaite enjoy, so much so that she would call it the “Presidential Cake”? You can find this out at the restaurant that operates right inside Birzai Castle. Or perhaps you would be interested in the teapot gallery in Birzai, which features several hundred fragrant tea exhibits, the floating fountains on the Agluona river or some rafting on Lake Sirvena? 



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