Apr092016

Photo Walk around Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius is a city where I feel no hesitation having my camera out snapping photos. On the plus side the rain forecasts each day have mostly not happened. On the down side for photography are the skies have been cloudy every afternoon, so my photos are a bit dark.

Vilnius bike path

Bike lanes in Vilnius tend to be in the middle of sidewalk, although we have seen few cyclists. This guy was walking his bike up the hill.

Vilnius Cat Cafe Filas

Filas checking out my chicken Kiev lunch at the Cat Café Vilnius.  There are 13 residential shelter rescue cats in the café. Filas is known as the pirate thief of the restaurant. He did not get any of my food. One of the café rules is no feeding the cats, but that is easier said than done without vigilance.

We have three cats and our Pim is also a major food thief who loves chicken and seafood.

Kelley now wants to open her own cat café for post-teacher life.

Park bench

Bench at Lukiškės Square. This was known as Lenin Square for several decades with a large statue of Lenin in the center of the square. The statue was removed after Lithuanian independence in 1991.

Lukiškės Square

Lukiškės Square, Vilnius

Crosswalk sign

Crosswalk lights in Vilnius activate with a hand wave.

By the McDonald’s quotient, the prices in Vilnius are only a little lower than U.S. prices. Subway sandwiches are pricey places to eat too compared to local places. Just an observation, since I only looked at prices and did not eat at these places.

My meal at the Cat Café was 6 EUR and 2.30 EUR for 0.5 L beer. Subway is around 3 to 6 EUR for a sandwich. A falafel shop is about 3 to 4 EUR for a pita sandwich in several places around the city. Looks to me like western brands charge western Europe prices in Vilnius.

McDonald's Vilnius

McDonald’s weekdays 11-5pm special price looks like a good deal. Regular prices did not look like that much of a bargain.

I check the McDonald’s quotient every country I travel since the brand is found most everywhere. The highest I encountered was Oslo, Norway in March 2013 when this same meal was about $20 USD. Or that might have only been the Big Mac burger price in Oslo. The devaluation of the NOK to the USD means Oslo is probably only around $13 to $14 USD these days.

Norwegians are one of the primary international visitors to Lithuania with around 25,000 arrivals annually and about the same as USA visitors. Germany is about 70,000 and UK about 30,000 visitors as the two largest international groups from countries that were not once part of USSR. Italians are also in top 10 of international visitors.

Vilnius bike rentals

Automated bicycle rentals are found in several locations around Vilnius, although we have not seen anyone riding around on these bikes.

Downtown Vilnius

Gedimino Street in downtown Vilnius shows off some of the architectural styles that make Vilnius an attractive European city.

Vilnius skateboarder   Skateboards

Skateboards are popular in Vilnius.

Pilies St Vilnius

Pilies Street is the main tourist street we have seen in Vilnius, lined with restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops. I saw more cameras in 200 meters than I had seen in previous three days.

Vilnius Souvenir shop

Amber is the local specialty item sold in souvenir shops and specialty stores all around Vilnius.

Gediminas’ Tower is seen on the hill in the background of my Pilies street photo. The tower is a 1930 reconstruction of the 1409 castle. The tower is an important symbol for Lithuanians representing the founding of Vilnius by Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas around 1323.

Gediminas Tower

Narutis Hotel is oldest hotel in Vilnius. The hotel’s name was first mentioned in 1581 in a German ‘Album of World Cities’ as an overnight stay house for travelers.

Narutis Hotel

Narutis Hotel on Pilies Street is a member of LUX brand hotels in Preferred Hotels & Resorts. This family owned hotel is ranked #9 hotel in Vilnius on TripAdvisor. Choice Privileges members can book Narutis Hotel for 35,000 points or 10,000 points + $187.50. Paid rates are a better deal at only $159 USD for tonight and other dates I checked in May and July.

Loyalty Traveler – Greetings from Vilnius, Lithuania

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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