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4 Curious Facts about Vilnius, Lithuania

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

If you are planning a trip to Vilnius, check out these four curious facts about the Lithuanian capital:

Learn a language on the bus

Vilnius was the first in the world to offer language classes while you travelled on public transport. While you whiled away the time getting around the city, the ‘language buses’ played a collection of phrases in Polish, Lithuanian and English. There were worksheets inside the bus to allow you to follow along with the tape as it plays. All of the stops on the route were announced in the languages. Launched in 2007 it was funded by the EU for a year and proved hugely popular.

Do you believe in the Easter Granny?

Forget that silly old bunny. He’s nothing but a minion for the real master of ceremonies in terms of Easter egg distribution in Vilnius and the rest of Lithuania. The real star of the show is the Easter Granny. Every year the Velyku Senele (Easter Granny) brings the colourful chocolate Easter eggs to all the children in the family. The bunny is relegated to helping her paint the eggs.

Who found Vilnius?

Not in the geographical sense because it was never actually lost, but in terms of making the city what it went on to be, the Grand Duke Gediminas from the 13th and 14th Century is the man with the idea for a habitation of the region where the city now lies. It is said that the Duke has a dream one night that involved one wolf howling with the volume of a thousand wolves on a hilltop. That hilltop soon become a fortress and then finally Vilnius.

What’s with the bread and the salt?

If you are a visitor to Vilnius then you might find you’re presented with bread and salt as a mark of hospitality. It’s a tradition dating back hundreds of years. The Lithuanians even hand it to married couples on their wedding day. It’s something Lithuania shares with many other Baltic states.

Top 5 Hotels in Vilnius, Lithuania

Photo of Gediminas Tower, Vilnius, Lithuanian by Vlumi

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer phil mcdonald

Phil is a freelance writer working on various writing and editing projects ranging from feature film scripts to travel writing. He enjoys writing from experience and sharing information on the many places he has visited over the years

One response to “4 Curious Facts about Vilnius, Lithuania”

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  1. Goda says:
    May 25th, 2015 at 14:48

    Hi, Phil, nice of you to write about Vilnius! I’m just correcting a couple of things: the colorful painted eggs are just simple boiled eggs, not chocolate ones.
    Also, there are no “many other Baltic states”, just two :)

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