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
- Hotel City Gate – 3-star Hotel – Room Price: €69
- Hotel Vingriai – 4-star Hotel – Room Price: €55
- Centrum Uniquestay Hotel – 3-star Hotel – Room Price: €38
- Hotel Comfort Vilnius – 3-star Hotel – Room Price: €36
- Hotel Telecom Guest House – 3-star Hotel – Room Price: €35
Photo of Gediminas Tower, Vilnius, Lithuanian by Vlumi