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Every European capital has its own characteristic features and symbols. In London they are mist and Big Ben, in Paris – Eiffel’s Tower and haut-couture, in Moscow – the Creml and rapid rhythm of life. Vilnus also have its own components of charm, they are the Old Town, coffee and jazz.

The Old Town in Vilnius consists of a few blocks of ancient castles, churches, cathedrals and towers which had been constructed for the last 500 years. The symbol of past grandeur is located in the Old Town the Castle mountain with Gedimin’s Tower. Cathedral Square with the famous St.Stanislav Cathedral which is the heart of Vilnius lies at the foot of a hill.

The Old Town is considered to be one of the largest historical centres of Eastern Europe. Common tourist who has come to have a rest in Vilnius happens not to leave its bounds at all. And it is not only because of the size. Senamiestis (the Lithuanian name of the Old Town) is like an octopus with hundreds of tentacles-cafes which capture their “victim” and let it go only at midnight. The “victim” usually looks satisfied, tipsy and happy.

Coffee in Vilnius deserves special attention. Its quality in any café gives an opportunity to understand why Lithuania is sometimes called “Northern Italy”. Coffee is always made with the sense of veneration. In general Vilnius is the city of coffee-houses. There are hundreds of them and every is with its own bakery and a few sorts of the invigorating and flavoured drink.

And finally jazz. It is not just one of the music styles for Vilnius. Jazz reflects the real temper of the citizens, in comparison with moderate Letts and slowcoach Estonians who seem to be steady statues. Jazz can be heard everywhere in Vilnius. It is the soundtrack of the Lithuanian capital which is accompanied by the sound of the grinding coffee-beans and a clatter of heels in the cobbled Aushros Vartos, the central street of the Old Town.

It goes without saying that Vilnius has managed to combine such simple things as architecture, music, cuisine and hospitality of the citizens and to make a perfect cocktail which is known as “the spirit of the city”.


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