A Week in Vilnius: 29 January – 3 February
Here’s a week full of recommendations of how to spend your free time in Vilnius. Music, art, gastronomy, bar-hopping, cinema and sports – but please, don’t try to experience everything at the same time.
The author of these tips is the leading expert on Vilnius nightlife and leisure, Daina Dubauskaitė, who has been covering cultural action in the city for a decade now. So subscribe to this guide and you'll be in safe hands when you leave your hotel or apartment.
Wednesday, Jan 28th
Dance theatre: “White On White”
7PM, Dance Theatre of the National MK Čiurlionis School of Arts
Admission from €11.33
For almost four decades contemporary dance theatre “Aura” has been building the scene for the genre in Lithuania. The troupe’s newest performance “White On White” has been directed by Polish/Austrian choreographer Hygin Delimat and is full of symbols and inspirations deriving from cubism, suprematism and cinema (“2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Interstellar”, to be precise).
Thursday, Jan 29h
Live music: NY Fluxus In A Brougham
The ephemeral live band consists of members of some of the most interesting young Lithuanian collectives. There’s plenty of improvisation and the musicians do promise a never-ending jam session. The performance will be held in an astounding (both for the looks and for the drinks) cocktail bar that used to be the main spot of bohemian debauchery for Lithuanian art scene. What happened there will most definitely stay there, and you can feel the history in the air.
Friday, Jan 30th
9PM, “Plum Bum Bar”
Balkan folk music is not something you’d expect to hear in a Northern European capital. But the scene, inspired by similar world music movements in Germany, Finland and other countries, is very much alive and the Balkan parties are usually full with people with moustaches, golden teeth or even horses. I might be joking, but free international drinks are definitely being poured around, and a regular DJ set is accompanied by a dancing dog portrait and some pungent tambourine sounds. The Friday session should be packed and therefore a lot of fun, as it will be held in quite a small bar just behind Gediminas Avenue and also joined by DJs representing the more tropical part of world music.
Saturday, Jan 31th
11PM, Opium Club
Imagine a nightclub in Twin Peaks. The only thing missing might be the black and white tiles, but there’s a neon sign and some red curtains, and Opium Club is located above an Asian restaurant, so it’s very, very cinematic. “Smala” or “Tar” represents slow, dark and psychedelic dance music. The sound is involving and you won’t notice where the night has gone. Lead by the local legends Manfredas and “12 inčų po žeme”, the party will be visited by celebrated Israeli DJs “Red Axes”.
Sunday, Feb 1st
Snowboarding: “Red Bull Risk ir Slysk”
11AM-6PM, Liepkalnis winter sports centre
Admission and participation free
Wax your board and see you on the hill – as mountains are literally non-existent in Lithuania! Winter sport lovers haven’t given up and cut their teeth in Liepkalnis, a small yet efficient snowboarding and skiing resort just outside the city, near the airport. On Sunday, slopestyle snowboarding games will be held up there, and you’ll have to roll the dice to find out the tricks you have to perform. Register on spot!
Monday, Feb 2nd
Lunch: “Šv. Vieta”
Vegetarian restaurants have been popping up recently, and “Šv. Vieta” (meaning “Holy Place”) can now be considered one of the pioneers. It has been in the business for a couple of years now – considering Lithuanians are meat lovers (and there’s a place called just that right next door) that’s an achievement. The girls that run the place also work there, and every day you get a new lunch menu. Always great soup and something with lentils, chickpeas, cheese (or tofu if you’re vegan) and some veggies. Don’t say no to the dessert – they’re also made locally.
Tuesday, Feb 3rd
Art: 10 x 10 = 100% Jacquard
11AM-6PM, “Titanikas” exhibition space in Vilnius Academy of Arts
10 Lithuanians and 10 Norwegians have decided to present a contemporary approach to the jacquard textile technique (invented more than 200 years ago). The exhibition presents rather different and independent looks at the topic or its interpretations. It can also be viewed as an attempt to search for a symbiosis between old crafts and new technologies, and definitely as a dialogue between the artists of Lithuania and Norway.