A week in Vilnius: 4–10 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, Feb 4th
Classical music: “Two Piano Virtuosos”
7PM, Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society
Admission from €16
One of the most glamorous buildings in Vilnius Old Town was built in 1902. That’s where the first Lithuanian book store was established a couple of years later, and the first Lithuanian Parliament gathered in 1905. Almost since its opening it has been a very busy concert hall and destination No.1 for classical music lovers. On February 4, the main stage will be occupied by a world première – two solo pianists Evgeni Bozhanov and Kasparas Uinskas will together perform a titanic program of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Debussy and Rachmaninoff.
Thursday, Feb 5th
Live music and food: “Kinza”
“Kinza” is a Middle Eastern restaurant located in Naujamiestis (“New Town” which is actually not so new) and focused on, but not limited to, the Uzbek cuisine. They’ve got great hummus and lagman noodles, a neat selection of soups you’ve never heard before but must try at least once, a hookah bar and… some music from time to time. Fridays and Saturdays are dedicated to digestive DJ sets, and Thursdays are live. “Sunny Rule Tules” is a trio equipped with percussion, ukulele and a guitar.
Friday, Feb 6th
Music: “Speigas VI”
8PM, Contemporary Art Centre
“Speigas” means “frost” and it’s a perfect name for a festival celebrating winter-like feelings in the art of music and sound. Full of experiments and different approaches, the festival, now in its sixth year, is more than just performances in post-industrial theme where it all started. It’s also a very important outlet of education and an encouragement to step out of your musical comfort zone. The first night of the festival will be dedicated to listening and hearing. Industrially rough yet sensitive, the program consists of a technical orchestra by a French legend Pierre Bastien, a stark lo-fi performance by McKaras and abstract noise soundscapes by Gana2. “Speigas” will relocate to two stages in “Kablys” on Saturday if you can’t get enough.
Saturday, Feb 7th
2015 is full of hiphop! At least in the area of “Loftas” art factory. A few weeks ago hiphop awards were held in the venue, then the winners of five nominations, “Tie Geresni”, presented their album in the same place, and now it’s the time for even bigger hiphop bashment. Three stages full of music from more than 50 artists and around 12 hours of music. So if you want to experience the Lithuanian interpretation of the genre, the “Dinamitas” event is probably the best option. The crowd might be quite young – just in case.
Sunday, Feb 8th
History: Lithuanian Police Between 1918 and 1940
10AM-5PM, The Memorial Complex Of Tuskulėnai Peace Park
The history of Lithuania is full of black and grey pages. Tuskulėnai Manor, located in Žirmūnai district, is one of such examples. It served as burial grounds of people executed by the KGB in 1944–1947. After our independence was regained and the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Centre was established, the manor was transformed into a memorial. The visit will be emotional. Together with permanent exhibitions, until 1 March you can also explore the history of Lithuanian police which is presented in a photography exhibition.
Monday, Feb 9th
Cinema: “Big Eyes”
What would you do if your loved one stole your fame? That’s what happened to an American artist Margaret Keane whose work was claimed by her then-husband. A 50-year old story was adapted to the big screen by Tim Burton himself. See the film in “Skalvija”, a tiny and worn yet very well programmed cinema on the bank of Neris.
Tuesday, Feb 10th
Fashion history: “Rebellion In A Boudoir”
11AM-6PM, Museum of Applied Arts
Alexandre Vassiliev is a fashion historian who also has very warm feelings towards Lithuania and we’re therefore obliged to take a sneak peek into his enormous collection every now and then. His newest exhibition presents the fashion of the 1970s that keeps coming back, so it’s not only a very colourful – even kaleidoscopic – history book but also a great source of inspiration for fashionistas. Disco music played in the background… What more could you wish for in a museum?