Friendly Vilnius: Lithuania’s capital promotes itself as open to the disabled, LGBT, foreigners and vegans

Photo: Friendly Vilnius

A not-for-profit organisation Friendly Vilnius aims to make the Lithuanian capital a welcoming place for people of all nationalities, lifestyles, abilities, and orientations. To achieve this aim, a Friendly Vilnius map was launched, listing 50 open-minded, inclusive businesses across the Lithuanian capital.

In a promotional video, “Friendly Vilnius” was endorsed by a diverse crowd of locals, including LGBT, vegan, disabled rights activists as well as well-known artist Jolita Vaitkutė and Aistė Diržiūtė, star of the award-winning lesbian drama “The Summer of Sangaile”.

10,000 copies of “Friendly Vilnius” maps are now available for free in different Vilnius cafés, restaurants, businesses as well as at Vilnius Tourist Information Centres.

The map is also accessible online at friendlyvilnius.com where businesses are sorted by different “friendliness” categories, such as “disability,” “English speaking,” or “vegetarian”, among others.

The idea will follow a successful “LGBT friendly Vilnius” initiative from openly gay Lithuanian film director Romas Zabarauskas. The “LGBT friendly Vilnius” map was the first to list cafés, clubs, and bars that openly support the Lithuanian LGBT community. The newest “Friendly Vilnius” map is supported by Vilnius City Councillor Mark Adam Harold, who is British, and the first foreigner to be elected in Lithuania.

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