Vilnius is the capital and largest city of Lithuania, and one of the most attractive in all of the Baltic countries. Visitors can start by checking out the city from above at the top of Gediminas’ Tower, part of the Upper Castle, perched atop a hill on the bank of the Neris River. Then, pass through the Gate of Dawn and make your way down Pilies Street, lined with cozy cafés and artistic shops, all the way to Cathedral Square. The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the largest in Europe, so slow your pace and take the time to appreciate the heart and soul of Vilnius.

One thing that is a must-see for a trip to Vilnius is the Republic of Užupis. Užupis is a neighborhood in the city center that belongs to artists and boasts a quirky bohemian atmosphere. Residents of Vilnius declared their independence in 1997: they have a flag, currency, president, cabinet, anthem, constitution, and even an army. The Republic isn’t recognized by the Lithuanian government, but Užupis is still a fun and artistic area of the city to visit.

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