Vilnius/Tallinn

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Polishgirl
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Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Polishgirl » 23 Jan 2017, 12:53

Dear all,

Looking to go to either Vilnius or Tallinn in December - likely to be Vilnius as it's easier for us to get there from darkest, deepest Devon, although my trusty travelling companion is keener on Tallinn.

Hints/tips if you please.
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Johnny Fartpants
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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Johnny Fartpants » 01 Feb 2017, 18:40

Polishgirl wrote:Dear all,

Looking to go to either Vilnius or Tallinn in December - likely to be Vilnius as it's easier for us to get there from darkest, deepest Devon, although my trusty travelling companion is keener on Tallinn.

Hints/tips if you please.


I've never been to Tallinn, but I have been to Vilnius about 4 or 5 times now on business. The old town is lovely, the Cathedral is nice, as is Cathedral Square. St Anne's Church is also worth a visit. Because I've mainly been there on an evening I've not really had that must chance to look around that much to be honest, but what I have seen is really nice, lots of great Baroque architecture and cobbled streets.

As I like a decent beer, I've spent a fair bit of time in a gorgeous old cellar bar called Bambalyne down one of the cobbled alleyways call Stikliu Gatve (No. 7). There's loads of fridges containing bottled Lithuanian beers and you just choose your bottle and take it to the bar and they give you a glass. Half the time I haven't had a clue what I'm drinking, but it's always been good. The bar staff know their stuff and speak perfect English, so they'll give you a tip on what to drink. And it's extremely cheap for good beer!

In terms of a hotel, I usually stay at the Panorama Hotel, which is directly opposite Vilnius main railway station, so handy if your traveling by train. With it being near the railway station it does attract a few "ladies of the night" on the streets nearby, but I've never had any problems walking around there on the way back to the hotel. It's only about 10 minutes walk from the main square in the old town. The hotel is reasonable standard ... like a Travelodge type and it is usually pretty cheap. Last time I stayed there was about 3 months ago and it was €80 for 2 nights, which is pretty decent.

Hope that helps.
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Polishgirl
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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Polishgirl » 27 Feb 2017, 14:47

5 days booked in Vilnius, a couple of weeks before Christmas. It's bound to be snowing. I am bound to fall over and grievously injure myself.
echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.

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Nick
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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Nick » 05 Mar 2017, 19:05

I was in Vilnius (and Riga) for work in 2006. I don't recall much detail (I was either working or moderately hammered on local vodka most of the time) but they were both very beautiful cities.

I haven't yet got to Tallinn but it's on my list, I've heard it's even lovelier than its counterparts in Latvia & Lithuania. Minnie's your resident expert on all things Estonian though.

Will you get to Krustakalnas while you're in Lithuania?
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Still Baron
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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Still Baron » 05 Mar 2017, 22:20

I don't know exactly what to say as far as hints or whatever, but I was in Tallinn for a few days about a year and a half ago and it was lovely and super easy. The old town is very compact and scenic and parts of the rest of the city I saw were beautiful as well. Parts of it are still weighed down with heavy (presumably) Soviet architecture and are a little depressing, but it also gave me some perspective (not having been that far north or east before). We also took a nice walk outside of town, up the coast to where Min's grandmother is buried (in an evergreen forest) and it was particularly stunning, though I don't suspect that walk would be as pleasant during the winter. Nevertheless, I suspect it would be really nice around Christmas. We probably saw most of what there is to see, but I'm excited to go back sometime soon.
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Polishgirl
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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Polishgirl » 11 Mar 2017, 23:04

Nick wrote:
Will you get to Krustakalnas while you're in Lithuania?


You know I would love to, but it's about a 4 hour one-way trip from Vilnius, and so is very time-hungry ( if that's a thing ), given my friend and I are only there for a few days. I think we'll probably manage to fill our time in the city and immediate environs. I'm quite keen to see Trakai Island and Castle, and I think there's also a park of Soviet era statues.

We were very keen on Tallinn, but we're sorely limited on flights to Eastern Europe ( apart from Poland ) or the Baltics from the yokelly depths of the South West. To get to Tallinn, we'd have to fly from one of the London airports, which adds a lot of time and some expense onto the whole venture. We can fly to Vilnius from Birmingham airport which is about 2 hours from here, so it feels more manageable.
echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.

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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Positive Passion » 14 Jul 2017, 17:43

I have visited both these cities and Riga as well, but 15 years ago. Riga was by far the most interesting, Tallinn second (the old town is such a classic old town that it is almost Disneyesque). But Vilnius is still great. Must dos - find the Frank Zappa bust in the car park of an apartment block; find the frieze of the laughing madonna in the main cathedral (Mary is usually depicted looking serious,but here she is laughing at her little baby playing) and DEFINITELY go to Trakai. It is fantastic. We went by bus from Vilnius.
Also there are a few venues with live music, which was good fun.
The artists' quarter Uzupis is good too, and a lovely stroll to get there.

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Polishgirl
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Re: Vilnius/Tallinn

Postby Polishgirl » 20 Aug 2017, 06:42

Excellent, thank you! I'm considering Trakai - depends how snowy it is when we're there.

I liked Riga, too- especially the hot and hardcore Art Nouveau action, and the Russian district with the little wooden houses ...
echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.