My Week in Vilnius (& A Coffee Guide)
I feel like I already told everyone in my life but now I’m sharing it on my blog - Vilnius is amazing and is definitely worth a visit. It’s picturesque, beautiful, clean, filled with history and not so filled with tourists. From the really special bohemian republic of Užupis to the beautiful architecture of Old Town, it’s really just the perfect city break.
Just a wee disclaimer: this was a work trip. I’m lucky enough to work with a team of wonderful people based there - without them, I may have never even made it to Vilnius in the first place! I was also lucky enough to have the time to do some exploring as well.
I didn’t know much about Vilnius, but I did know that Užupis is a must and that there is an incredible street art scene - so this was my focus. But I quickly learned that Vilnius is a really walkable city, so I ended up seeing A LOT just by walking to see a mural or find a coffee shop. Then I had to cross town again to get to Užupis. It really worked out.
For street art, instead of doing a tour, a coworker and I followed this guide (PDF). It’s from 2017, so new work may have popped up since.
Specialty Coffee in Vilnius
Vilnius already had me hooked, but then I discovered its small but impressive specialty coffee scene.
An adorable spot with fresh roasts, great alternative lattes (such as one of my favorites - beetroot and ginger), and a great staff of friendly baristas. Conveniently located right next to Caffeine Roasters.
You can smell the incredible aroma of roasting coffee beans down the street as you make your way towards this beautiful minimal space. Here, it’s really all about the beans. Look out for coffee cupping and other events.
A coffee shop with its own line of beans (which you can shop online!) and 9 (!) locations around Vilnius to date. I don’t really think it’s possible to go to Vilnius and not come across a Huracán. But as someone who tried to stay away from chains, I was pleasantly surprised with how “local” the Huracán I was at felt. The coffee was wonderful, they serve great tea too.
Besides serving up a tasty Ethiopian single-origin, you can also get some really good muffins and pastries here. Plus you can enjoy it all in a pretty outdoor area. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t see many outdoor spaces in cafes and restaurants in Vilnius, but StrangeLove’s is a good enough reason to pay the cafe a visit - its pretty exposed brick walls and fairy lights and kind of all you need.
I popped by for a really quick visit and wished I spent more time there. This is a small, family run coffee shop as interesting as the neighborhood its in. It serves coffee from a local roaster, small sandwiches, pastries. It even has a downstairs area, complete with a proper fireplace.