Places in Vilnius to be alone

Article published on Feb. 7, 2009
community published
Article published on Feb. 7, 2009
I guess it happens to everyone that you sometimes have an hour or two before your next meeting, and have to spend this time somewhere. In summer it's really easy - just pick any square or bench near the street, or take a walk near the Neris river. But what to do in winter, when staying outside feels not only masochistic, but also gloomy and boring?
I tried to think of places where I would go to kill some time, but couldn't find many interesting ones. I mean, getting a cup of coffee is always an option, but I wouldn't like to believe that it's inevitable to enter a commercial space in order to kill time. If you have any ideas, please share them here! If, after all, it turns out that getting a snack or a drink is the only option, I would go to (in random order)The first place I thought about was the Contemporary Arts Centre on Vokieciu street. It's big, it's not expensive to get in, and there's always something to see. The space is arranged in a way that you can wonder around, get in somewhere deeper and then go back to the previous spot, so it's perfect for killing some time. As far as I remember, there are some shelves with books downstairs, but I've never used this option. The guards will kick you out of the exhibition hall at 7.50, ten minutes before the working hours are officially over, but earlier than that - spend as much time as you need to. The Vilnius University library (near the presidential palace, Universiteto str.). Of course, you need to have a library card, but the library is not only for students. I have the "ordinary citizen's" card, and I can go to the library to get or read some books and check my email on one of the antique computers. There are many newspapers and magazines and so on. There is one problem - no bags allowed into the library, so you have to have a plastic bag for your mobile, keys and wallet :) Bookstore "Vaga" under my office (Gedimino str. 50). No need to buy anything - it's interesting to simply look around. There is a sofa on the second floor, and it's allowed to sit and read a book if you are interested in it. Going to a bookstore is an easy option for time-killing everywhere I go, so I often do this. Also, there are some ridiculously cheap books at "Vaga" (usually boring ones, but some good books can be found from time to time) and "Akademine knyga" (Universiteto str.). Did I forget anything? Of course I did, I wasn't really thinking thoroughly. So, suggest other places worth spending some lonely hours in winter!A kebab shop on Traku str. It's a small place with a friendly waiter, who lets everyone sit inside as long as they want to, and watch people on the street through the big windows. There are many kebab shops in Lithuania, but few of them are really Turkish-owned. The place on Traku str. is where you can get a comparatively good kebab (I haven't been to Berlin, so my standards aren't that high). I like places where you can have a chat with the staff and where there's a glass for tips at the counter :) Vero cafe on Traku str. Free wireless and friendly waiters, who let you sit as long as you want to with only one cup of coffee. Coffee Inn on Pilies str., where they have books. Cafe de Paris on Didžioji str., where they have the best hot chocolate and good music (usually it's very crowded though) Double coffee next to the central bookstore (Gedimino ave.) - it's connected to the bookstore, so it's a nice place to check the books, borrow one and sit (there's free wireless, too). 'Cozy' (Dominikonu str.), where I'm sitting now. Some OK meals and nice desserts and free wireless. Cinema "Skalvija". Not only is it the best cinema in town. It has a cafe next to it, where they serve some OK snacks, and, if it's not too crowded, they won't bother you for sitting for hours with just a cup of tea. Unfortunately, too dark to read in the evening.