While it hasn't come quite as far as Riga or
Tallinn in terms of selection of stores, Vilnius has come a long way since Soviet days.
Akropolis: (near A-3) Ozo 25, tel. 248-4848. If
you love the charm and tradition of this city, Akropolis might
make you sick. But if you love shopping malls and American culture,
this is your place. More than 90 stores and restaurants encircle an
indoor skating rink (open:08-24) and 8 movie theaters (open:10-24). The food court features pizza, Chinese grub and Lido, the tasty Latvian chain cafeteria that makes splendid meat and potato dishes.
Europa: (B-3) Konstitucijos 7a, tel. 248-7070. Heaps of quality retail and a handful of brasseries for the discerning modern shopper. It never knocked the socks off Akropolis like they said it would, but it does offer you everything under one roof without having to leave town to get it.
Hale: Pylimo 58/1. This market offers a maze of
esthetically unappealing goods from fruits to Marlboros. Open in the
morning; closed Mondays. Follow your nose. If you’re in the market
for fresh pig’s heads, this is the place.
Flower Market: (C-3) J. Basanaviciaus 42. As
elsewhere in the Baltics, you don’t need an occasion to give someone
flowers. Open 24h.
Gariunai: Outside the city, off the Vilnius-Kaunas
highway. Literally everything on sale. Many traders specialize in
Turkish goods. Packed. A people-watcher’s delight.
Kalvariju Farmers’ Market: (B-4) Kalvariju
61. Open in the morning; closed Mondays. Take bus # 5 or # 10 across
Zaliasis (Green) Bridge and get off with the babushkas. Cheap bulk
deals and household goods for suspiciously low prices.
Artisans ply their wares on Pilies street.
Amber: (D-5) Ausros Vartu 9.
Amber Gallery: (H-3) Sv. Mykolo 8.
Ars Bella: (H-2) Daukanto 2/5-7. Souvenirs and
Juva: (D-5) Ausros Vartu 21. Amber.
Linas: (J-3) Stikliu 3. Linen museum and a
shop. Also at Didzioji 11.
Mazoji Galerija: (B-2) Latviu 19. A good
selection of jewelry.
Sauluva: (H-3) Sv. Mykolo 4. Wooden toys, ceramics, amber, glassware.
Suvenyrai Market: (H-3) Pilies 23.
Lithuanian-style tablecloths and amber.
Antikvariatas: (H-3) Pilies 21, tel. 212-4784.
Antikvariatas: (H-4) Bernardinû 10, tel. 262-9077.
Galerija Maldis: (C-4) J. Basanaviàiaus 4a, tel. 212-2192. High-class antique; 19th, 20th century items.
Sancta: (D-5) Auøros Vartû 15, tel. 262-4033.
Senasis Kuparas: (I-2) Dominikonû 14, tel. 262-1024. www.kuparas.lt
Versme: (I-3) Didýioji 27, tel. 210-7082.
Vilnius Atniques Center: (I-2) Dominikonu 16, tel. 262-6476.
Akademine Knyga: (H-2) Universiteto 4, tel. 261-9711. Open:09:30-19; Sat. 12-17; Sun. closed. Penguin novels, dictionaries, reference books. Go downstairs for the city’s widest selection of English-language leisure reading and travel books.
Draugyste: (G-2) Gedimino 2, tel. 268-5081.
Littera: (H-3) Sv. Jono 12, tel. 268-7258. Open:09-18; Sat. 10-15; Sun. closed.
Neta’s Uýsienio Knygos (Foreign Books): (I-1) Traku 5, tel. 261-0416; tucked in an old-town courtyard. Open:10:30-18; Sat., Sun. 10:30-15. A nest of English-language books; also academic texts. Oxford center.
Prie Hales: (D-4) Pylimo 53/2, tel. 269-1180. Open:09-18; Sat. 10-15; Sun. closed. Good selection of books in English. Books about Lithuania.
Rotas: (D-4) Pylimo 42, tel. 261-5100. Open:09-18:30; Sat. 10-15; Sun. closed. Specializing in foreign-language learning books.
Vaga: (C-4) Gedimino 50, tel. 249-8392. Open:10-19; Sat. 11-18; Sun. closed.
Versme: (J-3) Didýioji 27, tel. 262-6410. Good location next to the Town Hall.
You can’t visit Lithuania and not bring back some
gintaras, or amber. This fossilized tree sap has adorned
thrones of kings and tombs of pharaohs for thousands of years. You can
find amber with insects inside, though this type of amber is
relatively rare and more expensive if you do find it. Amber jewelry,
from bracelets to watches, are among the most popular souvenirs from
Also wildly popular are Lithuanian wood-carvings. Wood
craftsmanship in Lithuania is spectacular. There are assorted
favorites, ranging from living figures (serious, humorous or even
macabre) to Lithuanian-style crosses.
Linen items are an excellent buy.
A great place to do some comparative shopping is on Pilies
street, where artisans, pensioners and others hock their finest works:
including woodwork, paintings of Vilnius and Lithuania, hand-crafted
knickknacks and, of course, things made with amber that would
stretch the imagination. There are some true bargains here, and
some poking around and patience can lead to some real gems.
You can also bring home some alcoholic beverages. A few bottles
of Utenos or Kalnapilis beer would make things interesting at
home, as would a bottle of Kvietino vodka. It’s also hard to
beat a good bottle of krupnikas, or honey liqueur. Other
liqueurs, like Palanga, Dainava, or Sokoladinis,
are also popular and make a nice after-dinner drink.
Compact discs are also a good buy. Anything by M.K. Ciurlionis
would definitely satisfy music lovers. Not all of his works can be
found at your local HMV or Tower Records, so it is
probably good to stock up here.
Also, for the sports fan, why not a basketball jersey of the top
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