Russian history buffs and fans of the Soviet style, currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity with Vilnius’ retro-loving youths, will enjoy the enormous Soviet statues that dominate some of the city squares, the socialist realist art on display in museums and the old KGB headquarters, now a museum. An increasingly popular activity is a hot air balloon ride, which glides over the city and the Old Town, providing a birds-eye-view of the tangle of cobblestone lanes, red rooftops and beautiful churches and courtyards below.
A quirkier experience (after you’ve found the statue of Frank Zappa) can be had at the self-declared Independent Republic of Uzupis, a hippy neighbourhood of artists, artisans and activists on the riverbank. You can amble around, glancing into homes and yards and browsing art galleries and workshops. It’s worth seeing as a comparison because it is worlds apart from the grandeurs of the Old Town.