To be perfectly honest, nobody comes to Vilnius for the food or the weather. Ask anyone exactly why they love the city and they’ll either struggle to give you an answer or tell you that they love it for its quirkiness. What city other than Vilnius can boast a glamorous elderly beggar who commutes to work on a train every day for example? The English may be famous for their eccentricities, but when it comes to being truly peculiar, the Lithuanians win gold every time. Although you only have to leave your hotel to experience Vilnius’ unusualness, it’s worth highlighting a few of the city’s more unique selling points for the uninitiated.
Unveiled in 1995 for no logical reason that anyone’s ever been able to discover, the head of the late musician and composer Frank Zappa rests on the top of a pole in an otherwise unremarkable courtyard in the city centre. By no means the best statue in Vilnius, it is without fear of contradiction one of the most unusual.
The Cat Café is a café full of cats close to the Cathedral, some of them sleeping in baskets and others rubbing against the diners’ legs. The title of best market in Vilnius almost certainly goes to Halės Turgavietė. Kalvarijų Turgus on the other hand lags far behind, and as such offers a glimpse into world of traders dressed from another age selling cabbages, carriers bags, sausages and honey.
Whilst the rest of the world’s spent the last few decades being polite to bosses they don’t like, Rožytė has been going to work on her own terms and becoming a Vilnius cultural icon in the process. In the running for the prize of the best sight in Vilnius, this supermodel geriatric is a veritable mobile masterpiece. Give her some spare change if you have any.