With little criss-cross streets tucked inside a bend of the River Neris, Žvėrynas is Vilnius' pleasantest residential neighbourhoods, but it only came into existence as one about 120 years ago. Before that it was a hunting ground for a local family of nobles. Many of its lovely wooden and solid-looking brick houses date from the early 20th century and tall trees and a laid-back ambiance make this a very pleasant district for a stroll or bike ride, perhaps extended to pine-wooded Vingis Park via a pedestrian suspension bridge at the far end of Treniotos Street. Explore the dark and candelit interior of the Znamenskaya Church on Vytauto Street, pass the tiny (and almost always closed) Karaite Kenesa on Liubarto and wander through the riverside landscape beside Birutės. A handful of cafés can be found on central Kęstučio.
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