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Guns & Butter: Lithuania Travel Guide

Lithuania Travel Guide is part of the Iraq Homecoming Trip Report.


TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works – A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.


This is a combo Guns tour of Lithuania because I believe that one should and can visit both Vilnius and Kaunas on the same trip.

Getting In

It’s easy to get from Vilnius to Kaunas and back. The train takes one hour and is very cheap (see Vilnius to Kaunas: An Easy Train).a sign with a number of flights

Funiculars

A fun-ic experience is taking a funicular up to a view. Admittedly, I did not know that funiculars were real machines. I saw it in Grand Budapest and thought it was an invention of the clever director. My first funicular attempt was in Vilnius. Unfortunately, the funicular to the castle was closed leaving me to put my repaired Achilles to the test with each step I took (see TPOL Is Down).

a stone tower on a hill
The Upper Castle
a gate with a sign on it
By Funicular!

a sign on a wood surface

a stone path with handrails on a hill
Unfriendly Achilles road
a city with red roofs and trees
The view of Vilnius

My second funicular was in Kaunas. The Radisson Kaunas and Wikitravel both said to take it to the top for a great view of the city. I took it to the top but do not know where this great view was. All the lookout points were obstructed.

a building with a gate and trees
Lower entrance
inside a train with benches and a bench
Funicular
inside a wooden train with a bench and a metal bar
Funicular passing on the left
a train tracks in a forest
At the top
a building with a staircase and stairs
At the top
a sign with text on it
Funicular dedication
a white building with a white van parked in front of it
Where’s the view?
a street with a red sign and a car parked on the side
Where’s the view?
a building with a sign on it
Upper entrance

My third funicular was also in Kaunas. I rushed to get there before it closed and was disappointed when Bolt (see The Preferred Rideshare App) dropped me off at the top. I tried to get a ride down but the operator said they were done for the day, forcing me to take the stairs down.a sign with text and pictures on it a bridge over a river with buildings and trees a train going down a path a train on the tracks a train on a track in a grassy area

From the funicular, I walked back to the city center.

a bridge over a river a body of water with buildings and trees a sign on a sidewalk next to a body of water a street with trees and buildings

Food

The description of the food in Lithuania referenced Medieval Times and the food of hunters. The thought of drinking wine out of chalices and feasting on wild game appealed to me. I planned my meals to make this happen.

  • Vilnius

The first restaurant in Vilnius was called Lokys or “Bear” in Lithuanian. I ordered the meat combo and a beer, a perfect combination for the wild hunter that I am. The food was perfect.a wooden statue of a bear a plate of food with tomatoes and meat

TPOL’s TIP: Lokys is located at Stiklių g. 8, 01131.

As a snack, I ate at Būsi trečias. It is the oldest brewery in Vilnius. They served pig ear which went down easily with the local dark.a flag on a pole a plate of meat and peppers

TPOL’s TIP: Būsi trečias is located at Totorių g. 18, 01121.

For dinner, I ate at Etno Dvaras. The place was packed and I had to wait thirty minutes to be seated. It was worth it because it was like grandma’s comfort food. I had dumplings and meatballs. The price was fair. Two main dishes and two large beers for $24.

a plate of food with a gravy boat a plate of food on a table

TPOL’s TIP: Etno Dvaras is located at Pilies g. 16, 01123.

  • Kaunas

In Kaunas, I satisfied my primitive instincts for meat by eating at Medžiotojų užeiga, the Hunters’ Inn. a room with a bird cage and deer head decorations a stuffed deer on a wall a squirrel in a cage a plate of sliced sausage a plate of food on a white plate

TPOL’s Tip: Never order wine by the glass(es). Either go all in on a solid bottle or skip it entirely (reference Delayed Flight=More Food Guns & Butter: Tallinn, Estonia Travel Guide).

TPOL’s Tip: Hunters’ Inn is located at Rotušės a. 10, 44279.

Across from the restaurant is a strip of bars. It was a bit early in the day to start and also very cold, making me wonder who would make use of these outdoor seats.

a brick courtyard with yellow umbrellas

As part of this trip, I am going to the country of Georgia. While exploring Kaunas, I stopped at Mtevani for Georgian shashlik and great beer.

two glasses of beer on a table a plate of food with sauce

TPOL’s Tip: Mtevani is located at Laisvės al. 56, 44246.

Novelty

There are one-of-a-kind things to do in both Vilnius and Kaunas.

  • Vilnius 

Devil Museum

After the funicular ride, I walked to the Devil’s museum which features devils from all over the world (see Devil’s Museum Kaunas: Every Single One of Us).statues on display in a room

  • Kaunas

Basketball

Kaunas is famous for its basketball team. The quarterfinals were happening the day after I left. I had to show my support by buying some fan gear.

a building with trees in front of it

Walking

Like any old town, the best way to explore is to walk (see Astray in Old Town: Great Places to Get Lost ).

  • Vilnius 

a building with columns and a flag on top a building with a stone walkway and a street light a street with buildings and people on it a manhole cover on the ground

  • Kaunus

Head down the walking street Laisves and you will arrive at the most beautiful church.

a street with trees and buildings a street with trees and buildings a sign with a picture of a building a white building with blue domes a large white building with blue sky and clouds

Stay

I stayed at the Hotel Pacai in the heart of old town (see Hotel Pacai Vilnius: No Marriott Devaluation Here). It was a very nice resort with a nice spa to unwind.

a street with cars parked on it

Kaunas

Kaunas was a great, modern town. I stayed at the Radisson (see Radisson Kaunas: Another Great, Overlooked Radisson), one of many great Radissons on this trip (see Radisson Hammamet: Stay Longer and Tsinandali Estate: One of the Best).

a room with a television and a couch

Getting Out 

Vilnius has a larger airport and more flights. Bright and earlier, it was time to hop on board and get to where I was going next.

a building with a bench and a sign in front of it
Any guesses where that is?

a group of people walking on a sidewalk

Overall

Vilnius was more storybook and Kaunas was more modern. Together, they provided a nice overview of Lithuania.

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