Basketball is the most popular sport in Lithuania. Interesting enough is the fact that Lithuania is ranked 5th in the FIBA world ranking (2011). Among the biggest successes are 3 European Championships and 3 bronze medals in Summer Olympics.
When we were in Vilnius in 2006 the FIBA world championships were just taking place in Japan.
During our visit of the city in 2011 the Eurobasket championships took even place in Lithuania. Live broadcasts of the matches could be seen all over Vilnius, even in public outdoor viewing areas.
With a capacity of 15.030 the Zalgiris Stadium (Zalgirio stadionas) is Lithuania's largest football stadium. It was built by prisoners of war just after WWII and finished in 1950.
The stadium is used by two teams of the Lithuanian top league (A Lyga): FC Vilnius and Zalgiris Vilnius.
It also used to be home of the Lithuanian national team, which nowadays plays in
the more modern S. Darius and S. Girenas Stadium in Kaunas or the Vetra Stadium in Vilnius.
The Zalgiris Stadium is located north of the Neris River not too far from the Palace of Concerts and Sports.
I like bicycling Vilnius. There are not a lot of bike-streets, but really cool to try your strengh of going to all Vilnius regions to see some beautiful nature and mentions of history.
Equipment: Go to Vilnius center for renting a bike.
If your feet itch because of nothing to do, try Vilnius skating rinks. There are two arenas in Vilnius:
Akropolio ledo arena
Address: Ozo str. 25,
One session of 45 minutes costs 7 Lt up to 16:00 and 15 Lt from 16:00 and at weekends (price for rent of ice and skates).
Address: Azuolyno str. 9
One session of 1,5h costs 15 Lt (10 Lt rent of ice, 5 Lt – rent of skates). 45 minutes of skating cost 6 Lt.
You should better go skating in the morning, because at evenings arenas are overcrowded.
As a football fan, one of the most exciting sights in any city is a set of floodlights on the horizon. And so, when we spotted the floodlights of the Zalgiris Stadium in Vilnius, we were naturally drawn in that direction!
The old-fashioned (and partly decaying) Zalgiris Stadium is the "home of Lithuanian football", playing host to Lithuania's international games as well as the club games of various Vilnius clubs.
While not the most picturesque stadium, it does have character. It is a "proper" stadium, complete with monstrous floodlight pylons and a bland concrete exterior, and this, in my mind, makes it better than any of the space-age arenas that have infiltrated football in recent years! On the inside, much of the terraces have been replaced with coloured plastic seats.
We were not able to get inside the stadium (although several of the gates looked as though they could easily have been pushed aside!), but we were able to walk around its perimeter and take photos through various gaps.
Forum Palace is modern, newly built center for sports, entartainment and business. There was Forum Sporto Klubas (Forum Sports Club) located on the ground floor. Excuse, I didn't have enough time to relax there but I noticed that there were a lot of good quality sport attractions for a visitor there.
First of all the swimming pool (and seperate pool for children), then saunas, Jacuzzi baths, massage, solarium studios, beauty saloon, bar etc.
Mon - Fri 6.30 am - 10.30 pm
Sat-Sun: 8.00 am - 10.00 pm
Hmm... it was not cheap as for Lithuania. The admission for one day costed 99Lt (30 € or $36) per person. It included fitness, aerobics, martial arts, introductory instructioning, outdoors sports terrace, saunas, vortex baths, swimming pool, locker rooms, towels and parking lot. There was special offer for families in weekends as well.
Follow the link below to check up-to-date prices, please.
Equipment: For swimming: swimming suit and glasses for swimming if you want.
Since I was a kid I always knew that Lithuania has a great basketball, it was the Lithuanian that lead the CCCP team for Olympic gold medal in the Seoul Olympic Games and since 1990 Lithuania continue the success as a national team.
A footie game to watch while we were in town, excellent. FC Vilnius were currently topof the league and had employed several Brazilan players, a ploy that seemed successful, they won this game against Atlantas from Klaipeda 1-0. Comfortable stadium and a fairly noisy crowd made it an enjoyable visit for us.
My Crowne Plaza hotel had a Health and Fitness centre on the ground floor. It was open: 6.00 am - 12.00 pm.
It was good idea to excercise a little there esp. when you fell in love in Lithuanian cousine which was not low calory diet.
Equipment: There was modern training equipment in a gymnasium, stem bath, sauna, indoor pool and lockers to use.
Our Crowne Plaza hotel had a beutiful although small indoor pool. It would be great idea to use it in the morning but... I forgot swimming trunk/shorts and Urszula forgot a swimsuit. There was no-one inside but I am not sure whether they accept nude bathing :-). Warning: there were cameras there.
Equipment: Swimsuit or swimming shorts/trunk.
Excuse, I didn't do it but I noticed a few groups of fishermen trying to catch fish (succesfully, as I saw) in Neris River. I was really surpriced that they were fishing in the same centre/downtown of quite large city - on southern bank of the river along Arsenalo gatve (street).
There were exclusively guys fishing there, is fishing a man thing?
Equipment: They used casual fishing rods.
I could see these teens on my picture riding a skateboard in front of Vilnius Cathedral. And never more. I didn't see any roller blading folks in Vilnius, too.
Well, skateboarding originates probably from surfboarding on the beaches of California, USA. Since early 80' roller-skating became much more popular in the USA.
Equipment: Skateboard, XXXL T-shirt highly recommended :-).
A hot air balloon tour is a must do in Lithuania. This attraction is very popular among Lithuanians. Photographs also love hot air balloon flights because they are a brilliant platform for photography. I really loved my flight. We were slowly drifting across the landscape and enjoying wonderful views. A hot air balloon tour is a excellent option if you're tired of ordinary sightseeing. You know, city from above is even more beautiful! :)
Equipment: Don't forget to take a camera! :)
If you come to Vilnius in winter and you are lucky with snow conditions, you can go cross country skiing. Every year (usually in February) the sporting event Snaige (Snowflake) takes place in Vilnius. Lot of people gather in the published places and time and ski together, after that they are offered hot tea and wine. Of course skiing in Vilnius is not so perfect as in Alps or other mountains (do not expect too much), but if you stay here and have too much free time, you can try it! The ski paths and nature around are nice to see. There are also several ski pistes in Vilnius (one in the district Antakalnis, another in district Liepkalnis), but they are really very short and not the best quality. There are no mountains in Lithuania, just a small hills. It is better probably to skate on ice :)
We have one excelent go carts place, where you can rent carts and go for some laps for racing with your friends !
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