When visiting the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, chances are you might start wondering if there’s a lighter side to this great, although at first glance, somewhat serious cultural city.
And I am here to tell you that, of course, there is.
So here’s a short proposed tour of cool Vilnius street art around the oldest market in the city.
Just outside the old town, which, no doubt, you’ll be visiting, there’s Halės Turgus (Halės Market), the oldest market in the capital.
Don’t worry, it’s not one of those markets built for tourists, locals actually shop there
…as you approach the main entrance of Halės Market, you’ll definitely notice this ‘Paper Birds’ a cool mural overlooking the market entrance from across the street.
Did you know that only a few years ago this mural was created by a famous Italian street artist Millo?
Millo loves painting urban scenes and this one is no exception, reflecting the busy atmosphere of this vibrant corner of Vilnius.
… Halės Turgus (Halle Market).
There’s been a market in this particular location since the 15th century, where people first used to sell horses and later on grain.
The building you see today was constructed just over a 100 years ago at the very start of the 20th century and now it is one of the city’s most popular places for grocery shopping.
Someone called this market as a ‘great mix of gentrified foodie stalls and everyday local market’ which, I think, is a spot on description.
It’s true, you’ll find all sorts of everyday local specialties – sausages, bread, cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables. Everything that you’d expect from a local market where the locals do their daily shopping.
As a visitor to the city, you’ll also enjoy the little cafes and specialty food stalls dotted here and there inside the covered market where you can sample freshly baked pastries, try out Lithuanian variety of bagels (did you know they’ve been around in Lithuania since the 19th century?) and sample some delicious coffees and teas.
If you visit the market on a Sunday, now you can enjoy a more enhanced market experience.
Since August 2018 some enterprising market enthusiasts started organizing a local produce market Turgus 2.0 on Pylimo street running along the Halės Market.
So if it’s Sunday in Vilnius, visit a market!
After all, traditionally, Sunday has always been a market day in this country.
After you’ve had your fill of some delicious and some unusual Lithuanian food as well as freshly made pastries and coffee, it’s time to discover some more fun street art murals in the area.
As you walk further up Pylimo g. (Pylimo street) by the side of the market, almost at the very end of the street where it reaches the railway, turn around and look towards where you came from and voila!
Some more Vilnius street art, colourful mural by Os Gemeos.
Os Gemeos is a duo family affair from Brazil– they are identical twins with very special ties connecting them with Lithuania. It turns out their grandad was Lithuanian!
So to mark this very personal story the duo depicted their grandad sitting in the giant’s hand. What a fun way to remember your family members!
On the same side of the street you’ll find…
… the most famous of Vilnius street art murals…
…a kiss between two famous world leaders…
When it was first painted, this mural appeared in many world media outlets, including The New York Times.
Did you know this mural was specially commissioned by the owner of next door Barbecue Restaurant?
Originally, the two leaders shared a kiss, but after the mural was vandalized, it seems they started sharing a ‘shotgun’…
The mural is a satirical take on the famous Berlin Wall mural, where a kiss was shared by two other world leaders with a qoute reading My God, Help Me To Survive This Deadly Love…
street art by Polish artists
So after reflecting a bit on the world politics and how everything may play out in the future, continue up Pylimo street until you reach the railway, then turn left and walk along the street to the first crossroads.
When you approach the busy crossroads, you’ll see some more fun street art brightening up a very dull city corner.
The three pieces look like they’ve been painted by the same artist, but they are actually the creations of three separate Polish artists.
Apparently, when they were young they used to belong to underground groups which painted murals illegally, but none of them ended up in prison for vandalism.
Fast forward many years and now their murals are considered art. Times change!
The three murals compliment each other very well and look particularly fun on dark and dreary winter days.
So when you go to sample some local food in Halės market, spare some time for a stroll around the area and discover some cool Vilnius street art by local and international artists.
Your Instagram followers will love it!
Travel Lithuania, enjoy your life!
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