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Entertainment in Vilnius

As the capital of Lithuania Vilnius is also its entertainment center.

Nightlife, theaters and classical music

Most of bars and nightclubs are located in the Old Town and several streets of the New Town (Gedimino Avenue and environs).

Most theaters are located in the New Town (Gedimino Avenue, Basanavičiaus Street and environs). The plays are in Lithuanian save for operas (presented in the original language) and the Russian drama theater production (Russian). Note that operettas, unlike operas, are presented in Lithuanian.

Operas are performed in the Opera and Ballet Theater. Nearby Congress Palace is now the home of the National Symphony Orchestra. Other classical music opportunities exist in the Old Town Filharmonija. Classical music is both cheaper and less exclusive than in the West.

There are some 7 permanent drama theaters in Vilnius in addition to the troupes that lack their own buildings. Most are state-funded, but the Domino theater (Savanorių Avenue) concentrates on light-hearted comedies. Old Town doll theater performs for kids.

Cinemas, bowling, ice skating, theme parks

Main shopping malls doubles as entertainment hubs. Akropolis includes the iconic ice skating rink at its center. Both Akropolis and Ozas house multiplex cinemas. Bowling alleys, pool tables, children zones are also present there. Both Akropolis and Ozas are located between Šeškinė and Žirmūnai.

Vilnius largest cinema is a non-mall Vingis with some 11 halls (New Town). Botique cinemas Pasaka and Skalvija exist in the Old Town and New Town respectively.

Vilnius lacks theme parks but indoor water park is available near the Ozas mall.

Sports (basketball, football) and popular music

Siemens arena (12 000 seats) near Ozas shopping mall is where the main indoor sport and musical events takes place. "Lietuvos rytas" basketball team (the top sports franchise in Vilnius) plays its major home games here. Games against weaker Lithuanian teams are played in the small arena nearby. Euroleague games and the matches against arch-rivals Žalgiris from Kaunas are the most popular. Basketball season is autumn to spring.

Interestingly Žalgiris is also the name of Vilnius own football team. Famous in the 1980s it failed to qualify into main tournaments in the recent decades. The home stadium is located in Southern Vilnius. Football season is spring to autumn.

In summer the main musical events relocate to the open air Vingis Park area where some 40 000 may be accomodated.

Active entertainment

There are some unique entertainment opportunities in Vilnius.

In Labas adventure park there is a possibility to zipline over Neris river from Antakalnis to Žirmūnai.

Unlike many capitals Vilnius does not restrict the hot air balloon flights. Every summer evening you may see many of the colourful balloons in the air and you may rent one yourself (with a proffessional pilot and ground support team).

Hot air balloons over Žvėrynas in a typical summer afternoon. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

In summer Vilnius downtown may also be enjoyed from a hired ship. The hire spot is near National museum.

For more natural forms of entertainment in Vilnius see the article Green Vilnius.

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