In July 2020 I visited Vilnius and Vilnius TV tower.
Getting there is covered in practical info post. So let's start at TV tower bus stop, "Televizijos bokštas". Bus 54 from "Stotis" took me there.
From the stop it was a short walk to TV tower and many signs showed the way.
By hill of TV tower there were wooden crosses to remember the victims of 1991 events on the very same hill. The museum inside told the tragic story in detail.
As I got to the tower, three workers were putting up "Access forbidden" sign. I was surprised... is it open? I asked one of them if the tower is still open. He said, "Yes, entrance is there" and pointed to it far left, in a lower corner near TV tower.
Entrance led to a long tunnel with gray tiles.
Around the corner was ticket booth and a small souvenir display. Entrance to the tower required scanning a ticket. What surprised me a bit, was requirement to keep ticket to exit. O well.
How much did the ticket cost? See from practical information post. After scanning a ticket and an ear poppingly fast elevator ride I was up!
First view out
What is the view like when leaving that elevator?
This was the first view out of Vilnius TV tower view for me. Vilnius old town is on the right and city center in middle.
It'll be interesting to return there with different weather. This day's weather suited me fine - fluffy clouds and sun. Shadows of clouds slided on the ground and that made enjoying the views around the tower even better.
To continue with views, here are a few more before I sat down at a table in this revolving restaurant inside.
Enjoying the restaurant in Vilnius TV tower
So what about TV tower's restaurant? It's in a revolving (spinning) tower. Inside part spins slowly, making a full turn in 45 minutes. It's pleasant slow speed. Many signs on windows ask to pay attention to moving parts and not to place anything, or allow anyone, to climb by the window which is hand's length away.
Due to covid era, all people were seated with distance. I was not allowed to sit before waitress had cleaned the table thoroughly. She quickly brought a menu.
Prices seemed more affordable than expected, even comparable to Vilnius old town's average levels. I expected more expensive place to be honest.
The views make it so worth it. Here are some prices.
- Average main course: 10-13€
- A dessert: 5-6€
- Coffee: 2€
As I visited after 12.00 and had had big breakfast in my hotel, I just ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice. Then opened my laptop and got a bit of work done while sipping the juice and enjoying views.
To leave, elevator had to be called by bar staff and I had to present my ticket again. So a tip I guess is... always keep tickets until end of the visit?
Museum inside TV tower in Vilnius
On ground floor of TV tower is a "Fight for Freedom" museum. An exhibition of photos and stories about victims who died while protecting the tower. Original wooden crosses on one side added to the experience. Just like in KGB Museum, "it" could be felt in the air.
What's the backstory? On the night of 13th January, 1991, Soviet forces attacked the TV tower with tanks. You can read the rest on Wikipedia, as my writing here will not do these sad events justice.
The museum is also accessible without buying a ticket to the tower.
Then it was time to walk out to the sun.
On the hill outside TV tower there are several communication antennas in a row. Descriptions in Lithuanian, Russia and English made things easier to understand.
Switching from what was experienced at the museum to thinking about antennas took several good minutes. For a tech person these satellite dishes and antennas will be interesting for sure. Wide angle lens added some fun factor with one closest to the tower.
I took a few photos and then walked back to bus stop.