Mantas Jankus

Lithuania via Rooftops Terraces — 6 Local-Beloved Locations With Astonishing Views Over Urban Landscape

As summer is in full swing in Lithuania, nightlife enthusiasts can choose to spend their evenings out on the country’s rooftops, capturing dazzling sights of the urban panorama. Various rooftop terraces are available to the public, offering sweeping views of the Baltic sea, vast sand dunes, and red-tinged old towns.

Food is rarely the only reason for visiting a restaurant — an exciting location turns a regular night-out into a sightseeing experience. Known and beloved by the locals, various rooftop terraces are spread throughout the country: from cosmopolitan bars in the country’s main metropolises to hipster spots in quaint resorts.

Those looking for fun experiences with friends or a partner could transform going out and enjoying live music, drinks, and dishes into a scenic, bird’s-eye-view look into Lithuanian cities by visiting the six following rooftop terraces.

Traces of Berlin and Paris above the capital. Vilnius — the cosmopolitan capital of Lithuania — is best known for its cobblestoned, red-roofed Old Town, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, as night falls, queues of eager partygoers burst out of the hidden nightlife gems of the city. Sweeping sights of Vilnius’ buzzing streets are a part of every night at the Opera Social House, located across the street from the iconic Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. With Berlin-influenced musical performances at the bar, views of the old town — reminiscent of Paris — on one side, and a panorama of modern skyscrapers on the other, the location allows one to feel as if Vilnius is in the palm of their hand.

Sky Bar at a legendary Lithuanian restaurant. Given that Vilnius is the only capital in Europe that permits hot-air balloon excursions above the city, locals are well aware that the city offers picture-perfect imagery when looked at from above. Residents know that the Instaworthy views of the city’s winding vistas and glistening church towers can be found on one of the main arteries of the city — Gediminas avenue — at the Rooftop Bar of the legendary Neringa hotel. Neringa used to be a famous café in the '70s, as it served as a meeting place for the intelligentsia and bohemia of that era. Nobel Prize in Literature laureate and poet Joseph Brodsky even wrote a poem about the establishment. The hotel reopened on the 20th of July after a complete reconstruction, with a terrace that is illuminated by the neon-like pink sunset over Lithuania’s largest metropolis and beckons visitors with a selection of refreshing beverages.

A rooftop terrace at a historic family house. Palanga is a seaside resort perfectly fit for couples, families, and groups of friends for its blend of a laid-back atmosphere. Though it is a beloved vacation spot for locals throughout the entire year, the city seems to have two personalities: a serene winter paradise and a vibrant party location in the summer. Visitors here can capture views of untamed nature and a French-inspired garden that opens up from the Vila Komoda Terrace, atop a 19th-century family house filled with old-world charm. This ornate and pristinely preserved landmark has refreshing seaside air blowing in from the coastline and features dishes fit for a gourmet plate — such as seaweed ice cream with lobster caramel crunch, hazelnut oil, and black sturgeon roe —  at its cozy cocktail bar.

Bustling hipster scene among wind-swept dunes. Nida is a seaside town turned bustling resort that feels like an otherworldly escape into a sandy paradise. It lies on the 98 km long Curonian Spit — a UNESCO-recognized natural wonder. The site offers accommodation in classic villas together with the pastoral beauty of old fishing villages, and desert-like dunes. A thriving gastro, party, and hipster culture has made Nida a go-to holiday destination. Heading over to the free-spirited In Vino Terrace, travelers may wade through pine tree forests and a small bridge, immersing in Nida’s picturesque wilderness. After drinking in a gust of salty sea air at the threshold of this alluring, old-school terrace, couples may especially enjoy spending the evening unwinding and enjoying the sun’s romantic descent into the turbulent Baltic waters.

Dancing the night away in a seaside metropolis. The coastal port city of Klaipėda combines picture-perfect views of the sea with several relics of an earlier German influence — an eye-catching visual to share with friends on social media. The city’s abundance of cultural attractions, gourmet seafood scene, and vibrant bars contrast the serenity of huge beaches. The SKY 21 bar, a reference to its placement on the 21st floor of a building, offers the sight of a calmly glimmering coastline and the city center lit up for the long night ahead. One may even see the sun rise again as the eclectic musical performances and masterfully-made cocktails keep locals entertained for hours in this open-air club. 

The singular rooftop overlooking Kaunas. Lithuania’s second-largest city, Kaunas, was the capital from 1919 to 1940 and now is teeming with culture and an unusual fusion of interwar modernism and Art Deco architecture, encapsulating the aesthetics of a modernist age. The city was also named the European Capital of Culture 2022, bringing in events, exhibitions, and a chance to witness the works of famous artists such as Yoko Ono or Marina Abramović in person. Perched on the 9th floor of the Magnus hotel, the modern terrace is an intimate, cozy place perfect for anyone who seeks to loom above the buzz of the city. Below are the enchanting sights of Lithuania’s two most famous rivers — Neris and Nemunas — merging and Art Deco nostalgia seeping from the façades of Kaunas’ buildings.