VILNIUS is a cosmopolitan and thoroughly modern city that is relatively compact and easy to get to know, with a variety of inexpensive attractions and a lively nightlife. Its numerous Baroque churches jostle for space amid glitzy restaurants and dilapidated old buildings that line its cobbled streets, while the student population lends the place a tangible air of energy and optimism. Beguiling, and sometimes downright odd, Vilnius has an addictive quality.
At the centre of Vilnius, poised between the medieval and nineteenth-century parts of the city, is Cathedral Square (Katedros aikštė). To the south of here along Pilies gatvė and Didžioji gatvė is the Old Town, containing perhaps the most impressive concentration of Baroque architecture in northern Europe. West of the square in the New Town is Gedimino prospektas, a nineteenth-century boulevard and the focus of the city’s commercial and administrative life. The traditionally Jewish areas of Vilnius between the Old Town and Gedimino prospektas still retain some sights, such as the synagogue.