Užupis is a small bohemian republic located within Vilnius, Lithuania. Translating to over the river, visitors entering Užupis will cross lock-ladened bridges left by lovers “locking” their love. Once over the bridges, visitors have technically stepped foot into a different republic, with its own constitution and special independence day (April 1). Numerous, colorful works of street art decorate the otherwise grey streets, and new construction projects are breathing life into this fun-loving republic.
As the home of artists and bohemians, Užupis has become well known for its excellent street art. Visitors will find the frequently changing works concentrated by the Vilnia River. The bright artworks really do wonders to lighten up the mood during Lithuania’s long, grey winters.
Galleries abound in Užupis.
The Užupis Art Incubator has decorated its courtyard with numerous statues and tiny touches of street art. Inside, visitors will find frequently changing exhibits and little shops to buy local art.
Another gallery to stop by is Edita Suchockye’s Art Gallery, which shows the artist’s works, mostly gorgeous paintings of women and some animals. Feel free to browse or purchase a piece of art while the friendly Suchockye explains the intricate process she uses to create her art.
In addition to shopping for art, Užupis is home to several small shops.
The Užupis Gift Store is another popular spot for purchasing mugs and other tchotchkes adorned with the Užupis Constitution. Visitors can also ask for an Užupis Republic passport stamp at this gift store.
To fully appreciate Užupis, walk along the Vilnia River to spot rotating art exhibits and the Užupis Mermaid. For those who don’t mind getting their feet wet, the swing under the Užupio Bridge is a fun spot for photographs and fun.
Visitors may want to rest their weary feet at one of Užupis’ fine cafés.
A local favorite, Coffee 1, recently opened a new café on Užupio g, providing views of the Užupis Angel. Serving delicious coffee from locally roasted beans and delectable sweet treats, visitors are sure to feel rejuvenated in the cozy environment.
Another café option is Thierry Kepykla, which serves soups, light sandwiches, coffee, tea, and assorted baked goods.
Užupis is home to one of the most highly rated restaurants in all of Vilnius — Sweet Root. Sweet Root restaurant offers a creative seven-course tasting menu. The inventive chefs employ local goods, often incorporating wild gathered foods. If you hope to enjoy a meal at Sweet Root, be sure to book a table in advance.