Fifth in population in Lithuania, small, green, as if descended from an old postcard – Panevezys looks like a city where time has frozen. And it is difficult to understand at what mark – 1950 or 1850? There are few usual skyscrapers and high-tech buildings here, you will not find freeways and noisy amusement parks – fans of dynamic architecture and high pace of life will surely get bored here. Panevėžys will conquer only those who prefer not the metro, but the steam locomotive, who will be ready to slowly wander through the labyrinths of the streets, discovering all the new sights of this sample of Lithuanian culture of the mid-19th and 20th centuries.
How to get to Panevezys
According to Wholevehicles, there is no direct flight to Panevezys either from Russia or from Lithuania – there is no airport in the town. The best option is to fly by plane or travel by rail or bus from Moscow or St. Petersburg to Vilnius, Kaunas, and then buy bus tickets to Panevezys (about 2.5 hours on the way) or take a taxi for 160 EUR.
The largest bus carriers in Lithuania are Kautra and Toks (off. site in English). Departure to Panevezys – from the bus stations of Vilnius (Sodu g., 22) and Kaunas (Vytauto pr., 24) daily.
In Panevėžys, you should not waste time looking for public transport. Firstly, it is not enough here (buses, a few minibuses and taxis). And secondly, the city is simply made for walking: there are no crowds of people and an abundance of cars, but some kind of sculptural curiosity or an unusual building is waiting for almost every turn. Bicycle rental is welcome – some hotels offer them for free, there are rental offices, and bike paths are equipped. The price of a trip around the city by taxi – from 9 EUR.
The only type of transport that is definitely worth a ride is a steam locomotive running along the longest narrow gauge railway in Europe (off. site in English). It leads to Anyksciai, and it is for this journey that many tourists make a trip to Panevezys.
More often than others, guests of Panevezys are offered apartments for rent, they ask for 30 EUR per night. Hotels 3 and 4 * can be counted on the fingers, rooms cost from 37 EUR per day.
The Romantic 4 * hotel is considered the most original. Housed in a restored old mill, guests can relax in the milk, herbal and beer baths at the spa.
A lot of admiring reviews from the guest house Sodyba Smiltynes. It is located on the territory of the Krekenava park, half an hour drive from the center, there is a private beach, guests are offered canoe excursions. Almost all establishments allow pets and guarantee stable free Wi-Fi.
Cuisine and restaurants
Panevėžys has nothing to surprise gourmets – the tiny town offers exactly the same dishes as the rest of Lithuania. So tourists can only rely on their own taste. Worst of all, lovers of sea delicacies will have to do it – they are almost non-existent here. Among the meats, pork is in the lead: sausages and zrazy are made from it, smoked raw, added as a filling to pies, soups and stews are cooked on its basis. From vegetables, potatoes are held in high esteem – Lithuanians will cook anything from it, even pancakes, and beets – the basis of the famous cold borscht “shaltibarschay”. Bread here, as in the very saying, is the head of everything – bakers prepare many types of it, generously adding cumin.
Panevėžys, like any other Lithuanian city, has its own brewery – here it is called Kalnapilis.
Most of the eateries surround the main square – Laisves aikste. All sorts of cuisines are represented: in addition to Lithuanian, there are Italian, American and Asian. The average check in a restaurant for two with alcohol is 25 EUR. The role of fast food is played by a variety of pastries, for buns and a glass of coffee they will ask 3 EUR.
Entertainment and attractions of Panevezys
The abundance of small and large sculptural forms is a distinctive feature of Panevezys. Who has not erected monuments here! The founder of the city, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander Jagiellonchik and the outstanding theater director Juozas Miltinis, the cunning hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha and even the boxer Mike Tyson, who plays chess. There is a gigantic Cancer emerging from the water onto the embankment of the Old City, the memorial “Grieving Jewish Mother” and a monument to the victims of the uprising of 1863.
The oldest building in Panevėžys, the former court archive, is located at 21 Kranto g.
The symbol of the city is the majestic Church of Saints Peter and Paul at 10 Smelynes g., made of red brick, a masterpiece of fine painting art – the Catholic Church of Christ the King (off. site in English). Inveterate theater-goers are well aware of the local Drama Theater (Laisves a., 5), where Donatas Banionis shone, and the Puppet Theater (off. site in English), giving performances from an ordinary cart in the summer.