Vilnius springs to life with outdoor cafes

2020 06 02

While most of Europe remained on lockdown, the streets and squares of Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, were turned into a huge open-air café in May, as the city became one of the first to ease restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Indoor establishments initially remained closed, but the Mayor of Vilnius offered cafés, bars and restaurants the chance to take their tables outside free of charge – enabling residents to maintain safe social distancing while they enjoy a drink or meal al fresco.

More than 160 cafes and bars applied for permission to host diners and drinkers outside, which proved a big hit with locals – and provided a much-needed boost for local businesses.

The move to allow outdoor eating and drinking was part of Lithuania’s plan to return to normal life, after quarantine restrictions brought the outbreak quickly under control in the country.