On either end of Uzupis is a sign that states its independence with pride. One such sign can be found just across the river from the Uzupio Kavine, which is delightfully situated on the river beside the bridge. This is a fabulous place to languish with a cool beer on a warm summer day. I don’t recommend the food here, as it is overpriced and undercooked. At the back corner table on the outdoor deck you will find a pair of very worn slippers nailed to the floorboards. A local poet has claimed the spot as his own.
The bridge beside the Uzupio Kavine, as well as three other bridges in Uzupis, is covered in padlocks and we assume that the river bottom is covered in small keys. On any weekend in June you will find a cavalcade of wedding parties on these bridges ceremoniously placing engraved locks here and throwing their keys into the river. Not for nothing, but the river makes a nice backdrop for photos, too.
A 5 minute walk down this road, Uzupio Gatve, you will find the center of town – the Angel. This statue is a recent addition to the environment but has quickly become a central theme to surrounding stores and a well-known landmark. At the corner here you will also find the local hang, a hipster pizza joint, beside which is hung the Uzupio Constitution. Here the intentions, pursuits and desires of the locals are clearly stated, such as: everyone has the right to love, be idle and care for a cat. You know, the basics.
On the river is the Vilnius Academy of Art. There are several aged learning institutions in this ancient city, but none quite as fun and cheeky as the art school. The reeds in the river at this spot grow insanely long and undulate as if animated beneath the water. As you walk around the grounds you will find young students napping at the banks, likely lost in a flow of inspiration.
Uzupis is a 15 minute walk from the foot of Pilies Gatve and is a great afternoon tour for visitors. Bring beer money and your sense of humor. Enjoy!