Backpacking in Uzupis: Top 12 Sights in The Republic Nobody Has Heard Of

Backpacking in Uzupis: The Republic Nobody Has Heard Of

Backpacking in Uzupis: The Republic Nobody Has Heard Of

I’ve been to some off the wall destinations on my travels. Countries that are unknown to many such as Nagorno Karabakh, Transnistria, Kosovo , Christiania and East Timor. Islands you’ve never heard of – Bruny Island, Cuverville Island, Sark and Atauro Island. However my recent adventure was to the Republic of Uzupis?! Where is that you will ask me when I tell the tale down the pub!

Crazy! The Flag of the Republic of Uzupis.

Crazy! The Flag of the Republic of Uzupis.

Where is The Republic of Uzupis?
Inside Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania is a mini self claimed republic in a neighbourhood by the name of Uzupis! The red line shows where it is in the map below.

Where is the Republic of Uzupis?

Where is the Republic of Uzupis?

You simply cross the border into the Republic of Uzupis by bridge.

World Borders: Crossing into the Republic of Uzupis.

Crossing the border into the Republic of Uzupis.

Uzupis has its own president, its own flag, anthem and even a 41 point Uzupis Republic Constitution! You can also spend the fake Uzupis currency Uzas on April Fool’s Day – the country’s national day.

Uzas - Uzupis mock Euros!

Uzas – Uzupis mock Euros!

While staying at the Litinterp Guest House in the Old Town, I made Uzupis a priority. So I got my passport ready, my camera fully charged as I headed across the border into the Republic of Uzupis while remaining inside the same city, Vilnius!

Backpacking in the Republic of Uzupis. Crazy wacky place!

Backpacking in the Republic of Uzupis. Crazy wacky place!

1. Uzupis Gatve/Uzupis Street
Uzupis Gatve is the main street which runs through the country, it starts off where the bridge and Republic of Uzupis sign sits and runs right up the hill and further afield. It’s a good street to get your bearings and a few of the main sights are also on this main street.

Uzupis Gatve - main street in the country

Uzupis Gatve – main street in the country

Uzupis Gatve/Uzupis Street is also where the main bus service through the country runs, connecting back into Vilnius, Lithuania.

A bus stop Uzupis Gatve

A bus stop Uzupis Gatve

2. Uzupis Constitution Wall
This for me is quite a quirky and fun thing. As Uzupis is a separate Republic, they have their own constitution. Even better, they put it on a wall in the neighbourhood, written in 16 languages. The full points on the constitution of Uzupis are here. It is situated on Paupio Gatve in Uzupis.

The Constitution of Uzupis

The Constitution of Uzupis

Flying the Northern Ireland flag in Uzupis

Flying the Northern Ireland flag in Uzupis

Constitution Wall in Uzupis

Constitution Wall in Uzupis

3. Uzupis Flag
I loved the way the Uzupis flag has a hand on it similar to the Northern Ireland flag. On Uzups Gatve there is a flag pole with the flag on it.

Flag pole on Uzupis Gatve of the flag of Uzupis

Flag pole on Uzupis Gatve of the flag of Uzupis

4. Uzupis Angel
The Uzupis Angel is the defining statue and monument for the nation. It sits obvious and proud on Uzupis Gatve at the bottom of a hill.

The Uzupis Angel

The Uzupis Angel

It was a gradual construction of this Angel. On April 1, 2002, this statue of the archangel Gabriel blowing a trumpet was unveiled to symbolize revival and artistic freedom. The sculptor was Romas Vilciauskas. Prior to this an egg was on top of the pillar, which later sold for auction and now stands on Pylimo Street.

Uzupis Angel

Uzupis Angel

5. Pottery Workshop and Factory
The Republic of Uzupis is an arty place. There are a few art workshops and crafts centres to visit. You may need to ask in advance if you want to arrange a visit. Luckily I was able to get a tour of the pottery workshop on Paupio Gatve (opposite the Uzupis constitution wall).

Pottery Workshop and Factory in Uzupis

Pottery Workshop and Factory in Uzupis

The director of Uzupis Potters Guild is a man called Dainius Strazdas and he showed me around and I was able to watch the ceramics being made right there as well as posing for photos. You can also buy pottery here to take away. Everyone in here was so so friendly. Super Lithuanians/Uzupians!

Pottery Workshop and Factory in Uzupis

Pottery Workshop and Factory in Uzupis

Here are the details of the Pottery Workshop:
Vilnius Potters Guild, Uzupis, Paupio Strade 2-20. Phone: +370 6 599 9040
Email: dainius_strazdas@yahoo.com
Website: http://dvaromeistral.lt/dainius-strazdas
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dainius.strazdas

Pottery Workshop and Factory in Uzupis

Pottery Workshop and Factory in Uzupis

6. Keistoteka Bookshop
Right next door to the Pottery Workshop is a cool little bookshop. Here you can buy a load of books as well as some souvenirs. The lady who owned the shop was called Gintare and we had a chat.

Keistoteka Bookshop, Republic of Uzupis

Keistoteka Bookshop, Republic of Uzupis

With Gintare in Keistoteka Bookshop

With Gintare in Keistoteka Bookshop

Address: Paupio 2, Uzupis
keistoteka@gmail.com
http://www.super.lt

7. Uzupis Art Gallery
Down by the river and between the main entry bridge and Tibet Square, you’ll find lots of outdoor art and statues including a massive erect willy. There’s a free art gallery here and you should go in.

Art Gallery in Uzupis

Art Gallery in Uzupis

Art Gallery in Uzupis

Art Gallery in Uzupis

Uzupis is a funky neighbourhood of artists and the paintings and art is fantastic as is the grafitti on the walls nearby.

Wall murals in Uzupis

Wall murals in Uzupis

An erect Uzupis Penis

An erect Uzupis Penis

8. Tibet Square
It was funny seeing a Tibet Flag and a Tibet Square here. There is a slight connection with countries like Uzupis and Christiania to Tibet as the situation is similar. They are inside one country officially but they see themselves as different.

Tibet Flag in Uzupis

Tibet Flag in Uzupis

Tibet Square, Uzupis

Tibet Square, Uzupis

9. Spunka Pub
I learned about a cool funky bar in the Republic of Uzupis called Spunka. I had been looking for a local beer brewed in Uzupis you see and was told this was the spot to find it. It opens at 3pm and I was one of the first customers.

Spunka Bar, Republic of Uzupis.

Spunka Bar, Republic of Uzupis.

Spunka Bar, Republic of Uzupis.

Spunka Bar, Republic of Uzupis.

On speaking to Paulius the owner I learned that the beer is only available in summer time, so alas I had to make do with a Lithuanian beer.

Having a drink with Paulius the pub owner of Spunka in Uzupis

Having a drink with Paulius the pub owner of Spunka in Uzupis

10. St. Bartholomew Church
Even a small self declared Republic like Uzupis has a cool church to check out – St. Bartholomew Church. It’s on the right down an alley off Uzupio Gatve.

St. Bartholomew Church in Uzupis

St. Bartholomew Church in Uzupis

11. Souvenir Shop, Post office and Passport Stamp
So there is kind of unofficial immigration office, post office and souvenir shop all in one and it’s down the first pedestrian street on the left once you’ve entered the Republic of Uzupis the way I did (from Old Town Vilnius).

This place is the souvenir shop, post office and passport stamping immigration place all in one!

This place is the souvenir shop, post office and passport stamping immigration place all in one!

Post box in Uzupis

Post box in Uzupis

This souvenir shop contains loads of cool stuff that you simply cannot get anywhere else including Uzupis postcards, T-shirts, Fridge Magnets etc.

Uzupis souvenirs

Uzupis souvenirs

Uzupis souvenirs

Uzupis souvenirs

Getting my passport stamped in Uzupis

Getting my passport stamped in Uzupis

Uzupis Passport Stamps

Uzupis Passport Stamps

Even cooler is that this is the place you get your passport stamped with an Uzupis stamp. Amazing place to add to your collection of random stamps.

My Uzupis passport stamps

My Uzupis passport stamps

I also went a bit wild on souvenirs as this is such a rare wacky republic to be in. In fact, I could have bought more!

My souvenirs from the Republic of Uzupis

My souvenirs from the Republic of Uzupis

12. Vilnia River and Uzupis Republic Signs
Most people visit Uzupis on a day trip, so after looking around you simply cross back across the bridge into Vilnius, Lithuania. The Vilnia river is an arty area and is worth checking out, plus there is not only the entering Uzupis sign, but an exiting Uzupis sign too.

Statues down by the River Vilnia

Statues down by the River Vilnia

The exit sign for leaving Uzupis and back to the reality that is Lithuania

The exit sign for leaving Uzupis and back to the reality that is Lithuania

Here are some of my videos from backpacking in Uzupis:


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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Europe, Lists, Lithuania, My Top 5s, Uzupis, Vilnius. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Backpacking in Uzupis: Top 12 Sights in The Republic Nobody Has Heard Of

  1. Good morning Jonny !

    Great to hear more about your travels . I have finally updated or put information I should say on my Linkedin
    page . It would really be great to go on adventure with you . You literally know your way around .

    Dont stop ramblin !

    Greg

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Gregory, Great to hear from you mate!! What an exciting few days we had in Paraguay all those years ago. I haven’t been back since – but I did visit Iguazu Falls again on the Brazil side last year. I’m off to Africa and Asia next but wherever you are heading to hopefully we can meet up for a drink and a bit of travel along the way. Best wishes. Jonny

  3. Marcel says:

    Paulius! 🙂

    Great article. I came to Vilnius over a year ago, for a few days. Užupis is one of the reasons I’m still here. A wonderful place.

  4. Jonny Blair says:

    Thanks for the comment Marcel – it’s a great city and the quirkiness of Uzupis helps with that – I’d love to come back for a 1st April celebration sometime! Safe travels, Jonny

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  15. parind says:

    Hi Jonny,
    Sorry for asking something specific, but would you be able to include a point on the map where I can find that souvenir shop to get the stamps in the passport? I’m visiting Vilnius in a month and would love to visit this place.

    Thanks much
    Parind

  16. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Parind, Thanks for the comment. A month is plenty of time to prepare. But remember I was there over two years ago so things can change. At that time, you walk across the main entrance bridge and take the first immediate left by the river. The first souvenir shop you see on the right was where I bought tht stamps and got my passport stamped. I hope it is still the same. Enjoy your trip to this Wacaday Republic! Safe travels. Jonny

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