While Kalnai Park offers great views, there’s one place nearby that even locals don’t know about, unless they live in the neighbourhood. It’s called Altana Hill and the reason I like it is because it’s really peaceful.
Find the Užupis Gymnasium first – it’s at the address indicated in this article. Once there, go around the building to the opposite side of Krivių Street. In case you’re wondering – yes, you can do that, since there’s no fence. You’ll see a stairway. Take it, then take the next one on your right. Once up, turn left and left again and follow the path. It doesn’t look like much from here, but wait until you see the view.
There’s an octagonal building on the very top of the hill, which is how the hill got its name. The building is called an altana (a fancy word of Italian origin for a garden feature). It was built by a Vilnius native Melanija Dluska around 1933 and her husband used it to grow exotic plants. The city council never gave her building permission and wanted the altana demolished. Melanija never gave in and it’s still there.
It’s so quiet on top that you can hear the river flow. You can use the stairs on the side of the hill opposite the one you came from to climb down and follow the river downstream to a nearby bridge. This will take you near Gediminas Hill and Cathedral Square. Basically, that’s city centre defined.