Denmark has Christiania, Rome has the Vatican and Vilnius has Užupis
What was once considered one of the most run down areas of Vilnius is now it’s own republic. Užupis (meaning “the other side of the river”) was declared a republic on 1st of April 1997, leading many to believe it was an April Fools prank. Instead, Užupis has become home to many artists and also to the Mayor of Vilnius (who on a side note, became famous when he drove a tank over a car parked illegally in a bicycle lane and had it filmed).
Enter the republic via the bridge from the old town and to your left you will find the city hall (also a pub and restaurant.) This is where you can get your passport stamped (yep they even do that!) Make sure you read the town rules before entering…
Its constitution has been translated into 21 different languages which are all displayed for visitors to see and it boosts over 200 ambassadors all over the world.
It’s a city of artist, so expect to see some. From the mermaid by the bridge to a metal rabbits head, there’s something for everyone.
One of the most famous stories from Užupis happened on its first National Days when during the celebrations, the beer begun pouring from taps instead of water. Now people come from afar not just to help celebrate and party but in hops that one day the beer supply and water supply will again be mixed up.