The city of Vilnius has proven to be very creative while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, transforming its city center into a sprawling open-air cafe for socially distanced dining and using its quiet airport runway as a drive-in movie theater to keep its people entertained safely. Now, the Lithuanian capital is turning its largest square into an open beach. From June 23 to August 31, Lukiškės Square will be fitted with white sand, wooden paths, sun loungers, a lifeguard tower, and changing booths, giving city-dwellers a beach experience three hours from the coast.
Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius said in a statement, “We could not ignore the fact that many people had to drastically change their already planned vacation due to quarantine. The popular seaside resorts of Southern Europe are not easily accessible at the moment, and our Baltic Sea beaches will be overpacked this summer. That’s why we needed a solution to help people recoup some of that vacation vibe on Vilnius’ very own beach.”
Visitors to Open Beach will be able to sunbathe, play beach volleyball or badminton, and make sand castles. There will also be tables with free Wi-Fi and electrical outlets so people can take a “workation,” and special programs will be hosted for kids on Sundays. To make it look like the real deal, a large screen will broadcast the waves and sounds of the Baltic Sea. In the evenings, the same screen will be used to show movies.