In lots of ways I liked Vilnius best of the three Baltic capitals. The streets are clean, beer and food are only two thirds of the price in Riga or Tallinn, and the architecture has a joyful flourish that you don't often find in the grey stone and red brick of its northerly neighbours. It was only after dark that I began to feel grateful that I lived in Riga. The streets were closed and empty, at least two of the places in my guidebook had gone bankrupt, and the liveliest pub was crowded with people watching Eurovision on a big screen TV, cheering every Lithuanian point as if it was a goal in the World Cup Final. When it closed at one our only choice was a bar playing 80s music. "Is this as busy as it gets?" I asked a girl in the gap between Haircut 100 and Spandau Ballet. "Nowadays, yes," she replied. "Everybody drinks at home."
Recession nightlife is not half as much fun as it used to be.