20 Things to Do in Vilnius, Lithuania + Tourist Spots


Things to Do in Vilnius: A Guide to the City’s Top Attractions

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, offers a mix of historical charm and cosmopolitan life that entices travelers from world wide. This city is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, which boasts an array of lovely baroque architecture. The cobblestone streets wind past a various collection of cafes, shops, and museums that tell the story of Vilnius’ wealthy past and vibrant present.

Vilnius Old town
Vilnius Old town

Selecting one of the best time to go to can enhance the experience, with each season imparting a special hue to town. The long, light-filled days of summer provide ample time for exploration, while the magical dusting of snow in winter gives it a fairytale-like appeal. Flights to Vilnius are accessible from major cities across Europe, making it a convenient destination for international visitors. Climate-wise, visitors can enjoy warm summers and cold winters, with a spread of indoor and outdoor activities suitable for any weather condition.

Whether taking to the skies for a hot air balloon ride over the cityscape or wandering through the historic streets of the Old Town, Vilnius invites curiosity and exploration. The town’s history comes alive at sites corresponding to the Gediminas Tower and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Meanwhile, modern culture thrives within the self-proclaimed Republic of Uzupis, where art and creativity flourish.

Historical Landmarks

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is steeped in history with landmarks dating back to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Each location encapsulates a special era, showcasing Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical architecture.

Gediminas Castle and Tower
Gediminas Castle and Tower

Gediminas Castle and Tower

Perched atop Gediminas Hill, Gediminas Tower is all that is still of the Upper Castle, offering panoramic views of Vilnius. This iconic symbol of Lithuania’s past speaks to the legacy of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and holds artifacts related to town’s history.

Vilnius Cathedral and Square
Vilnius Cathedral and Square

Vilnius Cathedral and Square

Situated in the guts of town, Vilnius Cathedral and its square are neoclassical masterpieces. The cathedral is home to a crypt and chapels, in addition to a striking bell tower that visitors can explore.

Trakai Historical National Park
Trakai Historical National Park

Trakai Historical National Park

Trakai Historical National Park is thought for the picturesque Trakai Island Castle on Lake Galve. This fortress is a surprising example of Gothic architecture and offers insights into the lives of the Karaite people, known for his or her traditional pastry, kibinai.

Main Square of Vilnius Old Town
Predominant Square of Vilnius Old Town

Old Town Exploration

The historic Old Town of Vilnius, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features cobblestone streets and diverse architecture. Pilies Street, the foremost thoroughfare, is lined with boutiques and cafes, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in town’s vibrant atmosphere.

National Museum of Lithuania
National Museum of Lithuania

Museums and Memorials

Vilnius can also be home to many significant museums, corresponding to the National Museum of Lithuania which chronicles the country’s history. The Museum of Genocide Victims, also generally known as the KGB Museum, provides a somber take a look at the Soviet era, while the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania showcases royal heritage with its baroque interiors.

Religious Sights and Architecture

Vilnius, Lithuania, holds a treasure trove of spiritual sights, boasting a deep historical essence and diverse architectural styles. Visitors can explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites, marvel at Gothic and Baroque architecture, and find tranquility throughout the serene churches and chapels that adorn town.

Gate of Dawn in Vilnius
Gate of Dawn in Vilnius

Gate of Dawn

The Gate of Dawn stands because the only remaining gate out of the unique five gates in town’s defensive partitions. Inside, the chapel houses a revered icon of the Virgin Mary, believed to have miraculous powers. This sacred site is a major pilgrimage destination and a surprising example of historical architecture mixing with religious tradition.

St. Anne's Church in Vilnius
St. Anne’s Church in Vilnius

St. Anne’s Church

St. Anne’s Church is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with its intricate façade made up of 33 different sorts of brick. Its grandeur has been so compelling that it is claimed, Napoleon wished to hold the church back to Paris within the palm of his hand. The church stays one of the vital iconic structures in Vilnius.

Church of St John and Bell Tower at Vilnius University
Church of St John and Bell Tower at Vilnius University

Church of St. Johns

Situated at the guts of Vilnius University, the Church of St. Johns is a historic constructing with Baroque interiors that command attention. The university and church complex, also steeped in tradition, reflects the wealthy academic and spiritual lifetime of Lithuania.

Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Vilnius
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Vilnius

Church of Sts. Peter and Paul

A Baroque marvel, the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul is renowned for its opulent white interior, adorned with over 2,000 stucco figures. This church encapsulates the peak of Baroque craftsmanship in Lithuania and showcases an interior that may be a visual symphony of spiritual storytelling and design.

Cultural Experiences

In Vilnius, the cultural tapestry is as wealthy and varied because the history of the Baltics itself. From the colourful festivals celebrating Central European heritage to the expressive street art that adorns town’s Old Town, visitors can immerse themselves in a realm where traditional charm meets contemporary creativity.

Festivals and Events

All year long, Vilnius becomes a stage for a large number of cultural festivals and events. Summer in town is a very festive time, brimming with music, dance, and theater. One cannot miss the charisma of Vilnius Festival, which showcases classical music performances by international and native artists, perfect for many who appreciate melodious summer evenings. Furthermore, the Culture Night (“Kult?ros naktis”) transforms town into an ephemeral gallery with performances and installations popping up from dusk till dawn.

Art and Street Art

The artistic soul of Vilnius spills out onto the streets with vibrant street art that makes for a dynamic and living gallery under the open sky. An exploration on foot reveals murals and art installations that reflect town’s creative pulse and political history. Particularly noteworthy is the Užupis district – a self-declared independent republic known for its bohemian spirit and full of galleries and studios. Here one can witness the continuing dialogue between art and freedom.

Bernardine Garden in Vilnius
Bernardine Garden in Vilnius

Bernardine Garden and Parks

For a serene cultural experience, the Bernardine Garden provides a picturesque retreat in the guts of Vilnius. With meticulously maintained garden beds and historical statues, it’s a horticultural masterpiece befitting of Central Europe. Children can benefit from the playgrounds while adults admire the symphony of fountains or bask within the tranquility by the riverside walks. This garden and the larger network of parks throughout town are indeed among the most cherished attractions for each locals and tourists alike.

Leisure and Recreation

Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, provides an array of leisure activities catering to varied interests, from outdoor enthusiasts to nighttime owls and shoppers. The town’s diverse offerings ensure experiences wealthy in culture, rest, and entertainment.

Walking Tours and Outdoor Activities

In Vilnius, walking tours are a vital option to discover the historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can join a free walking tour to delve into town’s history and admire the Gothic and Baroque architecture. During summer, outdoor activities abound, corresponding to cider tasting sessions in cozy courtyards or picturesque picnics by the Neris River.

Nightlife and Entertainment

When the sun sets, Vilnius’s nightlife comes alive with an array of bars and clubs. For many who love beer, quite a few bars are offering local and craft options. Cocktail aficionados will find sophisticated lounges serving inventive concoctions. For an unforgettable experience, some venues within the Old Town stay open late, turning into vibrant spaces where one can dance until dawn.

Shopping Districts

Vilnius Old Town is just not only a historical marvel; it’s also a consumer’s delight. Boutique shops line the cobblestone streets, offering all the things from handcrafted souvenirs to high-end fashion. For a more local shopping experience, visitors can explore markets and specialty stores that showcase one of the best of Lithuanian design and produce.

Lake Galve in Vilnius
Lake Galve in Vilnius

Relaxing by Rivers and Lakes

Recreation in Vilnius isn’t complete without time spent near water. Locals and tourists alike frequent the banks of the Neris River for jogs or leisurely strolls. A brief trip to Lake Galve presents the right retreat for those looking for serenity. Here, one can rent a ship for a tranquil day on the water or just enjoy a lakeside picnic with friends.

Local Cuisine

Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, offers a wealthy tapestry of culinary delights, showcasing hearty traditional foods, a burgeoning café culture, vibrant street food, and a sturdy number of beer and spirits. Visitors are invited to find the authentic flavors of Lithuanian cuisine, from historical dishes to modern interpretations.

Traditional Lithuanian Food

Cepelinai, often considered Lithuania’s national dish, are substantial potato dumplings traditionally full of meat, curd, or mushrooms. Their name, meaning ‘zeppelin’, aptly describes their unique shape. One other indigenous specialty is kibinai, savory pastries crammed with meat or vegetables, integral to the Karaite community, which have called Lithuania home for hundreds of years. A visit to Vilnius is incomplete without experiencing these staples of Baltic cuisine.

Cafes and Restaurants

Vilnius boasts an array of restaurants and coffee shops that serve each traditional Lithuanian fare and international dishes. For a taste of Lithuania’s contemporary culinary scene, one can find eateries offering modern interpretations of classic dishes. Advantageous dining and comfortable cafés may be found throughout Vilnius Old Town, where the ambiance is as wealthy because the coffee served.

Street Food and Markets

Visitors trying to grab a fast bite can delve into the bustling street food scene. Hales Turgus, Vilnius’s oldest market, is a superb destination for local produce and snacks. The Downtown Food Hall, a more modern take, caters to varied palates with its eclectic food offerings, where one can enjoy anything from street-food staples to exotic fare.

Beer and Spirits

Lithuania’s vibrant drinking culture is reflected in its number of local beer and unique spirits. Craft breweries offer a taste of the country’s hoppy heritage, and for those with a taste for stronger libations, options like traditional herbal bitters or honey liquor reflect Lithuania’s spirit-making tradition. A neighborhood favorite is the cocktail scene in Vilnius, where mixologists mix international trends with local flavors.

Practical Information

When planning a visit to Vilnius, travelers should listen to the range of accommodations available to suit different budgets, in addition to the efficient public transport system that makes navigating town straightforward.


Vilnius offers a spread of hotels, from luxurious five-star experiences to more budget-friendly options. Tourists can easily discover a place to remain that meets their needs, whether or not they are on the lookout for the historical charm of a boutique hotel within the Old Town or the affordability of a hostel. For those looking for alternatives to traditional hotels, short-term rental apartments are also widely available and might provide a more private and homely experience.

Regarding transportation, Vilnius has a comprehensive public transport network, including buses and trolleybuses, that are an inexpensive option to get around town. Most visitors find that buying a Vilnius transport map aids of their exploration of town, ensuring they will reach their desired destinations using essentially the most direct routes. Moreover, ride-sharing services corresponding to Uber are operational in Vilnius, offering one other convenient option for travelers preferring to not navigate public buses or are on the lookout for a ride outside of usual public transport operating hours.

For those conscious of spending, it’s reassuring that Vilnius is taken into account quite low-cost in comparison with many other European capitals, meaning that even travelers on a good budget can benefit from the range of what town has to supply without compromising on quality experiences and comfy accommodations.

Unique Experiences

Vilnius offers a tapestry of unique attractions and sights, starting from vibrant neighborhoods with their very own structure to mind-bending spots that play with perception. These experiences will not be just visually fascinating but in addition wealthy in history and culture.

Uzupis Republic

The Uzupis Republic is a bohemian district that has declared itself an independent republic. Visitors can explore its whimsical streets and discover the Užupis Structure, proudly displayed on a wall in multiple languages. It’s a testament to the realm’s free-spirited identity. Not removed from this enclave, one can hike as much as Three Crosses Hill for a sweeping view of town.

Optical Illusions and Unique Spots

Vilnius is home to an array of optical illusions and interesting exhibits, like those found on the Vilnil Museum of Illusions. Interactive and fun for all ages, these attractions challenge perceptions and invite guests to turn into a component of the art. For a very unique experience, hunt down the Miracle Tile near the Cathedral Square—legend says that spinning on this tile brings success. Visitors may ascend the TV Tower, the tallest structure in Lithuania, for breathtaking vistas and a historical experience related to the country’s fight for independence.

Seasonal Activities

Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, truly shines in the summertime, when town bursts with cultural festivals and open-air gatherings. This season offers the perfect weather for exploring and having fun with the myriad outdoor activities town has to supply.

Summer Fun

In the course of the warm summer months, Vilnius becomes a vibrant hub for quite a lot of festivals. One can experience town’s wealthy culture at events corresponding to the open-air live shows in various parks and public spaces. The best time to go to is arguably from June to August, when town is energetic and the times are longest, providing ample time for exploration and delight.

  • Weather: Mild and nice, typically starting from 20°C to 25°C, ideal for outdoor activities.
  • Festivals: From music and art to food and history, festivals dot the summer calendar.
  • Gatherings: The town squares turn into gathering places for locals and tourists alike, sharing within the season’s festivities.

Especially notable is the Hill of Three Crosses, a monument and park offering panoramic views of town. A midsummer visit to this spot allows one to completely appreciate the plush greenery and scenic cityscapes under the clear, blue sky. Here, visitors can soak within the historical and cultural significance of the positioning while having fun with a leisurely picnic or a serene sunset.

Travel and Connectivity

Traveling inside Vilnius, Lithuania showcases a comprehensive network of public transportation. Tourists often find transport inexpensive, easily accessible, and efficient for navigating town. Integrating travel suggestions and budget travel into the journey allows for a cheap and nice experience.

Public Transportation Networking

Vilnius boasts an in depth and efficient public transport system composed of buses and trolleybuses. Visitors can obtain a map of the network at tourist information centers or online, providing clarity on routes and connections throughout town. For budget-conscious travelers, public buses are a cheap option, with tickets available at kiosks, from bus drivers, or via mobile apps.

Most buses operate from early morning until late at night, ensuring connectivity to key attractions and districts. Furthermore, Uber and other ride-sharing services offer another mode of transport, accommodating those preferring a more direct path to their destination or are traveling outside regular public transportation hours.

Vilnius at a Glance

A city steeped in history and culture, Vilnius is a destination where timeless European charm converges with the colourful lifetime of the Baltics. This section provides an insightful overview of Lithuania’s capital.

Quick Facts and Overviews

Location: Nestled in southeast Lithuania, Vilnius is each the capital and the biggest city of this Baltic nation.

Old Town: Recognized as certainly one of the biggest preserved medieval old towns in Europe, Vilnius Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its cobblestone streets and an array of architectural styles spanning several centuries.

City Wall: While much of it has not survived to the current day, the remnants of the historic defensive wall speak to Vilnius’s past, highlighting its strategic importance within the region.

Gates of Dawn: This gate is just not only certainly one of the surviving parts of town’s defensive partitions but in addition home to a revered shrine containing an iconic painting of the Virgin Mary, which attracts pilgrims from across the globe.

Three Crosses: Overlooking town from Bleak Hill, the monument of the Three Crosses has turn into an iconic symbol of Vilnius, offering panoramic views and serving as a testament to town’s resilience.

Baltics: As certainly one of the three Baltic capitals, Vilnius boasts a singular geopolitical location, thriving as a cultural and economic hub in northeastern Europe.

Map: The town’s layout is emblematic of old European cities, with winding streets that invite exploration and discovery and a river, the Neris, accentuating its scenic landscape.

Throughout these points, one understands that Vilnius is a city that honors its past while actively forging a spirited and contemporary identity.

Things to Do in Vilnius, Lithuania + Tourist Spots
Things to Do in Vilnius, Lithuania + Tourist Spots

Continuously Asked Questions

Exploring Vilnius generally is a delightful experience that involves discovering historic landmarks, relishing local cuisine, and interesting in cultural activities. This section provides essentially the most sought-after information by travelers.

What are the highest attractions to go to in Vilnius?

The Cathedral Square serves as a central point in Vilnius, anchoring the historic Old Town. Travelers shouldn’t miss the Gediminas Tower for panoramic views of town.

Where can I find one of the best local cuisine in Vilnius?

Local cuisine may be present in the comfortable restaurants of the Old Town. For a conventional Lithuanian meal, one can dine at a spot like Senoji Trobel?, which offers quite a lot of hearty, authentic dishes.

Are you able to recommend some unique cultural experiences in Vilnius?

For a singular cultural experience, visitors can explore town’s diverse art scene. Events corresponding to the Vilnius Street Art Festival capture the contemporary vibe of town.

What are essentially the most interesting historical sites to go to in Vilnius?

Vilnius is home to several interesting historical sites, including Gediminas Castle Tower and the Medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a labyrinth of narrow streets and historic architecture.

Which neighborhoods in Vilnius are best to probe for an authentic local experience?

The district of Uzupis, often in comparison with Montmartre in Paris, is thought for its bohemian atmosphere and is a must-visit for those looking for an authentic local experience.

How can I benefit from a weekend trip to Vilnius?

To benefit from a weekend in Vilnius, it is strongly recommended to prioritize key attractions just like the Old Town, Trakai Castle, and the KGB Museum. A guided walking tour can provide insightful context to town’s wealthy history and culture.

Vilnius Travel and Tour Packages

Take a look at our list of inexpensive Vilnius hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking, or you might also see available Airbnb properties in town.

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