Vilnius – Lithuania’s Crowning Glory
Plan a holiday in Vilnius, which is located in southeast part of Lithuania and is the second largest city of the Baltic States. Vilnius is the capital as well as the largest city in Lithuania at an elevation of 112 meters above sea level and has been declared as Gamma global city by Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Often called as ‘Jerusalem of Lithuania’, the city has been declared as UNEXCO World Heritage site owing to the numerous historical attractions located in the Old town of the city. The city spreads on an area of 401 km2 of land, it is home to more than 539,939 residents. Vilnius served as the European Capital of Culture along with Linz in Austria in the year 2009. The city is among the oldest in the region and the proper construction of the present city began only during the reign of Vytenis. The city was referred to as the ‘Jerusalem of the North’ by Napoleon in the year 1812. The city has been ruled by Polish, Russians, and Germans before becoming an independent republic on 11 March 1990. While Lithuanian is the official language of the people of Vilnius, Polish and English are also spoken.
Vilnius International Airport which is just 5 km from the city center is the major international airport serving ten city and all flights coming to Vilnius land at this airport. At present the airport is directly connected to 89 destinations in 28 different countries. The city experiences humid continental climate featuring warm to hot summer and very cold to freezing winters. July and August are the warmest months of the year with temperatures rising above 30 °C. January and February are the coldest months in the city and mercury can dip to as low as −25 °C. The best time to visit is during the summer months when a lot of activities and open air events are held all over the city. The peak tourist season last from June till August; so if you are planning to visit during this time make sure to book your hotels much in advance. The summer months are also best to enjoy the beaches. For those who want to explore the local culture of the people, visit during Kaziukas Fair in March, Europe Day on 9th May, The Christopher Summer Festival in July, Bartholomew Fair in August, Vilniaus fejerija in September and Vilnius City Fiesta in September.
Begin your Vilnius city tour by exploring the Jerusalem of the North, the landmark attraction of the city. A magnificent prayer house famous for its architectural splendors, the church is a major symbol of Lithuanian capital. The historic Gediminas Castle is the most popular castle in the country. Dedicate a full day to explore the charms of the Old Town which is a World Heritage site. Gate of Dawn and St. Anne's Church are the most popular religious attractions in Vilnius. Numerous lakes and sandy beaches also adorn the city.
Vilnius University, which is among the oldest universities in Europe, is noted for its interesting history and marvelous appearance. Vilnius Town Hall is another important building which was designed by Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius and is the hub for major festivals and events. The Bastion of Vilnius defensive wall is another historical attraction in the Old part of the city.
Vilnius TV Tower (highest building in Lithuania), The Park of Europe (an open air museum), National Museum of Lithuania (displaying thousands of different exhibits), Vingis Park (the largest park), Cathedral Square in Old Town and Genocide Victims' Museum are among the major sightseeing places in Vilnius.
Eating and Shopping
The food scene of Lithuania is not the mightiest in the world, but there are numerous restaurants, comfortable cafes and small budget eating places where you can enjoy some great food at affordable price. The cuisine of Vilnius has influence from Scandinavian, Georgian, Romanian and Ashkenazi cuisine and uses beef and other meats along with vegetables, barley, rye and mushrooms in plenty. Koldūnai (version of dumpling), doughnuts, blynai crepes, potato pudding, potato sausages, Šakotis, kibinai and čeburekai are the local dishes which you should not miss in the city. Numerous restaurants serving international cuisines can also be spotted all over the city. Restaurant Balzac, Restaurant Rene, La Provence, Bistro 18, Restaurant Neringa and Invino are the best places in Vilnius to sample authentic local food. While drinking is a common indulgence, make sure you do not overdo it as the pubs do not tolerate drunken men or the ones who sleep the bar. Smoking is banned in all public places.
Amber, winter clothing, wool socks and hats and flaxware are the shopping items that the city is famous for. There are many malls in Vilnius and many upscale brands like Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana and Mango have opened their outlets. Akropolis, Banginis, Europa, Helios City, Panorama and VCUP are the major shopping malls in the city.
Flexible where you fly? Search nearby airports for bigger savings.
Airports near Vilnius
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.