With its rich culture and vibrant arts scene, Vilnius is a breath of fresh air. There are ways to enjoy Lithuania’s buzzing capital.
Get Lost in Vilnius Old Town
- Standing at the Gates of Dawn, the entry on the UNESCO heritage site, Vilnius Old Town, you are about to enter one of the best preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe. As an array of Baroque, Neoclassical, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, this 900 acre maze of over 70 streets and 1200 buildings is a living museum. The emphasize of it is the Cathedral Square, with its distinctive freestanding bell tower and huge white cathedral.
- Many sights in Vilnius are clustered around the romantic Old Town, within walking distance of each other. A tour of the 14th-century Higher Castle, the neo-classical Cathedral and the Lithuanian National Museum serves as an introduction to Lithuanian culture.
- Pilies Street is the center of action in the Old Town, the place to shop, eat or take in the one of the numerous festivals taking place here. Nearby are also the two prominent Squares, the Cathedral Square and Town Hall Square, both gathering points for artistic and national celebrations.
Relax in Trakai
Only 28 km from Vilnius, Trakai is a popular vacation spot for tourists and locals looking to get away from the bustle of the city. Trakai is the place to see beautiful lakes and outdoor music concerts, but perhaps most famous of all is the six century old castles, the Trakai Island Castle. After you have explored the large courtyard, get lost in the inner galleries and stone passageways and stand on the battlements that withstood attacks from the Teutonic Knights hundreds of years ago.
Sample Some Local Cuisine
Lithuanian cuisine is a mouthwatering mix of Scandinavian, Eastern European and Jewish. You can expect to find hearty dishes, especially hot, thick soups, smoked sausage, heaps of wild berries and mushrooms and the choice of every table, dark rye bread.
Hang out in the arty Užupis Quarter
Crossing the River Vilnia, which is really more of a stream, you will reach Uzupis, the area of town which mockingly declared its independence from the rest of Vilnius. The Bohemian Užupis district has a style of its own, laid-back and constantly creative. Many of its streets are decorated with lively paintings and sculptures.
On a Shopping Spree
Shopping is always a fun way to pass time and a better way of gaining an excellent orientation of the city, then a little bit of trip retail therapy. There is all the range of shops, markets and indoor malls in Vilnius. Akropolis and Europa have everything underneath their roofs.
It is the time to Disco
There is an endless array of great nightlife options in Vilnius. They offer food, drink, DJs or live music and huge dance floors that stay packed well into the wee hours.