Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, is located in the southeastern part of the country. With a history that dates back to the mid-14th century, the city is full of historic neighborhoods, churches and civic buildings. However beautiful, Vilnius isn't all about the past. Home to nearly half a million people, Vilnius offers visitors an intriguing mixture of old and new, historic sites and contemporary music, technology and food.
When to visit
The best time to visit Vilnius is during the spring and fall, after the weather has warmed up, but before the crowds and the hot humid days of summer descend on the city. Spring and fall (April, May, September, October) are also when you'll find attractive, shoulder-season pricing on airfare and hotels.
The Christmas season, though it can be cold, is particularly beautiful in Vilnius. In addition to the many lights and decorative store windows, the city puts up a magnificent tree in the center of the town square. CNN named it one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in the world.
The weather in Vilnius runs to both extremes. The average high temperatures exceed 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) in June, July and August, whereas the average low temperatures dip well below freezing in January, February and March. Sub-zero temperatures are not unheard of and the river commonly freezes during the winter.
It rains or snows, on an average of one out of every two days in Vilnius year round, with the rainiest/snowiest months being December, January and February.
No trip to Vilnius is complete without a trip to the city's Old Town, one of the largest and most complete in Europe and now an UNESCO Heritage Site. The more than 1,500 buildings in the area include examples of baroque, renaissance and Gothic architecture as well as cobblestone streets, tiny chapels and large cathedrals, and a myriad of sidewalk cafes.
Hot air balloon rides are a popular tourist activity in Vilnius and offer a unique perspective on the city.
Vilnius loves festivals and the city hosts more than a dozen such events each year. Highlights include the Vilnius Festival, held from May through July each year; the Kaziukas Day Fair, an arts and crafts festival held in March; and the Vilnius Jazz Festival, held each August.
In addition to exploring the Old Town, you should explore one or more of the many castles in the area, some of which date back to Medieval times. There are also 65 churches and cathedrals as well as dozens of parks and green spaces, including Parc Vingus, the largest park in the city.
Museums in Vilnius include the Lithuanian National Museum, the largest in the country; the Alexander Pushkin Museum; the Money Museum, the Amber Museum and the National Gallery of Art.
Tips & Recommendations
• Bicycles are widely available and affordable to rent in Vilnius. They are a great way to explore the city without spending a fortune on taxis.
• Vilnius is known for its amber jewelry and other items, woolen goods and flaxware.
• Lithuanian cuisine features meat, potatoes and northern European vegetables prominently. You'll see many similarities to Polish cuisine, including paczki (jelly donuts), blintzes and pierogies. Other must-tries include beet soup; bigos, a hunter's stew made with sausage; and poppy seed rolls.
• Lunch in Lithuania, the largest meal of the day, is typically eaten around noon, with dinner eaten between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM.
Grata Hotel complements its large selection of rooms with a high level of service. The 3-star rating promises an enjoyable stay in Vilnius. The lodging provides an excellent location from which to walk and view several attractions, including Kenessa temple and National Museum of Lithuania. Vilnius Airport is conveniently close, while distant enough for comfort. Vilnius Train Station is an easy jaunt from this location.
Neringa Hotel gives you lots of choices, thanks to the extensive selection of rooms. The high star rating ensures a comfortable stay along with excellent facilities. The proximity of this location to attractions such as Presidential Palace and National Museum of Lithuania makes it a great choice. St. Nicholas' Church is near this accommodation, and well worth a visit.
Sarunas Hotel offers plenty of rooms and options. This is a 4-star property. This location provides easy access to popular attractions such as Gediminas Castle and Museum of Applied Art. Nearby, Vilnius Cathedral is a classic Vilnius structure.
Congress Hotel is a large property with an extensive selection of rooms. This holiday accommodation's 4-star rating ensures you'll enjoy high-quality service. This location provides easy access to popular attractions such as Vilnius Castle and National Museum of Lithuania. While visiting Vilnius, a tour of photogenic Vilnius Cathedral is highly recommended.
Expect a touch of luxury at the 3-star Grybas House. With fewer than 20 rooms, this lodge offers a homey atmosphere. For your convenience, this accommodation is very close to Vilnius Airport. Major transportation routes can be accessed at Vilnius Train Station. Gate of Dawn, Great Synagogue of Vilna and Sapieha Palace are all within walking distance. You'll be close to National Museum of Lithuania and Museum of Applied Art, where you can spend hours admiring the collections. The impressive St. Casimir's Church is nearby.
Bernardinu B&B House is a 2-star establishment. With fewer than 20 rooms at this property, more personalized service is assured. Nearby, Vilnius Train Station is a good public transportation option. Make your trip especially memorable, visit Sapieha Palace, Royal Palace of Lithuania and Presidential Palace. Nearby you'll find Church of the Holy Mother of God. Vilnius museums are delightful! Spend some time in National Museum of Lithuania, or perhaps Museum of Applied Art.
Vilnius Home Bed and Breakfast is a 2-star establishment. Explore the surrounding area in comfort thanks to the nearby Vilnius Train Station. Great Synagogue of Vilna is within easy walking distance, as are Presidential Palace and Royal Palace of Lithuania. Located 0.2 km (0.1 miles) away, St. Nicholas' Church attracts locals and tourists alike. Cultural options in the vicinity include National Museum of Lithuania and Museum of Applied Art.
The 3-star rating reflects Skapo Apartments's good quality. Sight-seeing and travel is available via nearby Vilnius Train Station. Presidential Palace, Royal Palace of Lithuania and Sapieha Palace are all within walking distance. You can easily get to Vilnius Cathedral from this property. Both National Museum of Lithuania and Museum of Applied Art are quite close.
For easy travel, Domus247 is a short distance from Vilnius Train Station. Vilnius Airport is the nearest airport. Great Synagogue of Vilna, Gate of Dawn and Presidential Palace are popular destinations you can easily reach from this accommodation. Nearby you'll find St. Casimir's Church. Both National Museum of Lithuania and Museum of Applied Art are quite close.
Save money by staying in this 2-star Fortuna Hostel. With no more than 20 rooms, this lodging makes guests feel right at home. Vilnius Airport is close enough for easy access. Vilnius Train Station connects you to the rest of Vilnius. Make your trip especially memorable, visit Gate of Dawn, Great Synagogue of Vilna and Sapieha Palace. In the immediate vicinity of this accommodation, you'll find the outstanding National Museum of Lithuania and Museum of Applied Art. From here you'll be near magnificent structures such as Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit.
The 2-star Hostel B&B&B&B&B - Adult Only delivers good quality for the price. The nearest airport from here is Vilnius Airport. From here, you'll be conveniently close to Vilnius Train Station. Recommended attractions: Gate of Dawn, Great Synagogue of Vilna and Presidential Palace. St. Casimir's Church is 0.9 km (0.6 miles) from here. From this property you'll be close to National Museum of Lithuania and Museum of Applied Art.
Vivulskio Hotel has 3 stars. The rooms here are small in number and the hospitality is highly regarded. Vilnius Airport can be reached easily. You'll easily access all the city has to offer: Vilnius Train Station provides public transit connections throughout Vilnius. Great Synagogue of Vilna, Presidential Palace and Kenessa temple are popular destinations you can easily reach from this accommodation. While in Vilnius, spend a few hours exploring National Museum of Lithuania or Museum of Applied Art. St. Nicholas' Church is 0.9 km (0.5 miles) from here.
The 2-star Downtown Forest Hostel & Camping delivers good quality for the price. The distance to Vilnius Airport is 4.7 km (2.9 miles). The accommodation is near Vilnius Train Station for easy accessibility. Sapieha Palace, Gate of Dawn and Hill of the Three Crosses can all be found in nearby. Church of St. Anne is within walking distance. A museum visit can be fascinating; try the nearby Museum of Applied Art or National Museum of Lithuania.
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