Accommodation & places to visit in Vilnius

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
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    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.
  • Weather
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    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.
  • To Do
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    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.
  • To See
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    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
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    • 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.

    • Dial 112 for emergency services in Vilnius.

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