There are a wide range of things to do in Vilnius. The city is the most populist is the capital of Lithuania. It’s a quaint town with a small population of half a million and extraordinarily welcoming. It’s the perfect place to get lost for a few days and a popular stop on the Baltic tour route.
Streets are cobblestoned and the city center is the largest preserved example of baroque architecture in Europe. It’s littered with Catholic and orthodox churches and no matter where you are in the city you can see the ever present Gediminas’ Tower.
The largest city in Lithuania and is full of small cafes, charming shops, restaurants, art, and history. We had a fantastic time exploring and can’t wait to return one day. It’s full of interesting activities and sights. We recommend you follow our footsteps and some these great things to do in Vilnius.
Things to do in Vilnius
Explore the Old Town
A European city with an old town. Crazy I know, and yes we spent a significant portion of our time exploring the streets. Vilnius’s old town was quite large, but easy to navigate. The baroque architecture is abundant and there are plenty of cafes to dip into and enjoy a coffee before moving on t.
The streets are bustling at all hours, and there is a cafe every 10 steps. The cobbled streets are extremely clean, and boast a large number of touristy sites like St. Anne’s Church and the Presidential Palace. It may be the first, but it’s one of our favorite things to do in Vilnius and any town in Europe for that matter.
Don’t miss Uzupis
Without even realizing it, we had crossed the bridge over the Vilnia River and were in the Republic of Uzupis. A self-governing “free town,” similar to that of Freetown Christiania. Uzupis has its own president, currency, and constitution and is very charming to walk around in. There is a bohemian and artistic feel to the small area, and you can find yourself exploring the art installations while lazing about the Vilnia River.
Wander around Bernardine Cemetary
I’ve never been a cemetery expeditionist, but this particular Lithuanian cemetery was gorgeous. Just to the east of the Uzupis district, you will find the peaceful graveyard overlooking the city. Venture in and pay your respects, you won’t regret it. It is one of the many free things to do in Vilnius.
Eat at Snekutis
There are three locations around the city to try cheap local Lithuanian food. They have many draft beer options ranging from €1.30-€3. Come hungry and leave 10 lbs heavier from the hearty meat and potato pancakes. Now would be a good time to walk around old town. It’s common to tip 10% on food bills in many parts of Europe, read more about tipping in Europe.
Hike up to Gediminas’ Tower
For the best views of the city head up to Gediminas’ Tower, the remnants of the upper castle. There is also a museum inside for €2.
Three Crosses Hill
Once done with the tower walk down and head over to the stairs leading up to The Three Crosses. At the top, you will find amazing 360 views of Vilnius. The monument is a dedication to Lithuania’s dark past with the Soviet Union.
Take a day trip to Trakai Castle
We recommend Trakai Castle as one of the top things to do in Vilnius even though it’s not in the city. It makes for a great day trip and only takes a 30-minute bus ride to Trakai.
The most popular thing to do here is visit Trakai Castle, a 14th-century castle surrounded by Lake Galve. It’s truly stunning to see, and I would highly recommend paying the €6 to go inside (€3 for students). At least a half day is recommended for this day trip, buses leave regularly and are €1.77 one way.
Catch a play!
The Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre has numerous performances every week. Tickets are incredibly affordable starting at just €3 a piece. Catching a show is perfect for couples especially looking for a romantic night out.
Plan Your Trip to Vilnius
We rely on a few trusted websites that help save us money and time when booking hotels, flights, and car rentals. Check out some of our preferred partners below:
- Wondering what to pack? Check out our ultimate Europe Packing List.
- Accommodation: Find the best hotel deal at Hotels.com, or to feel more at home try Airbnb. Here is a coupon for your first stay!
- Train Travel: The best way to travel around Europe in our opinion is by train. You can buy a Eurail Pass check timetables, and purchase individual tickets on Rail Europe.
- Flights: Compare airlines, dates and prices all in one place with Skyscanner.
- Travel Insurance: We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. We ALWAYS travel with travel insurance. World Nomads offers incredible flexible and great plans!
- Guide Book: Sometimes it’s nice just to have a real book in your hands when traveling. We recommend Lonely Planet to get you through the wireless nights.
- Water: We found the water tasty to drink from the taps. For extra assurance though we always recommend a Lifestraw Go Waterbottle.
Have you been to Lithuania? What things did you do in Vilnius?
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