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Der DOmplatz in Vilnius, Bild: MNStudio / shutterstock

Vilnius – the Rome of the North

The first thing that strikes the traveler in Lithuania is the warmth and hospitality of the people. Of these, about 2.8 million live in the small Baltic country.
Lithuania is the southernmost of the three European Baltic countries and borders Poland, Latvia and Belarus.

One of the most beautiful areas of the country is the Baltic Sea coast, which is characterized by wide, fine sandy beaches. The Curonian Spit National Park, a narrow, 100-kilometre-long headland, is a paradise.

On the coast, you can explore beautiful places such as the port city of Klaipeda or the seaside resort of Palanga with its long pier. Other beautiful cities in the country invite you to visit, such as Trakai or Kaunas, the number one party city.

But the country offers not only bustling cities, but also national parks with great nature and vast landscapes. Green forests, dazzling lakes, rare animal species – Lithuania is full of nature worth protecting.

An eventful history

St.Anna, Vilnius
The Roman Catholic St. Anne’s Church, Image: Ana Flasker / shutterstock

Lithuania’s rich history has points of contact with Poland, Russia and even Germany. In earlier centuries, the country belonged sometimes to Poland, sometimes to Russia, then was independent from 1918, but was co-opted by the Soviet Union in 1940. In the period from 1941 to 1945, the German Wehrmacht occupied the country. In the course of the opening of the East, it became free and democratic in 1990 and has been a member of the EU and NATO since 2004.

Vilnius was first mentioned as the capital of Lithuanians in 1323. In 15. and In the 16th century, the city was the flourishing centre of Eastern Europe. Goldsmiths’ and tailors’ guilds were founded, printing became more important and a Jesuit school became the first university. At the same time, Vilnius developed into the center of Jewish culture.

Later centuries were marked by destruction, fires, wars and reconstruction. The eventful history is still reflected in the city today. Every street and every house could tell a story.

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Charming capital Vilnius

Vilnius – formerly called Vilnius – is not just the capital, it is the cultural and economic center of the country. It is located in the hilly southeast, where the Vilnia River flows into the Neris.

Everywhere in the city, visitors can see evidence of architectural art from past centuries. Buildings from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicist periods can be admired here. Hardly any other European city combines so many interesting architectural styles. Especially churches – no matter where the visitor looks, he sees churches everywhere. This has earned the city the nickname “Rome of the North”. Most of the buildings have been elaborately and lovingly restored, which is why Vilnius has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1994.

A stroll through this city is truly a feast for all the senses. Visitors stroll through artists’ quarters, nightlife districts and shopping streets. Especially in the medieval old town, he will not want to tear himself away from the sight of all the baroque church towers, winding alleys and enchanting backyards.

There is a lot to discover

View of Vilnius, Lithuania
View of Vilnius, Image: Grisha Bruev / shutterstock

Actually, you don’t know where to start your sightseeing tour in beautiful Vilnius. Visiting all the churches would take days. Therefore, you should concentrate on very special ones. Worth mentioning is St. Anne’s Church with its magnificent façade made of red brick. And of course, as a landmark of the city, the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus with its magnificent interior.

You should definitely visit the Grand Ducal Palace in Vilnius. Different architectural styles are presented here and the interiors are a real splendour. Another landmark is the Gediminas Tower, which is enthroned on a hill. Its observation deck offers a magnificent panoramic view of Vilnius.

A sight in itself is the university complex. Many courtyards characterize its image, especially beautiful among the Italian-inspired ones. The church of St. John with its bell tower belongs to the university. At 68 meters, it is the tallest building in the old town. When the visitor climbs the 198 steps, he is rewarded with a fantastic view of the old town. But there is also an elevator to the viewing platform.

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If you want to save the entrance fee for a magnificent view, you can sit on the terrace of the bastion of the defensive wall, unwind here and enjoy the view.

What else is worth seeing in Vilnius? The town hall with its town hall square should be mentioned. The presidential palace is impressive and a special architectural monument is the Gate of Dawn. The tour of Lithuania’s capital will not be boring for a second!

Accommodation and meals

Lithuanian cuisine is a delicious mix of culinary traditions. Potato and meat dishes form the basis of many dishes. You should definitely try the national dish Cepelinai here. They are potato dumplings that are filled with minced meat or curd. Sounds simple, but it’s super delicious.

If you dine in a restaurant for the first time in Vilnius, you will be overwhelmed by the size of the portions. Since everything tastes so delicious, you may come home with a few rolls on your hips after a holiday here.

But don’t worry, in Vilnius you don’t just eat potato dumplings and pork. Actually, there is no culinary direction in this lively city that does not exist. The gastronomic variety is impressive.

The same applies to the overnight accommodation. Holidaymakers can choose from modern city hotels or original, individual houses, hotels for small and large budgets. An overnight stay in an old building from the 19th century in the picturesque old town is particularly appealing. A hotel in the heart of Vilnius is a great way to explore this beautiful city.

 

Important information about Vilnius

Tourist office

Pilies 2

Address: Pilies 2, LT-01403 Vilnius
Phone: +370 5 262 9660
Opening hours: I–VII 9.00–12.00, 13.00–18.00

Arrival at Vilnius Airport

Address: Rodūnios road 2-1, LT-02189 Vilnius
Phone: +370 5 230 6841
Opening hours: I–VII 10:00-19:00

Vilnius Pass

The Vilnius Pass gives you discounts on admission to over 60 attractions, free admission to museums, and free coffee. An overview of the services can be found on the official tourism website

Price:

24 hours = 39 euros
48 hours = 49 euros
72 hours = 59 euros