Discover outstanding heritage sites within the ancient city of Vilnius, Lithuania’s largest city and capital. Centered on the compact medieval Old Town, Vilnius is dotted with breathtaking monuments, architectural masterpieces and significant historical sites. Explore the scenic riverside city to find an intriguing destination that has been central to the country’s historic struggle for independence.
Located at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia rivers and surrounded by seven rolling hills, Vilnius is an ideal city for exploring on foot. Begin your walking tour on the cobbled streets near Cathedral Square. Here, find the neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral, which contains a collection of impressive stuccoworks and frescoes. Stroll northeast toward the greenery of Castle Hill to find the main buildings of the National Museum of Lithuaniawithin the medieval Vilnius Castle Complex. Walk or take the funicular railway to the hilltop to see the ancient fortification of Gediminas Tower.
Turning south, find the historic Gates of Dawn, the former southern limits of Old Town, which contains a splendid shrine to the Virgin Mary. Just outside Old Town, step inside St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church to see the vividly stuccoed ceilings.
Learn about Lithuania’s struggle for independence under the 50-year Soviet rule at the Museum of Genocide Victims. Vilnius’ thriving contemporary culture is on display at the Lithuanian Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Centre.
Take a break from strolling around and visit a kavinė or coffeehouse for an afternoon treat. Try sweet poppy seed cakes or spurgos doughnuts with a hot cup of giliu kava, a coffee-like drink made with acorns.
Vilnius is located in central eastern Lithuania. The city’s international airport and main bus and rail stations are conveniently located near the city center. Use local trolleybuses to get around the city easily. Take a daytrip to see Trakai’s castles amid peaceful lakes.