Can’t live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

A mini guide to things to do in Vilnius, Lithuania

I believe Central Europe is one of the most fascinating yet underrated regions. Long history, rich culture, delicious food, friendly locals… and every country is so much different than the another! But while internet is full of various information about most popular tourist destinations (I’m looking at you London or Paris) finding something useful about this part of the world can be sometimes a challenge. I know as I’ve been looking for that info as well! Therefore I’m gonna start a new series of posts with top attractions in my favorite cities in Central Europe. The first one will be about things to do in Vilnius, probably the least known capital of the Baltic countries. I know this is not super original idea for posts but may be useful for some of you going to Lithuania (that was named one of the top destinations in 2015 by Lonely Planet!).

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things to do in vilnius

I’ve been to Vilnius couple of times now, I enjoy the city every single time and I’m always glad to return there. Just for some reason I’m always there in autumn or winter time but if it’s great in the somehow sad months I only can imagine how great it must be there in the middle of spring or summer. No matter what time the city is simply charming with narrow streets in the UNESCO listed Old Town, beautiful baroque churches and so many quirky, alternative places! It is the perfect mix and I’m sure everyone will find something for him/herself. Even if recently Lithuania has joined the Euro zone the country is still a pretty good value for money and is a great, somehow unknown, destination that can impress many.

When you plan a trip to Vilnius it’s best to stay either in the Old Town or in Uzupis – you will be in the heart of everything, within a walking distance to all the attractions! Recently I’ve stayed at Downtown Forest Hostel and I can only recommend it! The place is just the cutest, surrounded by the trees and with a really relaxing vibe! Check out the prices and more details here! If hostels aren’t your thing check out the best deals on accommodation in Vilnius here (click!)

things to do in vilnius

So without further ado here are most interesting things to do in Vilnius, at least according to me:


An absolute must in Vilnius! The self proclaimed republic and the bohemian heart of the city. Uzupis has its own president, currency, flag, army (around 11 men) and so on – all the attributes that a country should have. But the biggest attraction is the constitution of Uzupis – 39 articles that tell you the rights of the place, such as everyone has the right to be happy and a dog has the right to be a dog. You can find the whole text, translated into couple of languages, on the wall along Paupio street. One day might not be enough to wander around Uzupis if you want to explore the area properly, step into courtyards, check all the quirky pubs, spot some original street art around and just enjoy the bohemian feel and slow life of this neighborhood. That’s definitely my favorite part of Vilnius!
Here you can read more about bohemian Uzupis.

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius


No matter how bad this might sound Vilnius has some really beautiful cemeteries. Two of them that are really worth a visit are Bernardine Cemetery in Uzupis and Rasos Cemetery not far from the train station. Both of them look similar, are located on the hillsides and are equally old (18th-19th century). I can’t say which one has more stunning tombstones (usually dating back to the beginning of the 20th century) and which one is prettier so I’d just say – visit both of them!
I wrote about beautiful Rasos cemetery here.

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius


Vilnius is often called “the city of churches” and this is very accurate. There are so many of them in the Old Town, you stumble across one every few steps, and most of them are so beautiful! But once you step inside things get even better! The majority of Vilnius churches was built as great examples of baroque style and they are sated with rich adornment. I always feel overwhelmed by the beauty of them and don’t know where to look, every tiny detail seem to be important and so interesting! Not far from the Old Town there’s one more church well worth visiting – St. Peter and Paul’s in Antakalnis district – another masterpiece known for its 2.000 stucco figures!

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius

St. Anne’s Church

This little church deserves it’s own point! Built in the Gothic style hasn’t changed for over 500 years! It is so extremely beautiful everyone falls in love with it, including Napoleon Bonaparte. He was so much under the charm of the building that wanted to take it to Paris with him (on the palm of his hand…). Across the street from the church there’s a tree with the knitted sweater!

things to do in vilnius

Gates of Dawn

Another religious place but a very important one (especially for Polish people) and known all over the world. But despite being so famous it’s very easy to miss the place – the shrine is hidden inside the gate (the last remaining one of the Vilnius city walls) and to get close to the painting of Blessed Virgin Mary you need to enter the random door on the left side and then go upstairs. Even if you’re not a religious person the Gates of Dawn will impress you. Try to be there in the evening, when all the tourist groups are gone and there are only older ladies praying in front of the painting.

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius

Wander around the Old Town

This is a pure pleasure! The Old Town in Vilnius is fairly big and it’s easy to get lost there: the maze of narrow streets leads you next to churches, beautiful houses and suddenly you might not know anymore where you are! The best thing you can do then is stopping by at one of many cafes to figure out your way around. When discovering this part of the city don’t miss Literatu street with quirky and funky tiles on the wall, commemorating poets and writers connected to Lithuania (both local and foreigner)!
Take a look at more pictures of the Vilnius Old Town.

things to do in vilnius

things to do in vilnius

View from Giedyminas’ Tower

I’m always a huge fan of looking at the city from above and Vilnius has some great points to admire the city’s beauty. The most known is the Upper Castel with Giedyminas’ Tower and no wonder this place is so popular! The view all over the town is stunning with rooftops and church towers on one side and Neris river with modern downtown in the background on the other. For even better view go to the top of the Giedyminas’ Tower (entrance 2€, including the museum). Alternatively you can climb the Three Crosses Hill nearby, the view isn’t bad from here either!

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius

Giedyminas Avenue

The representative street of Vilnius, with beautiful architecture from the end of 19th/beginning of 20th century. Most of the fancy shops and public institutions are located in here. I especially like the view from the Avenue towards the Cathedral Square!

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius

street art

It’s no surprise I’m a huge street art fan and try to find it just about everywhere. But Vilnius has a really good street art scene with variety of forms and a really big creative outburst. It can be found all over the Old Town and Uzupis – you just need to look carefully to find it in the hidden lanes and gates! One of the best murals I’ve ever seen – “Think” – is also in Vilnius on Odminiu street. But except of traditional street art forms the city has some quirky monuments too, like the lucky belly, angel of Uzupis or an apple. Try to find as many of them as possible!
You can find more about Vilnius street art here.

things to do in vilnius
things to do in vilnius

day trip to Trakai

Only 30 kms away from Vilnius a small Karaim town of Trakai can be found. It is a true gem as the place is not only incredibly picturesque with the lake and the castle built in the middle of it but also with the unique Karaim culture. This ethnic group came to this area in the 14th century and preserved their traditions, culture and cuisine up until now. In Trakai you will find some beautiful Karaim wooden houses where local restaurants are located, your best options to try this unusual dishes!
You can read more about Trakai in this post.

things to do in vilnius
things to do in Vilnius

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So these are my top 10 things to do in Vilnius for the first time visitor, you can’t leave the capital of Lithuania without seeing all of these! If you’re interested in alternative Vilnius take a look here.

Here’s the map with all the spots you need to see (minus Trakai)

Have you been to Vilnius? Would you like to visit? What’s your favourite Central European city?

Are you planning a trip to Eastern Europe? Do you like that region as much as I do? I’ve created a Facebook group where you can look for advise or inspiration and share your travel stories and pictures from Eastern Europe and beyond. Join now!

If you think of visiting Lithuania or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:

If you’re looking for articles about any place in particular this map with posts might be useful for you. Or just take a look at the “destinations” page.

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  • 23
4 Mar '15

There are 68 Comments.

  1. Last time I’ve been to Vilnus was 20 years ago so I don’t remember much – can’t believe it was that long ago actually :P
    St Anne’s Church looks stunning – I feel like I have o revisit Vilnus.
    Anna @AnnaEverywhere latest post…Tips on visiting Halong BayMy Profile

    • kami
      22:23 06/03/2015

      you definitely should go there when you’re around! I bet it had changed a lot since your last visit ;)

  2. Planowaliśmy dotrzeć do Wilna na sylwestra, a ostatecznie wylądowaliśmy w Albanii. Nie to, żebym narzekała, ale jakoś w kierunku Litwy ciągle się zebrać nie możemy. A patrząc po Twoich zdjęciach, to możemy powiedzieć “szkoda, że nas tam jeszcze nie było”.

  3. park na rzeką w centrum miasta, a tam polecam usiąść z butelką whisky i cygarem. Polecam robić to wieczorem i polecam trafić akurat tak, że jakiś student będzie akurat grał na saksofonie. Polecam być wtedy z nieznanym wam wcześniej mężczyzną, bo z takiego wieczoru zrodzi się fajna, platoniczna przyjaźń

  4. Megan
    12:04 05/03/2015

    Vilnius is one of my favorite city breaks in Europe and I always discover new things when I’m there! My other favorites in the city are Three Crosses hill (mentioned above but I think the scenery on the way up is what is the most amazing), the Genocide museum (I’ve been to a lot of these, sadly, and think this is one of the very best, yet most somber), Snipiskes and Zverynas for wooden architecture and charm of real Vilnius that you don’t find in touristy Old Town, and the Palace of Concert and Sports for those into Soviet architecture (sheepishly raises hand haha). Can’t wait to make my fifth trip back to Vilnius :)

    • kami
      22:27 06/03/2015

      omg, I loved Palace of Concert and Sports!!! Seriously, I couldn’t get over how beautiful this building actually is! ;) and I don’t know why but I didn’t make it yet to the Genocide museum (even if I usually visiting this kind of places is my priority). Need to write it down for my next visit to Vilnius! I’ve been there 4 or 5 times and there’s always something new to discover there! Can’t wait to go there again! We should plan a trip together!!

  5. ah, small, paved streets on one hand and the amazing street art on the other… something definitely to look in, when I’m back in the north!

  6. I was loving all of the small little streets, and then you posted that photo off the river with all the modern buildings, and it threw me off! But it actually made me love this place even more. I love cities that offer nice sleek modern areas, but still preserve their old towns.
    Beth latest post…I Like TurtlesMy Profile

    • kami
      22:29 06/03/2015

      The best thing (well, one of many) about Vilnius is that the modern and old parts are divided very well and you can focus on just one of them, moving back in time in the old town without feeling the shadow of the skyscrapers on your back ;)

  7. Piekne, piekne miasto…

  8. starówka ,okolice są warte obejrzenia oraz cmentarz na Rosie

  9. Poleciłbym coś, ale… byłem tam 1godzine :D

  10. Oooo, to może się przekonam i dam jeszcze jedną szansę temu miasto. Litwini to naród do którego nie pałam szczególną miłością.

  11. Bylam dawno, dawno temu i podobalo mi sie. Chcialabym pojechac znowu i zobaczyc zmiany.

  12. przyda się, bo jakoś tak wyszło, że jeszcze tam nie byliśmy…

  13. I’m bummed I didn’t hit up Vilnius when I was there last year! I visited Tallinn and Riga…I honestly don’t know why I didn’t make time for Vilnius because I enjoyed the others. Looking at your photos I’d probably like here too…St. Anne’s church is gorgeous!
    Hannah latest post…Two Slovenian Grandmothers vs One Sweaty Canadian: The Battle of the SweaterMy Profile

    • kami
      22:32 06/03/2015

      ah, too bad you didn’t go there when you were around. What I like the most about Baltic capitals is that they all are so different from each other even if they are kind of similar! But since you enjoyed both Riga and Tallinn I guess you’d love Vilnius too! At least you have a reason to go back!

  14. Vilnius looks like a great town! I would love to climb the tower for those views and the street art looks fantastic! The day trip to Trakai sounds great as well!
    Jenna latest post…Snow Tubing at Gorgoza ParkMy Profile

    • kami
      22:39 06/03/2015

      It really is great yet so underrated! Tallinn gets all the interests for the most beautiful Baltic capital (and it really deserves it) but Vilnius still might be my fave :)

  15. Totally agree that Central Europe is both fascinating and underrated – Eastern Europe as well. I would love to have the chance to explore Vilnius, I’ve heard really great things about the whole Baltic region. Thanks for the tips!
    Meg Jerrard latest post…Never Lose Your Luggage Again – Introducing the World’s First Smart Suitcase.My Profile

    • kami
      22:40 06/03/2015

      Then you should definitely plan a trip to this area! The sooner, the better as I assume the whole region will be discovered by crowds in two shakes!

  16. Your photos of this city are fantastic. The historical buildings are extremely eye-catching, I think I would really enjoy wandering these streets.
    Tam Gamble latest post…Climbing Nohoch Mul in Coba, MexicoMy Profile

    • kami
      22:40 06/03/2015

      Thank you! you’d definitely enjoy Vilnius, it’s just so charming!

  17. I love the streets – so beautifull.
    Blondynka z Krainy Teczy latest post…„Nie wiedziałam, że one to potrafią” – czyli niespodziewany gość w samochodzieMy Profile

  18. Przepiekna ta starowka, musze sie kiedys wybrac przy okazji pobytu w Europie

  19. This part of Europe is such a mystery to me. I need to arrange a long visit and wander.

    • kami
      23:12 07/03/2015

      Definitely do that! It’s such an interesting area and sooo beautiful!

  20. Ashley
    19:39 07/03/2015

    I am a HUGE street art fan! I love cities that have beautiful art everywhere. I need to make it to Vilnius!

    • kami
      23:14 07/03/2015

      Vilnius was actually one of the biggest street art surprises for me as the local scene is pretty exceptional there! You’d love it there for sure!

  21. This reminds me my amazing time in Lithuania last year….. one of the place I wanted to revisit such a beautiful place full of history.
    Anne Klien ( MeAnne) latest post…Lazio Italy: It’s Hidden Gem near RomeMy Profile

    • kami
      23:15 07/03/2015

      Where have you been to Lithuania? So far I only visited Vilnius, Trakai and Kaunas but I’m already thinking of going back to see more of the country! It’s such an unknown gem of Europe, isn’t it?

  22. The teapots in the alleyway are so charming!
    Gina Zammit latest post…Comment on Top Tropical Escapes in New York City by gina.zammit@gmail.comMy Profile

  23. You’re right, I hadn’t seen much about Vilinus but from your pictures it looks absolutely charming.
    Brianna latest post…In search of swamp things with Cajun EncountersMy Profile

    • kami
      22:42 08/03/2015

      It really is charming!! Too bad it doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves!

  24. I loved Vilnius! It was my favourite by far of all the places I visited, but so unknown still. The € didn’t make a great deal of difference, I don’t think to begin with, but probably will do soon. As with everywhere else. I didn’t make it to Trakai, it was pretty cold whilst I was there (-18c) but there is always next time. Vilnius I want to go back to with my boyfriend.
    Sammi Wanderlustin’ latest post…Traveller Tuesday with Syd from Free Wheel Life BlogMy Profile

    • kami
      22:46 08/03/2015

      At least you have a reason to go back :) Both times when I was in Trakai the weather was pretty gloomy so I’d love to see the place in the sunshine for a change! I’m glad you share my love for Vilnius, seems like not many people know about it…

  25. Uzupis – yeah, definitely my favourite! <3
    And that wall with teapots :) I spent a while photographing it in amusement :)
    Izabela latest post…What happens to the dolls after Hinamatsuri?My Profile

    • kami
      22:46 08/03/2015

      I could go back to Vilnius over and over again just to hang out in Uzupis!! such a cool place!

  26. We were just in Germany and the cities look very similar. I love the cobblestone and old world streets
    Tiana latest post…Summerlin: A Gem in Las VegasMy Profile

    • kami
      22:47 08/03/2015

      It is a little bit similar. But with the troublesome European history everything is possible :) Where in Germany have you been to?

  27. 20:46 08/03/2015

    What a great post and collection of photos. Vilnius is so old world with historic charm. I have not been there but it is a place, a region, I would love to visit.
    Tim latest post…A Double Decker LifeMy Profile

    • kami
      22:49 08/03/2015

      Thanks! I really hope you will be able to visit this part of the world soon, it’s really interesting!!

  28. Trakai looks lovely and so closeby, it would definitely be my pick for the day :-)
    antonette – we12travel latest post…From Alaska to Nepal and anything in betweenMy Profile

    • kami
      23:04 09/03/2015

      It’s the most perfect day trip you can ask for :)

  29. Europę zostawiam sobie na emeryturę. Jakoś bardziej mnie ciągnie Azja, zwłaszcza południowo-wschodnia.

    • kami
      23:09 09/03/2015

      Z Europą, i to tą bliską, jest jeszcze o tyle fajnie, że można na szybki weekend wyskoczyć :)

  30. We have been there once for 3 days and it was amazing. We loved the food and all the history around. Great place!
    Marek i Kasia latest post…Where the Ocean whelms the land – Rota VicentinaMy Profile

    • kami
      16:21 12/03/2015

      It is great indeed! And the food is so good, I agree! :)

  31. Beautiful photos Kami and I love the murals on the walls :D
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer latest post…Street Art in BrusselsMy Profile

    • kami
      16:24 12/03/2015

      Thank you! :) The street art scene was so cool there!

  32. Perfect timing, I’m hoping to visit Vilnius next month!
    Heather @ Ferreting Out the Fun latest post…My Favorite Cafes in RigaMy Profile

    • kami
      21:08 06/04/2015

      Fingers crossed you will get there and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it then, it’s a beautiful city and spring time there must be great!

  33. someday, someday…My travel dream for a long time. Pretty weird – I’ve been to several Lithuanian cities but never in Vilnius. Do my best to visit it next year.
    Tatiana latest post…Co wypić #6. Alkohole – Niemcy, Meklemburgia – Pomorze PrzednieMy Profile

    • kami
      21:53 13/08/2015

      This is definitely weird! You can easily go there even only for the weekend! Take a look at Simple Express, they have some really good offers every now and then and you can travel to Vilnius for a really cheap price!

  34. Jurga
    09:06 12/08/2015

    Thank you, Kami, for so nicely describing my city :) if you are planing to come to Lithuania again – Klaipeda and Curonian Spit are the places not to miss. good luck in your future trips!

    • kami
      21:54 13/08/2015

      Thank you for your nice comment Jurga! I really would love to see those places in Lithuania, hopefully will do that soon!! Your country is really beautiful and unfortunately so underrated!

  35. Andrea
    02:32 18/10/2015

    I was able to spend 4 days in Vilnius last year on a choir tour. Visited all of the Baltic States, and Poland, but Vilnius was my favorite city! So beautiful, and such friendly people! I visited many of the sites on your list, but my favorite was St. Catherine’s Church, which is now a concert hall. Absolutely beautiful! If you haven’t been, be sure to visit!

    • kami
      10:41 15/11/2015

      I can see why you liked Vilnius so much Andrea, it’s a wonderful place! I passed by St. Catherine’s Church few times but have never really been inside! Will go there next time I’m in Vilnius! Thank you for telling me about that place!!

  36. 19:16 09/08/2016

    Hello Kami,
    I found your blog as I am here in Vilnius right now (coming from Germany through Poland by a campervan) :) You have a really great blog, I am a German travel blogger and as well for female solo travel. Nice to meet you here and I’ll follow you from now on. What camera are you using? Your pictures are so nice! Wish you pleasant journeys and best wishes from Vilnius! Ute

    • kami
      23:13 23/08/2016

      Hello Ute! Thank you for your nice comment. I hope you enjoy your trip around Baltics, it’s such a great and underrated part of the world. I use Nikon D3200 so nothing really amazing but I still like it :) Happy travels!

  37. Laura
    18:38 23/01/2017

    Wow, wonderful photos and article! Also, Vilnius is not the only great city in Lithuania. I would definitely recommend you to visit Klaipeda. It’s an amazing city aside the Baltic Sea. Here is a link with more useful information: http://www.travelbaltics.eu/top-11-places-visit-klaipeda/ Also, there is an awesome opportunity to have a trip in the Curonian Spit which is inscribed to the List of World Heritage. So, you’re very welcome to visit my homeland once again ;)

    • kami
      22:20 28/01/2017

      I’ve been hoping to go to Klaipeda and Curonian Spit for so many years! Hopefully this will finally happen this year!

  38. Juan
    04:45 12/03/2017

    HI KAMI , very insteresting review of Vilnius ! Im going to the city in a few days and will explore it according some of your recommendations, sure looks like a beautiful city to go around!
    regards from Argentina

    • kami
      10:24 23/03/2017

      Hope you will enjoy Vilnius! Have a wonderful time there!!

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