Due of the abundance of destinations in Europe, cities like Vilnius(capital of Lithuania), are frequently disregarded by tourists. Yes, as more and more tourists from around the world learn about the Baltic, the capital city's appeal has increased significantly in the last ten or so years. But compared to its neighbour's, like Tallinn and Riga, this odd, interesting city still does not garner as much attention.
Vilnius is a city that can easily be explored in 2 days due to its peculiar blend of historical sites and alternative character. This guide will be quite useful if you're tempted to learn more about this unpretentious city. Continue reading for a comprehensive Vilnius itinerary that includes all the must-see Vilnius attractions.
Things to Know before you Go
Visa (for Indian Passport holders): For holders of Indian passports travelling to Lithuania, a prior visa must be arranged. You can travel without a visa if you have a Schengen visa or are a resident of one of the EU/Schengen nations.
Currency: Lithuania's currency is Euros. 1 Euro ~ 80 INR
Best way to travel : Most of the time, walking is your best bet, especially in the Old Town. Buses and trolleybuses make up Vilnius's public transportation system.
Accommodation : Hotels range from cheap to luxurious, and it will cost more to stay close to the old city. If you need some room and will need to cook, Airbnb's are a possibility.
Language : Lithuania's national language is Lithuanian. English-speaking individuals and signs can be seen all across Vilnius.
Food: Dinners in Lithuania often consist of meat, potatoes, veggies, and occasionally some kind of curd sauce. Beef is substantially less common than pork in traditional diets. Vegans will undoubtedly find it challenging to go out, despite the fact that several well-known restaurant brands will provide vegetarian options.
Water: In many areas of Lithuania, tap water is safe to drink. In certain places, locals like buying bottled water or running tap water through water filters.
Wifi & Mobile data: Most popular tourist destinations, the old city, and restaurants offered free Wi-Fi. Therefore, there was no need for us to buy a sim.
Credit Cards and ATMs: It was easy paying by card and didn't feel the need to use Cash. Do keep some change if you are traveling by public transport.
Safety: Lithuania is a safe destination. Always be mindful of your surroundings & stick to your instincts. If you feel something is not right, don't do it. Keep your wallets & passports safe. We read articles about taxis overcharging in the late night.
Best time to Visit
You should visit Vilnius between May and September for the most pleasant weather. Since Lithuania, and particularly Vilnius, does not get hot summers, you should find it to be fairly pleasant to be outside in July and August. Furthermore, given Vilnius' continued rise in popularity, you ought to be able to get affordable prices at this time of year.
The only period you might want to avoid going is from November through March, when it can get very chilly in the city. Unfortunately, we visited at that time.
Lithuania is a relatively small country in size and is often easier to travel to other countries by road. We didn't go outside the city because of the weather
People are more likely to include Latvia and Estonia in their plans and travel there jointly as part of a Baltic road trip.
How to get to Lithuania
The hardest part is finding a direct flight from Chennai, India to Vilnius. The alternative with two layovers and a lengthy airport wait will be the least expensive.
Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines are some of the major airlines that fly into Vilnius. Frankfurt (Germany) is the best option for connecting.
Vilnius is not an expensive destination when you compare with the other hotspot tourist destination in Europe
We stayed in an AIRBNB, which costs us 30 Euros per night (3 people sharing, 10 Euros/person/night). Hostels start @ 9 Euros (720 INR) and Budget rooms @ 15 Euros(1200 INR).
The restaurants were very much affordable.
If you are staying in the old city, you don't have to take public transport, all the major attractions are walkable
Where to Stay
The finest places to stay in Vilnius are often those that provide you quick access to the Old Town, which is home to the majority of the city's attractions. This implies that while staying in the Old Town is recommended, you should also take into account the surrounding communities of Naujamiestis's downtown or Snipiskes, which is located across the river.
Otd Town - Best Area to Stay
2 Days in Lithuania !!What to Do?
Click on the image to Zoom
If you're thinking about taking a two-day visit, this map will show you what there is to do in Vilnius. You'll have a general notion of what to do and can adjust it whatever you like. You cannot miss the nightclubs, pubs, and midnight kebabs since the nightlife is so vibrant.
Day 1: Old City Tour
Cathedral Square would serve as Vilnius's geographic centre. The majestic Vilnius Cathedral and its belfry are located in the square, which also happens to be where two of Vilnius' principal thoroughfares converge.
Beyond its opulent facade, the church contains historical artwork, paintings, and the remains of numerous Lithuanian royals in its crypt and vaults. You can climb to the top of the corresponding bell tower, which is located outdoors on the corner of the square.
Grand Duke Palace
The reconstructed Grand Duke Palace of Lithuania is hidden behind the Cathedral. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were governed from this palace. While the original palace was constructed in the 15th century, the one that exists now is a spectacular renovation that was completed in 2018. Visitors can take a tour of the palace to visit exhibitions and expertly reconstructed Gothic, Renaissance, and Early Baroque halls to get a sense of how it could have looked in the past.
Perched atop a neighbouring tiny hilltop, keeps an eye on both the Cathedral and the Palace. All that is left of Vilnius' Upper Castle from the fifteenth century is this tower, which has become a symbol of the city. The terrace vistas, which are on either side of the tower, are reached after ascending the hill on the twisting path. From there, you can see the new commercial sector across the river as well as the Old Town.
You can also go inside this three story tower to see the little museum there. You can see the city much more clearly from the observation deck above.
National Museum of Lithuania
Most likely, you don't know much about the history or culture of Lithuania, which is why visiting the National Museum of Lithuania is so beneficial. Although the museum has buildings all around the city, the New Arsenal and Old Arsenal, which are close to Gediminas Tower, are its primary structures. Originally known as the Museum of Antiquities, the institution currently investigates not just Lithuania's past but also the contemporary culture and traditions of the nation.
Day 2: Old City, Food Tour & Nightlife
St. Anne's Church
You should set aside time to see the most stunning church in Vilnius since it is the capital of a Catholic nation. One of the reasons UNESCO designated Vilnius' Old Town as a World Heritage Site is St. Anne's Church, which features stunning Brick Gothic architecture.
The magnificent Presidential Palace is the next brief stop after seeing the Old Town. The President of Lithuania currently resides and works out of this palace from the fourteenth century. With a spotless square and lush gardens in front of it, the palace is relatively open and easily approachable. You may easily navigate the neighbourhood streets to reach Vilnius University's campus.
When you go out to eat alone, becoming familiar with the local cuisine can make you feel a little more at home. The best way to do this is via food tours! You are shown places that you will undoubtedly want to return to in addition to the wonderful, regional cuisine.
The best music clubs, restaurants, discos, and cocktail bars can all be found in the city's tremendously vibrant nightlife. There is something for everyone's taste at Vilnius clubs, from techno music to pop.
Conclusion & Our Recommendation
Vilnius is not your primary travel destination, much like Riga. However, it will be a very different experience if a local is accompanying you at all times. I advise doing a food tour in locations like Vilnius so that you can taste the local cuisine and interact with the locals.
My recommendation is to take a 5- to 7-day tour of the three Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia). not only travel to one location and leave. The increase in student population has made cities livelier and more fascinating.