December 29, 2017

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is one of the most underrated capital cities in Europe. You may not have heard of Vilnius, and if I am being honest with you, I hadn’t, until September this year when I booked a three-day trip with my husband. When trying to research what to do there I soon realised there was fairly little written about travel to Vilnius in comparison to places like Paris, Barcelona or Rome, but I later realized this is what makes visiting Vilnius so great. This city is a mix of old and new. It is brilliant if you are on a budget, and the lack of tourists makes it one of the quietest destinations I have ever been to. Here is a list of 6 things you should do if you visit Vilnius.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania


Vilnius is small in comparison to other European capitals but there are loads of places where you can get a breathtaking view of the city. The most popular view is from Gediminas Tower, part of a castle dating to the 15th Century (and worth a visit in its own right, not just for the view). The walk up the cobbled path gives a number of viewpoints of the city and once you reach the top you can go inside the tower (it costs 5 Euros) and climb to the top.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania

However, in my opinion the best view of the city comes from the three crosses. I must warn you this is a bit of a trek, there are a lot of steps to climb but when you reach the top you will see why I think this is the best view of the city. From here Gediminas Tower looks tiny.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania


Uzupis means ‘the other side of the river’ and is an Independent State in Vilnius Old Town. Uzupis has its own constitution which can be found displayed in a number of languages. This part of the city has a number of small restaurants, a lot of street art and even a book shop with cats in it (if you are a fan of cats, which unfortunately I am not). Make sure you take a walk through Uzupis, read the constitution and I would recommend eating here too. We stopped at a place called Uzupio Kavine which is the first restaurant as you enter Uzupis and has tables outside which overlook the river. We sat here for about 3 hours eating and drinking, the food was amazing and the menu was fairly extensive.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania


Ok, so bare with me on this. If you are into your history then the Genocide Museum is a great museum to learn about the effects of the world wars and the cold war on Lithuania. The museum is housed in a former KGB building and entry costs only 4 euros for an adult. The displays are all in English and there is a lot of information to take in, after looking at all the displays you can head downstairs to see the former prison cells. This is where things get a little dark, you can see graffiti of the prisoners and where the walls have been painted a number of times to hide as much writing as possible. Special torture chambers can also be seen as well as a room used for executions where the bullet holes still remain.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania


There are so many restaurants in Vilnius as well as the one mentioned above. In the Jewish quarter we found a restaurant (high budget) called Lokys and here we ordered a starter called ‘starter to accompany beer’ which included fried bread, smoked pigs ears, beer sausage and cheese doughnuts, all these things sounded and tasted amazing! The main courses were largely meat based and rustic. I had a stew of beaver (yes beaver) as I am not one to shy away from new foods and it tasted good, trust me. Also, in the same district, there was a small Lithuanian bar called Leiciy Bravoras, which if you are a fan of beer, you should definitely visit. Here you can buy a paddle of beers where you can sample four half pints.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania

Pilies Street is one of the main streets in Vilnius and is full of bustling restaurants, we chose to go to Pilies Katpedele because it said it served traditional Lithuanian food and that was what we were after. We went all out with soups and mains, washed down with beer and wine. I tried a cold beetroot soup followed by meat dumplings- I am not sure I could have got any more traditional and the food was delicious. Just to prove that Vilnius is a good budget destination: the meal here, of two courses each, two glasses of wine and three pints of beer only came to 29 euros.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania


There are so many historical places and museums to visit in Vilnius, all centrally located and easy to find. In my opinion the one place you must make sure you visit is the Belfry Tower, found outside the Cathedral. Entry to the Belfry costs only 4 euros for an adult. The first two floors have information about the tower, which originated in the 13th century, and some amazing views. Then it gets better, as long as you don’t mind heights, as you climb up some rickety wooden stairs to the top of the bell tower where you can be among the bells.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania


Vilnius is a fairly small city and there is no need to use public transport here when you can get around for free on foot. This is the best way of making sure nothing gets missed. We managed to stumble across so much more this way. For examples churches are everywhere. I don’t think it would be possible to see them all but we definitely saw a large number of them by walking.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania

There is even one within the University, St John’s Church. The other University buildings are great to visit on a weekend (cost 1 Euro 50) as it’s really quiet here and a place I hadn’t seen mentioned anywhere else when researching this trip. The Neris River is incredibly fast flowing, and incredibly picturesque. We stopped here for a few moments to take everything in and the photos I managed to take are breathtaking.

Top 6 Things To Do In Vilnius, Lithuania

So there it is. There is no excuse not to visit the amazing city of Vilnius. There is so much to do here and everything can be achieved on a budget!

Have you ever been to Vilnius or Lithuania? We’d love to hear your stories, tips or questions in the comment section below! Read Next > The Eternal City: 9 Picturesque Sights in Rome

By We Are Travel Girls Contributor Kathryn Blackbourn of
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  • Reply Kate December 30, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Fantastic guide! I’m heading to Vilnius in February and can’t wait to try so these restaurants – thanks for the recos!

    Kate |

    • Reply Kathryn Blackbourn (Addictedtotravel25) December 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

      I am glad you liked it and I hope you have a great time!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls January 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Thank you for reading Kate glad you enjoyed the article. Have a great time on your trip to Vilnius. Becky, Founder – We Are Travel Girls

  • Reply Shawna MacNamara January 3, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Was there in October on a girls trip, loved the shopping and super reasonable prices. People were quite friendly. My husband is working during my kids School break, so I am taking them alone for a few days. There is enough shopping and little cute cafes to keep us busy. By request from my girls we will also go to the Cat Cafe and the Museum of Illusions. Staying at the Novotel in Old Town, and have arranged a shuttle back and forth to the airport for us. Last trip I went to Bistro 18 which was fantastic and reasonable, with an excellent wine list, and another great find was a little wine bar called Notre Vie, also very reasonable with VERY generous glasses of wine, they also served some tapas. Looking forward to this little trip again! Thanks for some more ideas on restaurants!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls January 4, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Thanks so much for reading Shawna and sharing your own tips, and places to visit! Becky, Founder – We Are Travel Girls

    • Reply Kathryn Blackbourn (Addictedtotravel25) January 4, 2018 at 10:09 am

      I certainly hope to go back one day, so much to do!

  • Reply Ele ( January 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you! I am happy you liked my hometown!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls January 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Thanks for reading Ele! Becky, Founder – We Are Travel Girls

    • Reply Kathryn Blackbourn (Addictedtotravel25) January 4, 2018 at 10:10 am

      I loved it, recommending it to everyone I know and more!

  • Reply Jolanta January 3, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    You probably have in mind the downtown of Vilnius, when you say it is a small city to walk around by feet. 🙂 I would not recommend anyone a walk to areas beyond the old town of Vilnius. ☺
    Also, get a pear of good walking shoes. Many streets of an old town are layed down with a stone. Kept unpaved.

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls January 4, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Hi Jolanta, thank you so much for reading and sharing your own tips with our readers! Becky, Founder – We Are Travel Girls

    • Reply Kathryn Blackbourn (Addictedtotravel25) January 4, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Yes I agree, My husband was complaining of aching legs on the second day and kept telling me to slow down!

  • Reply Sara January 17, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Oh that’s so lovely to hear that you enjoyed Vilnius! It’s definitely cozy and undiscovered 🙂

    • Reply Kathryn Blackbourn (Addictedtotravel25) January 19, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Have you been? I is such a great place

  • Reply Anonymous March 31, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    I’ve been there two times. Both in winter, but I would like to go in sunmer. I love Vilnius!

    • Reply Kathryn Blackbourn (Addictedtotravel25) April 12, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      I can imagine Vilnius is even more lovely in summer, would be great to experience that!

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