Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. Vilnius, is a bewitchingly beautiful city that seduces travelers with its enchanting Old World charm. The attractive Baroque cityscape hides the wonderfully eclectic soul of the capital, where a bohemian spirit reigns over courtyard bars, curious museums, quaint cafes and cobbled streets that lead to surprising sights, like a statue of psychedelic composer Frank Zappa. Eccentric and soulful, Vilnius is a true treat.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Lithuania then the summer, May or September, is perfect for strolling over old town cobbles without the crowds or deserted dunes with a chunky jumper; and if you’re looking for a few feathers, March-April or Sep-Oct is the best time to visit Lithuania for bird watching.
Top Places to Visit in Vilnius
1. Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square is the heart of the district, dominated by the Vilnius Cathedral and its remarkable bell tower. Tourists and locals both pack the square at all hours of the day. There is so much beauty to see when you take in the square, but be sure to look down. The colored pavement tiles outline the castle that once stood on the site.
2. Gate of Dawn
Old Town is home to the city’s only surviving gate, the Gate of Dawn. Today, faithful locals consider the site holy and often pray there for miracles. The upper level of the gate is illuminated by the votives left by the prayerful and offers beautiful views of the historic city.
3. Gediminas Castle and Tower
An icon of the city, the original building was constructed in the 14th century and was fortified with brick 100 years later. The castle’s museum is worth a visit, and the tower offers stunning views of the area.
4. St Michael the Archangel Church
This grand early-17th-century chuch, built by the Sapiega family, now houses a wonderful museum of sacral art. The building itself, with its single Gothic nave, coloured-marble high altar and alabaster statuary, is a rare example of late-Renaissance architecture in Vilnius. The exhibition includes religious art, liturgical vessels and rare manuscripts, plus a precious monstrance and reliquaries from Vilnius Cathedral.
5. National Museum
Building on the collections complied by the Museum of Antiquities since 1855, this splendid museum shows artefacts from Lithuanian life from Neolithic times to the 20th century. It has special collections devoted to the country’s different folk traditions, to numismatics (including some of the very first Lithuanian coins) and to burial goods. A statue of Mindaugas, Lithuania’s sole king, stands guard over the entrance.
6. Antakalnis Cemetery
One of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful graveyards lies in this leafy suburb, a short stroll east of the centre. Those killed by Soviet special forces on 13 January 1991 are buried here; a sculpture of the Madonna cradling her son memorialises them. Another memorial honours Napoleonic soldiers who died of starvation and injuries in Vilnius while retreating from the Russian army.