- Posted: 12 July, 2019
- Category: Europe
Reasons why Vilnius Lithuania must be on your list!
Lithuania, one of the Baltic Sea countries (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia). I fell in love with Vilnius (the capital) and it short it exceeded my expectations! It has a charm to its old town! Vilnius is known for its medieval Old Town which has Gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture.
Lithuania is a former Soviet nation bordering Poland, Latvia and Belarus.
Here re some reasons why I liked the city, and activities I think you should do when you visit Vilnius:
- Beautiful Views! Look out at the city from Three Crosses.
The first thing I did as an activity to see the city is heading to the The Three Crosses monument in Kalnai Park. I read that this sight, boasts some of the best views in the city and, despite its proximity to the old town, has the atmosphere of a countryside escape. So that’s what I did! Myself and fellow traveler Yousef Al Sudais, started walking from our hotel to the Three Crosses to see the city!
Something I read and did not get the chance to experience is Stalo Kalnas. Nearby Stalo kalnas (Table Hill) is popular for barbecues and bonfires in the summer months. One of the few hilly parts of the city, it’s ideal for a bracing, early morning walk, particularly in spring when the violets start to bloom.
Artis Centrum Hotel is ideally located in the city’s old town, right next to the Presidential Palace.
- Walk around Old Town
One of my favorite things to do was to tour the Old Town. It is renowned for historic buildings in a range of styles, from baroque and Gothic churches to the neoclassical Town Hall. It has a wide range of restaurants, cafes and bars all around.
We walked all day around old town, and even beyond! Its a good walking city (although we had a car, we left it parked)!
Speaking of parking, there are different types of parking lots in Vilnius; it is all defined by color. Blue, red and green if my memory serves me well. Make sure you inquire about the rates of each since each has a different pricing from one color to the other depending on its location. I remember, we found the cheapest one, parked there and walked to old town; it was really close like a 5 minute walk.
- Something I really wanted to do but got to see it later (without experiencing it unfortunately) is Hot Air Ballooning over Vilnius!
The view of all the hot air balloons over Vilnius look so beautiful! You need to book one day ahead in order to make sure you’re booked, you can do sunrise or sunset and it all depends on the weather Ofcourse.
- A day trip to Trakai from Vilnius was also a nice experience! You could either rent a car to go for the day, or join a tour operator on a day trip.
- Pilies Street is one of the oldest, most colourful, and also busiest and most touristy, streets in Vilnius’ Old Town. This is where you’ll find the highest concentration of cafes and restaurants with seats spilling out on to Pilies’ wide streets.
- Checkout the outdoor art gallery at Literatų Street
- Find The Republic of Uzupis and get your passport stamped!
Something I wanted to checkout is: Vilinius University and the campanile of St John’s Church (the highest point in town)
This looks fun: Vilnius Tours with locals: https://www.vilniuswithlocals.com
Sweet Root is one of the most highly rated restaurants in Vilnius and features seasonally inspired food prepared in a creative manner. Sweet Root is only open for dinner, where diners can enjoy a three-hour, seven-course tasting menu that includes a welcome drink, coffee, and additional small tasters. A meal at Sweet Root will be enjoyed by those wishing to experience a creative menu with an open mind.
We’ve also had a light breakfast/avocado on toast/good coffee at a place called Coffee1.
Also checkout breakfast and Sugarmour.
Located within the luxury Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, Telegrafas caters to hotel guests and visitors with a fine dining atmosphere.
Jurgis ir Drakonas Ogmios is a good option for Pizza.
Other recommendations were:
- D’eco Bar & Restaurant
- Alaus Biblioteka
- Gaspar’s Restoranas
- Rib Room
- BUNTE GANS
- Bistro 18
- ELSKA COFFEE
- COFFEE HILL
- HURACAN COFFEE
- TASTE MAP
- Coffee and books at Mint Vinetu
Some useful questions and their answers:
What currency do I need?
What language do they speak?
Lithuanian. English is fairly well spoken, particularly among the younger generation.
I have to point out that the service wasn’t great in restaurants, and the waiters weren’t the friendliest I’ve encountered.
I did not encounter any problems as a female, I do however always advise to keep your belongings safe, avoid looking bling-bling-y and make sure you keep an eye on your stuff from pick-pocketing.
I find Vilnius nice and even family friendly. I do recommend it for groups of friends as well and couples. It has a lot of bricks in the streets, so make sure you’re dressed comfortably.
Where to stay?
I would definitely recommend Old Town. However, I’ve spotted an awesome looking hotel and went it to checkout out, I haven’t seen the room though but it looks like somewhere I’d consider next time: Hotel Pacai
Kempinski, looks like a good option as well!
As for how many days I recommend to stay in Vilnius, I think 3 nights should do it justice unless you want to spend more time then more it is. If you plan on staying more, checkout Hill of Crosses ( you can join a tour operator or rent a car) from Vilnius.