© All Rights Reserved Utrecht
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and is also the largest city in the country with about 600,000 inhabitants. The site where Vilnius is located today has been inhabited for about 700 years and together with its turbulent history during more recent times, it always has been an interesting place. For travellers, this has all been mixed in an appealing setting of old building styles, cultural sites and dozens of churches. Add to this the fact that Vilnius is not too big to only use your own feet as a way to get around, and it is not hard to see why this city has been booming with travellers during the last decade or so. The historical centre on the other hand is not small at all and is one of the biggest in Europe with a mix of buildingstyles. The medieval part of the city probably is the most attractive. The city has good facilities as well for all types of travellers and in general is relatively cheap to visit.
Užupis is a famous neighbourhood of Vilnius. It's name translated to English means "on the other side of the river" and the neighborhood is situated aptly on the other side of the river Vilnia to Vilnius Old Town. The area is well known for its artists and its declaration of Independence on April Fools day 1997. You will find lots of little galleries, cafes and a sense of a Bohemian lifestyle.
Vilnius' Old Town was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994 and originally much of the Old Town was the Jewish ghetto. It's one of the largest Old Towns in Eastern Europe and the biggest Baroque area in the world, with also Gothic and Rococo styles mixed into it all. The hart of the Old Town is the University with its 13 courtyards and the adjacent St. John's Church where you can up in an elevator (5LT) for an outstanding view across the Old Town and further beyond. There are also numerous other churches including the beautiful Gotchic style St. Anne's Church. Pilies Gatve is where all the action takes place, with restaurants and bars. It's a pedestrian area with some nicely restored houses and cobblestoned pavement. From there, the main throroughfare goes south towards the Gates of Dawn, the only remaining original entrance to the Old Town. Other highlights include the Basilian Gate and the Presidential Palace opposite the University.
© All Rights Reserved Utrecht
The Vilnius Cathedral and Belfry are just north of the Old Town, below the Gediminas Tower. Inside the Cathedral is the baroque chapel of St. Casimir. Outside the Cathedral, at the square, there is particular tile on which there is written the word "Stebuklas" (meaning "miracle" in Lithuanian). Stand on it, make a wish and turn around three times. This tile also marks the end of the Vilnius-Tallinn human chain in the 1989 protest of the Soviet Union. It's not signposted, because that would mean bad luck! The Belfry is one of the characteristic photo shots in the city and 57 metres high.
The Vilnius International Film Festival is among Europe’s most popular film events. Held each March, this majestic celebration brings together avid film buffs, critics, producers, and actors from across the continent and globe. It began in 1995, but quickly rose to prominence, attracting more than 50,000 people every year. The festival is also held in other cities around Lithuania.
Vilinius, like the rest of Lithuania has a rather mild climate, although it can get pretty cold in winter. Usually, it is fairly warm from May until September with temperatures usually around 18 to 22 °C. This is also the time when there is more rain, although this comes in downpours rather than days of rain on end. Winter temperatures are below zero on average, but have been milder during recent years. Still, temperatures way below -10 °C are still possible so dress accordingly.
|Avg Max||-3.5 °C||-1.7 °C||3.3 °C||10.7 °C||18.2 °C||21.1 °C||22.1 °C||21.6 °C||16.4 °C||10.2 °C||3.5 °C||-0.5 °C|
|Avg Min||-8.7 °C||-7.6 °C||-3.8 °C||1.6 °C||7.5 °C||10.8 °C||12.3 °C||11.5 °C||7.7 °C||3.4 °C||-0.9 °C||-5.2 °C|
|Rainfall||41 mm||38 mm||39 mm||46 mm||62 mm||77 mm||78 mm||72 mm||65 mm||53 mm||57 mm||55 mm|
Vilnius International Airport (VNO) is where most travellers arrive by air in Lithuania. It is located about 6 kilometres from Vilnius. Air Baltic operates a number of flights to European destinations including Copenhagen, Paris, Riga, Rome and Tallinn, and seasonal to Antalya, Dublin, London and Munich. Low-cost airline Wizzair flies to/from Barcelona, Cork, Eindhoven, Sheffield London Milan, Rome and Stockholm from April 2011 onwards. Some of the other airlines serving Vilnius are Lufthansa to Frankfurt and LOT to Warsaw. Some other destinations serve cities like Kiev, Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Prague, Berlin, Helsinki, Oslo, Rhodes, Heraklion, Varna, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Tenerife, Tel Aviv and Moscow.
To/from the airport
Lithuanian Railways has services from Vilnius to Kaunas, Klaipeda and Siauliai. There are up to 15 trains daily between Vilnius and Kaunas and several overnight sleeper services to the Baltic coast. Ignalina (for the lakes and forests in the northeast and Trakai (a popular daytrip from the capital) have frequent departures as well from Vilinius.
Kautra is one of the main bus companies but there are lots more. Buses go to all main cities from Vilnius, like Kaunas and Klaipeda.
Eurolines has many international connections, among which are services to Riga and Tallinn.
There is plenty of public transport within the city that should get you to any suburbs or districts you want to visit. In general the average visitor will get around without the need for buses.
The Old Town of Vilnius is very easy to navigate on foot. Just pick up a city map and you are off on your way. There a few hills around Vilnius but none are too much for the average walker. The Old Town area is not over run with traffic so you can feel free when taking a stroll.
In recent years bikes have become more common on the streets of Vilnius but you must still be aware of drivers. Locals are not the most relaxed of drivers and so you should take care on the roads. You will find some bike paths around Vilnius as well as some bike rental points. As with most cities riding around by bike is one of the best ways to get to know a new place.
|A Hostel||Sodu str. 8 Sodu str. 17||Hostel||63|
|A-Markis Guest House||Stikliu str.6-1||Guesthouse||-|
|Algirdas City Hotels||Algirdo str. 24||Hotel||-|
|Amicus Hotel||str. Kaminkelio 15||Hotel||-|
|Apia Hotel||Sv Ignoto str. 12||Hotel||-|
|Auksine Avis||Pupines str.5,Vilnius||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Florens||Sodu str. 4-4||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bernardinu B&B House||Bernardinu St. 5||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Centrum Uniquestay||Vytenio 9/25||Hotel||-|
|Comfort Vilnius||Geliu str. 5||Hotel||-|
|Donatas Apartments||Vokieciu str.7-12||Apartment||-|
|Ecotel Vilnius||Slucko Str. 8,||Hotel||86|
|Filaretai Youth Hostel||Filaretu street 17||Hostel||83|
|Florens Boutique||Ausros Vartu str. 29||Guesthouse||83|
|Hostelgate||Mikalojaus Street 3/1||Hostel||92|
|Hotel Panorama Vilnius||Sodu str. 14||Hotel||-|
|In Astra B&B||J.Basanaviciaus St. 3||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Irmarent||Ausros vartu/Smelio Auku,3||Apartment||-|
|JNN Hostel||Konstitucijos avenue 25||Hostel||-|
|Ligonines Street Apartment||Ligonines 4-11||Apartment||-|
|Litinterp Guesthouse Vilnius||Bernardinu Street 7-2 Vilnius||Guesthouse||88|
|Mano Kelias||Savanoriu 222||Hotel||-|
|MGH Apartments||Vokieciu str.10-9||Apartment||-|
|Old Town Apartments-Vilnius||Pilies 23, Vilnius||Apartment||-|
|Paupio Namai||Paupio str. 31a Vilnius||Hostel||88|
|Rinno Hotel||Vingriu str.25||Hotel||-|
|RunMiS Hotel||Panevezio 8A||Hotel||-|
|Stasys Apartment||Pilies 23||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Telecom Guest||A.Vivulskio 13a||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|Tilto Apartments||Auku 3-13||Apartment||-|
|Apartment Vilnius||Tilto Str. 6 - 4a||Apartment||-|
|Vilnius Old Town Apartments||Pilies 12||Apartment||-|
|Vilnius Old Town Hostel||Ausros Vartu 20-10||Hostel||-|
|Downtown Market Guesthouse||57 Pylimo St.||Guesthouse||84|
|Hotel Rudninku Vartai||Rudninku str. 15/46, Vilnius||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Karolina||Sausio 13-osios Street 2||Hotel||88|
|Grybas house||Aušros Vartų 3a||Hotel||-|
|Bella Villa||Gineitiškės Atzalyno 7||Hotel||-|
|Embassy hotel Balatonas||Latvių g. 38||Hotel||-|
|Vilnius hostel||Sodu str. 8||Hostel||-|
|Hotel City Gate||Bazilijonų str. 3||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Alexa||Pylimo 53/ Sodu 2||Hotel||-|
|Natalex Apartments||Sv. Stepono 29||Apartment||-|
|Fortuna Hostel||Pelesos str 61/ Liepkalnio 2||Hostel||79|
|Jimmy Jumps House/Hostel||Savičiaus gatvė 12-1||Hostel||90|
|Hotel Tilto||Tilto str 8||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Martialis||Bistrycios str. 13||Hotel||-|
|Velga Hotel||Gelezinio vilko g.3||Hotel||-|
|Europa City Hotel - Vilnius||J.Jasinskio St. 14||Hotel||-|
|Come to Vilnius Hostel||Sv. Stepono 15||Hostel||85|
|Hotel Park Villa||Vaidilutes str. 6A||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Simple||Jeruzale Str. 21||HOTEL||-|
|Home Made House||Rudninku 13 - 5||Hostel||91|
|The Monk's Bunk Vilnius||J. Basanaviciaus 19-2||Hostel||-|
|Center Stay Hostel||Ausros Vartu g 16||Hostel||69|
|Hotel Vilnius Europolis||Svitrigailos Street 11D||Hotel||86|
|Le Meridien - Vilnius||Highway A-2 19th km||HOTEL||-|
|Pogo Hostel||B. Radvilaites str. 3-1||HOSTEL||85|
|Le Meridien Hotel||Eeraicio c., Avizieniur||Hotel||-|
|Domus247 - Zemaitijos 2 Bedroom Apartment||Zemaitijos Street 5 Apartment 11||APARTMENT||-|
|Domus247 - Kudirkos 2 Bedroom Apartment||V. Kudirkos Street 18A Apartment number 19||APARTMENT||-|
|Domus247 - Gedimino Avenue 2 Bedroom Apartment||Gedimino Avenue 64 Apartment number 106A||APARTMENT||-|
|Visiting Regvanga||Vytenio g. 3-2||APARTMENT||-|
|Nesė Pramogų Bankas||Pamėnkalnio g. 7 / Stulginskio g. 8||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|AirInn Vilnius||Radunios kelias 8||HOTEL||-|
|Apartment for Groups Vilnius||Traku 8-13||APARTMENT||-|
|One Bedroom Traku Apartment||Traku 8-12||APARTMENT||-|
|Vilnius Guest House||S. Staneviciaus 79||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|LEU Guest House||A. Vivulskio str. 36 , Vilnius||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|Backpackers hostel in Vilnius||Gedimino pr 2 Vilnius Lituania||HOSTEL||-|
|Fabrika Hostel & Gallery||A. Vienuolio g.4||HOSTEL||-|
|Slippers House||Naugarduko g. 27||HOSTEL||-|
For those who need to connect at an Internet cafes, major cities do have internet cafes. If you're bringing a laptop or smartphone, Wireless LAN Hot-Spots are available in distinct places (mostly "Zebra" from - TEO), sometimes free, otherwise not very cheap. Best chances of finding one are at airports, railway stations, in cafés, shopping malls, universities, various places. You can ask in your hotel, but don't count on wifi being free all the time, especially at more upscale places.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Lithuania's international phone code is 370. Emergency numbers include 101 (fire), 102 (police) and 103 (ambulance), but you can connect to all of them by calling 112, the general emergency number.
There is a monopoly operator for land line phones by TEO. Land line phones are easy to find throughout the country. Phones are used with cards, which you can find in kiosks, "TEO" or newspaper stands.
There are three major mobile phone operators in Lithuania: Omnitel, BITE and TELE 2. About 97% of the country's surface is covered by the standard European GSM 900/1800 MHz network. If you bring your own cell phone, make sure to switch off roaming to avoid high costs especially for internet. Instead, buy a local SIM card, which is much cheaper.
Lietuvos Paštas is the national postal service of Lithuania. Postal services are generally not very fast, but fairly reliable. That is, most of the postcards and letters will eventually arrive on the foreign adress, albeit after some days or even weeks. If you want it to be sent the fastest possible, go for courier instead of ordinary (domestic post) or for airmail instead of surface (international mail).
Post offices are usually open from 8:00am to 6:00pm on Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 2:00pm on Saturdays, although these opening hours may vary depending on the office, with big central offices keeping longer hours, while small villages might have shorter opening times. Stamped mail (both national and international) can be dropped in the yellow post boxes for collection. Stamps are available at post offices and kiosks.
To send parcels to other countries, you might better use international courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx.
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License