WHAT TO DO IN VILNIUS?
1) Marvel at the beauty of the Cathedral and make a wish
It’s here that the Grand Dukes of Lithuania were crowned.
In front of the cathedral entrance you will see a stone on the ground which, according to the legend, is where the human chain that linked Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn started. This event marked the liberation of the Baltic States. If you go up this stone and turn three times looking at the top of the bell tower, you can make a wish that will be granted.
2) Climb up the Hill of Gediminas by foot
It’s also possible to take an elevator to reach the Tower. Gediminas Tower is the only remaining part of the castle of Vilnius. Its name comes from a Grand Lithuanian Duke.
3) Go on the top of the Three Crosses Hill
This name pays tribute to the Franciscans who were murdered here once upon a time. It offers an unrestricted view of the city.
4) Wander around Uzupis Republic
Uzupis is a Vilnius borough that proclaimed itself an independent republic in 1997. It has its own Constitution, President and symbol, the Angel of Uzupis.
Often compared to Montmartre, Uzupis is a gold mine for artistic spirits.
5) Observe St. Anne’s Church at the entrance of Uzupis
It is reported that Napoleon Bonaparte, amazed by the church, wanted to take it to Paris on the palm of his hand.
6) Walk under the Gate of Dawn
Take the time to watch Lithuanians go under this door. Seen as a sanctuary for Lithuanians, many of them are doing the sign of the cross passing this door.
7) Wander on Town Hall Square
In the 20th century, an art museum was housed in the Town Hall. Now, Vilnius Town Hall is a representative building.
8) Taste Cepelinai, a Lithuanian culinary speciality
It’s look like stuffed potatoes but, to me, they’re more similar to gnocchi except that they are stuffed with meat rather than potatoes. Try this when you are very hungry: it’s quite fat.
9) Wander in the narrow streets of the city
My favorite: Stiklių gatve!
10) Admire the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre’s facade
The 3 muses who are overlooking the entrance are the muses of Drama (Calliope), Comedy (Thalia) and Tragedy (Melpomene).
11) Admire the Presidential Palace
At the top of the building, we can see the flag of the Lithuanian President (currently: Dalia Grybauskaitė), which means that she is in the country. On the other hand, if the flag is down, it reflects the absence of the president in the country.
12) Go clubbing in Salento
To go out, well… I have to admit that I have not an impartial opinion. Anyway, if you like party you will always enjoy your time in Salento Disco club just next to Town Hall Square. But, if you don’t like Spanish music or commercial songs you will not find your happiness there.
13) Enter a bar through a phone booth at Portobello
Yeah… Vilnius is very festive and there are many bars around the city. We will focus on two of them: Bamb Alyne and Leičių Bravoras, the first because you have to pay at the counter right next to your table and the beer is brewed inside the bar, the second because there are several fridges from where you can pick your preferred beer and glass and pick your table.. Both are located in Stiklių gatve.
14) Enter St. Peter and St. Paul’s church
The interior of this church left us speechless, two thousand stucco sculptures each more incredible than the others. Once upon a time there was a wooden church here but it was destroyed during the wars with Moscow.
15) Go for a walk around Green Lake
Outside of the city center, there is a beautiful lake surrounded by a forest where you can take a walk. If you want to take photography or shot movies, you should go definitely go there.
16) Have lunch while overlooking the whole city at the TV Tower
It’s the highest building in the city, rising to 326 meters. On January 13, 1991, as the disintegration of the USSR became more and more palpable, Moscow attempted to regain control of the Lithuanian media by sending tanks around this tower. This unsuccessful last attempt at control led to the deaths of 13 civilians. Now, the tower is recognized as a symbol of Lithuanian power.
17) Visit Trakai
Take the bus to reach Trakaï Castle, located on Galvé Lake. It was originally built in the 14th century but the war with Russia (in 1655) destroyed most of it. It was rebuilt during the 20th century.
18) Discover the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai
In the 14th century the region was under Russian rule and, in consequence, under their ideology marked by antireligious absolutism. The Lithuanians, most of them Roman Catholic, suffered from not being able to honor their dead. They began to rebel against the tsars by planting crosses on this hill. The Soviets shaved it three times but that was not enough to discourage Lithuanians who continued to plant crosses. Today this hill is always growing with a hundred crosses planted every day.
19) Walk in Aukstaitija Park
Rent a car to discover Aukštaitija National Park. It is the first park of the country, created in 1974: 69% of its territory is occupied by forests and there are 126 lakes.
20) Take a sled dog during winter
If you want to try this out of the ordinary activity you can take a bus to Kernave the former capital of Lithuania and book a ride. We used this website: they speak English, are super nice and taught us a lot of things about Lithuania and the history the country shares with Russia.