5 Minute Guide to Vilnius, Lithuania

welcome to vilnius

Vilnius, Lithuania

From the airport:

When you arrive in Vilnius airport, you can take the bus or train to the city centre.  The train is more convenient and comfortable (and faster if I remember correctly), but it’s a little further from the airport than the bus stop.  But still, it’s walking distance.  Both options cost about 1 euro.

airport vilnius
The very tiny Vilnius airport

Hotels:

I stayed here twice and the first time was ok, but the second time wasn’t so great.  It’s very basic, minimalist accommodation (as is reflected in the price), which is usually all I need, but the last time I was there the cleanliness of the rooms was a bit disappointing.  Maybe they were just having a bad day.  But, there are many, many hotels in Vilnius and compared to other European cities they are generally not expensive. 

Getting around:

The town centre is small enough to go everywhere by foot.  It’s quite flat, with a few streets which incline, but not excessively.

street Vilnius
Easy to walk around in Vilnius

Food:

Restaurants and cafes abound in Vilnius, and you can find almost any cuisine that takes your fancy.  For traditional food, I’ve tried the famous restaurant Etno dvaras where I had Cepelinai (known as ‘zeppelins’ in English), which are made from grated and riced potatoes and stuffed with ground meat or dry curd cheese or mushrooms.  Very tasty and filling.

zeppelin Vilnius
Traditional Lithuanian food, Zeppelins
inside zeppelin
And a look at the filling

I also recommend a bar/restaurant called Cozy, which has a more European style menu.  I had beef cheeks, delicious!

cozy restaurant vilnius
Beef cheeks and beer – a good combination

But there are many, many different choices of restaurants.

French cafe
You could try a French cafe in Vilnius
Indian
Indian’s always a good choice too

Shopping:

For such a small city, there are quite a lot of shopping opportunities in Vilnius.  There’s the old town pedestrian areas which have a variety of souvenir and other shops.  One of the specialities of Vilnius is linen, so shops selling linen clothes and other linen things are quite popular.  There’s a shopping centre/complex across the river which has a variety of shops, and also Gedimino Pr. street is quite a busy shopping street.  You can also check out Hales Market which has just about everything you need, including clothes, shoes, cosmetics, fruit and vegetables etc.

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Sightseeing:

Plenty to see and do in Vilnius.  Lots of interesting old and abandoned buildings, as well as these favourites:

  • Three Crosses Monument
  • Vilnius Cathedral
  • Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower
  • Presidential Palace
  • Walking Path by the Neris River
  • Hales Market
Vilnius Cathedral
Vilnius Cathedral
Cathedral Bell Tower
Cathedral Bell Tower
Palace of Concerts and Sports
The abandoned Palace of Concerts and Sports – a great example of Soviet architecture
abandoned buildings
I love abandoned buildings, they’re so photogenic
empty building
One of many empty buildings

Quirky:

The Frank Zappa memorial – apparently he never visited Lithuania or any of the Baltic states, they just like his music

Recommended for:

Solo travellers, couples, families, senior travellers.  Three or four days are probably enough to see everything.

Top tip:

Take a bus out of the centre of town for a trip to the past.

welcome to vilnius
And it’s great!

Vilnius Tourist Information Centre.

If you missed my other 5 minute guides, you can also read about MoscowParis, Hanoi, Amsterdam, Hue, Munich and Berlin.

~ Cheryl

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Author: Cheryl

I'm an Australian woman who is now living in a village in rural Bulgaria. I lived for 12 years in Moscow, Russian Federation, working as an English language teacher. My current loves are my husband and my vegetable garden.

4 thoughts on “5 Minute Guide to Vilnius, Lithuania”

    1. Hello Marcia! Nice to see you here 🙂 Yes, quaint is the perfect word for Vilnius. And the beef cheeks were to die for, I wish I could cook like that.

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    1. I also tried the Zeppelins in Vilnius. Not sure if I can say I love them, but they’re not bad. I really enjoyed just walking in Vilnius, without a map, taking any street I felt like. It’s a lovely little town. I saw a lot of linen shops, but never looked inside them, but I’ve heard that the linens are very good quality in Lithuania. 🙂

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