If you’ve considered a visit to Lithuania’s capital city but have been weighing the pros and cons against other destinations, these reasons to visit Vilnius may sway you. Vilnius is a wonderfully travel-friendly city, and those who visit rarely want to leave and can’t wait to come back.
Discover why so many travelers love Vilnius, Lithuania.
1. Free and Low-Cost Attractions and Events
One of the reasons to visit Vilnius is that the Lithuanian capital city has plenty of free attractions, and you can easily spend a day sightseeing without spending anything on entry fees.
Gedimino Tower Hill—the most important sight—the Hill of Three Crosses, Vilnius Cathedral, and the Gates of Dawn are all free to visit. The museums are relatively low-cost as well, with the top ticket price for entry being around 7 EUR for the Mo Museum, for example.
Culture is also low cost, with opera and theater tickets able to be purchased for reasonable prices. Of course, more costly enjoyments, such as tasting dinners and spa packages can be booked, but if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t get much better than Vilnius.
Vilnius is a city that thrives on an annual calendar of events, much of them free to attend. Of course, unless you buy food or souvenirs, the many seasonal outdoor markets, such as the Christmas markets and Kaziukas Fair, are free of charge.
Culture Night, Museum Night, the Street Music Festival, the winter Festival of Lights, and Open House Vilnius are free to enjoy. Check any events calendar to see what’s going on in Vilnius. Particularly in the warm season, you will have plenty to choose from to occupy your time and learn something about local culture while you’re at it.
You may even decide that one of the best times to visit Vilnius is when one of these events is taking place!
2. Plenty of Things to Do
Many travelers breeze through Vilnius when they’re traveling the Baltic countries, hitting each of the Baltic capitals without spending enough time there. However, one of the top reasons to visit Vilnius is that you’ll never be bored, no matter how long your stay.
Things to do in Vilnius range from sightseeing and tours to experiencing Lithuanian culture up close and personal.
You can easily spend an entire week or more in Vilnius alone, sightseeing, dining out, and visiting museums. Furthermore, because of Lithuania’s size, it’s easy to take day trips from Vilnius, such as to Trakai, the Hill of Crosses, Kernave, or Grutas Park.
3. Booming Restaurant Scene
Lithuania’s restaurant scene continues to develop, with chefs making their name in various cuisines and opening up restaurants that reflect refinement, style, and innovative culinary techniques.
While it’s easy to find restaurants serving traditional Lithuanian food, particularly in the heart of Old Town Vilnius, you can also find restaurants serving modern, seasonal, and local food, such as 14Horses, Dziaugsmas, or Sweet Root.
For restaurants representing other cuisines, try Gaspar’s for a fusion of inspiration from around the world, El Mercado for Spanish food, or Blue Lotus for Indian and Thai.
For a heightened experience, try a food tour, cooking class, or beer tasting.
4. Quality Local Shopping
Every city has its kitschy souvenir shops, but Lithuanian designers have capitalized on local materials and their own ingenuity to offer a wide spectrum of souvenirs that you will cherish for years go come or enjoy gifting.
Lithuanian linen is a favorite, with both classic choices in neutral colors and updated fashions and interior design options to choose from. You can also find high-quality Lithuanian brands selling clothing and accessories.
You can also shop for Baltic amber and other handmade jewelry in the old town, local cosmetic brands, locally produced food such as apple cheese, handmade candles and soap, and Lithuanian folk art.
5. Great Summer Weather
Between late spring and early autumn are the glory days of summer, punctuated by long days, moderate temperatures, and light breezes. While it can get hot, the heat typically doesn’t linger, and you may even find yourself needing a jacket.
Restaurants and cafes, if room allows, offer outdoor seating, which is perfect when you want to be outside enjoying the weather, perhaps watching the light change over the historic architecture as the day fades.
6. Easy to Get to
Perhaps if you are located somewhere other than Europe, Vilnius may not seem easy to get to. But once you’re in Europe, Vilnius is likely within a few hours’ plane ride.
For example, in less than an hour you can get to Vilnius from Warsaw. And you’re only about four hours by plane from a city as far away as Madrid.
Once you’ve landed, the city center of Vilnius is a mere 15 minutes from the airport, which means even if you’re blurry-eyed from a long travel slog, you’ll be at your accommodation in almost no time.
7. Beautiful Historic Center
Old Town Vilnius is a mixture of Neoclassical and Baroque architecture, with some Gothic, Brutalist, Art Nouveau, and other styles thrown in.
The streets reflect their medieval origins with their winding patterns, and the cultural layers are visible to the trained eye who sees doors that were once entryways sunken below street level. You will encounter elegant bell towers, windows with flowerboxes, tidy squares, and views that you won’t know whether to stare at or photograph.
8. Walkable Old Town and Easy to Get Around
Vilnius is extremely walkable, and in fact, by foot is often the best way to get around. You’ll see more, and the distances are modest. If you’re staying in the old town, you’ll be able to access most sights within 20-30 minutes.
If you need to take a load off, car-sharing services and taxis are plentiful, and for further distances, bus routes have good coverage at a low cost. Another one of the great reasons to visit Vilnius!
9. Relatively Affordable
One of the top reasons to visit Vilnius is its affordability. Vilnius is not the deep-discount destination it once was, but it is still an affordable destination.
Cheap taxis and buses, free and low-cost culture, reasonable food prices, and even decently priced hotels mean that you can enjoy your stay in Vilnius without overspending.
10. Good Connections to Nearby Countries
Vilnius’s connections get better by the year and are particularly robust in the high season. Good connections to Poland, Scandinavia, and Spain exist. If you’re planning a trip of the Baltics, travel couldn’t be easier—a flight will take you easily to Riga or Tallinn, or you can choose to bus it via the comfortable and affordable Lux Express company. Many visitors often take advantage of connections to visit Belarus or Ukraine, as well.
No doubt, you will find many more reasons for visiting Vilnius after you realize all that it has to offer. It’s a comfortable city for travel for a variety of types of travelers and makes a strong impression in more cases than not!