Vilnius in December: Best Events and Tips

December is a great month to visit Vilnius! The entire city feels dedicated to the Christmas season with light displays, Christmas trees, and Christmas markets, not to mention a calendar of events. Vilnius in December is unquestionably special!

Image says Vilnius in December

Events and Holidays

Lithuanian Christmas is celebrated the entire month of December in Vilnius. With a Christmas tree regularly voted in the list of Europe’s most beautiful, Vilnius is certainly on the map when it comes to the holiday season. December is certainly one of the best times to visit Vilnius!

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Christmas Markets

Held in squares and shopping malls, Vilnius’s Christmas markets offer a variety of sweet treats, gifts, designer products, traditional crafts, decorations, and homeware. Browse to your heart’s content and go home with your Christmas shopping list completed.

A Christmas market stall is covered in snow
Vilnius begins to look like Christmas in December. Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Lighting of the Christmas Tree

People gather on Cathedral Square and Town Hall Square for the separate lighting of these symbolic trees, each with their own theme.

Skating Rink

Though many people take advantage of the skating rink in Akropolis shopping center, the outdoor rink set up in Old Town Vilnius is more centrally located and more romantic. Warm up with a few turns around the ice.

Nativity Scenes

A life-size nativity scene appears on Cathedral Square every year, while live animals are a part of a manger display at the Bernadine church.

Christmas Train

All aboard the Christmas train! Give your feet a rest, see the twinkling lights from the train’s cars, and enjoy being surrounded by others having a blast during the Christmas festivities.

Christmas Mass

Attend Christmas Mass at Vilnius Cathedral or the Bernadine Church for memorable services that are broadcast across the nation. If you’re interested in Lithuanian culture, it may be one of the things to do in Vilnius that you want to put on your list.

New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year on Cathedral Square with throngs of other celebrants.

Things to Do in Vilnius in December

Take Advantage of Christmas Concerts and Events

Venues around Vilnius have their schedules packed with holiday-worthy events and entertainment, from classical to pop to folk. Escape the cold and cozy up to the type of culture of your choice—or go big and attend an opera or ballet at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre!

Shop for Christmas Gifts

Obviously, this time of year is ideal for sourcing gifts for others or yourself! Look for Baltic amber, Lithuanian linen, ceramics, cold-weather wear, candles, ornaments, and teas and honey. Lithuanian souvenirs are at all the markets.

Sample holiday menus

Around town, restaurants will be advertising holiday menus for dine-in or takeout options. You will have Lithuanian food options as well as international gourmet cuisine menus to choose from. Whether you want to join other celebrants out on the town or have a quiet meal at your accommodation, you’re bound to enjoy what Vilnius’s dining establishments have cooked up for those not up to preparing food for themselves.

Find a New Year’s Eve Event to Attend

Private parties and concerts will sell out fast, so if you’d like to ring in the New Year at one of these events, your best bet is to buy your tickets online in advance.

For concerts, gallery shows, demonstrations and workshops, theater performances, walking tours, and other events, visit Vilnius-events.lt, which is an excellent and up-to-date resource about what’s happening around town.

Weather

Vilnius’s December weather does not guarantee snow, but it is indeed possible. Temperatures will dip into the freezing range or below and days will be at their shortest, making them feel even colder.

How to Dress for Vilnius in December

Dressing for December travel to Vilnius may be a bit tricky. On the one hand, you should prepare to bundle up for activities that will keep you outdoors for an extended period of time, such as watching the Christmas tree lighting, shopping at outdoor markets, or celebrating New Year’s Eve on the main square.

On the other, concerts and events will require other attire altogether—nicer clothing that is also less practical (and less warm). Think carefully about the activities you’d like to do while in Vilnius in December and pack thoughtfully.

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