If you’re considering a good month to visit Vilnius, September may be it. While the city may seem relatively more crowded due to the return of the students to universities, tourist numbers are beginning to thin. Days are still warm and sunny, and the year’s events pick up again after the summer lull. You’ll find Vilnius in September to be beautiful, lively, and inviting.
Events and Holidays
September is an ideal month for those who love music, theater, and folk or traditional culture!
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Capital Days: The first weekend in September celebrates Vilnius with an open-air market spanning much of the length of Gediminas Avenue and plenty of concerts and performances. Use this festival as a way to stock up on unique gifts and enjoy local culture.
Sirenos Theater Festival: This annual festival showcases the best new Lithuanian and European theater and has been a feature of Vilnius’s calendar of events since 2004.
Autumn Equinox: Lithuanians love the opportunity to celebrate in true pagan style, and the autumn equinox presents on of those chances. The night lights up with fire sculptures featuring ancient pagan and more fanciful shapes. Head to the river to see this illuminating show.
Griežynė Instrumental Folk Music Festival: This festival is for lovers of traditional folk music and the instruments that produce it—along with Lithuanian folk music performances, the festival invites musicians from around the world to share folk music and organizes educational presentations about folk music and the culture surrounding it.
Banchetto Musicale: Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music is the highlight of this festival. Past festivals have featured, for example, Gregorian chant and harpsichord music.
Things to Do
Visit the Palace of the Grand Dukes: This large museum behind Vilnius Cathedral will introduce you to Lithuanian history as well as take you on an archeological tour of the palace that formerly occupied this spot. The reconstructed palace is full of interactive exhibits and information.
Head to Uzupis: Uzupis is Vilnius’s quirky, fun artists’ district that is also now a prime area for developers and businesses. You can enjoy a café in the area, explore the galleries and shops there, or head into the Paupys area, where a food court without outdoor seating welcomes diners.
Tour Vilnius University: Vilnius University is a main focus in September as both local and international students resume their studies on September first. But it’s also a main Vilnius attraction, with plenty of history and art to wow you, including a lovely library and twentieth-century frescos. You definitely don’t have to be a student to appreciate this venerable institution!
Go off the Beaten Path: Vilnius is an easily walkable city, and there’s no reason you have to stick to the main tourist paths. You can explore Vilnius’s nooks and crannies on your own, with or without a camera, with no fear of getting lost. You’ll discover crumbling churches, charming courtyards, architectural details, surprising monuments, and parks and gardens.
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.
Though September still sees some summerlike days, average temperatures tend to be in the 60s. While you can dress more lightly during the day, fall is when the nighttime and evening temperatures start to drop, especially with the sun setting earlier in the day. Rain will make either night or day feel cooler; the heat of the sun dissipates quickly once summer is in the past.
How to Dress
Plan to pack a range of options—lighter clothing during the day and long sleeves and pants for the evening. You will also be glad to have a jacket or sweater for chillier weather.
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