Official language: Lithuanian
Time zone: UTC+3 (summer), UTC+2 (winter)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Vilnius is a well-connected city. Nearly 100 bus and trolley lines are available almost around the clock. You can use a bus pass or buy a single ticket from the driver.
Every day, at high noon, groups of tourists gather near the City Hall to enjoy a free guided walking tour of Vilnius. It’s not necessary to book it in advance.
The best souvenir from Vilnius is the Easter palm. It’s woven out of straw, flowers, and decoration to commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and palm branches that people used to greet him. All are hand-made, and no two are the same.
The city of festivals, street fairs, and delicious local cuisine. In Vilnius, exciting things happen all year round.
Certainly, the most beautiful spot in Vilnius is the Old Town – it’s the largest in this part of Europe and contains almost 1,500 buildings (including many examples of Gothic) and 70 streets. It was established in the place of the settlement that had existed here as early as in the 5th century. Even on chilly days, you can enjoy a walk along its narrow winding streets. And don’t be surprised to see street musicians or painters at every turn – Vilnius just loves artists.
In Kalnų (Kalnai) Park, lying within the Old Town on the right bank of the Vilnia River, you’ll find Three Crosses Hill and the panoramic view of the city spreading out below. The Cathedral of Vilnius and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania are perfectly visible from here. The original wooden crosses appeared on the top of the hill in the 17th century; today they’re made out of concrete.
Throughout July, fans of classical music can attend the Vilnius Festival. On the first Saturday of May, the Street Music Day is held, filling every corner of the city with different types of music. At the turn of September and ??, the Sostinės dienos (the Vilnius City Fiesta) takes place, hosting not only musicians but also street actors. At the same time, in Vingis park you can enjoy film screenings. November is a month of jazz festivals.
Every year, on March 4th, the Kaziuko mugė (the Saint Casimir’s Fair) is held. The tradition of the fair is nearly four centuries old. It’s the celebration of the feast day of St. Casimir, the patron saint of Lithuania. The city is bustling with life at that time – tourists and craftsmen crowd its streets to bargain and feast on the regional specialties. You can get here a unique handmade pottery, braided carpets, wooden spoons, bowls, amber jewelry, and folk-patterned textile. This is also here that you’ll buy the best local sliced meat, cheese, smoked fish, or home-baked bread.
For a delicious and inexpensive dinner go to Busi Trecias at 18 Totoriu g. Food tastes the best here with craft beers. The excellent local cuisine is also to be found in Senoji Trobele at 36 Nagarduko g. During warm days, it’s very pleasant to sit outdoors in a roofed beer garden. If it’s your first time with local cooking, start from the cheese and charcuterie board.