The Best Travel Guide to Vilnius by BestTravelBook

Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital has one of the largest surviving medieval quarters in Europe characterised by cobblestone streets and Baroque and Neoclassical churches

The Best Travel Guide to Vilnius is segmented into 4 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Vilnius:

  1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town;
  2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See;
  3. Some Top Tips / Good to Know;
  4. An insider guide

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

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1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town

Vilnius’s Old Town contains a Pandora’s box of Baroque, Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance buildings, all centered on the neo-classical cathedral and town hall.  One of the largest medieval old towns in Northern Europe, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town is packed with beautiful buildings, interesting shops, picturesque churches and elegant palaces. The Old Town in Vilnius is a paradise for history lovers. Baroque, Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance buildings nestle together, owing to its cultural influences for centuries.

Vilnius
Vilnius

Vilnius Old Town, the historical core of the capital of Lithuania, was formed in the 5th-6th centuries on the confluence of Vilnia and Neris rivers. Its growth and wealth took off in the early Middle Ages, in the 12th century, a citadel surrounded the city on Gediminas Hill and an impressive city wall.

Vilnius
Vilnius

The street art, murals and installations dotting Vilnius make it an urban gallery on its own, and the numerous high-level art festivals and cultural events throughout the year give the city its unique vibe.  The Capital city is also wonderfully green with 46% of Vilnius is made up of green spaces.  Vilnius is one of the few cities in Europe that allows hot air balloons to fly above the centre, and the views you obtain of the Old Town’s red roofs and the lush forests in and around the city are extraordinary.

Trakai Island Castle
Trakai Island Castle

Vilnius is a real gem and makes for a great authentic destination owing to its well preserved medieval core and still very much under the radar of mass tourism.

Vilnius Cathedral
Vilnius Cathedral

2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See

 

Trakai Island Castle
Trakai Island Castle
What to See in Vilnius, Lithuania
What to See in Vilnius, Lithuania

 

 

Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius Cathedral
Vilnius Cathedral

 

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Vilnius Cathedral, formally known as the Basilica of St. Stanislaus and St. Ladislaus, is a neoclassical church and one of Vilnius’ most iconic sights
  • Check out the elegant architecture of the cathedral or explore its interior to find an ornately decorated and beautifully restored nave
  • See the former city walls upon which the cathedral’s bell tower was built and explore the eerie crypts and vaults beneath the cathedral floor

 

 

Gediminas Castle

Gediminas Castle, Vilnius
Gediminas Castle, Vilnius

 

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Gediminas castle dates from 13th century
  • During the 17th-century Russian occupation the towers and defensive walls were almost completely destroyed
  • The tower houses a little museum, with displays of armour and models showing the former extent of Vilnius’s medieval fortifications
  • Make your way to the top for unparalleled panoramic views over Vilnius

 

St. Anne’s Church

St. Anne's Church, Vilnius
St. Anne’s Church, Vilnius

 

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • St. Anne’s Church is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Vilnius’ Old Town, a UNESCO-listed heritage centre
  • The Gothic-style church was consecrated in 1500
  • Visit this Roman Catholic church to see its breathtaking multi hued bricks and highly detailed ornamentation
  • You will be rewarded with a lavish Baroque-style interior and alter inside

 

The Three Crosses

The Three Crosses, Vilnius
The Three Crosses, Vilnius

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Take a walk up to the three white crosses which symbolise Lithuanians‘ mourning and hope
  • The monument designed by Henrikas Šilgalis was erected in 1989 to replace the existing concrete and before that wooden crosses
  • There are spectacular panoramic views of the Vilnius Old Town from the observation deck at the base of the crosses

 

What to See in Vilnius, Lithuania
What to See in Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius Old Town

Vilnius Old Town
Vilnius Old Town

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The largest Old Town in Eastern Europe declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994
  • The UNESCO-inscribed old town of Vilnius is packed with old palaces, narrow streets and numerous churches

 

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania has been central to Lithuanian state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (13th-18th centuries) and its rulers for centuries
  • The museum now has a wealth to see including archaeological artefacts, the residence of the Lithuanian grand dukes through the Late Gothic, Renaissance and Early Baroque epochs, the Lithuanian grand dukes’ castle and palace fortifications and weapons collection and the museum’s exhibition centre

 

Gate of Dawn

Gate of Dawn
Gate of Dawn

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Built in 1522 The Gate of Dawn is the last remaining gate from the city’s original defensive walls
  • The Gate of Dawn is widely well known for the miracle painting of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy located in the Gate of Dawn chapel

 

 

Saint Peter and Paul Church

Saint Peter and Paul Church
Saint Peter and Paul Church

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • This church is a masterpiece from the 17th century and one of the most significant Baroque monuments in Lithuania
  • The church is finely decorated with over 2000 religious objects
  • The frescoes are by Johann Gotthard Berchhoff

 

 

 

 

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