Vilnius

Vilnius travel guide

The capital of Lithuania is also the smallest of the Baltic states. Vilnius has some beautiful buildings, but what is especially striking are the hundreds of churches that you see all around the pace. The small and huge buildings provide a unique spectacle inside and out. Orthodox, Christian, Catholic, ... Almost all religions seem to find a place in Vilnius.
Vilnius clearly has something to do with religion, because throughout the city you regularly find other attractions too that have to do with it. In fact, this is not so obvious, because religion wasn't allowed under communism! By the way: communism is also something that you're guaranteed to come into contact with when you explore the city.
Vilnius is tiny, but pretty cozy. For a short city trip I can whole heartedly recommend Vilnius!

vilnius st anna church

Churches, churches, churches… Everywhere you see churches! This is the St. Anna church of Vilnius.

  Average costs in Vilnius

Stay – Vilnius is dirt cheap and you’ll find very affordable accommodation throughout the city. Yet the cheapest isn’t always ideal… I personally had a bad experience with the ‘five euro hostel’, so I wouldn’t recommend going there.
Five-star hotels are only available in small numbers, and the cost of all this luxury starts at around €100 per night. Four star hotels are much more affordable. From €45 to €50 per night.
The best 3-star hotels also cost something like this per night, but the cheapest ones only cost €30 to €35 per night. Hostels start at five euros, but as I mentioned before: paying a bit more is not necessarily a bad idea… A budget room for one person costs about twenty euros per night. If you are with two people, it’s therefore cheaper to immediately opt for a three or four star hotel!
Check out all accommodations in Vilnius via Booking.com.

Eat – Fast food is not expensive in the Lithuanian capital. For a Mc Donalds or Burger King menu you pay between five and seven euros. Personally, I didn’t think the restaurants in Vilnius were great, but they are of course slightly healthier than all that fast food. In a normal restaurant you pay between five and ten euros for a main course and a drink.

Transport – The buses in the city center cost one euro per trip. From the airport to the city center also costs only one euro.
From Vilnius you can travel to the Trakai Castle by bus. This costs you €1.80 per ride.
The comfortable trains are also not expensive. For a two-hour ride (Vilnius to Siauliai) you only pay eleven euros.

vilnius cross hill

The Cross Hill in Vilnius. The sculpture is almost invisible because of the thick snow!

  Saving money in Vilnius

Bus from airport – Don’t take a taxi from the airport to the city center. For one euro per person you’ll be met by a bus just in front of the airport and you’ll be dropped off at the central station of Vilnius. There you can take another bus to your accommodation or take a taxi from there. You’ll immediately save many euros!

Organize your excursions yourself – Close to Vilnius there are some popular sights such as the Trakai Castle and a bit further there is the famous hill of crosses in Siauliai. An excursion to Trakai costs at least €30 per person. If you take a bus from the bus station to Trakai and from then on arrange everything yourself, you’ll only pay €3.60 for the bus tickets and €5 for the castle. If you travel with several people you can save a lot of money by doing so!

Drink tap water – The tap water of Lithuania can be drunk without any problems. Reuse your bottles and drink for free during your city trip to Vilnius.

Trakai Castle Vilnius

Not far from Vilnius lies the enchanting Trakai castle.

  Things to do in Vilnius

Visit churches! – You can’t go to Vilnius without entering at least one church. To view them all from the inside and outside, you would need a lot of days, so I’ll briefly tell you which churches you should definitely see: St. Anne’s Church, St. Peter’s and Paul’s Church, St. Theresa Church, St. Casimir’s church and Bernardinu Baznycia.

Gedinimas tower – The Gedinimas tower is the only thing left of a once powerful castle that stood on the Gedinimas mountain . From almost everywhere in the city you can see this remnant building towering over the city. Inside the tower there is a museum, but the most beautiful part of this monument is actually just the view you get from this location.

Cross hill – Right across the hill where the Gedinimas tower is on, you can see the Cross hill. Three large, white crosses surrounded by beautiful nature. To see the crosses you don’t necessarily have to climb the mountain, because you can already see them from many places in the city. Yet the hill on which the monument is located is a very beautiful park and it is certainly worth a visit for nature lovers or hikers.

Gedinimas avenue – The central street of Vilnius is the Gedinimas avenue. Here you’ll find hundreds of shops, shopping centers and restaurants. Perfect for a shopaholic or to escape from the overflow of churches.

Uzupis – Within the Lithuanian capital, there is a completely independent city: Uzupis. During the Soviet regime, this was one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods of Vilnius. But in the meantime it has become the district that attracts all artists and bon vivants. This alternative part of Vilnius is very nice to go see, because they laugh a bit with all rules and obligations.

Trip to Trakai – By car, Trakai is about twenty minutes from Vilnius and by bus you are there in an hour. The Trakai castle is a gigantic medieval fortress that was completely rebuilt in the 1980s. After a long neglect, it was decided to restore the castle on the island. And with success! Because now it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Lithuania.

cathedral vilnius

The cathedral of Vilnius.

   Things to avoid in Vilnius

Getting annoyed by grumpy people – Is it because I am a tourist or because I look a bit ‘foreign’? I don’t know, but I didn’t find the people in Vilnius very friendly. They rarely said a ‘thank you’ or ‘my pleasure’ and very often I noticed some rude yawning looks. Perhaps recent history has something to do with this. This country was under a strict communist regime not so long ago!

Going to the area around the station at night – The neighborhood around the station and the central bus station is not the best place to be when it gets dark. Avoid walking too long (only) in this neighborhood in the evening. I heard from other tourists that there are often fights here.

Long stay – Vilnius is very small. In one day you can easily see everything there is to see. If you plan to make some trips you can of course stay a little longer, but I recommend not to stay too long and simply move on to some other Baltic cities.

vilnius travel guide

On the other side of the river you’ll find the more modern, economic center of Vilnius.

Did you like this article? Then give it 5 stars! Thanks!
In this article you'll find a few affiliate links. When you book something with these travel organizations, I get a small commission. You don't pay anything extra for that. You can thus see it as a way to support this blog if you found the information helpful. I use all of these travel organizations myself, and I will only recommend the ones that I really like.
 

Are you following me on Social Media?


Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
Come join us and get the latest updates!

Like Checkoutsam on Facebook
 

Articles

Find More  

The best things to see in Vilnius and its surroundings

things to see in Vilnius

  This attraction is not in Vilnius itself, but in Siauliai. Another ‘big’ city of Lithuania. Although it’s located two hundred kilometers (124 miles) from Vilnius, I recommend to plan a day trip to this major sight. The Hill of Crosses is one of the most exceptional and beautiful monuments that I ever saw. Hundreds of thousands of crosses, gigantic …

Read the blog  

Vilnius to Kaunas

Kaunas, Lithuania

With the train it takes about one hour to get to Kaunas from the Lithuanian capital. For a single ticket I paid €5,60, for my return ticket I paid €6,20. There are trains quite regularly scheduled from Vilnius to Kaunas (or the other way around). You can count on at least one train every hour. When I arrived in Kaunas, …

Read the blog  

Hill of crosses in Siauliai, near Vilnius

hill of crosses, lithuania

The connection between Vilnius en Siauliai isn’t particularly fast… With the bus it would take you between three and four hours and I didn’t particularly liked that idea… A lot faster (and cheaper!) are the regular trains. From Vilnius gelezinkelio stotis you have to take the train to Siauliai gelezinkelio stotis. (The central train station of Vilnius to the central …

Read the blog  

Check Out Sam | Travel guide, blog and info.