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Weekend Destinations – Vilnius

Vilnius is the perfect weekend destination. It’s a short flight from many places in Europe, it’s a cozy not too big city and the prices are pretty balanced. This how you can spend a weekend in Lithuania’s capital.

I’m planning my second trip to Vilnius. My first time to Vilnius I arrived by car, but this time it will be by plane. As a weekend destination, Vilnius got it all. Read on for advice about what you can do on Friday and Saturday in the Lithuanian capital.

Founded The year 1329
Inhabitants 574.147 (Metro 805.367)
Time zone UTC+2
Guest nights in Vilnius 2017 1,070,736 (increasing every year)
Most tourists came from… 1. Belarus 2. Russia 3. Germany
Drink the tap water? Yes.
vilnius-weekend-destination-3
Communism, capitalism and religion represented.

Getting to Vilnius

Getting to Vilnius is easy. When I write this, there are 54 flight (some depending on season) lines connecting to the city. The airport is located only 5,9 kilometers away from the city center and getting to it is really simple. It’s easy to go by train which runs between the airport and the train station (Geležinkelio Stotis) 16 times a day. One ticket costs 0,7 Euro. Worth to know is that the train station is a bit off the city center.vilnius-weekend-destination-4

If you choose the bus, head for bus line 1, 2, 88 or 3G and you will end up in the city center.

Taxi’s in Vilnius are generally safe but could be more pricey then you think. Download the app #eTAKSI” to avoid surprises.

Friday

Arriving in Vilnius. Probably you end up at the central train station or you go by cab directly to your accommodation.vilnius-weekend-destination-5

Now you are hungry. Head for the old town, to sort the restaurants out. In the old town, which is one of the largest in Europe, bar’s and restaurants are packed and the prices are attractive. A meal should start från 4-5 Euros. Skip the continental food an look for Lokys, Senoju trobelé or Etno Dvaras. They offer well-cooked food with a great service.Vilnius-old-town-4

With the hunger eliminated, you should get an overview of Vilnius. There are two options. Number one is the TV tower. But, it’s not within walking distance and far away from the city center. Instead, follow the crowds from Old town towards Gediminas Castle Tower, which is located on a high hill with amazing view both old and new Vilnius. The skyscrapers of the modern Vilnius is really nice in the evening from the hill.vilnius-weekend-destination-1

End up on a bar where a beer will cost from 1 € and up.

Saturday

This is the day to really explore and get to know Vilnius. Depending on your interests, your plans may differ.

Shopping

If you are into shopping, I would go for the huge market in the outskirts of Vilnius which you can read more about here. Amber is a popular thing to buy in the Baltic countries.

Big shopping malls in the city center are Prekybos centra CUP (at the skyscrapers), PC EuropaPanorama and Akropolis (a bit away).

vilnius-weekend-destination-6
The Olympic Casino and a big shopping mall on the lowest floors.

Sights in Vilnius

Start with the KGB museum (house of terror) with entrance free of charge. To get in a happier mood, join one of the many free guided walking tours. Ask the hotel for today’s schedule. Most of them start at the Cathedral square.

A good place to find guided tours is Tripadvisor or Viator.

Now it time to be on your own. Don’t miss:

  • Vilnius Cathedral (incl. Bell Tower) – One of the most famous buildings of Vilnius.
  • Užupis – A neighborhood crowded with artists and an “own republic”.
  • Church of St. Anne – Amazing Romanian Catholic church and an important landmark.
vilnius-weekend-destination-7
Vilnius Cathedral.

Evening in Vilnius

Do you like bars, gambling or opera? Vilnius got it all.

Bar’s are everywhere in the Old town. There are some casinos available and I think the Olympic Casino is the best. It’s close to downtown and the staff are polite. It’s located in the same building as Radisson Blu and close to the shopping mall Prekybos centra CUP.

Visiting the Vilnius National Opera is a must if you are into the culture.

Also, not my business, but prostitution is legal in Lithuania. The selection is wide and announced.

Have a nice weekend in Vilnius!

Also check my introduction to Vilnius Old town here.

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