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Barysiai Vilnius Europe: Top Sights in the Capital of Lithuania Exploring the Old Town of Vilnius Ever wanted to explore an intriguing European capital that’s off the beaten path? Look no further than Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
Nestled in the Baltic states, Vilnius has a storied history spanning over 600 years but has remained relatively obscure.
That’s about to change as savvy travelers discover all this city has to offer.
When you arrive in Vilnius, you’ll immediately notice the blend of architectural styles, from Baroque to Gothic to Soviet-era concrete.
But the real highlight is the medieval old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest surviving old towns in Europe.
As you stroll the cobblestone streets, you’ll stumble upon charming cafes, craft shops, and historic churches at every turn.
Beyond the old town, there are poignant reminders of a tumultuous past, as well as a burgeoning art scene.
And the food, influenced by Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, and Jewish cuisines, provides the perfect fuel for exploring.
By the end of your visit, you’ll be wondering why Vilnius remains such a well-kept secret.
But for now, you can feel like one of the lucky few to discover this hidden European gem.
Top Museums and Galleries in Vilnius The historic heart of Vilnius is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason.
As you wander the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, you’ll be transported back in time.
Gediminas Castle Tower Climb the spiral staircase of the Gediminas Castle Tower for panoramic views of the city.
The tower is all that remains of a once formidable castle from the 14th century.
Cathedral Square Cathedral Square, dominated by the neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral, is the bustling center of the Old Town.
Grab a coffee at one of the cozy cafes lining the square and do some people watching.
St.
Anne's Church Tucked away on a quiet side street, St.
Anne's Church is a striking example of Gothic architecture in Northern Europe.
Admire its red brick facade and towering spires, then step inside to see the vaulted ceilings.
Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum Learn about the history of Jews in Lithuania at the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum.
Housed in a former synagogue, the museum documents Jewish life in Vilnius from the Middle Ages through WWII.
Gates of Dawn The Gates of Dawn are the only remaining gate of the original city wall.
Climb the tower for views of the Chapel of the Gates of Dawn, which contains an icon of the Virgin Mary said to have miraculous powers.
Locals still come to pray at the chapel today.
With architectural wonders, important landmarks, and a long, layered history around every corner, you could easily spend days uncovering the secrets of Vilnius’ enchanting Old Town.
Take your time—this city has stories to tell.
Outdoor Activities in Vilnius: Parks and Nature Vilnius has some world-class museums and galleries housing art, history, and culture that you won’t want to miss.
National Museum of Lithuania This is the largest museum in the country, dedicated to Lithuanian history, art, and ethnography.
Spread over 6 buildings, it has over 4 million artifacts including folk costumes, archaeological findings, and art.
It’s a great overview of the history and culture of Lithuania.
MO Museum Vilnius’ contemporary art museum opened in 2018 and has hosted temporary exhibits by world-renowned artists like Yoko Ono and Marina Abramović.
Their permanent collection includes Lithuanian art from 1960 onward.
If you’re into modern art, this is a must-see.
Vilnius Picture Gallery Housing European art from the 16th to 19th centuries, the Picture Gallery is located in the former monastery of the Dominicans.
It includes famous works of art from Italian, Dutch, Flemish, and Lithuanian artists.
The monastery itself is also an architectural landmark worth exploring.
The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania Reconstructed in the early 2000s, this palace now houses an archaeological museum on the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
It’s a striking example of Renaissance architecture and gives you insight into how the dukes lived in the 16th century.
With stunning architecture, world-class art, and insights into the region’s complex history, Vilnius’ museums and galleries have something for everyone.
No trip to the city is complete without visiting at least a few of these cultural gems.
Experiencing the Food Scene in Vilnius Outdoor Activities in Vilnius: Parks and Nature Vilnius is a city surrounded by nature, so getting outside is a must.
With lush forests, scenic trails and sprawling parks, you'll have no shortage of ways to spend time enjoying the fresh air.
- Visit Vingis Park, the city's largest green space.
Spread over 100 hectares, it's perfect for walking, cycling, sunbathing or just finding a quiet spot to relax.
In the summer, catch an outdoor concert at the park's amphitheater.
- Explore the paths of Paneriai Forest, a peaceful woods on the outskirts of Vilnius.
The towering pines provide shade and seclusion, with trails for hiking, jogging or horseback riding.
Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
- Rent a bike to ride along the Neris River.
Cycle lanes run along both banks, passing scenic gardens, landmarks like the Gediminas Tower, and opportunities for bird watching.
Stop for a cold drink at one of the outdoor patios along the way.
- Visit the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania with over 100 historic buildings, churches and farms set in a massive park.
It's an ideal way to learn about traditional Lithuanian architecture and folk culture while enjoying the countryside.
- Take a hot air balloon ride to see Vilnius from up high.
Float over the city at dawn or dusk for panoramic views of the Old Town, cathedrals, castle ruins and surrounding forests.
A magical experience you won't soon forget.
There are so many ways to get outside and experience nature in Vilnius.
Pack comfortable shoes, bring your sense of adventure and spend as much time as possible enjoying all the outdoor activities this lovely city has to offer.
The fresh air and natural scenery are sure to rejuvenate your body and spirit.
Day Trips From Vilnius to See More of Lithuania Vilnius has a vibrant food scene that reflects its location at the crossroads of Eastern and Western culture.
As the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius offers a range of cuisines from traditional Lithuanian fare to international influences.
Traditional Lithuanian Cuisine Experience classic Lithuanian cuisine at restaurants like Šnekutis or Forto Dvaras.
Dishes to try include cepelinai, potato dumplings usually filled with meat or cheese; žemaičių blynai, thin potato pancakes; and kibinai, pastry pockets filled with mutton and onions.
Wash it all down with a cold beer like Švyturys or Utenos.
On a nice day, grab a meal from one of the food trucks in the Old Town and picnic in the cathedral square.
Farm to Table Vilnius has a strong locavore movement focusing on high-quality, farm-fresh ingredients.
Drop by Sweet Root for a casual brunch or lunch with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers.
They offer salads, sandwiches, and mains with a vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu.
For an upscale dinner, reserve a table at Džiaugsmas, where the tasting menu features the best local meats, seafood, produce and cheeses Lithuania has to offer.
International Influences Thanks to Vilnius’ history, you’ll find cuisine from all over Europe and beyond.
For classic French fare, book a table at Stikliai hotel’s Leičiai restaurant, open since 1775.
Try the duck confit or coq au vin.
In the mood for Italian? Head to Cotto Crudo for homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and craft cocktails.
Vilnius also has excellent Georgian, Russian, Jewish, and other international cuisine.
Vilnius’ food scene has something for every taste.
Experience the city through its eclectic mix of traditional, farm-to-table, and international cuisine.
Eat, drink, and enjoy all the deliciousness Lithuania’s capital city has to offer!

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