Vilnius: Your Best Getaway Destination

New discoveries, tasty food, unique experiences – sounds like the start of a perfect plan for a weekend getaway. You don’t have to go too far to escape your daily routine. All it takes is a journey to the centre of Europe – or Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, to be exact. Boasting an amazing Baroque Old Town, Vilnius is one of the best secret destinations for something unexpected and charming. The city is also included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Journey Romantic Europe route, so you are surely in for a treat made up of romantic Old Town views, cosy cafes, and picturesque long walks in the parks.

A bird’s-eye view of Vilnius

Gazing at Vilnius from above gives you a completely different perspective of the city. The red roofs of the Old Town, the glistening domes of the churches, and the narrow cobblestone streets are best viewed from atop of the recently re-opened iconic Gediminas Tower.

!! You can enjoy the views for free with the Vilnius Pass.

Would you prefer something warm and cosy instead? Why not take in the modern business-district buildings, the soothing Neris River, and the Old Town along the riverbank from the 22nd floor with a cocktail in hand at Skybar.

However, the most memorable view you can get is from a hot air balloon. If there’s one thing to splurge on, you won’t regret choosing a relatively rare opportunity to fly over a European capital. A traditional glass of champagne after landing will make it even more romantic.

Exploring the best of Vilnius

You can enjoy nature without getting out of the city – Vilnius is full of parks and green spaces to sit down and enjoy people watching in. Bernardine Garden right in the heart of the city is your place to go to if you fancy seeing a dancing fountain, feeding the ducks, and playing some chess.

The bohemian Užupis district is filled with art around every corner and is right nearby. What used to be a seedy part of the city in the early 90s has grown into an affluent neighbourhood of artists, intellectuals, and a few local moguls. Get a map and spot all the quirky little details the independent republic has to offer.

Once you cross back into Vilnius, visit Literatų Street, an outdoor gallery dedicated to the authors of the world. Find the plaque dedicated to your favourite author or simply marvel at the various works of art on display.

!! Get on an orange CycloCity bike and get around the Old Town faster, or enjoy a romantic ride along the Neris River.

Discovering indoor gems

Museums are usually on travellers’ list in case of bad weather. But Vilnius proves that museums don’t have to be left for dull days. You can feel like royalty at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania – see the impressive furniture, paintings, and a throne, and keep your eyes and ear open for concerts in the main hall. Show them your Vilnius Pass and hey, you’re in for free.

!! Look for the hidden romantic garden around the corner of the palace done in the fashion of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania – it’s a perfect spot to hang out in.

Vilnius loves art-lovers

There’s nothing more romantic than watching a good movie with your special someone. The Scanorama Film Festival on 4-21 November is all about presenting the best European movies, so get ready for deep post-film discussions over dinner.

While you’re in Vilnius, don’t forget to visit in the brand new MO Museum. The vast collection of more than 4,000 modern and contemporary paintings is not the only thing to see here. Come sit in a nearby park or just sip on a cup of coffee and take stylish photos in the modern interior.

Coffee cup full of love

Speaking of coffee – Vilnius is a real gem for coffee-lovers (and lovers in general). Historic, cosy, romantic, modern, trendy – you’ll find all of these and many more types of places to relax and recharge at. Try some Lithuanian roasted coffee at Strange Love and watch the sun set over Bernardinai Park while the fairylights illuminate the terrace. Or visit the used bookstore Mint Vinetu and get some souvenirs made by local artists together with your coffee.

One of the perks of being an adult is that you can enjoy ice cream any time of the year. Indulge in a handmade scoop or two with your coffee: you can choose your favourite flavours or taste something new made with locally-sourced ingredients.

!! They have vegan ice cream as well.

Have you ever eaten in a greenhouse? Give it a try at Panama Food Garden – this unconventional environment combined with great food is something not to miss on your trip. It’s even more magical when it snows.

Looking for some vegan and vegetarian options? Check out the fresh takes on some traditional dishes at Rosehip Bistro, which offers warming soups, filling hot dishes, and desserts to die for.

Ending your evening in style

Feel the atmosphere of old grandeur and nostalgia at Salionas, a popular cocktail bar housed in the famous literary cafe of the old Lithuanian Writers Union. Take in the modern vibes, cocktails with a twist, and DJs in the difficult-to-spot Love Bar.

Worth to check

Worth to check

Tips from locals
Tips from locals

Once you’ve visited all the must-see spots in Vilnius, plan some time – day or night – to experience the city in a less touristy way. Feel like a local – together with locals. Stroll around the city’s inspiring and beautiful spaces, grab a bite at popular food spots and have fun where locals go to do the same. Then you’ll definitely get the feel of just how cosy Vilnius is. Here are some of our top recommendations.

Vilnius Outside: The Best You Can Get
Vilnius Outside: The Best You Can Get

Get some vitamin D while spending time outdoors in Vilnius.

Going Green in Vilnius: Sustainable Living in the City
Going Green in Vilnius: Sustainable Living in the City

Vilnius’ abundance of nature, old forests and picturesque hills make it one of the greenest capitals in Europe. But Vilnius is also going greener and becoming more sustainable, making it easier to preserve the environment and leave a smaller footprint.