You say it's gloomy, cold and dark outside during this winter period? Then we say there's no need to be sad because you can find oodles of outdoor and indoor activities in Vilnius that will lift your spirits and give you all the energy you need!
Every time you drive by Liepkalnis, you can’t help but notice the snow-capped mountains with illuminated trails and skiers and snowboarders enjoying their descent. How is this not a resort? Guaranteed snow, like-minded people, and warm drinks and delicious food in the café up top. And a wonderful panorama of Vilnius and its surrounding forests to boot! Spending some time there makes you feel like you’ve actually been away.
This season, the Liepkalnis Winter Sports Centre is offering as many as 10 trails of varying complexity and 10 lifts. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can easily rent it on site. And if you’ve never stood on skis or a snowboard, professional instructors will quickly teach you.
Explore the rich flavors of Vilnius! Dive into our guide to the city's finest culinary offerings, from traditional Lithuanian dishes to modern dining experiences. Find top-rated restaurants, local food tours, and insider tips.
What could be more romantic than ice skating on a frozen lake in the fresh air, surrounded by nature? One of the favourite places among Vilnius locals is Lake Galvė, which is home to Trakai Castle. However, you’ll also find numerous lakes right outside of Vilnius. Just remember to only skate on a frozen lake after making sure that it is safe to do so!
If you don’t know how to skate yet, you can learn at one of the skating rinks in Vilnius, including Akropolis, Pramogų arena or cozy open-air ice rink at the Palace of the Grand Dukes (open until 31st January).
Yes, yes, you read that right – after all, Vilnius is one of the greenest capitals in Europe! And while it may not be all that green in winter, it’s still charming in its own wintry way. Plus, if you want to spend some time in real nature, you don’t even need to leave the city! Don’t forget to visit the places in Vilnius frequented by nature lovers as well as couples in love – the Verkiai and Pavilniai Regional Parks. Take in the winter views from above at the Pūčkoriai and Verkiai outcrops or Liepkalnis Hill. You’ll find the Vilnius Calvary Way of the Cross, a 7 km pilgrimage route with 35 stations of the cross right in Verkiai Regional Park. Try to find the miraculous spring near the route – local and visiting worshippers have long imbibed its waters, believing in their healing powers. Both parks have old-fashioned watermills, walking paths of different lengths, and year-round cafés where you can stop by to warm up.
Interesting exhibitions and events always enrich everyday life. And winter, when it’s gloomy outside, can be the perfect time to visit museums. Here are our top picks for you:
The House of Histories is a space which invites visitors to experience history not as something fixed in the past but as integral to the reality we are creating today.
Here visitors can explore and discuss different ways of understanding history. Things that happened in the past are studied by historians, archeologists and anthropologists, but they also inspire today’s designers, artists, photographers and other creators. This whole synthesis of differences is brought together by a curator into a new work – an exhibition.
The Kazys Varnelis House–Museum is the first such Lithuanian museum created by a collector and also the only branch of the National Museum of Lithuania dedicated solely to art.
The works of Lithuanian-American painter and collector Kazys Varnelis can be found in various museums in the United States, including the Detroit and Akron Art Institutes, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art in New York, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and the University of Iowa, as well as in private collections.
The Museum of Kazis Varnelis, a master of optical art with no analogues in Lithuania, also displays the artist's collection of historical prints, maps, Renaissance and Baroque furniture, sculptures, and works of applied art from various countries, including the Americas.
The Vilnius Museum is a new space for local people and visitors to learn more about the country’s capital. Opening its doors for the first time in the spring of 2021, the Museum presents unique and yet unknown, but still relevant, views of the city and the stories it tells.
What better way to remind yourself of summer than splashing in the water, lounging in a sauna and indulging in other spa pleasures? As always, the Vichy Water Park promises a Polynesian environment and atmosphere for adults and children alike, with swimming pools, attractions, slides, saunas and other entertainment. If you want to sweat in a traditional sauna, you can also find one right in the city at places like Untu or the Pilaitė Watermill Sauna.
And Vilnius definitely has its share of spas! You can find spa pleasures at Spa Vilnius, Bokšto Spa East Island Spa, Azia Spa and Nidos Kopos (where the power of amber is used), among others.
Did you know that summer isn’t the only time you can fly in a hot-air balloon? In winter, hot-air balloons not only set off in the morning and evening, they often fly during the day as well! The view of Vilnius and Trakai from the sky in winter is breath-taking. It’s like an ice kingdom from a wonderful fantasy film. Soar over snowy roofs, smoking chimneys, snow-covered forests and frozen lakes, and enjoy the magical peace and quiet. And it might come as a surprise but flying in a hot-air balloon in winter is not as cold as it may seem, since you fly downwind! The pilots say that it’s fine to just wear your regular clothes, although you may want to go with a warmer choice of footwear.