Some weeks ago, we’ve shared with you five great and unique places to see in Vilnius. But it was important for us to also create an itinerary of the must-sees in this city! As you know, Erikas was born and raised there, so he showed me around. From all those places, I’ve selected a few which, I think, cannot be missed if you visit the Lithuanian capital for the first time. So there it is – the ultimate itinerary for a trip to Vilnius!
Vilnius is one of these up and coming capital cities where everyone wants to go. And let me tell you…. There’s a reason for that! Last June was my first time in Vilnius and Lithuania, and my mind has been blown away. Never have I imagined that this city is so pretty and the Old Town so big. Thus, it is not surprising that there is a tonne of information and travel guides written about it. Sometimes, it might even seem confusing, especially if you want to see as much as possible on a tight schedule.
We spent quite a few days in Vilnius and had the time to see (almost) everything we wanted. This sometimes included sights that were maybe not worth the visit, and others that we discovered while being lost in the small paved streets of the Old Town. The below itinerary can be modified based on your preferences or the location of your accommodation, for instance.
Day 1 – Stroll in the Old Town, Gediminas Castle Tower and the Republic of Užupis
Vilnius Old Town is one of the largest Old Towns in North-Eastern Europe, hence, you don’t want to miss it! There are different possible entries to the Old Town (Gate of Down, Cathedral square, etc.) so you can just pick the closest from your accommodation! What we liked the most was just walking around, taking our time and getting lost in the small streets of the city. It was great as we could avoid packed streets and enjoy some peace and quiet. After a short while, we made our way down to the Cathedral square in the centre.
From there, Gediminas Castle Tower is easily accessible. Even though going up does not take very long, the path is made of rocks and is very dusty. Hence, make sure to wear comfortable footwear and not sandals.
In addition, there is a small fee to get in and up the tower. I believe it is worth it, as you can get a nice view of the city centre and also stop in the different stories of the building to learn more about the history of the castle, the city and Baltic region.
Lastly, to finish off the first day, you should head to the Republic of Užupis. Since it is located right next to the Old town and is easily accessible from the Gediminas Castle Tower, you will not lose time heading there.
The Republic of Užupis is a small and self called independent territory in the city. It also has its own constitution! You can read more just here. When in Užupis, you should stop at the wall where the constitution is written – you will probably find it in your own language! And then just walk around the area freely. Užupis is surrounded by the river and the buildings are very colourful. This place is one of the most unique things you’ll see in Vilnius!
Day 2 – Trakai Castle and Barbakanas Bastion
On day 2 you should head out of Vilnius and go to the town of Trakai. The place is roughly 30 kilometers away from Vilnius and is known for its castle, surrounded by lakes. Though the castle stands on an island, it is easily accessible. From the different parking spaces, there are nice walks along the water leading straight to the castle’s doors.
In addition to Trakai, and if you have extra time, take your car and drive an extra 10 minutes to Užutrakio Dvaras. Located just across the lake, the building and park are worth a visit, and on top of it, you get a superb view of the castle!
After this day full of funtivities, head back to Vilnius, get some dinner at Pilies Katpedele, it is always a good option for tasty traditional food, and enjoy a walk in the Barbakanas Bastion. The bastion gives a beautiful view over the city and it is a place where locals usually go.
Day 3 – Station district, Belmontas and the Hill of three Crosses
Last but not least! Vilnius is a beautiful city and there is always something to do or see! So for your last day there, we suggest you spend some time exploring the station district (Stotis). The place is on a verge of becoming a ‘hipster’ area. It has a lot of very nice bars (check our Mapstr for the best addresses), murals and a relaxed vibe!
In this area, spend some time walking in the covered market (Hales turgus) for Lithuanian tastes, food and meeting the locals!
You can also finish your day with the station district, ‘cause as soon as the sun goes down, it becomes a party district with unconventional bars and food places everywhere around. Our favourites?! ‘Platforma’/Peronas located just by the train tracks!
From the market hall, take your car or get an Uber to Belmontas. This place, just outside Vilnius, offers a lot of outdoor activities as well as restaurants serving traditional food. If you have extra time, go for a hike in this area as there are a lot of tracks departing from there! If not, just enjoy beautiful surroundings with a pint of locally brewed beer.
Lastly, from Belmontas, drive back towards the Hill of Three crosses. The upper point, where the crosses are located, is accessible either by foot from ‘Bernardinu sodas’ or by car from T. Kosciuskos street. In our case, we drove up on our way back from Belmontas and walked back through the park.
From the top of the hill, you’ll get the best panorama view of the city! You can also rest for a while in the park there. We’ve found it way less busy than Gediminas Castle Tower, for instance!
⇒ All these places, as well as bars and restaurants are in our Mapstr ‘northernitinerary’ follow us there for more details!
⇒ Let us know! Have you ever been to Vilnius? What do you think of the city?