Vilnius is the capital of the much-undiscovered Lithuania. This pretty little city has only half a million inhabitants and yet attracts backpackers and visitors to come and explore its cobblestoned streets and hidden gems today. Most people travelling to Eastern Europe do not include Vilnius in their itinerary but those that do are in for a treat. Largely off the beaten path in terms of tourism, Vilnius has many a quiet café and street that you can enjoy all to yourself. Although the city can be ‘done’ in a day or two, if you stay for longer you are bound to get lost in the ambiance and simply delight in wandering the Old Town and meandering along the riverbanks.
Making the Most of your Stay in Vilnius
The Old Town is the place to go if you want to see the real heart of this lovely city. Although there are no hugely significant attractions here, the streets and beautiful buildings give you a sense of what the city not only once was, but is today. Dating back to the 13th century, the centre of Vilnius was a Jewish ghetto in times gone by and is now an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Uzupis is a laid back district with a Bohemian feel. Wander round here and you will rub shoulders with the artists and creative people that have declared this place an independent republic. Enjoying its own flag and even national anthem since 1998, this place is quirky and really rather fascinating. If you happen to visit on April Fool’s Day the fake border guards will give you a stamp in your passport!
Meandering along the riverbanks is a great way to spend an afternoon, and the leafy border to the river makes the perfect place for a picnic.
If you fancy a hike, take a walk up the hill to the Gediminas Tower, which was once the site of a castle. You can marvel at the fabulous views from up here while you take a minute or two to catch your breath from the walk up! The cathedral is also worth a visit and inside this classical church there are some intriguing exhibits. The catacombs and the tower are among the main points of interest but even if you don’t go inside, the striking white façade is definitely a talking point.
Vilnius has some interesting museums and lots of other churches too, but the tips for sightseeing above make a great introduction to the city.
How to Get to Vilnius
For low cost Vilnius Airport to city transfers, we offer a great service. Travelling from Vilnius airport to city hotels could not be easier if you book with us at Shuttle Direct. Vilnius airport is well served by flights from several major European cities and is only a short, easy drive into the city itself.
Booking with us guarantees you a friendly, reliable and professional service that can be booked in advance. You will be met in the airport and taken straight to your final destination with the minimum of fuss. You can choose between private or shared transfers depending on the size of your group, your budget and generally what you prefer.
Where to Stay
Hotel Vilnius Europolis – For comfortable low cost accommodation in Vilnius, Hotel Vilnius Europolis is a great option. Recently renovated and only a short walk from the Old Town, the rooms here are air-conditioned, have flat screen TVs and fibre-optic internet. Private bathrooms come as standard and there are complimentary toiletries for all guests. The staff are on hand 24 hours a day and you can book your sightseeing trips at the reception. A buffet breakfast can be enjoyed daily in the bright and airy café and evening meals can be taken on the terrace. This is a great choice for the budget traveller.
Hotel Tilto – Slightly more upmarket is Hotel Tilto, a stone’s throw from the cathedral. With air-conditioned rooms that are equipped with flat screen TV and satellite channels, this hotel is a stylish middle of the range option. Rooms are decorated with unique pieces of handmade furniture and the private bathrooms all have a bath. Situated less than 500 metres from the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Hotel Tilto has a 24 hour manned reception, a restaurant and a Guinness Pub.
The Narutis Hotel – For real class, choose The Narutis Hotel with its two restaurants, spa area and free parking. The rooms here are beautifully decorated with paintings, frescoes and stunning 16th century ceilings. All have minibar, flat-screen TV and a bathroom with hairdryer. Every room boasts views of the Old Town and the restaurant at the hotel offers a fabulous selection of wines as well as dishes of both international and Lithuanian origins. The spa, which is available for a surcharge, has a sauna, steam bath and hot tub. Massages can also be booked. Close to all of the main attractions, this hotel is a superb luxury option.