Vilnius Attractions – The Perfect Two-Day Itinerary

Travelers are spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting tourist spots in Europe, which is why cities like Lithuania’s Vilnius are often overlooked. Yes, among foreign travelers, the popularity of the capital, as well as the entire Baltic, has grown significantly over the past ten years. But this unusual, charming city still doesn’t attract as much attention as its neighbors like Tallinn and Riga.

You can spend 2 amazing days in Vilnius, discovering an amazing combination of historical sights, original traditions and modern culture. If you are tempted to get to know this ancient city better, this guide will be very useful. We present you a detailed itinerary, giving you the opportunity to get acquainted with all the best places to visit, and recommendations for a comfortable stay in Vilnius.

Best time to visit

Given that Vilnius is located near the northern tip of Europe, it is worth carefully considering the time of year when planning a trip. Vilnius is not a city where you will have to worry about seasonal prices and the influx of tourists, but the weather can make your visit more or less pleasant.

If you need better weather conditions, you need to come to Vilnius from May to September. As a Baltic country, Lithuania does not experience hot summers, so both July and August are pleasant to spend time in the fresh air. And as the popularity of Vilnius continues to grow, you will be able to find all the amenities and good prices at this time of year.

However, the best time to visit Vilnius comes a little earlier, in late May-June, when prices are more moderate and there is less chance that rain will spoil your day. The only period when you may not want to go is from November to March: at this time it can be too wet and cold.

How to get around Vilnius

With plenty of attractions to drive around with just 48 hours to go, it will be helpful to know how best to get around the city. Vilnius is one of the small European capitals, but this does not mean that all interesting places are close to each other. In most cases, the best option would be a walk, especially in the Old Town. Public transport can also be useful. In Vilnius it consists of buses and trolleybuses; bus routes run in circles, but not necessarily in the Old Town. A ticket for one trip costs 1 euro, you can buy it from the driver.

To get to the center from the airport, you have several options: bus, train or taxi. The airport is not far from the city, so a taxi is a really convenient and affordable option, usually costing in the range of 9-12 euros. However, the train and bus are much cheaper (€1 per bus ticket, remember?). Trains from the main train station run about every hour, and several buses run constantly to and from the bus station and the city centre.

Where to stay

Every time you visit a new city, finding the right accommodation is a top priority. You probably want this place to be as comfortable as possible and within your price range, but its location in the city can also make a huge difference. We’ve put together some tips to help you choose where to stay in Vilnius.

Generally, the best places to stay in Vilnius are those that provide easy access to the Old Town, where there are many attractions. This means that staying in the Old Town itself is an ideal option, but nearby areas such as the city centre (Naujamiestis) or across the river in Šnipiškės should also be considered.

For a truly special holiday in Vilnius, head to the luxurious Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius. This 5-star guest house is located in the heart of the Old Town. It offers spacious rooms with elegant décor, a restaurant, fitness room, spa and wellness centre.

A great way to get all the “homely” amenities without spending too much money is to stay in apartments like Jovitos Apartment near Gediminas Avenue. Here you will get acquainted with a typical Lithuanian apartment (with facilities for hygiene, cooking and laundry), plus you will have your own home space, where it is pleasant to return at the end of the day.

You can look for places to stay on Airbnb, which is even more profitable, given the possibility of getting a discount of up to $ 55 on the next booking.

If you need something simple and affordable, the ideal 25 Hours Hostel, located close to the train and bus stations. The Old Town is a short walk away. Guests can choose between dormitory rooms and private rooms, clean and quiet. They offer reasonable prices, and individual service is always on top.

The perfect two-day itinerary

A couple of days is basically enough to see all the most interesting things in Vilnius. In two days you can get acquainted with the city itself, and with everything that you can do there. Most of the attractions presented in our guidebook are located compactly around the historic center, but some places require more time for detailed study. The important thing is that, following this route, you will not have any problems with the benefits of spending time in Vilnius.

However, before we talk about travel, we are obliged to remind you about buying travel insurance. You never know what’s going to happen and you don’t want to get bogged down in thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave the house without her. We personally use and recommend SafetyWing. Only $ 40 per month, and the design is really simple. Another popular alternative is World Nomads. There are many options today, choose the one you like.

Having dealt with this, let’s look at the route of travel in Vilnius. With it, you will know exactly what to do in these 2 days.

Day One

Its best start is with the most famous sights located in the heart of Vilnius and its UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vilnius Cathedral and Cathedral Square

If there is a center of Vilnius, it is Cathedral Square. It is located at the intersection of two main streets of the capital, and there is an impressive Vilnius Cathedral and its bell tower. Officially, the Cathedral Basilica of St. St. Stanislaus and St. Stanislaus. Ladislav of Vilnius. Cathedrals have been repeatedly built on this site since the accession of Christianity. The modern building in the neoclassical style was erected in 1783.

After adjudicating the majestic appearance, check out the historical works of art, frescoes and the many Lithuanian royals buried in the crypt and catacombs of the cathedral. Outside, on the corner of the square, there is a corresponding bell tower, allowing you to climb up.



Palace of the Great Lithuanian Rulers

Behind the cathedral is hidden the rebuilt Palace of the Grand Dukes. It was from him that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and then the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled. Although the palace was originally built in the 15th century, what you see today is a renovation completed in 2018. During the tour you will be able to see historical exhibition exhibits and masterfully recreated halls in the style of Renaissance, Gothic and early Baroque.



Gediminas Tower

Above the cathedral and the palace you can observe the Gediminas Tower on the nearby hilltop. Now it is a symbol of the city – all that remains of the Upper Castle of the 15th century. After walking along the winding path, you will find yourself at the observation decks-terraces on both sides of the tower. It offers beautiful views of both the Old Town and the modern business district across the river.

Entering the three-story structure, you can visit a small museum inside, learn about the history of the castle and see artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations. Then go up to the observation deck to enjoy the best view of the city and stand where the lithuanian flag was raised in 1988 at the beginning of the movement to restore independence.



Neris Embankment

After gediminas’ tower, head to the promenade along the Neris River. There are two rivers in Vilnius (the second is the Vilna); Neris forms the northern and western boundaries of the city center. Despite its importance, the promenade is not heavily built up, and its green shores are a great place to walk. It also offers beautiful landscapes overlooking several colorful churches.



National Museum

Chances are you’re not very familiar with Lithuania’s history and culture, which is why a trip to the National Museum is so valuable. Although the city has buildings belonging to the museum, the main ones are the New and Old Arsenals under the Gediminas Tower. Initially, the Museum of Antiquities was expanded with archaeological artifacts, but now it explores not only the history of the country, but also Lithuanian modern culture and customs.



Hill of the Three Crosses

To admire the best views, you need to visit the Mountain of three Crosses. A walk through this observation deck surrounded by the nature of kalnai Park across the Vilna River gives peace and tranquility. You will know that you have reached your destination when three large crosses stand in front of you. They are a monument to a local legend, according to which large wooden crosses appeared in memory of the seven Franciscan monks beheaded here. Regardless of whether the legends are true, this place offers a beautiful view of Vilnius stretching out in front of you.



Republic of Užukis

Definitely, the most unusual place that you will meet in the city is the Užipis district behind the Vilnia River. The local artistic, bohemian community in 1997 proclaimed itself an independent republic. The colorful, creative and alternative atmosphere of Užubis is immediately evident when you cross one of the bridges connecting this quarter to the city.

Visiting a variety of craft shops and cafes, do not miss the plaques where the Constitution of Užubis is written. The self-proclaimed republic has 38 articles and 3 mottos translated into dozens of languages. Some of them are universal (for example, “Everyone can be independent” or “Anyone has the right to faith”), others are more peculiar (“Everyone has the right to celebrate or not celebrate his birthday”).



Day Two

Vilnius hides many secrets, and they cannot be revealed in one bypass. Therefore, the second day will again begin with the sights of the Old Town.

St. Anne’s Church

As the capital of a Catholic country, Vilnius is home to many churches, but since the tour time is limited to a two-day period, it is necessary to visit at least the most beautiful ones. St. Anne’s Church, with its impressive brick Gothic architecture, is one of the reasons why UNESCO has made Vilnius’ Old Town a World Heritage Site. The grandiose building, which once admired Napoleon, dates back to 1500, but during all this time it has undergone only minor changes.



Presidential Palace

Moving through the Old Town, we will make a short stop to see the majestic Presidential Palace. This building of the 14th century today is the official office and residence of the President of Lithuania. The palace is open and accessible, with a magnificent square and gardens in front of it. Walking through the surrounding streets, you will soon find yourself on the campus of the famous Vilnius University.



Museum of Illusions

Take a break from the historical heritage by visiting the delightful Museum of Illusions. It’s fun for the whole family, full of optical illusions and gimmicks designed to make you question your feelings. There are many exhibits, including 3D art, virtual reality and light shows. Behind all the paintings and illusions used in the museum are local artists.



Gate of Dawn

Walking through modern Vilnius, it is difficult to notice that once the city was protected by powerful walls. Most of their footprints were destroyed, except for the stunning Dawn Gate. An arched opening in a sky-blue environment, located in the southern part of the Old Town, is the only remaining city gate.

The Gate of Dawn is considered truly special not only because of its obvious historicity. They also house a Catholic shrine making them one of the most important religious sites in Vilnius, a revered 17th-century icon of the Virgin Mary. Pilgrims from all over Lithuania and beyond rush to Vilnius to visit this place.



Heils Market

Outside the Old Town, within walking distance of the Gate of Dawn, you will find Vilnius’ oldest market, Hales Market. For centuries, there were shopping arcades here, even when there were city walls that left them outside the city. The market building used today dates back to 1906, but what’s inside is much more important. They sell meat, milk, vegetables, pastries and other products, and all this abundance gives an idea of the traditions and preferences of the locals. Inside there are also places where you can order ready-made food if you get hungry during a walk or want to appreciate the local cuisine.



Street art

The area next to the market towards the station did not always have a good reputation, but made a name for itself thanks to interesting and inventive street art. Here you will find many masterpieces of street art, including the famous fresco depicting Trump and Putin kissing. Even though the area was once considered a peculiar highlight of Vilnius, it is ripe for gentrification, so look at street art now, before it’s gone.



Museum of Occupation and Struggle for Freedom

Before regaining independence in 1990, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union for half a century. The Freedom Struggle Museum, highlighting this controversial chapter in the country’s history, is housed in the building of the former KGB headquarters. The exhibits tell in detail about the events of this period and contain documents on the arrests, deportations and executions of political prisoners. There is also a small section dedicated to events in Lithuania related to the Holocaust.




Now you know what you can explore and see in Vilnius in 2 days. More importantly, you now understand why this European direction cannot be ignored.

Do you have more than two days to be examined? Consider a trip to the beautiful coastal town of Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. On this tour you will see not only the Gothic monuments of the Old Town, but also the stunning island castle. But that’s another story.

Attractions Vilnius on map