- Gardens and parks
- Religious buildings
- Vilnius landmarks
- Children's rest in Vilnius
- Note to theatergoers
- Shopping in Vilnius
- Delicious points on the map
The first mentions of Vilnius are found in the annals of 1323, where the city is called the capital of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas. The name is associated with the Vilnia River, at the place where it flows into Vilia and Vilnius was built. Many buildings have survived in the capital of Lithuania since medieval times, thanks to which the historical center was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Tourists who do not miss interesting museums will also find places to go in Vilnius. City expositions will bring real pleasure not only to fans of painting and sculpture, but also to delight fans of theater and cinema.
Gardens and parks
Reference books state that about 70% of the area of the Lithuanian capital is occupied by green spaces. If you like walking in the fresh air, you can go to one of the many public gardens in Vilnius:
- Visiting Pavilnis Park, the tourist finds himself in the past. It seems that time has stood still, preserving the cobblestone pavement, one-story houses with neat vegetable gardens and surprisingly fresh air. The park on the banks of Vilnia is especially loved by fans of skiing and hiking. The total length of its paths and paths reaches 30 km. Modern entertainment awaits visitors to the park at the Belmontas complex.
- The largest Botanical Garden in the country is the pride of Vilnius University. It is better to come to the garden in spring to admire thousands of flowering plants, but at other times of the year its territory is the most beautiful place in the city. The garden was formed on the grounds of a former manor house, and from the old times there are picturesque ruins of a manor house of the 16th century, ponds and a park planted at the end of the 19th century. The modern life of the Botanical Garden includes concerts, music festivals and florist exhibitions.
- In order to see the park of Europe, you will have to drive a little to the side from Vilnius - the object is located 20 km north-east of the Lithuanian capital. It is this point on the map that is considered the geographical center of Europe. The park has become an open-air showroom. You will see dozens of works of modern art, the most famous of which is the kilometer-long maze of old television receivers, which got into the Guinness Book of Records.
Among the many small parks in Vilnius, the most popular among local residents is the Moniuszko square, named after the Polish composer. The square serves as a meeting place for Vilnius residents who are waiting for each other at the monument to the musician.
The capital of Lithuania is a city of many confessions, and there are several dozen religious buildings in Vilnius. Pilgrims can go to Orthodox churches and Catholic churches, visit a church or synagogue:
- The main Orthodox cathedral in Vilnius was founded in the 14th century. Grand Duke of Lithuania Olgerd. The Prechistensky Cathedral was built on the model of the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev and was restored at the end of the last century. Services and concerts of Russian sacred music are held there.
- Around the same time, on the initiative of the prince's wife, the first stone church in the city was laid. The Church of the Holy Great Martyr Paraskeva Pyatnitsa is famous for the prayer service that Peter the Great served there after the victory in the Northern War. In the same place, the sovereign baptized the arap Hannibal, known to us as the great-grandfather of A. S. Pushkin.
- The cathedral church of Catholics was consecrated in honor of St. Stanislav. It was founded in 1387 and built on the site of a pagan sanctuary at the foot of the Castle Hill. The current appearance of the cathedral is a vivid example of an architectural monument in the style of classicism.
- The very beautiful baroque church of St. Teresa was built in the middle of the 17th century. in place of a wooden one. Near the temple you can see the only surviving city gate of Vilnius.
- If you are interested in Jewish places of worship, you can go to the city synagogue, built at the very beginning of the 20th century. and having the status of a choral.
The altar of the prayer house of the Karaites in Vilnius, as it should be, is oriented towards Jerusalem. The building is notable for its small graceful dome and carved bas-reliefs at the top of the facade.
The main attraction of the capital of Lithuania is its Old Town, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as the largest historical architectural complex in Eastern Europe. In the historical center, you will see the Gediminas Castle, who founded Vilnius and became the Grand Duke of Lithuania, his sculpture on Cathedral Square, brick pavements of the Pilies pedestrian street, churches and the Cathedral of St. Anne, called an outstanding example of late Gothic.
The old university building of the Lithuanian capital is also noteworthy. The many arches erected in its courtyard are reminiscent of Italian galleries.
The district called Uzupis, which is often called the landmark of Vilnius, is also especially famous. Where to go for original photos, portraits of eccentrics and unique impressions of contemporary art? In Uzupis, a tourist is waiting for several quarters, united under their own flag and self-proclaimed a separate republic.
An equally interesting route can be laid through the museums of Vilnius:
- The State Art Museum houses hundreds of paintings and applied arts dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries. In addition to Lithuanian authors, Belgian, Polish, Austrian and Czech craftsmen who made porcelain, ceramics, jewelry and textiles worked on the exhibits.
- The Clock Museum in the same complex contains items of special pride of watchmakers. Among the most valuable rarities there is a silver watch made in the 16th century.
- The State Jewish Museum acquaints visitors with household and ritual objects, diaries that were written during World War II, and works of art.
- Visitors to the Customs Museum get acquainted with the history of the Lithuanian customs service, which emerged during the existence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The most popular exposition of Vilnius, which every tourist has certainly visited since its opening in 1995, has been and remains the Amber Museum. The collection is housed in an old mansion of the XIV-XV centuries. The stands showcase unique stones with inclusions in the form of plants and insects and products - jewelry, crafts, boxes, household items and much more. The largest exhibit in the museum weighs about 4 kg.
Children's rest in Vilnius
The Lithuanian capital is ideal for a weekend or vacation. Several useful addresses will help you plan your outing and family excursion.
In the Pavilnis park, there are rides on which you can overcome rope obstacles of different difficulty levels.
The Toy Museum has collected hundreds of exhibits under its roof, among which children will be attracted by old dolls, cubes, cars, and modern robots. A special highlight is the slot machines, carefully preserved since the days of the USSR. It will be interesting not only for children, but also for their parents!
Vilnius Aquapark is not too big, but quite suitable for spending a whole active day in it. It is called Vichy, and its most popular attraction is called the "Maori Howl" - the largest of its kind in indoor water parks all over the planet!
If you have time, it is worth going to Trakai Castle, located 30 km from Vilnius. It was built on an island on Lake Galvė in 1409 and today is the largest surviving one in Lithuania. A walk around the castle will appeal to children who are keen on books about knights, especially since the exposition of the historical museum is open in it.
Children can also go to the puppet theater. In Vilnius, it is called Lele, and the troupe's repertoire includes several performances in Russian.
Note to theatergoers
In the Lithuanian National Drama Theater, both classics and modern plays are staged. Those who know English should look in the repertoire on the theater's official website for performances with a "V" badge - they have been translated.
If you prefer your native language, buy tickets to the Russian Drama Theater of Lithuania. It was founded for the performances of Russian classics, but now the repertoire also includes contemporary works. The theater building is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The best production of the theater of opera and ballet is considered by critics to be "Don Carlo" by Giuseppe Verdi. Classical ballet in the performances of the troupe is skillfully combined with modern dances.
Shopping in Vilnius
It is better to arrange classic shopping in the best tourist traditions with the purchase of authentic souvenirs and gifts for loved ones on Gedeminas Avenue, where dozens of small and large shops and shops are open.
Major shopping centers in Vilnius are called Europa and Akropolis. They offer a typical range of goods with a Lithuanian bias. In the malls you will find a huge selection of linen and amber products, ceramics, knitwear, delicacies and leather accessories.
Delicious points on the map
You can endlessly study Lithuanian cuisine: it is good both in high-status restaurants and in simple establishments! And yet, when choosing a place where to go with friends or loved ones, it is important to observe one rule: book a table where the residents of Vilnius themselves have lunch and dinner.
Among the expensive and high-status are the Balzac restaurants near the Town Hall and Gedimino Dvaras. Both are distinguished by exquisite cuisine and well-designed design.
Bohemia prefers to meet in the Tores restaurant. The institution is located on the territory of the free republic of Uzupis, and, in addition to the excellent cuisine, visitors are provided with an informal atmosphere.
The best home-brewed beer is brewed at Prie Katedros, a restaurant near the cathedral.