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Overview to Vilnius: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
- Vilnius Information
- Eating & drinking in Vilnius
- Things to do in Vilnius
- Where to stay in Vilnius
- Vilnius street map
Surrounded by forests, the Old Town of Vilnius unfolds from the attractive hill at its heart; the very model of a pretty Balkan city. Cobbled streets stuffed with fine churches, uneven red roofs, a pleasing mixture of the smart and the ramshackle… It could hardly be more idyllic.
Most of the things to see and do in the city are confined to the core of streets at its center. Lined with fine old houses, pedestrianized Pilies St is a perfect place for an early evening stroll, while Gediminas St, Traku St and Didlzioji St are all thoroughly worth exploring.
Standing watch high above the city, Gediminas Tower (complete with stunning views) is a proud symbol of Vilnius’ past. The city’s other unmissable attraction, meanwhile, is the stunning St Anne’s Cathedral, sitting out to the east of the city on the edge of Serekiskiy Park.
Culturally speaking, Vilnius is a vibrant little city, too. There are a couple of worthwhile museums and galleries, like the Lithuanian National Museum (at the foot of Gediminas Hill) and, just to the south of the University, the Vilnius Picture Gallery.
An altogether more sobering experience is available at the Museum of Genocide Victims (on Auku St, at the far end of Gediminas St). Housed in the former KGB headquarters, and complete with prison and torture chambers, the museum documents the country’s struggle against Soviet repression.
When compared to the rest of Europe, eating out in Vilnius’s many restaurants is remarkably affordable – even for budget travelers. Down to the far south of the city, however, Vilnius’ large market, Turgus Dirbu, is the place to pick up really cheap (and delicious) local produce.
In addition to the bars and clubs on Didlzioji, Gediminas and the rest of the Old Town, there are also some nightspots around the Contemporary Art Center and the university, whilst the fantastic district of Uzupis boasts some excellent (if predictably eclectic!) entertainment options.
Curiously, Vilnius marks the spot of the absolute center of Europe. And while, for one reason or another, it took travelers quite a long time to wake up to its potential, its blend of great sights, lively nightlife and friendly people mean it’s now firmly on the backpacking map.