The 28 Best Sights of Vilnius – Description and Photos

The 28 Best Sights in Vilnius

Vilnius is a modest city with a special cozy atmosphere. The Lithuanian capital boasts a rich history, lots of architectural monuments and mysteries that you want to unravel.

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vilnus

Who comes to Vilnius and why?

Vilnius is a must-visit for connoisseurs of ancient architecture. There are lots of churches and churches in the city. The Gedimin’s Tower and the Aušros Gate, symbols of the city, as well as the rich Radvila Palace are definitely worth a visit. Take a stroll through the Old Town and the Uzupis district to get into the spirit of Vilnius.

If it’s the history of the city and country that appeals to you, then explore the local museums. In the National Museum of Lithuania you can learn about the history and culture of Vilnius, and in the State Art Museum you can admire works of art. The Amber Museum features a variety of fossilized resin decorations, some of which are available for purchase.

Vilnius also has some natural attractions. For example, the botanical garden where you will see many exotic and local plants, or the famous Three Crosses Mountain. You can take a walk in the Vingis Park to enjoy peace and quiet, and at the Vichy Water Park you can have fun and enjoy time with your family.

Cultural and Historical Sights

Old Town

old town

If you want to feel the atmosphere of Vilnius, visit the Old Town, which is where the history of the Lithuanian capital began. You’ll find yourself in medieval quarters, with souvenir shops, temples, cozy restaurants and bars hiding in the depths. The Old Town is where most of the major sights are concentrated.

Town Hall Square

ratushna ploshad

One of the oldest squares in the city is surrounded by ancient homes and public buildings. On the square are held fairs, concerts and city festivals. Every year, a big Christmas tree and festivities are held there, and in March the Kaziukas Fair is held.

Vilnius University

universitet

Vilnius has the oldest university in all of Eastern Europe, where many prominent figures studied: the poets A. Mickiewicz and J. Słowacki, the astronomer I. Gavrilow and others. The building of the university combines different styles: baroque, gothic, classical and renaissance. There is also a church, a botanical garden and a library.

Town Hall

ratusha

The town hall building, which is located on the oldest square in Vilnius, is designed in a classical style and looks quite modest. Today it is the seat of city administration, but in the 19th century it was used for balls, musical concerts, performances and celebrations.

Užupis

ugupis

Užupis, once a suburb of Vilnius, is a quaint little town called Montmartre with bohemian artists and other entertainers living there. Užupis has a unique creative atmosphere. Užupis has an assortment of art galleries and cafes, and many carnivals and celebrations are held there.

Churches

Cathedral

kafedralni sobor

Outwardly, the Vilnius Cathedral resembles a classical Greek temple. It was erected in the 13th century to replace an old pagan sanctuary dedicated to the god Perkunas, lord of lightning. Inside the cathedral you can see paintings and frescoes of XVI-XIX centuries, and in the basement is a historical museum.

St. Anne’s Church

kostel st anni

One of the symbols of the Lithuanian capital is St. Anne’s Church, which is located in the Old Town. The Roman Catholic Church in the Gothic style was built in the 13th century. The church has a small size, but is incredibly elegant and looks harmonious. Inside the church, you can see the bright walls without paintings and a few icons.

All Saints Church

kostel vseh svitih

This ancient 17th century church is part of the ensemble along with the novitiate for novices and the Carmelite monastery.

The building is in Baroque style, with wooden sculptures of the ancestors of Carmelite monasticism, Saints Elijah and Elisha, installed in niches. The interior vaults are painted with frescos illustrating the lives of saints and Lithuanian history.

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St. Nicholas Church

nikolska cerkov

The church was founded in the XIV century and is named in honor of the transfer of the relics of Nicholas the Wonderworker. The building has 5 domes covered with zinc, the facade and exterior walls are decorated with columns and the windows are framed with casing. Inside the church you can see carved icons, as well as a mosaic depicting the Archistratigus Michael.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul

kostel st petra pavla

The Lithuanian Baroque church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul is an architectural monument. It was built in the 17th century by order of Prince Jagiello instead of the shrine of Goddess Milda. The exterior of the church looks majestic, while the interior decoration is distinguished by modesty and graceful beauty.

Church of the Holy Spirit

cerkov st duha

This is the main cathedral of the Lithuanian Orthodox Church. In the 16th century, there was a wooden church built by the wives of Brest and Smolensk governors in the place of the present church. After the adoption of Unia, it was the only Orthodox Church in Vilna. The temple had been destroyed several times due to raids of enemy troops and fires, but has always been restored.

Vilnius Museums

National Museum of Lithuania

nac musei

This museum is the largest repository of national cultural heritage in Lithuania. You can learn about the changing cultural trends in the country over the centuries.

The National Museum has departments of ethnic culture, numismatics, archaeology, iconography, and more. There are temporary thematic exhibitions and events dedicated to famous Lithuanians.

Amber museum

musei yantarya

An unusual museum of amber is housed in an old mansion of the XVII century. There are specimens of various sizes, shapes and colors on display.

A separate place is given to stones with inclusions – insects, lizards, and plants, frozen in a piece of petrified resin. Also here you can admire the jewelry and souvenirs, to buy your favorite thing.

Literary Museum of Pushkin

musei pushkina

The great poet never visited Lithuania, but he had a connection with this country – his son Grigory and his wife Varvara lived here in the Markučiai estate. It is here that the Pushkin Museum is located, where manuscripts, books in Lithuanian, drawings and photographs are on display. You will learn about the theatrical performances based on the poet’s works and about his life and work.

Vilnius State Art Museum

hud musei

The Art Museum was founded in 1933 and is the largest institution of national importance, where art objects and historical treasures are preserved. The exhibition includes works of foreign and local artists, in particular works of applied and fine art.

Museum of Genocide Victims

musei genocida

This unusual museum is located in a former KGB and NKVD building. It is dedicated to the period when Lithuania was under Soviet rule. The Museum of Genocide Victims exhibits materials that testify to the persecution and repression to which dissidents were subjected. In addition, the museum conducts extensive propaganda activities.

Museum of Theater, Music and Cinematography

musei teatra

The museum was opened in 1926 and since then its exhibits tell the story of Lithuanian cinema, music and theater. The theatrical department features stage sets, puppets, and posters; the music department features a collection of musical instruments; and the cinema hall features costumes, scripts, equipment, etc. The museum also has a fine arts department and a library.

Nature and Parks

The Three Crosses Mountain

mountain treh krestov

In the central part of Vilnius there is the Bald Mountain – the best vantage point in the neighborhood, where you get great pictures. It’s also just a nice place to relax on a hot day under the canopy of trees or stroll through the park. The mountain is crowned by three white crosses, which symbolize the emergence of Christian faith in the country.

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Vingis Park

park vingis

The park, located in the western part of Vilnius, is the largest in the city – its area is 160 hectares. It is pleasant to walk or ride a bicycle, or simply sit on a bench and enjoy the surrounding nature. Open-air concerts and public events are held here.

Zeligovsky Sports Park

sports park

In the 18th century on this place was founded a botanical garden, which at the time covered an area of 300 m2, but over time has expanded.

In 1824 there were over 6500 species of plants. However, 20 years later the garden was closed and most of the seedlings were given to different universities. Later the place was occupied by a summer theater and a menagerie, and today it is a sports park.

Vichy Water Park

aquapark

Vilnius is home to the largest water park in Lithuania, capable of accommodating 1,500 visitors at a time. Thanks to the unique design, you can feel like an inhabitant of an exotic island here. The water park has attractions and entertainment for both adults and children, so it will be interesting to everyone.

Vilnius University Botanical Garden

bot sad

Not many people know about the presence of the botanical garden in Vilnius, but it is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. It was founded in the XVIII century and since then has been constantly replenished with new “inhabitants”. Lilacs, lianas, rhododendrons and dahlias grow here.

The University Garden has one of the richest collections of currants in all of Europe. It also houses horses of the Jemaitian breed, which can be ridden.

Remarkable buildings

Gedimin’s Tower

gedimina basement

The octagonal tower is the symbol of the city and the most visited landmark. It rises in the western part of Castle Mountain and has three floors. The tower was built of red brick and rubble stone at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th centuries. Today it houses the Lithuanian National Museum.

Presidential Palace

presidentski dvorec

The luxurious building, which houses the residence of the Lithuanian president, formerly served as the home of the city’s top clergy. It was built in the 18th century in the late classicist style by architect L. Gucevičius. During the history of the palace there were visited by Polish, Russian and Prussian rulers.

Green bridge

seleni most

The bridge across the River Vilia connects Vilniaus Street with Kalvarija Street. It was built in the 14th century of wood and has survived many destructions and reconstructions. Today it is a single-span bridge with cast-iron railings and a granite-clad base. At the corners of the Green Bridge there are sculptures of soldiers, workers, students, and collective farmers.

Radziwill Palace

dvorec radivilov

The Radziwills were an ancient Lithuanian family, who were incredibly wealthy and owned vast lands and luxurious houses.

The only surviving part of the palace in Vilnius that belonged to them has been fully restored. The building is in the late Renaissance style with fragments of early Baroque. The facade of the palace looks elegant and restrained, and the windows are decorated with platbands and cornices.

Aušros Gate

vorota

This is one of the ten gates in the city wall. Their name means “the gate of the dawn”. They fulfilled a defensive function, so you can see loopholes on the outside of the construction. Today the gate is the anteroom of the Old City. There is a belief that if you walk under it, you can find good luck.

Trakai Castle

trakaiski samok

The town of Trakai was the capital of the Lithuanian Duchy in the 14th century. It is a reminder of those ancient times by the majestic princely castle, which is situated on an island in the outskirts of Vilnius. The building is made in Romanesque style, the walls are 3.5 m thick, and the towers and strong lines of the castle still remind of the former Lithuanian power.

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Vilnius sights

Cathedral Geographic Centre of Europe Gediminas Torre Gediminas Torre Ostreba Piatninka Church Town Hall Square St. Anne’s Church

This site contains a list of places of interest in Vilnius – photos, descriptions and traveler’s tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you can find answers for what to see in Vilnius, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Vilnius.

Cathedral

Cathedral (photo)

The Cathedral (full name St. Stanislaus and St. Wladyslaus Cathedral) is the largest Catholic church in Vilnius. It is located in the old city, in the historic center of the Lithuanian capital.

The Cathedral was built in the 15th century on the site of a former pagan temple. Like many other buildings of that time, it often suffered from fires, but it was invariably rebuilt. In the sixteenth century the bell tower was added to the cathedral, and in the seventeenth – the chapel.

Construction was always led by Italian craftsmen, so the cathedral was strongly influenced by local architectural trends.

Already after the Second World War the Soviet authorities used the building as a storehouse and a bit later, the art gallery of the Art Museum. Only in 1989, the cathedral was returned to the church, re-consecrated and reopened to the faithful.

The cathedral has a huge cultural and historical significance. Located right in the heart of Vilnius, it has lived through all the important historical events in the life of Lithuania and therefore always attracts a lot of tourists.

Coordinates: 54.68586800,25.28730800

Geographical Centre of Europe

Geographical Center of Europe (photo)

The Geographic Center of Europe is a hypothetical point designating the location of the center of mass of a geometric figure that has the shape of Europe. The coordinates of this point were calculated in 1989 by the French National Geographic Institute. It turned out that the center of Europe is located in Lithuania, 26 kilometers from its capital – Vilnius.

Naturally, when the location of the center was discovered, the question arose as to how to mark it. The famous Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokubonis created a symbolic monument that was unveiled on May 1, 2004. The monument is a white granite column, on top of which is a crown of gilded stars. On the granite slabs at the base of the monument are marked with arrows and distances to some European and world capitals.

Due to the influx of foreign tourists, the Lithuanian authorities have declared the area around the monument a Map Reserve of the Center of Europe and have established an appropriate infrastructure – for the convenience of foreign guests. A few kilometers from the Geographic Center, the Europe Park was laid out, an open-air sculpture museum with more than a hundred different sculptures and monuments.

Geographic Center of Europe is one of the most visited attractions in Lithuania, the place is very popular among all European tourists.

Coordinates : 54.90000000,25.31666700

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Gedimin’s Tower

Gedimin's Tower (photo)

Gedimin’s Tower is a cultural, historical and architectural monument in Vilnius. It rises 48 m from the foot of Castle Hill (142 m above sea level). Made in Gothic style, the tower is a powerful 3-story structure of octagonal shape.

The tower is named after the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gedimin, who is considered the founder of Vilnius. It is assumed that he initiated the construction of the tower, but according to some historical versions the buildings on the site of the tower existed even before Gedimin, in the XIII century.

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Either way, the tower had an important defensive role for Vilnius, and it was part of a huge fortress designed to protect the city in case of attack. After the wars of the 17th century Gedimin’s Tower remained the only surviving structure of the once powerful Upper Town.

Today the tower houses a branch of the Lithuanian National Museum with an exhibition devoted to the history of the city. The observation deck at the top offers a magnificent view of the historic center of Vilnius.

Coordinates: 54.68742700,25.29047700

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Acute Brahma

Sharp Brahma (photo)

The Ostrea Brahma (unofficially known as the “Holy Gate”) is the most important historical and cultural monument located in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. It is a miraculously preserved gate of the ancient city wall, with a chapel with the image of Our Lady of Ostroba above it.

The gate was completed in 1522. Later Ostreba was rebuilt several times and now its architecture mixes different styles – the arch is pure Gothic, and the facade above it is already made in Renaissance style. The attic is decorated with the Lithuanian coat of arms and the head of the god Hermes in a winged helmet.

Immediately above the gate is the Chapel of Our Lady of Ostrobrahma, which was built in the seventeenth century by Carmelite monks. Originally the chapel was wooden, but in 1830 it was rebuilt in stone and acquired Classicist features.

The image of the Mother of God placed in the chapel is revered by both Orthodox and Catholics and is an object of religious pilgrimage due to the miraculous properties attributed to the image.

Coordinates: 54.67388800,25.28888800

Pyatnitskaya church

Pyatnitskaya church (photo)

The first stone Christian temple in the city of Vilnius is considered to be the Pyatnicka Orthodox Church. It is located at the intersection of Bolshaya Street and Zamkova Street, in the old part of the city. This church became famous for being the place where the Russian Emperor Peter the Great, during the Great Northern War, held a thanksgiving service in honor of his victory over King Charles XII, King of Sweden. Also some sources mention that the banners captured from the Swedes were presented to the temple. Another significant event in the history of this church is the baptism of Arap Hannibal, who was the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin. All these events are written on a plaque near the entrance to the church.

From ancient sources we know that in ancient times on the site of this church there was a pagan temple of Ragutis, the Lithuanian god of drunkenness and fun. But by order of Maria Yaroslavna, the wife of Prince Olgerd, it was destroyed and an Orthodox church, similar to ancient Kiev churches, was built in its place.

During its existence, the church repeatedly suffered from fires and robberies, but in spite of this, it has retained the ancient carved iconostasis made of wood, as well as many icons of the 15th and 16th centuries. Currently, the church services are held only on Sundays and in Lithuanian.

Coordinates: 54.68091500,25.28936900

Town Hall Square

Town Hall Square (photo)

Town Hall Square is one of the oldest squares in Vilnius. It is located in the old city, in the historic center of the Lithuanian capital. It has an unusual triangular shape. The square was formed in the fifteenth century, on the site of the former marketplace.

Town Hall Square is associated with all the important historical events in the life of Vilnius. In earlier times, near the town hall sentences for criminals were carried out and executions were carried out. In the 19th century the town theater moved into the town hall, and the square itself was renamed Teatralnaya square.

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During World War II, the town hall building was used as an art museum, and the square was renamed the Museum Square. Only in the 2000s a large-scale reconstruction was made, a fountain was built, and the square finally regained its historic name.

Nowadays, on the Town Hall Square concerts and fairs are regularly held, and all the city festivals are coped with. It is a very beautiful place surrounded by old houses in the medieval style so it is not surprising that the Town Hall Square attracts a lot of tourists.

Coordinates : 54.67798700,25.28698600

Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace (photo)

Built in the 16th century, the palace was later plundered and burned several times – for this reason the building has been restored many times. In 1792 the building was rebuilt under the direction of Laurynas Guckevičius. In 1832 the building acquired its modern appearance – the architecture of the palace was changed, the eastern part of the building was completely reconstructed and the building itself was enlarged.

In the courtyard of the Presidential Palace since 1819 operated house church, and in the building of the cordegaria, located opposite the palace, in 1901-1915 there was a Museum of Count M. N. Muravyov, which collected various objects that belonged to the era Muravyov: two chairs, desk, cane, stamps, and many other things that belonged to him.

The luxurious palace was built in the style of late classicism with typical features of this style – regularity of planning and sharpness of volumetric form, symmetric-axis compositions, restraint of decorative decoration, monumentality of columns. From the architectural point of view the most interesting halls are those of the second floor, decorated in the 19th century with stucco compositions on the ceilings.

Coordinates: 54.68484700,25.28546300

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St. Anne’s Church

Church of St. Anne (photo)

The small St. Anne’s Church is rightly called the hallmark of Vilnius. Its facade, made of 33 kinds of brick, is called a masterpiece of late Gothic. It is distinguished by unusual plastics, variety and ornamentality of lines. But until now the name of the architect who created the church is still unknown. According to one version, it was Benedict Reit, the author of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague and Wawel Castle in Krakow.

According to one urban legend, Napoleon, delighted by the grace of the cathedral, lamented that he could not put it in the palm of his hand and carry it carefully to Paris. This, however, did not prevent him from placing the cavalry in the church, which caused much damage to the interior.

The interior of the church is of little interest and very similar to that of most Catholic cathedrals and churches. However, there is an interesting detail – a small gallery that connects the Church of St. Anne with the Bernardine Church, located nearby. Together these two buildings create a magnificent ensemble, immortalized in almost all souvenirs that are produced in Vilnius for tourists.

There is a small park in front of the church where you can sit or lie down on the grass, admire the Gothic facade of the church and its bell tower, take a few photos and think about eternity for a while.

Coordinates: 54.68375600,25.29267300

The most popular attractions in Vilnius with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Vilnius on our website.

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