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Vilnius in one day

One Day In Vilnius to See the Real Lithuania

Vilnius is the capital and the largest city of Lithuania. I visited this beautiful Baltic city without any proper plan. Initially, I was at the northern city of Tromso in Norway for Northern lights. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the chance to meet with Aurora. In addition, the next few days were also showing similar forecasting. So, I quickly made an alternation in my plan and headed towards the Baltic states. So, for the next few days, I was in Lithuania, then to Latvia, and at the end in Estonia.

Lithuanian capital Vilnius was the first city in the Baltic from where I started my Baltic tour. Vilnius is a city of cathedrals and I have seen many cathedrals inside the city. Moreover, these cathedrals belong to different types of baroque architecture. We can see the neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral as well as the Gothic St. Anne’s Church. Due to its rich history, it is often referred to as the Rome Of the East. It is just because of the fact that Vilnius is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in Northern Europe. So, it is true that if you want to see the Real Lithuania then you can visit Vilnius to understand what I mean.

Vilnius City from Three Crosses
Vilnius City from Three Crosses

How to Get to Vilnius?

Vilnius Airport is the largest airport in Lithuania that is the main entry point for foreign as well as local travelers to get to Vilnius. I reached Vilnius by direct flight from Stockholm. Alternatively, the Buses are the most convenient and economical alternative to reach Vilnius from the neighboring cross-border cities of Warsaw, Minsk, and Riga. While visiting Vilnius, you get a good opportunity to visit the three Baltic States by car or Bus in one trip. I traveled to these countries by Lux Express.

How to Get Around In Vilnius For One day?

Vilnius city center is a walkable place and offers a nice strolling. Alternatively, public transportation (e.g. bus, trolleybus) generally provides reliable, safe, and economical services. The bus service consists of a network of lines serving Vilnius and the suburbs. Additional urban transport systems include a transnational train system. I used the bus from the airport to the city center with for 1€ ticket.

Taxi and ride-hailing companies generally provide reliable, safe, and economical services. Avoid independent cabs that do not display a company name prominently. Furthermore, you can get a 24, 48, 72 hours Vilnius Pass for an extended stay here.

Where to Stay in Vilnius

You can get a Hostel dormitory bed for €10. I stayed in The Mikalo House in downtown Vilnius near St Nicholas Church. By staying there I can recommend it.

Other sites to plan and choose your accommodation might be Booking.comAir BnBAgoda, or Hostelworld. However, when you’re looking for a hostel, do your research, read reviews to get a feel for the place. and book somewhere that suits you.

How Do You Spned your One Day In Vilnius?

I took an afternoon flight from Stockholm to Vilnius. So, after checking into my hostel I stroll around the neighborhood and then took a quite long sleep for my next day self guided city tour. So, right the next morning I was ready to explore Vilnius.

In most of the European cities, you can get free walking tours. Here in Vilnius, you can also take one that suits your requirements. Vilnius free walking tour is tip-based. You can give 5 EUR to your guide or you can give 50 EUR whatever you feel the guide deserves

Presidential Palace Vilnius

Generally, people do start their tour from the Cathedral square. I also did the same but As per my location, I did a slight change into my actual plan. So, I went to the Presidential Palace which was a halfway point between my hostel and Cathedral square. The presidential palace was about 600meters from my hostel and it took around 10 minutes to reach there. On the way, I passed beside the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit. It was a white-colored Baroque-style church that stands out in the panorama of the old town. We can see it from the surrounding streets. So, I took a few clicks before heading next to Presidential Palace.

The history of the Palace dates back to 1387. This place serves as the religious or Bishop’s residence for the next 400 years. After Lithuania was made part of the Russian empire, the Palace became a temporary residence of the Russian Emperor and governor. Then after independence, it becomes the government building. So, the President of Lithuania and his Chancellery occupy the building now. Free guided tours of the Presidential Palace are available on Saturdays and Sundays 

Presidential Palace Vilnius
Presidential Palace Vilnius
Presidential Palace Vilnius
Presidential Palace

Cathedral Square Vilnius

Cathedral Square is just a few minutes away from the Presidential Palace. It is the main city center of Old Vilnius and you can visit many tourist attractions in one place. Vilnius Cathedral, Bell Tower, and Palace of the grand duke are the most famous landmark in this square. Cathedral Square is a key location in the city’s public life and is a place of many public gatherings in Vilnius city. The cathedral square dates back to the 19th century. Another notable feature of the square is the monument to Grand Duke of Gediminas who was the first ruler of Lithuania.

Vilnius Cathedral and Cathedral Tower

Vilnius Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic Church in Lithuania. This cathedral is the heart of Catholic spiritual life in Lithuania. It is the main attraction right in the heart of Cathedral Square and the old city of Vilnius. The Cathedral has the burial place of many famous Lithuanian figureheads. Its history dated back to 1251 when a church was constructed at this place. However, in 1522 the cathedral takes its present shape. In addition, the famous Cathedral Tower was also added into the Cathedral Square. Cathedral also got restoration work in 1801.

Palace of the Grand Duke of Lithuania

From the 15th and 16th centuries, this Palace was a political, diplomatic, administrative, and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At beginning of the 19th century, the palace was destroyed by Russian. Now the Palace of Grand Duke of Lithuania serves as The National Museum. It is an important building in the Cathedral Square of Vilnius.

Monument to the Grand Duke Gediminas

This monument is an important feature of Cathedral Square. Gediminas was the first ruler of Lithuania. He is also the founder of the Gediminids Dynasty which reigned from the 14th to 16th century. He was a powerful ruler and once his territory spanned the area ranging from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Lithuania, Vilnius
Cathedral square in old town Vilnius
Vilnius in one day
Vilnius in one day

Gediminas Castle

It is the iconic landmark of Vilnius city. Being on top of a hill you can spot it from many sides. We can visit it beside the Cathedral square as both attractions are lying side by side. So, after visiting the Cathedral Square complex, I naturally rolled towards the castle. We can easily walk up to the Gediminas Tower from the bottom of Gediminas Hill. It hardly takes a few minutes to hike. Alternatively, we can take a funicular if want to avoid the hike.  It is the place where the old city of Vilnius started from. Gediminas itself started the upper castle and the tower in the 14th century. Initially, the Gediminas Tower was made of wood but later on, it was solidified by the grandson of Gediminas. 

The main building was converted into a Museum in 1960. You can visit the castle free of cost. However, climbing up the Gediminas tower requires a ticket of 5 Euro. It also includes admission to the Museum too.

Gediminas Castle Vilnius
Gediminas Castle Vilnius
Gediminas Tower in old town
Gediminas Tower in the old town

A Hike to The Three Crosses

Next was a long hike to see the Vilnius from a high place. If you want to take the best view of Vilnius city then you have to go for the Three Crosses viewpoint. So, I was then heading to Three Crosses which was about a 20-minute walk from the Gediminas Tower. It was a scenic hike that involves ascending about a couple of hundred steps to reach the summit of Three Crosses. I have crossed the Vilnia River on my way and reached a forest beside the river. From where I followed a pathway inside the forest area to reach the summit.

Vilnia River
Vilnia River
Hike to Three Crosses
Hike to Three Crosses

Three Crosses memorial consists of three white color crosses and a panorama view of Vilnius City. I was amazed to see the countless red buildings from the viewpoint. The present monument of Three Crosses has an age of  100years. However, it commemorates the history of Franciscan martyrs of 12th century Vilnius.

Three Crosses View point Vilnius
Three Crosses Viewpoint
Vilnius City Panorama View
Vilnius City Panorama View

St Anne and St Francis Churches

Church of St Anne is probably the most beautiful and famous building in Vilnius. It is rightly said that” if Barcelona has the Sagrada Familia then Vilnius has St Anne Church”. The church dates back to the 15th century and has remained almost unchanged over the last five centuries. According to legends, Napoleon wishes to carry this church back to Paris with him. The church is the part of Bernardine Historical-Architectural Ensemble.  So, we can visit another much larger and more beautiful church beside it. It is the Church of St. Francis that is looming behind St. Anne’s church. While coming from Three crosses I spent a little quality time with these twin Churches.

St Anne's & St Francis Cathedral beside Vilnia River
St Anne’s & St Francis Cathedral beside Vilnia River
St Anne's and St Francis Cathedrals
St Anne’s and St Francis Cathedrals

Pilies Street and Town Hall

Pilies street is the most beautiful and fascinated street in the whole of Vilnius. Being in the heart of old town we can see the real-life of Lithuania here. If you walk into the street towards Cathedral Square then you can get the fantastic views of Gediminas tower on your way. While going on the opposite side, we can visit Vilnius Town Hall and many beautiful churches on the way. Indeed, the most interesting thing that I have seen there was the presence of many street artists and painters on work there. It is the oldest and most ornate street in the Old Town of Vilnius. The name of Pilies dates back to 1530.

Artists of Pilies Street Vilnius
Artists of Pilies Street Vilnius
Somewhere in Pilies Street Vilnius Lituania
Somewhere in Pilies Street

Saint Catherine’s Church

The Church of St. Catherine is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius’ Old Town.  I visited it a couple of times while going from my hostel to cathedral Square. You can visit it this way too. It dates back to the early 17th century. It is best known for its rich décor and plastic facades. The church has two towers and is highly visible from various parts of the Old Town. After the independence of Lithuania, it was fully renovated to its present grandeur. Now, the church hosts various cultural events and classical music festivals.

St Catherine's Church Vilnius
St Catherine’s Church Vilnius
St Catherine's Church Vilnius
St Catherine’s Church

Vilnius for an Extended stay

This blog is only meant for a day’s visit to Vilnius. However, it is strongly recommended that you can spend at least three days here. Especially one day must be for a day tour to Trakai. Trakai is a castle city and used to be the capital of Lithuania in ancient times. It is about 27 kilometers from the city of Vilnius. so you can be there in less than 30 minutes. After visiting Lithuania’s Capital, I take a bus ride to Riga, the capital of Latvia.

Hey, This is Rashid and I am here to share my Wide Angle Dreams with you, with the aim to provide you a Wide Angle to catch your bucket list dreams of travelling and trekking. If you love to travel but feel that you are bound in tough daily routines and find very little time to catch your travelling dreams, then you are at a right place.

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