City Orientation Walk, Vilnius (Self Guided)

Vilnius – the largest city and capital of Lithuania, declared in 2009 a European Capital of Culture, is well known for a multitude of churches featuring diverse architectural styles. Still, there's more to Vilnius than just architecture. Any time of year the city hosts a number of events: cultural, musical, cinematographic, theatrical and others. This orientation walk will help you find way around Vilnius to some of its most notable attractions.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Lithuania » Vilnius (See other walking tours in Vilnius)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Author: felicity
1
Town Hall

1) Town Hall (must see)

Vilnius Town Hall is a historical town hall in the square of the same name in the Old Town of Vilnius, Lithuania. The town hall in Vilnius was mentioned for the first time in 1432. Initially it was a Gothic style building, and has since been reconstructed many times. The current Vilnius Town Hall was rebuilt in neoclassical style according to the design by Laurynas Gucevičius in 1799. It has remained unchanged since then. Its Gothic cellars have been preserved and may be visited. Nowadays it is used for representational purposes as well as during the visits of foreign state officials and rulers, including George Walker Bush and Queen Elisabeth II.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Uzupis Angel Statue

2) Uzupis Angel Statue (must see)

During the Cold War, liberty of expression was extremely limited in Eastern Europe. When this artless period ended, the restrained expressions overflowed. Uzupis Angel was unveiled in 2001. It represents Lithuania’s freedom and independence. The monument features an angel blowing a trumpet. The sculptor of the angel statue, Romas Vilčiauskas, is also the creator of the Užhupis Mermaid.
Previously, a temporary sculpture of an egg stood in its place. After being replaced by the larger statue of Gabriel, the egg was sold at an auction for 10,200 litas and now stands on Pylimo street.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
St. Anne's Church

3) St. Anne's Church (must see)

St. Anne's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town, on the right bank of the Vilnia River. It is a prominent example of both Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles. St. Anne's is among the features of Vilnius Old Town that enabled the district to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. A novel approach to bricks as a construction material was employed in the church's construction. The main facade, designed in the Flamboyant Gothic style, is its most striking feature. Traditional Gothic elements and shapes were used in unique ways; Gothic arches are framed by rectangular elements dominating a symmetrical and proportionate facade, creating an impression of dynamism. The church has one nave and two towers. It was built using 33 different kinds of clay bricks and painted in red. The interior is decorated in the Baroque style, as is its altar. The imitative neo-Gothic bell tower, constructed in the 1870s, stands nearby.

Operation hours: May - September: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm;
October - April: half an hour before masses (they take place at 5.30 pm on weekdays and on Sundays and holidays at 9am and 11am in the Lithuanian language).
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Bernardine Church

4) Bernardine Church

Bernardine Church is considered one of the biggest churches in the Lithuanian capital. It was built in 1469. The interior of the church is richly decorated and never fails to impress visitors. The church is definitely worth a visit.
5
The Old Town

5) The Old Town (must see)

The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in the Northern Europe, has an area of 3.59 square kilometers (887 acres). It encompasses 74 quarters, with 70 streets and lanes numbering 1487 buildings with a total floor of 1,497.000 square meters. It is a place where some of the Europe's greatest architectural styles – Gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical – stand side by side and complement each other. Pilies Street is the Old Town's main artery and the hub of cafe and street market life. The main street of Vilnius, Gediminas Avenue, is partially located in the Old Town. The central squares in the Old Town are the Cathedral Square and the Town Hall Square. One of the most elaborate architectural complexes is the Vilnius University Architectural Ensemble, which occupies a large part of the Old Town and has 13 courtyards. It was selected to represent Lithuania in the Mini-Europe Park in Brussels. The definition of "historic center" itself has a broader meaning than the Old Town, formerly encircled with defensive walls. It embraces the valuable historical suburbs of Vilnius, such as Užupis, which historically used to be outside the city boundaries. Therefore Užupis is often considered a part of the Old Town of Vilnius.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Vilnius University

6) Vilnius University (must see)

Vilnius University is the oldest university in the Baltic states and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. It is also the largest university in Lithuania.

The university was founded in 1579 as the Jesuit Academy (College) of Vilnius by King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania - Stephen Báthory. It was the third oldest university in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the aftermath of World War I the University saw failed attempts to restart it by Lithuania (December 1918) and invading Soviet forces (March 1919), and finally resumed operations as the University of Stefan Batory in Poland (August 1918), a period followed by another short Soviet occupation in 1920, and the less than two year period of the Republic of Central Lithuania, annexed by Poland in 1922. After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it resumed its status as one of the prominent universities in Lithuania as Vilnius University.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Royal Palace of Lithuania

7) Royal Palace of Lithuania (must see)

The Royal Palace of Lithuania is a replica of the original palace, which once stood on this site. It was originally constructed in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was demolished in 1801. Work on a new palace started in 2002 on the site of the original building, and it was opened on 6 July 2009. The new palace was built for ceremonies commemorating the millennium since the first mention of the name of "Lithuania" in the year of 1009. It's definitely worth a visit. Several notable ceremonies took place in the palace, including the wedding of Duke John, who later became King John III of Sweden. The first opera in Lithuania was also staged in the palace in 1634.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Gediminas Tower

8) Gediminas Tower (must see)

Gediminas' Tower is the only remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius.

The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas.

It is possible to climb to the top of the hill on foot or by taking a funicular. The tower houses an exposition of archeologic findings from the hill and the surrounding areas. It is also an excellent vantage point, from where the panorama of Vilnius' Old Town can be admired.

Gediminas' Tower is an important state and historic symbol of the city of Vilnius and of Lithuania itself. It is depicted on the national currency, the litas, and is mentioned in numerous Lithuanian patriotic poems and folk songs. The Flag of Lithuania was re-hoisted atop the tower on October 7, 1988, during the independence movement that was finalized by the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. A reconstruction of the Royal Palace of Lithuania was completed in 2009, and is located near the base of the hill upon which Gediminas' Tower stands.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
National Museum of Lithuania

9) National Museum of Lithuania (must see)

The National Museum of Lithuania, established in 1952, is a state-sponsored historical museum that encompasses several significant structures and a wide collection of written materials and artifacts. It also organizes archeological digs in Lithuania. At its inception, the museum focused on the culture and history of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy. Made up mostly of Polish private collections, it was quite popular and received many visitors. The museum has five main departments: History and Latest History, Archaeology, Ethnography, Numismatics, and Iconography, containing a total of 800,000 items.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00 - 18.00.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Vilnius Cathedral

10) Vilnius Cathedral (must see)

The Cathedral of Vilnius is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania. It is situated in Vilnius Old Town, just off of Cathedral Square. It is the heart of Lithuania's Catholic spiritual life. Inside, there are more than forty works of art dating from the 16th through 19th centuries; including frescoes and paintings of various sizes. During the restoration of the Cathedral, the altars of a presumed pagan temple and the original floor, laid during the reign of King Mindaugas, were uncovered. In addition, the remains of the cathedral built in 1387 were also located. A fresco dating from the end of the 14th century, the oldest known fresco in Lithuania, was found on the wall of one of the cathedral's underground chapels.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Lithuanian National Drama Theatre

11) Lithuanian National Drama Theatre

Lithuanian National Drama Theatre is one of the biggest theaters in Lithuania. Since its establishment in 1940, it has staged over 200 performances. The theater's current repertoire mixes classical and modern theater with material by contemporary Lithuanian playwrights.

The theater was granted the right its current name in 1998, having previously been known as the "Academical" theater. In 2001 the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre became a member of the European Theatre Convention.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Vilnius Holocaust Museum

12) Vilnius Holocaust Museum (must see)

The Vilnius Holocaust Museum was established in 1992 by order of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and the President of the Lithuanian. Vilnius Holocaust Museum (also known as the Green House) attracts tourists with a modern design and multi-media presentation. The six rooms of the building are crammed with hundreds of years of Jewish history and hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives. The Holocaust Museum is a must-see attraction if you have any interest in a significant time in history. The museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting documents relating to the 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian resistance, and the victims of the arrests, deportations, and executions that took place during this period. The non-violent aspect of the resistance is represented by various books, underground publications, documents, and photographs.

Operation hours: Monday - Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm; (Friday until 4 pm); Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Gediminas Avenue

13) Gediminas Avenue

Gediminas Avenue is the main street of Vilnius, where most of the governmental institutions of Lithuania are concentrated, including the government, parliament, Constitutional Court and ministries. It is also the place of cultural institutions such as Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, Bank of Lithuania, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and Martynas Mažvydas National Library Nowadays it is also a popular shopping and dining street. It is partially a pedestrian street in the evenings when the traffic is prohibited.
Named after the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas, the street terminates at the Žvėrynas Bridge over the Neris River near Seimas Palace on one end and at the Cathedral Square and Vilnius Castle Complex on the other, passing the Lukiškės Square. It connects the Old Town with Žvėrynas.
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
Lukiškės Square

14) Lukiškės Square

Lukiškės Square is the largest square (about 4 ha) in Vilnius, Lithuania, located in the center of the city. A major street in Vilnius, Gediminas Avenue, passes by the southern border of the square. It is surrounded by many public buildings, including Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign affairs, Appeals Court, Academy of Music and Theater, Church of St. James and St. Phillip, Dominican Monastery with former St. Jacob Hospital. Currently the city of Vilnius holds a contest to redesign the square.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Vilnius, Lithuania

Create Your Own Walk in Vilnius

Create Your Own Walk in Vilnius

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vilnius is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shopping in Vilnius

Shopping in Vilnius

Since the Soviet Period, possibilities for shopping in Vilnius have vastly improved. Vilnius is now characterized as a shopping heaven, thanks to state-of-the-art shopping venues that are very popular among tourists from Eastern Europe. The most popular shopping items include jewelry, wooden handicrafts, and alcoholic beverages.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Nightlife in New Town

Nightlife in New Town

Vilnius Nightlife is vibrant, colorful, and offers quality entertainment. The city leaves an unforgettable experience with each tourist thanks to live music, huge dance floors, groovy atmosphere, food, and delicious cocktails.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Gediminas Avenue in Vilnius

Gediminas Avenue in Vilnius

Gediminas Avenue is the main street in the capital city of Lithuania. The street was named after the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas. The average tourist will find many popular attractions on Gediminas Avenue such as the Museum of Genocide Victims, Lukiškės Square, and the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Museums of Vilnius

Museums of Vilnius

Vilnius is recognized as a city of culture. The city offers a large number of museums that house interesting and original exhibitions. A couple of museums were set up in the palaces of former nobility. Visitors will have an opportunity to visit national exhibitions as well as appreciate works of international artists, all of which are represented in the museums throughout the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Nightlife in Old Town

Nightlife in Old Town

Vilnius Nightlife is vibrant, colorful, and offers quality entertainment. The city leaves an unforgettable experience with each tourist thanks to live music, huge dance floors, groovy atmosphere, food, and delicious cocktails.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Vilnius' Old Town

Vilnius' Old Town

Europe's greatest architectural achievements such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles blend perfectly in the nation's capital of Lithuania. You will find the most attractive places of the city in this district.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Vilnius for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Vilnius has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Vilnius, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.