Vilnius Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Vilnius

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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Vilnius Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Vilnius Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Lithuania » Vilnius (See other walking tours in Vilnius)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Author: felicity
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Town Hall
  • The Old Town
  • St. Anne's Church
  • Bernardine Church
  • Royal Palace of Lithuania
  • Gediminas Tower
  • National Museum of Lithuania
  • Vilnius Cathedral
  • Lithuanian National Drama Theatre
  • Vilnius Holocaust Museum
  • Gediminas Avenue
  • Lukiškės Square
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
The Old Town

2) 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
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
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.
Royal Palace of Lithuania

5) 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
Gediminas Tower

6) 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
National Museum of Lithuania

7) 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 am - 6.00 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Vilnius Cathedral

8) 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
Lithuanian National Drama Theatre

9) 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
Vilnius Holocaust Museum

10) 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
Gediminas Avenue

11) 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
Lukiškės Square

12) 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.
Historical Churches Tour

Historical Churches Tour

Vilnius is well-known as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vilnius. Here you will discover a large number of gorgeous religious buildings designed in different architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, and several other designs.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
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 or 0.8 Miles
Monuments of Vilnius

Monuments of Vilnius

If you are interested in the different kinds of monuments a city has to offer, than Vilnius is a fantastic destination due to its rich history and heritage. The city features such famous monuments as the Frank Zappa Statue, Gediminas Monument, Uzupis Angel Statue, and many more.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles