Probably the least known of the Baltic capitals, Vilnius has plenty to offer the visitor.
One of Europe’s smallest and less well known capital cities, Vilnius seduces visitors with its old world charm. The city which has a long history of being occupied is now enjoying a new freedom and independence which, in combination with its interesting history, make it a fascinating place to become acquainted with.
The main attraction for many visitors taking a short break in Vilnius is the charming medieval old town, which has been described as a living museum. A maze of irregular cobbled streets, the old town is filled with charming squares and majestic churches, synagogues and monasteries. Cathedral Square, which lies in the heart of the old town, is dominated by the Cathedral of St. Stanislav & St. Vladislav and its bell tower. The tower of Gediminas Castle can be seen from all over the city. With its prime hilltop location it offers panoramic views over Vilnius. Not far away is the Presidential Palace, the official residence of the President of Lithuania. This attractive building dates back to the 14th Century but was largely rebuilt in the early 19th Century.
Many cultures and customs have influenced Vilnius over the years and there are a large number of cultural attractions in the city. Of the numerous city centre churches in addition to the Cathedral, one of the most impressive is the Gothic Church of St. Anne which has survived, unchanged, for over 500 years. Museums are many and varied and include the Amber Museum and the museum in Gediminas Castle which traces the history of the castle over the centuries, complete with scale models. For something different, head to the Museum of Genocide Victims, the former headquarters of the KGB in Lithuania.
Vilnius can be reached easily by direct flights from London and Doncaster-Sheffield and it combines well with the other Baltic capitals of Tallinn and Riga for anyone wanting to take a multi-centre city break.