Location: Vilnius County  Map


Description of Vilnius

Vilnius, formerly Vilna, founded by Grand Duke Gediminas, is the capital of Lithuania. With more than 500,000 inhabitants, it is the most populous city in the country. Vilnius was, in 2009, one of the two European capitals of culture with Linz (Austria).

From an architectural point of view, the historic center of Vilnius was fortunate to be spared by two world wars, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the embassy district with its typical country façades. northern Europe, rather colorful and often decorated with sculptures. The city is dominated by a beautiful brick tower easily visible because located on a hill overlooking the city. Near it is the Polish cemetery na Rossie, where is the heart of Marshal Józef Piłsudski who ruled Poland between the wars (his body is buried in Krakow).

Having experienced the state economy for half a century, Vilnius has found since 1992 the market economy, hence the buildings of glass and steel under construction whose modernity contrasts with the ancient trolleybuses and with the Gray concrete housing bars from the suburbs, which date back to the Soviet era and contrast with the green landscape of the surrounding countryside. Nevertheless, there are still traditional houses in these areas: they often keep their original appearance, lacking the means of their owners to renovate them.


Travel Destinations in Vilnius

Vilnius Cathedral (Vilniaus arkikatedra bazilika) (Vilnius)

Cathedral Square (Katedros aikste) (Vilnius)



Vilnius Castle Complex

Ducal Palace (Valdovu Rumai) (Vilnius)

Katedros 4

Tel. (5) 212 7476

Bus: 10, 11, 33

Upper Castle (Aukstutine pilis) (Vilnius)

Arsenalo 5
Tel. (5) 261 7453
Bus: 10, 11, 33
Open: May- Sept: 10am- 7pm daily
Oct- Apr: 10am- 5pm Tue- Sun

Applied Arts Museum (Taikomosios dailes muziejus) (Vilnius)

Arsenalo gatve 3a
Tel. (5) 262 8080
Open: 11am- 6pm Tue- Sat
11am- 4pm Sun


Church of Saint Casimir (Sv Kazimiero Baznycia) (Vilnius)

Didzioji 34
Tel. (5) 212 1715
Service: 5:30pm Mon- Fri, 12pm Sun


Town Hall (Vilnius)

Didzioji 31
Tel. (5) 261 8007 and (5) 262 6470
Open: 8am- 6pm Mon- Fri


Holocaust Museum (Holokausto Ekspozicija) (Vilnius)

Pamenkalnio 12
Tel. (5) 262 0730
Open: 9am- 5pm Mon- Thu
9am- 4pm Fri, 10am- 4pm Sun


Church of Saint Catherine (Vilnius)


The Museum of Genocide Victims (Genocido Auku Muziejus) (Vilnius)

Auku 2a
Tel. (5) 249 7427
Open: 10am- 6pm Wed- Sat, 10am- 5pm Sun

Church of Saint Theresa (17th century) (Vilnius)



Saint John's Church (Sv Jono baznycia) (Vilnius)

Universiteto 3/ sv Jono
Tel. (5) 611 795
Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Sat
Service: 6pm Mon- Sat, 11am Sun


Vilnius University (Vilniaus universitetas) (Vilnius)

Universiteto 3
Tel. (5) 268 7001 and (5) 268 7298
Open: 10am- 5:30pm Mon- Sat


Gates of Dawn (Ausros Vartai) (Vilnius)

Ausros vartu 12
Tel. (5) 212 3513
Service: 7:30am, 9am, 10am, 5:30pm, 6:30pm Mon- Sat
9am, 9:30am, 11am, 6:30pm Sun


State Jewish Museum (Valstybinis Vilniaus Gaono Zydu Muziejus) (Vilnius)

Pylimo 4
Tel. (5) 212 7912
Open: 9am- 1pm Mon- Fri



Geography and nature
Vilnius is located in southeastern Lithuania. Located at the confluence of Vilnius and the Neris. About 20 km south of the geographical center of Europe. Vilnius is 312 km from the Baltic Sea. The area of ​​the city is 402 km². Buildings make up 20.2% of the city's territory. Forests make up 43.9% of the city and the waters 2.1%.

Vilnius is located in the very strip of the Baltic Highlands, deeply carved in the winding Neris Valley. In the southeast, the surface rises to the hilly and valley Medininkai Uplands, in the north to the lake Aukštaičiai Square, the southern edge of which - Riešė Upland - rises at the northwestern outskirts of the city (starting with Šeškinė, Viršuliškės, Baltupiai, Santariškės). The north-eastern part of the city is located in the Neris-Žeimena lowland. The central part of the city is located in the wide (~ 5 km) Neris ancient valley, which descends towards the river with 8 terraces. The deep valley is also formed by the Neris tributary Vilnius. The highlands descend into the old valley mainly on steep, horn-carved, spring-fed slopes. [3] In some places, the highlands approach the rivers and thus, due to erosion, cliffs open up (eg Pūčkoriai outcrop, Plikakalnis outcrop, Naujaneri outcrop).

The lowest point of the city (97 m) is on the banks of the Neris, and the highest surface rises (234 m) in Pavilnis (Rokantiškės hill).

In the territory of Vilnius Šeškinė district, there is a relic of ice age accumulation relief - Šeškinė oasis. Other more pronounced glacial landscapes - Paneriai Hill, Gariūnai Sufos Circus, Rasų-Ribiškės Hill.

The whole city falls into the Neris basin. The river crosses the whole city about halfway through. From the east, Nerin flows with a lot of meanders, with several short tributaries (Kaukysa, Murle), and the southern edge of the city is surrounded by another tributary of the Neris - Vokė. The Riešė tributary of the Neris River flows along the northern edges, in addition, several other small streams flow into the territory of the city of Nerin - Antavilis, Veržuva, Upelė (with Dvarčione), Verkė, Turniškė, Cedronas, Sudervėlė).

There are several lakes in the city: the most lake-rich part is in the north-eastern part, where Balžis, Antavilis, Juodis, Tapeliai, Skarbelis lakes are concentrated in Antaviliai forests and in the north, near Verkiai Riešė, the Green Lakes Lake District On the western edge, near Pilaitė, there are lakes Gelūžė, Salotė, Baltieša. Several smaller lakes (Lake Kairėnai, Lake Naujoji Verkiai) and ponds (Cedron Pond, Jerusalem Pond, Rokantiškės Pond) are concentrated elsewhere in the city.

Šeškučiai marsh is located on the north-eastern outskirts of Vilnius.

The main massif of greenery in Vilnius is the edges of Lavoriškės-Nemenčinė forests (Antaviliai, Valakampiai and other forests) occupying the entire north-eastern part of the city, where heather predominates. In the north, around the Green Lakes, the Verkiai forest grows, and in the east-southeast grows the forests covering the tops of the moraine hills (Antakalnis, Belmontas, Pavilniai, Liepkalnis), where pine forests and spruce forests predominate. The Paneriai forest stretches through the southern side of Vilnius, where one of the highest spruce trees in Lithuania grows, and the Giruliai forest begins behind Pilaitė and Lazdynai. In the central part of the city there are smaller forests and parks: Vingis Park, Calvary Park, Bernardine Garden, Mountain Park, Missionary Gardens, Sapiega Palace Park, etc.

Old, protected trees (Sapiegai park linden, Žvėrynas linden, Vingis park linden alley, Kaštonai circle in Piliai park, Eight maple circle in Vileišiai homestead, etc.), rare plant species habitats In Pavilniai and Verkiai regional parks, in addition, many reserves have been established.


The climate in Vilnius is transitional. Warm summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature is +6.6 ° C. The coldest is January, when the average temperature is -4 ° C, and the warmest July, when the average temperature is 17 ° C. The average rainfall is 688 millimeters.

There are warm summers in Vilnius, when it warms up over 30 degrees. Droughts are also possible that can last for weeks.

There are also cold winters, when it cools down to -30 ° C at night. Then the rivers freeze.

Snow cover in Vilnius, as in the whole of Eastern Lithuania, is thicker than in other parts of Lithuania.

In Vilnius, the air temperature has been measured since 1770 (data have remained since 1777), and precipitation since 1887.

The name Vilnius comes from the Vilnius River, which flows through the city. The river name Vilnia is related to the general word of the Lithuanian language vilnia (the variant vilnis has become established in the general language). The old form of the name Vilnius is known in the dialects of Eastern Lithuania. About the 15th century. the form of the name Vilnius came into being, which was made according to the same model as Alyta (river name) and Alytus (city name). The forms of the name Vilnius are written in 16th century Lithuanian writings. In Latin, the old form of the Vilnius name Vilnius has survived.

It is not specified exactly when the settlement of Vilnius was established - the legend of the Iron Wolf testifies to the establishment of the city. At the beginning of the Late Bronze Age (13th century to the 1st century BC), the Early Iron Age, and the Roman Period (3rd century), the archeological culture of striped pottery prevailed throughout Lithuania, east of the Holy River and west of Belarus. Its descendants, the tribe of the white tribes - the Aukštaitians. Vilnius itself was first mentioned in written sources by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas in 1323. in a letter to German cities. March 22, 1387 The King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Jogaila granted the rights of Magdeburg to Vilnius in Merkinė, which later became a model for many other cities of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. 1579 The Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Stephen Bathory established a university in the city. The university quickly became the most important scientific and cultural center in the region. Vilnius has also become a center of Jewish culture in Northern Europe. 1610 July 1 Vilnius was devastated by a large fire, and Vilnius University, Vilnius University Library and Archives were badly affected.

During the "Flood" in 1655. The Russian tsar entered Vilnius and the city was first occupied and ruled by the Russian army. The city was looted for several days, burned, and a large part of the population was killed. Although the Russians left the city after 13 years, the growth of Vilnius was stopped for a long time. During the Northern War (1702 and 1707), Vilnius was occupied by the Swedish army. 18th c. the growth of the city was hindered by large fires in 1737, 1745, 1747.

Since 1795 Until the First World War, like all of Lithuania, Vilnius was part of the Russian Empire and the center of the province. After 1831. During the uprising, the Russian government closed Vilnius University as the center of nationalist forces. Vilnius developed as the capital of the Russian province, but also had a regional significance. At the time of Vilnius, Vilnius was the capital of the general province, the center of the North-West region.

1915–1918 Vilnius was occupied by the Germans. 1920 The city was occupied and soon annexed by Poland, and the Lithuanian capital was moved to Kaunas. 1919–1939 The Polish Stephen Bathory University operated in Vilnius. 1931 The city was hit by a huge spring flood - the Neris had risen 825 cm above the zero mark, even the cellars of the Vilnius Cathedral were flooded.

1939 With the outbreak of World War II, the Red Army occupied Vilnius. 1939 Vilnius was handed over to the Republic of Lithuania. 1940 In the summer of 2006, Vilnius was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union together with the whole of Lithuania. 1941 After the German army occupied Lithuania in the summer of 1945, the vast majority of the Jewish population fell victim to the National Socialist policy of extermination of the Jews. Many of them were driven into a ghetto in the Old Town of Vilnius, taken to concentration camps and killed there. About 40 percent were destroyed during the war. House.

1944 Vilnius was occupied by the Soviets. Vilnius became the capital of the Lithuanian SSR. The Soviet government undertook to rebuild the war-torn Vilnius. The construction of apartment buildings and new districts of Vilnius has started. As part of the Russification policy, foreign workers were transferred to factories under construction in Vilnius, and a Soviet army division was constantly deployed in the northern town of Vilnius. Since 1963 The railways of the region became subordinate to the Riga Board of the Baltic Railways (a Vilnius district was established under it).


After the war, the economy in Vilnius began to develop rapidly: machinery industry, metal processing, construction, wood, light, food, chemical industry. Large machine tool factories (Komunaras, Žalgiris), electrical engineering factory Elfa, furniture factories, confectionery factory Pergalė, sewing factory Lelija, plastic, calculating machine factories, machine factory were established. Vilnius cogeneration power plant was built.

1987-1991 Mass rallies were held in Vilnius against the Soviet regime. 1990 Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union. 1991 January 9 The Soviet Union sent troops to Vilnius. On January 13, the Soviet Army occupied the Television Tower, killing 14 civilians in clashes. 1994 Vilnius Old Town is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. 2009 Vilnius has become the European Capital of Culture.


How to get here

By plane
There is no own airline in Lithuania. The best connections are with Air Baltic (Riga), with Lufthansa (Frankfurt am Main), LOT (Warsaw) and Finnair (Helsinki) flying twice a day. There are SAS flights (Stockholm, Copenhagen), Austrian Airlines (Vienna), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), UIA (Kiev) and even Belavia (Minsk). The Tallinn-Vilnius flights operated by Air Baltic (usually twice a day) are designed to quickly move between the two Baltic capitals and do not create cheap connections.

The ubiquitous RyanAir flies from low-cost flights to Vilnius, which also operates in Kaunas. Unlike other Baltic capitals, Vilnius is also favored by WizzAir with flights in all possible directions from London and Oslo to Kutaisi and Tel Aviv.

Airport (Oro uostas, IATA: VNO). ☎ +370 5 273 9305. The airport is located on the southern outskirts of Vilnius and consists of a modern building attached to the old terminal. The check-in and the departure area are in the new building, and the arrival area is in the old one, where you should pay attention to the abundant stucco molding and other attributes of the uncommon in the Baltic States Stalinism. There is also a Narvesen kiosk that sells magazines, coffee and all sorts of small things (including SIM cards), a tourist information desk where they give free cards, and two cafes of the same type with moderately expensive pastries (there is hot food during the day). In the check-in hall there is another Narvesen and the Pack & Fly luggage counter, which provides luggage storage services (€ 5 for every 5 hours; feel free to haggle). The departure area is quite spacious, before passport control there are a couple of stands with coffee sandwiches at prices slightly higher than in the Old Town, but still inferior to Western European ones. On the second floor there are two full-fledged cafes: a pizzeria restaurant and a bar. There is only one counter behind passport control, where they make coffee and sell sandwiches, there is nowhere to eat. Free Wi-Fi throughout the building.

How to get there:
The train to the airport runs from the railway station, travel time 7 minutes, ticket € 0.70 (at the conductor). The interval of movement is not less than an hour. At the airport, the station is located 100 m from the terminal (there are signs). Its unintuitive official name appears in the schedules - Oro uostas, i.e. Airport.
Contrary to expectations, the 3G express bus does not have access to the Internet, but it runs every 10-15 minutes, passing along Švitrigailos g. some distance from the Old Town and the center
It is more convenient to take buses No. 1 and 2 to the railway station (the stop is on the side of the bus station) or No. 88, which makes a wide loop around the Old Town. True, each of these buses runs only 1-2 times per hour.
The Airport Express minibus runs between the airport and the bus station at intervals of 20-40 minutes, 10 minutes on the way, ticket: € 1 (from the driver).

All buses stop right in front of the terminal. The buses are subject to ordinary city tickets and smart cards (see Transport). You can take a ticket from the driver for € 1.

Taxis should be taken from the official parking lot at the exit from the arrivals hall: there are the most expensive in the city, but at least official cars. A trip to the city center will cost around € 10. Sometimes there are private traders with whom you need to bargain. The cheapest way is to order a car from the city.

By train
All Kaliningrad trains pass through Vilnius, 2-4 times a day, the journey takes 6 hours. The same trains go to Moscow (13-15 hours) and St. Petersburg (every other day, 18 hours). They also pass through Minsk, but it is more convenient to go there by day trains, which usually run 4 times a day (two Belarusian trains and two Lithuanian ones). Travel time: 2.5-3 hours. For Minsk trains, the Lithuanian border control passes at the Vilnius railway station, and the Belarusian border control is en route. Kaliningrad trains cost 40 minutes at each border.

There is a passing Ukrainian train Kiev - Riga and an electric train to Daugavpils to Latvia.

There are no trains to Poland from Vilnius, but you can get there with a change in Kaunas to Bialystok.

Railway station (Gelezinkelio stotis), Geležinkelio g. 16. The station is located south of the Old City, 2 km from the Cathedral, the Gediminas Tower and other central objects. In front of the station, there is a large square with bus and trolleybus stops, which can go to sleeping areas or drive around the Old Town to the river. The station building is post-war construction, it looks pretty deserted. There is no waiting room, you can use any benches that come up, as well as the Gusto Blyninė cafe (7:00 - 20:00), where they serve inexpensive pancakes and traditional Lithuanian food. Wi-Fi works in the cafe, it does not work at the station itself. The traveler will also benefit from the tiny Maxima supermarket (Mon – Fri 6:00 - 22:00, Sat – Sun 7:00 - 21:00) in the basement and automatic lockers nearby (about € 1 for the first 12 hours and then about the same the same for every day). Those wishing to while away the time can visit the Museum of the Lithuanian Railways (Tue – Fri 9:00 - 17:00, Sat 9:00 - 16:00) or view the models installed at the station.


The passage under the railroad tracks rests on the customs and passport control point intended for those traveling abroad, i.e. to Belarus and Russia. If you come to Vilnius from Belarus, be prepared for a long queue, as there are few border guards and a lot of people. In the opposite direction, there is usually no queue, since the exit to the platform opens already 2 hours before the train departure. On the other hand, if you go through border control too early, you run the risk of exploring the duty-free shop or standing aimlessly on the platform (there are few shops, there is nowhere to hide from the heat or cold except for the already indicated store).

Tickets from Vilnius to Minsk are more expensive than domestic Belarusian or Lithuanian ones and cost around € 15 no matter where you buy them. If you are traveling to Vilnius from St. Petersburg or Moscow, then you will face the fact that the ticket price is calculated according to the international fare, and even a reserved seat will be comparable in price to an airplane. There is a "life hack" for this case: a ticket to Kaliningrad costs about half as much as to Vilnius, and usually nothing prevents you from boarding a train with such a ticket, and then getting off in Vilnius, although there are cases when Russian guides or Lithuanian border guards refused to issue in Vilnius people with tickets to Kaliningrad.

By bus
The vast majority of buses connecting the Baltic States with the rest of Europe pass through Vilnius. The most active direction is Riga, where buses leave every 2 hours (on the way 4-4.5 hours). You can go to the east of Latvia by a daily Moscow bus, following through Rezekne and Daugavpils.

It takes 7-9 hours to get to Warsaw, there are several buses, but they are mostly passing and go almost one after another. If you need to go to northern Polish cities like Suwalki and Bialystok, it is better to go through Kaunas, which is on the direct road to Poland.

It is more convenient to travel in the direction of Minsk by train. Direct buses go to Lida, Baranovichi, Grodno and other cities of Belarus 1-2 times a day.

There are few buses to Kaliningrad (2-3 per day), and they travel even longer than trains (7 hours).

Bus station (Autobusų stotis), Sodu g. 22. The bus station is located next to the train station and looks much less modern. Most of the building is dedicated to trade. To the right of the entrance there is a checkout room, where there is also, for example, a kiosk that is busy buying gold, and on the second floor above them there is an unnamed cafe-bar (6:00 - 19:00), which is in perfect harmony with all this. To the left of the entrance, at the end of the corridor, there is a buffet-dining room (7:30 - 21:00) with wooden furniture and very humane prices. On the second floor there is an Iki supermarket (7:00 - 22:00), somewhat larger than the Maxima train station. Luggage storage is located in the luggage compartment, represented by a small pavilion at the back of the platforms (Mon 7:00 - 20:45, Tue-Fri 5:25 - 20:45, Sat 5:25 - 21:00, Sun 7:00 - 21 : 00).

By car
Vilnius stands at the intersection of several main roads. The same road, with the status of an autobahn, goes further to Klaipeda (300 km). In the direction of Riga, the autobahn goes to Panevezys (130 km), then the usual road - the total distance is about 300 km. To Kaliningrad 400 km, and the best way is along the same Klaipeda highway and further through Sovetsk. Finally, the road to Warsaw is everywhere narrow and two-lane, the distance is 450 km.


Around the city

Land transport
There are no trams in Vilnius and never have been. Ground transportation is represented by 19 trolleybus and about 60 bus routes operated by the municipal operator Vilniaus viešasis transportas. Although the car park is gradually being renewed, you can still see old Czechoslovak Škoda trolleybuses on the streets of the city, but the once numerous Hungarian Ikarus buses seem to have completely disappeared.

The route planner is available on a separate website. Some of the stops have electronic displays. There is a constantly updated and multilingual public transport scheme available free of charge from tourist information offices.

Tickets: Drivers sell paper tickets for € 1, but this ticket cannot be used for transfers. It is not enough to buy such a ticket; it is necessary to pierce it with a mechanical punch or mark it with an automatic machine (depending on which one is installed in the vehicle interior). If you come to the city for more than a day, it makes sense to buy a smart card (Vilniečio kortelė) for € 1.5, which works as an electronic wallet with two types of tickets: for 30 min (€ 0.64) and 60 min (€ 0.93) - you need to choose between them at the moment when you apply the card to the machine on the bus or trolleybus. The same card can be used to charge tickets valid for 24 hours (€ 3.48) or 72 hours (€ 6.08). For long stays and frequent travel, you can charge the card with a monthly pass for € 29. After charging the pass, the card must be activated by placing it on the machine inside the vehicle (a signal must be heard), the validity of the pass is counted from the moment of activation. Smart cards are sold and charged at tourist information offices or in Lietuvos spauda kiosks found around the city.

Some buses have an “ending” G, which indicates a fast route, i.e. route with fewer stops. Regular tickets are valid on these buses.

Working hours: 5: 30-23: 00, after 11 pm you can still leave, but not everywhere. At night on weekends, there are several special routes with three-digit numbers and ending N.

The Vilnius funicular takes lazy or just tired passengers to the Gediminas Hill in the city center. Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00, from April to September until 21:00. Ticket: € 1 one way (2016).

Taxi prices vary widely: from € 0.50 to € 1.10 per km. It is best to order a taxi by phone (all operators are fluent in Russian).

Ekipažas - 1446 (short number in Omnitel, Bite, Tele2 networks)
Martono taksi - 240 00 04 or short 1422
information - call 1588