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Vilnius - A travel report by R
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Vilnius,  Lithuania - flag Lithuania -  Vilniaus Apskritis
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rossh1's travel reports

A quick visit to Vilnius...

  17 votes
I've been asked to write a report about my short visit to Vilnius, as apparently no-one else wishes to admit having been there! There must be some of you out there, and all of you must know more than me, so get writing! ;o)

Vilnius cathedral
Vilnius cathedral
In early 2004 I made a short visit (3 nights) to Vilnius in Lithuania with a friend from work. My abiding memory is that it was *cold*. The daytime high was -5 celsius, which meant it was thermal underwear territory for me. That aside, my other memory is of the friendliness. A couple of months earlier I'd spent a week in a Turkish Mediterranean resort where I felt that I was seen as no more than a walking wallet. Vilnius was completely different; both my friend and I felt that people were pleased to see visitors, and there was a welcoming air which had been completely absent from the Turkish resort. Because we spent such a short time there, it's difficult for me to recommend places to visit or bars to drink in or the usual stuff. All I can say is: it's a lovely city - go there. Very soon. :-)

[added later]
I've been asked when someone should visit, and the answer is - I don't know! We went in late February and if you like it cold, that was a nice time. Whether summer would be better (for sunbathing at Trakai or on the Baltic coast perhaps), I don't know.

Favourite spots:
Pilies G, (Castle Street) Vilnius
Pilies G, (Castle Street) Vilnius
Vilnius. ;-) Well, the old town anyway. It's really nice.

[added later...]
I've been asked to expand on this, but I'm afraid I can't - we visited the castle (using the funicular railway), the KGB museum and the national museum and together with the guided tour we took on our first morning and a bit of shopping that took up the two days we had there. Maybe after my next visit I'll be able to give more information.

What's really great:
Vilnius Castle
Vilnius Castle
Sitting in the Toros Bar (, with a nice meal, looking across at the castle.

National Museum, Vilnius
National Museum, Vilnius
The KGB museum. I've been to Dachau with a very knowledgable guide, and that left a chill down my spine; the KGB museum in Vilnius was even more affecting simply because it's so recent.

The National Museum beneath the castle had an excellent exhibition about the Napoleonic soldiers whose mass graves had recently been discovered around Vilnius, soldiers (and follwers) who had died during the retreat from Moscow in 1812. The exhibition had stayed open beyond its official closure date so may now have closed, but it was very interesting.

The funicular railway takes you up the hill to the upper castle, where there is a small museum in the tower.

Narutis Hotel, Vilnius
Narutis Hotel, Vilnius
We stayed in the 5* Narutis Hotel on Pilies G (Castle Street), because that's what we were offered by Baltic Holidays when we booked. It's a lovely hotel, which I can highly recommend, although probably not in the price range of your average backpacker!

[Added later]
I've been asked about the price range; we paid GBP650 for a three night city break for two including flights, which suggests to me we paid rather less for the hotel than the EUR200 (GBP130) per night rack rate quoted on

The river passing through Vilnius, complete with ice-floes
The river passing through Vilnius, complete with ice-floes
We ate in the Narutis hotel cellar restaurant both nights simply because we were too tired to go looking for anywhere else! The InYourPocket guide rates the restaurant, and we found the prices reasonable (especially in comparison with a restaurant in a 5* hotel in the UK!) and the food was good.

The Toros bar in the breakaway Republic of Uzupis, once a self-declared independent statelet home to artsists and (as ever) now an up-and-coming yuppie district, provided a very tasty lunch to round off the guided tour of Vilnius we'd arranged before leaving the UK.

Other recommendations:
Town Hall, Vilnius
Town Hall, Vilnius
Don't ask me for advice: visit the inyourpocket website, download their PDF guide, get some info from the Vilnius tourist information office ( - then go! Go before it becomes the new Prague or the new Tallinn. And enjoy. We did, you will too. :-)

Published on Sunday April 9th, 2006

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Mon, Apr 10 2006 - 06:42 PM rating by gloriajames

hiya ross
thanks for the nice report.. u have been obliging in adding more info when requested ... is it too much to ask that you upload a slideshow?? i loved some of your pics and hope to see more from u ! (";)

Mon, Apr 10 2006 - 05:48 AM rating by davidx

Thank you so much for breaking the ice on this country! Most interesting - I've only seen the later version and that well justifies 5*. I hope others respond to your appeal!

Mon, Apr 10 2006 - 02:25 AM rating by terje

Hi Ross! You managed to combine work and pleasure in a good way, it seems. It's not always easy. And, when returning home from such a trip, the feeling that you missed out so much of the place because you didnt have time.....

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 02:18 PM rating by alfonsovasco

Interesting report

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 01:20 PM rating by eirekay

Ross, even though your report is short (I wish there was more!), you manage to give a feel for a place that very much out of the way! Thanks!

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 01:12 PM rating by marianne

You gave me some more information about a destination which is number one on my to-go list. Good to know that the people are friendly. More friendly than in Turkey, but it depends where you were in Turkey, of course.

Vilnius is cold, but I had expected this especially in January and February. Snow in your pictures shows the temperature in way. By the way when is the best time to visit?

I wish you had given some more information about 'what is great' and 'your favourite spots.

What was price of a room in the 5* hotel? Something about the price level would be nice.

I like your photos especially Vilnius Castle, it has an eery atmosphere, probably because of the light. By the way is it open to the public?

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