Lithuania’s capital is the country’s largest city with just over 500,000 inhabitants, about the same population as Gothenburg, and is called by many a small but very charming city. What are the must-haves when visiting Vilnius? Below is a list of the 5 places that you absolutely must not miss to visit during your stay.
The castle of Vilnius consists of a number of different buildings located right on the river Neris. This is a hugely exciting place that has been through a lot of drama over the years. The oldest parts of the castle are from the ninth century. The lower part, which houses the Royal Palace and Vilnius Cathedral, was built of wood sometime before the 13th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries, defensive walls and towers were built around the area. The whole castle area is well worth a visit; here you can wander around for a long time in the historical environment and, among other things, visit the National Museum.
According to ELAINEQHO, Vilnius Cathedral is located in the castle area as already mentioned, but deserves to be mentioned separately as a must for the visitor. The cathedral is very beautiful and magnificent with a white facade. The entrance is almost reminiscent of an opera house! Many kings have been crowned here in this sacred site, which was completed in 1783.
Uzupis, which means “on the other side of the river”, is an area near the Old Town of Vilnius. This is a very cozy part of the city, which attracts many artists and galleries among the charming houses from the 19th century. In fact, the area has been compared to Montmartre in Paris! At the same time, a variety of restaurants and cafés coexist here, making Uzupis the perfect place to have a quiet moment with a cup of coffee before continuing your journey of discovery in Vilnius.
Vilnius’ old town is a dream come true for those who love to look at older, charming houses. This part of the city is large with its 1487 houses and a full 74 blocks, so it’s a real joy to take a long walk here and just take in the history. Pilies Street is, you could say, the main street through the old part of town and here are cafes and shops side by side. It is a perfect place for those who like to sit and watch people. In 1994, the Old Town of Vilnius took a well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage List, much as the district is original and unspoilt.
A nasty but interesting place to visit is the KGB Museum, which is located in the former KGB building in the city. The museum describes in a picturesque way the abuses perpetrated against dissent during the Soviet era. The beautiful building that houses the museum has been owned by various people and organizations during the years since it was built in 1890. From the beginning it was part of the Russian Empire, to then belong to Germany after the occupation in connection with the First World War. After briefly belonging to the Lithuanian army, it ended up in the violence of the Bolsheviks and the Soviets, and then belonged to the Nazis for a few years when it became the headquarters of the Gestapo. In 1944, the Soviets retook the site and about 1,000 prisoners were executed in the basement of the building.