Tourist guide to Vilnius / Tourist attractions, interesting places and monuments / What is worth seeing and visiting?

Vilnius is a large religious center, where we will find sacred buildings of various religious denominations, however, most Roman Catholic churches are here. For this reason, the capital of Lithuania is often associated mainly with a large number of temples.

However, there are many other tourist attractions in Vilnius. Here you will find monuments built in various architectural styles, from Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance, to classicism, eclecticism and modernism, which is a real treat for fans of the history of architecture.

In addition, Vilnius is a city where there is one of the oldest universities in this part of Europe and has a lot of interesting museums.

The capital of Lithuania can be visited on foot, because these most important monuments are concentrated in one fairly coherent area. Of course you can use bus, trolleybus or microbus communication.

Interestingly, the city can also be seen from the water level – renting a kayak and swimming on the Neris River or buying a balloon flight to see the city from a height.

Map of Vilnius

Well, to the point. What are the biggest and most important tourist attractions and what sights are worth seeing and visiting while in Vilnius?

The biggest tourist attractions in Vilnius

There is no shortage of tourist attractions in Vilnius and when you come here for example for the weekend, you are able to see the most important, but not everything that the capital of Lithuania offers tourists. So you have to find out what you really want to see and visit, and which points on the map of Vilnius to include.

Gate of Dawn

The Gate of Dawn is the only remnant of the city’s fortifications from the past. On the inside of it is a chapel with a painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn. It is this image that is considered miraculous and that is why it is such an important place for Lithuanians and Belarusians.

See on the map of Vilnius where the Gate of Dawn is located:

Gediminas’ Tower

A characteristic attraction in Vilnius is the Gediminas Tower located on the hill reigning over the capital of Lithuania. You can climb here or take the cable car.

The tower is a remnant of the Upper Castle, which has been rebuilt many times. The tower now houses the Upper Castle Museum, with medieval exhibits, including numerous militaria and Teutonic banners.

Gediminas Tower is also a great vantage point in Vilnius.

Cathedral Square in Vilnius

The central point in Vilnius is the Cathedral Square, where the Cathedral Basilica of St. Stanislaus and St. Ladislaus of Vilnius is located. Rebuilt many times, today it has a classicistic style and a characteristic white color, together with the belfry located next to it, which was once part of the city’s defensive fortifications.

This basilica was once a witness of the coronation of the rulers of Lithuania and Poland. Currently, it boasts royal tombs, the richly decorated chapel of Saint Casimir with his reliquary and the collection of paintings by Pranciškus Smuglevičius.

Lower Castle in Vilnius

Near the Cathedral Square there is another monument of Vilnius – the Lower Castle called the former residence of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, reconstructed with great effort.

Of course, it is open to tourists (from 2013). In the square in front of the castle there is a monument to Gediminas himself, the founder of Vilnius and the Grand Duke of Lithuania.

Church of Saint Anna in Vilnius

Another attractive religious building in Vilnius is the church of St. Anna, distinguished by the red brick of which it is built. This late-Gothic temple delighted with its ornaments and intricate carvings Napoleon himself. In front of the church of St. Anna there is a monument of Adam Mickiewicz.

Church of St. Anna in Vilnius
Church of St. Anna in Vilnius

This is not all that we have prepared for you in our guide to Vilnius!

What is worth seeing and visiting in Vilnius?

It is definitely worth visiting the Vilnius University – founded by King István Báthory, it is one of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe.

The entire complex consists of 16 buildings and 13 courtyards. It is worth visiting first of all the room of Pranciškus Smuglevičius and the room of Joachim Lelewel, both with beautiful decorations.

In addition, you will certainly be impressed by the local library, bookshop and hall that leads to the Lithuanian Center (frescoes from Lithuanian mythology on the walls and ceiling).

There is also a church of St. John the Baptist and Saint. John the Apostle Evangelist (founded by King Jogaila) and the belfry, which is a viewpoint.

See on the map of Vilnius where the University of Vilnius is located:

Jewish quarter in Vilnius

Another place worth visiting is the Jewish quarter. Small streets with colorful houses now have a mainly gastronomic function (cafes, restaurants). During the war, the Small, and from 1941, the Big Ghetto was created here. It was here that almost 90% of the population of Vilnius Jews died or was killed.

A reminder of them are numerous tablets, monuments and squares scattered throughout the entire district.

Three Crosses

Three Crosses is a great viewpoint over the city of Vilnius. Wooden stairs lead to the hill, and three crosses are placed on the top. As legend has it, of seven martyrs from the Franciscan order, four were drowned in the river and three of them were hanged on the crosses. However, they have been rebuilt several times, from wooden to concrete, which were later blown up to the ones that still stand today.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul

In turn, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul is an example of building in the Baroque style. Although it does not impress with its external appearance, inside it will certainly please the eyes. Inside the seventeenth-century temple, founded by Mykolas Pacas, there are over two thousand sculptures in uniform white colors. Against this background, a beautiful boat-shaped crystal chandelier stands out.

Stucco covers almost every centimeter of church naves, which makes a staggering impression.

Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius

In turn, the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit is one of the most important sacred objects of the Orthodox religion. It is the burial place of the relics of three holy Vilnius martyrs – Antoniy, Ioann and Yevstafiy. Inside you can also admire the wooden iconostasis, which is an example of the Baroque style.

During the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the church was the most important center of Orthodoxy in this area.

What else is worth seeing in Vilnius?

While visiting Vilnius, it is worth visiting the Money Museum. The exhibition shows times from shells trade to modern times and money from around the world. You can see a pyramid made of a million coins, or find out how much we are worth in terms of gold or platinum. The museum is free.

District of Užupis

An interesting place is also Užupis – one of the oldest districts of Vilnius. Originally a Jewish district, after the war a place associated mainly with a social margin, now the district was taken over by the artistic bohemian.

It were the artists in 1997 who declared Užupis a separate republic, along with the president, currency and constitution in force here. However, this district is mainly pubs, galleries and restaurants with their specific, somewhat hipster atmosphere.

See on the map how to get to the Užupis district:

Museum of Illusions

An interesting place on the map of Vilnius attractions is also the Museum of Illusions. An alternative to all museum objects with boring, but historical exhibits. There are of course various objects and installations, but their main task is to put our senses to the test.

The staff at this facility will be happy to help if we cannot figure out the exhibit.

Good fun is guaranteed here. Be sure to take your cameras and your kids with you!

It is worth going to Literatu Street in Vilnius. This charming nook of the capital of Lithuania attracts with its walls of buildings, in which various objects related to writers and this country are mounted, including saw blades or even an artificial jaw!

Bernardine Gardens in Vilnius

When you are tired of sightseeing for many hours, you will look for a place to rest, it is worth going to the Bernardine Gardens, located in the very center of Vilnius. Here among greenery, flowers and fountains you will find a moment of breath.

Waiting for you here are trees that give shade, benches for a minute of respite, and you can go canoeing on the Neris River.

Opinions about the attractions and monuments of Vilnius

We encourage you to publish your reviews and present your opinions on the monuments and tourist attractions of Vilnius. There are many places here that are worth seeing and visiting, and certainly each of you has these favorite places. That is why your opinions are very important to us.

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