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My third and final country in the Baltics was Lithuania, and to be perfectly honest, it was probably the best of the 3 Baltic countries, certainly offering more to see and do than both Latvia and Estonia. Also, it doesn’t have all the stag/bachelor parties that blight the other capitals!

 

Anyways, I arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania (just a 5  hour bus from Riga, $15) and couchsurfed on my first night. The next day I checked into a hostel and set off on exploring the city.

 

The Capital Vilnius, like the other Baltic countries’ Capitals, Riga and Tallinn, is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Old Town is chockablocked full of cathedrals,   churches, castles all dating back to the middle ages.

 

The best way to explore these cities, as always, is by foot. So I set off for what became a 6 hour trek around the small Old Town. These are the 6 best things to see in Vilnius, don’t miss them!:

 

Gediminas Castle:

On top of a hill behind the Cathedral, the castle offers awesome views of the entire Old Town from the top ($3). The castle itself dates back from around the 13th Century and houses a small museum but the views are what really draws you there.

  gediminas castle

vilnius skyline

Three Crosses Hill:

Just across from the castle is a pretty cool tribute to 7 tortured monks (grim but beautiful). 3 huge white crosses sit proudly on top of a nearby hill, it’s free to walk up and check them out.

3 crosses vilnius 

Vilnius Cathedral:

At the foot of the hills for the 3 Crosses and Gediminas castle is the cities main cathedral and belfry, and a huge square where you can grab a drink and relax. All very impressive stuff, and it’s free.

  vilnius cathedral

Royal Palace:

Home to the Lithuanian President and all in all a very impressive building, perfect for a few pics.

  vilnius royal palace

Museum of Genocide/KGB Museum:

Maybe the most dignified museum I’ve ever been to, I’ll write more about the visit here in a separate post, but give yourself at least 2 hours to read up on the history of this war-torn country.

  vilnius kgb prison

Uzupis District:

A massively interesting  area within Vilnius, that is actually a self-declared republic complete with passport stamping and constitution. I’ll write a post about it tomorrow, this is a must-see.

Uzupis district vilnius

Ok guys, that should keep you occupied for 2 casual days or one day whizzing around like a madman (like me). I loved Vilnius, and definitely will visit again. Happy travels!

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Backpacking through Lithuania: Best things to See in Vilnius

  1. It’s really great that more and more travelers are visiting my homeland! Vilnius is an amazing city with wonderful architectural gems and interesting history. However, if you’re still planning to visit Vilnius once again, I would recommend you to plan a day trip to Trakai Castle as well. This website http://www.gotolithuania.com/trakai-island-castle/ might be helpful to find out more information about the Castle and read a legend surrounding it.

  2. Get another stamp in your passport in Vilnius, and visit the Republic of Uzupis! A great little arty district of the city. We went on a good little walking tour with Vilnius with Locals who showed us some more offbeat things

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