Inhabited for centuries, Vilnius today is a multinational city with significant Polish and Russian minorities, about 20% of them. It used to have a strong Jewish minority before World War II, but most of the Jews from Vilnius were killed. After the war the Soviet government expelled most of the remaining Polish population of the city and replaced them with Lithuanian, Russian and Ukrainian citizens.
Vilnius International Airport (IATA: VNO), Rodunios kelias 10a, +370 5 273 9305, . The largest airport in Lithuania (beautifully small in other words). The Airlines that operate are Aer Lingus, AirBaltic, Czech Airlines , Estonian Air, Finnair and LOT. Until beginning of 2009 there were no problems reaching Vilnius from major European cities by direct flights. But as national carrier flyLal (formally Lithuania Airlines) went bankrupt, and AirBaltic withdrew almost all flights except to Baltic States, Stockholm and Copenhagen getting in through Vilnius airport became somehow cumbersome.
You Might also try flying to Kaunas airport (served by RyanAir) and then taking the bus (about 2 hours) or train (about 1.5 hour), Palanga airport ( about 5.5 hours by bus), or even from Riga airport (about 5 hours by bus)
EL-AL operates seasonal services to Tel-Aviv
A taxi from airport to city center might cost about 20-30 LT. Martonas taxis have a franchise for the airport and can charge up to 50LT for trip to city centre. You can call taxi by phone, which usually will be cheaper than Martonas, but do not expect any English speaking drivers. Bus no. 2 goes to downtown Vilnius.
Walking into central Vilnius from the airport takes about an hour. There are footpaths along the side of the road all the way and the route is easy; just walk straight out of the airport for a few hundred meters, turn right and then walk straight ahead for approx 7 km.
Kaunas is served by Ryanair from Dublin, Stockholm, Birmingham, Frankfurt and London, only an hour from Vilnius.
There is a recently opened train service between the airport and the central railway station. Trip costs 2 LTL (0,6 EUR), no traffic jams and a good way to reach the city center.
Motorways to Kaunas and Panevezys.
Both international and domestic bus stations are located very close to the main train station, the international is across the road and to the left however the domestic is around the rim of the round-a-bout directly in front, this is also a very dangerous intersection as there are no painted lines on the road and the drivers are quite random so be careful crossing the road.
Bus #1 departs from the domestic area to go to the airport, it takes about 10 - 15 minutes with about 3 stops.
PLEASE NOTE: it is important to pay attention to the bus numbers, do not take Bus #1a or Trolley Bus #1
You can find some schedules for regional busses here 
The bus or trolley ticket for one time (it's the same ticket for both bus and trolley) costs 2.50 Lt if you buy it in the vehicle, and 2.20 Lt if you buy it in the newspaper kiosk. You may also catch a private bus, which also costs 2 Lt but is actually a bit faster. There is a 50% discount for the tickets for students and elderly people, both in public and private buses. There is no subway or tram in Vilnius; if you need get there fast, you may catch a van-taxi, which may cost 4 litas. A regular cab may cost about 15-20 litas if you need to get from periphery of the city to the center. Travelling by car is not very much advised at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, as there are huge traffic jams all over the place, especially in the center.
Bicycle lovers will be a bit disappointed, because in the center it's very hard to find the bicycle tracks to travel around the old town. Lithuanians are not very enthusiastic about bicycles. In the periphery, moreover, the surface is a bit too steep sometimes to cycle. The Old Town, however, is not that big and can be easily walked by foot.
- The old town. Many churches and ancient buildings erected in 13th-19th centuries. Much of the Old Town used to be Jewish ghetto. Today street names like Zydu (Jewish) and Gaono (Gaon's) reminds of this period, as Jewish community of Vilnius perished during the Holocaust.
- Gediminas castle. The red-brick tower is restored from the Higher Castle erected in the 13th–14th centuries by Dukes of Lithuania. This is the best view of Vilnius. Can't find it? Look up! If you don't feel like looking up, though, you can climb up to it from the Cathedral Square. If you prefer not to climb, there is a funicular on the other side of the hill, facing the river.
- Archcathedral Basilica. Original (wooden) cathedral built in 1251. In 1387 a Gothic style cathedral was built. Now it is a classical style cathedral build by the project of Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevicius. The most beautiful part of the Cathedral, the baroque chapel of St. Casimir, was built in 1623–1636. The crypt shows a cross section of Vilnius through the ages, well worth seeing. You can also take a tour through the catacombs under the cathedral. Outside the Cathedral, in the square, look for a particular tile on which there is written a word "Stebuklas" (means "miracle" in Lithuanian). Stand on it, make a wish and turn around three times. Your wish should come true :)
- St. Ann's Church. One of the most beautiful churches in Vilnius and in Lithuania. Very small in size, but a very beautiful example of gothic architecture. There is a legend that when during his conquests Napoleon came to Vilnius and saw this church he said he would like to take it on his palm and bring to France.
- Uzupis district, a bohemian area largely unrestored, an independant republic also.
- St. Peter's and Paul's Church. Another shockingly beautiful church. Not so special from the outside, but extremely beautiful inside, with all the interior overcrowded with baroque sculptural works. One of the main places to visit. It is actually a bit outside the old town, you may take a trolley #2 or #14 from the bus stop "Karaliaus Mindaugo" next to the Cathedral Square and get out on the bus stop "Antakalnio ziedas", or take a ten-minute walk. When standing in the Cathedral square facing the river you have to take the street to the right and then just walk always straight, after a bit you should see the church.
- Three Crosses Hill is a memorable place because seven Franciscan monks were tortured here by the pagans.
- Artilery Bastion of Vilnius Defensive Wall.
- Museum of Genocide Victims (Former KGB HQ), 2a Auku St., +370-5-2498155, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 10AM-3PM. The bottom bricks of the buildings have names of those who were believed to be executed inside the building.
- Lithuanian National Museum, 1 Arsenalo St., +370-5-2629426, . Biggest and oldest source of national cultural heritage in the country, which systematically collects, stores, displays, and popularises the history of the state.
- Frank Zappa statue, Kalinausko 1,  The only statue in the world for honoring this great musician.
- The Centre of Europe. 25 km to the North of Vilnius, in the village of Purnuskes, is the real centre of Europe, marked by The National Institute of Geography of France in 1989. (It has now somehow moved a little closer.)
- The overpriced European Park, Joneikiskiu k., (+370 5) 2377 077 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . 10AM-sunset. The sculptures, which are the works of sculptors from more than 70 countries worldwide, are exhibited in the open area of 55 ha. Sometimes there is a very bad mosquito problem here.
- Old Arsenal Building.
- Trakai Water castle not far from Vilnius. Vytauto str. 33, Trakai, +370 528 58300, .
- The cemeteries, interesting Jewish cemetery in Seskine (a little outside the centre) including the grave of some very important rabbi. By the entrance to Vingis park is a war cemetery with Russian, German, and Turkish soldiers from both wars.
There are lots of nightclubs in the oldtown, such as Pacha, L'Amour, Galaxy, Gravity, Helios, and others. Just choose. There is also now a new Irish Pub in Vilnius. Called the Dubliner, it is located in the Old Town close to the University. It serves Guiness and Kilkenny beers and also has a large screen for major Rugby matches. A variety of Irish and International food is also served here. For all that it has an almost Germanic sanitized feel about it and is less reminiscent of the quaint yet contrived clutter of other Irish pubs that you find in other European capital cities. The main concert and sports events hall is Siemens arena, on the bus stop "Pramogu arena". You are in the basketball country, so don't miss the opportunity to see a basketball game in the real atmosphere.
- Contemporary Art Center, Vokieciu str. 2. There are always many extremely interesting modern art exhibitions.
- Fans of classical music should check the offers in the National Opera house, near the Green Bridge (Zaliasis tiltas).
- Those who are interested in modern theatre, should go to at least one spectacle of Oskaras Korsunovas Theatre (OKT), . It is one of the most original modern theatres in Europe, many times the winner of various festivals.
- Vilnius University. Founded in 1579 by Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Batory, it is one of the oldest Universities in Eastern Europe.
The average wage is around 500 Euros a month while unemployment is virtually nonexistent (according to the Department of Statistics of Lithuania registered unemployment rate in Lithuania was at a rate 2.9% of working-age population as for June 2006).
- Wool socks and hats
- Flax ware
Vilnius is one of the most stylish cities of Europe. New shopping centers were built. You can find Hugo Boss, Armani, Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, John Richmond, Ferre butiques also ZARA, United Colors of Benetton and Mango have all opened and offer very nice quality garments. There are also some young local designer butiques in Stikliu street.
- Čili Pica, Didžioji g. 5, and other locations, . Pizza, pasta, salads. Medium pizza from 10 LTL to 25 LTL.
- Čili Kaimas, same people as above but 'village' food. Try a zeppelin.
- Maxima, is the biggest supermarket chain in Lithuania, and every store has deli section with precooked salads, chicken, sandwiches, desserts as well as others.
- Coffee inn Lithuanian coffee shop like Starbucks 
- Balti Drambliai, (White Elephants), Vilniaus str. 41, . Cozy, chilly non-smoking vegetarian-vegan cafe, world/reggae music, live concerts in the evenings.
- Piti, Islandijos g.4, tel:852627560. Azerbaijani food. Eg the Spicy Piti dish with beef and potatos in a clay pot. Main courses ca. 20 LTL.
- Cozy, Dominikonu g.10. Sauve but laid-back restaurant upstairs, DJ-bar downstairs, serves hearty modern food with a few vegetarian options.
- "Amatininku uzeiga", Didzioji 19/2, tel. +37052617968. Lithuanian and international food in the center of Vilnius, Town Hall square (Rotuses aikste), until 5AM.
Almost all of the Bars in Vilnius serve reasonably priced good quality food.
- La Provence, Vokiečių g. 22, tel: 852616573, fax:862312360, mailto:email@example.com,. French inspired food with house specials such as roebuck with cherry sauce. Starters ca 30LTL, main courses 60LTL, extensive wine list starting at 80 LTL.
- Coffee Inn, Traku 7. 7-21. nice and relaxing coffee place, cafe latte & cookies etc., artwork, free wifi. pets welcome.4-7 Litas.
- Most popular local beer is Svyturys (lighthouse), it is a world champion beer. Available in lots of different styles but "Ekstra" is probably the best. The other brands of beer include Kalnapilis, Tauro, and Utenos. All of them are variations on the theme of bog-standard euro-lager.
- Lithuanian vodka (Lithuanian "degtine") is of excellent quality. The brand 'Lithuanian Vodka' is quite popular. The gold is the premium version. Cranberry is also nice. Remember excessive vodka drinking can and does kill. Drink carefully.
- Drink Carefully Most bars will politely ask you to leave if they notice that you appear drunk (staggering, yelling, grabbing strangers). If you break a glass, many places will expect to be repaid for it on the spot but its usually a very reasonable price.
- Smoking Smoking is done outside at most places because of a ban for smoking in all public places. Make sure you get stamped and get eye contact from the bouncers so you won't have problems getting back in.
- Brodvejus, (Broadway), Vokiečių St. / Mėsinių St. 4,. Cozy bar/nightclub. Reasonably priced(No cover on weekdays, 5 litas per 1 beer), open late (till 5 most nights), and courteous staff at the door and bar.
- Prospekto Pub, Gedimino pr. 2/1, fun place with non-trendy music, good drinks and a good atmosphere. In general has a cover every night. The front door staff exercise a large amount of face control and may choose to not let you in, especially if you look like a local and are a male.
- Cozy, Universiteto g. Double floored cozy bar it's a very good place to go if you want relaxing ambient or a good dj play in an extremely cozy environment. Also serves good food and Svyturys, of course.
- Cactus, A fantastic pub tucked away in the alleys of the city. A warm, cozy atmosphere with unbelievably friendly staff, and great food. Free shots of tequila at midnight also. T'was the business!
- Prie Universiteto, Universiteto g. right in front of Cozy, its entrance is marked with a big UK flag, but no, it's not an english person frequented bar. Nice decoration and also serves good italian food for a good price.
- Savas Kampas, Vokiečių Str. 4, . Cozy, friendly and always welcome place to spend time until 4am. In the summer time there is also a terrace to enjoy warm evenings with a pint of beer, chatting with the friends.
- Soleluna, Universiteto g. Starting point for Erasmus students parties! Small but with friendly people.
- BIX bar, Etmonų 6, . Get ready to rock! Live rock/hc/metal bands on Friday nights, karaoke on Thursdays, and rock music (all the time) on the dancefloor, made in the vault. Nice food and drinks!
- Men's Factory, 1 Zygimantu/16 Deveenkos str, . One of Lithuania's few gay-oriented venues. Nightclub is open on Friday and Saturday, and the music has a very heavy beat. The bar is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Only Wednesday and Thursday are men-only nights. At all other times there is a mixed gay and straight clientele. The atmosphere is like any western gay club, with some bizarre exceptions such as TV screens showing heterosexual pornography.
- Busi Trecias, Totoriu 18, ☎ +37052312698, . The first bar/pub, which started to brew its own beer in Vilnius. Besidel lager type beer, they brew dark black beer and also make various beer cocktails. Besides its main attraction beer, there are some good food. The food prices are rather low. Good place for communication.
- Old Town Hostel, Ausros Vartu 20-10, ☎ +37052625357, . Half a block from gates of old town, 5 minutes walk from train/bus stations. Helpful staff and good hang out space/kitchen area with free internet computers and wifi.35Lt..
- Hostel-Viešbutis, šv. Stepono g. 11, tel: (+370-5) 216 02 54; 35 lt per person per night; TV and kitchen; location between the railway station and the old town.
- Hotel Victoria, Saltoniskiu 56, tel. +370-5-2724013, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, . Nice, small, clean hotel; excellent location, only 7 minutes walk to the center; rooms starting from 30eur. Closed from 2009 ? Please confirm.
- VB Sleep-Inn, Sv. Mikalojaus gatve 3, tel. +370-63832818, mailto:email@example.com, . Small hostel (formerly Vilnius Backpackers) in the old town with dorm beds for 39 to 45 LTL, double rooms for 110 to 115 LTL, triple room for 150 LTL, and quad room for 188 LTL. Free wifi and internet, free tea and coffee, free parking.
- Hotel Atrium, Pilies g. 10, tel:+370 52107777, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, . Good location in the old town.
- Centrum Uniquestay Hotel, Vytenio str. 9/25, tel:+370 52683300, . Clean business hotel in a quiet part of town. I paid about US$70 for a comfy room with its own Linux PC and broadband Internet connection. Located next door to the Belarus embassy.
- Short term rentals, Putino 10. Modern apartments in central Vilnius. Check our website for more information, contact details and pictures.
- Raddison SAS Astoria. Situated opposite the town square and near many upmarket shops and restaurants. President Bush of the United States and Prince Charles have enjoyed the great service offered here. Private saunas are offered in some rooms.
Vilnius is a safe place but like anywhere you have to use common sense. Try and walk with a confident air and never look lost.
Around the central train station is a particularly dangerous area and most of the street lighting is not functioning. Being drunk and obviously foreign in the city at four o'clock in the morning is a bad idea. If you have travelled from out of town to visit a nightclub or other venue, take taxis to and from your venue, and on return to the railway station remain in the ticket hall, which is patrolled by security guards.
The baggage lockers in the cellar of the railway station are a cheap and secure place to store bags and other items. They are coin-operated and provide a printed receipt with the combination to open your locker. Ensure that nobody is around when you are getting the receipt, because there are thieves who pretend to be station staff.
- Internet. Abundant free hotspots all over the city, especially in restaurants (Cili Pizza i.e.)
- Internet cafe and cheap international VOIP calls. Pilies street in the yard (opposite to the St. John's church).
- New free WiFi hotspots on Gedimino street, Cathedral square and Town hall.
A very worthwhile day or half-day trip from the capital is the town of Trakai, home to five peaceful lakes and two castles. Buses leave often from the central bus station, cost a few Litas and take about 40 minutes.
A few buses a day (including one at 11.50am) go to Minsk from the central bus station. These comfortable buses cost 39 Litas and take about 3.5 hours, including about an hour at the border. You will probably need a visa for Belarus and these take some effort to procure.
The central bus station has a chocolate vending machine where you can use up your remaining Litas.
This page was last edited at 17:29, on 17 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Ian Sergeant, Wikitravel user(s) Vidimian, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.