30 Things to Do and See in Vilnius with Family
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|Activities||Alpine coaster, Climbing & Bouldering, Cycling, Hiking, Karts, Outdoor|
|Places of interest||Architecture, Bridges, Churches, Guided tours, History, Landmarks, Monuments, Mounds, Museums, Old towns, Parks and nature, Sights|
|Fun and games||Adventure parks, Birthday ideas, Fun rooms, Playgrounds, Theme parks, Treetop Climbing|
|Category||See and Do|
WELCOME TO VILNIUS
Vilnius is the capital and the largest city in Lithuania and second largest city in the Baltic states. It is famous for its unique architecture and cozy Old Town. In this article and video, you will see the top thirty things to do in Vilnius. Of course, there are more things you could visit here, but we will share our personal experience. The number of location doesn’t mean that it has a higher or lower rate. We started from the heart of Vilnius and put all the places close to each other to make your planning easier. To visit all these thirty places you might need the whole week, or you can choose from the list the most attractive for you or your family. Majority of those places we visited using Vilnius City Pass, which could save your money. We hope that this video will be useful for your trip to Vilnius and if you think that we missed something important, just let us know in the comments section below.
1/30 HOP ON HOP OFF
We started our tour with a bus ride, called HOP ON HOP OFF. It is an excellent possibility to see the city within a short period. The whole trip without stops takes one and a half of hour, or you can get off at any interim stop located near the most famous places to visit and continue your tour later. At the same time, the audio guide will help you to understand more about Vilnius or an exact spot. You can join the bus ride from Cathedral Basilica.
2/30 Cathedral Basilica
The Cathedral Basilica is located in the center of the Old Town and is a focal point of the city. It is a stunning building with a fascinating history. You can go inside the building but be quiet and respectful. Between Cathedral and belfry look for the lucky tile with the Lithuanian record STEBUKLAS, which means MIRACLE! Make a wish, turn around yourself three times, and your dream will come true!
3/30 Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower
Near the Cathedral Basilica, we visited Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower or The Belfry. It is one of the oldest and tallest towers of the Old Town, and we highly recommend to visit it and enjoy beautiful panorama from inside. Many years ago, the tower was part of the defensive wall. The height of the Belfry is 52 m, with the cross – 57 meters. On the top floor of Belfry, we found video cameras and boys enjoyed to get a closer view of the city.
4/30 Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
In the same location, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is located. The Palace first time was built in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and after four hundred years, at the beginning of the 19th century, it was demolished. It took sixteen years to rebuild this place, and works were fully complete in 2018. The reconstructed Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania located in the neighborhood of Vilnius Cathedral Basilica and is one of the most prominent cultural objects in Vilnius. In the museum, we found four different exhibition tour routes directly related to the history of this building. All rooms set out the information clearly and chronologically, and you could spend
5/30 National Museum of Lithuania, The New Arsenal
The National Museum of Lithuania is the largest and the oldest Lithuanian historical, and cultural heritage in the country. In this museum, you can get the information about the history of Lithuania, and it’s culture. Outside of the museum, you can see a monument, which is dedicated to first and the last Lithuanian King Mindaugas. He was crowned in 1253.
6/30 Gediminas’ Tower of the Upper Castle
There is a funicular from the closed courtyard of National Museum of Lithuania to Gediminas Hill. Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, built the first wooden fortifications for this tower, and today in the tower you can find a museum exhibiting archaeological findings from the hill and the surrounding areas. An observation deck on the top of the tower is the best place from which you can see a fantastic panorama of Vilnius.
7/30 Energy and Technology Museum
In the opposite side of river Neris and at the walkable distance from Gediminas tower is located Energy and Technology Museum which is used to be the first power plant in Vilnius. Here you can find the original equipment, like generators, steam turbines, boilers, water pumps, pipelines, control panel, and so on. Also, the museum has two interactive displays: Technology Science and Technology for Children. Those lively illustrations of different technical inventions attracted the attention of our boys, and it was exciting and worth to visit object. I suppose that this museum is an excellent example of how to engage the visitors and especially children.
8/30 Three Crosses Monument
Time for a long steep incline to the Three Crosses Monument. It takes some time to walk, but well worth the effort. Beautiful view and an opportunity to remember the history of those crosses. You can walk here straight from the Gediminas Tower.
PATH 2 - PILIES STREET
Pilies Street is the oldest and one of the busiest street in the Old Town of Vilnius. A beautiful view of Gediminas Tower can be seen from Pilies Street.
9/30 Vilnius University
One of the oldest universities in Central Europe, Vilnius University was founded in the 16th century. Here you can find different courtyards which are named after famous figures from the university. In the main Library, you can see one of two existing copies of the first ever book printed in Lithuania, The Simple Words of Catchecism, which was written by Martynas Mažvydas in 1547. The exciting part of the University is the ceiling of the bookstore, and do not forget to check opening hours before coming here.
10/30 Bell Tower of St. John's Church
Near the university, the Bell Tower of St. John's Church invites the citizens and the guests of Lithuania to admire the panorama of the Vilnius city. St. Johns' Church Bell Tower at Vilnius University built in baroque style 400 years ago is the tallest building in the Old Town of Vilnius. From the top of the Bell Tower, you can see the panorama of Vilnius city from the 60 meters height. You can choose either authentic wooden stairs or an elevator.
11/30 House of Signatories
Going down Pilies street, you will approach the House of Signatories. This museum is in the actual building where the Lithuanian Act Of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918. In this museum, you can find the real Act Of Independence in a specially designed memorial room and information about the men who created and signed this document. The exposition of the Signatories’ House presents the history of the national revival of the beginning of the 20th century and the restoration of modern Lithuania in 1918.
12/30 Vilnius Picture Gallery
In Vilnius Picture Gallery you can escape from crowded Pilies street, enjoy a calm atmosphere, paintings, prints and sculptures of Lithuanian art from the 16th to the 20th century. Here you can find a collection of works by artists of Vilnius Art School.
13/30 Telia Nonmuseum
Telia Nonmuseum is a fun little museum that won't take too much time. A 15-minute informative and entertaining video in a panoramic room on the history of Lithuania in multiple languages allows us to understand how Lithuania was created, and it’s different periods. Kids were engaged and excited. Also, you can use virtual reality headsets to see the views from the different part of Lithuania.
14/30 Museum of Illusions
Time for fun! Museum of Illusions was a great and exciting museum for us and our children. Illusions were exciting and engaging. Here we found a few different kinds of rooms with various attractions, and you can take here different and unique photos. Ask friendly personnel if you don’t understand some illusion. Here you can spend a couple of hours and this place well worth a visit!
15/30 MO Museum
MO Museum is a cozy brand new privately owned museum of Lithuanian art, offers a modern art gallery in Vilnius. The architecture is attractive from outside and inside. They provide a different kind of exhibition ideas, and those ideas are quite understandable for all family because each display shows a different story. Do not forget to use the audio guide.
16/30 Toys’ Museum
Toys’ Museum located near Cathedral Basilica is the first Toy Museum in Lithuania. Here you see the evolution of toys and can find toys from a different period: from the stone age to nowadays. Our boys had a lot of fun at this museum playing with vintage toys, and we would recommend planning to stay at least a couple of hours here.
17/30 Bernardine Gardens
After Toys’ Museum, we would advise relaxing in Bernardine Gardens. Green environment and river will let you escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are a few free playgrounds for the children, and adults can relax sitting on the benches and looking to the stream or fountain.
18/30 Church of St Anne
St Anne’s Church, which has survived to the present day without changing for over 500 years, has become a symbol of Vilnius and it is a masterpiece of the late Gothic period. According to a legend, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was fascinated by the beauty of the church, wanted to take it back to Paris in the palm of his hand. Must see!
Just behind St. Anne Church, you can visit the same-proclaimed “Republic” of Užupis (In Lithuanian, Užupis means ‘behind the river’). Užupis is is one of the oldest districts in Vilnius with its constitution written in many foreign languages. But do not worry, you don‘t need a passport or visa to enter this Republic. The area has many restaurants, bars, and gift shops. If you visit Vilnius, you have to visit this place.
20/30 The Bastion of Vilnius City Wall
Close to Uzupis the Bastion of Vilnius City Wall is located, which is part of the Vilnius Defensive Wall. It consists of a tower installed in the city defense wall, underground gun ports and a connecting corridor, which turns into a long tunnel. After the exhibition, kids were engaged, trying to answer questions about The bastion and history of the city wall.
21/30 Gates of Dawn
Gates of Dawn are the only survived gate in the medieval city wall, and it is one of the most visited spots in Vilnius.
22/30 Railway Museum of Lithuania
In the Railway Museum, you will be able to know the history and present of the Lithuanian railways. The museum located in the Vilnius railway station built in the 19th century. Here you can find authentic exhibits and models. The museum consists of internal and external parts. Inside we found small details like rail or even an office of a worker for a crossing post. Outside we found different kind of locomotives and children were happy to try a manual carriage on the rails.
23/30 Illusion Rooms
Illusion Rooms have some similarities to Illusion museum, but at the same time here we found many new attractions like a mirror maze, Devil’s Tunnel, Size, and anti-gravity rooms, upside-down kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Illusion rooms is a great place to shoot some new photos and were very fun for all
24/30 The money museum
The money museum surprised us. It is modern, well organized, located in the heart of the city and free. We would recommend trying permanent or virtual exhibitions. Here you can hear and learn the History of money and banking, to see money from all over the world or explore the Lithuanian money hall or the electronic library. Also, you can check your knowledge and win some prize. The pyramid from over one million pennies looks impressive.
25/30 KGB Museum
The Museum of Genocide Victims is the darkest place in Vilnius, and Soviet secret police or KGB stayed here from 1944 until 1991 when Lithuania became independent from the Soviet Union. After the Second World War, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, Lithuanians were able to resist for ten years, and in the upper floor, you will get information about Lithuanian partisans’ and resistance against the Soviet occupiers, when thousands of Lithuanians were killed or deported to Siberia. In the base floor of the museum is the prison cells, and execution and torture chambers.
26/30 Vingis Park
If you like to spend time actively, Vingis park is one of the most suitable places to do it. Vingis Park is famous as a place for walking, cycling, roller-skating, or spending time with friends or family.
27/30 Television Tower
There is no need to tell the location of Vilnius Television Tower because it is the tallest building in Lithuania and you can see it from any place of Vilnius. In the first floor, you can find a small museum, which dedicated to 14 unarmed Lithuanian civilians who defended their country and were killed while Soviets seized the tower in 1991. Visitors can go up to a revolving circular observation platform on the 19th floor, and from here you can see the whole city and beyond it. Together with a spectacular panorama, you can try local cuisine in the restaurant.
28/30 Liepkalnis Adventure Park
If you want to have fun, this is the right place. Here you can spend from a couple of hours to the whole day. Summer toboggan is ideal for getting some adrenaline and at the same time, enjoy panoramic views. Tubing is another fun attraction, and our boys wanted to repeat this attraction many times. Also, they have two routes with different difficulty level in the climbing park, inflatable castles, bungee trampolines, and kids playground. Who like adrenaline, should try Monster scooters. This attraction is too dangerous for small children, but for me, it was perfect.
29/30 Belmontas Adventure Park
Belmontas Adventure Park is a great and fun way to spend a couple of active hours on a summer day! Instructors were friendly and gave all the tips you need to go to the tracks. For our boys (6-8), two paths were available; older children can try more paths.
30/30 Epower Arena
If you or your children love speed and adrenaline, you should come here. Also, this is an exciting activity when the weather is bed outside. Do not forget to register before coming here. Before the race, you will create an account, and after the competition will get your race results on the sheet of paper. These karts are powerful and fast.
SUMMARY AND USEFUL LINKS
If you think that we missed some critical place, that should be visited in Vilnius, please leave a comment below and we will try to include this place in our website.