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Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Vilnius

Lithuania is a country that's often overlooked whenever one plans their trip around Europe. I included Vilnius the capital in my itinerary when I traveled around the Baltics. I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw and experienced during my stay.

Vilnius The Wandering Juan

Check my guide out for Vilnius.

Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary

Vilnius is the capital Lithuania and its largest city. It was first mentioned in the 1320s. The city expanded in the 16th century. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In that area you'll find many churches and heritage buildings. I liked my brief stay in Vilnius. It has a relaxed vibe unlike many other European capitals I visited. It's also an affordable destination, which makes it an ideal addition to your itinerary if your traveling around the continent on a budget.

Getting a Visa

Lithuania is part of the Schengen zone, which means that you can enter this country with a visa from any of the Schengen member states. For this trip, I used my Polish Schengen visa. I got visas from Austria and Czechia as well. The process and the requirements are the same regardless of which embassy you apply.

Read my post here: how to get a Schengen visa 

How to Get to Vilnius

By Plane

Vilnius has its own airport which connects you to various cities in Europe. Book flight tickets in advance to get the lowest possible price.

How to get out of the airport: After arriving at the airport, it's convenient and fast to reach the city center by bus. You can find the bus stop outside the arrivals terminal. Fare is around €1.

By Land

It's also easy to travel to Vilnius by bus. You can take day or night buses from Poland, Latvia, or Estonia. 

My go-to bus company is FlixBus. You can book your tickets here: www.flixbus.com 


Getting around Vilnius

Vilnius is a walkable city. In some cases, you don't even have to take public transportation if you just want to see the highlights of the city. There are cabs, and Uber and Bolt are readily available to get you from point A to B quickly. You can use an E-ticket or a Vilniečio kortelė to pay for public transportation rides. It costs around €1.5. You can top it up with credit in places with the sign Vilniečio kortelė. You can also buy a 30-minute, 60-minute, one day, three days, and ten days tickets depending on the duration of your stay.

Things to do in Vilnius

Vilnius is relatively small and easy to explore even on foot. You'll cover a lot of ground in just a day or so if you don't spend time in museums. If you're planning your budget and itinerary for Vilnius, here are some of the things to do and places to visit.

Explore the Old Town

Vilnius Old Town The Wandering Juan

Vilnius Old Town The Wandering Juan

I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw in Vilnius. It had one of the prettiest and most well-preserved old towns I've been to in Europe. The city has been occupied by the Russians (including the Soviet Union), Swedes, Poles, and French at some point throughout its history. The old town area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are an architecture geek, you'll see many styles represented in the historic center such as Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque. There are many local cafes and restaurants where you can try Lithuanian delicacies.

Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius Cathedral The Wandering Juan

This cathedral is probably the most recognizable landmark of the city. Many locals and visitors make their way to this spot of Vilnius to take photos, hang out, or go to the church. The church has undergone numerous renovations over the centuries. Inside you'll find beautiful frescoes (some of which are centuries old) and a fetching interior design. The crypts and catacombs contain many renowned Lithuanians. This cathedral is a must when you plan your budget and itinerary for Vilnius.

St. Anne's Church

St. Anne's Church The Wandering Juan

This is one of the most striking churches in Vilnius. Its Gothic design and fetching color will immediately grab your attention as you approach it. The church is also centuries old. Make sure to include this church in your budget and itinerary for Vilnius.

Hill of Three Crosses

Hill of Three Crosses The Wandering Juan

The three crosses overlooking the city are said to be the symbols of the country's reawakening. The crosses also commemorate the martyrdom of Franciscan friars centuries ago. Both locals and tourists make their way up the hill to get bird's eye views of the city below. It's also a popular spot to watch the sunset.

Gate of Dawn

Gate of Dawn The Wandering Juan

You can start your trip by entering one of the most significant landmarks in Vilnius, the Gate of Dawn. The latter dates to the 1500s and is the only part of the city's wall that's still around. Many locals and visitors make their way to the chapel nearby to pray and/or pay their respects. 

Visit Užupis

Uzupis The Wandering Juan

This self-proclaimed republic right in the city is a unique and artsy neighborhood. It has its own flag, constitution, unofficial currency, and other things that make up a government. The area used to be occupied by society's outcasts and misfits such as prostitutes, homeless people, and squatters. It's now a popular haunt of artists who want to express themselves in various ways. 

Gediminas Tower

Gediminas Tower The Wandering Juan

The tower is one of the remnants of what used to be the Upper Castle. Dating to the 1400s it's a remarkable piece of the city's history. You can go inside and up the tower to get higher views of the city but I was satisfied with what I saw without doing so.

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania The Wandering Juan

This reconstructed palace provides visitors with a glimpse of the country's history. It also serves as a symbol of the country's statehood and pride. Inside you'll find reconstructed halls, rooms, and exhibits depicting the history and culture of the country. 

Adult Tickets costs:

(Routes I–IV) – €11.50 

Route I – €5.00 

Route II – €7.00 

Route III – €2.00  

Vilnius Town Hall

Vilnius Town Hall

The town hall is a center for some of the city's events. It has a history that spans centuries (dating to the 1400s). The square is lined with a few places to eat if you want to hang out in this part of the city after a day of exploring.

Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

This church draws visitors to it with its stunning and detailed stuccoes within its walls. Like many famous landmarks in the city, this church is centuries old.

These are some of the things you can do while exploring the capital of Lithuania. Vilnius is a laid-back city, which I liked about it so much. 

Budget for Vilnius

Vilnius was one of the most affordable cities I visited in Europe (I don't know for how long that's going to be). You can find affordable hotels and hostels during your stay in the city. I often stay in hostel dorms because they're the cheapest option and I'm out the whole day anyway. You can find a place to stay through www.booking.com.

You could work with €40-€45 a day for your budget and itinerary for Vilnius. You'll be staying in a hostel dorm, walking around and visiting mostly free attractions, eat supermarket food (or cook your own food), maybe eat at a restaurant once, and taking public transportation to get around.

You might also want to read my other posts:

Itinerary for Vilnius

Vilnius is relatively small and easy to explore. You can see a lot in one day if you don't spend a lot of time in museums.

Day 1

Explore the old town

Go up Gediminas Tower

Check out the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Visit the Vilnius Cathedral, St. Anne's Church, and other churches in the city

Explore Uzupis

End your day at the Hill of Three Crosses

Day 2

Day trip to Trakai or Hill of Crosses

This is only a sample itinerary. You can add or remove places and things to do depending on your interests. 

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