Described by Napoleon as 'the Jerusalem of the North', Lithuania's capital is a picturesque city. Home to more than half a million people, Vilnius showcases a wide range of architecture, paying tribute to the diverse range of cultures it has experienced over the years. Probably its most famous feature is its old town, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also 65 churches, several thought-provoking museums and a vibrant cafe culture to tempt visitors.
Located in the south-east of the Baltic state of Lithuania, on the banks of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, Vilnius is the largest city in the country. It is known to have been Lithuania's capital since at least 1323 and a variety of migrants have arrived over the centuries, creating a melting pot of different languages, cultures and architectural styles.
The city is becoming increasingly popular with overseas visitors, many of whom come to see the historic old town. It's also one of the more affordable destinations in Europe, both in terms of the low-cost air carriers that now serve the city and the attractively priced holiday apartments that are available.
There are plenty of attractions for those on weekend breaks in Vilnius, including:
Old Town - Vilnius boasts Europe's largest baroque old town, featuring Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical style architecture. A large part of the old town is comprised of Vilnius University buildings, while other landmark buildings include the Presidential Palace, Vilnius Castle Complex and Vilnius Cathedral.
The Gate of Dawn - Built between 1503 and 1522, this city gate is located in the Old Town and is one of the most important historical and religious monuments in Vilnius. The gate's chapel houses an icon of the Virgin Mary and has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries.
Museum of Genocide Victims - This museum was established in 1992 and is dedicated to the victims of the Soviet era. It is often referred to as the KGB Museum, as it is located in the former agency headquarters. The building originally housed a prison, interrogation centre and execution room.
Trakai Historical National Park - Trakai, a historic city 28km west of Vilnius, is a popular destination for visitors to the capital. Its key feature is the 14th century island castle, where festivals and concerts are held throughout the summer months. The surrounding forests, lakes and villages were designated a national park in 1992.
The majority of international flights to Lithuania arrive at Vilnius International Airport, which is located just 5km from the city centre. The airport is conveniently connected to the centre by a direct rail link.
Vilnius is best avoided in the winter months if you're not keen on cold weather, as the city can be extremely cold between December and March - although also very picturesque. June, July and August are far milder, with average daily temperatures of 15-16 degrees Celsius.
If you're planning a trip to Lithuania, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in Vilnius? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All Vilnius apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation.
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