Last updated on : Apr 20, 2021
In a rather provocative and clever campaign, Go Vilnius recently launched a new slogan proclaiming Vilnius, Lithuania, as the ‘G-Spot of Europe’:
“Nobody knows where it is but when you find it – it’s amazing”
One thing is certain – this place is a hidden gem!
During my time in Vilnius, I teamed up with Go Vilnius to write about the city and the benefits of using the Go Vilnius card.
You can buy the Vilnius City Card online and at several locations, and it comes as a 24-hour card or a 72-hour card with or without public transportation. Though Vilnius is a very walkable city, getting the transportation-inclusive option is very convenient, because you can navigate the city using public buses instead of tour buses, which will take you to local neighborhoods. And seeing local neighborhoods is one reason I love riding public transit abroad!
Overall, the card is a great value! When you purchase the card, you will also get a catalog of coupons, which you can tear out and redeem for discounts. For example, the card offers a free walking city tour and discounts on select tours, like the hop-on-hop-off bus. Using the card’s benefits, I saw all of the major sights of the city and one sight I didn’t expect–I unintentionally crashed someone’s wedding in the gorgeous St. Peter & Paul Church. My bad!
Vilnius was first referenced in the 1300s and was a place of religious tolerance, where people came to flee religious persecution. So, it’s no surprise that various groups have inhabited the city since the Middle Ages, including Jews, Slavs, Germans, Poles, Belarusians, and Soviets. Emperor Napoleon called Vilnius the Jerusalem of the North, as nearly half of the city was Jewish up until World War II. Napoleon also fell in love with St. Anne’s Church (below) and said he wanted to take it back to Paris in the palm of his hand.
Currently, the city’s population is approximately 574,000, and the influence of different groups in the city can still be felt. There are quite a few Soviet-era buildings and structures, including Soviet towers, functional-style apartment buildings (meaning dark and plain), and large administrative buildings like the KGB Museum, formerly the KGB headquarters.
In Vilnius, there are coffee shops on seemingly every corner. The city even has a good coffee map, which means the coffee scene is amazing. In fact, so is the food scene!
Sugamour – I loved starting each day with breakfast at Sugamour! It was so yummy and wholesome with a variety of selections, including potato pancakes and eggs scrambled with herbs and veggies. However, the warm passion fruit tea was my pièce de résistance!
Amandus – Located in the Artagonist Hotel, it was a real treat to eat at Amandus. The ingredients look and sound so simple, but my lunch with a medley of different types of tomatoes and basil topped with smoked salmon was so fresh and so flavorful. My meal tasted like I went to the garden and handpicked all of the ingredients!
La Boheme – This place has a beautiful vaulted-cellar that provides a unique dining atmosphere. The menu merges traditional foods with a modern twist. It was delish!
Honestly, there are just too many good restaurants to name them all!
Kempinksi Cathedral Square – With direct views of Cathedral Square, this hotel is the grande dame of Vilnius. I almost stayed here, as I love Kempinski hotels!
Artagonist Art Hotel – Located near Town Hall Square, this artsy boutique property has some really cool vibes! The atrium greets you with a beautiful mural, and the hotel is reasonably priced. Oh…and the restaurant is amazing, of course!
Apartments Satva – If you’re looking for a large, clean, and beautiful unit, you should consider Apartments Satva. Located between the two main squares, Cathedral Square and Town Hall Square, the apartments have a great location and are very affordable (less than $200/night). This was my base in Vilnius, and I loved it!
Vilnius is one of the few cities in the world in which you can ride a hot air balloon over the city. Unfortunately, I was unable to ride in a balloon due to a string of windy weather, but I guess that means I’ll have to go back!!!
Have you visited Vilnius before? What things did you do?
Related post: How to Spend 7 Amazing Summer Days in Iceland