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What to see in Vilnius

Vilnius Attractions

Slap bang in the middle of Europe, the capital of Lithuania is a delightful medieval city of magnificent churches, art and nightclubs. It's a combination that gives it a unique ambience and explains why more people are enjoying holidaying in Vilnius.

It is an historic old city, with a wealth of cultural attractions and very picturesque surroundings. The UNESCO-listed old quarter is particularly enthralling. Many of the most popular attractions in Vilnius are memorials, as it's a city that has seen much tragedy in its long history.

Worthwhile sites include the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, several memorials to the Jewish population wiped out during World War II, and the Hill of Three Crosses, which legend decrees was originally the site of the martyring of several monks.

Although some of the subject matter in the city's museums and memorials is sombre or macabre, Vilnius is a proud city and there is an aura of triumph as well. The numerous lovely churches, pretty surroundings, sidewalk café culture and charming cobbled streets offer many happy diversions for tourists.

The best time to travel to Vilnius is during its sunny, warm summers when temperatures can soar to 86°F (30°C) and it remains light long into the evening, making it possible for those enjoying a Vilnius holiday to make the most of the outdoor restaurants and bars. Winter, by contrast, is not a good time to travel to Vilnius, as temperatures plummet below freezing.

European Park

A few miles north of Vilnius town centre, Lithuanian sculptor Gintaras Karosas founded the Europos Parkas (European Park) on a 55-hectare site that encompasses the geographic centre of Europe, as determined…

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Gediminas Castle

Standing guard over the city of Vilnius since the 13th century, the landmark Gediminas Castle was built by the founder of the city and has served as defence bastion, prison, and now major tourist attraction.…

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Jewish Memorials

In the early 20th century, about half of the population of Vilnius were Yiddish-speaking Jews and the city was dubbed the 'Jerusalem of the North'. The Nazis in World War II effectively obliterated…

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Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights

The dark days of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania are preserved in this disturbing collection, which is contained in the former KGB headquarters building. Those who drew the antagonism of the authorities…

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Vilnius Cathedral

The resplendent Vilnius Cathedral, which stands proudly on the central square of the Old City, has a chequered history that left it decaying and abandoned through the Soviet era. The Cathedral now…

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