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21 Dec 2018 - 23 Dec 2018
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Flight and hotel Vilnius

An introduction to Vilnius

Deriving from the name of the city's river, Vilnius' popularity has soared in recent years, with travellers flocking to enjoy its fascinating heritage, cultural attractions, and superb restaurants. The city is home to a huge medieval Old Town, which is awash with churches, cobbled streets, quaint cafes, and kitschy bars.

A flight to Vilnius gives visitors the opportunity to explore sights ranging from two castles, perched atop a hill across the river from the Old Town, the self-declared Republic of Užupis, and the many churches which adorn the city's winding streets.

What Do You Need to Consider Before Visiting Vilnius?

Most travellers on a flight from London to Vilnius or Manchester to Vilnius will arrive at the international airport, situated just 8km south of the city centre. A direct bus to central Vilnius operates from outside the terminal building, and taxis are readily available and reasonably priced. When you book a flight and hotel in Vilnius, you don't need to worry about obtaining a visa for tourism purposes if you have a UK or European passport. The local currency in Lithuania is the Euro and the time is two hours ahead of the United Kingdom.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Vilnius?

City breaks in Vilnius are at their peak over the summer months. Between May and September, the city is blessed with warm temperatures and very little rain. The festive December season is also a wonderful time for package holidays in Vilnius. The ancient streets, filled with quaint wine bars and traditional restaurants, are complemented by the city's award-winning Christmas market and regular snowfall, making for a picture-perfect weekend break.

There are a number of cultural festivals to enjoy during your weekend in Vilnius. Be sure to check local listings for what's on while you're there, but a few highlights to look out for include the Vilnius Festival, a major classical music festival running from the end of May to July, the Christopher Summer Festival, which encompasses many types of music and takes place in summer, and the Vilnius Jazz Festival, in October.

What to Do in Vilnius

When you book a flight and hotel in Vilnius, a visit to Užupis District is a must. Though it forms part of the Old Town, the area has designated itself an independent republic and is occupied by a range of colourful characters. You can read the unique constitution which adorns the district's walls, and sit by the river to enjoy a beer with the eclectic locals.

To get a view, head to the highest point in the city, the campanile at St John's Church, which you'll find on the Vilnius University campus. For cafes and cobbled streets aplenty in one place, visit the historic Jewish Quarter of the Old Town.

What Should You Visit in Vilnius?

The Vilnius centre is relatively small, and the majority of the attractions are located close together in the city's Old Town. However, the Vilnius Castle Complex and their fortifications can be reached by taking the funicular railway after walking from Cathedral Square. Some other notable highlights for city breaks in Vilnius include:

  • Vilnius Cathedral and Bell Tower: Don't miss this terrific example of Baroque architecture in the Old Town, and its adjacent 57m bell tower.
  • Presidential Palace: Stop by this 16th century palace at 6pm daily for the changing of the guard.
  • St Anne's Church: This beautiful late 15th century church is considered a Gothic jewel of the city.
  • Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum: Spread over three sites, this is the only Jewish museum in Lithuania.
  • Verkiai Regional Park: Set on the River Neris just outside the city, this pretty green space offers lakes, cycle paths, and a great beer bar, Verkiai Mill.

What to Eat in Vilnius

Lithuania's cuisine is rich and hearty. Cepelinai, potato based dumplings, are a must-try on package holidays in Vilnius. Typically served with a bacon and sour cream sauce, they can be vegetarian or meat-filled. Beetroot soup is another comforting delight, and the local 'fried bread' is the perfect accompaniment to fantastic local beers.

Over the past few years, Vilnius' burger and craft beer scene has exploded. For an incredible beer list served in a cosy setting, try BeerHouse & Craft Kitchen. Lithuanians also love to brunch, and no weekend in Vilnius should pass without tucking into a hearty plate of eggs Benedict or local rye bread and cured meats. Pilies Kepyklele is a great bakery and restaurant, ideal for late breakfast.

What to Bring Back From Vilnius

Unique, local items to bring home include honey and beeswax candles, traditional wood carvings, and amber products, which are known locally as gintaras and are an item of national pride.