Maps serve as a good guide, but despite its size, Old Town Vilnius is difficult to get lost in. The best way to get to know the area is to spend a couple of days walking its winding, medieval streets and taking in its details. Shops and restaurants are tucked into cozy corners, and in the warm weather, their doors are open to welcome visitors. Wander in for a coffee, a snack, or to look at the souvenirs on offer that range from linen, to amber, to ceramic ware.
At night, Vilnius Old Town is well-lit and active, with bars, pubs, and clubs providing entertainment well into the morning. Live music, karaoke, concerts, and other events provide entertainment after dark.
Cathedral SquareCathedral Square is dominated by the Classical style cathedral and its freestanding bell tower. This square acts as a central meeting point for tourists and locals, an informal skate park for children, and a historic landmark. Note the vari-colored tiles in the pavement which mark the outlines of the former Lower Castle. Behind the cathedral sits the royal palace, and on the hill above can be seen what remains of the Upper Castle from Vilnius of old. The monument to Gediminas is also found on this square.
Gediminas ProspectGediminas Prospect is a main thoroughfare, location of shops, restaurants, and other businesses, and a major venue for Vilnius events. The street is closed for parades and fairs, the latter of which often includes entertainment, folk performances, good things to eat, and of course lots of beer.
Pilies StreetPilies Street has been made appealing to tourists with its souvenir stalls and shops, cafes, and traditional Lithuanian food restaurants. Stroll down this street to catch glimpses of amber glowing in the sun, to browse over wool and linen clothing accessories, or to admire hand-carved wooded sculptures.
The Gate of DawnThe Gate of Dawn is the only surviving city gate. Today, its holy icon is visited by those who pray for healing or other miracles. Pass through the gate to see the historic border of the city, or ascend to its upper story to view the icon and the votives placed by those seeking to have their prayers heard.
A few days in Vilnius will reveal many more sights, streets, and surprises. While it can be tempting to use familiar routes, taking an unexpected turn or wandering off your planned path can lead to special discoveries.