Charming Vilnius City Tour with a guide
We will commence the full day tour of Vilnius from its cradle – Gediminas Castle Hill and the remnants of the upper castle. From this hill, you will see a beautiful panoramic view of the old city. The tiled roofs of the houses are so close, that you feel like touching them with tips of your fingers.
Will walk down to the Cathedral square where you can observe the beautiful Neo-Classical Cathedral of Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus. I think it is a symbol of the city and of Lithuania in general. Although religion has lost its positions, there is only 20 percent of the population who are practicing Catholic in Lithuania. We still accept temples as symbols of our city and culture.
Then we will whisk out through the narrow street to the Presidential Palace. It is another example of the neoclassical period of Vilnius architecture development. First Bishop of Vilnius built it in the 14th century.
Since then there were many changes and dramatic events. Conquest of Napoleon, Russian invasion, Nazi occupation, and many other things. Your guide will definitely elaborate about it during Vilnius city tour.
King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephan Bathory established Vilnius University in 1579. It was a third University after Cracow and Kenighsberg ones. Today it has over twenty thousand students and is the biggest in Lithuania.
Castle Street – Pilies in Lithuanian
We will continue sightseeing tour by walking along medieval Castle-street. It cuts the Old City into eastern and western parts. It is a place of numerous restaurants, coffee shops, souvenir shops and is always full of people.
One of the most breathtaking sights is “gothic triangle”. There was a triangular square with three churches around it. The most famous is St. Anne’s church and a convent. Your guide will tell you a thrilling legend about its construction. If he forgets – remind him, it is worth it.
Next landmark would be the Russian Orthodox Church of Blessed Mother God. It was a first church built in the city. The “Russian city” developed around it. Today it is the artists’ Republic of Uzupis.
This “republic” celebrated the independence day on April the 1st and has its parliament and constitution. Everyone has the right to be happy. It is paragraph 15 of it. And all of it is written on the wall of the district.
Then will be walking back to the Old City. Next landmark is Town Hall square. It always was a commercial center of the city. The market was held there for centuries, till Russian governor decided to move it outside the city walls.
Outside the city walls
From the town hall square, Vilnius city tour continues south. You will see Vilnius Philharmony and hear the story of the underground parliament against Russian rule. There is a newly unveiled statue of Dr. Basanavicius, who was an active leader of the Lithuanian national awakening.
Will reach the southern end of the walled city. Here you can see the Russian monastery of Holy Spirit, Greek – Catholic church of Holy Trinity and the zenith of Christian Vilnius – “Gates of Dawn”. The Chapel in the City Gate which contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy. People believed that it has miraculous powers.
Will continue sightseeing tour outside the borders of the old historical part. Will be driving to the pearl of Baroque architecture in Vilnius – St. Peter and Paul’s Church. It is famous by more than 2000 statues and bas-relieves in its interior baroque decoration.
Will drive to Gediminas boulevard. It is the main street in Vilnius. Starting from the Cathedral and rolls down to the Parliament. It was developed in the nineteenth century and has a lot of beautiful buildings in the Russian Baroque style.
A former KGB building stands In the center of this nice street. It was built as a court and is a court again today. But it gives us a reason to speak about a dark period of Lithuanian history.
Will finish the tour by driving through the modern part of the city. Will show you the Constitution street and modern architecture. There is a National Art Galery, shopping malls and places to hang around with locals.
This tour is good for families. You can also read about longer family tours on our blog. During the tour, you will get a lot of useful information that can be done during the rest of your stay in Vilnius.
Our guides are big specialists in local culture and cuisine, so do not hesitate to fish out as many “travel tips” as possible. For example, here we give advice on where to drink coffee on Vilnius tours. Or as an alternative day activity – drive to Kaunas. And do not forget to visit Trakai.