Vilnius
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Vilnius Culture & History

Vilnius: Then and Now Old Town Tour

1. Vilnius: Then and Now Old Town Tour

Vilnius is a beautiful city, renowned for it's green spaces and Baroque architecture. It is also a very old city with lots of history, which nuances are best presented by a local Lithuanian. We recommend starting your tour where the history of the city began 10,000 years ago at the Cathedral Square. Other meeting points in the Old town would also work, however this one is recommended. Walking through important buildings, streets and other objects you will find out how Lithuania emerged from the swamps to become a self-sufficient country, how it came to its fall, what the situation during the Soviet occupation and what the situation is now.

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The Hill of Crosses: Full-Day Tour from Vilnius

2. The Hill of Crosses: Full-Day Tour from Vilnius

This full-day tour starts at 09.00 AM when you’re picked up at your centrally located Vilnius Hotel. After about an hour’s drive you’ll reach the Ukmergė District, stopping at a park established to remember those who fought against the Soviet regime. You’ll see crosses dedicated to the partisans, to the most important dates of Lithuanian history and to famous individuals, such as Pope John Paul II and US President Ronald Reagan. Learn about the symbolism of the cross in Lithuanian culture and history. Continue to the Siauliai area, where you’ll visit the Hill of Crosses, one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Lithuania. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant and taste traditional Lithuanian dishes. After lunch you’ll head back to Vilnius arriving at around 5:00-6:00 PM.

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Vilnius: Vibrant Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

3. Vilnius: Vibrant Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

Download a tour that you can take at your own pace with this MP3 self-guided audio tour. Use the fully detailed map of the area, so you can get around offline. Get fascinating facts about Vilnius, the capital and largest city of Lithuania. Listen to details about Vilnius cathedral and its bell tower, the Chapel of St Casimir located inside the cathedral, and a monument honoring the famed King Mindaugas. See the splendid Palace of the Rulers, Cathedral Square, a monument and tower built to honor King Gediminas, Lithuania’s most famous and beloved leader. Access information about the magnificent Lithuanian National Museum, Castle Hill and Pilies Street. Take a tour from your phone at your own pace. Leave the worry about wasting data behind, as this can be used offline.

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Kaunas, Rumsiskes & Pazaislis Monastery: Full-Day Tour

4. Kaunas, Rumsiskes & Pazaislis Monastery: Full-Day Tour

Your private tour will start from Vilnius, where you and your group will first head to the open-air museum in Rumsiskes, a Lithuanian country-life museum with open-air expositions. Here you can explore dwelling houses and economic buildings, from different regions in Lithuania.  After lunch, the tour continues to Kaunas, the second largest town in Lithuania, and the temporal capital of the country between the first and second world wars. The oldest part of Kaunas city is the Old Town, located to the east where the Nemunas and Neris rivers join. During the tour, you will visit most of the sites in the Old Town, including Kaunas Castle, St. George Church, Town Hall Square, the Jewish Quarter, and the Cathedral.  The tour will finish at Pazaislis Monastery -a unique baroque monument, considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of mature baroque in Northern and Eastern Europe, and distinguished by the quality of its art.

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From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

5. From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

During this private day tour you will be able to explore the most interesting sites in the surrounding areas of Vilnius. The tour will start from Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Jews from Wilna were killed.  The Paneriai or Ponary massacre was the mass murder of up to 100,000 people by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, during World War II. The murders took place between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station of Ponary, now known as Paneriai, a suburb of what is today Vilnius, Lithuania. After the tour in the park, you will head to the second capital of Lithuania, where today you can see the most beautiful castle, on the island in the lake. Here, you have the possibility to enjoy lunch in traditional Karaim restaurant or take boat trip around the lake. After, the group will head to the temporal capital of Lithuania - Kaunas, which is second largest town in Lithuania today. You will also visit Pazaislis monastery. After this, you will head back to your accomodation in Vilnius.

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Vilnius: 3-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour

6. Vilnius: 3-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour

On this Jewish heritage tour, learn about the lives and history of the Jews in Vilnius. Enjoy a rich introduction to Vilnius' Jewish past with a local guide in either a small group or a private tour. Meet your local guide to set out towards the heart of Vilnius. Walkthrough the old town for an introduction to the city's Jewish history. At Vilnius Synagogue learn about the history of the Jews in Lithuania before and after WWII. Discuss with your guide the unspoken prohibition of Jewish religious life and constant supervision by the Soviet state security authority. See how the synagogue remained the heart of the city’s Jewish life. From the synagogue, continue with your guide to the Jewish Information Center and see an impressive collection of Jewish history in Vilnius. Afterward, head to the memorials of Vilna Gaon and Jacob Gens. Hear about their very memorable personalities. Stroll the streets of Vilnius' old town to see Yiddish inscriptions, authentic statues, and plaques dedicated to local Jews. During your tour, talk about the Holocaust in Lithuania as you head to Zemach Shabad memorial.

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Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

7. Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

After pick-up from accommodation in Vilnius start the tour with Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Lithuanian Jews were killed. Learn about the Paneriai or Ponary massacre where up to 100,000 people were murdered by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators during World War II. After the tour of the park visit Trakai castle, once a major centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and where today you can see one of Europe's most beautiful castles on the island in the lake. Here you will have the chance to have lunch in a traditional Karaim restaurant or enjoy a boat trip around the lake. After Trakai visit the first capital of Lithuania, Kernavė. Kernavė is highly significant in Lithuanian history and boasts five hill forts and historic churches. A Lithuanian state cultural reserve was established in Kernavė in 1989 and it was in 2004 that Kernavė Archaeological Site was included into the UNESCO world heritage list. After enjoying this site you will be returned to your accomodation in Vilnius.

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Vilnius, Trakai and Kernave Private Full-Day Tour

8. Vilnius, Trakai and Kernave Private Full-Day Tour

Once you are picked up by your guide at your accommodation, you will head to Gediminas tower in Vilnius to take a look at the Old Town of Vilnius. Later you will take a stroll in the Old Town. Then you will head to Kernave, the first Lithuanian capital, located 40 minutes drive from Vilnius. On the way it is possible to visit the Cognitive Walkway of Dukstos Oak-Wood. Upon reaching Kernave (a medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today a tourist attraction and an archaeological site) you will explore 5 hill forts, archaeology museum and hand-made souvenirs shop. Afterwards you will head to Trakai, with possible stops at view-point of Neris river-bank or Uztrakis mansion. Trakai prides a magical castle, located on an island. You will be able to visit castle museum, to take a boat trip (additional charge), and have lunch in traditional restaurant owned by the Karaim family. After lunch you will head back to Vilnius, where you will do some more sightseeing in the Old Town

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Dzukija National Park and Grutas Park: Full-Day Tour

9. Dzukija National Park and Grutas Park: Full-Day Tour

Once you and your group have been picked up from your accommodation in Vilnius, get ready for a day filled with adventure.  From Vilnius, you will travel to Merkine, where you will head to the Three Crosses area, which acts like a gate leading to a dome and a pyramid. Spend at least a few minutes here, as it's said to have a cleansing effect. Afterwards, proceed to the dome and pyramid and after short meditation, you will continue to the Cepkeliai Marsh.  The Cepkeliai Marsh is the largest swamp in Lithuania; here you will spend some time hiking. Later, you will continue to the Grutas Park, which is an exposition of Soviet statues scattered around the park. You will have lunch either in Marcinkonys village or Grutas Park. After lunch, you will head to Liskiava Monastery Ensemble and Druskininkai resort town. In the evening, you will return to Vilnius.

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Paneriai Holocaust Site, Trakai Castle & Rumsiskes Day Tour

10. Paneriai Holocaust Site, Trakai Castle & Rumsiskes Day Tour

During this day tour you will be able to explore the most interesting sites located in the surrounds of Vilnius. After pick-up from your hotel, the tour will start at Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Jews from Wilna were killed. The Paneriai or Ponary massacre was a mass murder of up to 100,000 people by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, during World War II. The murders took place between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station of Ponary, now known as Paneriai, a suburb of what is today Vilnius, Lithuania. After the tour in the park, the group will head to the second capital of Lithuania, where today you can see the most beautiful castle in Europe, Trakai Castle, located on an island in the lake. Here you can have the lunch in a traditional Karaim restaurant, or take a boat trip around the lake. After Trakai, the group will head to one of the largest ethnographic open-air museums in Europe that stretches across an area of 195ha. The museum was established on the picturesque shores of Kaunas Lagoon in Rumšiškės in 1966. The exhibitions at the museum are intended to introduce the ethnographic regions of Lithuania, i.e. Dzūkija (Dainava), Aukštaitija (Highlands), Suvalkija (Sudovia), Žemaitija (Samogitia) and Lithuania Minor, as they looked at the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 20th century. After this visit the tour will head back to your accomodation in Vilnius.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vilnius

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What people are saying about Vilnius

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 300 reviews

This tour was from a professional guide (Ugnė) who provided a great experience. She had a plan, carefully answered questions, and was generous with her insight and perspectives, including sharing experiences of her family across recent Lithuanian history. She provided a balanced viewpoint whilst also showing a sense of pride and love for Lithuania. The tour was just what I was looking for and just the right length.

Very good combination of sites, and a good pace of visit to enjoy without stress. Good attentive and flexible guide to adapt to the needs of each one.

Took the tour today and it was great, guide very nice and shows you lots of things you’d easily miss if you were alone. I’d definitely recommend it

Fantastic day out! Saw a lot of rural Lithuania which was absolutely stunning. Guide couldn’t have been better, highly recommended.

All was good. Our guide was very helpful and knowledgeable about the history of Lithuania.