Vilnius is a pretty city, well worth visiting, with a charming Old Town, plenty of green spaces, nice bars and cafes and a friendly atmosphere.
There are a lot of things to do in Vilnius. After a wonderful weekend in the spa town of Birštonas and a great visit to Kaunas, the second city in Lithuania, I took a short bus ride to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.
It’s a medium sized city that never feels too big or too crowded, and yet offers a lot of activities and sights for visitors.
It’s a perfect destination for a short European city break.
You can take a sightseeing tour, see its highlights in a weekend, eat at some good restaurants and get a feel of the local vibe.
If you can, I do recommend you stay a bit longer, as there’s plenty to see, experience and explore in Vilnius beyond the highlights.
While you’re planning your itinerary make sure to include some of the most fun things to do in Vilnius.
Here is my selection of fun activities. It’s a mix of some main Vilnius tourist attractions with more unique and original things to do.
Solve Puzzles at the Museum of Illusions
This magical museum is a must when you visit Vilnius, especially of you’re after fun things to do.
The Museum of Illusions in Vilnius (or Vilnil) is packed with interactive, mind boggling items, from optical illusions and 3D art to a LED light dance performance.
Next to each illusion there’s some text with instructions or hints on what you should be seeing or looking for.
The staff are super friendly, and if you’re visiting the museum on your own, a guide will quickly join you for a private tour of the entire museum. They’ll also offer to take photos for you.
The museum has several rooms underground and you want to take your time exploring it, as there are a lot of surprising and mysterious things to see.
I recommend you time your visit so you can watch the a LED light show – check the website for dates and times. It’s included in your entry ticket.
The gift shop is worth exploring too and has some illusions and magic tricks you can take home. Try the mood rings and the kaleidoscope glasses 😉
It’s a totally enjoyable experience. This is also one of the more expensive museums in Vilnius (which is a pretty affordable city), but it is well worth the price. You can get a 50% discount with the Vilnius Card.
Address: Vokiečių g. 8, Vilnius
Visit the Vilnil website for all the details.
Ride Around the City on a Scooter Tour
Vilnius is a great city to explore on an electric scooter.
It has more than enough cycling lanes and even in the middle of the high season, there was a lot of space on the streets and it never felt crowded.
Taking a guided scooter tour is a cool way to combine a city tour with a fun activity, and meet some new people at the same time.
I took a scooter tour with feelZcity. It started from a central location, where we were given our scooters and helmets.
If you’re new to scooters, the guide will show you how to ride them, it’s very easy.
Our guide Domas took us on a great route to different parts of Vilnius, including some I hadn’t visited before.
As much as I love walking tours, riding an electric scooter has its advantages. You can easily venture outside the Old Town of Vilnius (where most walking tours take you) and see more parts of the city.
Some of the route we took on the tour was along the river, which was truly beautiful.
We also made a stop for photos a couple of times, and our guide knew where to take us for the best photos.
All in all, it was a terrific experience, a wonderful way to see many parts of the city and its main landmarks in just a couple of hours.
If you’re visiting Vilnius for a short city break, this is a good way to see more in less time.
Address: Stulginskio st.5 Vilnius
Find out more about the Vilnius Scooter Tour
Have a Gorgeous VR Experience at the Non-museum
Lithuania does have some stunning landscapes and scenery, and you can see it all right in the centre of Vilnius at the Telia Non-museum.
It’s called a non-museum because it is not a museum, but rather a visual experience, and one of the best things in Vilnius.
You’ll find it just a couple of minutes from the Museum of Illusions.
You’ll be greeted by friendly staff. Go upstairs and put on the VR headset to enjoy the most amazing 360 degree footage of Lithuania.
This brilliant VR experience takes you on a hot air balloon ride, a boat trip, paragliding and cycling in some truly beautiful nature.
You want to look all around you, including up and down for the full experience.
At some point I really felt like I was flying!
If you get a bit dizzy after a while, just sit in a chair for a bit.
In the next room there is a unique video and animation screening about the history of Lithuania.
Put on the headphones (narration is available in several languages) and learn about all the important historical events and figures in about 15 entertaining minutes.
Address: Vokiečių g. 4, Vilnius
Visit the Telia Non-Museum website.
Chill Out on a Gondola Boat trip
One of the first things I did when I arrived in Vilnius was take a relaxing gondola boat trip on the river.
It was a lovely, sunny day and I sat right at the front of the boat to get the best views.
The boat took us up and down the Neris river, with great views of the nature, architecture and bridges.
It’s a nice, calm , slow paced boat tour.
You can do it with an audio guide, but you can also just chill and enjoy the scenery.
Find out more on the Vilnius Gondola site
Play at the Toy Museum
Do not make the mistake of thinking this is a museum just for kids. The Vilnius Toy Museum is fascinating for adults too.
The collection of toys on display takes you from the Stone Age to current days.
There’s a free audiovisual guide in multiple languages. I recommend you use it to understand the historical context of everything you see.
You’ll learn a lot about how and why the toys were made and how they were used.
The ancient toys were found in archaeological excavations. What you see at the museum are realistic copies that you can touch and play with.
Many of those historical toys looked strangely familiar. It’s pretty amazing to see how many games and toys played in the Middle Ages survived and are still played centuries later.
The collection is really impressive and quite varied, with archaic dolls and balls, musical toys you can try yourself, board games, arcade games and much more.
Address: Šiltadaržio g. 2, Vilnius
Visit the Toy Museum website
Get Spooked on the Vilnius Ghost Tour
Satan, ghosts, exorcists, abandoned buildings, murders, dead people… Sounds like fun?
With a good dose of humour and theatrics, the most gruesome stories of Vilnius create a very entertaining tour.
The tour starts with a strong drink, also known as the devil’s drink… We had a shot each and went out with our guide Sam to see the spooky side of Vilnius.
We saw the streets, churches and landmarks of the city and heard stories or legends about their dark past.
I took the ghost tour in the evening (though it doesn’t get dark till late at night in Lithuania in summer), on the same day I did a “traditional” walking tour in the morning.
The contrast was pretty amusing. The exact same places in Vilnius looked and sounded very different on the ghost tour.
This quirky, not-too-scary tour was good fun and a cool way to see the city. It lasts about 2 hours, so it’s just enough time to actually see a ghost if you really, really put your mind to it.
Address: Gaono street 1, Vilnius
Find the full details on the Vilnius with Locals site.
Meet a Local
While browsing leaflets at the tourist information office, I found one that attracted my attention. It said Meet A Local in big red letters and had a link to a website.
I went on the site and filled out a short form with my details.
The form also asks you to pick the day and time for the meeting, say a few words about yourself to help them find a good match and that’s it.
The next day I got an email confirming I was going to meet a local 🙂 I was surprised by how quick the whole thing was.
I mentioned I was into photography and was matched with a photographer, Rytis, and so we spent quite a bit of time taking about lenses, cameras and good viewing points around the city.
We walked around the city for a couple of hours, during which he showed me some of his favourite places and after that we went for coffee.
If you’re visiting Vilnius do meet a local! It’s such a lovely way to travel in a foreign city.
Address: Pilies g. 2, Vilnius (Tourist Information Centre)
Find out more here: Meet a Local
Admire the Art at the Open Gallery
Lovers of urban art should head straight to the Open Gallery in Vilnius.
The walls of this an old industrial complex were covered with wonderful murals, alongside installations and sculptures scattered around.
This is a legal street art project and the art is pretty amazing.
I really enjoyed this place! You’ll see fantastic art everywhere you look.
The concept of the gallery is “Freedom and Revival” – see if you can trace that theme in the artworks…
I’ll write a more detailed post about street art in Vilnius soon…
Address: Vytenio g. 50, Vilnius
Use the Vilnius Card
I used a 72 hour city pass on my visit to Vilnius. It was a great way to see a lot of what the city has to offer and take part in some guided tours.
Many of the attractions in this post (plus a lot more) are free with the Vilnius Card and some are at a discount.
You can select a city pass that also includes free us of public transport.
How to Get to Vilnius
If you’re already in Europe, you can get to Vilnius by plane, train or bus, depending on where you’re arriving from.
I think Omio is currently the most useful search engine for transport within Europe.
It lets you search for trains, buses and flights from a single interface and make your bookings on the same platform without additional charges.
It is very user-friendly and most importantly – fast! I’ve been using it to plan my trips around Europe since I found out about it last year and it has saved me a lot of time on trip planning.
Get €10 off your booking on Omio 😊
Flights to Vilnius
There are two airports you can use when flying to Vilnius:
Vilnius International Airport (Vilniaus oro uostas) is close to the city (about 15 minutes by bus).
Kaunas International Airport is a bit farther away, but with good transport links to Vilnius.
Buses to Vilnius
The central bus station in Vilnius has national and international buses. It’s easy to get there from other parts of Lithuania by bus (the ride from Kaunas takes about an hour).
You can also travel to Vilnius by bus from Riga, Tallinn, Warsaw, St. Petersburg and more.
Enter your place of departure into the Omio search engine and you will be able to see right away if there are buses going to Vilnius from there.
More Vilnius Travel Resources
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I’m grateful to Go Vilnius and to feelZcity for their collaboration. All opinions are my own.