Vilnius is the largest and capital city of Lithuania, which holds an approximate population of 537,152 as of 2013. It is one of the cities frequently visited in Eastern Europe. It lures tourists because of its architectural wonders and its cultural aspects as well. The city is home to the President, the Government, the Seimas, and the Supreme Court. Besides, it also houses the Diplomatic missions, cultural, educational, research, financial, and healthcare institutions.
The city is located in the southeastern region of Lithuania. It also holds the second rank amongst the biggest cities of the Baltic States. Vilnius lies in the valley where the two rivers, Vilnia and Neris, confluence. It also lies close to the city and is commonly referred to as the Geographical Center of Europe. The city lies at a distance of 312 km from the Klaipeda and Baltic Sea and is sprawled over an approximate area of 402 sq. kms.
How to reach (transport) :
- By Air : Vilnius International Airport is the biggest civil airport in Lithuania, which lies 6 kms from the south of the city center. Some of the airlines that run to and fro this airport include Aerosvit Airlines, Austrian Airlines, airBaltic, Czech Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Finnair, Estonian Air, LOT Polish Airlines, and Lufthansa.
- By Train : From Vilnius Railway Station, a special train runs on a routine basis. You will find a pedestrian walkway, which connects the terminal of the airport to the railway stop.
- By Bus : You can also avail direct buses from the city to the Vilnius Airport. Besides, there are also special bus services available for the guests and residents of Vilnius city. The Vilnius Airport Express is an exclusive option for traveling from Klaipeda to Vilnius.
Vilnius enjoys humid continental climate and records an annual temperature of 6.1°C. Summers are usually hot where the temperatures can rise above 30°C during day time. On the contrary, winters are extremely cold where temperatures can drop to -25°C. In fact, the rivers also freeze during the winters and ice-fishing turns out to be a great option during this point of time.
When to Visit Vilnius :
The best time to visit Vilnius is during the months of June, July, and August. During this time, tourists can make the most out of the nightlife and other outdoor activities.
Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions :
Vilnius is home to some of the interesting events that take place all through the year. Whether you are eyeing the cultural events or festivals, the city offers you all. Some of the popular events include :
- Vilnius Book Fair : The Book Fair event is held in the month of February at the Litexpo exhibition center. Here, you’ll also get an opportunity to meet well-known authors across the globe.
- Kaziuko mugė (Saint Casimir’s Fair) : The onset of spring is marked by Saint Casimir’s Fair. A craftsmen’s fair and entertainment occasion is held for quite a few days.
- Vilnius Festival : This annual festival is held in the month of June and is noted for its classical music event. Highly talented musicians from across the globe come here to add color to the festival.
- Vilnius Jazz : This jazz fest has been celebrated in October since twenty years now. It is noted for welcoming performers of high caliber, with special interest in jazz.
Some of the major points of interest that you can visit on your tour to Vilnius are:
- The Road of Freedom : This sculpture commemorates the 20th anniversary of the reinstatement of the Lithuania State and invites people having passion in solidarity and freedom.
- "Apple" Tile : This paving tile in S. Moniuška Square was organized by Gitenis Umbrasas and symbolizes the square as a meeting point.
- Rasos Cemetery : This is the oldest attraction of the city, having been established in the year 1801. Much later, a Neo-Gothic chapel and Columbaria were established in the cemetery.
- Vilnius University : Founded in 1579, this is one of the oldest universities of Eastern Europe. The highlight of the university is its architectural splendor.
When it is vacation time, there are many who do not mind being a bit extravagant. Rather, the only thing that they would want in exchange is a comfortable stay. Vilnius offers some of the best luxurious stay options including Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, Stikliai Hotel and Restaurant, Radisson Blu Astorija Hotel, Ramada Vilnius, and The Narutis Hotel. On the other hand, if you are traveling on a low budget, then the city also has options for you including Ambassador Hotel, Mikotel Hotel, Ecotel Vilnius, Corner Hotel, and the Mara.
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