12 Instagrammable places in Vilnius
Baltic... Such a loud and at the same time romantic name of the three states - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - located on the coast of Baltic Sea. Each of them deserves a separate excursion into history and modernity with a description of their architecture, traditions and culture.
For those who attended geography lessons at school, it will be easy to remember where is Vilnius. The capital of Lithuania is located in its southeastern part near the border with the Republic of Belarus on the territory of the confluence of the rivers Vilia and Vilnius. For several centuries, Vilnius was the main administrative centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and then the largest city of the Rzeczpospolita.
By the way, Vilnius, unlike the capitals of Baltic states "neighbouring" countries, is located at a significant distance from the sea coast (over 500 km). Surrounded by picturesque lakes and forests, Vilnius attracts a unique charm. Thousands of tourists annually visit it for leisurely walks through old cobblestone Vilnius streets, contemplation of cultural monuments, and, what a sin to conceal, the most enjoyable pastime of the beautiful half of humanity - shopping. It should be noted that the city's historical centre is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In this article, we will consider the most interesting, eye-catching and unique Instagrammable places in Vilnius.
1. Gate of Dawn
So, you visited Vilnius - what to see in Vilnius? Start with the main attraction, which is called the visiting card of the city – Gate of Dawn. This building is part of the defence system, which was built in the 16th century. Initially, there were ten passages in the design, of which only one has survived to this day. There is a tradition, according to which a new bishop passes through this gate and bows to the icon of the Mother of God, which is located in the chapel above the Auschros Gate. When Pope John Paul II visited Vilnius, he also performed this ritual. Locals believe that the Vilnius Madonna is capable of healing people from diseases.
2. Piles Street (Castle) and the Church of St. Johns
The oldest Street in the city, which is first mentioned in the annals of 1530. It passed through the entire city and had a direction towards Moscow. It was this Street that ambassadors, merchants and artisans entered the town. Modern Piles Street is a pedestrian street paved with cobblestones. Its length is minimal - only 500 meters. However, by the number of cafes, museums, shops, street musicians and artists, there are no equal in Lithuania. On regular days, there is a small market here, where you can buy items made of amber, leather, and wood. On the holidays, real folk festivals unfold on Zamkova Street. Numerous tourists visit this Street because of the presence of impressive architectural buildings in the Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance styles.
The description of the Castle Street would be incomplete without mentioning the Instagrammable Church of St. John (Baptist and Theologian), located here. The place where the church is situated was initially a sacrifice of pagans. Later, a church was built here, and then - the Cathedral, which was destroyed in a fire. The church was built for 40 years. Mostly it is distinguished by a massive bell tower, reaching a height of 68 meters.
3. Cathedral Square
The most important square of the capital of Lithuania. If you believe the legend, it was here that Prince Gedimin (the founder of the city) dreamed of a howling granite wolf. The priest interpreted this vision as follows: The stone wolf means a solid wall that you will build. The howling wolf is a rumour about you that will fly around the world. So it happened - in the 14th century, the Upper Castle appeared, surrounded by a defensive wall, and then the Lower Castle. After the prince finally moved here, the Upper Castle was used as a prison.
After visiting the Cathedral Square, you do not have to think about where to take most liked Instagram photos in Vilnius. After all, here are collected all the main Vilnius attractions:
- Palace of the Grand Dukes. Destroyed in the 19th century. A century later, began work on its revival, which continues today. The National Museum is located here. The palace is also a venue for various events.
- Cathedral. The main Catholic Cathedral in Lithuania, which was awarded the status of a small basilica, meaning the highest category. In the dungeon of the Cathedral Square is located more than 20 vaults, which buried noble people.
- Monument to the founder of Vilnius city Prince Gediminis .It was erected in 1996. The prince is depicted as a brave warrior, who stretches his arms forward as if defending his city from enemies. Next to him stands his horse, and at his feet is a wolf (the one who once appeared to the prince in a dream).
4. Gediminas Avenue
When you come to Vilnius, the Vilnius sights will meet at every step - you won't even have to look for them. The Old Town is just full of narrow Vilnius streets, where you can enjoy leisurely walks and feel the spirit of the old days. The most famous for exploring the city is Gedimin Avenue. It starts from Cathedral Square and is a two-kilometre highway. Traffic is limited here, and in the evening, the avenue turns into a pedestrian street. Walking here, you can see various government buildings, look at the premiere of the play at the Lithuanian National Drama Theater, relax in a beautiful park or drink a glass of cold Lithuanian beer in one of the many bars and cafes.
5. Castle Hill
Of course, the hill is loudly spoken. It's just a hill 48 meters high. However, it is more pleasant for locals to realize that on the territory of their great city there is such a powerful symbol, embodying the power and invincibility.
You can climb to the top of the mountain by yourself along the cobblestone road. For lazy or tired tourists is offered a paid funicular.
At the top is the tower of Prince Gediminas. When asked where to take most liked Instagram photos in Vilnius, you can recommend this place. And not just because of the building. The fact that the Castle Hill as if divides the capital of Lithuania into two parts - the old city and Vilnius City. On the one hand, you will have a view on the tiled roofs of ancient houses, and on the other - a panoramic view of modern high-rise buildings and structures.
6. The unrecognized Republic of Uzupis
The oldest quarter of the city, located on a small peninsula. It was first mentioned back in the 14th century. In translation from Lithuanian, it means district. Uzupis is a kind of original state with its coat of arms, flag and Constitution. By the way, the Constitution of Uzupis says that everyone has the right not to do anything.
Narrow Vilnius streets of the colourful quarter are decorated with artists' workshops, literary galleries, stores of local designers, restaurants and cafes. And the presence of several strange and sometimes funny sculptures causes a smile, bewilderment, and an indispensable desire to capture this Instagrammable view.
7. St. Anne's Church
Travellers from all over the world come to admire the elegance and intricacy of this small but very harmonious ST. Anne's Church. It will be a big mistake not to visit this centuries-old building, shrouded in a legend of human cunning. What is the secret of this temple? It is believed that the author of the project was Benedict Reit, who also participated in the construction of the Paris Cathedral. When Reit was commissioned to lead the structure of the monastery and a small church, he decided that the construction of the monastery would bring him more income. So all the work on the construction of the temple entrusted to his assistant James. As soon as the work was done, and Wright came to assess the result of his apprentice, what he saw surprised him so much that he pushed Jacob off the construction, and passed the time off as his creation.
8. Park of Europe
"Europe is where Vilnius is" - this is how the Lithuanian sculptor, who decided in 1991 to indicate the geographical location of the centre of Europe. As a result, a museum of modern art appeared in the open air in a forest area of 55 hectares. In the very centre of the park is a monument, indicating the direction and distance to all European capitals. In total, over 100 sculptures by world masters of modern art are presented here. So, for example, if you think about where to take most liked Instagram photos in Vilnius, dare to take the Europe Park, which has the most extensive collection of TVs (3000 pieces), listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The photo on its background will turn out to be very unusual and unique.
9. Hill of Three Crosses
On the Three Crosses Mountain (formerly Bald Hill) there is a monument in the form of three white concrete crosses. Legend has it that three monks were crucified on these crosses at the time when Prince Olgerd went to war. Also, their presence is closely related to the arrival of Christianity. After all, as is known, Lithuania is the last European country that adopted the Christian faith. Today, tourists visit Mount Three Crosses as one of the most Instagrammable places, from the observation deck of which it is pleasant to enjoy the contemplation of the historical part of the city. Or you can have a picnic in the shade of the local forest park's trees. And for someone, Vilnius' instagrammable sites will be replenished with another one.
10. Gariunai market
Yes, yes, do not be surprised! When asking for "Vilnius sights" search engine among churches, avenues and cathedrals will give you precisely this result. This is because the Gariunai market is the largest and most colourful in the whole Baltics. Here you can buy everything from a paper clip to a car. As well as tasty and inexpensive to eat. Initially, it was planned to build a vehicle recycling plant at this place. However, so far, this idea has been postponed for an indefinite period. Visiting the market, you will not only buy many industrial goods and products at a profit but also feel the atmosphere of a jaunty trade in a leisurely Baltic metropolis.
11. Zverynas quarter
This fantastic secluded corner of old Vilnius is the capital's historical heritage site. At first glance, it may seem that you got into the most ordinary village of the Soviet era with half-decayed wooden buildings. However, this old district is considered one of the main Vilnius attractions. You'll be immersed in Lithuanian history against the backdrop of magnificent natural landscapes and architectural monuments. By the way, Zverynas quarter is considered one of the most expensive.
12. Magical brick (Stebuklas)
What to see in Vilnius - when all churches and temples have been studied, hundreds of kilometres have been walked along avenues and squares, and suitcases of souvenirs have been bought at markets and shopping centres? It remains to make a wish and believe in miracles!
A small tile with the inscription "Miracle" is located near the Cathedral of the capital of Lithuania and attracts as much attention as the Cathedral itself. According to the Lithuanians, it has magical power.
On August 23, 1989, an event dedicated to the unity of the Baltic people and their desire to leave the USSR was held. About 2 million people took up arms and created a chain of 600 km long, connecting the three capitals of Baltic states - Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. And already in six months, Lithuania declared about leaving the Soviet state. After this event, the tile with the inscription "Miracle" began to be considered fulfilling desires. And for the wish to come true, one has to stand on it and turn around three times.
We told you only about some Instagrammable places in this beautiful and soulful city. Going to visit Vilnius, the Vilnius sights that you would like to see, you should certainly study and write yourself a separate list in advance. The capital of Lithuania will conquer you with its historical past and will leave a pleasant haze of memories and a certain desire to return.
Daiva was born in Lithuania, but almost all her conscious life she lives in Belarus - the most beautiful region of lakes, forests and fields. She has always liked to put her thoughts on paper, whether it was keeping a diary or a school essay. By the way, while she was still a schoolgirl, Daiva wrote a children's book. No less critical hobby in her life is travelling and visiting new places. The nearest and the main goal for Daiva is the dream of a miniature house by the sea in picturesque Spain. The list of countries she visited includes such countries as Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Bali, India, Sri Lanka, Spain, Montenegro, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Russia.