Day activities in Vilnius | Party-weekends.com

Day activities in Vilnius

The Vilnius city is famous not only of its beauty, but also for entertainment. All of those who decide to come – will not be disappointed. Vilnius is full of entertainment for a day and for a night.

Daily activities – according to everyone’s taste. For those, who prefer active relaxation or maybe sightseeing tours, Vilnius can offer:

Day activities

Go Karting – Speed, adrenaline and extreme challenges – part of your life? Karting – it’s a great entertainment for the speed and excitement lovers! No matter how fast you will drive karting track – the speed will look a lot more, because you are driving risen just a few centimetres above the ground. Are you ready for the speed and excitement dose? More…

Beer-Bike tour in Vilnius – New and one of the most popular activities is riding a bike. No, not a usual bike – a special one, prepared for awesome parties! Tell me, what can be better than get some active time, watching beautiful Vilnius city and having beer served by charming waitress at the same time? And that, what we would like to offer! All you need to do – find friends, which you haven’t seen in days, weeks or worst – in months and invite them for some crazy ride! More…

Boat tour in Vilnius – Those who prefer non traditional way of sightseeing should take an opportunity and try Neris boat tour. Cruising in boat – is an original and fun entertainment for you and your friends! While riding you will not only enjoy with your friends, drinks and snacks, but also you will still admire the beauty of nature. Enjoy beautiful landscape of Vilnius and transparent water. More…

Hot Air Balloon flight over Vilnius – Lithuania is one of a few European countries allowing hot air ballooning over its capital city. Experience a 60 minutes hot air balloon over majestic Old Town of Vilnius. We offer you to see Vilnius or Trakai in a slightly different angle – no matter what flight you choose, unique experience is guaranteed! Romantic, peaceful flight over Vilnius or Trakai and its surroundings will give you unforgettable memories. Feast your eyes on Vilnius or Trakai surroundings, relax in calm ride, chat with your friends or loved ones, take photographs and simply have fun. Really nice and peaceful attraction that your friends will be jealous about. More…

JEEP Safari – Feel wild and undomesticated nature! We offer you to enjoy the fresh air and scenic surroundings, the wind and the freedom of discovering new routes. Take your friends on a journey through the impenetrable timber, wetlands and one of the wildest corners of Vilnius! Believe us, all who returned from such a trips with one voice claims – „we still cannot believe that there is a possibility to experience such an adventure in Vilnius! So come on, feel the power of nature! More…

Tank driving – Have you ever seen in the real life the real tank? No? Then this is a fantastically great opportunity to drive one of the most powerful military vehicle in this world. This is going to be one of the most exciting and unforgettable experience in your life, so don‘t miss out the possibility to control a faulty operational British built FV432 Mk2 tank. For the additional fee you can even destroy the car. More…

Shooting range – Have you ever tried to hold in your hand combat weapon? Can you imagine how big adrenaline can you get by pressing the trigger? After each shot dizzying smell of gunpowder, the hand itself rebounding from the recoil, and you will feel the adrenaline flowing in the bloodstream. We don‘t want to constrain you in any way, thus you can choose guns which would you like to try out. You‘ll be able to compete for prizes. Compare Russian ruggedness with American comfort, try different guns, pistols and machine guns. Real guns, real power! Try your hands on accuracy. Challenge yourself and your companion in Vilnius! More…

Sightseeing

Palace of the grand dukes of Lithuania – The reconstructed Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the former political, diplomatic, cultural center of the State, was one of the most famous in Europe in the 15th-17th centures and was demolished in the beginning of the 19th century. This Palace is excellent located just in the heart of Vilnius, within the confines of Lower Castle. Nowadays the Gothic, Renaissance and Early Baroque halls of this multifunctional Museum are ideally applicable to organize a different size and content public events, official visits, conferences, meetings, seminars, concerts, performances, receptions and other —- http://www.valdovurumai.lt/en

Gediminas` tower of the upper castle – The Vilnius Castle Museum was opened in 1960, and in 1968 it became a subdivision of the Lithuanian National Museum. The exposition of the Vilnius Castle Museum displays reconstruction models of Vilnius castles of the second part of the 14th and the beginning of the 17th centuries, armament, iconographic material of old Vilnius. An observation deck on the top of the tower is the best place from which to appreciate a magnificent panorama of Vilnius. —- http://www.lnm.lt/en/

Cathedral Basilica – The Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Vladislav is the most important place of worship for Lithuania’s Catholics, and the venue for the country’s main Christian and national festivities. In 1922, the Cathedral was granted the title of ‘Basilica’, by Pope Pius XI. Many key figures in Lithuanian history are buried in the Sovereigns’ Mausoleum, which is located beneath the chapel of St. Casimir. Its vaults contain the remains of Vytautas the Great, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and King Alexander of Poland. The vaults are not only restricted to kings, either – the two wives of Žygimantas Augustas, Queen Elisabeth of Austria and Queen Barbora Radvilaitė. The cathedral containing the ashes of King Vladislovas Vaza (Wladyslaw Vasa) are also buried here. The cathedral’s original temple dates back to between the 13th or 15th century. —– http://www.katedra.lt/

Gates of Down – The Gates of Dawn is one of the most visited shrines in Vilnius that is famous not only in Lithuania but also abroad, worshipped by the representatives of other creeds too. This is the only surviving gate of the first original five gates in the city wall that was built between 1503 and 1522. The painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, in the Chapel of the Gates of Dawn is known all over the world. Many churches in other countries have copies of this painting. The picture, which is also called “Vilnius Madonna”, was painted in 17th century. It is painted in the Renaissance style, in tempera on oak boards, later repainted in oil. Since the middle of the 17th century it has been said to have miracle-working powers. The Holy Mother of God of the Gates of Dawn has been granted the title of Mother of Mercy twice. — www.ausrosvartai.lt

Church of St. Anne – The church of St Anne is a masterpiece of the late Gothic period. There is no nonsensus about its originator or its construction period. Popular legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte, who was fascinated by the beauty of the church, wanted to take it back to Paris in the palm of his hand. Unfortunately, the reality is not that romantic: during the march of the Napoleonic army through Lithuania, the church was consigned to the French cavalry forces. However, Napoleon did mention in a letter to his wife that „Vilnius is a very beautiful city“. St Anne’s Church, which has survived to the present day without changing for over 500 years, has become a symbol of Vilnius. At a closer look, one can see the letters A and M in the main facade of St Anne‘s. The letters A and M could stand for the Latin Ana Mater Maria or Ave Maria, i.e. „Saint Anne – Mother of Mary„ or „Hail Mary“. Some experts claim that the Pillars of Gediminas have been highlighted in the composition of the facade with the three towers of the church corresponding to the three pillars. —– www.onosbaznycia.lt

Vilnius University – One of the oldest universities in Central Europe, Vilnius University was founded in the 16th century while Europe – and of course Lithuania – was in the grips of the Protestant Reformation movement. Catholic monks, Jesuits, were called to stop the spread of the movement and were asked to take over education policy. In 1569 they established a college and just 10 years later, the University of Vilnius was born. Afterwards, the campuses of VU were built and as a result, all feature Gothic, Baroque and Classical styles of architecture, and the main building’s medieval exterior is a stark contrast to its lively student atmosphere. There are 13 internal courtyards, plus arcades and galleries, which give even more vibrancy to things. Moreover, the courtyards are named after famous figures – graduates and professors – from the university and they are commemorated on a number of plaques in the Grand Courtyard. The oldest building of the campus is home to three faculties – history, philology and philosophy – and the main Library, which was built in 1570. It contains one of a two existing copies of the first ever book printed in Lithuania, The Simple Words of Catchecism, which was written by Martynas Mažvydas in 1547. —– www.mb.vu.lt/kiemeliai

Uzupis – The self-proclaimed “Republic” of Užupis is Vilnius’ Bohemian and artistic district. It has its own anthem, constitution, president, bishop, two churches, the Bernadine Cemetery – one of the oldest in the city -, seven bridges, and its own guardian called The Bronze Angel of Užupis, who was put in the centre of the district in 2002. Dating back to the 16th century, Užupis is one of Vilnius’ oldest districts and despite its current prestigious status, was formerly the city’s poorest area and home to a number of manual workers and a red light-district. During the Soviet era, the authorities let Užupis go to ruin, and it quickly gained notoriety as the roughest districts in the city. Since Lithuania regained its independence in 1991, artists came and took advantage of the cheap accommodation, and moreover, the city’s art academy is located across the bridge from Bernadinų Gardens. Now its thriving creative community hosts regular fashion festivals, concerts, exhibitions and poetry evenings. —– www.umi.lt

The Bastion of Vilnius city Wall – This is part of the Vilnius Defensive Wall, often called “barbican”. The Bastion is a Renaissance-style fortification characterised by its original construction. It consists of a tower installed in the city defence wall, underground gun ports and a connecting corridor, which turns into a 48-metre long tunnel. The Bastion was built in the first half of the 17th century by the German military engineer, Friedrich Getkant. The Bastion was severely damaged during the wars with Moscow in the middle of the 17th century. During World Wars I and II, German military arsenals were located in the building. You can enjoy a picturesque view of the Old Town from the Bastion terrace. —– http://www.lnm.lt/en/

Three Crosses Monument – Some say, that the origins of the three crosses date back to the 17th century when three monks placed them there to pay tribute to a group of fellow monks who were martyred in the 14th century. According to the history books, seven monks were killed and seven were tied to wooden crosses and floated down the Neris River, with the instruction to return to the west where they came from. The monument has changed many times, and the current one was built by the architect and sculptor, A. Vivulskis in 1989 at the beginning of the Rebirth movement. It was built to replace the one that had been removed by the Soviet authorities in the 1950s, pieces of which still remain on the far side of the slope —- http://www.vilniauspilys.lt/triju14

Television tower – The Vilnius Television Tower is the tallest building in Lithuania at 326.5 metres high, and is an immediately recognisable fixture on the cityscape. Located in the Vilnius’ Northeastern microdistrict of Karoliniškės, the Television Tower played host to the January Events; events that took place in January 1991 as Lithuania fought for its independence from the Soviet Union. During the affair, 14 unarmed Lithuanian civilians were killed, while another 700 were injured as Soviet troops seized the tower. A small museum dedicated to them is on the ground floor and crosses in their memory are by the main entrance. Today, visitors can go up to a revolving circular observation platform, which on clear days, provides spectacular views across the whole city as well as Elektrėnai – a city 25 miles west, which powered much of Vilnius’ electricity during the Soviet days. —- www.tvbokstas.lt

Pilies street – Pilies Street is the oldest and most flamboyant street in the Old Town of Vilnius. The street appeared in place of the former road from Vilnius Castle to the south, towards Poland and Russia. This was the main road to the castle, with its branches finally turning into side streets. The name of Pilies Street was mentioned in historical annals as early as 1530. Kings, legates of the Pope, and envoys from other countries passed this street on their way to the castle. Noblemen and rich citizens built their houses in Pilies Street. Vilnius University occupied a whole quarter of the city beside Pilies Street, and university professors used to live there. The Botanical Garden of Vilnius University was established in one of the courtyards at the end of the 18th century.

Vilnius Town hall – In 1387, Lithuania became a Christian state and Vilnius was granted Magdeburg rights. Thus, there appeared a need for headquarters for the city authorities. As the main square of the city was located here, it was decided to build the Town Hall in the same place. The building housed the magistrate (in other words, the city councillors) as well as court rooms, the treasury, archives, an arms and ammunition warehouse, and rooms for preserving standards of measurement. A prison was established in the basement. The Town Hall building was Gothic to begin with and changed with time. The Town Hall was reconstructed for the last time by the architect Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevičius at the end of the 18th century. During that reconstruction, the Town Hall turned into a Classical building. In the 20th century, an art museum was housed in the Town Hall. Today Vilnius Town Hall is a representative building. Many different events are organised at the Town Hall during a year: concerts, literary evenings, presentations of books, exhibitions and festivals. — www.vilniausrotuse.lt

Presidential palace – The Presidential Palace, called “Prezidentūra” (President’s Office) in everyday life, was built in the square of Simonas Daukantas (a graduate of Vilnius University and the author of the first history of Lithuania published in the Lithuanian language in the 19th century). Whichever way you chose to approach Daukanto Square, a narrow street will suddenly broaden and blend into the square predominated by a Classical building from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century: a former nobleman’s house and the present-day Office of the President. The grandeur of the square is somewhat allayed by the Baroque towers above the roof of the palace. From the 16th century it served as a residence for Vilnius bishops. In the 18th century, when Lithuania was occupied and annexed to the Russian Empire, the palace served as a residence for the Governor General of Vilnius. Russian Tsar Alexander I, French King Louis XVIII, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and Polish Marshall and statesman Jozef Pilsudski visited the palace. In 1997, the building was renovated. Presently, the President of Lithuania and his Chancellery occupy the building, and leaders of other countries are received here. The flag of the President of Lithuania, which flies above the building, is lowered when the President leaves the country. Three national flags are hoisted in front of the building; two of them can be replaced by the flags of high foreign visitors. Every day at 18.00 you can see the changing of the guards at the Presidential Palace. Free excursions around the Presidential Palace are organised on Saturdays. During these excursions, visitors can see the interior of the historical building and they can even visit the office of the President. Every Sunday at 12:00 a solemn flag hoisting ceremony is held (5–10 min.). Participating in the ceremony are soldiers of the Honour Guard Company of the Lithuanian Armed Forces dressed not only in ceremonial uniforms but also in medieval armament. The soldiers dressed in reconstructed uniforms of the guards of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of the 14-century Algirdas’ epoch carry the message that the present-day Lithuanian Armed Forces are guardians of the honourable history of the country, a part of its centuries-old history. —— www.president.lt

Gediminas Avenue – Vilnius started developing faster in the middle of the 19th century, when the rail line St. Petersburg – Vilnius was built. New industrial, trading and residential developments were established next to the Old Town. A new central street of the city, Georgij Avenue was built. The names of the avenue changed with the change of authorities. Later on the avenue had the names of A. Mickiewicz, Stalin, Lenin, and in 1989 it was known as Gediminas Avenue. Buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries were built next to the avenue, currently housing central government authorities and public institutions, trading and catering companies. Gediminas Avenue connects the historical city center, Cathedral Square with the Seimas Palace.

Museums

Museum of Genocide (KGB museum) – The Museum of Genocide Victims is arguably the darkest in Vilnius. Its bloody history began when this former gymnasium became the headquarters of the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania in 1941. It was then re-occupied by the Soviet Secret Police – the KGB – when the Nazis left in 1944. The KGB stayed until 1991 when Lithuania became independent from the Soviet Union. The museum is divided into two parts – the upper two floors document the Lithuanian partisans’ resistance against the Soviet occupiers, the deportations of Lithuanians to Siberia and day-to-day life in the LTSR. The other part of the museum are the prison cells, and execution and torture chambers in the basement. Chillingly, the cells are exactly how the KGB officers left them upon leaving Lithuania in 1991. — www.genocid.lt/muziejus

National museum of Lithuania, The new arsenal – The National Museum of Lithuania is the largest depository of Lithuanian historical cultural heritage in the country. It is the oldest museum in Lithuania, dating back to 1855, when the Museum of Antiquities was established in Vilnius. The authentic displays of the Museum represent the history of Lithuania, present traditional Lithuanian culture, and customs. The Old Arsenal is situated nearby. There is a funicular from the closed courtyard of this Museum to Gediminas Hill. A majestic monument to King Mindaugas stands next to the Museum. Mindaugas is the first, and the last, Lithuanian King. He was crowned in 1253. Mindaugas united Lithuania’s lands into a state and won international recognition of Lithuania. —– www.lnm.lt

Energy and technology museum – The first power plant in Vilnius, which was in operation from 1903 to 2003, is connected to the Old Town by the nearby King Mindaugas Bridge. On the opposite side of the river Neris are the Gediminas Castle and Cathedral Square. The opening of the museum coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Vilnius Power Plant. 2005 saw the development of a project for “the Lithuanian Energy Museum’s reconstruction into the Lithuanian Technology Museum, converting cultural and historic heritage buildings and premises of the first Vilnius Central Power Plant for public and tourism use”. The project was implemented with the support of EU Structural Funds in September 2008 and the site, which grew from 800 to 5000 sq m, became the largest technical museum in Lithuania, covering different aspects of industrial heritage and science. The pride of the museum is and always will be of course, the power plant building itself and the original equipment, which had been in recent use: steam turbines and generators, steam boilers, water pumps, pipelines and the power plant’s control panel etc. In addition to a renewed and substantially expanded energy exhibition, the museum has exhibits on industry (the history of technology in Vilnius), transport and two interactive exhibitions: Technology Science and Technology for Children. The industry exhibition invites visitors to see how the face of the city and its everyday life had been changed by global industrialisation during the last two hundred years. It shows the industry of the city, from craft workshops right up to the end of the Soviet era, including important industries such as textiles, glass, paper, computers and laser technologies. In two halls, surrounded by historic photographs, visitors are presented with machinery, equipment, industrial products and the people who made them. The transport exhibition is an introduction to the evolution of the motorcar and motorcycle spanning over one hundred years and shows the history of public transport in Vilnius. The interactive exhibitions aim to stimulate interest in science and technologies in an entertaining way and to popularise science in society. The exhibits are a lively illustration of different technical inventions and demonstrate different scientific approaches. Educational interest was the key for the development of this exhibition. Being located in the very centre of Vilnius and owing to its authentic industrial environment, the Energy ant Technology Museum also attracts the attention of event organisers. —— www.etm.lt

Museum of Illusions – This new and different museum has a lot of unseen interactive things. You can also take photos inside because it’s part of the exhibition. The best place to go with friends or family, but even if you’re alone the staff is there to guide you and keep you company. Truly a fun place for everybody! —- www.vilnil.lt/

Railway museum of Lithuania – The Railway Museum welcomes everybody willing to know the history and present of the Lithuanian railways. The history of Railway Museum stems back to 1996. The museum is established in historical house of the Vilnius railway station built in the 19th century. Authentic exhibits and models are on display in the museum halls. Children will be exhilarated to see small trains riding in a playful way. Books and souvenirs with the symbolism of the Lithuanian railways are available for sale. Guided tours are arranged for visitor groups. —– www.litrail.lt/muziejus-veikla

National gallery of art – The National Art Gallery is a modern multifunctional centre of art and culture seeking to enter into a dialogue with the public. Visitors become acquainted with a permanent exposition (presenting Lithuanian modern and contemporary painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, objects, installations, and video art), changing exhibitions, and take part in cultural events, lectures and educational programmes. The Gallery also has the largest archive that provides information about the Lithuanian artists of the 20th – 21st century and a library-reading-room. —– www.ndg.lt

Museum of applied arts and design – The Museum of Applied Arts and Design is established in the Old Arsenal reconstructed in 1987, which in the middle of the 16th century was mentioned as one of the buildings of the Lower Castle. Archaeological investigations into the Old Arsenal carried out in 1972–1978 uncovered the brick wall and the quadrangular tower of the middle of the 14th century the remains of which can be seen upon entering the Museum, as well as four-meter high and almost three-meter wide pointed gates of the castle through which visitors get into the exposition today. —– http://www.ldm.lt/tdm

Vilnius Cathedral Bell tower – The Belfry is the element of particular importance of Vilnius Cathedral as well as Lower and Upper Castle, one of the vertical dominants of the Old Town of Vilnius that became the symbol of the city. In the 13th century the tower was part of the defensive wall. Almost all ground floor of the old tower has survived to the present day. In the 16th century the defensive tower became the Belfry of the Cathedral; it acquired its present appearance in the beginning of the 19th century. The height of the Belfry is 52 m, with the cross – 57 meters. The Belfry, one of the oldest and tallest towers of the Old Town, offers a beautiful panorama. Residents and guests of Vilnius will be able to see exposition of bells, the old clock of the city, explore the historic pictures of the reconstruction of Belfry and the Cathedral. Video surveillance cameras installed on the top floor of the Belfry will help the visitors to get acquainted with the city panorama and famous architectural sights. —— www.bpmuziejus.lt

War machinery and transport museum – A display of the war machinery and transport at Vilnius division of Vytautas the Great War Museum was opened in 2008. Visitors may view over a hundred examples of the Lithuanian army machinery reflecting the period from 1969 up to modern day. The first cutter boat of the military sea forces, armament of warships, torpedo launching apparatus, motorcycles of the Lithuania army, different motor and caterpillar machinery: battleships, Dodge vehicles, small land rovers, gas tank trucks, and tanks. —– www.muziejai.lt/vilnius/karo_technikos.htm

Culinary heritage museum – Culinary Heritage Museum of Lithuania is the first of its kind in the entire Republic of Lithuania and the neighbouring countries seeking to promote culinary culture of Lithuania and show its development. Currently, the museum that is located in the heart of the old town holds exhibitions of Lithuanian artists. Culinary Heritage Museum of Lithuania invites to see exhibitions of art, furniture, valuable plates, tureens, sauce boats, silver-plated dishes and culinary books, which count even 300 years. —— www.culinarymuseumvilnius.lt

The Money museum – The Museum started its activity 16 years ago, and at the end of 2010 it opened its door on the corner of Gediminas Avenue and Totorių Street. Here, in five halls located on two floors, visitors can become acquainted with the history of world currencies and banking, the currency of Lithuania, the development of banking in our country from the establishment of the first credit unions to the present day. Expositions abound in interactive educational tools, thematic films and games. —– www.pinigumuziejus.lt

Telia Nonmuseum – All you need is Nonmuseum and just 15 minutes of your time to get to know Vilnius history. History does not hide behind a dusty glass here. For this once, a time travel will happen around you. Sit back and enjoy lasers and projections reviving the most iconic moments of Vilnius history: city’s triumphs and tragedies, architectural masterpieces, the most famous works of art that were created by the local artists and the most intriguing stories of our townspeople. —- www.nemuziejus.lt