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Find out the latest Vilnius’ sensations
A Sensational Christmas
in a Sensational City

If you’re planning to spend part of the Christmas season in Vilnius, you’ve already guaranteed yourself one of the best gifts ever, and a near endless combination of stocking stuffer options. We’ve got everything you’ll need, including more than a few only-in-Vilnius options, for a very Merry Christmas. Our city is the gift that keeps giving and we just want to share this sensational season with you.

An Iconic Christmas Tree Installation to Behold
Several years back, photos of Vilnius’ main Christmas tree at Cathedral Square started popping up on a variety of international news outlets, with some calling it the most beautiful in Europe and others ranking it among the prettiest in the world.
We were just like, “OK, I guess we’re Christmas tree masters now,” and have been living up to the hype ever since. But there’s a plot twist – since our trees are considered works of art, we’ve since realised that they are actually ingenious Christmas installations inspired by a different theme every year. No matter what you call it, our Christmas tree installation has become a truly iconic part of the holiday season in Vilnius, and a well-guarded top-secret project right up until the lighting of the tree ceremony.
More Than a Few Christmas Markets
Let’s be honest, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Christmas Markets. That said, Vilnius has several that you’re going to want to visit. From the more traditional market under the Christmas tree at Cathedral Square and its counterpart at Town Hall Square – which includes a special charity market hosted by the city’s embassies on 4 December – to the less conventional and super local pop-up design markets, like the one being held from 14-19 December at Vincas Kudirko Square. Expect tons of food, hot drinks and homegrown souvenirs so you can play Santa when you return from your trip.
Christmas in 3D
Classic holiday fairy tales never get old or boring, especially when you get to watch one projected onto Vilnius Cathedral in 3D. This is one of our Christmas traditions and with multiple screenings from Christmas Day right up until New Year’s Eve, it should definitely be on your to-do list. This year’s tale promises all the Christmas feels with a fair dose of visuals.
Vilnius Pass: the Gift that Keeps Giving

Give yourself the gift of exclusive access to our city during the holidays with the Vilnius Pass.

 

The Vilnius Pass gives you free entry to a number of museums and tours, discounts at the city’s top attractions and a free cup of coffee to keep you feeling cosy as you make your way through town. With all the perks the Vilnius Pass unlocks, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

 

The Vilnius Pass it is valid for a year, so you can come for the Christmas holidays or plan a trip to Vilnius at any other time and use it once you get here.

Christmas in a Hot-Air Balloon

Vilnius’ signature hot-air balloons that dot the cityscape throughout the summer don’t necessarily go into hibernation during the winter. Hop into one to see the city the way Rudolph does on Christmas Eve – the burner keeping you afloat will also keep you toasty warm and the wintery views of the city complete with holiday décor won’t disappoint. As far as experiences go, this is Christmas present option like no other.

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More Art, More Culture, Please

If you hit your peak of all things Christmas, don’t forget that you’re in a city filled with endless opportunities to soak in everyday culture. The MO Modern Museum is one of Vilnius’ newest and its collection is worth every minute of your time, especially if you want a taste of what Lithuania has brought to the modern and contemporary artworld. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum is currently hosting an exhibit on post-Soviet movements and subcultures. Plus, the Daniel Libeskind-designed museum is a work of art all on its own, both inside and out.

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Spend Part of the Day Higher Than High

Even though the Christmas tree at Cathedral Square takes centre stage throughout the holiday season, Vilnius’ TV Tower is generally the most noticeable tall structure along the city’s skyline. Standing at 326 metres, the building is the country’s tallest, and its rotating restaurant is the place to be for panoramic views of the city decked out in Christmas decorations and its surrounding natural landscapes blanketed in snow.

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Uzupis
You’ve probably already heard of Uzupis, Vilnius’ little breakaway republic that declared independence and wrote a constitution to assert things like, “A dog has the right to be a dog.” The neighbourhood is a veritable homage to art, easy living, and all the weirdos that made it hip before it was cool. Their Christmas tree is way more Charlie Brown than Cathedral Square, but the spirit of the season is alive and well in the cafes, bars and restaurants that call Uzupis home.
Vilnius’ Newest Must-Visit Neighbourhood
It's hard to imagine a new neighbourhood popping up right in the heart of a 700-year-old city, but that’s exactly what Paupys is. Ideally placed along the Vilnelė River opposite of Uzupis and surrounded by nature, the new district is quickly becoming Vilnius’ newest hip spot, with its namesake market as one of its main attractions. Paupys Market’s green interior, made up of some 1,300 plants, is a sight to behold – but the real star is all the culinary goodness from its selection of restaurants and food stalls. It’ll be dressed up for the season, so all you have to do is bring your appetite.
Walking in a Street Art Wonderland
These days, a white Christmas is never a given, but if this year is anything like last year, Vilnius should be in for another winter wonderland. And there’s nothing like a snowy stroll through a city packed with as much street art as ours. From the must-see Literatu Gatve and its 200+ commemorative plaques, to the giant murals competing for attention, and even the smaller works that might be painted over by the time you next visit the city – it all hits a bit different with snow crunching under your feet and dampening the sound of the city. Grab a hot drink, pick a direction and go.
It’s the Season to Visit Prison

We said we don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice and it’s true – EVERYONE needs to spend at least a bit of time in Vilnius’ Lukiškės Prison, though it’s hardly a punishment these days. From serving hard time to having good times, the former prison complex is now a cultural centre that hosts concerts, performances and artist residencies. Day and night tours are also offered, so if you’re feeling a bit like Scrooge, this may be the place to have a Christmas epiphany.

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Hit the Slopes Right in Vilnius
OK, so there’s no glacier, 20-minute gondola rides or helicopter rescue team, but the Liepkalnis Ski Station still ticks the box as a full-fledged winter wonderland…and it’s within the Vilnius city limits. For seasoned alpine skiers and snowboarders, or those dreaming of being one in the near future, Liepkalnis’ nine illuminated runs are the place to be. Plus, if you ski you get to après-ski, which is arguably the best part of any ski experience.
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One Way to Keep Warm During the Holidays
If you have the snowballs to run up to 12 kilometres in the dead of winter, you might as well do it in a Santa suit, dressed up as one of his little helpers, or at the very least, in your favourite ugly Christmas sweater. Welcome to the annual Christmas Run in Vilnius, where you’re either brave enough to join the other ice-people, or smart enough to watch it all unfold from the side-lines with a steaming beverage in hand.
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Treat Yourself to Ultimate Relaxation
Lithuania’s SPA culture is on point and Christmas is all about indulging in things that may only come around once a year. There are multiple options and SPA philosophies to explore, including one where amber plays the leading role. You may be more familiar with jewellery made of ‘Baltic Gold’, but some spas also use it in a series of massage treatments, and even infuse it into a drink. Either way, you’re bound to come out of a session feeling renewed and ready to take on whatever surprises 2022 has in store for us.
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Daytripping to a Christmas Castle
Trakai Island Castle is Vilnius’ top daytrip option any time of year, but it really impresses around Christmas when the lake surrounding the picturesque medieval fortification freezes over and gets covered with a layer of snow. If Santa were Lithuanian, this is where he’d live. And it’s not just the castle: the quaint town, untouched natural landscapes that surround it, and kibinai – local stuffed savoury pastries that are the real kings of Trakai – will have you breaking into random Christmas carols.

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Meet a local
No one knows a city better than the people who live in it and love it, which is why insider info straight from the source can make for a trip many tourists won’t get. Enter Vilnius’ Meet a Local initiative, where visitors get paired with locals eager to show them what they love most about the city. Take a stroll down the lesser-known streets of the Old Town, stop for a coffee and pastry at a cosy café, talk history and culture, and meet the people that make Vilnius so sensational.
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Covid-19:
information for travellers
Lithuania is open for international tourists! You can explore Vilnius easily and only with minimal restrictions, as most tourist attractions are open. Find out more about the requirements for entering Lithuania.

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