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From 1 November 2021, a £5 charge will apply for vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions will apply. Free drop-off will be available at the Long Stay car parks.

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Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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  • Overview

    The Lithuanian capital is somewhat unique compared to other major cities in the Baltic region, its old architecture a hodgepodge of Scandinavian, Russian, and German influences. Nestled beneath wooded hills in the southeast corner of the country, this enchanting stop offers an alluring blend of modern glitz and Old World charm.

    Overlooking the city from a central hill is the landmark Gediminas Castle, named after the medieval Grand Duke who founded the city. Its impressive tower allows visitors to enjoy an unrivalled view of the old town and the shiny new section on the right bank of the Neris.

    Gediminas Square is the heart of the old quarter, featuring the splendid classical cathedral. The city boasts numerous other interesting churches, beautiful historic buildings, museums, monuments and parks, and the splendid University of Vilnius, one of Europe's oldest institutions of learning.

    In its 'golden age' during the Middle Ages, Vilnius was renowned as the region's centre for culture and learning, and today it has reclaimed that reputation through a packed programme of events. These include the classical music evenings at the Philharmonic Society Hall and performances at the Opera and Ballet Theatre, Youth Theatre, and National Drama Theatre, as well as exhibitions in numerous art galleries and a vast contemporary art centre.

    The city also plays host to numerous commercial fairs and exhibitions annually. Last but not least, when the sun goes down Vilnius reveals a nightlife that is fast gaining a reputation as one of the hottest in Eastern Europe.

    Gediminas Castle

    Standing guard over the city of Vilnius since the 13th century, the landmark Gediminas Castle was built by the founder of the city and has served as defence bastion, prison, and now major tourist attraction. Originally, the castle was made of wood, later clad in 10-foot (3m) thick stonewalls, and then all but destroyed by Russian troops in the 17th century. Now completely and carefully restored to its former glory, the top of the majestic octagonal tower provides a breath-taking view of the old city. It is the highest point in the Vilnius Old Town, which itself is a UNESCO-listed site.

    Gediminas' Tower Gediminas' Tower Mantas Volungevicius
    Vilnius Cathedral

    The resplendent Vilnius Cathedral, which stands proudly on the central square of the Old City, has a chequered history that left it decaying and abandoned through the Soviet era. The Cathedral now resembles a classical Greek temple more than it does a Christian church. It's now once again the pride of the city, filled with incredible artworks, traditional icons and history. The cathedral, originally built in the 13th-century, stands on the site of an ancient pagan temple. Rebuilt several times in the succeeding centuries after fires and storm damage, Vilnius Cathedral is an unusual and architecturally impactful cathedral, containing more than 40 paintings and frescoes.

    Website: www.katedra.lt
    European Park

    A few miles north of Vilnius town centre, Lithuanian sculptor Gintaras Karosas founded the Europos Parkas (European Park) on a 55-hectare site that encompasses the geographic centre of Europe, as determined by the French National Geographic Institute in 1989. The Park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, who come to stand in the centre of the continent and admire a permanent outdoor sculpture exhibition, set amid rolling hills, woods and fields dotted with natural springs. About 100 works by artists from dozens of different countries are on display.

    Europos Parkas Europos Parkas Legionas
    Jewish Memorials

    In the early 20th century, about half of the population of Vilnius were Yiddish-speaking Jews and the city was dubbed the 'Jerusalem of the North'. The Nazis in World War II effectively obliterated this community, encircling the Jewish quarter in barbed wire. They marched the 60,000 or so residents into the Paneriai Forest and executed them. Today, the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights (previously the Museum of Genocide Victims) has been established at the killing field in memory of the victims of this horror. There is also a Jewish Museum depicting pre-war Jewish life and visitors are welcome at the only remaining Vilnius Synagogue.

    Website: www.jmuseum.lt
    Jewish memorial Jewish memorial luvmycrows
    Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights

    The dark days of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania are preserved in this disturbing collection, which is contained in the former KGB headquarters building. Those who drew the antagonism of the authorities were detained, tortured and often executed in this building. The Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights (previously The Museum of Genocide) is also often called the KGB Museum and the building remains almost exactly the same as it was during Soviet occupation. Some of the museum's exhibitions include the 'Eavesdropping Room', highlighting the use of secret surveillance by the KGB, and 'Life Goes On', a look at the day-to-day living of Lithuanian deportees and prisoners.

    Museum of Genocide Victims Museum of Genocide Victims Kristian Frisk

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Vilnius has a humid continental climate. Summers (June to August) are warm, with daytime temperatures often topping 72°F (22°C), although average temperatures are closer to 62°F (17°C). June is the rainiest month of the year. Winter (December to February) is very cold, with temperatures rarely climbing above 32°F (0°C) and often dropping below 16°F (-9°C). Lakes and rivers freeze over at this time of year.

    Vilnius International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated four miles (6km) south of Vilnius.
    Time: GMT +2 (GMT +3 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: A special train service runs from the airport to the Vilnius Railway Station around 16 times per day, taking just 7 minutes to connect the airport to the railway station. Bus and minibus services also connect to downtown Vilnius.
    Car Rental: Car rental agents with offices on site in the arrivals lounge include Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt.
    Airport Taxis: Approved airport taxis are available outside the arrivals terminal. Average rates include €10 to Cathedral Square, €12 to Konstitucijos Avenue and €18 to Hospital Santariskiu Klinikos. Taxis charge set rates and accept credit cards.
    Facilities: There is a currency exchange counter in the arrivals concourse. There are snack bars, cafes and restaurants in arrivals and departures, and a newsagent. The airport offers a VIP Lounge, which can be utilised by all passengers willing to pay the entrance fee. There are also some small duty-free shops.
    Parking Short and long-term parking is available.

    The central old quarter of Vilnius is compact and travellers can visit most sights on foot. Those who would prefer to take in the sights in a more leisurely manner can make use of the city's efficient network of buses and trolleybuses; fares can be paid on boarding or through the Trafi app.

    Most visitors prefer to make use of taxis, which are relatively cheap, although it is wise to ensure the driver has switched on the meter before leaving on the journey, or to negotiate a fare before setting off. Taxis can be hailed on the street, ordered by telephone or found at ranks at strategic spots in the old town. Uber and Lyft are also available.

    Self-driving in the city isn't recommended because of heavy, undisciplined traffic. All the large international car hire companies have offices in the city and at the airport.

    Visitors to Vilnius should be aware that, although the city is generally very safe, petty theft and pick pocketing can, unfortunately, be a problem on public transport. People are also sometimes targeted while walking around. So although it is a great destination to traverse on foot, visitors should try not to walk alone at night, or display conspicuous wealth while getting around in the city.

    Slap bang in the middle of Europe, the capital of Lithuania is a delightful medieval city of magnificent churches, art and nightclubs. It's a combination that gives it a unique ambience and explains why more people are enjoying holidaying in Vilnius.

    It is an historic old city, with a wealth of cultural attractions and very picturesque surroundings. The UNESCO-listed old quarter is particularly enthralling. Many of the most popular attractions in Vilnius are memorials, as it's a city that has seen much tragedy in its long history.

    Worthwhile sites include the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, several memorials to the Jewish population wiped out during World War II, and the Hill of Three Crosses, which legend decrees was originally the site of the martyring of several monks.

    Although some of the subject matter in the city's museums and memorials is sombre or macabre, Vilnius is a proud city and there is an aura of triumph as well. The numerous lovely churches, pretty surroundings, sidewalk café culture and charming cobbled streets offer many happy diversions for tourists.

    The best time to travel to Vilnius is during its sunny, warm summers when temperatures can soar to 86°F (30°C) and it remains light long into the evening, making it possible for those enjoying a Vilnius holiday to make the most of the outdoor restaurants and bars. Winter, by contrast, is not a good time to travel to Vilnius, as temperatures plummet below freezing.


    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination