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Charming and mesmerising Vilnius captures its visitors’ hearts and minds, as only an elegant Old Town knows how to. If you are thinking of searching for cheap air tickets to Vilnius, be prepared to face one Europe’s most fascinating and intriguing baroque skylines! Visiting Vilnius, you could never imagine all the years of war and destruction that have come to pass. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vilnius’s cobbled streets are full of surprises. Interesting museums, medieval alleys, marvelous churches and historic landmarks – and at night, a vibrant night scene that has something for every taste. Spot one of the many cheap hotels in Vilnius to book your accommodation and live the ultimate experience of the Lithuanian capital!
It was back in 1320, when Lithuanian Duke Gediminas dreamt of a giant wolf made of iron howling like there is no tomorrow. The meaning of this dream was clear, according to the archbishop: The Duke had just received a divine instruction to found a city and a mighty castle!
Legends say that this is the story of Vilnius, Luthuania’s capital, history though seems a bit different. Either way, fortified Vilnius soon became one of 16th-century-Europe’s greatest cities!The years that followed were harsh. Two World Wars, struggles for independence and the suppressing soviet regime left their marks on Vilnius. However, the city soon regained independence and was characterised a UNESCO World Heritage Site which, in turn, raised the world’s interest towards Vilnius.
Vilnius’s international airport (Vilniaus oro uostas) is located 6 kilomtres south of the city centre and is accessible by rail and buses.
Vilnius’s public transportation system consists of buses and trolleys. Fares start at 1.40 LTL and minimum taxi fare is 2.00 LTL.
The landmark that dominates Vilnius’s skyline and you are most likely to see first, is the Gediminas Tower, situated at the top of Gediminas Hill, looming 48 metres above the city. Both are named after Duke Gediminas, the founder of Vilnius.
Vilnius’s Cathedral is built at the spot of the very first church of the city and later became a cathedral, by King Mindaugas. Following his death, the cathedral was converted to a pagan temple, until 1387, when Duke Jogaila restored its previous status and established it as a symbol of Lithuania’s Catholicism.
The white cathedral’s façade bears a set of six Doric columns and is decorated with the statues of St. Helen, St. Stanislaus and St. Casimir, representing Russia, Poland and Lithuania respectively. Near the Cathedral, you will find Lithuania’s National Museum, the country’s largest and most interesting museum, featuring extended folklore exhibitions.Next stop, the City Hall Square (Rotušes aikšte), Vilnius’s traditional political, cultural and economic centre. The original city hall was destroyed and in its place you can see the new building, built in 1799 by the architect Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevicius.
St. Casimir’s Church (Šv Kazimiero bažnycia) is the oldest baroque church in the city, built in 1604 and dedicated to Lithuania’s patron saint St. Casimir.Continue to the Gates of Dawn (Aušros vartai), the last remaining gates to the city. The gate is topped by a Carmelite monastery dating back to 1671 and housing an allegedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary which attracts hundreds of visitors and pilgrims annually.
Don’t miss out on a visit to Užupis. A city within a city, Užupis is a self-declared independent republic, named the Republic of Užupis. Bohemic and liberal, this neighbourhood has always been popular to artists - Užupio galerija is a must-see!Lithuanian is Vilnius’s official language.