Lithuania’s lively capital wears its heart on its sleeve.
Vilnius takes great pride its cultural and architectural heritage, interspersing its majestic towers, spires and domes with attractive green spaces and grand public squares. Yet its battle scars aren't hidden –prominent museums, memorials and Soviet-era concrete relics serve as thought-provoking reminders of past struggles.
Festivals and events
Vilnius City Fiesta
Taking place in open-air spaces across the city, including Cathedral Square and Gedimino Avenue, Vilnius City Fiesta is a grand-scale, multi-arts festival. Open-air concerts, gigs, dance performances and exhibitions attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, with international artists including Elton John and Björk among past headliners.
To mark the beginning of spring, Kaziukas (St Casimir) Fair takes over several Old Town streets during the first weekend in March. Craftspeople arrive from across the Baltic to sell their handmade crafts – particularly traditional palm bouquets – from packed pavilion stalls. Music, dance and theatrical processions add to the festivities.
Lithuanian Song and Dance Festival
So impressive is the Lithuanian Song and Dance Festival that UNESCO has entered it onto its prestigious Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Unfortunately, this colourful celebration of traditional folk arts, which centres around Vingis Park, is only staged once every four years (the last was in 2018). But that’s what makes it so special.