Slowly, but surely spring is coming back to Lithuania. Days are getting longer, the weather is mostly great and outdoor cafes start popping up everywhere. This is a magical time of the year when you can actually spot a smiling lithuanian! So why not visit Vilnius and experience this miracle? Either for a weekend getaway or an entire holiday! And to help you, here’s the list of best locations and/or activities not to miss out on your visit.
Užupis Independence day
One of the most anticipated holidays of the season is the Independence Day of the self-proclaimed Užupis Republic! On 1st of April (yes, yes the Fools day) every visitor to the Republic must cross the border control and declare his intentions. Your passport may be stamped upon entry, but we highly recommend not to give your real documents for this one.
Also upon the entry you can exchange euros to the local currency - EuroUžas! However, keep in mind that this currency is valid only on Independence Day and only within the neighborhood. And the most traditional way to spend EuroUžas is to grab a beer in the Parliament (also known as Užupio Kavinė).
Uzupis Republic sign in Vilnius. © Go Vilnius
Lithuanians are not very active Christians, but we try to participate in a holy mass at least once a year. And Easter is usually the time when you will see us in a church. Why? Well, probably because the Easter Mass is one of the most beautiful ceremonies of the year with impressive processions and a friendly atmosphere. Crowds of people gather (even outside the churches) and bring baskets of dyed eggs, bread or a juniper twig for blessing. If you decide to join in, know that the largest Easter Mass takes place at the Vilnius Cathedral, but for the most beautiful views visit the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Or receive Mary’s blessing at the Chapel of the Gates of Dawn. Whichever church you decide to visit, make sure to come early to find a free seat.
On the second day of Easter join the White Tablecloth celebration at the Republic of Užupis. It’s a traditional community dinner in which everyone can participate: just bring your own food, drinks, friends/family and enjoy the Lithuanian sun around tables with white tablecloths. Moreover everyone will be invited to participate in the traditional games and activities like: The Egg Roll for kids, the most beautiful Easter Egg contest, or chocolate Eggs Hunt.
Vilnius Easter Egg © Go Vilnius
Enjoy nature in Vilnius
Did you know that nearly half of Vilnius is green space - about 3 times more than Amsterdam, Berlin and Warsaw? And spring is the best time to enjoy it, because it’s not too hot for a hike and the viewpoints are not overgrown by the tree leaves. We covered the best hiking trails and most of the city parks in our previous blog posts, so check them out. But the biggest crowds of locals will flock to two places.
First one is Chiune Sugihara Sakura Park (Upės st.). Established on the right bank of the Neris River next to the National Art Gallery, the Japanese Sakura Park decorates the city with pink blossoms every spring, usually in April (sometimes in May). However, keep in mind that this is a small and extremely busy park! So come very early in the morning for that perfect selfie!
The second place is less lively… Bernardine cemetery ( Žvirgždyno st. 3) is small, but one of the most picturesque cemeteries of Vilnius. Since its creation in the 19th century till this day this cemetery is a favorite place for a walk among Vilnius residents, as it reminds us of a park. In spring (usually by the end of April) thousand blue flowers start blooming there, which makes it even more picturesque!
Sakura park in Vilnius. Photo by Gabriel Khiterer © Go Vilnius
Lithuanian Gastronomy week
In the last week of April take a gourmet tour of Vilnius’ restaurants and discover unexpected flavors. Special menus, tasting dinners and special edible works of art by the best chefs in the city will delight and surprise you. You can also help select the Star of Gastronomy Week – eat and vote for the best restaurants.
Taste some delicacies on Vilnius Gastronomy week © Vilnius with Locals Tours
Trakai is a beautiful small historical town surrounded by lakes approximately half an hour away from Vilnius. The town is mainly famous for its red brick Trakai castle on the island in the middle of the lake. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lithuania and a must see place for anyone visiting Lithuania. And since in summer it gets very busy in Trakai, especially during the weekends when locals also flood this cozy little town, we recommend you to visit this place in spring so you could enjoy the views without crowds of people. If the weather is nice, you can already rent a boat to float around the castle. It is very easy to do, as there are many people offering water activities around the lakes. Check our blog post How to reach Trakai.
The view of Trakai Castle © Go Vilnius
Join Vilnius walking tours
Yes, the tourism season is slowly picking up. So next Free Old Town and Užupis tour we will start offering regular Free Alternative tours, Soviet and Jewish tours! Drop us a line or book your spot on our website! Together we will discover the important sites and stories of Vilnius.
Vilnius with Locals Tours Badge © Vilnius with Locals Tours