Gay Guide • VILNIUS | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in VILNIUS ?
Find it out with the World Mappers !
WHAT TO SEE in VILNIUS?
10 THINGS TO SEE in VILNIUS
Cathedral & Bell Tower
One of the symbols of the city of Vilnius, it was the first place of worship consecrated to Catholicism and the point from which the Christianization of Lithuania began. Very unique is the bell tower detached from the Cathedral, which can be climbed.
Town Hall Square (Vilniaus Rotušė)
It is one of the oldest squares in the whole country with the large neoclassical building that houses the Town Hall. It is located at the end of one of the main shopping streets in Vilnius, Pilies Street. During the Christmas period this square is embellished by a giant Christmas tree and some glass "igloos" with lovely markets inside.
Gediminas Tower & Vilnius Castle
On the small Gediminas Hill, named after the famous Grand Duke of Lithuania, there are several notable attractions. By funicular, or walking up the hill, you get to the Gediminas Tower and the ruins of the old castle. The view of the old city and the hill of the three crosses from here is spectacular. At the foot of the hill are the statue of Gediminas, the National Museum, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the Vilnius Cathedral.
Gate of Dawn (Aušros Vartai)
Going through this ancient gate you will have direct access to the old city. The gate is particularly beautiful and houses a much visited and revered chapel. A few meters away, the Church of Santa Teresa, with a beautiful Baroque interior, the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, with its striking green altarpiece, and the Gate of the Basilian Monastery, also Baroque, are also worth a visit.
Church of Sant'Anna
One of the most beautiful churches in Vilnius, with its original flamboyant gothic facade. It is said that it is the gift that King Vytautas wanted to give to his wife Anna. The red bricks, the two towers and the facade are an irresistible tourist attraction. According to legend, the church is so fascinating that Napoleon Bonaparte - who saw the church during the Franco-Russian war in 1812 - wished to take it with him to Paris "in the palm of his hand".
Founded in 1579, it is the oldest university in Eastern Europe. You can visit seven of its courtyards (some of them really beautiful), the frescoes in the Lithuanian study hall, the library and the internal church.
Until the time of the Nazi invasion, Jews had lived freely in the city without having known the reality of the ghetto. During the occupation, however, two were built: the Great Ghetto and the Little Ghetto. In 1941, about 40,000 Jews lived in Vilnius and the Lithuanian capital was also known as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania" due to the large presence of intellectual Jews. Most of the Jews were killed in Paneriai, a forest about ten kilometers from Vilnius. Most of the buildings in the Jewish quarter now house institutions that recall that period: the Jewish Community of Lithuania, the Museum dedicated to the Vilna Gaon (world-famous Jewish sage) and the monument to Tsemakh Shabad, the legendary ghetto doctor. The Great Synagogue was entirely destroyed first by the war and then by the Soviets, so only the beautiful Moorish-style Choral Synagogue remains to be visited.
Republic of Uzupis
Perhaps one of our favorite places in the city. The Republic of Užupis is a small district of Vilnius, proclaimed "independent" in 1997. Just think that it even has its own flag, its own currency and an army of only 15 people. The name Užupis means "place near the river" and, in fact, the neighborhood overlooks Vilnia. The neighborhood has a bohemian touch and artists and intellectuals mainly live here and festivals, exhibitions, cultural meetings, concerts, performances and exhibitions of all kinds are constantly organised. You will also find a street where its small Constitution is displayed in several languages. Another noteworthy monument is the Angel of Užupis.
Also known as the Genocide Victims Museum, it is located in the former KGB headquarters. The exhibition concerns the atrocities produced during the Soviet occupation and the dark years of persecution suffered by the Lithuanian people. Nearly a million people were deported to Siberia never to return. For those who want to get in touch with history, we recommend a visit to the underground, perhaps the most shocking place, with the prisons, the torture chambers and the execution chamber.
Hill of the Three Crosses
According to legend, the Three Crosses of Vilnius are located in the place where a group of French monks from a nearby monastery were martyred. Of these it is said that 7 were killed and another 7 tied to wooden crosses and thrown into the river, with the recommendation to go back to where they came from. The numerous (really many) crosses found on the hill today are not those of the 1400s because they have been destroyed or removed several times. Without a doubt this is one of the most evocative places in Vilnius, not so much for the view over the city but because it is a place of secular devotion transformed into a symbol of freedom during and after Communism. The climb to the hill is tiring and can be complicated when there is rain or especially snow (Marco knows something about it!).
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Ancient Vilnius & Užupis Republic - Google Maps
Extra - Three Crosses (from Cathedral Square - by foot) - Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
5 BEST EXCURSIONS from VILNIUS
Trakai Castle & Paneriai Holocaust Site
Kaunas, Rumsiskes & Pazaislis Monastery
Riga & Rundale Palace
Panamune Road & Castles
Click'n'Go - Click on Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Clubs
to find them on the Map or visit their Website
WHERE TO SLEEP in VILNIUS?
5 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in VILNIUS
Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva **** ® Tested by World Mappers
Hotel Panorama *** ®Tested by World Mappers
WHERE TO EAT in VILNIUS?
5 BEST RESTAURANTS in VILNIUS Quality / Price
€€€ - Lokys (Typical Lithuanian) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Etno Dvaras (Typical Lithuanian) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Būsi Trečias (Typical Lithuanian) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Mykolo 4 (Typical Lithuanian) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Restoranas GABI (Typical Lithuanian) ® Tested by World Mappers
GAY NIGHTLIFE in VILNIUS
10 BEST GAY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in VILNIUS
SoHo Club (Gay Club) ® Tested by World Mappers
Glamour Sauna (Gay Club) ® Tested by World Mappers
Vox Bar (Gay Friendly Bar)
TRAVEL TIPS about VILNIUS by World Mappers
The Most BEAUTIFUL STREET ART WORKS in VILNIUS
The city of Vilnius is actually not very rich in Street Art works, or rather, not yet. Over the last few years artists from all over the world are starting to give new life to some walls of the capital. Among the best works of Street Art in Vilnius we find:
Work of the Italian artist Millo. A huge facade of a building where the architectural details and windows that intertwine perfectly with the subject of the artwork.
Artwork by some of the most famous street artists in the world, the Brazilian brothers Os Gemeos, who have Lithuanian roots and have decided to dedicate a mural to their grandfather and their childhood.
A creative space for artists in this quirky neighborhood where some amazing murals can be found. Among the artworks that we liked the most are the paintings by (R)estart Reality. If they don't seem very special at first glance, with the Restart Reality app these works come to life on your phone.
Kiss of Putin and Trump (now removed)
It's a pity that today it can no longer be seen, it almost looked like a work inspired by the one in Berlin at the East Side Gallery. The artwork featured the kiss between President Putin and Trump, as a symbol of union between the two countries.
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Vilnius
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Vilnius" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 10 Things and Places to See in Secret Vilnius:
Tile of the Miracle of Stebuklas - Vilnius residents take the search for this strange tile as a challenge for visitors. Will you be able to find it too? But what is it? It is a monument tile shrouded in mystery. Called "Stebuklas" ("miracle" in Lithuanian), it has been hidden away in the large cathedral square. The tile is said to have magical and wish-granting properties, but at the same time it also represents an important day in Lithuanian history. On August 23, 1989 about two million people in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (then Soviet Socialist Republics) joined together creating the so-called Baltic Way, the longest uninterrupted human chain in history, some 370 miles. The chain started in Tallinn, Estonia, descended to Riga, Latvia, and finally ended in Vilnius, Lithuania right at the Stebuklas tile. It was a peaceful protest to raise awareness of the conditions of these states under Soviet occupation. But what to do once you find the tile to make your wishes come true? It is said that one must turn clockwise three times and take a leap. Definitely a fun experience for anyone watching.
Museum of Illusions - A very special museum that will make you question whatever you are seeing. Through optical illusions, 3D art, virtual reality and installations that challenge the senses, you can walk on walls, look at 3D paintings and let yourself be carried away by optical illusions. Here photos are allowed and even encouraged by the staff. All that remains is to let yourself be deceived by the illusion!
Užupis Mermaid - Travelers who fall under the spell of this mermaid are said to be doomed to stay in Užupis forever. On the edge of the Vilnia River is this particular bronze statue, which has become a symbol of the alternative district. in 2004 the sculpture was lost in the waters of the Vilnia River. Luckily it was later found, restored and put back in its place. Now you just have to look for it and find it, or if you like to win easy, here is its "address" - intersection between Maironio g. and Uzupio g.
Bank of Lithuania Museum - Do you want to see the largest Coin Pyramid in the world? Then you must visit this museum. In fact, here is this grandiose work of art made up of a million cents. The installation was created on the occasion of the change of the local Lithuanian currency to the Euro in 2015 and to celebrate the world record was challenged and won with a pyramid made of disused coins.
Women's Pedestrian Lights - On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the women's suffrage movement in Lithuania something unique has been created on pedestrian traffic lights. 14 traffic signals have been transformed into female traffic lights (along the main Konstitucijos street) in front of some of the largest companies in the city. It is undoubtedly a reminder of what women in Lithuania have achieved and will still achieve in the future. Do you think that Lithuania was the first European nation to guarantee the right to vote for women in 1918, well before the United States.
Verkiai Palace - On a hill north of Vilnius, once the home of the Lithuanian grand dukes, it was later donated to the bishops and turned into a summer residence. When Napoleon's soldiers devastated it, the Verkiai Palace lost much of its splendour, although today, thanks to the splendid view over the Neris River valley and its endless forests, it has once again become a wonderful place.
Puckoriai Valley - A bucolic place with breathtaking scenery, where sandy cliffs plunge into the Vilnia River. To get to this valley one has to follow the highway named after Stepan Bathory, a Transylvanian prince who ruled Lithuania and Poland in the 16th century.
Rasos Cemetery - In this huge cemetery you will find hundreds of graves of some of the most important figures in Lithuanian history. Definitely off the beaten tourist track, but well worth a visit.
Unusual Sculptures - In addition to the almost satirical monument of Frank Zappa, father of the musical sneer, there are many other strange and hidden sculptures in Vilnius, all accompanied by very special legends or traditions: the lucky belly, which seems to bring good luck when rubbed, the angel of Užupis, which symbolizes the freedom of Eastern European art, or the Easter egg sculpture in Užupis.
Literatų Gatvė (Literature Street) - In 2009 a group of Lithuanian artists decided that Literatų gatvė should become the symbolic street of this art. On the occasion of Vilnius' candidacy for the European Capital of Culture, some artists began hanging decorated plaques dedicated to various writers from the Lithuanian capital. From this idea, the entire route was filled with over 200 slabs; there are portraits of the authors, quotations from their masterpieces or entirely abstract works.
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through Vilnius' Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
Vilnius • Gay Friendly Tour & Uzupis' Secrets
Start this special LGBT Friendly walking tour of Vilnius from the Gates of Dawn and one of the most visited shrines in Vilnius that is famous not only in Lithuania but also abroad, worshipped by the representatives of other creeds too. Continue to the church of St Anne, a masterpiece of the late Gothic period. St Anne’s Church, which has survived to the present day without changing for over 500 years, has become a symbol of Vilnius. Then reach the self-proclaimed "Republic" of Uzupis, Vilnius' Bohemian and artistic district. It has its own anthem, constitution, president, bishop, two churches, the Bernadine Cemetery, seven bridges, and its own guardian called The Bronze Angel of Uzupis, who was put in the centre of the district in 2002. Explore one of Vilnius' oldest districts and admire its worldwide famous constitution where it is written that "6. Everyone has the right to love" and "16. Everyone has the right to be happy", no matter how. Afterwards observe the imposing Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Vladislav is the most important place of worship for Lithuania’s Catholics, and the venue for the country’s main Christian and national festivities. Be ready to climb up to Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower, one of the oldest and tallest towers of the Old Town, which offers a beautiful panorama. Take a look from afar to the Hill of Three Crosses. Some say, that the origins of the three crosses date back to the 17th century when three monks placed them there to pay tribute to a group of fellow monks who were martyred in the 14th century. According to the history books, seven monks were killed and seven were tied to wooden crosses and floated down the Neris River, with the instruction to return to the west where they came from. After the tour you can climb on your own the hill to reach the monument. Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for City Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee – Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower
Vilnius by Night • Gay Tour
Enjoy an enlightened Vilnius and an amazing walking tour through Vilnius' gay & lesbian bars and clubs to live on your skin the magic atmosphere and LGBT scene of the city. Enjoy your included drink (also alcohol free drink available) and own the night ! Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for Night Tour (2 hours) * Drink in Gay Bar (1 Drink)
What to See near Vilnius ?