Things to do in Vilnius

Best neighbourhoods to stay in Vilnius for the first time visitors

May 27, 2020
VilniusFreeTour
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Once you bought those cheap flight tickets to Vilnius it is time to choose the place where to stay in this beautiful city. Vilnius is quite compact and you can easily walk around everywhere. However depending on your interests you can choose the best location so the places you are most interested in will be less than 10 min walk from your hotel/apartment. We also included some hotel/hostel recommendations (less € signs - the cheaper the place) after talking about each neighbourhood.

In short, the best neighbourhoods where to stay in Vilnius for the first time visitors would be as following:

  1. Vilnius Old Town
  2. Naujamiestis - The New Town/City Center – city centre
  3. Naujamiestis - Stotis/Uptown – hipsters’ area
  4. Užupis – quirky artists’ neighbourhood
  5. Šnipiškės – modern new centre

Vilnius Old Town

Beautiful St. Anne's Church in Vilnius Old Town

Best for: sightseeing, restaurants, shopping, day trips

Vilnius has one of the largest old towns in Eastern Europe. If you want to explore the narrow winding streets with lots of magnificent views that is definitely the place for you to stay in Vilnius. There are lots of things to do in the Old town. All the major attractions, museums, a lot of restaurants, cafes, boutique and souvenir shops are located here.

If you are planning to have some day trips out of the city, the best place to stay in the Old Town is around Ausros Vartu street. You will be very close to the main train & bus stations, but still in the Old Town.

If you are not planning to leave Vilnius, then consider the part of Vilnius Old Town closer to the Cathedral square. Today it is considered the very heart of Vilnius connecting the Old Town with the city centre. Most of the main attractions are located here like Gediminas tower or Grand Dukes Palace.

If you want to enjoy the nightlife of Vilnius, but still be close to major sightseeing spots, consider staying around Vokieciu (German) street. It is between the nightlife area (5 min walk) of the city and the heart of Vilnius Old town.

Have you decided to stay in this neighbourhood in Vilnius? Here are some recommendations for places to stay:
1) Around Ausros Vartu street:
Art Hotel Moon Garden*(€€€) - stylish hotel just outside famous Gate of Dawn
Domus Maria*(€€) - situated in the coutyard in former monastery, so no noises from the street
Jimmy Jumps House*(€) - one of the best hostel in Vilnius Old Town

2) Close to the Cathedral square:
Vilnia*(€€) - one of the newest hotels in Vilnius Old Town just across the street from city park
Amberton*(€€) - offers great views to the Cathedral square
Bernardinu BnB*(€-€€) a family run bed and breakfast in a cozy narrow street of Vilnius Old town
Pogo*(€) a cool hostel very close to the Cathedral square

3) Close to Vokieciu (German) street
Mikalo house*(€) - a cozy hostel in a very heart of Vilnius Old Town

Tours to explore Vilnius Old Town: Free Old Town & Uzupis tour, Jewish Vilnius tour, Vilnius food tour, Vilnius Ghost tour, Private Vilnius city tour.

Naujamiestis - The New Town/ City Center

 

Best for: nightlife, shopping, restaurants, day trips

When locals say: “Let’s meet in Vilnius city centre” they usually mean meeting at Kudirka’s square on Gediminas avenue. Stay around this area if you want to be in the middle of everything. The Old Town is close by, the nightlife area (where Vilniaus  street meets Islandijos street) is also just around the corner. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and most of the buses and trolleybuses pass Kudirka’s square, so you can go to the bus station quickly or explore other neighbourhoods in Vilnius.

Gediminas avenue is 2 km long street in the new town. All the major city fairs take place here. A part of this avenue from Cathedral square to Kudirka’s square is closed for cars every evening from 7 pm and whole day during the weekends. It is becoming one of the most popular spots for evening strolls among locals.

If you come to Vilnius to explore the nightlife you should look for hotels/apartments around or close to the intersection of Vilniaus and Islandijos streets which is also quite close to Kudirka’s square. Those are the main streets where most bars and clubs are located very close to each other. It gets pretty busy at night!

Have you decided to stay in this neighbourhood in Vilnius? Here are some recommendations for places to stay:
Novotel* (€€€) - a modern 4 star hotel in the very centre of Vilnius
Fabrika hostel* (€) one of the cheapest places to stay in the city centre

Tours to explore city centre: Private Vilnius city tour.

Naujamiestis - Uptown/Stotis

Tony Soprano close to the train station in Vilnius Uptown

Best for: street art, day trips

5 years ago we would have not recommended you to stay here but recently it is becoming trendy to live in the so-called Uptown of the New Town. Cool new pubs/bars and food places are being opened. You can find quite a few huge street art pieces in the area as well as some weird & random sculptures. Away from tourists’ crowds it is still close to Vilnius Old Town (around 10 min walk). This area is especially good if you are planning some day trips out of the city. If you are on the budget, you can also find quite a lot of cheap hostels around the station area very close to the Old town. If you are looking for something different and alternative, this area is definitely the best to stay in Vilnius. We recommend staying in Šv. Stepono, Raugyklos, Kauno streets.  

Have you decided to stay in this neighbourhood in Vilnius? Here are some recommendations for places to stay:
B&B&B&B&B* (€) - a cool hostel situated in a classical building with a huge hook on it
Comfort Hotel LT - Rock 'n' Roll Vilnius* (€€) - modern hotel with cool design and music-themed interiors.

Tours to explore Bus & train stations’ area/Uptown - Alternative Vilnius tourPrivate Vilnius city tour.

Užupis (Uzupis)

Uzupis neighbourhood to stay in Vilnius - a sign near the entrance

Best for: sightseeing, nature, shopping

It is a small calm bohemian neighbourhood in Vilnius. There are not many hotels in the area so it is the best to find a cute apartment to feel a bit of artistic spirit of this place. Užupio street is one of the bests in this area. Being neglected neighbourhood for years Uzupis became the place to be for local artists more than twenty years ago. This is where they established so called Republic of Uzupis which attracts many locals and tourists today to explore the area with its artworks, constitution, mermaid, angel, art galleries and more. This is a good area to stay if you want to be away from the busy centre. It is located behind the Vilnia river, quite close to the Old Town, but a bit further from the nightlife area or bus/train station area.

Have you decided to stay in this neighbourhood in Vilnius? Here are some recommendations for places to stay: 
Downtown forest hostel & camping* (€) - a great hostel quite close to Užupis. They have a terrace and live music events during the summer time!
As there are not that many hotel, look for apartments on Užupio street on Airbnb.

Tours to explore Užupis: Free Old Town & Uzupis tourPrivate Vilnius city tour.

Šnipiškės

Snipiskes - one of the best neighbourhoods to saty in Vilnius

Best for: shopping, business travellers, conferences

Šnipiškės (or Snipiskes) is the modern new centre of Vilnius. It is separated from Vilnius Old Town and Gediminas avenue by Neris River. This is where you can find bigger shopping malls, well known hotels all over the world, business centers, and some cool restaurants. The area is more famous among business travellers. If you are coming to a conference or a business event, this is the best place to stay in Vilnius. Most probably your event will be held somewhere in this area. But even if you are not, there are some interesting things to do in this neighbourhood. A great bicycle lane and pedestrian path run along the river if you want to do some activities in Vilnius like jogging or cycling. Kalvarijų market is the place to get fresh vegetables and fruits, but on Sunday mornings it also becomes a flea market. Behind glass skyscrapers you can explore a wooden neighbourhood which makes you feel like you are in the middle of the village.

If you want to stay in this new neighbourhood, but still be quite close to the Old Town, choose Rinktines street. 

If you want to have good public transport connections with other neighbourhoods, city centre and Vilnius airport, stay somewhere close to Žaliasis Tiltas (the Green Bridge) or Europa shopping mall on Konstitucijos avenue.

Have you decided to stay in this neighbourhood in Vilnius? Here are some recommendations for places to stay:
Radisson Blu Lietuva*(€€) They have a sky bar on 22nd floor!
Courtyard by Marriott*(€€) Situated on Rinktines street quite close to the Old Town.

Tours to explore Šnipiškės: Soviet Vilnius tourPrivate Vilnius city tour.

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I hope this article helps you to choose the best area where to stay in Vilnius. But if you are still unsure, feel free to leave a comment and I will answer all your questions ;)

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