Travel, Food & Books

Vilnius Lithuania

In contrast to the Old Towns of Tallinn and Riga, Vilnius boasts the most expansive Old Town. Its labyrinthine network of streets is adorned with charming architecture of churches and museums, creating a less bustling atmosphere than the other two cities.


LUX BUS – Riga to Vilnius

We recently had the opportunity to travel on a Lux bus from Latvia to the neighbouring country, Lithuania. After our travel to Estonia, this was our second time with Lux Bus. 

However, the border crossing was a bit strict as they checked our passports upon crossing to Lithuania, unlike our bus journey to Estonia, where no such procedure was required.

It was quite a hassle for me as I had yet to receive my temporary residence permit for Latvia and could only present a letter stating that a decision would be made in a few days. 

The view from the countryside

The questioning process and having the officer review my documents was incredibly nerve-wracking. Even though the letter stated I could remain in the country while waiting for the decision, I couldn’t help but wonder if this also extended to neighbouring countries.

Fortunately, we were not stopped or checked on our return trip to Riga.

After about 3 hours and 40 minutes, we arrived at Vilnius and immediately made our way on foot to the hotel situated in the historic district. 


City Hotels Rudininkai

During our visit to Vilnius, we stayed at a hotel booked through for two nights. The cost for our stay was £93, but did not include breakfast. Check-in was a breeze, and the staff spoke English.

The hotel’s location was very convenient. It was a short 10-minute walk from the bus station, and all the main sights and attractions of the Old Town were within walking distance, ranging from 500 to 1km away.

The closest place of interest to the hotel was one minute away, which was the Margutis Easter Egg and the Church of All Saints, and 3 minutes away was the Choralinė Sinagoga, one of the two functioning synagogues in Lithuania.

There was also a Kebab shop (Memo Kebabine) with some Southern Indian curry on the menu just a 2-minute walk from the hotel, and Snekutis was a 5-minute walk.

Check-out was supposed to be at noon. However, the staff graciously granted us a later check-out time of 1 pm.

Throughout our stay, fresh towels were provided daily, and the room was cleaned daily. Thanks to the comfy mattress, our sleep quality was fantastic.


Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas stands as one of the oldest Orthodox Churches in Vilnius, with its origins dating back to 1340 when a wooden chapel was first erected in this location.

However, after approximately four centuries, the church was ravaged by flames and reconstructed in the late Baroque fashion.

Margutis Easter Egg

The 300-kilogram egg was initially created as a temporary sculpture to serve as a placeholder for another artwork called the Angel of Užupis.

However, due to its popularity, rather than discarding it, they relocated the massive egg to a small plaza on Pylimo Street.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This Church and monastery were built in 1421 after Franciscan buildings were destroyed during Crusader attacks in 1390. It was one of the first places in Vilnius where Catholicism was practised.

Church of St. Catherine

Built in the 16th century, this Church boasts intricate Baroque architecture with a bright and visually captivating design, which was impossible to ignore.

Vilnius Town Hall & Square

The Lithuanian uprising was declared in this location on April 24, 1794. Known as the Market Square, the Town Hall Square was once Vilnius’ primary marketplace.

Nowadays, it hosts various events, exhibitions, and charity fairs.

Church of St. Casimir

The majestic crown adorned the church towers. The church was named after St. Casimir, the son of the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland, Casimir.

It was the only Baroque-style church in Lithuania that modelled after the Church of Jesus in Rome (II Gesù).

Church of All Saints

The construction of the Church took place from 1620 to 1630, showcasing elements of both early Baroque and Renaissance architectural styles.

Literatų Gatvė

Adorned the walls of this charming street were works of art dedicated to various authors. Metal, wood, and glass effigies, as well as plaques and other decorative pieces, had been used to decorate the walls.

Church Heritage Museum 

The St. Michael church, which was no longer used for religious services, was converted into a museum in 2009. The museum showcased items from different churches within the Vilnius archdiocese, with a focus on the treasures of Vilnius Cathedral.

Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard

In contrast to other churches in Vilnius, these buildings were made of beautiful orange bricks, giving them a truly unique appearance.

This Roman Catholic church, also known as the Bernardine Church, was a magnificent jewel that displayed the splendour of Gothic design.

Three Crosses Monument

This iconic landmark was a symbol of the city and offered a breathtaking view of Vilnius. With a towering height of 12 meters, according to legend, the three crosses were built to honour Franciscan martyrs who were tied to crosses and hurled down the hill by pagans.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Stanislaus and St. Ladislaus

Situated in the centre of the city, commonly referred to as Vilnius Cathedral, this impressive structure served as a symbol of Lithuanian baptism. Built on the site of a former pagan temple, it was positioned next to the protective castle in Vilnius.

Rising to a towering 57 meters, the bell tower, dating back to the 13th century, was a remarkable feature of the city, housing the oldest clock in Vilnius at its pinnacle.

Reporter from TVP Wilno in the background.

Gediminas Castle Tower

This symbol of Vilnius provides a peek into the city’s history through the museum exhibits and a breathtaking view of the present with its magnificent panoramic view of the city.



We had lunch at this place when we first arrived in Vilnius. This local bar, situated a mere 5-minute stroll from our hotel, offered a variety of draught beers and traditional Lithuanian cuisine.


Food: Kyiv Cutlets @ 11€ for a big one and 9€ for a small one, Roast Pork @ 13€
Drinks: Grafo 5.2% @ 3€ (0.3L), 4€ (0.5L) & 7€ (1L), Pear Cider @ 4€ (0.3L) ,5€ (0.5L) & 9€ (1L)

Valgykla Montuotojas

Experience the style of a post-Soviet canteen. Despite being located 20 minutes walk and slightly uphill from our hotel, this place was worth visiting for its affordable and delicious food. 

One could easily miss this place due to the location being at the back of the building with no clear indication. Upon entering the black door, we walked through a long hallway and found a line of people already queuing to order their food. 

Once we ordered and paid for our food at the cashier, we looked for a place to sit down, (you would have to sit with strangers in this open seating arrangement) and the server was already following us with our food.

It was quick and efficient. Once finished, we returned our plates to the small opening window of the kitchen.

The price for everything was only 12€, including soup and a traditional Russian fruit and berry beverage called Kompot, which was delicious.

Plus Plus Plus Gastrobaras

This bar was incredibly budget-friendly and worth mentioning for its remarkably low prices, leaving us curious about how it managed to stay in business, particularly with the increasing cost of living. 

Additionally, there were a few of them conveniently situated in various areas throughout the historic district and offered free and speedy internet.


Drinks: Kalnapilis @ 2.20€ & Cider @ 3.20€


In the Vilnius Old Town, there were a total of 28 churches, the majority of which were Roman Catholic.

Vilnius Old Town was a perfect blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, reflecting its rich history and cultural influences. The medieval buildings, narrow alleyways, and grand churches would transport you back in time.

Travel Date: 03rd March – 05th March 2024

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