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Destination inspiration: Vilnius, Lithuania

The leafy city of Vilnius

The leafy city of Vilnius

Why go?

A compact city, Vilnius stands at the confluence of two rivers, the Vilnia and the Neris. Whether you’re a couple on a romantic jaunt or a family looking to soak up some history, Vilnius is best experienced on foot. First stop should probably be the Old Town, featuring a fascinating medley of architectural styles. Starting outside the neoclassical Town Hall at noon each day, a free walking tour guides visitors through the city’s cobbled streets and discreet courtyards. Along the way, the tour takes in the daintily Gothic St Anne’s Church and the Renaissance-meets-Baroque façade of the storied Vilnius University.

St Anne's Church, Vilnius

St Anne's Church, Vilnius

For an alternative look at Vilnius, you can wander through the vibrant Užupis neighbourhood, an artists’ enclave (and self-declared “republic”) dotted with street art and pop-up sculptures. Or if you’d rather escape the city’s confines, you can amble amid the verdant surrounds of the Bernardine Gardens, where the fountains dance to the rhythms of classical music scores. When it comes to places to stay in Vilnius, there’s no shortage of sleek hotels, boutique B&Bs and family-size apartments to choose from – all within an easy walk of the city’s top sights.

June through August sees pleasant, sunny weather

June through August sees pleasant, sunny weather

When to go?

If you prefer to stroll about town in short sleeves, June to August is guaranteed t-shirt weather. During winter, average temperatures rarely rise above zero, but the sparkle of Cathedral Square’s giant Christmas tree (late November to early January) wouldn’t be half as magical without that frosty feeling in the air.

A room at the refined Amberton Hotel, Vilnius

A room at the refined Amberton Hotel, Vilnius

Where to stay?

Amberton – Vilnius, Lithuania

This hotel offers a smart stay in central Vilnius. The rooms feature contemporary décor and modern bathrooms, while the in-house restaurant serves French bistro cuisine and faces onto Cathedral Square. Booking.com guests rate Amberton highly for its great location, cleanliness and helpful staff.

The Secret Garden Boutique B&B – Vilnius, Lithuania

The homely Secret Garden Boutique B&B, Vilnius

The homely Secret Garden Boutique B&B, Vilnius

No room is the same at this eccentric B&B. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Old Town, the aptly named Secret Garden boasts antique furniture and original artwork. Booking.com guests love the ambiance of the inner courtyard as well as host Alina’s cooked-to-order breakfast.

Barbacan Apartments – Vilnius, Lithuania

The self-catering Barbacan Apartments, Vilnius

The self-catering Barbacan Apartments, Vilnius

These spacious apartments make for a comfortable self-catering stay in the heart of Vilnius. As well as a kitchen and entertainment area, there’s a free airport pick-up service and on-site parking. Booking.com guests recommend Barbacan Apartments for its central location and its friendly, attentive owner Dmitrij.

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