Vilnius Culture & history

Our most recommended Vilnius Culture & history

The Hill of Crosses: Full-Day Tour from Vilnius

1. The Hill of Crosses: Full-Day Tour from Vilnius

This full-day tour starts at 09.00 AM when you’re picked up at your centrally located Vilnius Hotel. After about an hour’s drive you’ll reach the Ukmergė District, stopping at a park established to remember those who fought against the Soviet regime. You’ll see crosses dedicated to the partisans, to the most important dates of Lithuanian history and to famous individuals, such as Pope John Paul II and US President Ronald Reagan. Learn about the symbolism of the cross in Lithuanian culture and history. Continue to the Siauliai area, where you’ll visit the Hill of Crosses, one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Lithuania. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant and taste traditional Lithuanian dishes. After lunch you’ll head back to Vilnius arriving at around 5:00-6:00 PM.

Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

2. Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

After pick-up from accommodation in Vilnius start the tour with Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Lithuanian Jews were killed. Learn about the Paneriai or Ponary massacre where up to 100,000 people were murdered by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators during World War II. After the tour of the park visit Trakai castle, once a major centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and where today you can see one of Europe's most beautiful castles on the island in the lake. Here you will have the chance to have lunch in a traditional Karaim restaurant or enjoy a boat trip around the lake. After Trakai visit the first capital of Lithuania, Kernavė. Kernavė is highly significant in Lithuanian history and boasts five hill forts and historic churches. A Lithuanian state cultural reserve was established in Kernavė in 1989 and it was in 2004 that Kernavė Archaeological Site was included into the UNESCO world heritage list. After enjoying this site you will be returned to your accomodation in Vilnius.

From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

3. From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

During this private day tour you will be able to explore the most interesting sites in the surrounding areas of Vilnius. The tour will start from Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Jews from Wilna were killed.  The Paneriai or Ponary massacre was the mass murder of up to 100,000 people by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, during World War II. The murders took place between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station of Ponary, now known as Paneriai, a suburb of what is today Vilnius, Lithuania. After the tour in the park, you will head to the second capital of Lithuania, where today you can see the most beautiful castle, on the island in the lake. Here, you have the possibility to enjoy lunch in traditional Karaim restaurant or take boat trip around the lake. After, the group will head to the temporal capital of Lithuania - Kaunas, which is second largest town in Lithuania today. You will also visit Pazaislis monastery. After this, you will head back to your accomodation in Vilnius.

Hill of Crosses and Siauliai Tour

4. Hill of Crosses and Siauliai Tour

Starting from Vilnius the tour will take you to the north of Lithuania where you will find Siauliai city and the famous Hill of Crosses. Siauliai is the fourth largest city in Lithuania.   During the drive through the center, there will be a chance to see the famous Frenkel Villa, Church of St. Peter and Paul and meet the Millenium Fox and Golden Archer of the Sundial.  The famous Hill of Crosses will be your next stop, where the Pope John Paul II held the most highly attended mass in our country – during his visit to Lithuania in 1993. This old mound from the days of the crusaders has been decorated with thousands of crosses in every imaginable size and form. This has always been, as it is now, a place of pilgrimage. Today a veritable sea of crosses – hundreds of thousands of them – serves as a monument to Lithuanians’ devotion to their religion. You will learn about the cross making craft - one of the most unique Lithuanian crafts, included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. After the visit in the Hill of Crosses, it is possible to stop for lunch in a traditional restaurant before making your way back to the capital city, Vilnius.

Vilnius: Half-Day Sightseeing Tour to Trakai

5. Vilnius: Half-Day Sightseeing Tour to Trakai

Enjoy an amazing half-day tour of Trakai, traveling by air-conditioned minibus from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, with an English-speaking guide. Located just 17 miles (28 kilometers) from Vilnius, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania is situated in a picturesque lakeside area, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. Upon arrival, explore the historic town and well preserved ruins of the Peninsula Castle, set on its own island in Lake Galvė. Constructed in the 14th century, the castle was once of extreme strategic importance, falling into disrepair in the 17th century. Reconstructed according to its 15th century plan after World War 2, it’s now a major landmark of Lithuania. Learn about the small ethnic Karaites group who settled in Trakai, along with Tartars, Russians, Jews, and Poles, and get panoramic views of Lake Galvė, the deepest of the region’s 200 lakes.

Vilnius, Trakai and Kernave Private Full-Day Tour

6. Vilnius, Trakai and Kernave Private Full-Day Tour

Once you are picked up by your guide at your accommodation, you will head to Gediminas tower in Vilnius to take a look at the Old Town of Vilnius. Later you will take a stroll in the Old Town. Then you will head to Kernave, the first Lithuanian capital, located 40 minutes drive from Vilnius. Upon reaching Kernave (a medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today a tourist attraction and an archaeological site) you will explore 5 hill forts, archaeology museum and hand-made souvenirs shop. Afterwards you will head to Trakai. Trakai prides a magical castle, located on an island. You will be able to visit castle museum, to take a boat trip (additional charge), and have lunch in traditional restaurant owned by the Karaim family. After lunch you will head back to Vilnius, where you will do some more sightseeing in the Old Town

From Vilnius: Trakai Castle and Paneriai Memorial Tour

7. From Vilnius: Trakai Castle and Paneriai Memorial Tour

Following pick-up from your hotel or apartment in central Vilnius, drive to the Paneriai Memorial Park, built at the site of the Ponary massacre where up to 100,000 people were murdered by the Germans during World War II. Pay your respects to the fallen heroes and see historic photographs and documents that detail the tragedy.  Move on to the former medieval residence of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes at Trakai. Take a guided tour of the legendary castle and learn more about the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during its golden age. See historical artifacts inside the fortress, built on an island on beautiful Lake Galvė.  Enjoy up to an hour of free time to explore on your own and purchase souvenirs, or use the time to taste some traditional dishes from Lithuania and of the Jewish Karaite faith at your own expense. Drive back to Vilnius and get dropped off at your hotel or apartment on arrival.

From Vilnius: Anykščiai & The Hill of Crosses Day Trip

8. From Vilnius: Anykščiai & The Hill of Crosses Day Trip

Discover Anykščiai town! This day tour starts with a pick-up from your centrally-located Vilnius hotel.  Firstly, visit the highest Lithuanian Church. Explore the Domantai Hill Fortress, which is covered with more than 200,000 crosses, crucifixes, effigies, statues of saints and patriots. Then gain insight into Lithuania's engineering history on the narrow-gauge railway.  Afterwards, go to the Ethnographic Horse Museum and discover traditional crafts. The tour continues with a visit to the famous "devil" stone of Lithuania - Puntukas. Last but not least is an exclusive treetop walking path - the only one to be found in the Baltic countries and even in the Eastern Europe. The path curves 300m through treetops, leading to a 35m high viewing tower, from which you can look over the fabled Anykščai woods, admire bend of Šventoji river and take a walk through the tree canopy.

Route of John Paul II: Hill of Crosses, Tytuvenai & Siluva

9. Route of John Paul II: Hill of Crosses, Tytuvenai & Siluva

During this private day tour you will be able to explore the most interesting sites, which Pope John Paul II visited. Pope John Paul II was the first Roman pontiff who visited Lithuania in September 1993. His pontificate is related with Lithuanian religious and national revival, and the re-establishment of the Lithuanian Republic in 1990. In the very beginning of his pontificate, John Paul II spontaneously pronounced his famous phrase: “Half of my heart is in Lithuania”.  The tour will include two sites which were visited by the Pope: Siluva Shrine of Our Lady and Hill of the Crosses, and one extra site of the beautiful monastery of Tytuvenai. The tour starts from Vilnius and heads to Siluva. Since the beginning of the 16th century, Siluva has been famous for the indulgenced Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Siluva is famous for the first widely known apparition of the Mother of God in Europe. Today Siluva is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Lithuania with its ancient tradition of the indulgenced Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Next stop will be Tytuvenai monastery. Tytuvėnai’s Church of Our Lady of the Angels and Bernardine monastery complex are among Lithuania’s largest and most significant specimens of 17th and 18th century sacred architecture, reflecting as they do a multi-layered harmony of the Gothic, Mannerist and Baroque styles. The last stop of the tour is the Hill of Crosses. The Hill of Crosses has about 100,000 crosses, it is a historical architectural monument and a unique composition of folk art. The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania left a deep impression on Pope John Paul II. After the tour, head back to Vilnius.

Sightseeing Tour around Vilnius City and Trakai Castle

10. Sightseeing Tour around Vilnius City and Trakai Castle

Discover the main objects of Vilnius city and surroundings, such as: The Classic Town Hall, the  bohemian Uzupis district (visiting the Angel of freedom, the Constitution), the Gothic St.Anne's Church and its famous Gothic ensemble, the magnificent Cathedral Square, old Vilnius University, and baroque masterpieces of the 17th century - Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Then you will drive to the surrounding area and visit Pavilniai Regional Park and see its wonderful panoramic Puckoriai exposure, Authentic Exile Memorial, the crazy Tuputiskiai serpentine, and the literary Markuciai Manor, also known as A.Pushkin Museum. Afterwards, you will see a panoramic view of Vilnius from Subacius hill.  The second part of the tour is dedicated to the Trakai district. The first stop is Paneriai Memorial Park and Museum, which commemorates the brutal events that occurred during WWII. Then you will arrive to Trakai town, where you'll have free time for lunch at a local restaurant, where you can try traditional Karaites dishes like 'kibinai' (pastries filled with mutton and onion). The excursion continues to Trakai Castle, which was a cradle of the Lithuanian statehood, an important military and political center, headquarters of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, and the capital of Lithuania.  At the end of the tour, you'll drive back to Vilnius and be dropped off at your hotel at 17:00.

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What people are saying about Vilnius

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 300 reviews

This was an extraordinary tour of three incredible sites—the somber Paneriai Forest where Nazis did such terrible killing of Jews and others and where now many gray monuments commemorate those lost, the fairy tale castle at Trakai built in the middle of a large lake, and the evocative hill forts of Kernave where Bronze Age pagans once defended themselves and where now 21st century people draw spiritual strength during the summer solstice. Our guide was knowledgeable about all three sites and was able to include a good bit of Lithuanian history in explaining the sites and helping them come alive for us—what exactly happened in the Paneriai Forest, the romantic story of how a duke came to build the castle in the lake for his new bride, and pictures that helped us share a little in the modern-day summer solstice celebration. Throughout, he was considerate, prompt, and affable. We enjoyed being with him on our final day in Vilnius and we’re very grateful to him and to Get Your Guide for ma

Tutto perfetto, guida eccezionale. Ci ha raccontato la storia di Vilnius e della Lituania durante il tragitto (che abbiamo troviamo molto interessante) e poi ci ha accompagnato anche dentro al castello. Super consigliato!

A wonderful experience! The travel guide was so knowledgeable and informative. He learned what we were interested in an tailored the tour to us. I would highly recommend this tour!

Very nice and knowledgeable guide. Especially liked the suggestion for lunch with local foods.

A great trip with loads of history and knowledge provided, thank you Giedrius