This 2-day Vilnius Itinerary is packed with activities to help you enjoy a weekend break to Lithuania’s capital city.
If you have less time, be sure to check out the 24-hour itinerary.
I will mention the absolute best spots to eat and drink during your two days in Vilnius in this article, but for more tips, check out this list of best restaurants, and don’t miss out on the great nightlife in this article.
Two days in Vilnius is a good amount of time to visit the different museums, historical sites, and eat all of the best Lithuanian dishes. These are the things you won’t want to miss.
Where to Stay in Vilnius
If you are only going to be staying in Vilnius for two days, you’ll want to pick a hotel right in the center of everything. For me, that means booking in the Old Town neighborhood.
- Kesminta Hotel & Apartments – This is the best-located hotel in my personal opinion. It’s tucked away in a courtyard, so it’s incredibly quiet at night. But walk out of the courtyard and you are immediately in the old town, a close walk to the cathedral and tons of great bars and restaurants. If I am spending the weekend in Vilnius, I always spend the night here. It has free parking, which is great if you’re traveling to Vilnius by car. Rooms start at €45 per night. Book a stay at Kesminta Hotel here.
- Litinterp Guesthouse – This is a great budget option. If you are traveling with two people, it works out cheaper than staying at a hostel and it’s located less than a 5-minute walk to the cathedral. It’s on a pedestrian street so it’s nice and quiet, but walk in either direction and you’re close to the Užupis neighborhood, tons of great restaurants, and all of the best tourist attractions. Rooms start at €21 per night for a single room. Book a stay at Litinterp Guesthouse here.
- The Joseph Signature Hotel – This is a fantastic higher-end boutique hotel in Vilnius. If you’re coming to Vilnius for a city break and don’t mind spending around €100 per night, this is a beautiful spot. It’s well-located right along the Neris River, near Gediminas Tower and the cathedral. The hotel is stylishly decorated, and the breakfast there is the perfect start to the day. Rooms start at €115 per night. Book a stay at the Joseph Signature Hotel here.
Getting Around Vilnius for Two Days
If you are only in Vilnius for two days, you will want to make use of the excellent bus network here.
The best way to do that is to download the Trafi app. This app will allow you to buy bus tickets and find out the nearest bus to take to get you where you want to go. You can also rent those electric scooters through Trafi as well as the orange city bikes that scatter Vilnius.
With this app you will be able to navigate all of the public transportation and ride-share apps in one place like a local.
Two Day Vilnius Itinerary
Once you check into your hotel, you’ll want to know the best places to coffee and breakfast!
If you are staying in the Old Town, I highly recommend coffee from Elska or Backstage Roasters. Both have a small pastry selection as well if that’s how you want to start your day. I personally recommend the cinnamon roll from Backstage, it’s incredible. (Get it to go for an afternoon pick-me-up if morning sweets aren’t your thing!).
If you prefer a larger breakfast, you cannot go wrong with the freshly baked bagels at Beigelių krautuvėlė. They make bagel sandwiches or you can simply get a bagel with butter or cream cheese. They also make excellent coffees with beans from a local roaster.
After breakfast and coffee, let’s get touring!
Morning of Day One in Vilnius
Many of the tourist sites located in the Old Town of Vilnius are located very close to each other. So you can visit quite a few of them in a short period of time.
If you want to learn a lot during your two days in Vilnius, I highly recommend taking a free walking tour. This is my favorite company in the city.
If you’ve never done a free walking tour, it’s basically a tips-based tour. You don’t pay anything to actually go on the tour, but at the end, you leave a tip for the guide – anywhere between €5-10 is a good amount depending on how much you enjoyed the tour. Of course, you can always give more.
They will take you to all of the major sites around the city and tell you interesting stories about the history of the city.
If you’re on a budget or you simply want to take your time exploring the historical sites, these are the ones you won’t want to miss. Click the names of each place to see their location on Google where you can pin them for your personal map and navigate easily once you’re there.
- Cathedral Square: Be sure to visit the interior and exterior of the cathedral. During the week, you can also pay a small amount to go inside and up the bell tower. Pay at the entrance to the bell tower.
- Gediminas Tower: It’s completely free to walk up to the top of the hill and look out over the city. For €5 you can go inside the tower and explore the museum inside. If you plan to visit more museums, get the 3-day pass for €10 which includes all three museums in this vicinity.
- National Museum of Lithuania: This is one of my favorite museums in all of Vilnius and for only €4 (or as part of the €10 mentioned above) you can spend about an hour here learning all about Lithuania’s rich history. Be sure to ask for the free audio guide so that you can learn more about it and hear interesting stories about each room in the museum.
- Hill of Three Crosses: This historical site is a sign of Lithuania’s resistance during the Soviet time. It’s also one of the best views in the city. The path up here is accessible near the base of Gediminas Tower. Simply cross over the river and follow the signs to the Three Crosses. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk up the hill.
At this point in the morning, you’ll likely either be tired and need a little rest from walking or you’ll be ready for lunch. If it’s still early and you’re not quite ready for lunch, I recommend sitting in Bernardine Park. Located just near Cathedral Square, this is a beautiful park most months of the year.
Lunch on Day One
If you’re ready for lunch, then try one of these local restaurants.
- Etno Dvaras: This is one of the most popular restaurants with tourists because of its location and its huge variety of traditional Lithuanian dishes. You can try everything from cepelinai to cheese curd dumplings. They make their own kvass (called gira here in Lithuania). Their staff all speak English and the menu is available in several languages. It’s not just a touristy spot though, it’s affordable and the food is excellent.
- Senoji Kibinine: If you don’t want a big sit-down lunch or you want to try some local “street food” style dishes, this is a great option. Kibinas is a meat pie much like you might find in the UK and which they call pasties. It’s a pastry stuffed with different types of meat or vegetables. They have a nice selection here and they serve them piping hot. The most traditional is the mutton, but the pork with onion and the potato are both really delicious, too.
Afternoon Activities on Day One in Vilnius
There is one museum that is an absolute must-see in Vilnius (in my humble opinion). And that is the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights. It is also sometimes referred to as the KGB Museum. That’s because it was the KGB headquarters here in Lithuania during the Soviet occupation.
Prior to being the KGB headquarters, it was also the Nazi headquarters during WWII. Needless to say, this building holds a lot of pain and history that is a huge part of Lithuania’s past and what makes it what it is today.
In the basement of the museum is an old prison that was used by both the Nazis and the KGB. It’s a powerful and heavy museum, but I believe an important place to visit to understand Lithuania and its people better.
The country only became an independent nation again in 1990, so most people over 30 in this country have memories of a very different life and country. You can get a peek of that at this museum.
Evening Activities and Dinner
If you enjoy a few drinks, be sure to check out some of these bars in Vilnius. Beer lovers won’t want to miss a stop at Alaus Biblioteka (Beer Library). They have a huge selection of beers and the setting is cozy and warm on a chilly winter’s night.
If you prefer cocktails, Kas Kas has nice cocktails and excellent food.
For an overall authentic food and bar experience in Vilnius, get yourself to Šnekutis. They have a huge selection of Lithuanian beers and a large menu of classic Lithuanian dishes. If you just want some bar snacks, they have kepta duona (fried bread with garlic cheese sauce, AMAZING) as well as smoked pigs ears with peas (a hugely classic bar snack in Lithuania).
They also have a full menu of traditional Lithuanian dishes like stuffed cabbage, cepelinai, and cold beet soup which is perfect on a hot summer night (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!).
If you’re not big on the bar scene and just want a great local restaurant for dinner, Senoji trobelė is the place to go. About a 10-minute walk from the Old Town, this is a fantastic spot for dinner (or lunch). They make everything from scratch here and the food is seriously exceptional.
Then back to your hotel so that you can get plenty of rest for your second day in Vilnius tomorrow.
Morning of Day Two in Vilnius
You’ve woken up and are feeling fresh after a great sleep, I hope.
With only two days in Vilnius, you’ll no doubt want to make the most of it. If you are only in Lithuania for these two days, then there’s still more of the culture to learn about and more potatoes and pork to eat!
If you tried one of the cafes that I mentioned above on day one and want to try a different spot, I highly recommend either Taste Map Coffee Roasters or Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories. Both are located in the New Town neighborhood about 10 minutes from the old town, but it’s a good place to start the day if you want great coffee and then want to head out to the TV Tower.
If you downloaded the Trafi App that I mentioned above, you can easily see the nearest bus station to you to get yourself to the TV Tower. The Vilnius TV Tower is the tallest structure in Lithuania and has an observation tower that offers the best views of the city. From Monday-Thursday it costs €8 to go to the top and Friday-Sunday it costs €11.
There is also a restaurant and bar here which rotate and you can visit without paying the observation deck fee. However, it doesn’t have great reviews, so don’t go expecting excellent fare.
The afternoon of Two Days in Vilnius
Once you navigate your way back to the downtown area, you’ll need to fuel up. If you’re still interested in eating more Lithuanian food, you can’t go wrong with Žemaičių ąsotis.
This is a few buildings down from the dinner restaurant that I mentioned for day one. It has home-style dishes like beer soup and mushroom dumplings as well as classic Lithuanian dishes like cepelinai and potato sausage.
I think this is probably my favorite Lithuanian restaurant in Vilnius and the gira (kvass) here is the best I’ve ever tasted.
After lunch, you may want to do some walking. If the weather is good, I highly recommend either Vingis Park or Pavilnys Regional Park. Both are easily accessed by bus or on foot. Both have tons of walking trails (the latter being more dirt paths rather than paved paths).
A good place to finish the day is in Užupis. This neighborhood is fantastic. It has tons of great art pieces and its own constitution. Watch my video from Užupis to learn about all that there is to do there.
You can finish the night at Užupis Picerija, perhaps the best pizza in Vilnius. I imagine you may not want to have any more potatoes and pork at the end of your two days in Vilnius.
Have a Bit More Time in Vilnius?
If you can spare an extra morning or afternoon, or you want to swap out one or more of the activities I mentioned above, I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself to Trakai.
Trakai Castle is one of the most beautiful castles I’ve seen in this region of Europe and during the summer months, it’s one of the best places to get outdoors.
The castle is situated on an island in the middle of a lake. You can get a boat ride around the castle, across the lake to other museums, or just around for a joy ride. There are paddleboards for rent, peddle boats for rent, and kayaks available to rent all by the hour.
There is a huge network of walking trails that take you out into the forest. There is a small beach that is right on the lake where you can swim safely away from the boats.
The castle itself is open every day, even during the winter months, so fear not if you are visiting outside of summer. I’ve heard it’s even more incredible when it’s surrounded by snow. The lake freezes over and you can ice skate on it!
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I currently live in Lithuania and make videos about all of the best restaurants, bars, and places to explore here. This includes a whole lot of videos about Vilnius.