Traveling can be a costly endeavor, but that doesn’t mean you have to empty your wallet in order to enjoy yourself. In fact, there are plenty of free things to do in Vilnius, Lithuania that are just as fun and enriching as their paid counterparts.
From exploring the city’s vibrant Old Town to taking a leisurely stroll through one of its many parks, there’s no shortage of ways to have a great time in Vilnius without spending a dime. This Baltic capital can be enjoyed on any budget, and can be a great addition to any bucket list.
And if you’re looking for the best way to get acquainted with all that the city has to offer, we recommend taking a free walking tour in Vilnius. Not only is it an affordable way to see the sights, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about Vilnius’ history and culture from the perspective of a local guide.
List of the best things to do in Vilnius for free
1- Visit Vilnius’ Old Town
One of the best things about Vilnius’ Old Town is that it’s so easy to explore on foot. Strolling through its narrow streets and alleyways is a great way to get a feel for the city’s unique character, and there’s no shortage of amazing architecture and historical landmarks to admire along the way.
Highlights include Cathedral Square, which is home to both Vilnius Cathedral and St. Anne’s Church; Town Hall Square, where you’ll find the neoclassical City Hall; and Pilies Street, the main thoroughfare lined with beautiful baroque buildings.
Best of all, since much of Vilnius’ Old Town is pedestrianized, you can wander around to your heart’s content without having to worry about cars or buses zooming by.
2- Lose yourself in one of the city’s parks and green spaces
Vilnius is filled with green spaces that are perfect for relaxing or getting some exercise. If you’re looking for somewhere to take a leisurely stroll, we recommend heading to Three Crosses Hill or Žaliasis Bridge, both of which offer stunning views of the cityscape.
For something a bit more active, consider checking out Vingio Park, where you can go hiking, biking, or even kayaking in warmer weather.
And if you’re traveling with kids (or just feeling young at heart), be sure to swing by Gediminas Castle Tower for some playground time. There’s also a petting zoo nearby if you really want to get up close and personal with some furry friends.
3- Admire the city’s architecture
Vilnius is known for its beautiful architecture, and there are plenty of opportunities to admire it without spending a fortune. In addition to Old Town, which is filled with historic buildings and landmarks, be sure to check out Gediminas Avenue, where you’ll find some of the city’s most impressive Art Deco and modernist buildings.
And if you want to get a bird’s eye view of Vilnius, head to one of its many observation decks, including the TV Tower, St. Anne’s Church, or Gediminas Castle Tower.
4- Learn about the city’s history and culture
If you’re interested in learning more about Vilnius’ history and culture, there are plenty of free museums and galleries to explore. Highlights include the National Museum of Lithuania, which chronicles the country’s past from prehistoric times to the present; the Lithuanian Jewish History Museum, which documents the city’s once-vibrant Jewish community; and the KGB Museum, which offers a glimpse into the city’s Soviet past.
There are also several art galleries worth checking out, including ARX Gallery, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, and Lithuanian Art Museum.
5- Sample the city’s food and drink scene
Vilnius is known for its excellent food and drink scene, and there are plenty of opportunities to sample it without spending a fortune. Although technically not 100% free, this is definitely worth mentioning because it’s such a great deal.
The city is very well known for its café scene: here you will find numerous cozy coffee shops serving delicious coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. In terms of restaurants, you’ll find everything from traditional Lithuanian cuisine to international fare.
6- Go window shopping
If you’re looking for some good deals, Vilnius is definitely the place to be. The city is filled with small boutiques and shops selling everything from clothes and accessories to souvenirs and local handicrafts.
For something truly unique, be sure to check out the many open-air markets scattered around the city, where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade goods. And with this activity, you only need to spend as much as you’re willing to!
7- Get to know the city with a Free Walking Tour
As we mentioned before, taking a free walking tour is one of the best ways to explore all that Vilnius has to offer. Not only will you get an insider’s look at some of the city’s most popular attractions, but you’ll also learn about its rich history and culture from a knowledgeable local guide.
Tours typically last around two hours, and most of them depart from Town Hall Square every day at 10:30am (just be sure to arrive early so you don’t miss out).
8- Attend a free event or concert
Throughout the year, Vilnius hosts a number of free events and concerts, ranging from open-air film screenings to live music performances.
In the summer months, be sure to check out the many outdoor festivals taking place in the city, including the Vilnius Street Music Festival, the Vilnius International Film Festival, and the vilnius Jazz Festival.
And if you’re visiting in the winter, don’t miss out on the city’s famous Christmas Market, which takes over Town Hall Square every year from late November to early January.
Whether you’re interested in exploring Vilnius’ Old Town or getting outside for some fresh air, there are plenty of free things to do in this Baltic gem of a city. Just be sure not to miss out on taking a free walking tour – it’s the best way to make the most of your time in Vilnius!