Vilnius christmas trip

5 Must Do in Vilnius This Christmas

Christmas season is almost upon the world, and Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is rapidly awakening its holiday spirit.

From admiring the Christmas tree—which tends to make the most beautiful tree lists each year—to participating in a holiday run, the city has designed a winter program for everyone’s taste.

Vilnius is also gearing up for its grand 700th birthday next year, therefore, the entire holiday season will be infused with pre-anniversary cheer and adventures. Here are the top five must-see winter attractions for this Christmas in Vilnius.

1. Standout Christmas tree. The Christmas tree, which is usually a complex installation rather than traditional adornment, will be placed in Cathedral Square, right in the heart of the city. In the past years, the residents and visitors were treated to dazzling renditions of a Christmas tree. From a purple tree creation filled with 70K light bulbs, voted the most beautiful in Europe in 2017, to a sensational Queen of Chess in 2019, each year, the Christmas tree surpasses expectations. As a surprise for the city’s residents and guests, the tree installation concept remains a secret until its lighting day, which is scheduled for November 26th this year.

2. Fairytale-like Christmas markets. Holiday enchantments will continue in Vilnius’ Christmas markets. Nestled around the tree in Cathedral Square and Vincas Kudirka Square next to the city’s main avenue, the markets will invite the passers-by to live out their holiday postcard dreams: sample artisanal delicacies, buy locally-made gifts, grab a cup of hot chocolate or wine and head out to other adventures in the city. The Christmas markets will be open from November 26th till January 1st, 2023.

3. Skating in the century-old prison yard. Those who cannot imagine holidays without skating will be able to enjoy this winter sport at Vilnius Ice Rink. This season it will be set up in one of the most unique urban spaces of the city—the yard of the prison turned cultural hub Lukiškės Prison 2.0. The rink, open from December 1st till February 28th, 2023, will fuse typical holiday activity with a non-traditional setting to create an alternative Christmas adventure.

4. Christmas sports. Santa Clauses, elves, fairies, and reindeer running around the town means Vilnius is hosting the annual Christmas Run. Families, children, locals, and guests will have the chance to dress up, run around the festively adorned city, and greet the oncoming holidays during the 47th running event, which will be held on December 10th.

5. Tasting the holiday flavors. Vilnius’ gastro scene thrives all year round, reaching peak levels during the Christmas season. A slew of fine dining and traditional cuisine restaurants are huddled within walking distance from each other all over the town and enthrall the patrons with Michelin star-worthy creations. Vilnius even presented them with real stars in the winter sky that highlight the talented chefs’ input in creating a top-notch gastronomic ecosystem.

Photo by Go Vilnius

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