Hot-Air Ballooning over Vilnius Old Town
Hot-air ballooning is an adventure fit for any bucket list, and Vilnius offers the opportunity to glide over its charming Old Town in a hot air balloon – something most cities simply don't allow. You can take to the skies in a small group or with a company of up to 10 people. Then enjoy the awe-inspiring views as you float one kilometre above the city then drift out over its green, forested outskirts. And once you're back on the ground you'll take part in a special induction ceremony where you receive a certificate and become a part of the local hot air ballooning crew forever.
Meet a local
The best way to get to know a city is always through the people that know it best - the locals. Through the Meet a Local program you can hook up with a Vilnietis (that's a Vilnius citizen) who'll be there when you arrive to give a personalised tour of the city. All you need to do beforehand is let the guide know your interests and they'll tailor the tour to you.
An evening in traditional Lithuania style
Looking for a crash course in Lithuanian cuisine and folk traditions? Sign up for this one-night event, and you'll not only receive the best in Lithuania's local cuisine (the crowning glory of which is the shocking pink Cold Beetroot Soup) You'll also have a chance to practice the moves of some local dances accompanied by the best local folk musicians.
Adventures in Liepkalnis
The Liepkalnis resort nestled on the highest point surrounding the capital is the perfect spot for people looking to add a little adrenaline to their stay. Primarily a ski resort during winter months, the resort also has summer toboggan run. So if it's speed you are after, this is the right place. And for those who prefer to scale new heights, the resort also has special climbing walls. With 30 kinds of obstacles that have been designed to match the experience of the climbers, there's something for both amateur and advanced climbers. But the resort is not only for adults and older children, smaller kids will also find plenty to do - there are inflatable trampolines, a ball pool, and a playground, along with other fun activities.
Explore secret military fortifications
You'll find that just below the street there lies a secret world. A hidden space where the past truly comes to life. Vilnius is peppered with secret military fortifications that can be accessed as part of specially curated group tours. In these Cold War hideouts, you will get a taste of how it felt to be completely separated from the outside world – while the reconstructed interiors will give you a real feel for the era.
Paddle your kayak
Take in the city's sights from a totally different angle. Starting at the narrow Vilnelė River, visitors can Kayak down the River Neris, the city's main tributary. A leisurely few hours paddling will allow you to experience the city in a way you'll never forget. Soak in the ever changing hues of the forests that line the river shore, and delight in the modern city views as they emerge from the surrounding green. You'll get a taste of the city's new business districts, as well as the dreaming spires of the city's many cathedrals. And keep an eye out for local wildlife, the area is especially resplendent in native birdlife.
Old craft workshop
If you are a budding artisans or craftsperson or just an interested amateur, the craftsmen's club "Dvaro meistrai" is the place for you. Lithuania has long and cherished traditions in folk arts and crafts and today's masters are more than happy to share their expertise. With lectures, guided tours, and workshops running the gamut of crafts ranging from bead stringing, book binding and weaving and spinning, visitors can gain hands-on experience and invaluable working insight.
"Hop on – Hop off" Vilnius city tour
Want to get a crash course on Vilnius? Hop on the red city bus and you'll see all the city's most important sights, and much more besides. The bus departs from its main stop in front of Vilnius Cathedral regularly throughout the day. And the great thing about it is that you can hop on and off at one of its many spots along its routes. So if you see something that takes your fancy, all you need to do is hop off the bus. Not only that, if you'd like to know a little more about the city, the tour comes with an audio guide that's available in 11 languages.
Looking to get a real taste of the city? To hear the local lingo at its sing-song best? Then there is no place better than Vilnius' oldest indoor market - Halė Market. After some local delicacies like lašiniai - cured pork fat, or kastinys - a local garlic cheese spread? You'll find them here. Then there's honey fresh from the hive, apples from your grandmother's orchard, and homemade sauerkraut. And let's not forget the local curd cheese, varškė - a staple of the Lithuanian breakfast table. A trip around the market is pretty much a crash course in Lithuanian cuisine. Not only that, you'll get a real feel for the locals themselves as they banter and barter in amongst the stalls. And if you start to build up a hunger, the market contains a lot of specialist bistro booths and bars.
Tour to Trakai
Visitors wanting to escape the city for more peaceful surroundings are in luck. Located only 28 km from the capital, Trakai is a must visit. The picture perfect lakeside town occupies a special place in the history of the country - it was once the centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Vytautas the Great, the 15th century ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, invited the Karaites to Trakai, and their cultural mark on the town can still be seen today. In fact, the town's signature dish is the traditional Karaite pastries – kibinai. Make sure to try one (or many, they're very moreish!)
Trakai's central attraction is the reconstructed castle that sits on a small island in the middle of the lake upon whose shore much of the town was built. The walk from the lakefront to the castle across the specially built walkway is one of the most magical moments you'll experience on your trip. But it's not just the castle that makes Trakai special. The area surrounding the town is one of immense natural beauty, with lots of forest and marsh paths to explore around the town. And you'll also find that you can take a boat ride around the lake, allowing you to experience the beauty of the town from a totally different angle.MORE →