Heading to Lithuania with the kids? Maybe you have Lithuanian background, or you’re jut exploring the Baltics. Either way, you’ll be able to find lots of interesting things to do in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius with kids.
Vilnius, with a population of about 600,000, is a mid-size city with a walkable downtown and unique neighbourhoods, museums and parks. Lithuania was the first Baltic country to break free of the Soviet Union in 1990, so it has a fascinating history to learn about first hand while you’re there.
We visited Vilnius in winter, so most of our photos are a bit ‘cold’ looking -rest assured, Vilnius is sunny and warm in the summer months.
So, let’s jump in – things to do in Vilnius with kids!
Things to Do in Vilnius with Kids
Here are the fun , interesting and educational things to do with your family in Vilnius
1. Stroll through Vilnius Old Town
The Old Town in Vilnius is about 1,000 years old. With the cobbled streets, and tons of old buildings and fascinating things to see, its worth it to just walk around and take in the atmosphere. The Old town is very spread out, so I would prepare for quite a bit of walking by wearing comfortable shoes. You could spend a whole day just walking around the old town.
Top Sights to Look for in Vilnius Old Town
- Gates of Dawn – an archway for the protective wall built around Vilnius in the 1500s
- Vilnius Cathedral and Cathedral Square. This cathedral contains artwork from the 16th-19th centuries, and also has an underground crypt that you can visit. See ticket information for the crypt here.
- St. Anne’s Church, a beautiful red 15th century gothic church (the most famous church in Vilnius)
- A family-friendly place to eat in Vilnius Old Town on Pilies street: Etno Dvaras, a Lithuanian chain that serves traditional Lithuanian ‘your grandma’s recipe’ dishes. We highly recommend getting here a bit early if you want to have dinner; we visited Vilnius in December and were surprised by the lineups
Pro Tip: This hotel in Vilnius Old Town is one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at (mainly because of the breakfast!)
2. Get a panoramic view of the city from Gediminas Tower
The Gediminas Tower is not only interesting, but gives you a beautiful panoramic view of Vilnius city from the top. Gediminas Tower is about 900 years old, and was once apart of the city’s Upper Castle.
The inside of the tower is a museum where you can learn about the history of the castle and see pictures of what it looked like when the whole thing was still standing.
How to get to Gediminas Tower
You can easily walk to Gedimina’s Tower from Kalnai Park, or from Old Town. Depending on where you are in the park, it could take 10-20 minutes to walk to the tower. From Old Town, it would take 15 minutes to walk here – so not long at all.
You can get to Gediminas Tower by trolleybuses 2, 4, 10, 17 or buses 10 and 33. They all stop in the park where the castle stands, and from there you have a 5-10 minute walk to the stop of the hill (it is a little bit steep.)
For those driving, there is parking across the Vilnia River. From there, Gedimina’s Tower is a 9 minute walk over the bridge and past the Old Arsenal.
3. Spend a morning in Užupis Neighbourhood
Užupis (pronounced “ooh-zhou-pees” – meaning, “over the river” in Lithuanian) is a unique, must-see, bohemian neighbourhood in Vilnius, that declares itself as being its own country. It actually has its own flag, and its own national holiday (April 1st.)
When you immediately enter this archway which leads into Užupis neighbourhood, you should go into a store to your right. In there, there are passport stamps for you to stamp your passport, along with other souvenirs.
Pro Tip: I wouldn’t stamp your passport, because of that small chance that it could cause problems for you when you travel again. But you can bring notebooks or other items to be stamped. You can also buy a postcard there to be stamped.
You can spend a good half day walking throughout Užupis. There is so much art, coming from an era of time when Lithuania freed itself from the Sovient Union, only 30-something years ago. There is colourful graffiti, interesting statues, trinkets hanging from trees, random furniture and other trinkets displayed in unique works of art. Its truly a sight to see.
How to Get to Užupis from Vilnius
- By foot – You get walk to Užupis from Old Town in Vilnius, in about 20 minutes. Its a pleasant walk, through old streets, plus going over a bridge. So if your children don’t mind walking, this is what I’d recommend. It should be stroller friendly as well
- Taxi – A taxi to Užupis from old town will take about 4 minutes
- Bus from Old Town: line 10, #33.
4. Toy Museum
Yes, Vilnius has a toy museum dedicated to kids! It’s purpose is to create a place where parents and caregivers can spend quality time with their kids, making things and learning things in the company of each other. So if you’re in Vilnius with kids, this is a must-see.
Keep in mind, there is no specified age range for visiting the Toy Museum. If you have older kids, then they will engage with things in a more sophisticated way than younger kids would.
Good to Know: The Vilnius Toy Museum’s website posted ideas for things to do for kids who were bored during the pandemic. They are very family-oriented and kid-friendly, and a special thing to do with your family in Vilnius – you can still use some of these ideas now.
Vilnius Toy Museum is open to the public at 2pm daily. Its a popular place for school field trips, so that is why they don’t open to the public until the afternoon. It’s also recommended that you book your visit in advance on their website.
5. Take a day trip Trakai Island Castle
Trakai Island Castle, as the name suggests, sits on an island in the middle of a lake, Lake Galvė. Construction of this picturesque little castle begun nearly 1,000 years ago. It has a beautiful 3-storey courtyard, and such classic, medieval looking rooms inside – its well worth a visit! You could spend around 2 hours exploring the inside of Trakai Castle.
Trakai Castle is about 23 km (14 miles) from Vilnius. The easiest way to get there, especially with kids, is to either drive (about 45 minutes one way) or you can book a half-day sightseeing tour. Children are welcome in this tour. You’ll be picked up in the town square in Vilnius, by the cathedral in an air-conditioned bus, and the the tour is 4 hours long.
6. Relax in Kalnai Park
Kalnai Park is a 61 acre (24.5-hectare) park right in between Old Town and Gediminas Tower in Vilnius. The Park includes the Gediminas Tower, as well as the Hill of Three Crosses, mentioned below. However, the park in itself, is a nice place to go just to run around and burn off some steam. Kalnai Park is also often used as a venue for performing arts on special occasions.
Some parts of Kalnai Park are quite hilly, with stairs, shown in the picture above. The stairs aren’t mandatory, but climbing them gives you a good opportunity to get some great views of the city, and the Gediminas Tower in the distance.
While you’re in Kalnai Park, you have the option of hiking up to the Three Crosses monument which is located in the park, and gives you a panoramic view of the city.
7. Hike to the Three Crosses Monument
The Three Crosses are painted a crisp white and sit high on Bald Hill in Kalnai Park, overlooking Vilnius. You can climb up to them to get photos of them, as well as a gorgeous view of the city. Climbing up to the Three Crosses is not stroller friendly, but its doable with a baby carrier. The hike is moderate, and will test your fitness (and your kids) a little bit.
It would take just under an hour to hike up to the Hill of Three Crosses. Children are advised to not climb the monument, as its a historical structure that they’re trying to maintain.
Legend of the Hill of Three Crosses: The Three Crosses have a very interesting legend and mystery behind them (which you may not want to share with your kids.) Legend has it that 14 monks were invited to Vilnius in the 1300s. Because Pagan beliefs were still very alive and common in Lithuania at the time, all 14 monks were murdered on this hill. The crosses were built to honour them. There’s no way to confirm or deny this story today, but its the legend behind this beautiful historical monument in Venice.
8. Illusions Museum
Located right in Old Town, Vilnius’s Museum of Illusions has moving rooms, LED light shows and other tricks to the eye. There’s an upside down room, and a lot of illusions that will keep you amazed and second-guessing.
Like the Toy Museum in Vilnius, the Illusions Museum is a nice way to spend time together having fun as a family, being fascinated by all the surprises and tricks.
It makes for an exciting trip for older children 5+ years old, but younger children are still welcome. Children 3 and under are free of charge. Be sure to book your ticket online for the day you plan to visit.
9. Step into history at the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights
The former KGB Museum in Vilnius is now known as the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights. Its a 3-floor building that documents the 50 years that Lithuania lived under the Soviet Rule.
This museum features a sad, but important piece of history of when Lithuania was under control of the USSR, which continued until 1990. This might not be a topic thats interesting for younger children (and some of the stories may be upsetting for younger children) but for older children, this is may be worthwhile, important topic to learn about first-hand.
Good to Know: Children under 7 get in for free to the Freedom Museum, and 7-18 year olds only cost 1 euro. You should budget about 2 hours to spend at the Genocide Museum.
10. Learn about world currency at the Money Museum
The Money Museum in Vilnius features a collection showcasing world currency through history. You can see money from different countries worldwide.
They do free 1.5 hour tours specific to children who are school-age or pre-schoolers. The tours can be done in Lithuanian or English. Click here to plan and book your visit directly with the museum.
Where to Stay in Vilnius with Kids
We recommend staying at Artagonist Hotel. It’s right in Old Town, and therefore located only steps away from many of the sights you want to see. To this date, it is the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had.
Other Places to Stay with Kids in Vilnius
- Budget: Happy Inn -1 bedroom apartment right in Old Town for a great price
- Mid-range: Hotel Rino – Includes a buffet breakfast and an airport pick-up service
- Luxury: Conti Hotel -Provides an elevated experience with a buffet breakfast, spacious and stylish, comfy suites
How to Get Around Vilnius With Kids
There are several safe , convenient and affordable ways to get around Vilnius and the surrounding areas with your family. Here are the best options below.
1. By Foot
Most of Vilnius Old Town is very walkable and stroller friendly, so you can get around to most places downtown by walking. This is what we did. We enjoyed our walks through the Old Town, the park, and the Uzupis neighbourhood. Most Vilnius attractions are centred around the Old Town area are accessibly by foot.
2. Bike and Scooter Rental
If visiting Vilnius with older children, there are places in town where you can rent a bike or rent an electric scooter (during the warm months only.) This is becoming a popular practice worldwide, and Vilnius is no exception.
Taxis are a safe and convenient way to get around Vilnius. You can book taxis online at taxi.it for your convenience. Be sure to have cash on hand for the taxi driver, as paying by cash is more common in Lithuania than card.
4. Public Transportation
Vilnius’ bus and trolleybus systems are highly efficient and have good reach throughout the city. You can check schedules and times online or view the stops here. Since the pandemic, it has become more common in Vilnius to use electronic tickets. You can buy these tickets at a Naversan, a chain convenience store.
5. Electric Car-Sharing Service
Aside from walking, biking or public transit- this Vilnius’s electric car sharing services are the next most environmentally friendly way of getting around Vilnius. You can use the apps City Bee and Spark to find out which electric car is closest to where you are.
Vilnius with Kids: FAQs
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about travelling to Vilnius (we wish we’d asked these questions before our trip!)
How many days do you need in Vilnius?
I recommend spending at least three days in Vilnius. This gives you the opportunity to venture out to Trakai Castle, explore Užupis, Old Town and the monuments in Kalnai Park.
Is Vilnius a walkable city?
Most of Vilnius, especially in the Old Town, is very walkable. The old towns are pretty spread out, so you should wear good shoes and prepare for a lot of walking. If you want to go to attractions that are further away, such as Trakai Castle, then there is also public transportation and tours you can book.
Is Vilnius worth a visit?
Vilnius is an interesting and unique city, and it has beautiful architecture. Its well worth a 3-day visit (or more.)
Is English widely spoken in Vilnius?
Most younger people in Vilnius, especially those that work near tourist sites, speak good English. If you venture outside the city, or interact with people who don’t often speak with foreigners; especially older people, then you might encounter some language barriers. Even though most people in Old Town Vilnius speak English, it might be helpful to know a few Lithuanian words, such as thank you (Ačiū – pronounced “Ah-ch-iow”.)
Is tipping customary in Lithuania?
Tipping started becoming more common in Lithuania in the 1990s, but its still not as common there as it is in United States, for example. If you do decide to tip, 10% would be considered a normal and sufficient amount for good service.
Conclusion: Vilnius with Kids
I enjoyed our 3-day trip to Vilnius and it exceeded my expectations. Prior to our visit, I knew very little about Lithuania. Learning about its history through monuments and art was a fascinating experience, and one that the whole family would enjoy.
I hope this guide has been helpful in assisting you in planning your trip to Vilnius with kids!