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Why is it worth visiting Vilnius in summer 2024?

If you haven’t been to the capital of Lithuania yet, visiting Vilnius in the summer of 2024 is a great idea! Vilnius has been ranked as the most budget-friendly city break for 2024 and has lots to offer year-round. However, summer is always the best time to visit, with average daytime temperatures of 23°C and many amazing events. Here are some recommendations for things to do in Vilnius in the summer of 2024 from our Free Tour Community team.

Explore the charming Vilnius Old Town

The Old Town of Vilnius is a unique labyrinth of cobbled streets, historic architecture, and vibrant culture, earning its place as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is dominated by Baroque buildings. However, you will also find Gothic, Renaissance, and Neoclassical styles represented, offering a fascinating journey through time. The most iconic must-see places in Vilnius include the impressive neoclassical Cathedral, the Gediminas Tower, which provides panoramic views of the city, Pilies Street, filled with charming cafes and artisan shops, and the masterpiece of Gothic architecture, St. Anne's Church, among many others. Check out our previous article for the top 10 attractions in Vilnius!

One of the best places to visit in Vilnius during the summer is Užupis - the bohemian heart of the city, which is a self-declared "Republic of Artists" known for its creative spirit and charm. Located on the bank of the Vilnia River just 5min walking from the Old Town, this neighborhood boasts a distinct identity with its own constitution, anthem, and even a president. The area offers quirky street art, galleries, and sculptures, reflecting its vibrant artistic community as well as some great spots to relax and enjoy the nature. In the center of Užupis you will find the statue of Angel, symbolizing the freedom and inspiration. The Republic's Constitution, humorously profound, is displayed on a wall in multiple languages, embodying its ethos of creativity, freedom, and humanity.

Užupis Free walking tour by Vilnius with Locals

If it is still not enough, step out of the Old Town and explore the neighbourhood of the New City. It is a dynamic district where urban renewal meets artistic innovation. Once a bustling industrial hub, the New city has undergone a remarkable transformation into a vibrant area celebrated for its street art and creative energy. The area is a hotspot for contemporary art, with galleries and cultural spaces popping up alongside trendy cafes and boutiques. Places like the Loftas Art Factory host music gigs, exhibitions, and festivals, fostering a lively cultural scene.

If you want to explore these places with a local guide, you are welcome to join the free walking tours! Vilnius Free Old Town Tour runs every day at 11am and the Free Tour of Užupis republic and the tour in the New city ‘Vilnius: from ’90 to now’ during the summer season are run twice a week at 3pm, you can book your spot here.

The celebration of Midsummer in Vilnius on 23-24th June

Lithuanians are still connected to the old pagan tradition and the most important celebration of the summer is definitely the Midsummer (24th of June), known locally as Joninės or Rasos, with a vibrant blend of ancient pagan rituals and lively festivities. This celebration, marking the summer solstice, is steeped in traditions that honour nature and the changing seasons. People gather in the countryside or at community events, often around bonfires that symbolize the sun and its life-giving power. Traditional activities include singing folk songs, dancing, and jumping over the fire for good luck and purification. Floral wreaths, made from wildflowers, are worn and later floated on rivers in a ritual seeking to predict future love and fortune. Herbal rituals, where participants collect medicinal plants believed to be most potent on this night, are also common. The night is filled with magic and mystery, as stories of mythical beings and ancient lore are shared, making Midsummer a deeply rooted and enchanting celebration in Lithuanian culture.

Midsummer in Lithuania (picture by birzai.lt)

The main celebration of Midsummer in Vilnius happens at the Verkiai Palace which is easy to reach by public transport. Another big Midsummer party takes place in the historical capital of Lithuania - Kernave, around 50km away from Vilnius. For the exact details of Midsummer celebrations check the official website for Vilnius events.

Lithuanian Song Celebration on 29 June - 6 July 2024

Do you want to see thousands of people in traditional Lithuanian clothes singing and dancing? Do you want to learn more about Lithuanian folk culture? Then you should plan your trip to Vilnius during this summer and join the amazing Song Celebration (Dainų šventė) in July! It is a grand cultural event that embodies the soul and traditions of Lithuania. Held only every four years, this year the Song Festival celebrates anniversary of 100 years! The Festival draws thousands of performers from across the country and the Lithuanian diaspora, uniting them in a spectacular celebration of folk music, dance, and national heritage. The event features massive choirs, performing traditional songs that have been passed down through generations. These performances take place in outdoor amphitheaters and venues, creating an immersive and communal atmosphere. Some of the events are with tickets and are already sold out, and some have free admission, you will find the full program here: Lithuanian Song Celebration programme

Lithuanian Song Celebration (picture by lietuva.lt)

Other musical events in Vilnius during the summer 2024

Some of the music festivals in Vilnius are continuous, allowing you to enjoy different events almost throughout the entire summer! Starting on the 17th of July, the Grand Courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania will host concerts by the most famous Lithuanian and international artists as part of the Midsummer Vilnius festival of music. Both classical and pop music will be featured. Additionally, beginning on the 29th of July, the Christopher Festival will kick off, aiming to show that there is no wrong place or time for music. Various performances of classical, world, and inter-genre music will take place in different venues around Vilnius.

In 2023, Vilnius celebrated its 700th birthday! To mark this significant milestone, Vilnius initiated the surprising festival As Young as Vilnius in 2022. Why is it surprising? The festival features great music, visual spectacles, and amazing vibes, all held at a huge open-air concert venue—absolutely FREE! This is a gift from the city of Vilnius to its people. In 2022, Lewis Capaldi gave an amazing performance, and in 2023, the crowd enjoyed a show by the band Bastille. This year, the main concert will be held on July 25th, featuring the British singer and songwriter Rita Ora! Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate together.

Outdoor activities in Vilnius during the summer

If it is already too much of culture and music, you can relax in the nature and enjoy the outdoor activities in Vilnius as well. Cycling enthusiasts can explore the city's extensive network of bike paths, weaving through picturesque parks and along the scenic banks of the Neris and Vilnia rivers. For a unique aerial perspective, hot air balloon rides provide breath taking views of the city's historic skyline and lush green landscapes, making for an unforgettable experience. Kayaking in the rivers allows for a peaceful yet exhilarating journey, passing by natural and urban beauty. The surrounding forests and hills offer excellent hiking trails. Additionally, the numerous lakes around Vilnius provide perfect spots for swimming, picnicking, and simply relaxing by the water, making summer in Vilnius a season of vibrant outdoor adventures! Check out recommendations by Vilnius with Locals Team for more ideas.

Visit Vilnius in summer 2024 as there are so many amazing cultural events and activities to do!
Summer in Vilnius (Vilnius with Locals Team)

Whether you choose to take part in cultural events, explore the history of the charming Old Town of Vilnius, or experience activities in nature, Vilnius has something to offer for every taste. Visiting Vilnius in the summer of 2024 could be your best summer trip yet!

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