10 Historical Landmarks to See in Vilnius

Vilnius Choral Synagogue
Vilnius Choral Synagogue | ©FaceMePLS/Flickr
Elizabeth Georgian

Vilnius has a long and rich history, reminders of this are scattered throughout the city. From a university founded in 1568 to castle remains from the 15th century, Vilnius has its fair share of interesting landmarks. Immerse yourself in Lithuania’s long history at these 10 historical sites in Vilnius.

1. Gediminas' Castle


© Mantas Volungevicius/Flickr
Though most of Gediminas’ Castle no longer remains, a tower from the Upper Castle is still standing. Originally built in the 1400s, the Upper Castle is one of Lithuania’s most famous historical landmarks. A walk up the hill to take a closer look at this brick structure provides stunning views of Vilnius’ historic old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. St. Mikalojaus Church


Mikalojaus Church
©Elizabeth Georgian
In a city full of outstanding churches, St. Mikalojaus Church is notable as the oldest standing church in Vilnius. It was built in the 1300s and visitors who look closely may notice fingerprints and other markings in the brick. St. Mikalojaus Church is built in red brick in the Gothic style.

3. Bernardine Cemetery


Bernardine Cemetery in the fall
© Elizabeth Georgian
Located in Uzupis, the Bernardine Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Vilnius and is certainly an interesting place to visit on a warm day or on All Saint’s Day (November 1) when the cemetery is lit by candlelight. Bernardine Cemetery was built in 1810 and restoration efforts are currently underway. Visitors should beware that after heavy rains, bones from some of the oldest graves may stick up from the ground.

4. Museum of Genocide Victims


Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights
© Luca Rei / Alamy Stock Photo
The Museum of Genocide Victims is featured frequently on many of Culture Trip’s articles about Vilnius. This is due to its importance both as a former KGB office, prison, and torture chamber, as well as due to the excellent exhibits describing this sad piece of Lithuania’s history.

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