capital and largest city of Lithuania

Vilnius is the largest city and the capital of Lithuania, with a population of 553,904 (850,700 together with Vilnius County) as of December 2005.[2] It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County. Vilnius is 312 kilometres (194 mi) from the Baltic Sea and Klaipėda, the most important Lithuanian seaport. Vilnius is connected by highways to other major Lithuanian cities, such as Kaunas (102 km/63 mi away), Šiauliai (214 km/133 mi away) and Panevėžys (135 km/84 mi away).

City municipality
Top: Vilnius Old Town Middle left: Vilnius Cathedral Middle right: St. Anne's Church The 3rd row: Vilnius business district (Šnipiškės) The 4th row: Presidential Palace.
Flag of Vilnius
Coat of arms of Vilnius
Jerusalem of Lithuania, Athens of the North
Unitas, Justitia, Spes
(Latin: Unity, Justice, Hope)
Location of Vilnius
Location of Vilnius
Coordinates: 54°41′N 25°17′E / 54.683°N 25.283°E / 54.683; 25.283
Country Lithuania
Ethnographic regionDainava
CountyVilnius County
MunicipalityVilnius city municipality
Capital ofLithuania
Vilnius County
Vilnius city municipality
Vilnius district municipality
First mentioned1323
Granted city rights1387
 • City municipality401 km2 (155 sq mi)
112 m (367 ft)
 • City municipality539 939
 • Density1,391.9/km2 (3,605/sq mi)
 • Metro
806 308 (Vilnius County)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(+370) 5



See History of Vilnius



According to the 2001 census by the Vilnius Regional Statistical Office, there were 542,287 inhabitants in the Vilnius city municipality, of which 57.8% were Lithuanians, 18.7% Poles, 14% Russians, 4.0% Belarusians, 1.3% Ukrainians and 0.5% Jews.

In 1931, Vilnius had a population of 195,071, of which 65.9% were Poles, 28.0% Jews, 3.8% Russians, 0.9% Belarusians, 0.8% Lithuanians and 0.6% others (Germans, Tatars, Karaims, Latvians, Ukrainians and others). In 1939, Vilnius had a population of about 209,500, the percentage of the population remained roughly similar to 1931) [source?]



The climate of Vilnius is considered as Humid Continental or Hemiboreal by Köppen climate classification.[3] Summers can be hot, with temperatures above thirty degrees Celsius throughout the day. Winters can be very cold, with temperatures rarely reaching above freezing


View over the Cathedral roof

Vilnius is a cosmopolitan city with diverse architecture. There are more than 40 churches in Vilnius. Restaurants, hotels and museums have sprouted since Lithuania declared independence.

Aušros Vartai Street. The icon of The Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy is venerated in a chapel at the medieval gate at the top of this street.

Like most medieval towns, Vilnius was developed around its Town Hall. The Old Town, the historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Europe (3.6 km²). The most valuable historic and cultural sites are concentrated here. The main sights of the city are Gediminas Castle and Cathedral Square, symbols of the capital. The Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 1995, the first bronzecast of Frank Zappa in the world was installed near the center of Vilnius with the permission of the government.



Vilnius is the major economic centre of Lithuania and one of the largest financial centres of the Baltic states.



The city has many universities. The biggest are:

  • Vilnius University
  • Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
  • Mykolas Romeris University
  • Vilnius Pedagogical University

Specialized higher schools with the university status are:

  • General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania
  • Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
  • Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts
  • National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art


St. Nicholas is the oldest surviving church in Lithuania, built before 1387

Vilnius is the Roman Catholic center of the country, with the main church institutions and Archdiocesan Cathedral located here. There are many churches in the city as there are many monasteries and religion schools. The Church architecture in the city includes Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical styles, these styles can be foundin the Old Town. Vilnius is considered one of the main centers of the Polish Baroque movement in architecture of churches. Vilnius has been home to an Eastern Orthodox Christian presence since the thirteenth century. A famous Russian Orthodox monastery, named for the Holy Spirit, is located near the Gate of Dawn. St. Paraskeva's Orthodox Church in the Old Town is the site of the baptism of Hannibal, the great-grandfather of Pushkin, by Tsar Peter the Great in 1705. A number of Protestant and other Christian groups are present in Vilnius, most notably the Lutheran Evangelicals and the Baptists.

The Choral Synagogue of Vilnius, the only synagogue in the city to survive the Holocaust.

Once widely known as Yerushalayim De Lita (the "Jerusalem of Lithuania"), Vilnius once was comparable only to Jerusalem, Israel, as a world center for the study of the Torah, and for its large Jewish population. That is why one part of Vilnius was named Jeruzalė. At the end of the 19th century, the number of synagogues in Vilnius was more than hundred.

Islam came to Lithuania in the 14th century from Crimea and Kazan, through the Tatars. Tatars in Lithuania have maintained their religious practices: currently, about 3,000 Tatar Muslims live in Lithuania. There are same few groups of pre-Christian pagan in the city.


Map of Vilnius elderates. Numbers on the map correspond with numbers in the list

The city of Vilnius is made up of 21 elderates that are based on neighbourhoods:

  1. Verkiai — includes Baltupiai, Jeruzalė, Santariškės, Balsiai, Visoriai
  2. Antakalnis — includes Valakampiai, Turniškės, Dvarčionys
  3. Pašilaičiai — includes Tarandė
  4. Fabijoniškės — includes Bajorai
  5. Pilaitė
  6. Justiniškės
  7. Viršuliškės
  8. Šeškinė
  9. Šnipiškės
  10. Žirmūnai — includes Šiaurės miestelis
  11. Karoliniškės
  12. Žvėrynas
  13. Grigiškės — a separate town included in the Vilnius city municipality
  14. Lazdynai
  15. Vilkpėdė — includes Vingis park
  16. Naujamiestis — includes bus and train stations
  17. Senamiestis (Old Town) — includes Užupis
  18. Naujoji Vilnia — includes Pavilnys, Pūčkoriai
  19. Paneriai — includes Trakų Vokė, Gariūnai
  20. Naujininkai — includes Kirtimai, Salininkai, Vilnius International Airport
  21. Rasos — includes Belmontas, Markučiai





Vilnius is the starting point of the Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipėda motorway that runs across Lithuania and connects the three major cities. The Vilnius-Panevėžys motorway is a branch of the Via-Baltica.



Vilnius International Airport serves most Lithuanian international flights to many major European destinations.

Public Transport


Vilnius has a public transportation system. in 2023 there were 87 bus and 18 trolleybus routes in the city, 426 buses and 190 trolleybuses used the routes on weekdays. They transport about 500,000 people every day. UAB Vilnius Public Transport runs most of the routes. Some are run by Transrevis.[4]

Sister cities


Vilnius has 14 sister cities.


  1. "Total area and population by administrative territory, statistical indicator and year". Statistics Lithuania. 22 March 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  2. Number of population by county, city (town) and municipality |Statistics Lithuania Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine © Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Statistics Lithuania). Accessed May 2, 2006.
  3. Kottek, M., J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. Bibcode:2006MetZe..15..259K. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "Misija ir vizija - UAB "Vilniaus viešasis transportas"". Retrieved 2023-08-23.

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