The Old Town of Vilnius retained the features of a small medieval town, which flourished several centuries ago. It creates the atmosphere of comfort and neatness, which is so essential for deliberate tourist promenades. As any other medieval town, Vilnius was built at the top of a fairly large hill on the bank of the river.
Since it foundation by prince Gediminas at the beginning of XIV century, it has been the capital of Lithuania almost all the time. You should start your acquaintance with Vilnius from the Castle Hill where there preserved the remnants of medieval castle and the Gediminas` Tower. It is just from there that you could have the most impressive views of the city.
A multitude of churches and cathedrals looks very picturesque against the background of red-roofed houses of the Old Town, which is located on several smaller hills. On the opposite side of the river business center of Vilnius is being built, the district of sky scrapers.
At the foot of the Hill you can see the old Governor`s Castle and the main cathedral of Vilnius. There is a square in front of these sites, which is generally very crowded. There started the pedestrian street Piles. It goes along the same old houses and churches you could see from the Gediminas` Tower. Lower floors of almost all buildings are occupied by pubs and restaurants, which makes the street the favourite place of afternoon and especially evening promenades of the citizen and tourists.
As to tours of Lithuania, its small size makes it possible for you to make trips to any point of the country. For example, it would take only 4 hours to drive to a small town Palanga. From there you should go to Nida, a wonderful reserve of sandy dunes. However, if Nida and Palanga are at the other end of the country, by all means should you make a trip to the suburb of the city and see Trakai Castle.
It is the most beautiful castles in the country. It was built in XIV century and is well-preserved. In that period Trakai was the capital of Lithuania. Then it was a small township, 30 kilometers of Vilnius.