Born from a legend about a howling iron wolf, Vilnius stands at the cusp of east and west, a testament to the Lithuanians' record as the last pagans in Europe and warriors who in medieval times expanded their empire as far as the Black Sea.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the city's enchanting Old Town is a visual feast, thanks to its churches, meandering cobbled streets, palaces and intimate courtyards. It is also where many of the best places to stay in Vilnius are located.
Amongst a wealth of architectural styles, Baroque is dominant, resulting in echoes of a Jesuit town somewhere in Latin America, except that here the tapering crosses of the Catholic churches combine with the Pagan symbols of the sun and the moon: wife and husband in Lithuanian mythology.
As for hotels, from our selection of the best places to stay in Vilnius there are some notable examples occupying historic Old Town buildings, and others that mimic historic elements; less evident are bolder, more cutting edge places.
Any exploration of Vilnius should, if possible, be combined with a trip to historic Trakai, 28 km away, and Europos Parkas, the open-air museum with over 100 works by world-famous artists, 19 km away.
The nightlife is cosy, there are little bars everywhere, poked into little gaps in medieval architecture, and it's an easy city to get around. There's also something beautiful and romantic to look at with every turn.
Vilnius is a good choice for anyone looking for a beautiful, unusual and culturally rich destination, but on a budget. Many of the best places to stay in Vilnius have room rates of under £100 a night.
There's a lot to see in Vilnius. But many of the highlights are interesting for their history and architecture, so you don't necessarily need to spend a great deal of time at each. And many of the great churches and monuments are located in the Old Town.
A large contemporary hotel just 20 minutes from central Vilnius, surrounded by pine forests and two magnificent lakes. A host of activities including a championship golf course, indoor pool and indulgent spa. A selection of bars and restaurants. Impressive banqueting halls. A convenient city escape.
A renovated 16th century building reworked in a contemporary refurb. Simple rooms decorated in neutral tones with wooden beams and sloping ceilings giving them a loft like feel. A rustic restaurant offers Argentinian dishes and a great wine list to boot. Excellently located for exploring the city.
A lavish 19th-century mansion; ideally situated for exploring the city's landmarks. Traditional elegance throughout. A lovely restaurant with a summer time patio and panoramic views of the city's spires from some of the suites. An ideal choice for a city break.
A beautifully decorated hotel in Old Town. Frescoes, beamed ceilings, wooden floors, gothic vaults, and vibrant colours. Individually decorated light airy rooms. Suites feature Turkish baths and jacuzzis. Quirky cellar restaurant serves traditional and European cuisines. Ideal for a city break.
A traditional Residence with elegant rooms and suites, a fantastic steak house restaurant, and beauty spa. Great value, authentic, and centrally located in the old town of VIlnius.
Privately owned boutique hotel on narrow medieval street. A characterful building with traditional decoration - stone facades, marble floors, paintings, artworks. Lovely restaurant with courtyard, spacious rooms, and conference facilities. Ideal for business or leisure.
Functional elegance behind a classical façade in Vilnius' old town. A combination of contemporary sensibility and old world beauty. Marble columns, Provencal wallpapers, golden touches. chandeliers, giant bath tubs. The restaurant has superior service and classical cuisine. A fine stay.
In the heart of the Old Town but off the tourist track. An atmospheric hotel in the vain of literary greats with charming individually decorated rooms. Lovely restaurant and even a banqueting hall for special events.
Five Star Luxury in the heart of the ornate and romantic old town of Vilnius, in the UNESCO listed Cathedral Square. Every luxury and state of the art conveniences in this supremely elegant hotel: marble bathrooms, lavish suites, spa and first class restaurant. Hard to beat for business or pleasure.
Charmingly decorated hotel with noted restaurant. Rich traditional elegance throughout - rugs, beautiful painted walls, original artworks, antique furniture, urns, and chandeliers. A gorgeous inner courtyard for dining and bedrooms with four poster beds. Truly delightful.