Vilnius may not be your typical destination for a New Year’s celebration, but that’s really just one more good reason to come. Forget about the crowds you have to elbow through and party into 2018 in the lively Lithuanian capital. So where’s the best place to be on 31 December and what do locals do?
Before heading out to party, attending plays, concerts and events on the evening of 31 December is a true tradition. There’s no shortage of options, with the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Museum of Applied Arts and Design, Vaidilos Theatre and Vilnius Congress Hall all offering something on that day. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, though, as they’re likely to be sold out by mid-December.
Restaurants throughout the town offer special menus and events on the last day of the year. Some of the latter are held in English, making them a good fit for both locals and visitors. Make a reservation early so you can be sure you’ll get in – Lokys, Crowne Plaza and Kempinski are all quality choices.
Even the smallest Lithuanian town will launch midnight fireworks to celebrate the New Year, and the display in Vilnius can be truly spectacular. The main spot everyone flocks to is Cathedral Square – arrive a little earlier because it can get crowded. Other good vantage points include the Hill of Three Crosses, Tauras Hill, Subačiaus Viewpoint and the bank of the Neris River near Mindaugas Bridge.
If you’re looking for a themed party or a special style of music – check out the events taking place in Vilnius’ clubs, all of which offer something on New Year’s Eve. The most popular venues in town are probably LOFTAS, Opium and Pramogų Bankas, but you can also look for other options to find one that sounds just right for the first night of 2018.
If you don’t have a ticket to any event on 31 December, see what’s going on at Siemens Arena. It’s known for hosting last-minute concerts on New Year’s Eve and tickets are easy to get. After midnight, pop into one of Vilnius’ many bars where you’re sure to find crowds of locals who didn’t really want to do anything special and just got out to have a good time in their favourite spots. You’re not likely to find a place to sit, but good company is guaranteed.