Vilnius is famous for being a green city filled with parks. Even if you’re on a tight schedule, there’s always a spot to relax and find yourself in a forest without setting foot outside of the city centre. Observe the wildlife, smell the blossoms or read a book under a tree.
Vingis Park, a 160-hectare park along the Neris River, is an oasis with numerous walking trails. It’s the perfect place to rent a bike or an electric scooter and feel the wind in your hair, sit on the terrace of a café and watch the joggers go by, join a game of Frisbee, or even stumble upon a concert. There are convenient water stations and benches all over the park, and the information boards and maps make navigating this huge park easy.
Established in 1469 by the Bernardine monks, Bernardinai Garden is conveniently located right next to the Old Town’s main sights – Gediminas Castle and the Cathedral. Play a game of chess by the Vilnia River, learn more about different plants at the botanical exposition, enjoy a dessert at one of the cafés, and catch the musical fountain’s concert in the evening. The playground games also make this a perfect spot to enjoy with children.
The vibrant Sapiegos Park is located right next to Vilnius Tech Park, a centre for startups and businesses. Built in the 17th century, Sapiegos Park was home to the palace of the famous Lithuanian nobles. Today, it’s filled with modern art that encourages visitors to think about the evolution of history. You can always drop by for coffee and a chat at the Baltic Sea Region’s biggest tech hub.
The Neris River flows right through the centre of Vilnius, so you can walk along it through a big part of the city. Join the joggers for a morning run, walk under all 13 bridges and look for hidden sculptures. A picnic by Baltasis tiltas (White Bridge) is a must, and if you follow the river you’ll get to Vingis Park. Whatever direction you take, the charming views will lead you all along the way.
Verkiai Regional Park is a protected territory covering 2,670 hectares right in Vilnius. If you have more time on your hands, visit the marvellous Verkiai Palace complex, take in a panorama of the city from the top of the hill, or hike the Way of Cross often visited by pilgrims from around the world. The park is great for bird watching since it’s home to many rare species. Interesting fact: 870 different plants grow there – can you identify them all?