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Forget Paris: Vilnius is the City of Love

What are the key ingredients for a perfect getaway? A compact city that’s easy to navigate on foot while taking in the main attractions; some interesting and quirky spots for great photo ops; amazing food with a twist; activities for all kinds of weather; and of course, a relaxing atmosphere. Vilnius offers all of this, which made adding it to UNESCO’s World Heritage journey Romantic Europe in 2018 a no-brainer. The city is a hidden gem for the romantics of the world, and is filled with all sorts of places witnessing and facilitating love on a regular basis. 

Romantic legends

Vilnius is a city filled with stories around every corner, and observant visitors are always rewarded with a timeless tale or two. Keep an eye out for the Apple tile at S. Moniuška Square; it marks a meeting point for lovers. You can also make a wish while standing on the Miracle Tile at Cathedral Square. Look for the Destiny’s Swing and see what awaits you under the Užupis Bridge, and don’t forget to find its love locks while you’re at it. You can also sit on a bench at K. Sirvydas Square while listening to some of Michael Oginski’s music. Visit the cellars of the Vilnius Cathedral and learn about the history of Vilnius and one of its most famous love stories – the romance between Sigismund II Augustus and Barbara Radziwiłł, It’s more exciting than Romeo and Juliet, we promise.

Things to do on a date

Taking a weekend getaway is romantic in itself, but Vilnius has a few tricks up its sleeve to ensure sparks fly. Taking a hot air balloon ride any time of year right above the capital is always enchanting, but winter is truly magical with the snow-capped red roofs of the Old Town as well as the sleepy forests surrounding the city. Listen to everything go still up in the air. Afraid of heights? Then go horseback riding along the charming winter landscapes, where you’re sure to have some great photo ops. For some interesting stories, take a tour of Vilnius focused entirely on well-known women and love stories of the city. You’ll have a lot to talk about over dinner.

Dinner for two

Get your entrées at Halės Market on Saturday, or at Selfish every day – oysters, seafood, and bubbles will set the mood for the evening. Dinner at a restaurant?  There’s always room for a pleasant surprise. Have you ever tried dining in the dark without seeing your food or partner? It can be a truly uniting experience – you share the fun, guess the flavours, enjoy great food, and – bonus – no one will know or care if you’re a messy eater. For some sweet finishing touches visit Sugamour and share an exquisite dessert that promises to surprise both with its appearance and taste. Celebrate the evening with the unique cocktails and music at Love Bar, which is hidden out of sight from passersby.

Sunsets and pleasant walks

Vilnius is known for its stunning architecture and modern lifestyle, but the natural settings found right in the heart of the city are also worth exploring. Climb the Hill of Three Crosses or the nearby Gediminas Tower to enjoy the sunset over the Old Town. Walk by the Vilnelė River to listen to its murmur, and enjoy the calm and relaxing atmosphere at the Bernardinai Garden. For breathtaking panoramas of Vilnius, make sure to visit the artistic district of Užupis; it’s declared itself an independent republic.

Staying the night

You can go as fancy as Lithuanian nobility and stay at the brand new 5-star Hotel Pacai, which is already famous around the world for its interior design. The property itself, which was built by the Pacai family in the 17th century, served as the setting of an encounter between Russian Emperor Alexander I and Lithuanian Countess Sofija Tyzenhauzaitė. To celebrate their special relationship, the hotel designed a Valentine’s getaway experience for two. Book a room for the night of 14 February using the VDAY promotional code and get 20% off your room reservation. Once there, share a special dinner at the 14Horses Brasserie, where love blossomed between the two historical figures.

You can also opt for the cosy Bookinn B&B, created for book lovers. Plus, there are several other exciting optiunons that can fit any  budget. Hostels for adventurers, the Artagonist Hotel with unique pieces of art in every room, the Comfort Hotel with the best bruch in town and cool rock’n’roll vibes in each room, as well as famous chains like Kempinski, Mariott, Radisson, or Ibis. It’s easy to find the right fit.