Name: The small city ring (Old town – Vingis park)
it is a good simple possibility to see a bit more of the city than “just the old town”… Follow the Gedimino prospekt from the Cathedral via former “Lenin square” (with the KGB museum) to the parliament (and the monument for the barricades of 1991), cross the bridge to the wooden house quarter of Žvėrynas and look around a bit. Then cross the pedestrian bridge to Vingis park. Follow the road right to the Open air stage (where the famous song festivals use to happen). You might have a break in the famous open air cafe Lakštingala (Nightingale). Then follow the low traffic Čiurlionis Street right back to the city centre.
Takes some 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Tour with guide (bicycle included): 15€ per Person (on repuest), min. 2 Persons
Bicycle rent: 5€ for 2 hours
PLACES TO VISIT:
1) Vilnius Cathedral Basilica
2) Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
3) The Money Museum
4) Monumentum to Vincas Kudirka
5) Government of the Republic of Lithuania
6) Monument to Žemaitė
7) Lukiškės Squere
8) The Museum of Genocide Victims
9) National Library of Martynas Mažvydas
10) Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania
11) Znamenskoye Orthodox Church
12) Amphitheater of Vingis Park
13) I World War German Soldiers Cemetery
14) Orthodox Church of St. Michael and St. Constantine
15) Monument to S. Moniuszko
16) Church of St. Catherine
17) Vilniaus City Hall
18) Contemporary Art Centre
19) Church of All Saints
20) Monument to Lazdynų Pelėda
21) Gates of Dawn
22) Church of St. Theresa
23) Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit
24) Church of St. Casimir
25) Russian Orthodox Church of St.Nicholas
26) Vilnius Picture Gallery
27) Church of St. Paraskeviya
Sightseeing of the Old Town by bike is easy and fun. You will see more than just walking on foot or travelling by car, while have some exercise, too!
The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the largest and most beautiful old towns in the Central and Eastern Europe. It has a wealth of architectural and cultural monuments, museums and galleries. Therefore, you cannot travel around it quickly, because every several metres you will encounter an interesting object worth a closer look.
If you are going to not only ride but also visit museums, churches and other places of interest, or have a snack at a cafeteria, take care of the safety of your rented bicycle. It is especially convenient to travel along the Old Town of Vilnius using the Cyclocity bike rental system. You can pick up and leave the bike in more than twenty rental stations, so you will have no worries about safety.
In most of this part of the route you will be riding on the bike trails, but a few kilometres will stretch along streets. If 10 km is too much for you, take a shorter version of this route – 3 km track in the very centre of the Old Town of Vilnius.
Start your trip in the Cathedral Square. But before mounting the bike, take the opportunity to check the points of interest in the Cathedral Square. Admire the impressive ensemble of St. Stanislaus and 1) St. Vladislav Cathedra and the bell tower. Explore the exhibits of the 2) Rulers’ Palace.
From the Cathedral Square turn to Gediminas Avenue – the main street of the town. It’s driveway has a separate cycle lane. After 300 meters on the right you will see a post office building, then look left. Across the street there is a modern and interesting 3) Money Museum. Here you will learn about the money history of the world and banking, Lithuanian money, and even can make yourself a souvenir plate. You can chain the bicycles at the bike racks on the other side of the street opposite the entrance to the post office.
A few hundred meters on the right you will see 4) Vincas Kudirka Square, with a monument to the Lithuanian nation awakener, publicist, writer, author of the National anthem of the Republic of Lithuania Tautiška Giesmė V. Kudirka (1858–1899) in the middle. Behind it is 5) the Lithuanian Republic Government House . Here you must decide whether you are travelling 10 km or 3 km. If you opt for a shorter route, turn left, to Vilnius Street, to its end, where the bike trail starts again, and shake yourself on the ancient cobble pavement. After reaching the bike path, go to Moniuškos Square. From there, the long and the short routes overlap. Meanwhile, if you are considering a longer route, pedal away along Gediminas Avenue. Soon, you will see a tiny square on the right, with a monument to writer and educator 6) Julija Žymantienė- Žemaitė (1845-1921). Another few hundred meters, and you are in 7) Lukiškių Square , with unusual pink paths catching the eye. The Square appeared in the middle of the nineteenth century with the expansion of the city. There used to be a large marketplace then.
On the other side of Gediminas Avenue stands 8) the Genocide Museum. The building was built in 1899 as the city’s courthouse. In 1944-1991 it hosted the Lithuanian unit of the State Commissariat for State Security (NKGB), and the prison. More than a thousand people, mostly Lithuanian freedom fighters, were killed there. The museum has exhibits related with Soviet crimes, an execution camera, a remand prison and jail cells. Bicycles can be locked to the fence near the museum entrance or left at the stands in GediminasAvenue.
Continue your trip along Gediminas Avenue and on the right you will see a spectacular gray building. This is 9) the National Mažvydas Library , the most important Lithuanian library. Behind the library you will find 10) the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
Soon, you will approach the Neris Ri-ver. Cross it along Žvėrynas bridge, and at the end you will be greeted by the domes of the beautiful 11) Orthodox church of the Byzantine Lady Sign From Heaven (1903). Here the bike trail ends, and you will have to ride for about a kilometre down the street together with the car traffic.
After driving along A. Mickevičiaus street for about a kilometre, turn right – to Birutės street. At the intersection with Treniotos street the biking trail starts againon the left. It will lead you to one of the largest parks in Vilnius – the Vingis Park. It is fun to fly on the paved park paths, but don’t hurry too much because at any moment you risk running into a skater, a pedestrian or a small child. If you want a more extreme ride, turn into some secluded, natural surface trail.
Vingis Park has a cafe, a botanical garden, a bike and roller rental, an archery club, and various public workouts during the summer season: running, Northern walking, yoga etc.
At the intersection with a car roller keep left and you will reach 12) the stage. During the summer it hosts a number of events and performances of the world’s famous artists. Bypass the stage, keep left and reach the park gate. Next to it you will see 13) the German military cemetery on the left. It is a burial ground for almost three thousand of German, Austrian, Hungarian and other soldiers killed during the two world wars.
After leaving the park go along the antique pavement of M. K. Čiurlionio street. Ride for about a kilometre, and at V. Mykolaičio-Putino street you will find the bike trail again. On the right you will pass one of the most beautiful 14) Orthodox churches in Vilnius – St. Constaintine and Michael (1913). Descend along K. Kalinausko street from the hill and cross Pylimo street, then exit through small Palangos street out to Vilniaus street. Take a turn to the right and soon you will find yourself at Moniuškos Square, with a monument 15) to the famous Polish composer Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819–1872) who lived in Vilnius for almost 20 years, and 16) St. Catherine’s Church (18th century), currently used as a concert hall.
Drive the bicycle path on the left sidewalk. It will take you to Vokiečių street, which ends at the 17) Vilnius Town Hall . In this place, on the main square of the city, the first Town Hall was built in the fourteenth century, when Vilnius was granted the Magdeburg rights. The present building was rebuilt in the end of the eighteenth century according to the project of the most famous Lithuanian architect Laurynas Gucevičius.
Leave the Town Hall on the left, and 18) the Contemporary Art Centre in the right, and ride along the bike trail in Rūdninkų street. Turn left at the seventeenth century 19) Baroque Church of All Saints at Visų Šventųjų street. In a couple of hundred meters on the left you will see the park 20) named after the writer Lazdynų Pelėda, with her sculpture. Visų Šventųjų street will lead you to Bazilijonų street. There, turn left and drive until you see 21) the Gates of Dawn on the left. This is the former defence city wall gates. It now has the chapel of the image of the Mother of Mercy, with the miraculous painting of the Holy Virgin Mary (about 1520 to 1530). Each year thousands of pilgrims from around the world come to see the painting and pray
the Holy Mary for grace.
Pass the Gates of Dawn and travel a little bit on the cobblestone pavement. On the right you will see 22) St. Theresa’s Church (1633–1650), famous for the most beautiful altar in Lithuania. It also is one of the early Baroque buildings in Lithuania. Next to it stands 23) the Church of Holy Spirit – the most important Lithuanian Orthodox church. It is especially known for the ornate iconostasis – a partition separating the altar from the rest of the church. In a couple of hundred meters you pass another important shrine – 24) the seventeenth century St. Casimir Church. According to the legend, it took 700 men to bring its foundation stone which still can be seen in the wall, from Antakalnis district. Climb the towers of the church to hear the sounds of wind music. You can leave the bicycles at the stands on the other side of the street.
The bike trail starts again at 25) the eighteenth century Gothic St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. It is briefly interrupted near 26) Vilnius Picture Gallery situated in Chodkevičiai Palace, which you will see on the right, and re-appears behind 27) St. Paraskeva’s Church . The legend tells hat Tsar Peter I baptized the ancestor of the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, Hannibal, of African origin. The last section of this route is the bike path in Pilies street. There are almost no cars here, but a lot of pedestrians, so ride with caution. At the end of it you will see the decorated Cathedral Square again.
Download the route description with map here: