Guide to budget Vilnius: free excursions, museums, entertainment, parking lots
Free Vilnius

Guide to budget Vilnius: free excursions, museums, entertainment, parking lots

My hometown Vilnius is full of interesting places, both paid and free. Every time I come here, I find new ones. There are endless ways to diversify your vacation in the city, and it’s all the more pleasant when you can save money. I will tell you about free attractions that will help you get to know Vilnius better.

Free excursions

The best way to get to know Vilnius is a tour led by a local. If you don’t know the history of the city, haven’t decided where to go and see, where to try traditional cuisine — the guide will prompt you.

Free excursions are as good as paid ones. Locals know the most interesting places in Vilnius. During the walk you will see the historical, alternative and modern city, and they will also advise you on how to diversify your leisure time, where you can go for a day trip.

Streets of Vilnius
Streets of Vilnius

Free guided tours of Vilnius:

  • Vilnius free walking tours. The tour lasts 2.5 hours: historical or alternative Vilnius. Weekdays and Sunday at 10:30 am, Saturday at 3:30 pm. No pre-registration is required. You need to be at the Gedimin monument by the time.
  • Vilnius with local. Historic Vilnius — daily at 10:00 or 12:00, alternative — Friday through Monday at 14:00. You have to come to the Town Hall for the meeting.

Guided walks around Vilnius will not be boring. It is not a set of facts. Tour guides are interested in tips and are creative in their work.

I advise you to see the alternative Vilnius, to get acquainted with murales — graffiti with political coloring, there are 12 of them in the city. Some of them are visible and some are hidden. Guides will help you find them.

Excursions are conducted in «understandable» English. Vilnius people understand and speak Russian, so you can always ask if you don’t understand something.


Free museums

Museum Night in Vilnius — May 18 from 18:00 to 1:00. Museums in the Lithuanian capital are small, you can leisurely walk through a few and get acquainted with the history of the city.

As of 2019, you can get into all Lithuanian museums for free on the last Sunday of the month. In Vilnius, this bonus applies to several interesting exhibitions, which I’ll talk about below.

If you can’t make it on these dates, you can buy a Vilnius City Card. This card gives a significant bonus for visiting museums.

Lithuanian Art Museum

Lithuania’s main museum includes several exhibitions scattered around the country. In the capital, these include the Vilnius Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the Radziwill Palace and the Museum of Applied Arts.

It is a colossal museum fund with the country’s heritage: there are paintings, everyday objects, stories and legends.

  • Mode of operation on a free day: from 12:00 to 16:00.
  • Website of all museums.

Gedimin’s Tower

A miniature museum in a tower on a hill. The collection includes everything related to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: armor and weapons, models of castles and ancient documents. On normal days the entrance costs 5 €, to go up by cable car — 2 €.

  • Mode of operation on a free day: 10:00—20:00.
  • Website.
Gedimin’s Tower

Museum of Theater, Music and Cinematography

The museum is divided into several expositions. The theater department presents scenery and costumes from the 19th century, puppets, posters and programs.

Music Department — original musical instruments from the 18th to 20th centuries. Among them there are unique ones, for example, a kankles — something similar to a psaltery.

Films have been and continue to be made in Vilnius. You will learn more about it in the film art department. For me, this is the best part of the museum.

  • Mode of operation on a free day: 10:00—16:00.
  • Website.

Free parking lots

If the hotel does not have its own parking lot, you can park for free in a variety of ways.

Vilnius has an extensive paid parking zone — the entire center and all the most popular areas for living. But if you choose the right parking zone, you can leave your car for free for a short period of time.

Parking in Vilnius is divided into four zones:

  • Blue is always paid.
  • Red — free daily from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. and Sunday.
  • Green — free daily from 6:00—8:00 p.m. and on Sunday.
  • Yellow Street — free of charge every day from 20:00 to 8:00 and all day on Sunday. On Santariškių g. street it is free of charge on weekdays from 16:00 to 8:00 and on Saturday all day long.
Parking areas
Parking areas

You can leave your car in the parking lot of Iki, MAXIMA XXX for a short period of time. For no more than two hours per day. There are parking machines in the parking lot, where you need to mark your arrival. The car will not be evacuated, but will be left with a fine or warning.

From 8:00 to 22:00 free parking near the major shopping centers: Akropolis, Ozas, Dovanorama and Europa.

Iki store with its own parking lot
Iki store with its own parking lot
Parking near Akropolis
Parking near Akropolis

Free Wi-Fi

There is no problem with free internet in Vilnius. There is Wi-Fi at the train station, next to it at McDonald’s and Cili Pizza. In the Old Town there are many Caffeine coffee shops with excellent connection. All major shopping centers, gas stations definitely have internet.

Mobile communication in Lithuania is inexpensive, and sim cards can be bought in any store.

Café Cili Pizza
Café Cili Pizza

Free water

Drinking fountains appeared in Vilnius in 2019. They stand in tourist spots. In the center, look for them on Town Hall Square and on Vokiečių g., near the Cathedral, in the square on Odminių g, in Bernardinians Park, and two more near regular fountains.

Drinking fountains are modern, with a dispenser for drinking and dialing water. There are bowls at the bottom so that pets can drink too.

If the heat is unbearable and drinking fountains are far away, you can ask for water in any café in Vilnius. Usually it’s free with coffee, but when the weather is extreme outside, a glass of water will not be refused.


Free toilets

In Vilnius, almost all public toilets are paid for. Even at the central station the entrance costs 0.4 €. McDonald’s doesn’t help: entrance to the toilet is by check code only. In the Old Town, the barista usually gives you the key.

The only free toilet near the station is on Kauno g. 5, to the left of the former Palace of Culture. 5 to the left of the former Palace of Culture building. You can also try to go to crowded cafes like Etno Dvaras or Chili Pizza.

Palace of Culture
Palace of Culture

What else is free in Vilnius?

  • Almost all of the observation dec ks in the center are paid for, but there are enough free ones to check out Vilnius from up high.
  • In summer, after 20:00, DJs perform near the former Palace of Culture on Kauno g. 5. 5 DJs perform. You don’t need a ticket. I recommend visiting this event. There are tables outside and a bar.
  • Free bus tours, bonuses in cafes, discounts on leisure activities and souvenirs with Vilnius City Pass.
  • Free events such as light shows, a fair or a movie festival are posted on the Vilnius portal.
  • On the second day of Easter, the people of Užupis are invited to a table that is set outside.
  • Look for original photo installations at Stiklių g. or in Užupis at the Art Incubator and Tibet Square.