Reaching Kokkola–Pietarsaari Airport from the city is simple, with Kokkolan Aluetaksi Oy offering a pre-booked taxi service between the city and the airport. For taxis from Pietarsaari, City Taxi Jeppis offer a service.
Departing from Kokkola with Finnair
- Finnair are delighted to be able to offer up to three flights a day from Kokkola, allowing you to travel at a time that suits you.
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A multi-national city that was formerly a European Capital of Culture, the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius has a long history. It is home to one of the biggest Old Towns in Europe, where the streets are lined with beautiful architecture and plentiful attractions can be found. The city also boasts numerous museums, parks, and monuments, providing great diversity for an interesting city break. Make the most of your time in the city and don’t miss the highlights with this Finnair travel guide to Vilnius.
Sights in Vilnius
The pastel-coloured buildings of the Old Town look like dolls’ houses, and the atmospheric cellar restaurants provide a historic atmosphere. The mediaeval Gediminas’ Tower, within Gediminas’ Castle, is well worth a visit, not least because the walk up to the hill provides sweeping views over the city. Known locally as Senamiestis, the Old Town is also home to Vilna Ghetto, the former Jewish part of Vilnius. The Užupis neighbourhood is popular among artists, and the district declared itself an independent republic in 1997. Filled with quaint cafes and galleries, Užupis is home to St. Anne’s, one of the most beautiful churches in Lithuania, and the world’s only monument to Frank Zappa. The Museum of Genocide Victims, which is located in former KGB headquarters, is a testament to the darker history of the city. Other museums around Vilnius include the National Museum of Lithuania, the Contemporary Art Centre, the Customs Museum, Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum and the Literary Museum of Alexander Pushkin. The Crooked Castle is one of Vilnius’s most unique attractions, while other highlights include Vilnius Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the art-filled walkway of Literatų Gatvė, and the Gothic Town Hall. There are several historic cemeteries that attract numerous visitors; these include the peaceful Bernardine Cemetery and the city’s oldest cemetery of Rasos. Vilnius is a green and leafy city with plenty of pleasant parks to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle for a while. Balsiai Mythological Park is filled with interesting statues from mythology, religion, and folklore, the large Park Vingis offers diverse leisure options, and Verkiai Regional Park provides great views and a very accurate replica of the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem. Spend an evening at the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre, catch a sports game, take a hot air balloon tour … there are many diverse ways to have fun in Vilnius.
Things to See and Do Near Vilnius
- Trakai – A former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, this small town sits between two large lakes. It is well-known for its island castle, built in a Gothic style and previously home to powerful Lithuanian dukes.
- Palanga Beach – Just a short bus ride from the capital city, the country’s busiest summer beach boasts long and wide sandy stretches and sand dunes.
- Purnuskes – Thought by some to be the centre of Europe, there’s a commemorative marker as well as a memorial to celebrate Lithuania’s admission to the EU.
Shopping in Vilnius
Vilnius has several large shopping centres, though most of its stores are fairly small and scattered around the city. The city is particularly known for its woollen hats and socks and products made from amber.
- Stiklių Street – This street is a great place for fashion-conscious travellers, with a number of modern and vibrant fashion boutiques.
- Pilies Street – A major street to pick up souvenirs; come and stock up on gifts and trinkets to take home.
- Gediminas Avenue – This is the place to visit for high-end shopping and well-known brands. As well as names like Marks and Spencer, Mango and Zara, you’ll find luxury boutiques and independent fashion outlets.
Food and Drink
- Beer – Lithuania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe for beer, and there are many craft breweries in Vilnius where you can enjoy a few glasses of locally made beers.
- Cepelinai – The national dish of Lithuania, this meal consists of large potato dumplings stuffed with pork and covered with a hearty helping of bacon sauce and sour cream.
- Fresh cheese curd – Something of a staple in Lithuanian households, fresh cheese curd is used in many dishes. Try sweet fried cheese curd cakes with jam and berries.
- Beetroot soup – A delicious comfort food, this bright red beetroot soup also typically contains carrot, onion, celery, and meat stock. Potatoes are often served with the soup.
Transport in Vilnius
There are various ways of getting around Vilnius and many of the major sights are in a relatively compacted area.
- By foot – Walking around the large Old Town means that you don’t miss any of the area’s charms. Many sights are close to each other too.
- By bicycle – Rent a bike and cycle alongside the Neris River to the Green Lakes. There are several rental companies around the city. Be careful when using other cycle tracks, however, and keep an eye out for cars straying into your lane.
- Buses and trolleybuses – For areas beyond the Old Town, buses and trolleybuses in Vilnius run from 5am to midnight each day. Tickets are bought from the driver, per ride, and validated onboard the vehicle. Changing buses requires a new ticket, though fares are inexpensive. A more convenient way of using public transport in Vilnius is to purchase a day pass. Visitors staying for longer may benefit from a three-day or ten-day pass.
- Taxis – Order a taxi in Vilnius by telephone or mobile app to save money; taxis hailed on the street can cost almost double the price of a pre-booked cab.