Vilnius is the capital of the Republic of Lithuania and the largest administrative heart with all major political, economic, social and cultural centres. Lithuania is a member of the EU, it borders the Baltic Sea, Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Russia (Kaliningrad). Vilnius is in the South East of the country.
Current area of Vilnius is about 400 square km. Buildings cover 29.1% of the city and the remaining area is prevailed with the greenery (68.8%) and waters (2.1%).
History reveals that Vilnius was first mentioned in 1323 by the Grand Duke Gediminas, who sent numerous letters to Western Europe inviting traders and craftsmen of all nationalities and religious confessions to settle in the city. Now Vilnius is the largest city in the country, with the population of approximately 560 thousand, according to the data of 2001-2009. Ethnically Vilnius community comprises 57,8% of Lithuanians, 18,7% of Poles, 14% of Russians, 4% of Byelorussians, 0.5% of Jews and the remaining 5% of other nationalities.
The Old Town, historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Eastern Europe (360 ha). The most valuable historic and cultural heritage is concentrated here. The buildings in the Old Town—there are about 1.5 thousand of them—were built in a number of different centuries, therefore, it is a mixture of all European architectural styles. Although Vilnius is often called a Baroque city, here you will also find masterpieces of Gothic, monuments of Renaissance, Neoclassicism and other styles. The main sights of the city are the Gediminas Castle, the Cathedral Square—symbols of the capital—and the historic centre, the Old Town of Vilnius, which in 1994 was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In 2009, at the same time as Linz (Austria), Vilnius was a European Capital of Culture. Vilnius has always been a multicultural city. With its intense cultural life, leafy, quiet, compact and clean environment and excellent tourism infrastructure, Vilnius can be a snug place for everyone.
Welcome to Vilnius!
Facts and figures:
Arrival: airport – Vilnius International Airport VNO (5 km of city centre), Kaunas Airport (90 km of Vilnius), Vilnius Railway Station, Vilnius Bus Station
Climate: In-between continental and maritime climate the average temperature in January is -4.9°C and in July +17°C
Currency: Litas LTL, 1 LTL = 100 centas
Electricity: 220 V
Language: the national language is Lithuanian, but the city is English-friendly, also Russian is likely to be spoken, especially by older generation
Mayor: Mr Artūras Zuokas
Phone Area Code: 370 (Lithuania) 5 (Vilnius)
Population: 554,400 (Vilnius County 847,754)
Safety: basic precaution should be taken
Time: GMT+2 (DST GMT+3)
Total municipal area: 401 sq m (154.8 sq mi)
Where: 54°41" N. 25°17" E. (wikimapia.org)