Vilnius, Lithuania

History | Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth | In the Russian Empire | World War I | Regional turmoil 1918–1920 | Interwar Poland | History : World War II | Soviet occupation | Independent Lithuania | Geography | Museums and galleries | Holidays and festivals | Economy | Science and research | Information technology | Finance and banking | Education | Libraries | Parks, squares and cemeteries | Economy : Tourist Industry | Hotels | Sport | Transport : Public | Healthcare | Media

🇱🇹 Vilnius is the capital and its largest city of Lithuania. Vilnius's functional urban area stretches beyond the city limits includes Vilnius city and Vilnius district municipalities combined. Vilnius is in south-eastern Lithuania and is the second-largest city in the Baltic states. It is the seat of Lithuania's national government and the Vilnius District Municipality.

Vilnius is notable for the architecture of its Old Town, considered one of the largest and best-preserved old towns of Europe. Vilnius was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The architectural style known as Vilnian Baroque is named after the city, which is the easternmost Baroque city and the largest north of the Alps.

The city was already noted for its multicultural population in the time of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with contemporary sources comparing it to Babylon. Before World War II and the Holocaust, Vilnius was one of the most important Jewish centres in Europe. Its Jewish influence has led to its nickname "the Jerusalem of Lithuania". Napoleon called it "the Jerusalem of the North" as he was passing through in 1812.

In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with Linz in Austria. In 2021, Vilnius was named one of fDi's 25 Global Cities of the Future. Vilnius is considered one of the major world financial centres, ranked 76th globally and 29th in Europe, according to the Global Financial Centres Index. In 2023, Vilnius hosted the 2023 NATO Summit. Vilnius is a member of Eurocities and the Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCEU).

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History Historian Romas Batūra [lt] identifies the city with Voruta, one of the castles of Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania after crowned in 1253. During the reign of the Grand Dukes Butvydas and Vytenis, a city began to emerge from a trading settlement and the first Franciscan Catholic church was built.

Vilnius is the historic and present-day capital of Lithuania. Archeological findings indicate that this city was the capital of the Kingdom of Lithuania and later of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After Lithuania formed a dual confederation with the Kingdom of Poland, Vilnius still remained Lithuania's capital.

The city was first mentioned in written sources in 1323 as Vilna, when the Letters of Grand Duke Gediminas were sent to German cities inviting Germans (including German Jews) to settle in the capital city, as well as to Pope John XXII. These letters contain the first unambiguous reference to Vilnius as the capital; Old Trakai Castle had been the earlier seat of the court of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Vilnius's location offered practical advantages: in the Lithuanian heartland, at the confluence of two navigable rivers (Vilnia and Neris), surrounded by hills, impenetrable forests and wetlands.

In the 14th century, Lithuania was frequently invaded by the Teutonic Order. The future King of England Henry IV (then Henry Bolingbroke) spent a full year in 1390 supporting the unsuccessful siege of Vilnius by Teutonic Knights with his 300 knights. During this campaign, he bought captured Lithuanian women and children and took them back to Königsberg for conversion to Christianity. King Henry's second expedition to Lithuania in 1392 illustrates the financial benefits of these guest crusaders to the Order. His small army consisted of over 100 men, including longbow archers and six minstrels, at a total cost to the Lancastrian purse of £4,360. Despite the efforts of Bolingbroke and his English crusaders, two years of attacks on Vilnius proved fruitless.

Vilnius was the flourishing capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the residence of the Grand Duke. Gediminas, and his descendants, expanded the Grand Duchy through warfare and strategic alliances and marriages. At its height it covered the entire territory of modern-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and portions of modern-day Poland, Moldova, and Russia. His grandchildren Vytautas the Great and Jogaila, however, fought civil wars. During the Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–1392, Vytautas besieged and razed the city in an attempt to wrest control from Jogaila. The two cousins later settled their differences and ruled alongside each other; after a series of treaties culminating in the 1569 Union of Lublin, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was formed. The Commonwealth's rulers held two titles: Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland. In 1387, Jogaila acting as a Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland, granted Magdeburg rights to the city.

During the inaugurations of Lithuanian monarchs until 1569, Gediminas' Cap was placed on the monarch's head by the Bishop of Vilnius in Vilnius Cathedral.

The city underwent a period of expansion in the 16th century. The Wall of Vilnius was built between 1503 and 1522 for protection from the attacks by the Crimean Khanate, comprising nine city gates and three towers. In 1547 Sigismund II Augustus moved his royal court from Kraków to Vilnius and it had a great influence on the intellectual life of the region. In 1548 Sigismund II finished the Renaissance style reconstruction of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania which was started by his father, Sigismund I.

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Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Vilnius' growth was due in part to the establishment of Alma Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Iesu by the Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephen Báthory in 1579. The university soon developed into one of the most important scientific and cultural centres in the region and the most notable scientific centre of the Commonwealth.

During its rapid development, the city was open to migrants from the territories of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy and further. Many languages were spoken: Polish, German, Yiddish, Ruthenian, Lithuanian, Russian, Old Church Slavonic, Latin, Hebrew, and Turkic languages; the city was compared to Babylon. Each group contributed uniquely to the city's life, and crafts, trade, and science prospered.

The 17th century brought a number of setbacks. The Commonwealth was involved in a series of wars, collectively known as The Deluge. During the Thirteen Years' War (1654–1667), Vilnius was occupied by Muscovite forces; it was pillaged and burned, and its population massacred. During the Great Northern War it was looted by the Swedish army. An outbreak of bubonic plague in 1710 killed about 35,000 residents; devastating fires occurred in 1715, 1737, 1741, 1748, and 1749.

The city's growth lost its momentum for many years; despite this, Vilnius entered the Russian Empire as its third-largest city with a population of 56,000 at the end of the 18th century and before the Napoleon wars.

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In the Russian Empire The fortunes of the Commonwealth declined during the 18th century. Three partitions took place, dividing its territory among the Russian Empire, the Habsburg Empire, and the Kingdom of Prussia. Forces led by Jakub Jasiński expelled Russians from Vilnius during the uprising in 1794. However, after the third partition of April 1795, Vilnius was annexed by the Russian Empire and in 1797–1801 was the centre of the short-lived Lithuania Governorate, but after 1801, it become centre of the Vilna Governorate. During Russian rule, the city walls were destroyed, and by 1805 only the Gate of Dawn remained.

In 1807–1812 considerations took place, and the inhabitants of Vilnius and Lithuania expected Tsar Alexander I to grant them autonomy following the restoration of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which would have been subordinate to the tsar and a counterpoise for the Duchy of Warsaw; however, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was not restored as an autonomous subject.

In 1812, the city was taken by Napoleon on his push towards Moscow, and again during the disastrous retreat. Initially, the Grande Armée and Napoleon were welcomed in Vilnius as liberators, with locals aspiring to restore the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In response Napoleon established the Lithuanian Provisional Governing Commission. Thousands of soldiers died in the city during the eventual retreat; the mass graves were uncovered in 2002.

In 1814, the Congress of Vienna began which resulted in considerations to attach the Northwestern Krai (which included Vilnius) to Congress Poland, but this was not realized. Soon the activity of Philomaths and Filarets and their trial resulted in tightened control over the region's culture and intensified Russification.

Following the November Uprising in 1831, Vilnius University was closed and Russian repressions halted further development of the city. Civil unrest in 1861 was suppressed by the Imperial Russian Army.

During the January Uprising in 1863, heavy fighting occurred within the city, but was brutally pacified by Mikhail Muravyov, nicknamed The Hangman by the population because of the many executions he organized. After the uprising, all civil liberties were withdrawn, and use of the Polish and Lithuanian languages was banned. Vilnius had a vibrant Jewish population: according to the Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 154,500, Jews constituted 64,000 (approximately 40%). During the early 20th century, the Lithuanian-speaking population of Vilnius constituted only a small minority, with Polish, Yiddish, and Russian speakers comprising the majority of the city's population.[verification needed]

On 4–5 December 1905, the Great Seimas of Vilnius was held in the current Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society building with over 2000 participants. It was the first modern national congress in Lithuania. The assembly decided to demand wide political autonomy within the Russian Empire and achieve this by peaceful means. It is considered an important step towards the Act of Independence of Lithuania, adopted on 16 February 1918 by the Council of Lithuania, as the Seimas laid the groundwork for the establishment of an independent Lithuanian state.

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World War I During World War I, Vilnius and the rest of Lithuania was occupied by the German Army from 1915 until 1918. The Act of Independence of Lithuania, which declared Lithuanian independence without any affiliation to any other nation, was issued in the city on 16 February 1918 with Vilnius as its capital.

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Regional turmoil 1918–1920 At the end of 1918, Soviet Russia invaded Lithuania with massive forces, and the Lithuanian Army withdrew from Vilnius to the centre of the country to form a defense line. The German Army withdrew together with the Lithuanian government. The Self-Defence of Lithuania, affiliated with the Second Polish Republic, briefly controlled the city and unsuccessfully tried to protect it against the invading Soviet forces. Vilnius changed hands again during the Polish–Soviet War and the Lithuanian Wars of Independence: it was taken by the Polish Army, only to fall to Soviet forces again. Shortly after the Red Army's defeat at the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, in order to delay the Polish advance, the Soviet government ceded the city to Lithuania after signing the Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty on 12 July 1920.

The League of Nations became involved in the subsequent Lithuanian self-defense from Poland after it attacked Lithuanian army positions in the south-west of Lithuania. The League brokered the ceasefire called the Suwałki Agreement on 7 October 1920. Lithuanians believed that it stopped a Polish aggression. Although neither Vilnius or the surrounding region was explicitly addressed in the agreement, numerous historians have described the agreement as allotting Vilnius to Lithuania. On 9 October 1920, the Polish Army surreptitiously, under General Lucjan Żeligowski, seized Vilnius during an operation known as Żeligowski's Mutiny. The city and its surroundings were designated as a separate state, called the Republic of Central Lithuania.

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Interwar Poland Vilnius University was reopened in 1919 under the name of Stefan Batory University.

On 20 February 1922, after the highly contested election in Central Lithuania, the entire area was annexed by Poland, with the city becoming the capital of the Wilno Voivodeship (Wilno being the name of Vilnius in Polish). Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania. Lithuania vigorously contested the Polish annexation of Vilnius, and refused diplomatic relations with Poland. The predominant languages of the city were still Polish and, to a lesser extent, Yiddish. The Lithuanian-speaking population at the time was a small minority, at about 6% of the city's population according even to contemporary Lithuanian sources. The Council of Ambassadors and the international community (with the exception of Lithuania) recognised Polish sovereignty over Vilnius Region in 1923.

Lithuanian historian Antanas Tyla [lt] calls the subsequent Polish administration's policies in the Vilnius Region a "Lithuanian ethnocide". The cultural assimilation policy intensified since 1936 when voivode Ludwik Bociański adopted a secret document targeted against Lithuanians which resulted in closure of almost all Lithuanian schools, reading rooms and organizations, while its members were imprisoned or deported. Moreover, members of the Camp of National Unity, which had an absolute majority in the Sejm since 1938, suggested to treat Belarusians as a constituent part of the Polish nation and to assimilate them. Romuald Jałbrzykowski cooperated with Ludwik Bociański and prohibited Catholic Belarusians from becoming members of Belarusian societies, thus until World War II only one Belarusian society (Belarusian Beekeepers' Society) remained.

By 1931, the city had 195,000 inhabitants, making it the fifth largest city in Poland with varied industries, such as Elektrit, a factory that produced radio receivers.

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History: World War II Nazi Germany invited Lithuania to join the invasion of Poland and retake the historical capital Vilnius by force; however, President Antanas Smetona and most Lithuanian politicians declined this offer because they had doubts about Adolf Hitler's eventual victory and were outraged by the 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania. Instead, they supported the neutrality policy and after being encouraged by the French and British diplomats Lithuania adopted the Neutrality Act, which was supported by all the political forces.

World War II began with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. The secret protocols of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact partitioned Lithuania and Poland into German and Soviet spheres of interest. On 19 September 1939, Vilnius was seized by the Soviet Union, which invaded Poland on 17 September. The Soviets repressed the local population and devastated the city, moving assets and factories to the USSR, including the major Polish radio factory Elektrit, along with part of its labor force, to Minsk in Belarus SSR. The Soviets and Lithuania concluded a mutual assistance treaty on 10 October 1939, in which the Lithuanian government accepted the presence of Soviet military bases. On 28 October 1939, the Red Army withdrew from the city to its suburbs (Naujoji Vilnia) and Vilnius was given to Lithuania. A Lithuanian Army parade took place on 29 October 1939 through the city center. The Lithuanians immediately attempted to re-Lithuanize the city, for example by Lithuanizing Polish schools.

Following the normalisation of relations with Poland the Lithuanian Consulate was opened in Vilnius on 22 August 1939, but the consul operated there only after the war began, on 9 September 1939.

The whole of Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union on 3 August 1940, following a June ultimatum from the Soviets demanding, among other things, that unspecified numbers of Red Army soldiers be allowed to enter the country to help form a more pro-Soviet government. After the ultimatum was issued and Lithuania further occupied, a Soviet government was installed with Vilnius as the capital of the newly created Lithuanian SSR. Between 20,000 and 30,000 of the city's inhabitants were subsequently arrested by the NKVD and sent to gulags in the far east of the Soviet Union.

On 22 June 1941, the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union, while Lithuanians began the anti-Soviet June Uprising, organized by the Lithuanian Activist Front. Lithuanians proclaimed independence and organized the Provisional Government of Lithuania, which quickly self-disbanded. Nazis captured Vilnius on 24 June 1941. Lithuania became part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland, German civil administration. Two ghettos were set up in the old town centre for the large Jewish population – the smaller one of which was "liquidated" by October. The larger ghetto lasted until 1943, though its population was regularly deported in roundups known as "Aktionen". A forced labour camp (Kailis) was also set up behind the Vilnius Town Hall as a factory to produce winter clothing for the Wehrmacht and another one later for vehicle repair (HKP 562) on 47 & 49 Subačiaus Street. A failed ghetto uprising on 1 September 1943 organized by the Fareinigte Partizaner Organizacje (the United Partisan Organization, the first Jewish partisan unit in German-occupied Europe), was followed by the final destruction of the ghetto. During the Holocaust, about 95% of the 265,000-strong Jewish population of Lithuania was murdered by the German units and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, many of them in Paneriai, about 10 km (6.2 mi) west of the old town centre (see the Ponary massacre).

Vilnius's situation in 1944 was tenuous. As the Eastern Front neared Lithuania, the Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force (LTDF) under general Plechavičius was founded in mid-February to fight the Red Army and Soviet partisans, both only within Lithuanian borders, but it was soon brutally disbanded in mid-April by the Germans due to German-Lithuanian friction. As Armia Krajowa (AK) operated within the borders of interwar Poland, which overlapped with the Lithuanian lands, this caused clashes between both organisations. In early July, Operation Ostra Brama was a failed attempt of the AK to take the city from the Wehrmacht before the approaching Red Army. As the Polish army did not take over the city, the speed of the Soviet Vilnius offensive led to a joint Polish-Soviet effort to seize Vilnius. After the battle, the Polish army was dispersed, some of it incorporated into the Soviet-loyal Polish People's Army, while the officers were arrested and imprisoned.

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Soviet occupation In July 1944, Vilnius was once more occupied by Soviet Army with the Vilnius offensive, during which it defeated the German garrison. The town was once more the Lithuanian SSR's capital. The NKVD began repressions against Lithuanians and Poles. Sovietization began in earnest.

The war had irreversibly altered the city – between 1939 and 1949, Vilnius lost almost 90% of its population, through murder, deportation or exile, and many buildings were destroyed. The Jewish population had been exterminated in the Holocaust, while most of the remaining ones were compelled to move to Communist Poland by 1946. Some partisans and members of the intelligentsia hiding in the forest were deported to Siberia after the war.

From the late 1940s onward, Vilnius began to grow again following an influx of Lithuanians, Poles, and Belarusians from neighbouring regions and throughout Lithuania as well as neighbouring region of Grodno and other more remote areas of the Soviet Union (particularly Russia, Belarus and Ukraine). Most of these new residents moved to Vilnius to escape repressions or poor living conditions caused by, for example, collectivisation, in the areas where they had lived previously. On the previously rural outskirts as well as in the very vicinity of the Old Town (industrial zones in Paupys, Markučiai, Naujamiestis), industrial areas were (re) designed and large Soviet plants were built, following a program of industrialization.

In November 1980, the number of inhabitants of Vilnius exceeded 500,000. Because of shortage of housing for a growing population of the city, large scale Microdistricts (so-called sleeping districts) were built in the elderates of Antakalnis, Žirmūnai, Lazdynai, Karoliniškės, Viršuliškės, Baltupiai, Šeškinė, Justiniškės, Pašilaičiai, Fabijoniškės and on a smaller scale in other parts of Vilnius. These were connected with the central part as well as with industrial areas via expressway-like streets (so-called fast traffic streets) and by public transport, noticeably extensive network of trolleybuses (from 1956).

Vilnius was a centre of Lithuanian dissidents and in 1978 the Lithuanian Liberty League was established.

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Independent Lithuania On 11 March 1990, the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR announced its secession from the Soviet Union and intention to restore an independent Republic of Lithuania. As a result of these declarations, on 9 January 1991, the Soviet Union sent in troops. This culminated in the 13 January attack on the State Radio and Television Building and the Vilnius TV Tower, killing at least fourteen civilians and seriously injuring 700 more. The Soviet Union finally recognised Lithuanian independence in September 1991. The Constitution, as did the earlier Lithuanian Constitution of 1922, mentions that "the capital of the State of Lithuania shall be the city of Vilnius, the long-standing historical capital of Lithuania".

Vilnius has been rapidly transforming, emerging as a modern European city. Its teritory was expanded through three different acts since 1990, amalgamating various urban teritories, villages, hamlets, and prominently the city of Grigiškės. In 2024, a decision was made to eliminate the distinct names of these villages and hamlets, completing the incorporation.

The majority of historical buildings in the city were renovated during the last 25 years, and a business and commercial area is being developed into the New City Centre, the main administrative and business district on the north side of the Neris river. This area includes modern residential and retail space, with the municipality building and the 148.3 m (487 ft) Europa Tower as its most prominent buildings. The construction of Swedbank's headquarters is symbolic of the importance of Scandinavian banks in Vilnius. The building complex Vilnius Business Harbour has been built and further expanded since 2008, and one of its towers is now the 6th tallest building in Lithuania. More buildings are scheduled for construction in the area.

More than 75,000 new flats were built between 1995 and 2018 (including almost 50,000 new flats between 2003 and 2018), making Vilnius an absolute leader in the construction sector in the Baltics for the last two decades. On average, 298,000 m2 (3,210,000 sq ft) or 3,246 flats are built each year. In 2015, there were 225,871 units in multi-storey houses and 20,578 flats in single-family or duplex apartment houses, with the share of such housing increasing from 6.9% in 2006 to 8.3% in 2015. The record numbers of flats were built in 2019 – 4,322 flats in multi-family residentials were built in Vilnius city municipality, and 817 flats were built in Vilnius urban zone (the city and the closest surroundings) in single-family detached houses – the latter being the highest number in history.

Vilnius was selected as a 2009 European Capital of Culture, along with Linz, the capital of Upper Austria. Its 2009 New Year's Eve celebration, marking the event, featured a light show said to be "visible from outer space". In preparation, the historical centre of the city was restored, and its main monuments were renovated. The global economic crisis of 2007–2008 led to a drop in tourism, which prevented many of the projects from reaching their planned extent. Allegations of corruption and incompetence were made against the organisers, while tax increases for cultural activity led to public protests and the general economic conditions sparked riots.

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Geography Vilnius is located at the confluence of the Vilnia and Neris rivers in south-eastern Lithuania. Several countries claim that the geographical centre of Europe is located in their territories. Its location depends on which arbitrary definition of the extent of Europe is chosen; the Guinness Book of World Records recognises a point near Vilnius as the continent's centre. After a re-estimation of the boundaries of the continent in 1989, Jean-George Affholder, a scientist at the Institut Géographique National (French National Geographic Institute), determined that its geographic centre was located at 54°54′N 25°19′E. The method used for calculating this point was that of the centre of gravity of the geometrical figure of Europe. This point is located in Lithuania, near the village of Girija (26 km from Vilnius). A monument, composed by the sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis and consisting of a column of white granite surmounted by a crown of stars, was erected at the location in 2004.

Vilnius lies 312 km (194 mi) from the Baltic Sea and Klaipėda, the chief Lithuanian seaport. Vilnius is connected by highways to other major Lithuanian cities, such as Kaunas (102 km or 63 mi away), Šiauliai (214 km or 133 mi away) and Panevėžys (135 km or 84 mi away).

The area of Vilnius is 402 km² (155 sq mi). Buildings occupy 29.1% of the city; green spaces occupy 68.8%; and waters occupy 2.1%.

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Museums and galleries Vilnius has many museums of different kinds. The National Museum of Lithuania has departments in the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Gediminas' Tower, the old and new arsenals of the Vilnius Castle Complex, and exhibits expositions about the history of Lithuania and Lithuanian ethnic culture. The Museum of Applied Arts and Design exhibits Lithuanian folk sacral and other religious artworks, findings of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, authentic clothing from the 18th–20th centuries, and holds temporary exhibitions. Other notable museums include Vilnius Museum, House of Histories exhibition space, Church Heritage Museum, Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, Fight for Freedom Museum in the Vilnius TV Tower, M. K. Čiurlionis House, Samuel Bak Museum, Centre for Civil Education, Toy Museum, Vilnil (Museum of Illusions), Energy and Technology Museum, House of Signatories, Tolerance Center, Railway Museum, Money Museum, Kazys Varnelis House-Museum, Liubavas Manor Watermill-Museum, Museum of Vladislovas Sirokomlė, Amber Museum – Gallery, Visitors Information Centre of the Paneriai Memorial, etc.

Many prominent art galleries are located in Vilnius. Lithuania's largest art collection is housed in the Lithuanian Art Museum. One branch of it, the Vilnius Picture Gallery in the Vilnius Old Town, houses a collection of Lithuanian art from the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century. On the other side of the Neris, the National Art Gallery holds a permanent exhibition on Lithuanian 20th-century art as well as numerous exhibitions on modern art. The Contemporary Art Centre is the largest venue for contemporary art in the Baltic States, with an exhibition space of 2400 square meters. The centre is a non-collection-based institution committed to developing a broad range of international and Lithuanian exhibition projects as well as presenting a wide range of public programs, including lectures, seminars, performances, film and video screenings, and live music events. On November 10, 2007, the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center was opened by avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas with its premiere exhibition entitled The Avant-Garde: From Futurism to Fluxus. In 2018, the MO Museum was opened and is a personal initiative of Lithuanian scientists and philanthropists Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus. Its collection of 5000 modern and contemporary pieces contains major Lithuanian artworks from the 1950s to this day.

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Holidays and festivals As a result of centuries long Catholic traditions in Vilnius and Lithuania, the Catholic holidays (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Saint John's Eve) are widely celebrated and employees have a days off.

Every year on 16 February (day of the Act of Independence of Lithuania) and on 11 March (day of the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania) festive events are organized in Vilnius with official ceremonies conducted by the heads of state and the holy masses of the Lithuanian Catholic Church in the Vilnius Cathedral. While in the evening of 12 January bonfires are ignited to mark the bloody January Events.

Saint Casimir's Fair (Lithuanian: Kaziuko mugė) has been held annually for hundreds of years in the city's markets and streets on the Sunday nearest to 4 March (Feast of St. Casimir), the anniversary of Saint Casimir's death. It attracts tens of thousands of visitors and many Lithuanian and foreign craftsmen. Easter palms (Lithuanian: Verbos) are one of the most recognizable symbols of the fair.

Capital's Days (Lithuanian: Sostinės dienos) is the biggest festival of music and culture held in the city annually for three days (from 30 August to 1 September).

Although it is not a national holiday, the Vilnia River is dyed green every year for Saint Patrick's Day.

During the annual Vilnius Culture Night various artists and cultural organisations hold events and performances all over the city.

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Economy Vilnius is the major economic centre of Lithuania. The GDP per capita (nominal) in Vilnius metropolitan area (Vilnius County) is almost €30,000, making it the wealthiest city in Lithuania and the second-wealthiest city in the Baltic states after Tallinn.

The budget of Vilnius reached €1.0 billion in 2022. As of the second quarter of 2023 the average monthly salary in Vilnius city municipality reached €2,290.7 (gross) and €1,406.5 (net).

Since 2010, employment and unemployment indicators have continuously been improving in Lithuania. Employment reached a record high of 77.5% in the third quarter of 2018 while unemployment was 6.3% in the fourth quarter, a rate last observed in 2008. Nevertheless, this has to be seen in the context of a shrinking working age population. The activity rate reached 82% in 2017. Vilnius and Kaunas counties offer better labour market opportunities than other counties, and this drives the internal interregional migration. However, in other regions employment opportunities remain scarce. Unemployment rates remained persistently high in the least developed regions (14.9% in Utena County as compared to 4.8% in Vilnius County). Other key labour market indicators have improved, returning to pre-crisis levels. Long-term unemployment fell to 2.1% in the third quarter of 2018 (EU average: 2.9%). Youth unemployment (13.3%) and the rate of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET, at 9.1%) were below the EU average in 2017.

Overall, the share of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE) has decreased since Lithuania joined the EU in 2004. However, it remains among the highest in the EU (29.6% in 2017, compared to 22.4% in the EU). The risk of poverty or social exclusion in rural areas is nearly double that of urban areas, which corresponds to the gap in the unemployment rate between cities and rural areas (4.5% versus 11% in 2017). In particular the metropolitan areas of Vilnius and Kaunas, where significant economic activity is centred, drive a significant gap between AROPE rates in urban and rural areas. In 2017, the AROPE rate in rural areas was 37.2%, compared to 19.9% in cities.

Over the past 15 years, Lithuania has experienced the fastest convergence in the EU, but the benefits of economic growth are uneven across regions. Disparities among Lithuania's regions have steadily grown in this period. While GDP per capita reached nearly 110% of the EU average in the capital region of Vilnius, it is only between 42% and 77% in other regions. The country's rapid convergence is mainly fuelled by two regions – the capital region of Vilnius and Kaunas County – producing 42% and 20% of the national GDP, respectively. In 2014–2016 these regions grew on average by 4.6% (Vilnius) and 3.3% (Kaunas), while the other regions, which have a higher share of rural areas, stagnated or were in recession.

The supply of new housing in Vilnius and its suburbs, the country's biggest real estate market, has reached post-crisis highs and the stock of unsold apartments in the three largest cities has started to increase since the beginning of 2017. The demand for housing is still strong, fuelled by rapidly rising wages, benign financial conditions and positive expectations. In the first half of 2018, the number of monthly transactions was the highest since the 2007–2008 peak. Most foreign direct investment and productive public investment in Lithuania is concentrated around the two main economic development poles of Vilnius and Kaunas.

Vilnius Industrial Park is located 18.5 km from the city and its land is intended for commercial, industrial use.

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Science and research In 1675, Tito Livio Burattini lived in Vilnius and published a book Misura universale in which he suggested to use term metre for a unit of length for the first time. In 1753, on the initiative of Thomas Zebrowski, the Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory was established, which was among the first observatories in Europe and the first in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt led the reconstruction of the observatory in 1770–72 (according to Marcin Knackfus project) and made sure it was equipped with the latest astronomical instruments, from 1773 he began constant astronomical observations, which were recorded in the observation journals (French: Cahiers des observations), and created a constellation Taurus Poniatovii. In 1781, Jean-Emmanuel Gilibert established the Botanical Garden of Vilnius University with over 2000 plants, he also provided the first herbariums, collections of stuffed animals and birds, fossil plants, animal remains, and a collection of minerals to Vilnius University. After the Third Partition of the Commonwealth, the observatory published the first exact sciences journal in the Russian Empire called the Journal of Mathematical Sciences (Вестник математических наук).

Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park (Saulėtekio slėnio mokslo ir technologijų parkas) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2003. The park is the centre of entrepreneurship, promotion of business and science collaboration, provision of infrastructure and other innovation support. Over 20,000 students study in the Vilnius University and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University facilities in the Sunrise Valley, and 5,000 scientists performs their research in the corresponding science centres there.

Centre for Physical Sciences and Technology (Lithuanian: Fizinių ir technologijos mokslų centras) or FTMC is the largest scientific research institution in Lithuania, which specialises in laser technologies, optoelectronics, nuclear physics, organic chemistry, bio and nano technologies, electrochemical material science, electronics, and other scientific fields. The centre was created in 2010 by merging institutes of Chemistry, Physics, Semiconductor Physics in Vilnius and Textile institute in Kaunas. The centre features 250 laboratories (24 open to the public) and can accommodate more than 700 researchers and students. Furthermore, the centre also offers PhD Studies and annually helds FizTech conferences of PhD students and young researchers. FTMC is the founder and sole shareholder of the Science and Technology Park of Institute of Physics in Savanorių Avenue, which provides assistance to companies operating in research and development field.

Laser Research Centre of Vilnius University (Lithuanian: Vilniaus universiteto Lazerinių tyrimų centras) is one of five departments in the Faculty of Physics, which prepares physicists, laser physicists and laser technology specialists. The department carries out research in laser physics, nonlinear optics, optical component characterization, biophotonics and laser microtechnology. Lithuania is one of the world's leaders in producing laser technologies and has over 50% of the world's market share in ultrashort pulses lasers, which are produced by the Vilnius-based companies. In 2019, they developed one of the world's most powerful laser system in the world SYLOS for the Extreme Light Infrastructure laboratory in Szeged, which produces high-intensity ultra-short pulses with a peak power of up to a thousand times that of the most powerful nuclear power plant in the United States. Also, Corning Inc. has bought the licence for glass cutting from the Vilnius-based laser company Altechna and uses it for manufacturing Gorilla Glasses.

Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre (Lithuanian: Vilniaus universiteto Gyvybės mokslų centras) is a scientific research centre, which consists of three institutes: Institute of Biochemistry, Institute of Biosciences and Institute of Biotechnology. The centre was opened in 2016 and has 800 students, 120 PhD students and 200 scientific-pedagogical staff that are able to use open access scientific laboratories equipped with the most advanced equipment there. Next to the main building there is a Technology Business Incubator for small and medium businesses in life sciences or related fields.

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University has three research centres in the Sunrise Valley: Civil Engineering Research Centre, Technology Centre for Building Information and Digital Modelling, Competence Centre of Intermodal Transport and Logistics.

The Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences (Lithuanian: Lietuvos socialinių mokslų centras) in A. Goštauto St. 9 creates and disseminates scientific knowledge in the fields of economics, sociology and law in order to implement public policy. The Centre closely cooperates with the Government of Lithuania.

Santara Valley (Lithuanian: Santaros slėnis) is a second science and research valley in Vilnius, which focuses on the medicine, biopharmaceutical and bioinformatics areas. Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine Science Centre, costing €37.1 million, will be completed in the valley in 2021.

Jonas Kubilius, long-term rector of Vilnius University, is known for works in Probabilistic number theory, Kubilius model, Theorem of Kubilius and Turán–Kubilius inequality bear his name. Jonas Kubilius successfully resisted attempts to Russify Vilnius University. Vilnian Marija Gimbutas was the first to formulate the Kurgan hypothesis. In 1963, Vytautas Straižys and his coworkers created Vilnius photometric system that is used in astronomy. Kavli Prize laureate Virginijus Šikšnys is known for his discoveries in CRISPR field – invention of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.

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Information technology Lithuania and its capital Vilnius is an attractive place for foreign companies to open their offices. This is due to several main reasons – highly qualified employees and good infrastructure. Several high schools are preparing skilled specialists in Vilnius, most notably the Vilnius University Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Faculty of Fundamental Sciences. Sphere of the information technology is an attractive profession among the qualified professionals due to the high salaries in Vilnius (e.g. Lithuanian branch of Google, established in Vilnius, offers ~€17,800 monthly salary, which is one of the highest in Lithuania). In 2018, the annual output of the information technology sector in Lithuania was €2.296 billion, of which a large amount was created in Vilnius.

Vilnius Tech Park in Sapieha Park is the biggest information technology startup hub in the Baltic and Nordic countries and unites international startups, technology companies, accelerators, incubators. In 2019, fDi Intelligence (an investment experts subdivision of the Financial Times) ranked Vilnius as number one city in the Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index.

In 2011, Vilnius had the fastest internet speed in the world and despite the fall in the rankings in recent years – it still remained as one of the fastest around the globe. Vilnius Airport also has one of the fastest wireless public internet (Wi-Fi) among the European airports.

The National Cyber Security Centre of Lithuania was established in Vilnius due increasing internet attacks against the Lithuanian Government organizations.

Bebras is an international informatics and information technology contest, which is held annually for pupils of 3–12 grades since 2004. Since 2017, computer programming is taught in the primary schools.

Lithuania and especially its capital Vilnius is a popular fintech companies hub due to the state's flexible regulations in the e-money licences field. In 2018, Bank of Lithuania granted an electronic money licence to the Google Payment Lithuania company, based in Vilnius. Since 2018, prominent e-money startup Revolut also has an e-money licence and headquarters in Vilnius, furthermore in 2019 it began to move its clients to the Lithuanian company Revolut Payments. On 23 January 2019, the Europe's first international Blockchain Centre was opened in Vilnius.

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Finance and banking Vilnius is Lithuania's financial centre. The Ministry of Finance is located in Vilnius and is responsible for the development and enforcement of an efficient public financial policy with a view to ensuring the macroeconomic stability of the state and its economic growth. The Bank of Lithuania is also headquartered in Vilnius and fosters a reliable financial system and ensures sustainable economic growth. Nasdaq Vilnius Stock Exchange, a leading stock exchange in Lithuania, is located in K29 business centre in Konstitucijos Avenue.

The National Audit Office of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublikos valstybės kontrolė) is located in V. Kudirka Street and helps the state to manage public funds and property wisely. While the State Tax Inspectorate (Lithuanian: Valstybinė mokesčių inspekcija) is headquartered in Vasario 16-osios Street and is responsible for collecting or refunding taxes in the country.

As of 2023, 13 banks in Lithuania are holding a bank or a specialised bank licence, while 6 banks are carrying out their activities as foreign bank branches. The majority of the Lithuanian financial system consists of capital banks of the Nordic countries. The two largest banks registered in Lithuania (AB SEB bankas, Swedbank, AB,) are supervised directly by the European Central Bank jointly with Bank of Lithuania experts.

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Education On 14 October 1773, the Commission of National Education (Lithuanian: Edukacinė komisija) was created by the Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Grand Duke Stanisław August Poniatowski, which supervised schools and Vilnius University, and was responsible for other educational matters in the Commonwealth. Because of its vast authority and autonomy, it is considered as the first Ministry of Education in European history and an important achievement of the Enlightenment in the Commonwealth.

The city has many universities. The largest and oldest is Vilnius University with 24,716 students. Its main premises are in the Old Town. The university has been ranked among the top 500 universities in the world by QS World University Rankings. The university is participating in projects with UNESCO and NATO, among others. It features Masters programs in English and Russian, as well as programs delivered in cooperation with universities all over Europe. The university is divided into 14 faculties.

Other major universities include Mykolas Romeris University (7,500 students), Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (9,600 students), and Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (merged into Vytautas Magnus University in 2018). Specialized higher schools with university status include the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The museum associated with the Vilnius Academy of Arts holds about 12,000 artworks.

There are also a few private universities such as ISM University of Management and Economics, European Humanities University, and Kazimieras Simonavičius University.

Several colleges are also in Vilnius including Vilnius College, Vilnius College of Technologies and Design, International School of Law and Business, and others.

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Libraries The central library of Vilnius city municipality (Lithuanian: Vilniaus miesto savivaldybės centrinė biblioteka) operates public libraries in Vilnius. It has 16 public libraries, located in different elderships of Vilnius, one of them (Saulutė) is dedicated to children's literature only. Large part of these libraries organizes computer literacy courses that are free of charge. Usage of public libraries requires a free LIBIS (integrated information system of Lithuanian libraries) card.

Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos nacionalinė Martyno Mažvydo biblioteka), located in Gediminas Avenue and founded in 1919, is a national cultural institution which collects, organizes and preserves Lithuania's written cultural heritage content, develops the collection of Lithuanian and foreign documents relevant to research, educational and cultural needs of Lithuania, and provides library information services to the public. As of 1 July 2019, its electronic catalog has 1,140,708 bibliographic records.

The Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (Lithuanian: Lietuvos mokslų akademijos Vrublevskių biblioteka) is a scientific library of state significance, a cultural, scientific and educational institution. Its founder is the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. All citizens of Lithuania and foreign countries are entitled to use the services of the Library. As of 1 January 2015, the stock of the Library counted 3,733,514 volumes. On 1 January 2015, the Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences had 12,274 registered users.

Every Lithuanian university and college has its own library, dedicated to their students, professors and alumni. The most notable modern university library is the National Open Access Scientific Communication and Information Center of Vilnius University (Lithuanian: Vilniaus universiteto bibliotekos Mokslinės komunikacijos ir informacijos centras) in Saulėtekis Valley, which was opened in 2013 and offers over 800 workplaces in total area of 14,043.61 m2 (151,164.2 sq ft). Central Vilnius University Library, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Library, Mykolas Romeris University Library, ISM University of Management and Economics Library, European Humanities University Library, Kazimieras Simonavičius University Library are located in these universities complexes in Vilnius.

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Parks, squares and cemeteries Almost half of Vilnius is covered by green areas, such as parks, public gardens, natural reserves. Additionally, Vilnius is host to numerous lakes, where residents and visitors swim and have barbecues in the summer. Thirty lakes and 16 rivers cover 2.1% of Vilnius's area, with some of them having sand beaches.

Vingis Park, the city's largest, hosted several major rallies during Lithuania's drive towards independence in the 1980s. Sections of the annual Vilnius Marathon pass along the public walkways on the banks of the Neris River. The green area next to the White Bridge is another popular area to enjoy good weather, and has become venue for several music and large screen events.

Cathedral Square in Old Town is surrounded by a number of the city's most historically significant sites. Lukiškės Square is the largest, bordered by several governmental buildings: the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Polish Embassy, and the Genocide Victims' Museum, where the KGB tortured and murdered numerous opposers of the communist regime. An oversized statue of Lenin in its centre was removed in 1991. Town Hall Square has long been a centre of trade fairs, celebrations, and events in Vilnius, including the Kaziukas Fair. The city Christmas tree is decorated there. State ceremonies are often held in Daukanto Square, facing the Presidential Palace.

On 20 October 2013, Bernardinai Garden, near Gediminas Tower, previously known as Sereikiškės Park, was opened after reconstruction. The authentic 19th century Vladislovas Štrausas environment was restored. It is a venue for concerts, festivals, and exhibitions.

Chiune Sugihara Sakura Park was established in 2001 and a Japanese garden was completed and opened in 2023 (both in Šnipiškės).

Rasos Cemetery, consecrated in 1801, is the burial site of Jonas Basanavičius and other signatories of the 1918 Act of Independence, along with the heart of Polish leader Józef Piłsudski. Two of the three Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius were destroyed by communist authorities during the Soviet era; the remains of the Vilna Gaon were moved to the remaining one. A monument was erected at the place where Užupis Old Jewish Cemetery was. About 18,000 burials have been made in the Bernardine Cemetery, established in 1810; it was closed during the 1970s and is now being restored. Antakalnis Cemetery, established in 1809, contains various memorials to Polish, Lithuanian, German and Russian soldiers, along with the graves of those who were killed during the January Events.

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Economy: Tourist Industry According to the data collected by the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, a total of 1,200,858 visitors had rented rooms in Vilnius accommodation venues where they spent a total of 2,212,109 nights in 2018. Compared to the 2017 statistics, the number of guests grew by 12% and 11% respectively.

In 2018 81% of all the visitors who stayed in Vilnius were foreigners (970,577), which is 11% more than the previous year. Most foreign visitors came from Belarus (102,915), Germany (101,999), Poland (99,386), Russia (90,388) and Latvia (61,829). Guests from these countries accounted for 47% of all foreign guests, who rented rooms in Vilnius accommodation venues. Entirely, 230,281 Lithuanians (19% of all guests) were in Vilnius accommodation venues during 2018 (which is 18% more than in 2017).

According to a 2018 Vilnius Visitors Survey, 48% of tourists visited Vilnius for the first time, 85% of tourists planned the trip by themselves and 15% travelled with travel agencies. According to the same survey, 40% of tourists specified that they decided to visit Vilnius in order to learn about the history and heritage of the city; however, 23% of tourists also planned trips to other areas of Lithuania (e.g., Trakai, Kaunas, Druskininkai, Šiauliai, etc.). Many Belarusians (around 200,000 granted travel visas annually) are arriving for shopping in the city's shopping malls and upon departing submits even half a meter long receipts to the customs.

In 2018, Vilnius Tourist Information Centres were visited by a total of 119,136 visitors (95,932 foreigners and 23,204 Lithuanians), a 5% increase compared with the 2017 statistics. In 2017, the centres were visited by 113,818 visitors (97,072 foreigners and 16,746 Lithuanians).

The best-rated tourist services in Vilnius are restaurants (cafés) services quality, old town attractions, hotels (or other accommodation places) services, trips to Trakai, parks (green zones), connection with the Vilnius Airport, food in hotels, restaurants, cafés.

Vilnius is one of a very few European capitals that allow hot air ballooning through the city with nearly 1,000 trips performed in 2022.

In the City Costs Barometer 2019, Vilnius was ranked as number one among the European capitals for offering best value to visitors.

The Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports, originally constructed by the Soviet authorities on the site of a Jewish graveyard, is slated in 2022 to be transformed into the leading convention centre in the Baltic states. The project is controversial.

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Hotels Lithuania is a member of the European Hotelstars Union, which provides a harmonised hotel classification with common criteria and procedures in the participating countries. Vilnius has six 5-star hotels, all located in the Vilnius Old Town. There are also 27 4-star hotels. The Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius, with a direct view of the Cathedral Square, is considered as the most luxurious hotel in Vilnius and offers presidential rooms for around €3,000 per night (more than three times the average monthly net salary in Vilnius) and is frequently chosen by the heads of state, movie stars, famous musicians and other celebrities during their visits to Lithuania.

In 2019, Vilnius had 82 hotels, 8 motels and 40 other accommodation facilities with 6,822 rooms and 15,248 beds. The highest hotel room occupancy was in August and the lowest in February.

According to a 2018 Vilnius visitors survey, 44% of visitors to Vilnius stayed in middle-range hotels (3–4 stars), 12% stayed in standard or economy hotels (1–2 stars) and 11% stayed in luxury 5-star hotels.

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Sport Several basketball teams are based in the city: BC Wolves, which started to competing in the 2022–23 season of the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) and the largest one is BC Rytas, which participates in the international Basketball Champions League (BCL) and the LKL, winning the ULEB Cup (predecessor to the EuroCup) in 2005 and the EuroCup in 2009. Its home arena is the 2,500-seat Lietuvos Rytas Arena; all European matches and important domestic matches are played in the 10,000-seat Avia Solutions Group Arena.

Vilnius also has several football teams. FK Žalgiris is the main football team. The club plays at LFF Stadium in Vilnius (capacity 5,067). Construction of the multi-functional Lithuania National Stadium has been ongoing in Šeškinė since 1987.

As of 2022, the newly expanded SEB Arena, holding 28 tennis courts, is the largest tennis complex in central Europe and home of the Lithuanian tennis and squash teams. It's also the venue for the Vilnius Open and Vitas Gerulaitis Cup tennis tournaments, part of the ATP Challenger Tour.

Olympic champions in swimming Lina Kačiušytė and Robertas Žulpa are from Vilnius. There are several public swimming pools in Vilnius with Lazdynai Swimming Pool being the only Olympic-size swimming pool of the city.

The city is home to the Lithuanian Bandy Association, Badminton Federation, Canoeing Sports Federation, Baseball Association, Biathlon Federation, Sailors Union, Football Federation, Fencing Federation, Cycling Sports Federation, Archery Federation, Athletics Federation, Ice Hockey Federation, Basketball Federation, Curling Federation, Rowing Federation, Wrestling Federation, Speed Skating Association, Gymnastics Federation, Equestrian Union, Modern Pentathlon Federation, Shooting Union, Triathlon Federation, Volleyball Federation, Tennis Union, Taekwondo Federation, Weightlifting Federation, Table Tennis Association, Skiing Association, Rugby Federation, Swimming Federation.

The Vilnius Marathon is an international marathon with thousands of participants every year.

Vilnius was one of the host cities for the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

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Transport Navigability of the river Neris is very limited and no regular water routes exist, although it was used for navigation in the past. The river rises in Belarus, connecting Vilnius and Kernavė, and becomes a tributary of Nemunas river in Kaunas.

Vilnius Airport is the largest airport in Lithuania with about 50 destinations to 25 countries. The airport is situated only 5 km (3.1 mi) away from the centre of the city, and has a direct rail link to Vilnius railway station.

The Vilnius railway station is an important hub serving direct passenger connections to Minsk, Kaliningrad, Moscow and Saint Petersburg as well as being a transit point of Pan-European Corridor IX.

Vilnius is the starting point of the A1 motorway that runs across Lithuania and connects the three major cities (Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda) and is a part of European route E85. The A2 motorway, connecting Vilnius with Panevėžys, is a part of E272. Other highways starting in Vilnius include A3, A4, A14, A15, A16. Vilnius's southern bypass is road A19.

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Transport: Public The bus network and the trolleybus network are run by Vilniaus viešasis transportas. There are over 60 bus, 18 trolleybus, 6 rapid bus and 1 night bus route. The trolleybus network is one of the most extensive in Europe. Over 250 buses and 260 trolleybuses transport about 500,000 passengers every workday. The first regular bus routes were established in 1926, and the first trolleybuses were introduced in 1956.

At the end of 2007, a new electronic monthly ticket system was introduced. It was possible to buy an electronic card in shops and newspaper stands and have it credited with an appropriate amount of money. The monthly e-ticket cards could be bought once and credited with an appropriate amount of money in various ways including the Internet. Previous paper monthly tickets were in use until August 2008.

The ticket system changed again from 15 August 2012. E-Cards were replaced by Vilnius Citizen Cards ("Vilniečio Kortelė"). It is now possible to buy a card or change an old one in newspaper stands and have it credited with an appropriate amount of money or a particular type of ticket. Single trip tickets have been replaced by 30 and 60-minute tickets.

The public transportation system is dominated by the low-floor Volvo and Mercedes-Benz buses as well as Solaris trolleybuses. There are also plenty of the traditional Škoda vehicles, built in the Czech Republic, still in service, and many of these have been extensively refurbished internally. This is a result of major improvements that started in 2003 when the first brand-new Mercedes-Benz buses were bought. In 2004, a contract was signed with Volvo Buses to buy 90 brand-new 7700 buses over the following three years.

An electric tram and a metro system through the city were proposed in the 2000s. However, neither has progressed beyond initial planning. In 2018, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania approved a new metro project with the president's agreement.

In 2014, a mobile app was launched with public transport tickets on smartphones.

In 2017, Vilnius started the historically largest upgrade of its bus services by purchasing 250 new low-floor buses. This resulted in 60% of public buses being brand new by the middle of 2018, and allowed its passengers to use such modern technologies as free Wi-Fi and to charge their electronic devices while traveling. On 5 September 2017, 50 new Isuzu buses were presented and articulated Scania buses were promised in the very near future. Vilnius City Municipality also held a contest for 41 new trolleybuses and its winner Solaris committed to deliver all trolleybuses until the autumn of 2018, which also have the free Wi-Fi and charging features. On 13 November, Vilnius City Municipality signed a contract with Solaris for the remaining 150 Solaris Urbino buses of the newest IV generation (100 standard and 50 articulated), also with the free Wi-Fi and USB charging. On 20 September 2019, five all-electric Karsan Jest Electric autobuses were presented, which serve the 89 route in narrow streets.

Since 2017, a 30-minute ticket costs 0.65 euro, a 60-minute ticket costs 0.90 euro, and a single ticket bought on board costs 1.00 euro. There are other types of tickets, both short-term and long-term. Various discounts for pupils, students and elder people are available.

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Healthcare The Vilnians took care of the cleanliness and health responsibly already during the Grand Duchy of Lithuania times as the city had public bathhouses and one fourth of houses in Vilnius had individual bathhouses, also almost half of the houses had alcohol distilleries. In 1518, medicine doctor and canon Martynas Dušnickis established the first špitolė (English: spital) in Vilnius, which was the first hospital-like institution in Lithuania and treated people who were not able to take care of themselves due to their health condition, age, and poverty.

The Brotherhood of Saint Roch maintained primitive hospitals and shelters (špitolė) for the sick and the disabled in Vilnius from 1708 to 1799, although it is not known whether the brothers had any kind of medical education, it is known that the brothers hired paramedics, doctors, and surgeons, including female nurses who could take care of their female patients, and a significant number of its patients had sexually transmitted diseases. Other Catholic hospitals refused to treat such patients. Also, the brotherhood sheltered pregnant women and their abandoned children, other patients who sought help for injuries, tuberculosis, rheumatism, arthritis, etc.

In 1805, the Vilnius Medical Society was established on the initiative of Joseph Frank (son of Johann Peter Frank), which was the first society of this type in eastern Europe and to this day unites medicine doctors and professors in Vilnius. The same year, the society established a teaching hospital (clinic) under the Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine.

In 1918–1941, the Lithuanian Sanitary Aid Society operated in Vilnius.

The Ministry of Health is located in Vilnius and is responsible for the healthcare in Lithuania. Vilnians have to pay the compulsory health insurance (6.98% of the salary), which is governed by the Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund and guarantees free health care to every insured person, however some residents are exempt from this tax (e.g., disabled persons, children, full-time students, etc.).

Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos and the Vilnius City Clinical Hospital are the primary hospitals in Vilnius. There also are eight polyclinics, the Medical Centre of the Ministry of the Interior, and a number of private health care facilities in the city.

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Media The first Lithuanian periodical newspaper (weekly) Kurier Litewski was published in Vilnius from 1760 to 1763. Vilnius is home to numerous newspapers, magazines and publications including Lietuvos rytas, Lietuvos žinios, Verslo žinios, Respublika, Valstiečių laikraštis, Mokesčių žinios, Aktualijos, 15min, Vilniaus diena, Vilniaus Kraštas, Lietuvos aidas, Valstybė, Veidas, Panelė, Franciscan Bernardinai.lt, Russian Litovskij kurjer, Polish Tygodnik Wileńszczyzny.

Vilnius TV Tower is located in Karoliniškės microdistrict and transmits television signals to the whole of Vilnius. The most-viewed networks in Lithuania are headquartered in Vilnius including LRT televizija, TV3, LNK, BTV, LRT Plius, LRT Lituanica, TV6, Lietuvos rytas TV, TV1, TV8, Sport1, Liuks!, Info TV.

The first stationary radio station in Vilnius Rozgłośnia Wileńska was launched in Žvėrynas microdistrict on 28 November 1927, but was later moved to the present-day Gediminas Avenue in 1935. M-1, the first commercial radio station in Lithuania, started broadcasting from Vilnius in 1989. Many other Lithuanian or foreign languages radio stations also broadcasts from Vilnius, most of them signals comes from the Vilnius TV Tower or the Vilnius Press House.

The Lithuanian Union of Journalists (Lithuanian: Lietuvos žurnalistų sąjunga) and the Lithuanian Society of Journalists (Lithuanian: Lietuvos žurnalistų draugija) are headquartered in Vilnius.

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Vilnius, Lithuania 
<b>Vilnius, Lithuania</b>
Image: Adobe Stock vladuzn #188390828

Vilnius is rated Gamma by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.

Vilnius is the #91 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.

Vilnius was ranked #54 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Vilnius has a population of over 588,412 people. Vilnius also forms the centre of the wider Vilnius County which has a population of over 820,511 people. Vilnius is ranked #84 for startups with a score of 6.037.

To set up a UBI Lab for Vilnius see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Vilnius has links with:

🇰🇿 Almaty, Kazakhstan 🇰🇿 Astana, Kazakhstan 🇭🇺 Budapest, Hungary 🇺🇸 Chicago, USA 🇩🇪 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany 🇺🇦 Dnipro, Ukraine 🇩🇪 Erfurt, Germany 🇵🇱 Gdańsk, Poland 🇫🇮 Joensuu, Finland 🇸🇪 Kista, Sweden 🇵🇱 Kraków, Poland 🇺🇦 Kyiv, Ukraine 🇺🇦 Lviv, Ukraine 🇺🇸 Madison, USA 🇷🇺 Moscow, Russia 🇨🇳 Nansha District, China 🇰🇿 Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan 🇳🇴 Oslo, Norway 🇬🇷 Patras, Greece 🇮🇹 Pavia, Italy 🇵🇱 Radom, Poland 🇮🇸 Reykjavík, Iceland 🇱🇻 Riga, Latvia 🇵🇱 Rybnik, Poland 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg, Russia 🇦🇹 Salzburg, Austria 🇵🇱 Siedlce, Poland 🇸🇪 Stockholm, Sweden 🇪🇪 Tallinn, Estonia 🇬🇪 Tbilisi, Georgia 🇮🇹 Termini Imerese, Italy 🇵🇱 Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱 Łódź, Poland

Vilnius is a member of the OWHC: Organization of World Heritage Cities with: 🇮🇱 Acre 🇳🇪 Agadez 🇮🇳 Ahmedabad 🇰🇿 Aktau 🇪🇸 Alcalá de Henares 🇸🇾 Aleppo 🇩🇿 Algiers 🇮🇳 Amber 🇮🇳 Amer 🇺🇸 Amsterdam 🇳🇱 Amsterdam 🇺🇸 Amsterdam 🇰🇷 Andong 🇵🇹 Angra do Heroísmo 🇱🇰 Anuradhapura 🇪🇸 Aranjuez 🇵🇪 Arequipa 🇩🇪 Augsburg 🇪🇸 Avila 🇪🇸 Baeza 🇮🇷 Bam 🇩🇪 Bamberg 🇸🇰 Banská Štiavnica 🇸🇰 Bardejov 🇬🇧 Bath 🇺🇸 Bath 🇳🇱 Beemster 🇧🇷 Belo Horizonte 🇹🇷 Bergama 🇳🇴 Bergen 🇳🇱 Bergen 🇺🇸 Berlin 🇩🇪 Berlin 🇺🇸 Berlin 🇺🇸 Berlin 🇨🇭 Bern 🇩🇪 Bernau bei Berlin 🇳🇵 Bhaktapur 🇷🇴 Biertan 🇰🇷 Boeun 🇷🇺 Bolgar 🇫🇷 Bordeaux 🇧🇷 Brasília 🇧🇧 Bridgetown 🇧🇪 Bruges 🇧🇪 Brussels 🇭🇺 Budapest 🇹🇷 Bursa 🇰🇷 Buyeo 🇪🇸 Cáceres 🇪🇬 Cairo 🇨🇺 Camaguey 🇲🇽 Campeche 🇫🇷 Carcassonne 🇨🇴 Cartagena 🇪🇸 Cartagena 🇨🇿 Český Krumlov 🇨🇳 Chengde 🇨🇻 Cidade Velha 🇵🇹 Coimbra 🇺🇾 Colonia del Sacramento 🇲🇽 Córdoba 🇦🇷 Córdoba 🇪🇸 Córdoba 🇻🇪 Coro 🇪🇸 Cuenca 🇪🇨 Cuenca 🇲🇽 Cuernavaca 🇵🇪 Cusco 🇸🇳 Dakar 🇸🇾 Damascus 🇮🇩 Denpasar 🇷🇺 Derbent 🇩🇪 Dessau 🇧🇷 Diamantina 🇹🇷 Diyarbakır 🇭🇷 Dubrovnik 🇨🇳 Dujiangyan 🇬🇧 Edinburgh 🇦🇲 Ejmiatsin 🇵🇹 Elvas 🇮🇶 Erbil 🇲🇦 Essaouira 🇵🇹 Évora 🇲🇦 Fez 🇫🇷 Fontainebleau 🇺🇾 Fray Bentos 🇱🇰 Galle 🇰🇾 George Town 🇲🇾 George Town 🇱🇾 Ghadames 🇩🇿 Ghardaïa 🇮🇩 Gianyar 🇰🇷 Gochang County 🇰🇷 Gongju 🇦🇲 Goris City 🇳🇮 Granada 🇪🇸 Granada 🇨🇮 Grand-Bassam 🇦🇹 Graz 🇪🇸 Guadalajara 🇲🇽 Guadalajara 🇲🇽 Guanajuato 🇵🇹 Guimarães 🇰🇷 Gwangju 🇰🇷 Gyeongju 🇰🇷 Haenam 🇩🇪 Hamburg 🇰🇷 Hapcheon County 🇪🇹 Harar Jugol 🇨🇺 Havana 🇻🇳 Hoi An 🇻🇳 Huế 🇰🇷 Hwasun County 🇪🇸 Ibiza 🇦🇿 Icherisheher 🇰🇷 Iksan 🇹🇷 Istanbul 🇸🇦 Jeddah 🇺🇸 Jerusalem 🇮🇱 Jerusalem 🇰🇷 Jongno-Gu 🇹🇳 Kairouan 🇱🇰 Kandy 🇮🇩 Karangasem 🇸🇪 Karlskrona 🇳🇵 Kathmandu 🇷🇺 Kazan 🇺🇿 Khiva 🇩🇰 Kolding 🇹🇷 Konya 🇲🇪 Kotor 🇵🇱 Kraków 🇨🇿 Kutná Hora 🇯🇵 Kyōto 🇳🇵 Lalitpur 🇰🇪 Lamu 🇫🇷 Le Havre 🇫🇯 Levuka 🇨🇳 Lijiang 🇵🇪 Lima 🇱🇦 Luang Prabang 🇩🇪 Lübeck 🇨🇦 Lunenburg 🇱🇺 Luxembourg City 🇺🇦 Lviv 🇫🇷 Lyon 🇲🇴 Macau 🇲🇾 Malacca City 🇲🇦 Marrakesh 🇲🇦 Meknes 🇻🇪 Mérida 🇲🇽 Mérida 🇪🇸 Mérida 🇲🇽 Mexico City 🇵🇭 Miagao 🇮🇹 Modena 🇰🇪 Mombasa 🇫🇷 Mont-Saint-Michel 🇲🇽 Morelia 🇷🇺 Moscow 🇺🇸 Moscow 🇧🇦 Mostar 🇲🇿 Mozambique 🇧🇭 Muharraq 🇫🇷 Nancy 🇯🇵 Nara 🇩🇪 Naumburg 🇧🇬 Nessebar 🇳🇴 Notodden 🇲🇽 Oaxaca 🇲🇰 Ohrid 🇧🇷 Olinda 🇧🇷 Ouro Preto 🇺🇸 Oviedo 🇪🇸 Oviedo 🇮🇹 Padula 🇮🇹 Palazzolo Acreide 🇵🇦 Panama City 🇫🇷 Paris 🇺🇸 Paris 🇺🇸 Paris 🇬🇷 Patmos 🇺🇸 Philadelphia 🇵🇹 Porto 🇧🇴 Potosí 🇩🇪 Potsdam 🇺🇸 Potsdam 🇨🇿 Prague 🇫🇷 Provins 🇲🇽 Puebla 🇲🇲 Pyay 🇨🇦 Québec 🇩🇪 Quedlinburg 🇲🇽 Querétaro 🇪🇨 Quito 🇲🇦 Rabat 🇫🇮 Rauma 🇩🇪 Regensburg 🇬🇷 Rhodes 🇱🇻 Riga 🇵🇪 Rímac 🇧🇷 Rio de Janeiro 🇳🇱 Rotterdam 🇳🇴 Røros 🇹🇷 Safranbolu 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg 🇫🇷 Saint-Louis 🇪🇸 Salamanca 🇧🇷 Salvador 🇦🇹 Salzburg 🇺🇸 San Antonio 🇨🇱 San Antonio 🇮🇨 San Cristóbal de La Laguna 🇮🇹 San Gimignano 🇲🇽 San Miguel de Allende 🇲🇽 San Pablo Villa de Mitla 🇾🇪 Sanaa 🇨🇴 Santa Cruz de Mompox 🇪🇸 Santiago de Compostela 🇧🇷 São Luís 🇪🇸 Segovia 🇹🇷 Selçuk 🇰🇷 Seongbuk 🇾🇪 Shibam 🇷🇴 Sighișoara 🇸🇬 Singapore 🇵🇹 Sintra 🇹🇳 Sousse 🇭🇷 Split 🇧🇲 St George's 🇸🇪 Stockholm 🇩🇪 Stralsund 🇫🇷 Strasbourg 🇧🇴 Sucre 🇮🇩 Surakarta 🇰🇷 Suwon 🇷🇺 Suzdal 🇨🇳 Suzhou 🇪🇪 Tallinn 🇪🇸 Tarragona 🇮🇱 Tel Aviv 🇨🇿 Telč 🇬🇧 Telford 🇲🇦 Tétouan 🇲🇱 Timbuktu 🇳🇴 Tinn 🇲🇽 Tlacotalpan 🇧🇷 Toledo 🇺🇸 Toledo 🇵🇭 Toledo 🇪🇸 Toledo 🇵🇱 Toruń 🇨🇿 Třebíč 🇨🇺 Trinidad 🇭🇷 Trogir 🇭🇳 Trujillo 🇵🇪 Trujillo 🇹🇳 Tunis 🇰🇿 Turkistan 🇪🇸 Úbeda 🇲🇹 Valletta 🇨🇱 Valparaíso 🇻🇦 Vatican City 🇷🇺 Veliky Novgorod 🇺🇸 Vienna 🇺🇸 Vienna 🇦🇹 Vienna 🇵🇭 Vigan 🇳🇴 Vinje 🇸🇪 Visby 🇵🇱 Warsaw 🇺🇸 Warsaw 🇨🇼 Willemstad 🇩🇪 Wismar 🇲🇽 Xochimilco 🇰🇷 Yangsan 🇷🇺 Yaroslavl 🇮🇷 Yazd 🇰🇷 Yeongju 🇦🇲 Yerevan 🇾🇪 Zabid 🇲🇽 Zacatecas 🇵🇱 Zamość 🇹🇿 Zanzibar City

Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GFCI | GaWC | Nomad | StartupBlink

Antipodal to Vilnius is: -154.724,-54.684

Locations Near: Vilnius 25.2763,54.6839

🇱🇹 Verkiai 25.283,54.753 d: 7.6  

🇱🇹 Naujoji Vilnia 25.409,54.694 d: 8.6  

🇧🇾 Lida 25.294,53.888 d: 88.5  

🇱🇹 Utena 25.602,55.496 d: 92.6  

🇱🇹 Jonava 24.267,55.067 d: 77.4  

🇱🇹 Alytus 24.047,54.395 d: 85.6  

🇱🇹 Kaunas 23.919,54.903 d: 90.4  

🇱🇹 Panevėžys 24.37,55.737 d: 130.5  

🇱🇹 Kėdainiai 23.967,55.283 d: 106.9  

🇧🇾 Slonim 25.319,53.094 d: 176.8  

Antipodal to: Vilnius -154.724,-54.684

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 15861.1  

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 15907.9  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 15313.6  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 15237.7  

🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 11741.1  

🇺🇸 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 11628.9  

🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 11612.2  

🇺🇸 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 11609.9  

🇺🇸 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 11609.5  

🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 11560.8  

Bing Map

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