Just outside Vilnius is Trakai Castle which looks like it has been taken directly from a Disney Film. You can pay to go inside the castle, or just wander round the outside for free. The location is beautiful, set on an island and we had perfect weather for exploring.
I fell in love with Vilnius instantly, and it remains a highlight of our trip. We had booked an impeccable apartment above a trendy coffee shop (Caffeine Roasters (Pylimo19) which was a very short walk from the Old Town. Vilnius is small, and can easily be explored on foot and most of the sights can be seen in a day. Our first evening we experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen and a delicious meal in Kitchen
The next morning we started with the Lonely Planet Walking Tour starting at Cathedral Square and hunting for the miracle tile. Rumour has it that turning a full spin in a clockwise direction whilst making a wish - it will come true. It marks the end of the longest human chain ever made - from Tallinn, through Riga and to Vilnius with over 2 million people holding hands in a protest for independence from the Soviets. The Cathedral Belfry tower is located on the square and you can climb up (it's steep after the bells!) for views across the city. We then continued on to wander past thew palace and climbed Gediminas Hill for more great views.
We spent the afternoon meandering the streets of the Old Town. Highlights included the art on Literatu street and trying the local delicacy of bright pink beetroot soup. Unfortunately I wasn't a fan! There are some lovely crafty shops in Vilnius which we wandered in on our way to all the churches, the gates of Dawn and the University. One of the best places to visit is Uzupis - A republic and free state with its own (very humorous) constitution. There is also a really cute swing under the bridge on the entry to Uzupis.
It is worth noting that the Museum of Genocide was on our to do list for Vilnius - however, it is closed on Monday's and Tuesday's!
Although both a few hours drive from Vilnius - if you have a car I would strongly recommend a trip that we did (see the blog post here) to The Hill of Crosses and an old nuclear bunker in Zemaitija National Park.