Vilnius Demonstrates Quirky Character Through Wide Scope of Summer Events

Lithuanian capital boasts not only a UNESCO-listed old town, but also a vast variety of cultural events and a rapidly growing craft beer scene, ideal for those looking to get great value for their money as well as avoid the crowds

Photo by Paulo Evangelista on Unsplash
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July 5 – Vilnius, Lithuania. Vilnius is growing in popularity amongst tourists thanks to its flourishing contemporary and urban cultural scenes, as well as its rich history as a city where east meets west. The city hosts a broad palette of events worth visiting, with most of them taking place in outdoor venues around the historic Old Town.

Midsummer Vilnius Festival (July 15 – 26)

One of the prime tourist locations in Vilnius – the Palace of the Grand Dukes – will transform its courtyard into a classy yet unusual festival venue. Midsummer Vilnius Festival (July 15 – 26) is an annual performing arts festival, and offers a programme consisting of 10 performances of a broad artistic spectrum. One of the main headliners this year is Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre’s ‘Deep Field’ project, the composer’s grand opus for orchestra, choir and mobile app. Eric Whitacre wrote ‘Deep Field’ after being inspired by photos of the same name from NASA’s Hubble space telescope, which captured the deepest view of the universe so far known to science. The world’s opera female singer of the year 2019, Vilnius-born Asmik Grigorian, will also be in attendance.

Christopher Summer Festival (until August 28)

Another gem for music lovers is Christopher Summer Festival (until August 28), that has plenty to offer for two full summer months, and will return for its 25th summer. The festival takes pride in accommodating a broad-range of genres of music, from jazz and classical to experimental pieces, living up to its motto “all genres are good, except the boring ones.” The festival is a great opportunity to learn about the city itself, as concerts are usually organised in locations that particularly show off the capital – courtyards, churches, venues on the river and in the sky.

Street theatre festival SPOT (July 11 – 14)

Lovers of the contemporary theatre will be pleased to wander around the streets of Vilnius this July during the street theatre festival SPOT (July 11 – 14). The festival will fill the streets, parks, and squares with performances, concerts, and contemporary theatre pieces. As a street theatre festival should, it invites people to challenge their perceptions of theatre completely free of charge.

Cinema Under the Stars (August 1 – 31)

Cinema Under the Stars (August 1 – 31) would be a more sophisticated cousin to the drive-in theatres, as the Palace of the Grand Dukes will be home yet for another spectacular cultural experience. The festival combines the magic of August’s starry nights with hand-picked critically-acclaimed films. The festival claims their repertoire is selected by hand and by heart, and consists of classics, documentaries, and Lithuanian films (usually with English subtitles).

Dinner in the Sky (August 8 – 11)

When it comes to good food with even better view, Dinner in the Sky (August 8 – 11) offers an unrivaled experience for four brief summer days. Guests are lifted to the heights of 50 meters to enjoy exquisite food with picture-perfect Vilnius landscape at their feet, while the country’s top chefs are serving their food. During dinners, the chef of the day personally joins the guests and talks about his food and menu. The restaurant in the sky requires guests to book in advance due to limited seating capacity and the popularity of its services. Those missing out on this year’s Dinner in the Sky can always return next season, as the sky-high tradition is counting its 8th year now.

Photo by Paulo Evangelista on Unsplash

Vilnius Burger Fest (July 25)

The Vilnius food journey doesn’t end with fine dining in the sky. One of the most anticipated events by all the foodies in town, Vilnius Burger Fest (July 25) welcomes specialized restaurants, funky food trucks and prominent good food enthusiasts. It also offers a vast selection of locally brewed and imported craft beverages, necessary in order to find that perfect burger-beer match.

Open Kitchen and Turgus 2.0

Furthermore, the rapidly growing popularity of Vilnius street food scene can be experienced through two initiatives, Open Kitchen and Turgus 2.0. Open Kitchen takes place every Friday and Saturday next to the bohemian district and the self-proclaimed republic of Užupis, while Turgus 2.0 is located next to the Central Station and offers guilty street food pleasures while being surrounded by old trains on Sundays. Both weekly events gather various food trucks and food stalls offering street food from around the world.

For further information about the events taking place in Vilnius during the summer season, please visit

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Written by Hassan Ahmed


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