Christmas markets filled with stalls offering unique finds and the aroma of candied nuts are a big thing in Vilnius. For traditional Christmas entertainment, visit the two main Christmas markets in the city’s main squares. For a modern and trendy Christmas filled with local designs and handmade gifts, check out the smaller pop-up markets.
Location: Cathedral Square
The biggest Christmas market in Vilnius will surround the city’s Christmas Tree at Cathedral Square. The tree will be lit on the evening of 30 November, which is also when the market will open its stalls. Vendors here typically sell seasonal staples like herbal teas, mulled wine and pastries, but you can also pick up gifts and Lithuanian souvenirs to take home with you.
Location: Town Hall Square
Traditionally, this market has been a welcome refuge from the crowds at Cathedral Square. Town Hall Square is lined with picturesque makeshift houses, making it great for photos. The market, which will open here on 1 December, will follow a similar concept as the one at Cathedral Square; however, it will be a little bit smaller and offer a comparatively modest selection of goods. It’s still worth a visit, though, and the variety of holiday gifts and local food won’t disappoint.
Vincas Kudirka Square
The number-one destination for people who want to buy products made by Lithuanian designers. Open for six days at Vinco Kudirkos Square, this market is loved by both locals and visitors alike, and offers excellent bargains on thoughtful Christmas gifts.
Location: Town Hall Square
One of the top charity events in town brings together representatives of more than 30 international communities selling specialty goods from their corners of the world. Even if you don’t feel like buying anything, drop by for the lottery, which offers fabulous prizes in exchange for a donation to the bazaar’s beneficiaries. The event traditionally takes place at Vilnius Town Hall.
The town’s favourite event space – Loftas, on Švitrigailos Street 29 – will host this last-minute Christmas market to lend a hand to anyone who’s a gift or two short. Alongside local designers and craftspeople, it will also offer street food and a good soundtrack that’s free of the usual Christmas clichés.
For two days, Club Kablys, known among locals for its quality parties, will host their annual Pop-Up Christmas Market. It’ll bring together over 70 well-known Lithuanian brands that sell fashion items, accessories, cosmetics and food. Drop by even if just out of curiosity – the address is Kauno Street 5.
The Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO will host a fair that aims to offer the widest variety of Christmas essentials under one roof. The vendors will be grouped in different areas, making it easy to find what you need – food, gifts or fresh ideas. Even Santa Claus will drop by this market, which definitely makes it worth a visit.
The Glass Quarter is one of the oldest trading and craft districts in Vilnius, so no wonder it’s still a perfect place to shop for local creations, unique crafts, and artisanal souvenirs. Jewellery made with stones collected at the Baltic Sea at Terra Recognita, handmade bowties at Dom Bow Ties, linen tablecloths at Linen Tales, or a one of a kind New Years dress at My Minds – the Glass Quarter is small but filled with all sorts of treasures. Check out the oldest vinyl store in the city or the authentic glass manufacturer and museum while you’re there. If you get tired from all the shopping, get a cup of coffee at the spectacular Augustas ir Barbora café, or sit down for a beer and a traditional Lithuanian meal at Leičiai.
The organisers of this market promise to give visitors a stress-free Christmas shopping experience. Make your way to the corner of Arklių Street 6 and Etmonų Street 3, where you’ll find bars open on the ground floor and the market one floor above. The event will focus on local designers and creatives.