As part of our ESCP client’s wider event programme, we helped them run a board meeting in January 2020 in Vilnius. They also chose the city as the location for their upcoming September conference, now delayed to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
Here’s what we’ve learned about Vilnius:
1. Getting there
2. Getting around
4. Key Partners
8. Food & Drink
Vilnius is the second largest city in the Baltics, accessible by train, bus or car and no more than three hours away from any European destination by air.
1. Getting there
Vilnius is the second largest city in the Baltics, accessible by train, bus or car and no more than three hours away from any European destination by air. Flight schedules have greatly improved in recent years and it’s well served via major hubs such as Paris or Brussels. The city centre is a 15-minute taxi ride from Vilnius international airport.
Not sure where exactly you’re going? Visit the Where is Vilnius? website.
2. Getting around
Public transport is reliable and affordable at just €1 for a one-way ticket on bus or trolley-bus. If you plan to use taxis, download the Bolt app before you go. The average taxi fare around the city is under €5, perfect if delegates need to move quickly from conference centre to hotel.
If you’re planning large events, the city offers 6500 bedrooms in total. For a client conference this summer, Integrity are holding 1000 rooms across a mix of 3 to 5-star hotels. You’ll find all major hotel chains in Vilnius, including Radisson, Marriott, Hilton and Novotel. To date, we’ve mainly used the Radisson Blu Lietuva on the bank of the River Neris with views of the Old Town. It’s nicely central, comfy and spacious, with plenty of bedrooms and conference facilities for up to 1200.
4. Key partners
- Vilnius Convention Bureau | One of our best on-the-ground partners, they connect us with good suppliers and recommend great spots for dinner and entertaining
- LITEXPO | This flexible conference centre offers a well-orientated floor plan with most spaces on one level, and they’re very easy to work with
Lithuania ranks first in Europe and 3rd globally for 4G, with coverage in over 84% of the country. 5G isn’t on the cards for some time yet.
In 2020 we’ve found accommodation for our client’s event to be (on average) 60% cheaper than destinations we’ve used in previous years – with no need to compromise on quality. In general, food, hotels and travel around the city are extremely affordable, making it a cheap alternative to other Eastern European destinations.
If you’re planning large events the city offer 6500 bedrooms in total.
Lithuania is considered one of the safest countries in the world and plenty of people – especially in hotels, shops and restaurants – speak some English alongside their native Lithuanian. The country is one of Europe’s fastest-growing innovators, thanks to a particular focus on electronics, clean tech and life sciences.
8. Food & drink
- Bizarre | A mix of Asian and European cuisine, great décor and a fantastic atmosphere that suits large or small groups. (We visited with clients)
- Pachamama | This well-located Peruvian fusion restaurant has a lively atmosphere and friendly staff. It’s the chosen venue for our client’s party in September with food, drinks and live entertainment. (We visited with clients)
- Skybar at Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva | This cocktail bar has great views over the Old Town and live DJs at weekends, making it popular with visitors and locals alike.
If delegates arrive the day before an event – or choose to stay on afterwards – Vilnius is a haven for the casual tourist. Its stunning Old Town is one of the largest in Eastern and Central Europe, and a listed UNESCO world heritage site. Its winding streets and picturesque medieval buildings make it a wonderful destination for a wander.
Worth a visit:
- Pilies Street | A lovely cobbled street lined with cafes and shops brimming with Lithuanian products including amber jewellery and linen
Vilnius is a haven for the casual tourist. Its stunning Old Town is one of the largest in Eastern and Central Europe, and a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
- Vilnius Cathedral and Cathedral Square | The scene of numerous festivals and always a hive of activity
- Gediminas’ Castle | Jump on the funicular to the top, or stretch your legs on the climb to enjoy unobstructed views of the Old Town
Nearly half of Vilnius is green space, which is three times more than in Amsterdam, Berlin and Warsaw. It has the cleanest air of all major European cities and drinking water that’s among the cleanest in Europe. As you see across many European towns and cities, plenty of locals get around by bike or the increasingly popular ‘clean’ electric scooters.