The hospitality professionals of the Lithuanian capital flew over the city in a hot air balloon carrying the message "Vilnius is calling". They chose this original way to spread the word that the city is finally opening after months of quarantine. Vilnius is one of the few capitals in Europe featuring hot air balloon flights over the city. It is also recognized as one of the safest holiday destinations for a memorable post-pandemic trip.
With flight schedules picking back up and the announcement that travellers coming from 26 countries no longer need to self-isolate upon arrival, now’s the time for a dream getaway to Vilnius.
The city’s giant open-air café vibe, open-air galleries, museums and active adventures await, all while safety measures are still on. There are so many exclusive and exciting things to do in Vilnius, including, of course, a hot-air balloon ride over the Old Town and its surrounding lush landscapes. What’s not to love?
Vilnius is unique among European capitals because hot air balloons can drift right over central town. Typically, their journey starts in one of the spots close to the Old Town so that, depending on the wind direction that day, they’d float over the historic centre and off towards the horizon.
If you’re interested in taking a ride on a hot air balloon, there’s no special preparation needed, other than charging your camera. The crews are knowledgeable and will guide you through the entire preparation process, as well as give you precise directions on finding the take-off spot, or even take you there by car.
Several companies offer hot air balloon rides in Vilnius and you’ll find them all listed here.
Typically, the price per person hovers around EUR 100, but there are occasional special offers and last-minute deals. For more information, simply contact one of the hot air balloon operators, who all have English-speaking staff.
Travellers from 26 countries are presently allowed to visit Lithuania without being subjected to 2 weeks of self-isolation. This “safe list” of countries includes Germany, Poland, France, Italy, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Malta, and Spain. The renewal of international flights and the end of the quarantine regime provide even more possibilities to spend holidays in Vilnius, for which the tourism industry of the city has been preparing all along.
Having successfully contained the spread of COVID-19, Vilnius is also one of the safest destinations this summer. Compared to most European countries, Lithuania had 20 times fewer people infected by the COVID-19 and the country’s hospitals were never overwhelmed during the pandemic. The European Best Destinations (EBD) organization listed Vilnius among the 20 safest cities to travel, finding it "twice as safe as most European capitals."
Some safety measures are still in place. Face masks are no longer mandatory yet still highly recommended in indoor public spaces, personal hygiene and disinfection procedures are required in shops and restaurants and people are asked to keep a safe distance at all times.