Originally built in the 16th-century, the colorful brick exterior of Bernardine Church may not be quite as ornate as the Gothic spires of its neighbor—St. Anne’s Church—but you can find more than a dozen altars within its extensively-restored interior. Admire the oldest crucifix in Lithuania, wooden pulpits and lecterns, and distinctive arched windows.
Entry is free to visit the Bernadine Church, and it's easy to explore inside independently or on a guided tour. For an English-language tour offering access into the bell towers and crypt, be sure to book in advance. You can pair a visit to the gothic St. Anne's Church—located just steps away—and enjoy a stroll through the artsy Uzupis district just across the Vilna River.
Things to know before you go
- Bernardine Church (Bernardinu Parapija) is an active Roman Catholic worship space.
- Travelers that want city views should book a guided tour; you get access to more of the building plus citywide views from the church loft.
- Music fans may get a treat if they visit during mass when the church choir is known to perform.
How to get there
Though many Old Town tours, walking tours, and private tours pass by the Bernardine Church, independent travelers can walk or hop on the bus. Several city bus lines run nearby. The church is also within walking distance of nearby attractions including the Vilnius Cathedral, the National Museum of Lithuania, and Vilnius University.
When to get there
The church is open seven days a week, early till late. English-language Roman Catholic mass is held on Sunday mornings. Otherwise, morning and evening services are typically held in Lithuanian. Plan to arrive in the middle of the day to explore this active worship space without interrupting mass.
What to See Near Bernardine Church
You can step outside of the church to admire the ensemble of gothic buildings, including the charming St. Anne's Church and monastery, and stroll toward the riverfront to relax in Bernardine Park. Find shade trees, benches, and chess tables amidst the well-tended paths. After visiting the park, hop across the Fluxus Bridge to check out the famously bohemian Uzupis district—the perfect place to admire street art and stop by a café for a pick-me-up.
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- Amber Museum-Gallery (Gintaro Muziejus-Galerija)
- Vilnius Cathedral (Arkikatedra Bazilika)
- Gediminas Castle Tower (Gedimino Pilies Bokstas)
- Vilnius University (Vilniaus Universitetas)
- Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (National Museum)
- Presidential Palace
- National Museum of Lithuania, New Arsenal
- Money Museum (Pinigu Muziejaus)
- Vilnil Museum of Illusions
- Bastion of the Vilnius Defensive Wall (Vilniaus Gynybines Sienos Basteja)
- Church of the Holy Spirit (Sventosios Dvasios Baznycia)
- Gate of Dawn (Ausros Vartai)
- Subacius Hill
- Vilnius Old Town (Vilniaus Senamiestis)