Does it snow in Vilnius, Lithuania?

View of Vilnius with snow covered cityscape

Does it snow in Vilnius? YES, but it’s not guaranteed.

While Vilnius – and Lithuania in general – used to be snowsure for most of the winter, global warming means it’s nowadays less likely.

That said, snow is still fairly common, and when I visited Vilnius in December 2023, it was very snowy indeed.

Here’s all you need to know about snow in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania!

Does it snow in Vilnius, Lithuania?

The Res Publika of Uzipo in Vilnius Lithuania

Absolutely, it snows in Vilnius!

Snow’s common from November to March, adorning the city in white throughout the season.

The city’s historic architecture is a spectacle when dusted with snow!

However, all that said, global warming has made Vilnius slightly less snow-sure in recent years.

My guide told me that snow used to be guaranteed for months on end, in the winter of 2022-23, it snowed heavily at the start of December but they didn’t have a white Christmas!

Snowfall was sporadic for the rest of the winter, although there were many very snowy days.

Nonetheless, when I visited in December 2023, Vilnius was very snowy – and I found that the city thrives in the winter months.

From snowball fights in public parks to picturesque strolls along the Neris River, life continues as normal in the snow.

Just dress up warm, take lots of breaks inside, and you’ll love the enchantment of Vilnius in the snow.

How often does it snow in Vilnius?

In Vilnius, the frequency of snowfall can vary, but generally, it’s likekly from late November through to March.

The city often experiences a substantial amount of snow during this period, though the intensity and duration of snowfall can fluctuate year by year.

That said, some winters might be snowier than others: there could be continuous snowfall for several weeks while other times, the snow might come in short, sporadic bursts, dusting the city lightly before melting away.

When planning your trip, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecasts closer to your travel dates for a more accurate picture of what to expect!

This can help you pack appropriately and plan your activities.

When does it snow in Vilnius?

Snow in Vilnius typically starts in November and can last until March, with varying intensity each month.

Does it snow in Vilnius in November?

In November, the first flurries of snow begin to appear and by the end of the month, snowfall can become quite intense.

Does it snow in Vilnius in December?

Christmas tree in Vilnius

December sees a more consistent snowfall.

This is the month when Vilnius starts to look like a Hallmark movie – amplified by all the Christmas markets and events!

Does it snow in Vilnius in January?

January is often the peak of winter in Vilnius, with frequent and heavy snow.

The snow during this month is typically at its deepest, and the Liepkalnis Ski Resort (just a 10 minute drive from Vilnius) is in full swing.

Does it snow in Vilnius in February?

Snow continues into February, though it can start to taper off towards the end of the month.

Does it snow in Vilnius in March?

March marks the end of the heavy snow season, with snowfall becoming less frequent and more sporadic. However, it certainly still happens!

Does it snow in Vilnius in April?

It can snow in Vilnius in April, but it’s much less likely than in the winter season.

Why does it snow in Vilnius?

Vilnius in snow

Vilnius experiences significant snow due to its geographical location and climate patterns.

The city lies in a region where cold air masses from the Arctic and North Atlantic converge.

During winter, these air masses bring in moisture and cold temperatures.

Vilnius’s latitude also plays a role.

Being located further north in Europe, it is subject to longer and more intense winter conditions compared to southern regions.

This northern location means that Vilnius experiences shorter daylight hours in winter, contributing to lower temperatures that are conducive to snow.

The city’s topography also influences its snowfall.

Vilnius is surrounded by a mix of flatlands and minor hills. This varied terrain can lead to microclimates where certain areas receive more snow accumulation than others.

When has it snowed heavily in Vilnius?

A recent example of heavy snowfall in Vilnius was in 2021, when the city and its surroundings were covered in the white stuff.

According to a report by BNN-News, the snowfall caused widespread disruptions.

During a particular week in 2021, heavy snowfall wreaked havoc across southern and eastern parts of Lithuania, including Vilnius.

Nearly 55 thousand households were left without power due to downed lines.

The snow’s impact was severe enough to necessitate firefighters being called out 331 times in just one day to handle incidents like fallen trees and other disturbances.

The snow was so intense that it trapped residents in their homes.

Vilma Gudeikaitė, a graphic designer from a village near Vilnius, shared with BNN that both of her cars were buried in snow.

Egidijus Steponavičius from UAB “Grinda”, responsible for street cleaning in Vilnius, noted that their entire fleet of 50 vehicles struggled with the snowy conditions. Over two days, approximately 32 centimetres of snow were bulldozed away and melted with saline solutions on Vilnius streets.

What’s it like when it snows in Vilnius?

Snowy streets Vilnius

Vilnius (and the Baltics in general) deal with snow very well!

The snowfall adds a layer of quiet and calm to the bustling city streets. Vilnius’s historic buildings, draped in white, stand out with a renewed sense of grandeur.

Locals and visitors alike take to the outdoors, engaging in snowball fights, building snowmen, or simply enjoying leisurely walks through the snow-draped parks and along the river.

The city’s green spaces, like Vingis Park, become popular spots for winter activities.

Cafés and restaurants adapt to the winter season by creating cozy, warm spaces for people to take refuge from the cold.

Enjoying a hot drink or a hearty meal while watching the snowfall outside is a quintessential Vilnius experience during winter.

The city’s markets and street vendors also add to the winter charm, offering warm treats and handcrafted goods.

As Lithuania’s accustomed to snow, there isn’t the same disruption as you might find in places like England in freezing weather.

Public transport runs efficiently, and the city’s infrastructure is well-equipped to handle icy weather.

Tips for visiting Vilnius in the snow

View of Vilnius with snow covered cityscape

Here are some things to consider if you’re visiting the capital of Lithuania when it’s snowing!

  • Dress Appropriately: The key to enjoying Vilnius’s winter weather is to stay warm and dry. Dress in layers, including a waterproof outer layer, to adapt to changing temperatures. Don’t forget a warm hat, gloves, and insulated, waterproof boots for comfortable walking on snowy streets.
  • Check Weather Forecasts Regularly: Winter weather can be unpredictable. Keep an eye on the local weather forecasts to stay updated on snowfall and temperature changes. This will help you plan your daily activities accordingly.
  • Stay Flexible with Plans: Snow can sometimes disrupt travel plans. Be prepared for possible changes in public transport schedules or attraction closures. Having a flexible itinerary will help you adapt to any unexpected changes.
  • Enjoy Winter Activities: Embrace the winter by participating in local activities. Whether it’s a stroll through a snow-covered park, visiting a Christmas market, or simply enjoying a snowball fight, there’s plenty to do in Vilnius during winter.
  • Explore Indoor Attractions: If the cold gets too much, Vilnius offers many indoor attractions such as museums, galleries, and historic churches. These can provide a warm and informative respite from the snow.
  • Be Prepared for Shorter Days: Remember that daylight hours are shorter in winter. Plan outdoor activities during daylight and save indoor activities for the evening.
  • Stay Safe on the Roads: I wouldn’t recommend driving unless you’re used to snowy weather. Public transport is a reliable and safe option during snowy conditions.

Things to do in Vilnius in the snow

The city certainly doesn’t shut down in the snow; in fact, there are some excellent attractions to enjoy in Vilnius!

Skiing at Liepkalnis

skiing in Liepkalnis, close to Vilnius

Liepkalnis is a ski area just a 10-minute drive from the city which offers a variety of slopes suitable for both beginners and experienced skiers.

The well-maintained facilities offer ski rentals and lessons. The slopes aren’t the Alps, but they’re great for beginners, improvers or anyone looking for a quick ski break while visiting the capital.

The panoramic views of snow-covered Vilnius from the top of the slopes are a bonus!

Snowy Walks

One of the best ways to experience Vilnius in the snow is by taking a walk through its picturesque streets and parks.

Vilnius With Locals run their historical walking tours in the winter months. I’ve done hundreds of city tours all over the world and my tour with guide Vilius was one of the best. Tours are free but tips are expected (and make sure you do tip them, they’re excellent!).

If you want to walk around independently, head to Vingis Park or Bernardine Gardens, where the snow-laden trees and paths are ideal for winter.

Walk up to Gediminas Castle Tower and enjoy a view of the city (there’s a decent museum here too).

Or, just amble the old town, enjoying the festive decor and winter scenes.

Indoor Attractions

Inside of KGB museum Vilnius

When you need a break from the cold, Vilnius offers a plethora of indoor attractions.

The city is rich in history and culture, evident in its numerous museums and galleries.

The National Museum of Lithuania and the MO Museum are great choices to delve into the country’s past and contemporary art scene.

But my favourite museum in town is the KGB Museum (Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights) which provides insightful glimpses into Lithuania’s Soviet-era history.

FAQs about snow in Vilnius

Here are some answers to popular questions about Vilnius’s snowfall.

Does Vilnius get snow?

Yes, Vilnius sees plenty of snow – it typically begins in November and lasts until March, although it can still be freezing into April. Snowfall isn’t as guaranteed as it used to be, but you’re fairly likely to find some in the winter season.

How often does it snow in Lithuania?

In Lithuania, snow is common in winter, especially from December to February. The frequency and amount can vary each year, but snowfall is a regular feature of the Lithuanian winter.

What is the best month to visit Vilnius?

It depends! December’s a lovely festive time to visit, but it’s most snowsure in January.

It’s a popular summer destination too, with plenty of festivals and events.

When should I visit Lithuania?

Visit Lithuania in winter if you enjoy snow and winter sports.

Spring and summer are great for outdoor activities and sightseeing in milder weather, while autumn brings colourful foliage.

Does Lithuania get a lot of snow?

Lithuania receives quite a lot of snow, with heavier snowfall typically occurring in the eastern and southern regions. The amount can vary from year to year.

What to Wear in Vilnius in Winter?

Dress in warm layers when visiting Vilnius in winter.

Essentials include a waterproof jacket, thermal clothing, a hat, gloves, and waterproof boots to keep warm and dry.

Is Lithuania a very cold country?

Lithuania experiences cold winters, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. However, it’s not quite as cold as Latvia and Estonia.

Which month is the coldest in Lithuania?

January is usually the coldest month in Lithuania, with average temperatures ranging from -5°C to -10°C, sometimes dropping even lower!

What is the coldest month in Vilnius?

January is typically the coldest month in Vilnius, with temperatures often falling below freezing.

Now you know about snowfall in Vilnius!

It certainly does snow in Vilnius! While it’s not as common as Riga, Tallinn or Helsinki, you’ve got a good chance of seeing snow in the winter season.

If you’re interested in seeing more of snowy Vilnius, check out my YouTube video from my trip there.

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