Film Tourism

Movies, documentaries, TV shows and commercials inspire people to discover places in the content on display. It is a wonderful way for viewers to connect with films and feel as if they’re a part of the scenery. Film tourism is a fantastic way to learn about filming locations, as well as get to know what’s happening behind the scenes.

The first film tourism routes in Vilnius were presented in 2016 after the success of BBC’s TV-series “War and Peace” directed by Tom Harper. The story, based on Lev Tolstoy’s novel, was mainly shot in Vilnius and its surroundings. UK and US stars Lily James, Paul Dano and James Norton created main roles of Natasha Rostova, Pierre Bezukov and Andrei Bolkonsky. The capital of Lithuania was a great choice for filmmakers considering the wonderful locations for the scenography. The route was presented by then National Tourism Department.

Among the most popular filming locations are The Old Town of Vilnius and Fabijoniskes district, where the “Chernobyl” HBO miniseries came to life. Lithuania served as the perfect backdrop for the miniseries because an important part of its history is intertwined with the history of the Soviet Union. One of the main tasks was to transform the areas back into the Soviet era. “They have become a part of Europe, they have come a long long way and it was about going backward and peeling things away,” the show’s creator Craig Mazin recounted to the press. Vilnius is a popular destination for shooting movies and “Chernobyl” is one of the biggest projects to have been here so far.

Route and private tours: Where the Chernobyl HBO Miniseries Came to Life

Furthermore, we advise you to book an excursion in Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, where Chernobyl’s scenes were filmed. It’s is a 2-hour drive from capital Vilnius, but totally worth it!
Private tours: Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant private tours (Due to covid-19 excursions were suspended)

Even though Lithuania isn’t a monarchy, you could have seen an Empress walking the streets of Vilnius just recently. Travelling back in time to the 18th century, the Catherine the Great HBO miniseries transported Vilnius to Imperial Russia to recreate St. Petersburg, model Russian palaces, and tell an intense story on screen.

The miniseries focuses on Catherine the Great, played by Oscar winning actor Helen Mirren, in her later years, and her relationship with Russian statesman Grigory Potemkin. “I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power. She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name,” said Helen Mirren to The Mirror.

So, if you’re a fan of costume dramas and historic miniseries, it’s about time to visit Vilnius and see the locations depicted on screen in person. Feel like you’re a part of Catherine the Great’s court, minus the plotting schemes. The creators let us travel back in time to the 18th century and get a glimpse of the beauty of Russian palaces. ‘The Catherine the Great’ HBO miniseries transported Vilnius to Imperial Russia to recreate St. Petersburg. The set mainly takes place in the city center and objects that are shown are not too far away from each other. It could be a perfect choice for a fun one-day journey through Catherine’s Vilnius.

Filming locations: The Perfect Set for HBO’s Catherine the Great

Fans of detective novels, get ready to binge watch Young Wallander, Netflix’s prequel to the best-selling novels by Henning Mankell. The six-episode series is set in contemporary Sweden, but … did you know that it was filmed entirely in Vilnius.

Netflix has decided to film in Vilnius due to various city and nature backgrounds: the apartment buildings in Seskine district are extremely cinematic, built in the late 1970s by the Soviet regime, the beautiful surroundings of the area joined with the open spaces and the vast panoramas become unbelievably stunning. “Vilnius has already earned a strong cinema-friendly city reputation, offering exceptional locations and local personalism, then it became an obvious choice to film Young Wallander. With its main cinematic potential, choice of different landscapes and environments, the city is a great backdrop for the Swedish narrative,” – pointed out Netflix partners.

So, get ready to follow the beloved Swedish detective through the streets of Vilnius: Follow the Footsteps of Netflix’s Young Wallander in Vilnius

And there’s even more for those who like exploring cities by themselves. If you’re a true film buff, take a look at this publication of films shot in Vilnius, where you’ll find film routes for 12 films and tv-series together with favourite places of casts & crews and 20 the most popular filming locations of Vilnius: Vilnius on Screen. 20 the most popular filming locations

We all know that each film captures a specific and unique view of the city. With a little help from moviemakers, we now have an ability to travel not only through locations but also through time. For those who would like explore our beautiful country, state agency “Lithuania Travel” in 2021 has prepared a list of 10 Lithuanian film routes for your post-quarantine journey. Read more: 10 Lithuanian film routes (note: in Lithuanian)

Enjoy exploring the routes of Cinematic Vilnius!