2,000 people from 76 countries visited the “Vilnius is my city” festival for foreigners

A special event for the city’s international community took place in Vilnius over the weekend. An impressive 2,000 participants gathered at the “Vilnius is my city” festival, and the organisers counted 76 countries that have chosen Vilnius as their new home.

According to International House Vilnius, which organised the festival, the festival was attended not only by citizens from neighbouring countries such as Latvia, Poland and Estonia, but also by representatives from much further states such as Australia, Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela and other countries. 

“Today, 71,000 foreigners from a wide range of countries live in the capital and call the city home. Over 700 years, Vilnius has developed and evolved alongside the cultures that live here and are an integral part of the capital. Today, Vilnius is known all over the world as an open, cosmopolitan city, where everyone can find opportunities to develop and create,” Valdas Benkunskas, the Mayor of Vilnius, congratulated the participants.

During the free event, there was no shortage of entertainment for adults and children, organised by representatives of different countries: Latin music artist Sandra Carillo from Spain performed, Ukrainian artist Larissa Uvarova held a painting workshop, and traditional Mexican dance was the main theme. The stage was also filled with off-the-wall performances by comedian Benjamin McWilliams, who moved here from the US, and Toye Samson Abiodun from Nigeria, the face of the event. 

The “Vilnius is my city” festival is a unique opportunity for foreigners living in Vilnius to get to know each other, to meet Vilnius residents, to hear about the organisations and activities that exist in Lithuania, and, of course, to have a great time. Vilnius, like other European cities, strives to attract foreign talent, but it is also important to keep in mind the integration of newcomers and to make sure that foreigners become city-loving Vilnius residents as soon as possible. “Vilnius is my city” is the city’s effort to show the openness and friendliness of Vilnius. The fact that the event attracted so many participants, some of whom came from other Lithuanian cities just for the event, is proof of the need for such initiatives. We will strive to make this festival an annual symbol of Vilnius’ internationality, inviting togetherness,” comments Inga Romanovskienė, Head of Go Vilnius, the official tourism and development agency of Vilnius, which organised the event.

The festival programme was packed with different activities and spaces specially designed for different communities. 

At the event, foreigners who had chosen Lithuania for their studies and business had the opportunity to socialize and make useful acquaintances in a space created especially for them, while at the same time, representatives of the Vilnius TechFusion ecosystem shared their experience of living and relocating to work in Vilnius with those who are taking their first steps here. The discussions included success stories from India, France and Italy. 

During the “Vilnius is my city” festival, enthusiasts of adventurous competitions also found their place – teams of participants could compete in climbing to the top of an impressive 7-metre climbing wall. A total of 134 teams competed in the event, and the main prize was won by a Vilnius resident who reached the top in 10 seconds.   


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