Automuseum Vilnius – Vilnius, Lithuania - Atlas Obscura

Automuseum Vilnius

Discover the car that once belonged to the King of Nepal in a former Soviet-era taxi park. 


In 1974, during the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, this distinctive building served as a parking facility for the state-owned taxi fleet, primarily catering to the residents of Vilnius. With limited tourism options available during the occupation, the majority of patrons were locals. However, after Lithuania regained its independence the concept of a state-owned fleet became obsolete, leading to the building’s gradual decline into disrepair.

In the 2010s, the former taxi parking lot underwent extensive refurbishment, and one of its revitalized occupants is the Automuseum, which opened its doors in 2023. It’s the largest collection of vintage automobiles in the country and the captivating stories behind some of its exhibits set it apart.

Among the most intriguing cars on display is the Delage D8L. What makes it extraordinary? This particular car’s first owner was King Thrivughan of Nepal in the 1930s. Given Nepal’s rugged, mountainous terrain, the car had to be carried to the king through the jungle by his servants. However, due to persuasion from Hitler’s associates promoting the Mercedes brand, the monarch ultimately changed his preference. Decades later, an American diplomat discovered the car, purchased it, disassembled it, and shipped all its components to the United States via diplomatic mail. Eventually, it found its way to Vilnius.

Additionally, visitors will encounter cars from the 1930s that once belonged to Lithuanian and foreign dignitaries, including Mussolini’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as an armored Mercedes used as the personal vehicle of Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania’s first head of state after regaining independence. Equipped with windows that measure five centimeters (2 inches) thick and other unique features, it offers a glimpse into history.

In addition to historical cars, the museum boasts a diverse array of exhibits, ranging from horse-drawn carriages, motorcycles, and fire trucks to penny-farthing bicycles, WWII trucks (and even firearms). Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these remarkable displays.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Wednesday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is €20 for adults, with discounts available for students, minors, and seniors.

Guided tours are highly recommended, as they offer in-depth insights into the background stories of the exhibits, complementing the brief descriptions provided alongside the vehicles.

Community Contributors

June 7, 2024

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web