Cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion regulates fundamental cellular functions and is crucial for cell-material contact. Adhesion is influenced by many factors like affinity and specificity of the receptor-ligand interaction or overall ligand concentration and density. To investigate molecular details of cell-ECM and cadherins (cell-cell) interaction in vascular cells functional nanostructured surfaces were used Ligand-functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with 6-8 nm diameter, are precisely immobilized on a surface and separated by non-adhesive regions so that individual integrins or cadherins can specifically interact with the ligands on the AuNPs. Using 40 nm and 90 nm distances between the AuNPs and functionalized either with peptide motifs of the extracellular matrix (RGD or REDV) or vascular endothelial-cadherins (VEC), the influence of distance and ligand specificity on spreading and adhesion of endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) was investigated. We demonstrate that RGD-dependent adhesion of vascular cells is similar to other cell types and that the distance dependence for integrin binding to ECM-peptides is also valid for the REDV motif. VEC-ligands decrease adhesion significantly on the tested ligand distances. These results may be helpful for future improvements in vascular tissue engineering and for development of implant surfaces.