Lithuania is the newest Eurozone member and an exceptional place to visit in 2015. It has a vibrant art scene, stunning dunes and interesting baroque architecture.
The largest of the Baltic States is filled with beautiful national parks, lakes, and forests. Yet, it also has enough castles to keep history and culture lovers entertained for many years. It is home to many amazing local spas and delicious beer, making it a great stress-relieving destination.
These are five places you should not miss while visiting Lithuania.
Vilnius Old Town, a UNESCO-protected area of cobbled squares and winding alleyways lined in beautiful baroque architecture, is one of Europe’s largest and most beautiful. The capital is seeing a revival despite its rich history. Trendy bars, fashionable hotels, and fashion boutiques have sprouted around in recent years. The cultural scene has also exploded with a striking contemporary art centre and a diverse collection of private galleries. Vilnius’s nightlife is lively and casual due to its large student population.
The Museum of Genocide Victims is located in the former KGB Headquarters. It’s the best place to visit if you want information about the dark Soviet era. The Upper Castle offers stunning views of the city. You can also take a hot air balloon ride in the sunset. Trakai Island Castle, located less than 30 kilometres west of Vilnius, is a popular day trip that features a history museum. Trakai, a beautiful medieval town and resort on a lake with many water-related activities, is also available.
Klaipeda and Curonian Spit
Just 10 minutes from Klaipeda, the Curonian Spit is one of Lithuania’s most iconic and impressive sights. It boasts some of Europe’s largest moving dunes and is easily accessible by boat. The 60-mile-long peninsula, which is UNESCO-listed, has beautiful beaches and unspoilt fishing communities. It’s shared with Russia. But it’s more than just nature and tranquillity. It is a life-changing experience. The Prussian philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt said, ” The Spit is so unique that everybody must see it“.
The pretty village of Nida, nestled alongside the lagoon, has been a source of inspiration and wonder for many artists, including Freud, Thomas Mann, and Thomas Mann. The charming, German-flavored resort town is well-known for its many amber jewellery shops and laid-back atmosphere. It also has unique wooden houses.
Klaipeda, Lithuania’s third-largest city and the country’s most important port, is best known as the escape to the Curonian Spit. The city’s new and old parts are divided by the Dane River, which has its charms. The German Old Center is small and filled with charming bakeries, shops, and restaurants. In the Smiltyne District, you will find soft white beaches and the Lithuanian Sea Museum.
Hill of Crosses
The Hill of Crosses, located in northern Lithuania near Siauliai, is the country’s most popular pilgrimage spot and one of the most unusual sights. It symbolises religious devotion and contains over 200,000 crosses in various sizes and styles. Most of them were brought by grieving relatives of those who lost their loved ones. The mysterious hill is also decorated with rosaries, large crucifixes and statues of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that it is a place of miracles.
Aukstaitija National Park
The Aukstaitija National Park is a land of immense cultural and natural value in northern Lithuania. It includes a mix of wild forests and tranquil hamlets. You can discover the country’s amazing biodiversity and learn about the folklore at the protected ethnographic centres scattered around. The Museum of Ancient Beekeeping is another attraction, as well as the Palouse wooden church (18th century)
Druskininkai, near the border with Belarus and Poland, is one of Lithuania’s most beautiful and oldest spa towns. It is known for its mineral springs and pure air. It was once a popular health resort for the wealthy and elderly. However, many Soviet-era buildings are still there, and monstrous sanatoriums and dull concrete buildings.
The city is becoming a fashionable destination. It attracts a well-heeled, hip crowd to its luxurious hotels and 21st-century health and wellness centres. Druskininkai has a few museums and elegant buildings. It also boasts the largest winter entertainment complex globally, Snow Arena. The Druskininkai Aquapark is a family-friendly adventure park. There’s also the Grutas Park, a frightening Soviet-themed sculpture garden with 86 statues representing socialist activists. It’s located 8 km east of Druskininkai.