Tourists who want a holistic travel experience should not miss Lithuania. This European country, bordered by Latvia, Belarus, Russia, Poland and the Baltic Sea, is a conglomeration of the many things a traveler wants. From its scenic shoreline to its bustling neighborhoods, this Baltic nation is as pretty as it gets.
It has national parks teeming with the wonders of Mother Nature, stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites, scenic pilgrimage destinations, enriching historical and cultural sites, pristine beaches, welcoming spa towns and enticing trails for outdoor lovers. The list goes on because in Lithuania there is beauty in everything, even doing nothing in the bustling urban centers.
The capital Vilnius is a tourist hotspot due to its overflowing attractions. Its historic center is a World Heritage Site that features impressive structures in Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles.
Its medieval town is a must visit as it looks like it came straight out of a postcard. The Tower of Gediminas is a perfect spot, while the Glass Quarter and Literati Street are great spots for an afternoon stroll.
With their grandiose architecture, tourists will not miss and be impressed by the sight of the Cathedral, Lukiskes Prison, Church of St. Anne and the complex of Bernardines and the Palace of the Grand Dukes. Vilnius is royal and blessed.
Museums abound in Lithuania, so history buffs can get busy stepping back in time.
Some of the biggest can be found in Vilnius, such as the National Museum, the Museum of Occupations and Fights for Freedom, and the Castle Complex.
Art lovers, on the other hand, can visit the MO Museum of Modern Art, the MK Čiurlionis National Art Museum and the National Art Gallery, among others.
But what wins the cake is the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology, where you can see a “rain of stars”.
8 National parks
There are five national parks in Lithuania, each offering refuge to weary travellers. Aukštaitija is the oldest, a place with hundreds of lakes. Žemaitija is famous for Lake Plateliai, one of the largest in the country.
Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the pine forests, swamps, dunes and rivers of Dzūkija, where they can observe plants and creatures. Trakai Historical National Park was once the residence of Lithuanian rulers and the only one of its kind in Europe.
Not to be overlooked is the Curonian Spit National Park, which protects a magnificent dune.
seven World Heritage Sites
Besides the historic center of Vilnius, Lithuania has three other World Heritage Sites.
The first is the Struve Geodetic Arc, described as “a chain of survey triangulations” from Norway to the Black Sea, which sought to establish the size and shape of the Earth in a series of studies from 1816 to 1855.
The next is the archaeological site of Kenave, where tourists can enjoy burial sites, cultural monuments, early settlements, etc.
The most stunning is probably the Curonian Spit, a curved dune that dates back to prehistoric times.
Lithuania’s location by the breezy Baltic Sea makes it a perfect place for sunny moments.
Each of its coastal towns has something to offer beachgoers. The city of Klaipėda has the family beach of Giruliai, the Melnragė for lovers of beach volleyball and the beach of Smiltynė, accessible only by ferry.
Those who want to get away from the crowds can head to Pervalka or Nida beaches in Neringa.
The town of Palanga has some of the busiest shores, some for nudists. Wherever sun worshipers stay, they will have a relaxing day.
5 Spa towns
Those who want to bathe indoors can head to the country’s peaceful spa towns.
Birštonas is one of the most relaxing, not only because of its therapeutic baths, but also because it is surrounded by a river and pine forests. Druskininkai, on the other hand, is the oldest and largest resort in the country, so guests are guaranteed not only a relaxing stay but also holistic services.
After exploring many of Lithuania’s attractions, ending the day at a spa is always a smart move.
4 Kaunas Fortress
Kaunas Fortress has a bloody history as it is the silent witness of many battles and two world wars.
It was built in 1889 when what is now Lithuania was still part of the Russian Empire.
About 250 objects from this ruined fort can still be enjoyed by tourists, especially the forts.
Exploring this historical monument, visitors will learn about the struggles of Lithuanians during the war, especially when the Nazis carried out executions in the area.
The fortress is a dark reminder of the fate and resistance of humanity.
3 Pūčkoriai Cognitive Trail
Hikers will enjoy conquering the more than three-mile Pūčkoriai Cognitive Trail in Pavilnys Regional Park in Vilnius.
Hikers will have a fun day enjoying the region’s varied terrain: cliffs, chasms and streams. The trail is short but full of wonders, so visitors should keep their eyes peeled for the birds while smelling the fragrant flowers.
Upon reaching the 65-meter-high Pūčkoriai outcrop, they will have the majestic view of the Vilnelė River at their disposal. They can even go through the Pučkoriai Hillfort.
Who would have thought that the bustling city of Vilnius had this pocket of greenery?
2 Lithuanian Coastal Cycle Path
Tourists who want to get the most out of this beautiful Baltic nation might want to try cycling along the Lithuanian Coastal Cycle Path.
The country is great for bicycle tourism, so visitors might as well hop on a two-wheeled buddy. The route stretches over 100 km, taking cyclists along the dunes of the Curonian Spit, pristine beaches, scenic rivers and cultural and architectural sites.
Sure, biking is a tiring pastime, but it’s a rewarding experience, especially in Lithuania, where alluring attractions abound.
1 places of pilgrimage
There are many pilgrimage sites in Lithuania where tourists can relax on the next level.
Vilnius has the Gate of Dawn, once a defensive wall but now a major religious site where a “miraculous” painting of the Virgin Mary can be worshipped.
The Samogitia region is home to two popular pilgrimage sites. The first is the town of Žemaičių Kalvarija, where its religious festivals attract international pilgrims.
The most distinct place of pilgrimage in the region and in all of Lithuania is the Hill of Crosses, a place of unknown origin which today has thousands of crosses.