Have you decided to visit Lithuania? There are many attractions in this small but beautiful country. We want to give you some ideas and perhaps help you plan the perfect vacation.
The capitals of Lithuania
Few people that come to Lithuania do not visit Vilnius, its capital. Usually it’s the first city they see! Vilnius definitely offers many attractions but it should not be the only place you see. Not too far from Vilnius there is an extremely popular tourist destination: Trakai.
Trakai was once a historic capital of Lithuania. According to the legend, it was the same Grand Duke Gediminas, who founded Vilnius in a way, that decided to build a castle in Trakai. The castle is definitely the main attraction: it is located on an island in the middle of a beautiful lake. There is a museum inside for which you have to buy a ticket but you can also just take a walk around the castle, see the inner yard. Trakai is also the home of a tiny national minority Karaims: you can taste their national food like kybyns and learn about their culture.
Another small town that once also was the capital of Lithuania is Kernavė. Kernavė has some beautiful hills where castles used to stand. In summer, festivals related to Lithuanian culture and history take place in this town.
Lithuania Minor and the Curonian Spit
Klaipėda is the third-largest city in Lithuania and its only port. Klaipeda and its region, often called Lithuania Minor or Prussian Lithuania, is interesting in both culture, history and nature as it has been a part of Germany for a long time.
Klaipėda’s old town has really distinct architecture compared to other Lithuanian cities. It has a very German feel, with the red-bricked and fachwerk buildings. Although the old town is not too large, it is really cosy, adorned with many sculptures: can you find them all?
From Klaipėda, you can take the ferry which takes you to Smiltynė in the very top of the Curonian Spit. The Curonian Spit is a narrow strip of land between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon and one of the most beautiful places in Lithuania. Some of the natural places were even inscribed on the UNESCO list. The largest town in the Curonian Spit is Nida. You can easily reach both the lagoon and the sea on foot from there, climb one of the highest dunes in Lithuania, taste unique dishes and enjoy the calm of a small seaside town.
Not too far from Klaipėda is another popular resort town: Palanga. There are both beaches and restaurants, museums and night clubs. Palanga should be especially appealing to those who like some bustle as it is usually full of people, at least during summer.
If you are interested in Lithuanian seaside, our Castles and Seacoast tour takes you to Nida, Klaipėda, many other seaside towns, as well as Trakai, Birštonas and Kaunas.
The second largest city – Kaunas
Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania and was the temporary capital between the First and the Second World War. Although it’s more of a technology centre than a cultural one, it is definitely worth a visit.
Kaunas has a pretty old town, many beautiful churches and museums, such as Lithuania’s most famous painter’s and composer’s Čiurlionis Museum and Vytautas the Great War Museum which should be interesting for history fans. You should also visit the Kaunas castle, which is the place where the two largest rivers of Lithuania meet.
The SPA region
From Kaunas, it is not too far to Druskininkai and Birštonas. If you’re a fan of SPA services, they certainly have much to offer! Lithuanians have old bathhouses’ traditions with some specific procedures as well as traditional SPA services. Some of the spots you should not miss are Birštonas and Druskininkai. There are attractions for everyone, even if you are not the biggest SPA enthusiast!
Birštonas is not a big town, having less than 3,000 people, but it certainly has things to offer! Birštonas is located by Nemunas, the largest river in Lithuania, and is considered to be a spa town and a balneological resort.
Still, the best-known spa town is definitely Druskininkai. It has even more spa services and the biggest aqua park in Lithuania, as well as a snow arena that works all year round! You should also take the picturesque cable car that takes you over Nemunas and listen to the musical fountains. For history fans, there is the Grūtas Park with its many Soviet statues that used to stand in Lithuanian cities during the Soviet occupation but were taken down and brought to the park after Lithuania regained its independence. A visit to Druskininkai and its spas is included in our Lithuanian Classic tour, along with many other Lithuanian sights.