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 picturesque shore to its vibrant neighborhoods, this Baltic nation is as pretty as it gets.
It has national parks filled to the brim with Mother Nature’s wonders, stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites, quaint pilgrimage destinations, enriching historical and cultural spots, pristine beaches, inviting spa towns, and engaging trails for lovers of the outdoors. The list goes on because, in Lithuania, there’s beauty in everything, even in doing nothing in bustling urban centers.
The capital Vilnius is a tourism hotspot because of its overflowing attractions. Its historic center is a World Heritage Site that features impressive structures with Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles.
Its medieval town is a must-visit as it seems like it popped off a postcard. The Gediminas’ Tower is a picture-perfect spot, while the Glass Quarter and Literati Street are perfect places for an afternoon stroll.
With their grand architecture, tourists will not miss and be awe-inspired by the sight of the cathedral, Lukiskes Prison, the Church of St. Anne and Bernardine Complex, and the Palace of the Grand Dukes. Vilnius is royal and blessed.
Museums abound in Lithuania, so history buffs can be busy stepping back in time.
Some of the grandest are in Vilnius, like the National Museum, the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, and the Castle Complex.
Lovers of the art, meanwhile, can check out the MO Museum for modern art, the MK Čiurlionis National Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Art, among others.
What takes the cake, however, is the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology, where a “rain of stars” can be seen.
8 National Parks
There are five national parks in Lithuania, each offering a refuge for weary travelers. 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 Dzūkija’s pine forests, swamps, dunes, and rivers, where they can observe plants and critters. Trakai Historical National Park was once the residence of Lithuanian rulers and the only of its kind in Europe.
Not to be overlooked is the Curonian Spit National Park, which protects a stunning dune.
7 World Heritage Sites
Aside from the historic center of Vilnius, Lithuania has three more World Heritage Sites.
First is the Struve Geodetic Arc, described as “a chain of survey triangulations” from Norway to the Black Sea, which aimed to establish Earth’s size and shape in a series of studies from 1816 to 1855.
The next one is the archaeological site in Kenave, where tourists can appreciate burial sites, cultural monuments, early settlements, and such.
Probably the most stunning is the Curonian Spit, a curved dune that dates back to prehistoric times.
Lithuania’s location by the breezy Baltic Sea makes it a perfect spot for sun-kissed moments.
Each of its coastal towns has something to offer for beach-goers. The city of Klaipėda has the family-friendly Giruliai Beach, the Melnragė for beach volleyball savvies, and the Smiltynė Beach, which can only be accessed via ferry.
Those who want to be away from the crowd can head to Neringa’s Pervalka or Nida beaches.
The town of Palanga has some of the busiest shores, some for nudists. Wherever sun-worshippers stay, they’ll have a relaxing day.
5 Spa Towns
Those who want to take a dip indoors can head to the country’s serene spa towns.
Birštonas is one of the most relaxing not only because of its therapeutic baths but because it’s surrounded by a river and pine forests. Druskininkai, meanwhile, is the country’s oldest and largest resort town, so guests are assured not just of a relaxing stay but holistic services.
After exploring many of Lithuania’s attractions, ending the day in a spa is always a bright choice.
4 Kaunas Fortress
The fortress of Kaunas has a bloody history because it’s a silent witness to many battles and two World Wars.
It was built in 1889 when what is now Lithuania was still a part of the Russian Empire.
Around 250 objects of this ruined fort can still be appreciated by tourists, especially the forts.
As visitors explore this historical landmark, they’ll learn about the struggles of Lithuanians during the war especially when the Nazis conducted executions in the area.
The fortress is a bleak reminder of the plight and resistance of humanity.
3 Pūčkoriai Cognitive Trail
Hikers will enjoy conquering the over three-mile Pūčkoriai Cognitive Trail in Pavilnys Regional Park in Vilnius.
Trekkers will have a fun day appreciating the area’s varied terrain: cliffs, pits, and streams. The trail is short but packed with wonders, so visitors must keep their eyes peeled for birds while smelling fragrant flowers.
Upon reaching the 65-meter-high Pūčkoriai outcrop, they’ll have the majestic view of the Vilnelė River at their disposal. They can even drop by the Pučkoriai Hillfort.
Who would’ve thought that the bustling Vilnius has this pocket of greenery?
2 Lithuanian Seaside Cycle Route
Tourists who want to get the most out of this beautiful Baltic nation might want to try biking along the Lithuanian Seaside Cycle Route.
The country is big on bike tourism, so visitors might as well hop on a two-wheel pal. The route is over 62 miles, taking cyclists along the dunes of the Curonian Spit, pristine beaches, scenic rivers, and cultural and architectural spots.
Sure, biking is a tiring hobby, but it’s a rewarding experience, especially in Lithuania, where alluring attractions abound.
1 Pilgrimage Sites
There are many pilgrimage sites in Lithuania where tourists can take their unwinding to 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 adored.
The region of Samogitia is home to two popular pilgrimage sites. The first one is the town of Žemaičių Kalvarija, where its church festivals attract international pilgrims.
The most distinct pilgrimage site in the region and the whole of Lithuania is the Hill of Crosses, a place of unknown origin that now has thousands of crosses.