Best of the Baltics – 21 fantastic things to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Best of the Baltics – 21 fantastic things to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Compared to other European destinations, the Baltics are relative newcomers to tourism. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were under Soviet rule until 1991, which meant next to no tourism.

Recent years have seen an influx of tourism to the Baltic States. They are quickly moving up the ranks of must-go destinations. This article showcases some of the top places to see and things to do, essentially, the best of the Baltics.

With all three of the capitals, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, gaining UNESCO Heritage status, the Baltics are a great place for a short city break. However, some of the best places to visit in the Baltics are outside of the iconic capitals. Think, rolling and untouched landscapes, fascinating history, fairytale castles built on islands, quaint and colourful towns as well as white sandy beaches. You can see why Baltics are becoming a popular travel destination.

So if you’re just visiting one of the Baltic countries, or planning a full-on Baltic road trip, I’m sure you’ll discover something awesome in this article to add to your Baltic itinerary.

So, grab a brew and read on to find out about the best of the Baltics.

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Travelling around the Baltic States?

Here are some other great articles to help plan your trip.

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Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip

Best of the baltics - Jump To

Before you travel to the Baltics, have you remembered to book your travel insurance? Get a quote from True Traveller.

This incredible Riga 3 days guide, tells you everything you need to know about visiting 'Paris of the North'. A perfect 3 Days Riga itinerary in the Latvian capital. Including the best things to see in Riga, what to do in Riga and day trips from Riga. A trip to Riga is a must for your Latvia Itinerary or your Baltic itinerary. #Riga #Latvia #EasternEurope #Baltics
Riga

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Best of the Baltics –
Top things to see in Estonia

Tallinn

Tallinn is undisputedly the most beautiful out of the three of the Baltic capitals. The UNESCO listed historical centre ticks every box for the quintessential medieval city. The city is rich in history, including a pretty harrowing Soviet past, twinned with pretty cobbled courtyards connected by a myriad of alleyways to spend hours getting lost in.

There are still tons of relics left from the Soviet era including the KGB prison and headquarters, which is actually housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building right in the heart of the old town. This is located on Pagari 1. 

There are so many things to see in Tallinn. I highly recommend exploring the city by foot. There are several look-out points to take beautiful panoramic photos of the city. It’s also worth walking around the remaining segments of the city walls, they no longer make a complete circuit, but lots of them have towers to climb. The gigantic and rotund Kiek in de Kok is certainly worth a couple of hours, as this also houses the entrance to the super eerie Bastion passages which were built under the city and used in several wars.  If you’re looking for a great Instagrammable spot, then be sure to visit St Katherine’s passage.

One of the best ways to see Tallinn and learn the history of the city is with a guided walking tour

Prebook now: Tallinn Walking Tour

Kuressaare

Explored by Daniel and Ilona from Top Travel Sights 

If you want to escape Tallinn and leave the other tourists behind, you should catch a bus to Kuressaare. This town, with its cute historic centre, is located on Saaremaa, Estonia’s biggest island.

Most travellers visit Kuressaare to see the Episcopal Castle, a huge fortification that dates back to the 14th century. From its towers, you have a great view of the town, but the highlight is the museum inside the castle. Here, you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the history of Saaremaa. Oh, and did we mention the hidden passageways? The castle is full of them, small, winding staircases that you can take to get from one floor to another.

If you’re tired of climbing stairs, it’s time to relax. Kuressaare is famous for its spas, and here, you’ll have the chance to unwind in a typical Estonian sauna. If you come in low season, as we did, you could even look into renting a room in a spa hotel. They offer great discounts in winter.

In the evening, we recommend having dinner in a traditional windmill. Here, you can try lots of typical dishes from the region, like wild boar or kama jelly. Give it a try; we’re sure you’ll love it.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Kuressaare | Top Travel Sights

Mooska Farm Smoke Sauna

Explored by sustainable travel bloggers Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel

Located in Võru County 3 hours from Tallin, Europe, is Mooska Farm Smoke Sauna is an Estonian must-see! Mooska Farm Smoke Sauna is a farm and smokehouse, but the traditional Estonian smoke sauna is by far the biggest attraction here. 

The smoke sauna experience has been awarded a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity certificate and is meant to improve your overall sense of wellbeing – in body, mind, and soul. It gave us important insight into local traditions and was an experience we will remember for years to come.

The 3-hour Smoke Sauna experience is guided by the mother of the smoke sauna and wonderful hostess, Eda. She’ll instruct you in and out of the sauna and lead the chanting, meditation, whisking with leaves, twigs, and honey scrubs. There is also an optional ice-cold skinny dip, too!

Meats are traditionally cured inside the Estonian smoke sauna and after our sauna experience, we were given the chance to try some alongside other local products from the farm. The meal was homemade and made us feel like the food was reason enough to visit the farm.

Depending on the time of the year, you can also partake in a nature tour with Mooska Farm which typically involves snowshoeing, skiing, or walking through the local forest.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Mooska Farm Smoke Sauna | Drink Tea & Travel

Pärnu

Explored by Nicholas from Rambling Feet

Pärnu, Estonia is one of the top beach destinations in the three Baltic states. Czars and Russian officials made the journey here for their retreats and tourists continue the tradition every summer. During the long days, the town roars to life with tourists and the sandy shores of the Baltic Sea become Party Central. When the temperature drops, though, it becomes quiet once again and a peaceful place to wander. 

Did you know that Pärnu was where Estonia’s independence was first proclaimed? It was read in 1918, and not in Tallinn, from the balcony of the old Endla theatre. The Soviets may have demolished it and a new one was rebuilt in the city, but a replica of the balcony has sprung up in the original spot, with the proclamation inscribed on it. You’ll find it close to the bus terminal. 

Away from the beaches, there is still plenty to see in Pärnu during the off-season: A leisurely walk, mind the black ice in winter!, takes in marshes teeming with birdlife, traditional wooden houses (including poet Lydia Koidula’s childhood home), art nouveau buildings (the Villa Ammende), historic mud baths, and ancient fortifications (the red tower and the Tallinn gate). It’s enough to turn a rest stop on the Riga-Tallinn journey into an overnight stay.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Pärnu | Rambling Feet

The Struve Geodetic Arc

Explored by Tom from Travel Past 50

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a series of triangulations done by Tartu University astronomer and geographer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve between 1816 and 1855. The measurement of the meridian, which used the observatory at Tartu University in Estonia as its base point, represented the first accurate measurement of a long segment of an earthly meridian. 

This work helped determine the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping.

Struve did important early astronomy work on the nature of binary stars. But his actual thesis work was on determining the exact geographic coordinates of the Tartu Observatory. This, indirectly, led to his geodesic project.

The observatory is no longer in use as an observatory, but now serves as a museum and includes many of the measuring instruments, many handmade by Struve, that he used in his work in mapping and astronomy.

The Tartu University site, along with other points along the meridian in 10 countries stretching from Norway to the Black Sea, are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
The Struve Geodetic Arc | Travel Past 50
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
The Struve Geodetic Arc | Travel Past 50

Lahemaa National Park

Explored by Marco from Nomadic FIRE

While I love the energy and options that city living provides, I need breaks from the concrete to decompress in nature. Before deciding to retire to Spain, I did a “trial run” living in Tallinn to see if Estonia would be a better European country to retire to. 

Estonia never gets its dues as a significant tourist attraction. When someone mentions Estonia, the first reaction is “Brrrrr. It’s cold.” Yes, the country borders Russia and the capital city of Tallinn is only a 2.5 hour ferry to Scandanavia, but summers in Estonia are a hidden gem. Summer days this far north of the equator mean EIGHTEEN hours of sunlight. The seemly endless days allow for exploring Estonia’s gorgeous national parks.

Lahemaa, the largest national park in Estonia, is a short 1-hour bus ride from Tallinn. The park is perfect for a picnic in the forest, exploring quaint seaside villages, overnight glamping at the eco-hostel at Projekt Kodu, and hiking the wooden planked path of the Viru bog.

Viru bog hike is a uniquely Estonian nature walk. The 2 to 4 mile hike is over a giant biodiverse peat bog. To keep from disturbing the ecosystem, you hike over wooden planks. The path is well marked (you literally follow the planks), with information signs highlighting the plants you will commonly encounter. The highlight is the view from the lookout tower overlooking the dark pools of bog water. From that viewpoint, I felt transported back into time, as if I was looking over a scene from Jurassic Park. 

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTripPlanning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Lehemma National Park | Nomadic FIRE

If you’re looking for the no-fuss option of visiting Lahemaa National Park that includes transportation and a guide, then why not book onto a full day tour?

Prebook now: Day Trip to Lahemaa National Park

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Best of the Baltics –
Top things to see in Latvia

Riga

The Latvian capital has been dubbed the ‘Paris of the north’. If you’re spending any time in Lativia, make sure that you dedicate a couple of days to the city. The Old Town of Riga is a listed UNESCO heritage site and it’s clear to see why. Riga is filled with remarkable buildings and picturesque cobblestones, all of which have been lovingly and painstakingly restored brought back to their original glory after the city’s turbulent past. 

The compact city is ideal to get lost in. When you visit Riga, be sure to see Town Hall Square and the colourful House of the Blackheads. One of Rigas most iconic bulbous spires is on St Peter’s Church. You can climb up the tower for amazing views of the river and the city. If you’re after one of the livelier places in Riga then head to Livu Square or the areas surrounding the cathedral where you’ll frequently find street entertainers, live music and market stalls as well as plenty of places to drink. Don’t forget to try the local drink; Riga Balsam!

If you’re into architecture, then Riga is also the Art Nouveau capital of the world. These stunning overly decorative and ornate buildings are dotted all over the city. It’s certainly worth half a day exploring the opulence of a bygone era. 

This incredible Riga 3 days guide, tells you everything you need to know about visiting 'Paris of the North'. A perfect 3 Days Riga itinerary in the Latvian capital. Including the best things to see in Riga, what to do in Riga and day trips from Riga. A trip to Riga is a must for your Latvia Itinerary or your Baltic itinerary. #Riga #Latvia #EasternEurope #Baltics
This incredible Riga 3 days guide, tells you everything you need to know about visiting 'Paris of the North'. A perfect 3 Days Riga itinerary in the Latvian capital. Including the best things to see in Riga, what to do in Riga and day trips from Riga. A trip to Riga is a must for your Latvia Itinerary or your Baltic itinerary. #Riga #Latvia #EasternEurope #Baltics

One of the best ways to see Riga and learn the history of the city is with a guided walking tour

Prebook now: Private Guided Tour of Riga

Kemeri National Park

Explored by Kelly from Snap Travel Magic

While many visitors take the capital-city road trip in the Baltics (Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius), not many people get a chance to experience some truly awe-inspiring and unique nature tucked away in the region. Kemeri National Park is located about 45 minutes away from Riga, Latvia, and makes for a perfect day trip from the city. 

The park is home to stunning bogs, forests, therapeutic mud, and mineral waters. Guests can take several hikes through the park including the Great Kemeri Boardwalk, Lake Sloka, Forest House, and Lake Kanieris. Birdwatching and cycling are also options in the park. 

Perhaps the most popular and most beautiful thing you can do in the park is to walk the Great Kemeri Boardwalk at sunrise. You’ll be shrouded in mist, walking through the bog, enjoying the painted sky, wrapped in silence. Towards the end of the walk, climb to the top of the observation tower for amazing 360-degree views of the entire bog.

To get to the Great Kemeri Bog Boardwalk, you can take a train from Riga train station every 2 hours for a couple of euros. Get off at the Kemeri Railway Station. It’s a bit of a walk from the train station to the beginning of the hike, follow the signs for “Leila Kemeru tirela taka”. Another option is to rent a car, there is plenty of free parking at the park. 

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Kemeri National Park | Snap Travel Magic

For a no-fuss option of visiting Kemeri National Park opt for a tour that includes transportation and a guide.

Prebook now: Kemeri National Park Full Day Tour

Gutanmis Cave

Explored by Marika from Clumsy Girl Travels 

Gutanmis cave is located in the Sigulda region of Latvia, about 1 1/2 hours by bus from Riga. It’s not very big, but what makes Sigulda Cave famous is the number of legends that happened here. The most famous one is The Rose of Turaida, a Latvian love story. 

It’s about a girl who was found as a baby during the Swedish – Polish war. She was adopted, baptized and given the name Maia. One day she fell in love with a gardener named Victor Heil and soon after they were engaged. They met at Gutanmis cave in the evenings, but an army deserter named Jakubowsky also fell in love with Maia. One day Jakubowsky sent Maja a love letter pretending to be Victor asking her to meet him at the cave. 

She arrived, and Jakuboswky appeared out of the shadows and attempted to rape her. She begged for him to stop and said in return, she would give him a scarf that would protect him from all injuries, and if he didn’t believe her, he could try it out on her first. He stabbed her with his sword as blood gushed from her neck. She would have rather died than betray her fiance. 

Today, every Latvian knows this story, and there is even an opera based on the legend.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Gutanmis Cave | Clumsy Girl Travels

Jurmala

Explored by Luda from Adventures with Luda

A warm sea breeze, colourful art nouveau villas, flower-lined pedestrian streets, and a carefree attitude are just some of the signature hallmarks of Jurmala.

This cheerful little resort town is located right on the middle of the Gulf of Riga, and just 40 minutes from Latvia’s capital, Riga. For added effect, take the retro elektrichka (electric train).

If you’re travelling to Latvia, don’t miss Jurmala – especially in the summer! Although this town was known for its healing sanatoriums back in the USSR, it hasn’t lost its charm. In fact, it’s still the go-to place for travellers around Eastern Europe. 

Grab a towel and start your trip at one of Jurmala’s beaches. My personal favourite is Majori beach, which is clean, has plenty of space to spread out, and close to the centre. Speaking of the centre: don’t travel to Jurmala without taking a casual stroll along Jomas Street! This is the ‘Main Street’ of Jurmala and is full of cheerful and beautiful villas, boutique shops selling local Latvian goodies, and delicious cafes.

If you’re craving nature, the Dzintari Forest Park is the place to be: It’s the perfect spot for families, as there’s an entire children’s area. 

Whether you’re travelling to Latvia for a day or a week, Jurmala is not to be missed!

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Jurmala | Adventures with Luda
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Jurmala | Adventures with Luda

One of the best ways to explore Jurmala is by bike.

Prebook now: Jurmala Bike Tour

Ventspils

Explored by Moon Ray from Nomadic Mun

We visited Ventspils during our Baltic Road trip and immediately fell in love with this Latvian city. Founded over 700 years ago this beach city is located on the western coast of Latvia. Ventspils is known as the Latvian capital of flowers and fountains.

The entire city is adorned with flowers from spring to autumn. It is famous for its artistic spirit and numerous cow sculptures around the city. During the ‘City Festival’ in August, florists from Baltic states cover the Promenade of Ostas iela with carpets of flowers. Ventspils Port is Latvian oldest and one of Europe’s busiest ports.

Ventspils offers fully facilitated white sand beach with special areas for surfers and nudists. You can discover Ventspils’s marine history in the Seaside Open Air Museum with its nostalgic collection of fishing boats, nets, huts. Take a beautiful ride on a narrow-gauge steam train running from here. You can find several extraordinary flower sculptures and uncommonly shaped greenery, flower beds, fountains all around the city.

Ventspils market square is the best place for buying local products. Established in the 17th century it offers various kinds of vegetables, fruits, clothes, flowers, plants, meat at a reasonable price. There is a beautiful historic carillon bell which plays the melody “Pie dzintara jūras” each hour. 

Other must-visit places are Livonian Order Castle, Ventspils Town Hall Square.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Ventspils | Nomadic Mun

Sigulda

Explored by Inma from A World to Travel 

Sigulda is one of the most charming, yet widely unknown towns of Latvia. A true hidden gem and interesting town that will not leave visitors bored because, whatever you like, there is something interesting to do and see there. 

For active travelers, I recommend renting an electric fat bike for half a day or a full day. This way you can get closer to wonders like the Sigulda castle, the cable car that will take you to the opposite slope passing over the Gauja river, the Sigulda’s bobsleigh track, and the hipster Jāņa market; a great option to stop for lunch and coffee. If you have your own vehicle, you can go a little further to discover places like Gutman’s cave, Krimulda manor, and Turaida museum. Finally, if you are one of those who like to walk, do not miss the nearby Cecili and Amata hiking trails in the wonderful Gauja National Park, a short distance from Sigulda.

They are all part of my list of favorite things to do in Latvia; which I hope I can expand soon visiting in another season. Last time it was Fall, how about Winter next? Throwing a sauna or two on the side, I’m sure it will feel like a winter wonderland!

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Sigulda | A World To Travel

Known as the ‘Switzerland of Latvia’, the region surrounding Sigulda is a great destination for outdoorsy types.

Prebook now: Sigulda Hiking Tour

Prebook now: Best of Sigulda and Gauja National Park

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Best of the Baltics –
Top things to see in Lithuania

Vilnius

The Old Centre of the Lithuanian capital, (as with Estonia and Latvia) is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The medieval city is known for its mixture of architectural styles with a huge emphasis on baroque style buildings.   

The main hub of the Old Town is Pilies Street and Gediminas Avenue. Both are lined with these stunning buildings which are now a buzz of stylish cafes. boutique restaurants and often lined with street markets.  

You can easily spend a couple of days in Vilnius getting lost and exploring the quaint cobbled paths, courtyards and alleyways. Be sure to visit Cathedral Square, the Vilnius Cathedral and the Town Hall Square as well as one of Vilnius’s most beautiful buildings, the Vilnius University (it’s got 13 courtyards!). Other must-see places are St. Annes Church and the Gate of Dawn, a 16th-century gate which once guarded the entrance to the original city.

One of the more interesting areas in Vilnius and certainly worth a few hours is the autonomous district of Užupis. This community within the city is filled with quirky artwork often made from recycled and reclaimed materials and thought-provoking and sometimes political messages. Outside of the city centre, you’ll find that Vilnius also has an outstanding street art scene.  

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTripPlanning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip

One of the best ways to see Vilnius and learn the history of the city is with a guided walking tour with a local.

Prebook now: Vilnius Private Walking Tour

Trakai Castle

Explored by Eric from Penguin and Pia

If you are travelling the Baltic countries and looking to get into a bit of Lithuanian history, Trakai Castle is for you. Completed at the start of the 15th century, this medieval castle stands proudly on an island in Lake Galvė in the town of Trakai. While the castle itself became obsolete centuries later, it stands as an important symbol of Lithuanian statehood.

To get to the Castle, you take a long wooden bridge from the shore across the lake. In the summer, the lake provides a beautiful relaxing escape from the city. In the winter, you can walk across the frozen lake to get to the Castle (ice conditions depending). 

Inside the castle walls, there are numerous areas like the courtyard, keep, and chapel that you can explore. I wandered around the gallery rooms reading and exploring the artefacts. Having known nothing about the history of Lithuania, Trakai Castle was a great place to learn. After all, it is a medieval castle!

It is really easy to get to Trakai. The town is only about 40 minutes driving from the capital, Vilnius. I took the bus there which was very easy to do. The bus station in Trakai is south of the castle so you walk through the town – with cafes and shops – before spotting the castle across the water.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Trakai Castle | Penguin and Pia

Trakai Castle is located on an island the middle of a lake – two alternative ways to see the castle; by kayak in the summer and by kicksledge when the lake is frozen.

Prebook now: Guided Kayak Tour of Trakai

Prebook now: Winter Kicksledge at Trakai

The Hill of Crosses

Explored by Bradley from Dream Big, Travel Far

Located in the northern part of Lithuania, not far from the small unassuming town of Šiauliai, you have perhaps the most fascinating thing to see anywhere in the country. Thousands upon thousands of people flock here every year to visit the Hill of Crosses. A small hill in the countryside, dominated by more than 100,000 crosses!

Pilgrims have congregated here ever since the 1800s when there used to be a matter of hundreds of crosses here. In recent decades popularity has exploded and now it’s a wonderful sight to behold regardless of whether you are religious or not. In 1993, the Hill of Crosses was so widely renowned that it was worthy of a visit from the then-reigning Pope John Paul II.

I’m not at all a believer but still found the visit here to be pretty magical. It’s fascinating walking up and over the hill taking in the incredible array of crosses, and the pictures look pretty cool as well! We even managed to put our drone up and capture some incredible shots from above. 

After your visit, take some time to walk a bit further out from the hill, enjoying the large church behind as well as taking in views of the never-ending Lithuanian countryside in all directions.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
The Hill of Crosses | Dream Big Travel Far

For a no-fuss option of visiting Hill of Crosses is to opt for a tour that includes transportation and a guide.

Prebook now: Hill of Crosses Private Tour

Klaipeda

Explored by Maggie from The World Was Here First 

If you’re looking for the perfect small city to visit in the Baltics, then you really can’t go wrong with the charming port city of Klaipeda. Often overlooked as simply a jumping-off point for the Curonian Spit, there are a number of things to do in Klaipeda that make it worth visiting in its own right.

As a very important ice-free port on the Baltics, Klaipeda has been a strategic city for centuries, giving it a robust and interesting history. There is plenty of maritime history here that is worth learning about and a few museums that can help you to understand just how influential Lithuania’s third-largest city historically was. 

Along with boasting an absolutely charming riverside pathway lined with lovely historic ships, Klaipeda also has a charming old town worth wandering through and a great restaurant scene that showcases the newfound love for modern Lithuanian cuisine. 

The city also has a couple of beautiful, white-sand beaches perfect for taking advantage of the long, sunny days of a Lithuanian summer.

If you’re searching for a great city to visit on a trip to the Baltics, don’t hesitate to include Klaipeda on your itinerary!

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Klaipeda | The World Was Here First

One of the most relaxing ways to explore Klaipeda is from the water in a handcrafted canoe

Prebook now: Explore Klaipeda by Canoe

Grūtas Park

Explored by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Grūtas Park is located in southern Lithuania, not far from the border with Belarus. The nearest town is Druskininkai, about eight kilometres away. When Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, the Soviet statues that had been on display in public spaces were pulled down and dumped in various places around the country. Then in 2001, a wealthy local man collected them and turned them into a kind of Soviet theme park, nicknamed “Stalin World”.

This idea was opposed by many at the time and remains controversial today, but the intention was never to glorify the Soviet regime. When you look at the park’s recreation of prison camps, barbed wire fences and guard towers, it’s clear that the purpose is to document the horrors of this difficult time in Lithuania’s history. 

Among the 86 statues in the park, you’ll find a dozen or so of Lenin and even two of Stalin, which is pretty unusual. Even today, you’ll often come across Lenin statues while travelling in Russia and some other former Soviet countries. But de-Stalinization has been ongoing since the 1950s, so it’s rare to come across an image of him. While I understand why some Lithuanians are not in favour of the park, I believe that it can help locals and visitors alike to better understand the country’s recent history.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Grūtas Park |The Nomadic Vegan
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Grūtas Park |The Nomadic Vegan

Explore the parks and statues as part of a guided tour.

Prebook now: Grūtas Park and Dzukija National Park

Palanga

Explored by Monica from This Rare Earth

Any trip to Lithuania, particularly in the summer, wouldn’t be complete without at least a day trip to Palanga! The Baltic sea brings large crowds together in the summer months, where visitors can get their fill of swimming, sunning, and playing in the sand. 

The famous Pier of Palanga is a great spot for photos as you head to the ocean, which you can also walk under depending on the tide. I highly recommend spending time at the Seaside Regional Park, a unique gateway to the sea with large trees that line the sand all the way out to the water in some places. This park is noted for the Dutchman’s Cap, which is a sand-dune climb to the highest elevation. Seaside Regional Park is a breathtaking spot for sunsets. Bring a picnic basket and settle in the sand for a gorgeous light show through the trees.

Besides the typical beach activities, tourists can rent bikes to ride through green forest paths. A family favourite is the nearby Lithuanian Fairy Tale park, which features a number of interactive sculptures that kids like to climb and play on. 

Palanga is located in the northwestern-most tip of the country, so it is an easy addition to any road trip through Lithuania and it’s neighbouring country, Latvia.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Palanga | This Rare Earth

Dvina Missile Base and Žemaitija National Park

Explored by Jo from Lost Wanders

In September 1960 the Soviets started a top-secret construction. 10,000 soldiers moved to Žemaitija National Park, in the north-west of Lithuania to build a nuclear missile base that had the potential to destroy every city in Europe. Once completed its strategical importance to the Soviets in the Cold War was second only to Cuba. It was finally discovered in 1978 by U.S. reconnaissance teams but had been decommissioned 4 years earlier. Thankfully no missiles were ever fired.

Now it’s one of the very few nuclear missile silos in the world actually open to the public as a museum. The 100-foot deep missile silo is a highlight, tours also include displays on propaganda and the history of the Cold War. 

Tickets cost 5 Euro with entrance permitted hourly between 10:00 and 16:00 excluding bank holidays. You can easily visit the Cold War Museum when taking a road trip through the Baltics and enjoy the Žemaitija National Park that surrounds it. The vast parks forests and lakes are home to rare wildlife such as Lynx and well worth spending a day or two exploring while travelling in Lithuania.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Dvina Missils Base | Lost Wanders
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Dvina Missils Base | Lost Wanders

One of the best ways to enjoy the Žemaitija National Park is by canoe

Prebook now: Žemaitija National Park Full-Day Canoe Tour

Kaunas

Explored by Kami from My Wanderlust

Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania, is one of the coolest places to visit in the Baltic States. The city has big historical value, it used to be an important trade centre in the region in the 15th century, in the interwar period Kaunas was the capital of Lithuania. But these are not the only reasons why you should visit the city!

With all the great things to do in Kaunas, you won’t be bored there for sure. Besides the traditional monuments; churches, old houses, and the remnants of the castle from the 14th century, Kaunas offers a great street art scene, an exceptional modernist architecture from the interwar period, and some unique museums (like the only Devils Museum in the world). 

This is also the only city in Lithuania with funicular trains, there are two of them in Kaunas, both built before World War 2. The coolest spot to visit in the city is the hidden Yard Gallery. A local artist wanted to bring the community together and created a real wonderland, with numerous art installations, street art and photos of Jewish families that used to live in that complex. 

When you get hungry numerous restaurants and cafes along Vilniaus street and Laisves avenue invite you to sit down, relax and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Kaunas.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Kaunas | My Wanderlust
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Kaunas | My Wanderlust

With its diverse hisotry, old port and wars, Kaunus is steeped in ghostly stories.

Prebook now: Kaunus Ghost Tour

.

Curonian Spit

Explored by Jeremy of Cultura Obscura

On the western edge of Lithuania, drawing a line across the edge of the Baltic Sea lies the Curonian Spit; a thin strip of land 61 miles long and just over a mile wide that connects Lithuania to a small piece of Russia.

This idyllic gem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by both countries and is the perfect destination for beachgoers, casual hikers, sailors, families and anyone who wishes to relax in nature.

The Curonian Spit has a folkloric creation legend on the Lithuanian side. It was made by Neringa, a beautiful and good-hearted Lithuanian giantess, who collected sand in her huge skirt and poured it out to form the Spit so that it could protect the people on the coast from raging storms. Because of this, part of the land is named in her honour.

The town of Nida is also a draw for literary enthusiasts, as the Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann spent summers in a holiday home he had built there in the 1930s.

In addition to this, on the Lithuanian side, the Curonian Spit is also home to the Hill of Witches – a supernatural-themed sculpture park in the village of Juodkrante, featuring wood carvings of people and creatures from mythology and supernatural lore.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Hill of Witches, Curonian Spit | Cultura Obscura

The easiest way to get to the Curonian Spit is from the town of Klaipeda, unless you have your own transportation it’s easiset to book a tour to see everything in a day.

Prebook now: Curonian Spit Full-Day Private Tour

Druskininkai

Explored by To Youpiter 

Druskininkai is a special place in Lithuania, this city is well known for SPA, relaxation, healing mud, clean air, and mineral water. In the 50km spectrum, there are no factories, and Druskininkai is surrounded by forests that’s why the weather there is extremely fresh. 

You can pick your own forest goodness like mushrooms, blueberries, cranberries, etc. Actually, this region of Lithuania has an old saying: “if there were no mushrooms and berries then Dzūkų women would be naked”. In the Lithuanian language, it rhymes. 

If you love SPA holidays or just want to totally relax for a weekend then Druskininkai is your destination. Also, there are many trekking roads, bicycle roads, lakes, and beautiful nature.

My favorite hotel&spa is “UPA Medical Spa” it is modern, minimalistic, the staff is super professional and they offer a variety of procedures. I love that this city is small that’s why all restaurants and hotels personally take care of you and you make really warm memories of your stay. 

Also, I highly recommend to go to a restaurant called “Sicilia” and try their mussels, it’s just extremely delicious. Actually, it is one of the best restaurants in the city where you should come before dinner time during weekends or you will have to wait in line outside.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTripPlanning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Druskininkai | To Youtopia
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTripPlanning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Druskininkai | To Youtopia

For top notch Spa treatments and luxury accommodation it’s well worth checking out this hotel.

Prebook now: UPA Medical Spa

The Best of the Baltics

So, how many of these stunning places are you adding to your Baltic bucket list? I hope you see why that Baltic States are becoming a top holiday destination.

All three countries have so much to offer and the great thing is because they’re not yet as popular as western Europe, you’ll frequently find fewer tourists in a lot of these locations. Especially out of season, you will almost have the place to yourself.

I hope you enjoyed reading this best of the Baltics guide and thank you to each of the contributors for their fantastic recommendations.

Travelling around the Baltic States?

Here are some other great articles to help plan your trip.

Pin it for later

Hopefully, you’ll agree that these ideas really show off the best of the Baltics. Which leads me to ask, which of these 25 places do you want to visit the most? 

If you loved this post, or know someone that will, then please like and share, or If you’re planning a trip to any of the Baltic states, then why not pin it for future reference?

Got a question? then please comment in the space below.

Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip
Planning your trip and wondering what to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Check out the best of the Baltics, 21 of the best places to visit in the Baltics. The best things to see in Estonia, where to go in Latvia, and the top attractions in Lithuania. The best things to see in the Baltics. Add these to your short trip to the Baltics or your Baltic road trip itinerary. #Baltics #BalticStates #Estonia #Lithuania #Latvia #Europe #EasternEurope #EuropeRoadTrip

Best of the Baltics - 21 fantastic things to see in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 1

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Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

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