Vibrant city life, the rich gastro scene, music festivals, the European Capital of Culture 2022, and vast white sand beaches, among other things, await travelers in Lithuania this summer.
March 16, 2022. Lithuania, one of the three Baltic countries located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, is rightly called a hidden gem in the heart of Europe. Compact in size but rich in natural and urban landmarks, the country is deeply saturated with colorful history, culture, and inherent hospitality. Although Lithuania offers refreshing views all year round, the lushness of greenery and incessant city buzz makes it especially tempting for summertime touring.
Prior to planning a holiday in this Baltic country, keen travelers may check out the most alluring Lithuanian spots at the Travel and Adventure Show in New York on March 18-20. Lithuanian tourism companies will be presenting two cross-country tours: International Experiences by Travel Deli, which highlights Lithuanian and Latvian ties, and Litvak—Lithuanian Jew—heritage; and Baltic Holidays by Baltic Holidays aimed at introducing best Lithuanian sites, the Baltic capitals, and Baltic tours.
Here’s a sneak peek at top Lithuanian sites worthy of a summertime exploration, from the cobblestoned capital Vilnius to invigorating Baltic seaside delights.
The three Lithuanian capitals: Vilnius, Kaunas, Trakai
Lithuania can boast of three capitals, which existed throughout the country’s long history. Vilnius, the current metropolis, is best characterized by its red-roofed and cobblestoned Old Town, recognized as part of the UNESCO heritage, and a vibrant cultural and gastro scene. Seeing as it is the only European capital to officially allow hot-air balloon rides over the city, Vilnius might be traversed both on the ground and up in the air, making it an attractive starting point in travelers’ explorations of the country.
Kaunas, the second-largest Lithuanian city, was the capital in 1919-1940, and now brims with culture and intriguing synthesis of modernist interwar and Art Deco architecture. There’s no better time to visit the former capital than now as Kaunas was given the title of the European Capital of Culture 2022. The visitors will find endless entertainment in over 1,000 events—festivals, concerts, exhibitions—and a chance to marvel at the art of renowned international artists like Yoko Ono and Marina Abramović.
Tucked away less than 30 km from Vilnius, Trakai Island Castle is Lithuania’s historical capital and a tiny medieval city. Its principal draw, Trakai Castle, stands tall on an island, reflecting the olden days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After roaming its medieval corridors and participating in numerous water activities—yachting, paddleboarding, bathing, and swimming—visitors can try the town’s most characteristic dish kibinai—pastries stuffed with meat, mushroom, vegetable, and other fillings.
Baltic seaside: former fishing villages and endless sand dunes
Lithuania’s port town Klaipėda blends the sweeping seaside views with abundant testimonies of historical German influence. The city overflows with cultural sites, seafood restaurants, and lively bars that give way to the tranquility of vast unspoiled beaches. Klaipėda region, especially the unofficial summertime capital Palanga, comes to life during the warm season when residents from all over Lithuania temporarily relocate to the seaside.
Those looking for a more niche experience, may time-travel to the prehistoric landscape of the Curonian Spit, which could be called the Hamptons of Lithuania. Only a short ferry ride away from Klaipėda, the UNESCO-recognized peninsula offers desert-like dunes, the rural charm of the old fishermen settlements, the ever-growing gastro and hipster scene as well as accommodation in traditional design villas.
The Hill of Crosses—a symbol of freedom and hope
Northern Lithuania hides a sleepy hill sprinkled with thousands of crosses, which symbolize Lithuanian perseverance, fight for freedom, and relentless hope. An eerie sight situated amidst the rolling hills of Šiauliai District, the Hill of Crosses was restored many times throughout the Soviet era when authorities ruthlessly removed the crosses but the locals never ceased to put the new ones up again. The landmark, visited by Pope John Paul II, now attracts pilgrims and curious travelers from all around the world.
Travelers eager to explore all three Baltic countries might do so in a week-long road trip. More information on other top-notch Lithuanian destinations, activities, and recommendations is available here.
ABOUT LITHUANIA TRAVEL
Lithuania Travel is a national tourism development agency responsible for Lithuania’s tourism marketing and promotion, acting under the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. Its strategic goal is to raise awareness of Lithuania as an attractive tourism destination and to encourage inbound and domestic travel. The agency closely collaborates with tourism businesses and organizations, presents Lithuanian tourism products, services, and experiences on social and digital media, press trips, international travel exhibitions, and B2B events.