Traveling through Lithuanian cities

Lithuania: Where to go other than Vilnius?

Tourists’ routes in Lithuania rarely go beyond the three capitals – Kaunas-Trakai-Vilnius – and the Baltic Sea coast, and in vain. The clearest lakes, immense forests and small ancient towns, where life goes on its way, are definitely worth renting a car or buying a bus ticket at least once and going outside the Lithuanian capital for a short weekend.

Why Anykščiai?

The ancient town of Anykščiai is located in the Aukštaitija region of northern Lithuania, a historical area of the GDL. Here you can hike a tree-top trail, taste the local Voruta wine, take a ride on the narrow gauge railroad, and check out the tallest church in Lithuania. After all, the nature here is amazing. You can choose water or bicycle routes not only in the city itself, but also in its picturesque surroundings: the Anykščiai region counts 75 lakes and several dozen nature reserves. Every July since 2009 a festival of alternative rock music Devilstone takes place in Anykščiai.

How to get to Anykščiai?

Buses leave from Vilnius bus station to Anykščiai every hour and cost 7-10 €.

What to do in Anykščiai?

The first thing to do is to visit the Church of the Holy Apostle Matas the Evangelist. Finding the church will not be difficult – its neo-Gothic towers are 79 meters high. If you climb the observation deck in one of them you can cast a glance at the entire city and decide on your next route. If you are lucky you can listen to a concert of organ music in addition to the breathtaking scenery.

For a small town, there are even too many museums in Anixchia. Half of them are devoted to writers who were born in this area, and you’re unlikely to be interested in them unless you’re a philologist specializing in the Aukstaitian dialect of Lithuanian. We recommend checking out the narrow gauge railroad museum, where you can ride a rail bike. An alternative option for animal lovers is to go horseback riding at the horse museum.

To the south of the city begins the famous Anykščiai forest, where this year opened a trail on the tree crowns. The structure is about 300 meters long and leads to a tower 35 meters high, from where you can admire the valley of the river Sventoji. Another unusual attraction is a 500-meter summer sledding track on Mount Kalita. The toboggans run on jumps and loops at 40 km/h, so it’s best to buy several laps at once (three laps will cost €5.50). In winter, there are slopes for skiing.

Why Siauliai?

If you got here by searching “Where to go in Lithuania except Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda” – go to Siauliai, the fourth largest Lithuanian city.

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How to get to Siauliai?

The train from Vilnius to Siauliai takes two hours and costs about €10, the bus costs €7-17.

What to do in Siauliai?

The city was first mentioned in chronicles back in the 13th century, but was almost completely destroyed during the First and Second World Wars and during the Soviet era became a major industrial center. Despite this, the city center still has some historic monuments, such as the Cathedral of Peter and Paul.

Vilniaus Street, which is 5 km long, is known for being the first pedestrian street in the USSR in 1975. Walking along it, you can check out the museum of photography and the museum of bicycles.

Siauliai is home to one of Lithuania’s oldest chocolate factories, Ruta, founded in 1913. In their chocolate museum you can not only look at the exposition, but also try to make chocolate yourself.

Siauliai is also home to the famous Hill of Crosses, an ancient place of worship where pagan and Christian traditions are intertwined. According to the popular belief, if you leave a cross there, you will be lucky. On the mountain there are about 50 thousand large wooden Lithuanian crosses and tiny personal crosses. And one crucifix was erected by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Lithuania in 1993, making the Mountain of Crosses known throughout the Catholic world.

For a hangout and a glass of beer, check out the Blic Bar.

Why Druskininkai?

This ancient Lithuanian resort is only 42 km from Grodno on the right bank of the Neman River. Tourists from all over the world come here to drink salty water, which gave the city its name (“druska” in Lithuanian means “salt”).

How to get to Druskininkai?

From Grodno or Vilnius by bus.

What to do in Druskininkai?

The local mineral springs became famous at the end of the 17th century, when there were rumors in the neighbourhood about the peasant Pranas Surutis, who cured his ailments by means of water. In 1793, the personal physician of the Polish king and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stanislav August experimentally confirmed the therapeutic properties of the mineral springs, and fifty years later the Russian Tsar proclaimed Druskininka town. Nowadays, dozens of spa centers offer you to soak in sodium chloride and calcium waters, peat mud, pearl and even chocolate baths. By the way, it is not at all necessary to stay in a hotel – there is a cool campsite with hot showers, electricity and other amenities.

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At first glance it may seem that this super quiet resort is designed for a quiet retirement, but here you will find a lot of ways to provoke an adrenaline rush in the blood: water parks, adventure park, snow arena, rental of kayaks and bikes. See the whole list here.

Painting lovers will be interested to know that Mikalojus Ciurlionis spent his childhood in Druskininkai. The memorial house-museum of the famous Lithuanian artist is located there.

A few kilometers from the city there is Gruto Parkas, where the majority of the dismantled ideological monuments of the Soviet times are collected. In the vicinity of Druskininkai is the largest national park in Lithuania – the Dzūkija National Park.

Why Zarasai?

The city is located between seven lakes, which makes this region similar to Finland or Switzerland, only several times cheaper.

How to get to Zarasai?

Bus from Vilnius to Zarasai runs every hour and costs € 10. Check the schedule on the website.

What to do in Zarasai?

The layout of Zarasai resembles a rising sun. Five ray streets meet in the heart, at Selju Square.

Zarasai is good for outdoor activities: riding bikes through toy villages, hiking in endless forests and mastering yachting on one of the lakes. Try to hug the Stelmuzh oak, one of the oldest oaks in Europe, estimated to be 1500-2000 years old.

In July, the Tundra electronic music festival takes place in these parts.

Why Moletai?

One of the oldest cities in Lithuania is home to the Moletai Observatory and the Ethnocosmological Museum.

How to get to Moletai?

Bus from Vilnius to Moletai goes every hour and costs € 5. Check the schedule on the website.

What to do in Moletai?

There are more than 200 of the cleanest Baltic lakes in the Molėtai region of Lithuania, so fans of fishing, which is one of the oldest crafts of the Lithuanians, will love it here.

The main place of attraction is the Molets Observatory, which was opened in 1969 to replace the two old Vilnius observatories. The observatory is located near the village of Kulioniai, on the two-hundred-meter hill of Kaldiniai. A few years ago an ethno-cosmological museum opened next to the observatory. Its building is made of aluminum and glass: against the background of local lake and forest landscapes the museum looks like a landed spaceship. At the exposition you can see space artifacts and meteorite fragments. The museum organizes night observations of the sky: a telescope is installed on top of its 45-meter tower in a special dome. Daytime observations of the sun are available both in the museum and in the observatory itself.

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Sightseeing in Lithuania

Vilnius Old Town

The historic center of Vilnius is not as big as in Riga and Tallinn, but it is quite atmospheric and interesting. Here you will find several beautiful streets, cozy cafes and squares where you can take great photos that will gather dozens of likes on social networks. You can order a tour of the old city from local guides to take an in-depth look at the history of the Lithuanian state.

The Ninth (IX) Fort

Ninth (IX) Fort

One of the most popular attractions in Kaunas is the IX Fort of Kaunas Fortress. This place is quite popular among tourists coming to the city.

Trakai Castle

Trakai Castle

The Trakai Castle is rightfully considered an interesting historical site. A special tour will help you learn the history and significance of the castle. A walk around the castle and its surroundings will take about one and a half to two hours, but it is worth spending half a day of your vacation.

Hill of Crosses

Cross Mountain

Not far from Siauliai you can find the Hill of Crosses. The hill several meters high is filled with wooden and metal crosses of different sizes, numbering more than 100 thousand. The mountain has long been dubbed as the most controversial attraction of the country, but that is precisely what it attracts.

Maritime Museum and Dolphinarium

Maritime Museum and Dolphinarium

A trip to the Klaipeda Maritime Museum and Dolphinarium is a whole journey. First you have to cross the strait by ferry, then a wagon ride to your destination past the exhibits of ships. Children will definitely be pleased. The highlight of the program will be a beautiful dolphin show, and in the maritime museum you can see many interesting exhibits.

Palanga Pier

Palanga Pier

Amazingly beautiful sunsets greet loving couples and families with the last rays of the setting sun.

Gediminas Tower

Gediminas Tower

The Gediminas Tower is one of the main symbols of Lithuania. It crowns what is left of the castle, built on a hill back in time immemorial. You can get up here either by cable car or on foot. At the top you’ll learn a little bit of history and enjoy a great view of the city.

Cathedral

Cathedral

St. Stanislaus Cathedral is located in the central square of Vilnius, the main artery of the city. From here there is a beautiful view of Castle Mountain and the Gedimin Tower. The cathedral was built by Prince Mindaugas in the 13th century. This monument of the former culture of all Lithuanians, it is believed to have been built on the site of a pagan sanctuary.

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Druskininkai Water Park

Druskininkai Water Park

The pearl of the Druskininkai spa resort is the local water park. On an area of 9000 m² there are baths, swimming pools, bubbling mountain river, bowling center, children’s playground, nightclub and hotel.

Akropolis shopping center in Kaunas

Akropolis shopping center in Kaunas

In Kaunas, Akropolis is considered the most popular center for tourists. It is not only a place of concentration of stores of various orientations, but also an opportunity to have a good time and relax.

Museum of Devils

Museum of Devils

You can touch the world of mysticism at an original exhibition in Kaunas. Museum of devils – the only one of its kind, where you can see an amazing collection of statuettes, masks, figures and various images of devils and other evil spirits.

Laisvės Avenue

Laisves Alley

In order to feel the atmosphere of the city, a tourist should visit its heart – to walk along the main street, explore its features, get acquainted with all the notable places. Laisves Alley, or Freedom Alley, is the main street of the beautiful Lithuanian city of Kaunas.

Amber Museum

Amber Museum

The Amber Museum is located in Palanga and is part of the art museum. It was opened in 1963 by Earl Tyshkevich and has a total area of 750 square meters. The museum exposition presents amber from the beginning of origin to the unique modern products.

Gruto Park

Gruto park

Not far from Druskininkai there is a very interesting sculpture park. Its uniqueness lies in the strong orientation towards the Soviet past of Lithuania. There are sculptures and monuments of the last century. There is also a museum with interesting exhibits. Despite the somewhat unusual theme, this place is really a park, where you can relax with the whole family.

Memel-Nord Museum

Memel-Nord Museum

Terrifying testimonies of the Second World War will for a long time continue to excite the future generations with a genuine interest in their own history. This is how the Memel-Nord Museum was created – by the hands of a few enthusiasts who collected various pieces of military equipment throughout Lithuania.

Path along the tree edges

Trail along the edges of the trees

This place, amazing in its natural peculiarities, is accessible to every resident and guest of Lithuania. Anykščiai is an ecologically clean area in Lithuania, on the territory of which nature has remained untouched by man.

Acropolis shopping center in Vilnius

Akropolis shopping center in Vilnius

The Akropolis shopping center in Vilnius is a place for shopping and entertainment. Today it is one of the main attractions of the Lithuanian capital. In addition to boutiques and chain stores, its visitors can go skating, play bowling and even watch a movie.

Snow Arena in Druskininkai

Snow Arena in Druskininkai

A center of winter entertainment for people of all ages, equipped with the latest technology. By the way, it is the only place in Eastern Europe, where you can ski in the summertime.

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Dinosaur Park

Dinosaur Park

Having opened only in 2013, the Park of Dinosaurs instantly became one of the most popular places for family tourists vacationing on the Baltic seashore. Here you can walk, breathe fresh air, have fun and just admire the size of these ancient animals.

Vilnius TV Tower

Vilnius TV Tower

The television tower is the tallest structure not only in the city, but in the whole country. This place has played a huge role in the history of Lithuania.

Old Town of Klaipeda

Klaipeda Old Town

A walk through the old town of Klaipeda will be a great addition to your vacation on the Baltic Sea. There are many interesting objects for photos to share with friends and acquaintances. Klaipeda is one of the oldest cities and also the third largest in the whole country. It is a German port with a lot of post-Soviet and modern architecture.

Basanavičius Street in Palanga

Basanavicius Street in Palanga

If Palanga is the center of resort life, it would be logical to spend at least an evening in its very heart – Basanavičiaus Street, where there are many restaurants and shopping stalls. It is better to go for a walk in the evening in order to go to the pier at the end of the day, where you will enjoy the extraordinary beauty and free spectacle – the meeting of the sunset.

Vichy Water Park

Vichy Waterpark

At Vichy Waterpark, more emphasis is placed on children’s activities. For children works a separate large-sized playground consisting of eight platforms. Here boys and girls can shoot the water cannon, have a ride on small slides and run under the water jets. In the game room animators work with children and show plays and tricks. The theme of the Vilnius Aquapark is the exotic Polynesian islands, as can be seen in the uniforms of the employees, the design, the music, the food and drinks.

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church is the main historical landmark of Palanga. The dome of the tallest building can be seen from almost everywhere in the resort.

Kaunas Zoo

Kaunas Zoo

The zoo territory is not very big – 16 hectares (much less than the zoo in Riga, but the location is very compact and convenient). In the oak forest is concentrated a rich collection of flora and fauna from all over the world. This area is home to about 3000 birds, reptiles, animals, fish, and plants from around the world. So, you can study biology “live” here.

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