A Different Side to Europe: The Baltic Journey
If you’ve travelled across Europe and are looking for a slightly different experience, then exploring the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia may be for you. Situated on the Baltic sea, having a diverse history, there are a large number of interesting places to visit. I’ve put together a list of must-do’s that will help you decide to visit this amazing part of the world.
Key reasons to visit the Baltics:
1. Not overcrowded like the rest of Europe, meaning you can really take it all in, enjoy scenery and mingle with the locals.
2. Beautiful architecture: from Art Nouveau to Baroque, you are constantly looking up in amazement.
3. Medieval experiences: lots of castles with interesting history lessons.
4. Great place for nature lovers and is ideal for trekking, hiking and cycling.
5. Costs are cheap compared to the rest of Europe.
6. Great food and drinks!
Must Do’s in Lithuania:
1. Be sure to try cepelinas or “zeppelins” for an authentic Lithuanian meal.
2. Wander around the capital, Vilnius, while exploring the Baroque architecture.
3. A great day trip about 25km from Vilnius is Trakai, where you can experience a fairy tale like atmosphere with a castle on an island surrounded by a moat.
4. Located on the Baltic sea is the Curonian Spit, a 98km long sand dune spit that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. The Hill of Crosses located near Šiauliai showcases Lithuania’s long history of dedication to their faith. It’s truly worth it for the unique experience. There are estimated to be over 300,000 crosses, each representing a memory of a loved one who has passed.
Must Do’s in Latvia:
1. Explore the Old Town of Riga and take in the Art Nouveau architecture while walking along cobbled streets.
2. Check out the Riga Central Market and bazaar which is inside old German Zeppelin hangars. It has a vast selection of meat, seafood, cheese, bread, fruits, vegetables, spices, and flowers.
3. Do a day trip to Cēsis to see one of the most beautiful cities in Latvia. One of the biggest highlights is the Medieval castle dating back to the 13th century.
Must Do’s in Estonia:
1. Explore the charming Old Town in Tallinn and take in the medieval experience throughout. See various towers and a castle wall surrounding the city. It’s charming and unique but shares a similar history to that of Lithuania and Latvia.
2. There are a number of cathedrals in Tallinn, such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral built in the 1900’s when Estonia was still part of the Czarist Empire.
3. The Town Hall Square is a great place to have a delicious meal outside on the patio. Restaurants and cafes here even have a blanket placed on each chair for the cool evenings.
July 27, 2017