Are you dreaming of immersing yourself in the unique history and culture of Lithuania? Look no further than this 7-day itinerary, showcasing the best of the country’s cities, national parks, and coastal gems. From exploring the winding cobblestone streets of Vilnius Old Town to wandering the enchanting landscapes of the Curonian Spit, this adventure is one for the books.
Day 1: Arrival in Vilnius
Explore Vilnius Old Town
Your first day in Lithuania starts with the capital city, Vilnius. After settling into your accommodations, get ready for a day of exploring the enchanting Old Town. The old-world vibes exuding from the narrow streets lined with picturesque buildings will transport you to another time.
As you wander through the charming streets of Vilnius Old Town, take a moment to appreciate the stunning architecture and rich history that surrounds you. Admire the intricate brickwork of St. Anne’s Church, one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in the city. The church was built in the 15th century and has been a beloved landmark ever since.
Continue your stroll through the historic sites of Vilnius, including the Palace of the Grand Dukes, a stunning example of Renaissance architecture. The palace was once the political, diplomatic, and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Today, it serves as a museum, showcasing the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.
Don’t forget to stop at quaint cafes and shops along the way to indulge in local delicacies and handicrafts. Try some traditional Lithuanian dishes like cepelinai, potato dumplings stuffed with meat or cheese, or kibinai, savory pastries filled with meat and vegetables.
Visit Gediminas Castle Tower
Climb the hill leading to Gediminas Castle Tower for stunning panoramic views of the city. The tower is named after Grand Duke Gediminas, who founded the city in the 14th century. Once at the top, explore the impressive fortifications and learn about the castle’s rich history.
Be sure to snap some shots of the dominating cityscape and the winding Neris River. The view from the top of the tower is truly breathtaking and offers a unique perspective of the city.
Discover the Republic of Užupis
Cross the river to the bohemian district of Užupis, which declared itself an independent republic in 1997. The district is known for its artistic community and laid-back atmosphere.
Check out the quirky statues and street art that can be found throughout the neighborhood. One of the most famous statues is the Užupis Angel, a bronze statue of an angel blowing a trumpet. The statue represents the district’s commitment to freedom and creativity.
Take some time to explore the many galleries and studios in the area, where you can see the work of local artists and craftspeople. The district is also home to many cafes, bars, and restaurants, where you can relax and enjoy the unique atmosphere and friendly locals.
Day 2: Trakai and Kaunas
Trakai Island Castle
No trip to Lithuania is complete without seeing Trakai Island Castle. Located just a short drive from Vilnius, this 14th-century island fortress is something straight out of a fairy tale. Stroll around the castle and marvel at the pristine lake and beautiful surroundings.
Legend has it that the castle was built by the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Kęstutis, to protect the city from invading forces. The castle has undergone many renovations over the years, and today it is a popular tourist attraction that draws visitors from all over the world.
While you’re at Trakai Island Castle, be sure to take a boat ride on the lake. The views from the water are breathtaking, and you’ll get a unique perspective of the castle from the lake.
Kaunas Old Town
After exploring Trakai, head to Lithuania’s second-largest city, Kaunas. The Old Town area is a harmonious mix of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture, so be sure to take your time exploring the alleyways and plazas. You can also visit the Kaunas Castle, the Town Hall, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Kaunas has a rich history that dates back to the 13th century. The city has been occupied by various empires and nations over the years, including the Teutonic Knights, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Soviet Union. Today, Kaunas is a vibrant city that is home to many museums, galleries, and cultural events.
One of the highlights of the Old Town is the Kaunas City Museum, which is housed in a 16th-century building. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the city’s history and culture.
Devils’ Museum and Ninth Fort
For those interested in Lithuanian history, a visit to the Devils’ Museum and Ninth Fort in Kaunas is a must. As the name implies, the museum features over 2,000 artworks and artifacts depicting devils from various cultures and periods. The Ninth Fort, on the other hand, is a former prison camp and Holocaust site that now serves as a solemn testament to the country’s tragic past.
The Devils’ Museum is a unique museum that is dedicated to the devil and his role in Lithuanian folklore and culture. The exhibits include paintings, sculptures, and other artworks that depict the devil in various forms. The museum is a fascinating look at the role that folklore plays in the culture of Lithuania.
The Ninth Fort is a sobering reminder of the atrocities that were committed during World War II. The fort was used as a prison camp by the Nazis, and thousands of people were executed there. Today, the fort serves as a museum that is dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania. The exhibits include photographs, artifacts, and personal accounts of the people who were imprisoned and killed at the fort.
Overall, a visit to Trakai and Kaunas is a must for anyone who wants to experience the rich history and culture of Lithuania. From the fairy tale castle at Trakai Island to the Gothic architecture of Kaunas Old Town, there is something for everyone in these two beautiful cities.
Day 3: Klaipėda and the Curonian Spit
Klaipėda’s Old Town and Sculptures
It’s time to head to the coast for day three of your journey. The seaport city of Klaipėda is the third-largest city in Lithuania and features charming Old Town streets perfect for a relaxing walk. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll notice the unique blend of German and Lithuanian architecture. The city was once part of Prussia, and the influence can still be seen in the buildings.
One of the highlights of Klaipėda’s Old Town is the impressive sculptures that can be found throughout the city. The most famous sculpture is the “Annchen von Tharau” fountain, which is located in Theater Square. The fountain depicts a young girl and a boy, and the legend behind it tells the story of a young man who fell in love with a girl named Annchen. The fountain is a popular spot for tourists to take photos and make wishes.
After exploring the sculptures, be sure to stop at one of the cozy restaurants in the area. You’ll find a wide variety of Lithuanian cuisine, including traditional dishes like cepelinai (potato dumplings) and kugelis (potato pudding).
Nida and the Parnidis Dune
Next, take a ferry to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a national park. The Curonian Spit is a narrow strip of land that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The area is known for its unique landscape, which includes sand dunes, pine forests, and beaches.
Explore the colorful town of Nida, where the famous writer Thomas Mann once resided. Mann was so enamored with the area that he wrote a book, “The Magic Mountain,” which was set in the Curonian Spit. As you walk through the town, you’ll notice the colorful wooden houses and the picturesque harbor.
Be sure to stroll along the Parnidis Dune, which offers a fantastic view of the Curonian Lagoon. The dune is the highest point in the Curonian Spit and is a popular spot for tourists to take photos. From the top of the dune, you’ll have a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Juodkrantė and the Hill of Witches
In the afternoon, make your way to Juodkrantė. Here, you’ll find a quaint fishing village and one of the most interesting attractions in Lithuania: The Hill of Witches. The Hill of Witches is a wooded area surrounded by Baltic Sea views, and you’ll find over 80 wooden sculptures that depict Lithuanian folklore characters and history.
The sculptures on the Hill of Witches are made from oak and are carved by local artists. Each sculpture tells a story, and as you walk through the area, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Some of the most famous sculptures include the “Witch with a Pig’s Face” and the “Devil’s Head.”
After exploring the Hill of Witches, take a walk along the beach and enjoy the views of the Baltic Sea. You’ll find that the beach in Juodkrantė is less crowded than some of the other beaches in the area, making it the perfect spot to relax and unwind.
Day 4: Šiauliai and the Hill of Crosses
The Hill of Crosses
On day four of your Lithuanian adventure, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the most iconic landmarks in the country – the Hill of Crosses. This unique pilgrimage site is located just outside of Šiauliai and features over 100,000 crosses brought by people from all over the world.
The history of the Hill of Crosses is fascinating and dates back to the 19th century when the first crosses were placed on the hill. Over time, the hill has become a symbol of Lithuanian national identity and resistance to foreign occupation. Today, visitors from all over the world come to the Hill of Crosses to pay their respects and to marvel at the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
As you wander the hill, you’ll notice that many of the crosses are intricately decorated with beads, ribbons, and other ornaments. These decorations are often added by pilgrims who have come to the hill to pray for a loved one or to give thanks for a blessing received. It’s a beautiful and moving sight that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
If you have time after visiting the Hill of Crosses, be sure to swing by the Šiauliai Cathedral. This Neo-Gothic masterpiece is located in the heart of the city and houses impressive works of art.
Inside the cathedral, you’ll find stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and beautiful paintings. The cathedral is also home to a number of important relics, including a piece of the True Cross and a thorn from the Crown of Thorns.
As you explore the cathedral, take some time to learn more about Lithuania’s traditional religion and art scene. The cathedral is a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-see for anyone interested in Lithuanian history and culture.
Wrap up your day in Šiauliai with a visit to the quirky Bicycle Museum. This small but fascinating museum is dedicated to the history of the bicycle and features exhibits showcasing the evolution of this beloved mode of transportation.
As you wander through the museum, you’ll see vintage bicycles from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as more modern models. You can even take a ride on some of the vintage cycles yourself!
The museum is a fun and interactive way to learn more about the history of the bicycle and its impact on society. It’s the perfect way to end your day in Šiauliai before heading off to your next Lithuanian adventure.
Day 5: Anykščiai and the Aukštaitija National Park
The Treetop Walking Path
On day five, head to the Aukštaitija National Park and immerse yourself in Lithuania’s natural beauty. Take a stroll on the Treetop Walking Path and feel the refreshing pine-scented air as you walk among the treetops and marvel at the stunning views.
The Treetop Walking Path is a unique way to experience the beauty of the forest. The path is made of wood and steel and is suspended high above the ground, allowing visitors to walk among the treetops. As you walk along the path, you’ll be able to see the forest from a completely different perspective. You’ll be amazed at the stunning views of the forest canopy and the surrounding landscape.
The Treetop Walking Path is also a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. The path is about 300 meters long and takes about 20-30 minutes to walk. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop and take in the views from several observation platforms.
The Narrow-Gauge Railway
Next, take a ride on the Narrow-Gauge Railway, a charming and picturesque way to explore the park. As you chug along, observe the tranquility of the mighty woods and the charming lakes and marshes.
The Narrow-Gauge Railway is a historic railway that was built in the early 20th century to transport timber from the forests. Today, the railway is a popular tourist attraction and a great way to explore the park. The train travels at a leisurely pace, allowing you to take in the scenery and enjoy the ride.
As you ride the train, you’ll be able to see the forest from a different perspective. You’ll be able to see the trees up close and observe the wildlife that lives in the park. You’ll also be able to see the charming lakes and marshes that dot the landscape.
Ladakalnis Hill and Ginučiai Watermill
End your day in the charming town of Anykščiai. Visit Ladakalnis Hill, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding forests and hills.
Ladakalnis Hill is a great place to take in the beauty of the surrounding area. From the top of the hill, you’ll be able to see for miles around. You’ll be able to see the forest stretching out in all directions, and you’ll be able to see the charming town of Anykščiai below.
Finally, take a tour of the Ginučiai Watermill, learn about how traditional Lithuanian bread is baked, and sample some delicious local delicacies.
The Ginučiai Watermill is a historic mill that has been in operation for over a century. The mill is still used to grind grain and produce flour, and visitors can take a tour to learn about the milling process. During the tour, you’ll be able to see the mill in action and learn about the history of the mill.
After the tour, you’ll be able to sample some delicious local delicacies, including traditional Lithuanian bread. The bread is baked using traditional methods, and the taste is unlike anything you’ve ever had before. It’s the perfect way to end your day in Anykščiai.
Day 6: Druskininkai and Grūtas Park
Day six of your Lithuanian adventure takes you to the charming spa town of Druskininkai, where relaxation and enchantment await.
Druskininkai Aqua Park
Start your day at the Druskininkai Aqua Park, a sprawling complex featuring numerous pools, saunas, and water rides. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun or unwind in a steamy sauna, this aqua park has something for everyone. Take a dip in the Olympic-sized pool or ride the thrilling water slides for an adrenaline rush. If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, head to the hot tubs or the lazy river and let the warm water wash your worries away.
Grūtas Park and Soviet Sculptures
In the afternoon, visit the fascinating Grūtas Park exhibit. Don’t be fooled by the name – this is not your average theme park. The park features Soviet-era sculptures, including those of Lenin and Stalin, giving visitors a glimpse into Lithuania’s recent past. As you walk around the park, you’ll discover hidden gems and learn about the country’s history through the art and sculptures on display. Take a guided tour for a more in-depth understanding of the park’s significance or explore on your own and discover your own insights.
Grūtas Park is not only an educational experience, but it is also a beautiful one. The park is surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil lakes, providing a peaceful and serene atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. Take a stroll through the park and admire the sculptures against the backdrop of nature.
End your day at the Snow Arena, where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating regardless of the weather! The arena is equipped with a range of recreational activities, including indoor climbing and bobsledding, all set to a backdrop of beautiful Lithuanian nature. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the Snow Arena has something for everyone. Take a lesson with a professional instructor or hit the slopes on your own. After a day of adventure, warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Day six in Lithuania is a day of relaxation, education, and adventure. From the Druskininkai Aqua Park to the Grūtas Park exhibit, and ending with the Snow Arena, this day is sure to be one to remember.
Day 7: Return to Vilnius and Departure
St. Anne’s Church and Bernardine Gardens
On your last day in Lithuania, take some time to revisit some of your favorite sites in Vilnius. Start your morning with a visit to St. Anne’s Church, one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the city. This stunning Gothic masterpiece was built in the late 15th century and is known for its intricate details and impressive architecture. Take a moment to appreciate the stunning stained glass windows and the imposing bell tower before moving on to your next destination.
Next, head over to the Bernardine Gardens, a peaceful and serene oasis in the heart of the city. This beautiful park is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and is the perfect place to relax and unwind before your departure. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, admire the colorful flowers and lush greenery, and soak in the calm and peaceful surroundings.
Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights
Before you leave Vilnius, make sure to visit the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights. This fascinating museum is dedicated to Lithuania’s tumultuous past, and showcases the stories of those who fought for Lithuanian independence. The exhibits are thought-provoking and educational, and offer a glimpse into the country’s complicated history. Learn about the Soviet and Nazi occupations, the struggles of the Lithuanian people, and the fight for freedom that ultimately led to Lithuania’s independence.
After exploring the museum, take some time to reflect on your trip and the incredible experiences you’ve had in Lithuania. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to learn more about the country’s history and culture, or to plan a return trip to explore more of its natural beauty and charming towns.
Farewell to Lithuania
As your trip comes to a close, take a moment to say goodbye to Lithuania. This country has so much to offer, from its friendly locals to its fascinating history and stunning natural landscapes. Remember the warm hospitality you experienced, the delicious food you tasted, and the beautiful sights you saw. Take these memories with you as you depart, and know that you’ll always have a special connection to this unique and wonderful country.