9 Best Cities & Towns To Visit Lithuania (2023)

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Nestled in the heart of Europe, Lithuania is a tapestry of historical charm, architectural wonders, and natural beauty. From its bustling cities to serene towns, each locale unveils a unique story waiting to be discovered.

Whether you’re marvelling at the intricate designs in the Old Town of Vilnius or taking a tranquil stroll in Nida, Lithuania offers an enchanting experience for every traveller.

1. Vilnius

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and where you’ll likely arrive when you first enter the country. This city boasts a rich history and architectural diversity, and at its epicentre is Vilnius Old Town.

This well-preserved Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a vibrant blend of Gothic, renaissance, baroque, and neoclassical architecture that is sure to impress. However, the significance of Vilnius extends beyond its architectural marvels.

This highly-rated 2-hour tour of Vilnius gives you the opportunity to explore and better understand both Vilnius and Lithuania.

Historically known as the “Jerusalem of Lithuania”, Vilnius has a very large Jewish population and is a thriving hub for Jewish culture and intellect which is reflected in a number of dedicated sites and museums.

Being the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius is home to more than one-third of the country’s population, boasts a number of universities and plays host to a number of important geo-political events.

I spent one day in Vilnius during my most recent visit to Lithuania and while this was enough time to get a feel for the city, I’d recommend spending at least two days here, or longer if you want to use it as a base to visit some of the other nearby towns and cities.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Vilnius include;

  1. Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town.
  2. Climb Gediminas Tower.
  3. Read the unique Užupis constitution.
  4. Attend a service at St. Anne’s or St. Peter and Paul’s.

2. Kaunas

Kaunas is Lithuania’s second-largest city and holds the esteemed title of the nation’s cultural heart. This prominent Lithuanian city is a treasure trove of historical narratives and modern-day marvels.

Located 105km west of the capital city Vilnius, Kaunas has a rich architectural heritage, particularly in its interwar designs, which has earned the city a distinguished spot on the European Heritage Label list.

This full-day private tour of Kaunas is a great way to explore the city’s most popular sites including the Rumsiskes & Pazaislis Monastery.

Not far from the city’s hustle and bustle, you’ll find the Kaunas Reservoir. This is Lithuania’s largest body of water and is ideal for watersports or simply a tranquil escape. Beyond the historical and cultural offerings of Kaunas, the city is also recognised for its significant industries, particularly its thriving wood processing sector.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Kaunas include;

  1. Explore the medieval Old Town of the city.
  2. Visit the Pazaislis Monastery.
  3. Walk along Laisvės Alėja.
  4. Take a trip to the Rumšiškės open-air museum
  5. Experience art at the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum.
  6. Reflect on history at the Ninth Fort, a memorial to WWII victims.

3. Klaipėda

Nestled on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Klaipėda is Lithuania’s third-largest city and home to the main port in the country. This maritime jewel, which is also Klaipėda County’s capital, boasts an array of commercial enterprises alongside a captivating blend of history and coastal allure.

The city’s Old Town, with its distinctive German style, weaves a tale of days gone by through its labyrinthine narrow streets. Meanwhile, Theatre Square is the heartbeat of Klaipėda and is used for the majority of the city’s grand events, including the illustrious Sea Festival.

Klaipėda’s close proximity to the Akmena-Danė River’s mouth grants the city a rare advantage – an ice-free port, pivotal for the Baltic States, reinforcing its reputation as an industrial and commercial hub.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Klaipėda include;

  1. Explore the German-style Fachwerk architecture in the Old Town.
  2. Attend an event at Theatre Square.
  3. Admire “The Black Ghost” and “Taravos Anikė” sculptures.
  4. Dine aboard the Meridianas.

4. Trakai

Just 28km west of Vilnius, you’ll find the picturesque gem of Trakai, a town that very much feels as if it’s been lifted straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, this town offers both history and culture.

Trakai Island Castle is the crown jewel here and part of the Trakai Historical National Park. This 14th-century fortress sits in the middle of Lake Galvė and was home to Lithuania’s grand dukes. Today, however, the castle now houses the Trakai History Museum, which features an incredible array of archaeological objects, coins and crafts.

Given its close proximity to Vilnius, many people visit Trakai on a day trip from the capital. The journey can be made via car or public transport and takes between 35 minutes to an hour.

This guided tour of Trakai picks you up in Vilnius and transports you to the town on an air-conditioned minibus, complete with an audio guide.

Meanwhile, beyond the castle walls, Trakai’s distinct wooden architecture and the local ethnic minority, Karaites contribute to the rich culture.

In my opinion, the best things to do in the town of Trakai include;

  1. Explore the magnificent Trakai Island Castle.
  2. Delight in traditional “kibinai” by the lakeside.
  3. Discover the unique wooden architecture of the town.
  4. Learn about the Karaites, Trakai’s ethnic minority.
  5. Revel in the natural beauty of its forests and lakes.

5. Palanga

Palanga is one of Lithuania’s most beloved seaside towns. Situated along the Baltic Sea, this resort town enchants its visitors with beaches, cafés, bars and an array of attractions including a historic pier which was constructed during a time in which Lithuania was a part of the Russian Empire.

Located within the opulent Tyszkiewicz Palace, you’ll find one of Palanga’s most popular attractions, the Amber Museum. This museum unveils a captivating collection of amber artefacts

In my opinion, the best things to do in Palanga include;

  1. Lounge on the amber-kissed beaches of the Baltic Sea.
  2. Wander along the lively J. Basanavičiaus Street.
  3. Walk along the historic pier.
  4. Explore the Amber Museum’s intriguing exhibits.
  5. Stroll through the grounds of the Tyszkiewicz Palace.
  6. Visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum.

6. Šiauliai

Šiauliai is Lithuania’s fourth biggest city and is perhaps best known by the Hill of Crosses. This hill is a testament to Lithuania’s enduring spirit and defiance against foreign oppressors and attracts visitors from across the globe.

This well-reviewed day trip to the Hill of Crosses from Vilnius is great value for money and hassle-free.

With more than 100,000 crosses adorning the hill, it stands as a poignant symbol of the nation’s steadfast faith but isn’t the only reason to visit this incredible city. Instead, other popular attractions include the Solar Disk fountain and Šiauliai’s historical Jewish cemetery, which offers a silent, yet powerful reflection of the city’s diverse religious tapestry.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Šiauliai include;

  1. Pay a visit to the profound Hill of Crosses.
  2. Marvel at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.
  3. Admire the Solar Disk fountain in the heart of the city.
  4. Vist the city’s historic Jewish cemetery.

7. Druskininkai

Nestled in the south-eastern part of Lithuania, roughly a 1.5-hour drive from the capital of Vilnius is the town of Druskininkai. This is the country’s premier spa town, renowned for its therapeutic mineral waters and mud treatments.

I had the pleasure of spending three nights at SPA VILNIUS in Druskininkai during my most recent visit to Lithuania and benefitted from a range of spa treatments, and a gastronomy delight in the on-site restaurant and café.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Druskininkai include;

  1. Enjoy a spa treatment in one of the spa hotels.
  2. Visit the Druskininkai Aquapark.
  3. Explore Grūtas Park for a glimpse into Lithuania’s Soviet past.
  4. Wander the picturesque Druskininkai promenade.
  5. Enjoy aerial views from the Druskininkai Cable Car.

8. Panevėžys

Panevėžys is one of Lithuania’s largest cities and boasts a rich theatrical tradition, with the Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre playing a pivotal role in Lithuanian theatre history.

The city’s modernist architecture, particularly from the interwar period, offers a contrast to its historical past. Meanwhile, the city’s riverside, with its beautiful parks and sculptures, provides a peaceful escape.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Panevėžys include;

  1. Attend a show at the Panevėžys Drama Theatre.
  2. Walk along the scenic River Nevėžis banks.
  3. Visit the Panevėžys Art Gallery for local art.
  4. Admire the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
  5. Explore the Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery’s history.

9. Nida

Perched on the Curonian Spit, Nida is a gem that offers unparalleled tranquillity. This small town is renowned for its towering sand dunes, which provide breathtaking views of both the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea.

The former summer house of the German writer Thomas Mann, now a museum, offers literary enthusiasts a glimpse into the writer’s life. Nida’s rich history of fishing is evident in its charming old fishermen’s houses and the amber-coloured smoked fish sold in local markets.

In my opinion, the best things to do in Nida include;

  1. Stroll along the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  2. Climb the Parnidis Dune for breathtaking panoramic views.
  3. Visit the Thomas Mann Museum, dedicated to the famous writer.
  4. Explore the Amber Gallery-Museum to learn about Baltic amber.
  5. Relax by the picturesque Nida Harbor and watch the sunset.


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