The Baltics is a region in northeast Europe bordering Russia and Belarus. Consisting of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Baltics has only recently experienced a tourism boom. Millions of tours visit the three countries each year either on a Baltic sea cruise or taking advantage of budget airlines. Here’s a roundup of the top destinations to visit in the Baltics.
Reasons to Visit the Baltics
The Baltics combine rugged coastlines with medieval old towns and a strong hint of Soviet Europe. Travellers will have an affordable trip passing through three countries. Each with their own history, culture and traditions. Spend the mornings exploring the churches and afternoons discovering the Baltic’s Soviet past. You’ll find countless UNESCO sites, specialty museums and easy access from one destination to the next. Travellers can also catch the ferry from Estonia to visit Helsinki or take a day trip into Belarus.
Estonia is the northernmost nation in the Baltic States. Tourists usually start their trip in the historical capital Tallinn. Tallinn’s old town resembles a medieval fortress that could have come straight out of a fairy tale. Stroll around the city call and visit churches that are several hundred years old. You’ll find lots of weird and wonderful sights and attractions around each corner. Try the traditional food and embrace the air of Russian culture. Tallinn gets thousands of visitors throughout the year. But we recommend travelling in either the summer or during Christmas. Other must-visit destinations include the lazy seaside town Parnu and student city Tartu.
Latvia sits in the middle of Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. Capital Riga has Europe’s best-preserved collection of art nouveau buildings. Aside from architecture, the city has a decent collection of museums and affordable bars. From Riga, you can quickly get to Jurmala, Sigulda or take a day trip to Gauja National Park. Head east to have a more off-the-beaten-path experience or enjoy a better infrastructure along the coast in the west.
Lithuania sits in between Latvia, Poland and Belarus. The first stop is often capital Vilnius. Stroll the streets and soak up the history while visiting the city’s dozens of churches. Explore the riverside in the winter and embrace the Christmas markets in December. Learn about Lithuania’s dark past during the Soviet era at Vilnius’s KGB Museum. Next, tourists often head to nearby Kaunas to see the medieval Kaunas Castle, Ninth Fort and Pazaislis Monastery. Cruise ships often dock at the Klaipeda which is a stone’s throw from the UNESCO-list Curonian Split. Explore the port city and enjoy the Germanic architecture. Take the ferry to the spit and see Europe’s only sand dunes. You should also plan a trip to see the Hill of Crosses which consist of tens of thousands of cross near Siauliai.
Top Destinations in the Baltics
Travellers can visit medieval old towns, stunning churches and get a dose of the Soviet Union in the Baltics. Follow the coast for beaches and stunning nature. Or take a day trip to the Curonian Spit to see Europe’s only sand dunes.