With its capital Vilnius, the lake city Trakai and beautiful countryside, Lithuania is a lesser-known European destination. Delve into the Baltic country's turbulent history while appreciating the richness of its modern culture. You won't regret it!
Find the Magic Brick, Vilnius
In Vilnius' Cathedral Square, one floor tile looks a little different from the rest. This is the Magic Brick, designed by Gitenis Umbrasas, and if you jump or spin on it to make a wish, it should come true. What will you wish for?
Visit Vilnius Cathedral
Vilnius boasts a beautiful classical-style cathedral that is well worth a visit. It's been rebuilt several times, so you can spot different architectural features, and it's also the resting place of Lithuania's patron saint, St. Casimir.
Try saltibarščiai and cepelinai
No trip is really complete without tasting some local food, right? In Lithuania, your must-try dishes are saltibarščiai, a cold beet soup, and cepelinai, a form of stuffed dumpling served as a main dish.
Climb up to the Gediminas' Tower, Vilnius
As one of the last parts of Vilnius' Upper Castle, the Gediminas' Tower is located in the perfect position for city panoramas. As you climb up, have a look at the different exhibits about the history of Vilnius and its people, before marvelling at the red-roofed view below.
Climb up Three Crosses' Hill, Vilnius
For even more stunning views of Lithuania's capital, head up the Hill of Three Crosses. The striking monument of three white crosses at the top, commemorating three Franciscan martyrs, is a national symbol of the city. Admire the sweeping views before you, and when you're back down in Vilnius for the evening, look up to see the crosses all lit up.
Visit the Gate of Dawn, Vilnius
The Gate of Dawn is a beautiful monument symbolising Vilnius' rich history. It's the only gate remaining out of the five originally supporting the city's fortification, but it doesn't look like a gate at all! Admire the tower structure on the outside, before heading inside to see the intricate architecture framing a church.
Visit the Walls That Remember, Vilnius
In the former Jewish quarter of Vilnius, you'll find some beautiful street art that can't be missed. Known as the 'Walls That Remember' project, the pieces of art on the walls of this area commemorate the Jewish community brutally destroyed by the Nazis in World War II. Based on actual footage of the area's former inhabitants, it's a touching and emotional use of art to express an important message.
Just across the river from the Old Town of Vilnius lies a seemingly normal district named Užupis. But did you know that this is actually a self-contained republic? A popular area for artists, writers and intellectuals, in 1997 the inhabitants of Užupis humourously decided to declare independence. Make sure to get your passport stamped upon entry!
Use the Swing of Destiny, Užupis
There's so much to explore in Užupis that it could take a whole day, but you must make sure to use the Swing of Destiny. Located under the Užupis Bridge, this swing reportedly predicts your future. One thing's for certain, though - the pictures will look great on Instagram! While swinging, check out the Užupis mermaid, a statue sitting nearby. Don't stare too long, or she might tempt you to stay there forever...
Visit Trakai, the town of lakes
If you want to escape the city, head out to Trakai, a beautiful town nestled in lake surroundings. From the stunning Trakai Island Castle floating upon the main lake, to visiting the other 200 lakes in the area, there's plenty here to keep you occupied.
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With so much to tick off your bucket list, you need a fast, sustainable and comfortable way to travel. Here's why travelling by train should be your next adventure.
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