The Baltics has a few thousand-years-old cultures to draw on, from Teutonic castles to the pagan altars that dot the peninsula of the Curonian Spit. To discover the Best of the Baltic Trilogy, you’ll need at least a few days. Here are 15 Top-Rated Attractions in the Baltics, photos curated à la Instagram:
1. Kuressaare Bishop’s Castle
Kalamaja is Tallinn’s cute hipsterville with some gorgeous historical architecture and cozy cafés.
3. Lahemaa National Park
Lahemaa National Park is sure to captivate you with its enchanting, otherworthly beauty, former fishing villages and waterfalls. Explore Estonian manor houses and take a slow walk on Viru Bog.
4. Miera Iela
Miera Iela is Riga’s artist’s quarter, a 20-minute walk from Old Town. Look out for vintage shops, glassware, and the crafts fairs that pop up in the summer.
The Latvian resort town of Jūrmala draws visitors each year with its Soviet-era sanatoriums, long stretch of sand and seaside villas done up with art nouveau style.
7. Rundale Palace
Skip Versailles, go to Rundale Palace near Riga! Same architect as Hermitage, same splendour, exquisitely restored summer residence of the Dukes of Courland, lovers of the Russian Tsarina, stunning gardens and no ipad/selfie groups blocking your sight – Road trip around the Baltic sea day12 #latvia #riga #rundale #courland #nobility #aristocracy #palace #rastrelli #balticsea #roadtrip
Rundale Palace is a grandiose baroque palace in Latvia, built for the Duke of Courland. The story behind the “Baltic Versailles” is one of love and exile.
8. Sigulda and Gauja National Park
Dubbed the “Switzerland of Latvia,” Gauja National Park is known for its historical sites: the town of Sigulda, the ruins of Sigulda Castle, Gutmanis Cave, Turaida Castle museum, a beautiful stone art park and the grave of the Rose of Sigulda.
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Užupis is another bohemian quarter, in downtown Vilnius. In 1997, the district declared itself an independent republic, with its own constitution, flag, currency, president and cabinet.
10. Hill of Witches
On the road, trekking the Hill of Witches. This hill near Juodkrante, on the Curonian Spit, was a major site of celebration during the Midsummer's Eve Festival in pagan times. Now the site commemorates Lithuanian folk legends with a sculpture trail depicting fairy-tale creatures, devils, dragons and goddesses. #jerulita #lithuania #nida #neringa #hillofwitches #juodkrante #pagan
Visit the Hill of Witches for Juodkrante’s beautiful and spooky collection of wooden folk art. Here there by witches, devils, dragons, gods and goddesses from Lithuanian pagan lore.
Kedainiai is an impressive citadel of the powerful medieval family of Radzivil. The town of Kedainiai is one of the oldest in Lithuania, home to the Jewish religious scholar Vilna Gaon, and three synagogues.
Once the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai attracts visitors to the magnificent 14th-century fortress in the middle of Lake Galve. Explore the interior to learn more about the Grand Duchy, archaeology and life of medieval Lithuania.
13. Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
This Jewish Museum, in the heart of Vilnius, serves as a fantastic introduction to the historical and cultural heritage of Lithuanian Jews, known as Litvaks.
14. Curonian Spit
The Curonian Spit is an elongated peninsula full of sand dunes, forested pathways and seaside villages.
15. The Hill of Crosses
Another of Lithuania’s awesome hills, Siauliai’s Hill of Crosses is a wild collection of crosses and a major site for Christian pilgrims. No matter your religion, it’s quite a magnificent sight to behold.