Lithuania has a castle built in the middle of a lake, a small hill with over 100,000 crosses, and not one but at least two medieval old towns you can visit. Long overshadowed by vacation spots in Italy, Greece, and France, Lithuania is fast becoming one of the top European countries to visit.
Vilnius, the capital, often ranks as one of the cheapest cities for city breaks. There is so much to see and do in Lithuania. But if you can only spend three days in Lithuania, here’s our sample itinerary.
Stay at Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel for good breakfast and convenience to all the attractions and restaurants in Vilnius. It’s just a few minutes from the old town and the cathedral. Take an afternoon Vilnius city tour of the historic ancient city and Subacius Hill.
Most city tours include the following places:
- The Cathedral Square
- Presidential Palace
- Vilnius University
- Dominikonu Street
- Rudninku Street
- St Peter and Paul Church
- Ensemble of St. Anne and Bernardine Church
- Uzupis (Artsy Bohemian neighborhood)
- Amber Museum
- The Gates of Dawn
- Subacius Hill for panoramic views of the city
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, has about 550,000 people, and the old town is a UNESCO world heritage center. The blend of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical style architecture makes the old town a magical place to explore.
In the evening, you may want to catch a performance at the Lithuania National Opera and Ballet Theatre and have a late dinner at one of the restaurants like Sweet Root for modern Lithuanian dishes or Lokys for traditional fare.
If you’re up for more activities after dinner, we suggest a night out at Cocktail Bar Alchemikas for expertly crafted cocktail and five-star service.
Day trip to Anyksciai and Hill of Crosses
On your second day, head east to Anyksciai, a beautiful resort and historic town 70 miles from Vilnius. Anykščiai is situated in the Šventoji river valley, close to the forests and Rubikiai Lake, the biggest lake in Lithuania. Most day tours to Anyksciai include the following attractions:
- Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
- Ethnographic Horse Museum
- St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist Church
- Treetop Walking Path in Anyksciai National Park
After a fun day in Anyksciai, you will travel northwest to the Hill of Crosses. Nobody knows how it all started at the Hill of Crosses, but most locals will say that this unique home to over 100,000 icons, metal, and wooden crosses of all sizes and shapes is a symbol of national and religious identity of Lithuania.
This full-day tour takes around 10 hours, giving you enough time to enjoy Vilnius’ nightlife.
Start early for a drive to Trakai. Trakai is about 20 miles west of Vilnius. It’s the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The main attractions of Trakai are the Trakai Island Castle Museum (a castle built in the middle of a lake) and Lake Galve. I recommend heading straight to the medieval castle. The majority of this 14th-century castle destroyed and reconstructed started after World War II. Inside, you’ll find over 400,000 exhibits from hunting trophies, armory, and weapons to coins, porcelains, and ancient maps. You can spend as little as one hour or over three hours there.
If you’re getting hungry after touring the castle and museum, go to one of the restaurants by the lake for one of the best lunches in Trakai. Sample traditional Karaim food, a minority group that has resided in Trakai since the reign of Grand Duke Vytautas. Make sure you try kibinas (kybyn), a traditional Karaim pastry filled with mutton and onion. For drinks, try kvass, a popular drink in the Baltics made from dark rye bread.