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Baltics Travel Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania (+ Map)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: January 19, 2023

Baltics Travel Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania (+ Map)

Are you thinking of traveling to the Baltics, want to see all three countries – Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia – but are not sure how to plan your itinerary? Do you want to know how much time to spend in each country and what not to miss? This guide will help you plan an unforgettable trip to the Baltic region – find out!

In this article, we share a two-week Baltics trip itinerary that allows you to see the highlights of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. You will get to explore a good mixture of vibrant cities and rural areas, go hiking, relax by the beach and discover the food scene of each country.

This Baltics trip includes the famous capital cities Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius, where you discover a bustling lifestyle and admire charming historic city centers and beautiful architecture. In addition, it also takes you to the lesser-known areas of each country. You get to spend two nights on Saaremaa, Estonia’s biggest island, explore the castles of Sigulda, Latvia, and climb the impressive sand dunes in the Curonian Spit in Lithuania .

Even though two weeks are not enough time to see everything the Baltics have to offer, this itinerary will help you make the most of your time and be sure that you don’t miss any of the ‘musts’.

Good to know: The best way to visit the Baltics is by renting a car and doing a self-drive road trip . But this trip is also doable without a car – there are excellent bus/train connections (and buses are reliable and comfortable) and for some popular places nearby, you can also take day tours from the capital cities. This itinerary is structured as a self-drive Baltics road trip but it also includes all the tips and suggestions for those who are using public transport. Take a look!

Baltics Travel Itinerary – OVERVIEW:

Days 1-2: tallinn, estonia.

  • Days 3-4: Kuressaare, Estonia
  • Day 5: Tartu, Estonia

Day 6: Cēsis, Latvia

  • Day 7: Sigulda, Latvia
  • Days 8-9: Riga, Latvia
  • Day 10: Hill of Crosses & Klaipeda, Lithuania
  • Day 11: Day trip to Curonian Spit, Lithuania
  • Day 12: Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Day 13: Trakai & Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Day 14: Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Assitional suggestions for a longer trip
  • Practical info & tips

Good to know: This Baltics travel itinerary starts in Tallinn, Estonia, and ends in Vilnius, Lithuania, but you can easily do it the other way around – from Vilnius to Tallinn. There’s really not much difference which way you travel, and both cities have very good flight connections to various European countries.

Here’s our suggested Baltics travel itinerary:

Start your Baltics trip in Tallinn. Estonia’s capital is famous for its medieval Old Town, and during the next two days, you’ll have the chance to wander through narrow cobblestone alleys, climb the city walls and sample Estonian food.

Here are some  highlights of Tallinn  you should check out:

Town Hall Square

While walking through the Old Town, you will eventually end up at Town Hall Square . Here, you can discover lots of traditional old houses and a great atmosphere.

At one end of Town Hall Square, you can see the City Hall . In summer, you have the chance to climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the view. This is also the perfect place if you want to try Estonian food. Head to the III Draakon, a tavern in the town hall building, where you can sample elk soup, elk pastries, or lingonberry juice.

Almost opposite the town hall, you can find the Raeapteek . The Town Council Pharmacy is the oldest continuously operating pharmacy in Europe. If you go inside, you can visit a small exhibition or try claret, a wine produced here since 1467.

Tallinn Town Hall Square in Estonia

Toompea Hill

If you want to see Tallinn from above, you should head to Toompea Hill . Up here, you can find multiple viewing platforms that will offer fantastic views of the Old Town’s red roofs.

The Kohtuotsa lookout is the most famous platform, but it can get very busy. If you want to avoid the crowds, head to the Patkuli viewing platform instead, where you’ll run into fewer tourists. On clear days, you can even see the Baltic Sea from up here.

While up on Toompea Hill, make sure to check out the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral . The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is one of Tallinn’s most beautiful churches.

Tallinn Old Town as seen from Toompea Hill

Tallinn’s City Walls

Some parts of the city wall that once surrounded all of Tallinn are still intact, and you have the opportunity to climb them in multiple places.

The first entrance is at Hellemann Tower . Here, you can walk on a piece of wall that is around 200 meters long. You have the chance to climb up into the watchtowers, too, to enjoy a very different viewpoint compared to Toompea Hill.

Up on Toompea Hill, you can find Kiek in de Kök Tower . Up here, you can also get on top of the city wall, and you can even enjoy a drink in the cafe on the wall. Your entrance ticket also gives you access to the tower. On each of the six floors, you can visit an exhibition about Tallinn, its city wall, and its history.

Viru Gate in Tallinn Estonia

Additional recommendations

If you would like to learn more about the city, you can opt for this popular private walking tour with a local .

If you want to get the most of your stay and see more of Estonia, consider taking a half-day trip to Jägala Waterfall and Harju County . This area is east of Tallinn and you won’t be passing here when continuing your trip.

Where to Stay in Tallinn

For the best experience, stay in the old city center. There are many nice accommodations for all budgets here. We recommend Hestia Hotel Kentmanni.

Tallinn Old Town street

Days 3-4: Kuressaare

If you are planning a self-drive road trip through the Baltics, it’s best to rent a car from this day on . Here you can find some of the best deals for car rental in Tallinn .

After leaving the city, travel to Saaremaa, Estonia’s biggest island . The journey takes around 4 hours, including a half-hour ferry ride. If you are driving, make sure to arrive at the Virtsu ferry port at least 15 minutes before departure (if you take a bus, you don’t have to worry about that). Here you can find the ferry schedule and more practical info (you need a ferry from Virtsu to Kuivatsu).

Without a car: There are regular bus connections between Tallinn and Kuressaare, the biggest town on Saaremaa.

On Saaremaa Island, base yourself in Kuressaare , where you can find most of the island’s attractions. Make sure to stroll through the Old Town to discover the historic buildings and traditional architecture.

Afterwards, head to the Kuressaare Episcopal Castle . The castle dates back to the 14th century, and it takes at least an hour or two to explore the exhibitions inside. Be careful to follow the arrows, as it’s easy to get lost in the maze of corridors. During your visit, you have the chance of climbing the towers. From up there, you have a fantastic view of the star-shaped moat that surrounds the fortifications.

Aerial view of Kuressaare Estonia

Another highlight of Saaremaa are the Kaali Meteor Craters , which you can visit in the village of Kaali. Scientists believe that the impact happened anywhere between 6,400 and 400 BCE, and it had the same explosive force as the Hiroshima bomb blast. All trees in a radius of six kilometers burned.

If you’d rather take it slow, head to the beach or find a spa to relax. Kuressaare is famous for its spas, and many Estonians come here to unwind for a few days. So why not join them and experience some traditional Estonian sauna culture!

Where to Stay in Kuressaare

There is a big choice of accommodations in Kuressaare, but since it’s a popular resort town, be sure to book well in advance, especially if traveling during summer or popular holidays. We recommend Johan Design & SPA Hotel , or – on a slightly higher budget Arensburg Boutique Hotel & Spa .

Kuressaare Old Town in Estonia

Day 5: Tartu

Today, you have a long drive ahead of you. It takes almost 6 hours to get to Tartu from Kuresaare by car and a little longer if you use public transport. Therefore, make sure to leave Kuressaare as early as possible, so you can enjoy the afternoon in Tartu.

Tartu is a cute town in Southern Estonia that is famous for its university. While here, check out the University Museums. On top of Toome Hill, you can find the University of Tartu Museum as well as the Old Observatory . Both are worth visiting, but if you only have time for one, head to the Observatory.

In the 19th century, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve measured the length of a meridian and eventually became the first person to accurately determine the shape and size of Earth. He conducted much of his work from this observatory, which is why it is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the observatory, you can learn more about Struve’s work and see astronomical instruments from that time period.

While in Tartu, make sure to go for a walk through the Old Town. Town Hall Square is famous for its Kissing Students fountain, and you can discover many historic buildings around the square. Take some time to walk through the cobblestone streets and admire the architecture of Tartu. Be sure to check out the restored ruins of the Tartu Cathedral (Toomkirik). You can also climb the tower for some nice views over the city.

Tartu Cathedral in Estonia

TIP: If you have a car and some time to spare, you could also visit Alatskivi Castle about 30-40 minutes drive north of Tartu. But if you only have half a day in the city, this will likely be too much.

Where to Stay in Tartu

Tartu is a popular tourist destination and you’ll have no trouble finding good accommodation at reasonable prices. We recommend Lydia Hotel , however, their parking is quite expensive since it’s in the heart of the city. A nice alternative (still very good location) if visiting by car is Art Hotel Pallas by Tartuhotels .

Tartu Town Hall Square in Estonia

In the morning, drive from Tartu to Cesis in Latvia. The drive is about 2.5 hours and if you leave early enough, you have plenty of time to explore Cesis on this day.

Without a car: If you are traveling without a car, it’s easier to take a bus from Tartu to Riga, stay in Riga for 3 or 4 nights in total, and make day trips from there to Cesis and to Sigulda. There are also tours that visit these places from Riga in one day .

Cesis is a cute medieval town known for its two castles. You can get a combination ticket that includes entrance to both the Medieval Castle and the museum in the New Castle . As there are no electric lights in the old castle, you will need to carry a lantern. Exploring the ruins with a candle in your hand is an incredible experience you’ll remember for a long time.

After visiting both castles, take some time to stroll through Castle Park . At the edge of the park, you can see the remains of the oldest brewery in Northern Europe . Cesus Ale, the owner, has since moved the beer production to a more modern building on the outskirts of Cesis, but you can still see the old brewery.

Where to Stay

You could stay in Cesis for a night, but we suggest driving to Sigulda – the next town on this itinerary, about 30 minutes drive further. There is a bigger accommodation choice in Sigulda and much nicer hotels and you could stay here for two nights. We recommend Hotel Sigulda – it’s a nice hotel with great facilities, easy parking, and they have a very good restaurant.

Good to know: If you are really in a hurry, you could see just the main highlights of Cesis and Sigulda on the same day.

Cesis New Castle in Latvia

Day 7: Sigulda

Today, spend a day in one of Latvia’s most beautiful destinations – Sigulda in the Gauja National Park . Sigulda has multiple sights and attractions to keep you busy all day. You can find several castles in the area, which are all different and exciting to visit.

If you visit just one castle in Sigulda, make it Turaida Castle , a red-brick castle a few kilometers away from town. It houses a museum, and it’s part of the Turaida Museum Reserve, where you can also visit traditional houses from the area. This is the most-visited museum in Latvia!

Sigulda Medieval Castle (Castle Of The Livonian Order in Sigulda) is also nice to see. You can climb to the top of the Northern Tower from where you have a fantastic view of the valley. Just next to it, you can see the recently renovated Sigulda New Castle (Siguldas Jaunā pils) which used to serve as a city council and is now a museum.

Another place worth checking out is Krimulda Medieval Castle , which is the ruins of the 13th castle. Here, you’ll also find the beautiful viewpoint ‘Bellevue’, with great views of the bends of the Gauja River. Please note that this castle ruin is not to be confused with Krimulda Manor , which is a sort of rehabilitation center/ hotel.

TIP: One of the best ways to see the main castles is to go for a hike, from Sigulda Medieval Castle to Krimulda Castle (take the cable car to cross the valley) and then onwards to Turaida Castle. Don’t miss Gutmanis Cave , which you can find between Krimulda and Turaida. Locals have left graffiti here for centuries, and the oldest inscriptions date back to the 17th century.

Turaida Castle in Sigulda Latvia

If you want to take it easy, stay in the same hotel in Sigulda as the previous night. As already said, Hotel Sigulda is one of the best options here. Alternatively, you could continue to Riga already, which is about a 1-hour drive.

Sigulda New Castle Latvia

Days 8-9: Riga

In the morning, drive to Riga (about a 1-hour drive). With its location in the center of the country, Riga is also the perfect base for day trips to places like Cesis and Sigulda mentioned above. As already mentioned, if you are traveling without a car, it’s best to come here from Tartu (so on day 6 of this itinerary). In that case, stay in the city for 3-4 nights and make day trips either by public transport or by taking tours.

For the next two days, you have the chance of  exploring Riga . Be sure not to miss the following highlights:

Riga Old Town

It’s easy to get lost in Riga’s cobblestone streets and to spend hours wandering through the Old Town . Along your way, you should pass the Three  Brothers , a famous landmark in the city. All three houses belonged to men from the same family but date back to different time periods, so this is a fantastic place to see how architecture in Riga evolved over the centuries.

If you want to see the Old Town from above, stop by St Peter’s Church . The tower rises high above the houses, so from its top, you have a fantastic view of Riga.

View of Riga Old Town in Latvia

House of the Blackheads

If you only visit one museum in Riga, it should be the House of the Blackheads . You’ll notice the extensively decorated building while walking through the Old Town, and if you go inside, you can learn more about the Brotherhood of the Blackheads.

This guild was an organization of merchants and craftsmen, and in Latvia, they came together in the House of the Blackheads for meetings and social gatherings. They even erected the first Christmas Tree in Europe, though it is unclear if it was in Riga or Tallinn.

House of the Blackheads in Riga Latvia

Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia

If you want to see a different side of Latvia, head to the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia , which you can find on the outskirts of Riga. Buses 1, 28, or 19 can take you here if you don’t have a car, and you’ll have the chance of seeing more than 100 traditional buildings from all over the country.

The museum grouped these houses by region, and you’ll be surprised to learn how different building styles and rural life were, depending on the area. Don’t miss the giant windmill in the middle of the park, and make sure to go inside the houses. Some are open, and in summer, you might see weavers and blacksmiths perform their craft.

Practical information: The museum is open the whole year round, but opening days and times vary per season. Check their website for more information. You could easily spend an entire day here. As a minimum, count half a day.

Traditional buildings at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia

Where to Stay in Riga

Riga is a big city and there is no shortage of accommodations for all budgets . For the best experience, we recommend staying close to the city center. If you are traveling by car, be sure to check that the hotel has parking available! We recommend Wellton Riverside SPA Hotel .

Day 10: Hill of Crosses & Klaipėda, Lithuania

After leaving Riga, cross the border to Lithuania and head to Klaipeda. The drive is about 4 hours, and you can stop at the famous Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai on your way. It’s conveniently located for this itinerary, about 2 hours drive from Riga and about the same from Klaipeda, and a visit here doesn’t require more than half an hour. Still, be sure to leave Riga early so that you can explore Klaipeda in the afternoon.

Without a car: If you are traveling by bus, there are direct bus connections from Riga to Klaipeda, and the trip takes around 4-5 hours. It will be difficult to visit the Hill of Crosses on this day, but you may still be able to come here on your way from Klaipėda to Vilnius two days later. See day 12 of this itinerary for more details.

The Hill of Crosses is one of the most unique places in Lithuania, and you can see hundreds of thousands of crosses on this hill. The sight is almost unreal, and as you walk around, you will notice hundreds of small crosses wedged into the ground between the larger ones. Here you can find our complete guide to visiting the Hill of Crosses .

Hill of Crosses near Siauliai in Lithuania

After spending time at the Hill of Crosses, continue to Klaipeda . You should arrive in the early afternoon, so still plenty of time to explore the city. While Klaipeda is Lithuania’s third-largest city, its historic center isn’t that big and you can see all the musts in half a day.

When you stroll through the Old Town of Klaipeda , you will notice that the architecture is different from anything else you’ve seen in the Baltics before, and some of it even looks German. That’s because the area once belonged to Germany, and you can still see the influence in architecture today.

Make sure to visit the History Museum of Lithuania Minor if you want to learn more about the history of the region. Don’t miss Theatre Square and be sure to check out the little hidden gem Fredericho Passage , where you can also find a restaurant serving local dishes.

Afterwards, head down to the riverside and to the harbor. The waterfront is one of the most pleasant areas to go for a walk in Klaipeda, especially in summer. During the warmer months, you can also rent kayaks or pedal boats to explore the city from a different angle.

Where to Stay in Klaipeda

Klaipeda is a harbor town and so it’s nice if you can stay close to the water. We recommend either Old Mill Hotel or Michaelson Boutique Hotel – both near each other and both excellent choices, in beautiful historic buildings. There is big public parking just nearby (the fees aren’t high) and the Old Town is within walking distance. Stay here for two nights.

Klaipeda Lithuania

Day 11: Day trip to the Curonian Spit

Today, take a day trip to one of the most beautiful places in the Baltics, the Curonian Spit . This 98km-long narrow piece of land perched between the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea is a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Curonian Spit is famous for its wandering sand dunes. The biggest dune that you can climb is Parnidis Dune, just next to Nida. From here, you can see the lagoon on one side and the Baltic Sea on the other side. It might not look like it, but Parnidis is a wandering dune that moves a few centimeters every year. Over the past centuries, these dunes have even swallowed a few villages!

During your day trip, visit the nicest dunes and villages of the region, and be sure to go for a walk around Nida, the main town of the Curonian Spit. Here, you can see many traditional fishermen’s houses, several museums, and a beautiful waterfront promenade. For more information, please see our complete guide to the best things to do in Nida .

But there’s much more to see in the beautiful Curonian Spit National Park than just its biggest town! So if you are self-driving, check out our complete guide to the Curonian Spit in Lithuania . It also has all the details on how to get there by car.

Without a car: Curonian Spit is best explored by car since there are many beautiful places scattered all over the region. If you don’t have a car, you can best opt for an organized tour – see this private day tour from Klaipeda. Alternatively, take a passenger ferry from the pier north of the city center (Senoji Perkėla), and once you reach the other side, you can take a bus to Nida. Nida is a nice day trip in itself, but you won’t be able to see the rest of the area if you take a bus.

Curonian Spit in Lithuania is a must in any Baltics itinerary

Day 12: Kaunas

Today, leave Klaipeda and head to Lithuania’s second-largest city, Kaunas. If you are driving, it’s a long but easy drive on a highway and takes about 2.5-3 hours, leaving you plenty of time to explore Kaunas.

Without a car: If you are traveling through the Baltics by public transport, it’s easier to skip Kaunas and take a train from Klaipeda directly to Vilnius (with a stop in Šiauliai for a visit to the Hill of Crosses). In that case, take a train to Šiauliai and book a private tour to the Hill of Crosses (they can pick you up at the train station and the hours are flexible). Afterwards, continue your trip to Vilnius by train. If you decide to go to Kaunas from Klaipeda and skip the Hill of Crosses, then take a bus to Kaunas – it’s much faster than by train.

There is enough to see and do in Kaunas to fill a few days, so you could easily add a night here if you have more time. But you can get a taste of the city and see some of the main highlights in half a day as well.

The best way to explore Kaunas on a short visit is by taking a walk through its main pedestrian streets that run through the entire city center – from Kaunas Castle and Cathedral in the Old Town via Vilniaus Street and all the way to St. Michael the Archangel’s Church at the far eastern end of Laisvės alėja (Freedom Avenue). If you have the time to visit one museum, check out the M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art . If you are looking for something more unique that you won’t find anywhere else, then don’t miss the Devils’ Museum .

Where to Stay in Kaunas

We recommend staying in the city center, close to the above-mentioned pedestrian streets. That way, you can leave your car at the hotel and explore Kaunas on foot. Check out BEST WESTERN Santakos Hotel – it’s right in the middle between the Old Town and the popular pedestrian avenue Laisvės alėja and has free private parking. Here you can find more hotels and accommodations in Kaunas .

Kaunas Lithuania

Day 13: Trakai & Vilnius

With two weeks in the Baltics, you’ll have to make some tough choices and skip some places, so if you want to take it easy, today, we recommend that you drive to Trakai from Kaunas, and then head to Vilnius in the late afternoon.

However, if you have an entire next day to explore Vilnius and so if you find a day in the city sufficient, then you may want to visit a few other nice places between Kaunas and Vilnius. In that case, you could also visit Pažaislis Monastery and Lithuanian Folk Museum in Rumšiškės .

Both these places are just a small detour from the Kaunas – Vilnius highway and both are well worth your time. But don’t try to squeeze too much in a day or you won’t have much time to actually enjoy it.

Without a car: Take a train from Kaunas to Vilnius and spend a day in Vilnius. You can take a half-day tour to Trakai the next day. In summer, you can also opt for a full-day tour from Vilnius that visits the castle and includes canoeing on the lakes around it.

Anyway, if you are going from Kaunas to Trakai, it’s an easy drive, mostly on the highway, and it takes a bit over 1 hour. From there, it’s just a short drive to Vilnius (but can take an hour if traffic is busy), so you can spend as much time in Trakai as you like. This town is famous for its island castle, one of the must-see places in Lithuania.

Trakai Castle in Lithuania

Trakai Castle dates back to the 14th century, a time when Trakai was an important town in Lithuania, and – for a few years – even the capital city. The Grand Duke of Lithuania often received important visitors here. The Castle was recently restored and is the most impressive castle you can visit in Lithuania these days. Its location on an island, surrounded by lakes and forests, makes it even more special. And don’t worry, you won’t have to swim to the island – there is a nice pedestrian bridge connecting it to town.

Inside the Castle, you can visit an exhibition about the history of Trakai, and you also have the chance to learn about the Karaites, a Turkic Jewish minority that lives in the area. Lithuanians call them Karaimai .

And speaking of them, when in Trakai, be sure to try Kybyns (LT: kibinai ), traditional Lithuanian food of the Karaite ethnic minority. You can find them at most of the local restaurants in Trakai. This is the best place in Lithuania to try this traditional meat-and-onion pastry. You may also find it in Vilnius and a few other places in the region, but they are nowhere as good as in Trakai.

If the weather is nice, take a boat tour on the lake to see the castle from a different perspective. Afterwards, head to Vilnius, walk around the Old Town, and end your day with some typical Lithuanian food.

Trakai Island Castle in Lithuania

Day 14: Vilnius

Today, it’s time to explore Vilnius. Lithuania’s capital city has a lot to offer, but if you have just a day, be sure not to miss the following places:

Walk around the Old Town

Walking through the Old Town of Vilnius is the best way to get to know the city. It has such a great atmosphere and you’ll find something nice behind every corner.

Don’t miss the Town Hall Square ( Rotušės aikštė ), Vilnius University , Presidential Palace , and one of the must-see streets in Vilnius – Castle Street ( Pilies gatvė ). Also worth visiting is Literature Street ( Literatų gatvė ). This picturesque street is lined with plaques detailing names of authors who have either lived in Vilnius or written about the city.

Another must-see is the Gate of Dawn , a city gate that dates back to 1522 and was once part of the city wall. Inside, you’ll find a religious artifact, an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, which still attracts pilgrims today.

Stiklių Street , in the vicinity of the Restaurant Lokys, is also worth passing by. They usually have some nice decorations hanging above the street and it’s always worth seeing what kind of creations they come up with next. And the restaurant is very good too!

There are also lots of beautiful churches in the Old Town of Vilnius. They say there are 28 churches just in the Old Town… If you visit just one of them, don’t miss St. Anne’s Church – it’s a stunning example of Gothic architecture.

St. Anne's Church in Vilnius Lithuania

Cathedral Square, Gediminas Castle & Neris River

Cathedral Square is home to Vilnius Cathedral. With its many columns and a white Bell Tower , this building is one of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Just next to it, you’ll find one of the best museums in Vilnius – the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania . If you have at least an hour to spare, definitely check it out. The Virtual Reality 3D experience is so well done and gives you a good introduction to the history of Vilnius.

Behind the Cathedral, you’ll see a hill with a tower on top. Head up there to discover Gediminas Castle Tower and to enjoy the fantastic view of Vilnius. You can walk up the hill or take a funicular which can be found on the other side of the hill, on the riverside. And once you are here, be sure to take a walk along the river.

Vilnius Cathedral and Bell Tower

Gediminas Avenue & Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights

Gediminas Avenue (Gedimino Prospektas) is one the main streets of Vilnius. This is the place where you’ll find many shops, restaurants, theaters, etc.

Be sure to walk at least a part of this street, up to Lukiškės Square, the largest square in Vilnius. Here, you’ll also find the former KGB building, now the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights .

It’s a very interesting and eye-opening place where you can learn more about the way the Soviets treated innocent people. It will surely help you to better understand the not-so-distant history of Lithuania and the other Baltic States.

Old KGB prison cell inside the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights in Vilnius Lithuania

Republic of Užupis

One of the most curious neighborhoods to visit in Vilnius is Užupis (literal translation “behind the river”).

This “republic” declared its independence in 1998 as a joke by local artists. Uzupis has its own parliament, border post (bring your passport if you would like a stamp), and even a constitution. Check out the Angel of Uzupis, a statue that represents the freedom of art and expression.

While nobody recognizes the independence of Uzupis, the neighborhood is a great place to discover art galleries and cafes. As you walk around, you can also find impressive street art, so keep your eyes open and don’t forget to glance into the small alleys and sidestreets.

Uzupis Angel in Vilnius Lithuania

Where to Stay in Vilnius

There are lots of nice hotels and accommodations in Vilnius. Many people like to stay in the Old Town and if you already returned your rental car, it can be a good option. In any case, be sure to look for a hotel that has parking (or public parking nearby).

Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva is a nice modern hotel by the river, on the other side from the Old Town, but you can easily get everywhere via a pedestrian bridge from here. It will also be easier to park here.

If you rather stay in the Old Town, take a look at NARUTIS Hotel . It’s a great choice in the heart of the city and within short walking distance to everything. They also have free parking and an indoor pool. And, of course, there are many other options all over the city center, for all budgets.

Hotel Narutis in Vilnius Lithuania

If you have a few more days in the Baltics…

Even though this itinerary is already packed with things to do in the Baltics, you can easily spend more time in the region – there are so many other nice places to see. If you have a few extra days, you can distribute them between the countries however you wish, and here are some additional suggestions:

  • In Estonia, consider visiting Pärnu, a relaxed beachside town, or head to Lahemaa National Park to go hiking for a day.
  • In Latvia, you could visit the seaside in Jurmala or go on a day trip to Rundale Palace.
  • In Lithuania, you could stay longer on the Curonian Spit, add a day in Kaunas, and also an extra day in Vilnius.

Map of this Baltic States Itinerary

To help you plan your trip to the Baltics, we created a map indicating all the main places that we recommend visiting in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This map is just an overview and doesn’t contain all the details, but it will give you a better idea of where everything is and how you could adjust this itinerary if you have less or more time.

You can click on the picture below and see this map on Google Maps. The entire Baltic States road trip – as it is suggested in our itinerary and shown on the map – is about 1500 km over 14 days.

Baltics travel itinerary map

Some Practical Info for Planning Your Trip

Best time to visit.

The best time to visit the Baltics is in the summer. The weather is generally very nice, the days are long, and there are lots of events and celebrations. As a downside, it’s much busier in June, July, and August than the rest of the year and accommodation prices at the popular vacation destinations soar. For the best experience and fewer crowds, plan a trip to the Baltic states in May or in September.

The Baltics in the winter

If you want to avoid the crowds altogether, you can also travel to the Baltics in autumn or in winter. In some of the stops on this itinerary, you will barely see other travelers at all, and with a bit of luck, you’ll experience snow. However, if you are planning a self-drive Baltics road trip, don’t visit in winter if you are not used to driving in winter conditions.

If you are planning a trip in winter, then consider visiting in December. Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn host wonderful Christmas markets! So if you visit in the winter, you’ll enjoy a great Christmas atmosphere and much fewer people than at the most famous Christmas markets in Western Europe… Here you can read more about the Christmas Market in Vilnius, Lithuania – they have the most original Christmas Trees every year.

Baltic states in winter - Vilnius Christmas market

Renting a car vs. public transport

You can easily visit the Baltic states by car. The roads and infrastructure are good and comparable to any other EU country. Traffic can get very busy around the biggest cities and at the seaside on summer weekends, but apart from that, driving in the Baltics is quite relaxed. Just be sure to follow speed limits and other traffic rules since police controls are frequent.

If you prefer not to drive, you can also visit all three Baltic countries by public transport. There are good bus connections between all major cities, so if you are mostly interested in visiting the main towns, you can easily do that without a car as well. That being said, if you want to explore the Baltics a bit deeper, it’s definitely better to rent a car.

Is it safe to travel to the Baltics?

Yes, traveling in the Baltics is safe and very comparable to the rest of the EU. In fact, you’ll likely feel safer walking around Vilnius or Riga at night than you would in London, Paris, or Brussels… Just as everywhere, use common sense, but in general, there’s nothing to worry about. If you are traveling to the Baltics in winter, you may encounter ice on the roads and on the pavements, so be careful.

Which is the best Baltic state to visit?

It’s hard to compare three countries of the Baltics and say that one or the other is better. They are all different and each is worth a visit, and if you follow this itinerary, you can get a taste of all three countries and decide for yourself. That being said, if you have the time to visit just one country, then go to Lithuania. It has everything – nice towns with a great atmosphere, interesting museums and lots of cultural events, stunning nature, friendly people, and delicious Lithuanian food . And yes, I’m biased since Lithuania is my home country, but I haven’t met one single person who didn’t love it!

READ ALSO: Best places to see in Lithuania

So, this is our suggested Baltics itinerary for two weeks. We hope that this inspired you to visit this beautiful and still very little-discovered region in Eastern Europe. Have a great trip!

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Traveling to the Baltics - trip itinerary for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia

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Friday 23rd of June 2023

My friend and I are planning to visit the three Baltic states in September. around 15 days. Your guidance is the best. I think we will follow your suggestions. We plan to hire a car. Any helpful hints?

Saturday 24th of June 2023

Hi Philip, that's a very general question ;). You can find all the helpful hints in our article already. Just one thing - book your car asap and I also recommend booking accommodations in advance as well. Have a great trip!

Wednesday 1st of March 2023

Thanks for the invaluable guidance. Is March a good time to visit? Will sights and restaurants be opened? Sometimes it is good to have more people around to soak up the culture of the place.

Hi, you can really visit the Baltics at any time of the year. And yes, everything will be open as usual, except in the smaller seaside villages. In the bigger cities and towns, it's always lively, and everything is open. There are also lots of concerts, theater performances, etc. in the winter months. As for the weather in March, it's more difficult to predict. It can still be quite wintery (especially in the north), or you may get lucky and it will be warmer and a bit spring-like already. Be sure to check the weather forecast a few days before you go. In general, at this time of the year, you have to be prepared for winter conditions. Have a great trip!

Thursday 5th of January 2023

Looking to do a similar trip! Wouldn't a one way car rental be pretty astronomical? I think we need to find a way to make it a loop if we are gonna rent a car. :-/

Saturday 7th of January 2023

Hi, it really depends and a one-way rental is not always more expensive. It's quite common for travelers to start in one Baltic State and end in the other, so many car rental companies are offering quite normal prices for one-way rentals. But you'd have to check what cars/prices are available for your travel dates and decide based on that. We personally always use this website for our car hire. We're just back from a trip where we rented a car with a drop-off a few thousand kilometers away and they didn't even charge us any one-way fees. So you never know until you check. Good luck!

Monday 13th of June 2022

What an amazing trip plan!! I was planning a trip just like this but was a bit apprehensive given the war in Ukraine and proximity of Baltics to Russia. I see this was updated in May 2022. Do you know if there are any complications of border crossings, etc. due to the war. Looks TRULY amazing!

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

@Jurga, yes thank you!! Just booked my flight and will visit both. I plan on following this itinerary so many thanks!!

Hi Kari, my entire family lives in Lithuania and we are also visiting there soon, and I see no reason not to travel to the Baltics at the moment. Life is as usual everywhere there and if you just stay in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, I don't expect any issues. These are all EU countries so there are no border controls in between them. And they are also all NATO countries, so let's hope that's sufficient to keep things stable. For the rest, nobody can ever guarantee anything, but that is no different in the Baltics than anywhere else really. Hope this helps.

Penguin and Pia

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Travelling the Baltics: Your Perfect Baltic Itinerary

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Itinerary for Travelling the Baltics

Thinking of Travelling the Baltics? Here’s a Sample Baltic Itinerary!

If you want a Baltic travel itinerary, you are in the right place! Planning a trip to the Baltics can be a challenge – even though they are so small, there is a ton to do and see in each of the Baltic States!

This is the first post about the Baltics on Penguin and Pia so we are going to be adding lots more information on the region in the future!

As a good place to start, below is a sample itinerary with the capitals, day trips, hostels, and other points of interest in the Baltic states.

In fact, all of Eric’s hostels in all three countries made our massive list of European hostels we loved staying at!

Table of Contents

Things to Consider When Travelling the Baltics

Before you dive into Baltic trip planning, you’ll want to consider a few details. From the currency they use (the Euro) to the weather, safety, and the best time to visit, we cover a few key areas below to help you prepare.

What are the Baltic States?

The Baltics (not to be confused with the Balkans, another region we absolutely love) is a small grouping of countries that are bordering the Baltic Sea in the Northeast part of Europe.

While a few of the countries that lie on the Baltic Sea can be considered Baltic countries, the Baltic States in their traditional definition are Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

These three countries were part of the Soviet Union until their independence in 1991. Their capitals are beautiful, and are Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn , in order of above!

Best Time to Visit the Baltics

Realistically, the best time to visit the Baltic countries depends on the type of travel you like to do. It will also depend on the types of activities you want to.

Eric visited in the winter and while it was much colder, there was still lots to do and explore. Another perk was that there were fewer people around.

Also, he wouldn’t have been able to go bobsledding in Latvia (see below) if it was summertime! There’s a reason a few of the Baltic capitals made the list of our favourite cities in Europe to visit in the winter .

Summertime means that the national parks in Estonia are full of hikers and wildlife. Summertime also means that the beaches along the Baltic Sea (like in Klaipėda, Lithuania) are going to be full of sun-seekers.

Day trips to Trakai Castle in the summer mean beautiful lakes and water activities. The winter means walking on the lake and enjoying the cold but peaceful atmosphere. See – there is no easy answer!

For the best of all worlds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of April-May and then September-October.  The spring is cooler and there might be some rain but there will be fewer crowds and the snow will be gone.

The fall can also be nice because up in Estonia especially you’ll get to see beautiful coloured leaves.

Getting Around the Baltics

Getting around the Baltics is pretty easy since there are only so many large centres and they are all connected via highways (usually). This makes planning a route a no-brainer if you just stick to where the highways bring you!

We’ll get to car rentals below. As for Eric’s trip, he took the bus between all the Baltic capitals, ending in Estonia. It was awesome – we actually wrote a whole detailed post on taking the bus between the Baltic capitals from Vilnius to Riga to Tallinn .

The bus company in the region is LUX Express. He even took it from Warsaw to Vilnius to start the Baltic portion of the trip.

To be honest, after travelling with the big names like Megabus, FlixBus, ones in the Balkans like CroatiaBus, LUX was probably the cheapest and overall best experiences he has had with a bus company.

The best part about LUX Express is that tickets can be cheap but still a quality experience. You can check the timetables and latest deals on the LUX Express website .

Car Rental in The Baltics

If you are feeling like driving as opposed to the bus, renting a car is definitely a good option here in the Baltics. The thing is that these countries aren’t very big and so driving between places isn’t a huge time commitment like in other countries.

Plus, having a car means that you can adventure off and day trip if you want to see more than what you would be able to by sticking to a bus route.

In the Baltics, the highways are pretty good – regional roads between cities are paved and well-maintained. With any country, the more rural you get, the worse the roads become but that’s sort of a standard you’d come to expect.

Another big plus is that since the Baltics are all in the EU and the Schengen Zone, there are no internal borders between them. So you can drive wherever you like and cross borders without any problems!

Given that Baltic road trips are very doable, there are loads of rental car agencies available. You can compare prices from different agencies for the duration of your trip  with this handy tool . Make sure to read the fine print about additional costs in case there are any issues.

Are the Baltics Safe?

Because so little is typically known about the region – this is a popular question to ask. With a rich history and an intimidating neighbour to the east (Russia), it’s no wonder we wonder if the Baltics are safe.

In short, we think the answer is: yes, but. The Baltics themselves are politically stable and developed nations. They are in the EU – and that wouldn’t happen if the countries still needed to get their act together. With any country, however, it’s always wise to keep your guard up in an unfamiliar place.

The capitals are beautiful and can get quite touristy in the summers. As a result, you’ll want to watch your pockets in crowded areas in the Old towns of Riga and Tallinn. If you decide to hike through a National Park, remember to lock your car and/or take valuables with you.

A local connection (who took Eric for beers and dinner in Vilnius the first night he arrived) mentioned that you wouldn’t want to hang around the main train/bus station at night.

That said, is there any train station you WANT to hang around at night in any country? Not really. So, use common sense or ask locals/hotels/tour providers about what’s a good area or not!

Travel Insurance for the Baltics

When visiting the Baltic countries (or travelling in general) it’s usually a good idea to have travel insurance. This includes medical travel insurances and the coverage for things like lost baggage or delays.

If you aren’t already covered by a company plan, extended medical plan, or a credit card insurance plan, we recommend that you get private travel insurance.

Travelling the Baltics: A Sample Baltic Itinerary

If you plan on travelling the Baltics, we want to help you out with a sample Baltic itinerary.

We’ve decided to write about it in the way that Eric did it – south to north. This means that you’d start in Vilnius, Lithuania and head through Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia.

old colourful building with Lithuanian flag on top travelling the baltics

  • Estimated Time to Stay: 2 nights
  • How to Get There:   Bus from Warsaw, Poland is about 7 hours, could also fly into Vilnius.

Beginning the itinerary with a great first city, Vilnius is a rich city full of history around every turn. Eric explored the city on his own for most of the days he was there.

In that time, he explored the Hill of Three Crosses, Vilnius Cathedral, the Bell Tower among other attractions. If you wanted an actual guide (and not just wander as Eric did) then you can go on a Vilnius walking tour with a local guide .

When Eric stayed there, he stayed in Jimmy Jumps House Hostel . It was a great stay – the people were awesome, the staff were friendly and welcoming, the location is right in the centre of the city, and they even make you waffles for breakfast!

Accommodation for Vilnius:   Check for hotel deals  or  Hostelworld for great hostels !

Trakai (and the Castle)

red brick castle in snow trakai travelling the baltics

  • Estimated Time to Stay: Day Trip
  • How to Get There:  Bus from Vilnius, car would also be easy – takes about 40 minutes.

Whether it’s the summer or the winter, a day trip to Trakai (and to visit the Castle) is definitely worth your time.

Eric went in the wintertime and even though it was super cold, it was really cool to basically have the castle to himself! The town itself is situated on the lake so it’s beautiful in the summertime as well.

Trakai Castle was built in the 14th century and remains an important place for Lithuanians as a medieval stronghold and a symbolic place of where statehood is preserved.

There are lots of different exhibits and galleries within the castle so it’s worth the admission fee. You can learn more about the town and castle here .

Nearby, the town is filled with small shops, cafes, and restaurants. These were open in the wintertime and we can’t even imagine how busy (but lively) the town must be in the summer.

If you wanted to leave the car in Vilnius, you could always take a day tour to Trakai to make the journey and guided tour super simple. If you planned on staying in Trakai in the summer, there are resorts and guest houses available!

Accommodation for Trakai:   Check for guesthouse and resort deals !

  • Estimated Time to Stay:  1-2 Nights
  • How to Get There:   Train, Bus, or Car – all methods take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from Vilnius.

Eric really only drove through Kaunas but his local friend who met him for dinner was from there. He explained that Vilnius, as the capital, was better for history and charm, whereas Kaunas was more lively with things to do for the younger crowds.

Obviously, there is a great deal of history in Kaunas with a castle, a monastery, cathedral, and many museums.

There are generally lots of cafes, restaurants, and shops in Kaunas as well as venues for music, etc. To learn more about Kaunas, check out the tourism website !

Accommodation for Kaunas:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals  or  Hostelworld for great hostels !

  • Estimated Time to Stay: 1 Night, or Pass Through on the way to Šiauliai. Could also Day Trip from Kaunas if necessary
  • How to Get There:  Car or Bus is best  – 2 hours on the highway from Kaunas

Heading out to the coast of the Baltic, you’ll find the port city of Klaipėda. Klaipėda is a historic city with seafaring roots that go back centuries.

The old wooden, German-style buildings along the ports serve as a charming backdrop for cruisers that arrive at the busy port.

Klaipėda is actually Lithuania’s third-largest city – and so there are lots of things to do from museums to restaurants, theatres and green space.

The National Park – Curonian Spit – is a massive sand dune located close to the city. You can learn more about visiting Klaipėda here .

Accommodation for Klaipėda:   Check for seaside hotel deals  or  Hostelworld for great hostels !

  • Estimated Time to Stay:  1 Night
  • How to Get There: From Klaipėda, Car is about 2 hours, Train varies from 2-3 hours, route/stops depending

As the fourth largest city in Lithuania, you might think there’s nothing left to see! That’s where Šiauliai proves you wrong.

While you’ll find many old museums in the city, the city is also a place of pilgrimage and served as a place of resistance to Soviet rule.

As a result, you’ll find the Hill of Crosses nearby to the city. On the Hill, there are over 100,000 wooden crosses that have been left there over the decades. It really is a sight to see and a place to be respected.

If you wanted to see the Hill of Crosses for yourself but weren’t planning on heading to Šiauliai on the way to Riga, consider a day trip from Vilnius for a Hill of Crosses Tour .

Accommodation for Šiauliai:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals !

old colourful town hall in riga old town square travelling the baltics

  • Estimated Time to Stay: 2-4 Nights
  • How to Get There: Car from Šiauliai is just under 2 hours, Train from Šiauliai is just over 2 hours.

As the largest of the Baltic capitals, there is TONS to do in Riga! Eric loved the city when we did his trip – and he wants to bring Lisa there someday soon so she can experience it, too!

Riga is a fantastic mix of history with new-age shops, coffee places, restaurants, and style. You get hints of former Soviet rule mixed with progressive ideas from the young people.

Not to mention it has incredible buildings, cathedrals, monuments, and other must-see attractions (like the Space Monkey statue).

Given the amount of history to Riga (much of it being significant Soviet history) a walking  tour with an emphasis on Soviet tales might be for you! Besides that, there is lots of great food in Riga.

Eric tried the local cuisine of deep-fried bread at the traditional restaurant and beer hall. Now, if you are thinking “hmm, that would be delicious and definitely not healthy for you”… you’d be absolutely correct.

If you wanted to try other authentic cuisines, consider a food tour around Riga with a local guide who knows their stuff! We plan on writing up a whole other post on Riga soon so you’ll get lots more tips there.

As for a place to stay Eric stayed at Naughty Squirrel Backpackers . Technically a party hostel, it wasn’t as crazy as it sounds.

The staff were great, the people were nice, and the place was huge. You could lounge around or choose to socialise if you wanted. Bunks and rooms were huge and had amenities in the bunk which is always a nice detail.

Eric would definitely stay again for the tiny bar on hand and the free welcome shot of Latvian liqueur – Black Balsam!

Accommodation for Riga:   Check for great Riga hotel deals  or  Hostelworld for great hostels !

burgundy bobsled on podium travelling the baltics

  • Estimated Time to Stay:  1 Night or Day Trip
  • How to Get There:  Just under an hour driving, just over an hour with the Train.

Sigulda makes a great day trip or a longer escape from the city. Known for dense forests, castles, and parks, the city has one other attraction that is well-known around the world. 

Sigulda is home to one of the world’s few operational bobsled tracks that are open to visitors – and you can ride a real bobsled down it!

Eric paid for the experience to be driven by a member of the Latvian sliding team – and WOW is it worth it!

The town itself is charming but the draw for people is the number of things to do that will excite you and keep you busy. You can learn more about Sigulda here .

Accommodation for Sigulda:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals !

  • Estimated Time to Stay:  Day Trip
  • How to Get There:   Train or Car both take about 40 minutes (train can be shorter or longer route depending)

If you’re done with Riga and want to check out more along the Gulf of Riga, then head to Jūrmala. This beach town is a resort city that lies just west of the capital making it a great day trip.

The city is known for its massive sandy beach that gets busy in the summers as people head there to cool off and hang out by the water.

The shore is lined with seaside villas and other shops made from wood seeming like they were plucked from another era!

There are also a few parks and wooded areas that are great for small walks and hikes. Learn more about visiting Jūrmala here .

Accommodation for Jūrmala:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals !

Pärnu + Soomaa Wetlands

  • Estimated Time to Stay: 1 Night
  • How to Get There:  Car or Bus are about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Riga (slightly longer from Sigulda or Jūrmala)

If you want to enjoy the Estonian version of Jūrmala, then head to Pärnu. Known for its Estonian sunshine and sandy beach, Pärnu Beach is a resort town with youthful vibes, cool art, and historical bathhouses scattered through the city. 

Pärnu is actually the fourth largest city in Estonia but the population balloons in the summertime with tourists and locals coming out to enjoy the water in Pärnu Bay.

From restaurants to nightlife there’s something for everyone. Check out more to do in Pärnu here .

Nearby, the Soomaa Wetlands are located in Soomaa National Park. The park itself is known for its high water. This makes the area great for canoeing and sighting wildlife.

Accommodation for Pärnu:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals !

medieval red rooftops in old town tallinn travelling the baltics

  • Estimated Time to Stay: 2 or 3 Nights
  • How to Get There:   Car, Bus, or Train – just over an hour, 1.5 hours, or 2.5 hours, respectively, from  Pärnu

Oh, Tallinn. Such a beautiful city. Eric was lucky enough to be guided around Tallinn by his former flatmate from when he lived in Edinburgh.

Needless to say, having a local around was a great way to experience the city! It was great to have a local show Eric around – she’s even (since) written a guide on spending one day in Tallinn !

Tallinn is known for its Old Town. So, you should start off with a wander there. The bright rooftops and cobblestone alleyways transport you back into medieval times.

There is quite a bit of history and amazing restaurants, cafes, and churches in the area. We walked around with our local guide but you could hop on a bike and take a guided tour – might be lots faster and you’ll get some exercise!

If you are done with attractions in the city centre, you should visit the Tallinn Tv Tower which is located just a quick bus ride away. As the tallest building in Northern Europe, it’s a pretty great attraction that is worth the view for the price of admission!

Eric visited with his friend and even though the views were a little cloudy it was still amazing to see the countryside and the Baltic Sea! If you know you want to go in the high season – get a line skip ticket for the Tallinn Tv Tower .

As for sleeping, Eric stayed at Red Emperor Bar and Hostel.  For the price and the location, the hostel was good. There was a bar onsite (never got too crazy, just very social) with a lounge for loud and another one for quiet.

The rooms were standard – good lockers, good bunks, good bathroom facilities. The staff was very chill and you even get a beer with check-in!

The location is just outside the Old Town so like we said – it’s a good place to crash for a few nights and meet interesting people.

Accommodation for Tallinn:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals  or  Hostelworld for great hostels !

Lahemaa National Park

  • How to Get There:  Car, Bus, or even a Taxi – each take about 45 minutes one way from Tallinn

With a landscape and wildlife similar to Canada (they are at similar latitudes to parts of Northern Canada), Lahemaa National Park is a nature lover’s dream.

Lahemaa is just a short distance from Tallinn yet it’s such an important forested area for conservation in Northern Europe that includes hiking to rock cliffs, waterfalls, beaches, and even moose!

If you want to learn more about Lahemaa, you can check out the official website . To make the trip even more simple, you could make the day trip a day tour to Lahemaa from Tallinn with a guide.

Optional – Day Trip to Helsinki

white cathedral with green domes and stairs travelling the baltics

  • Estimated Time to Stay: Day Trip or Overnight Trip
  • How to Get There:  Ferry from Tallinn is 3 hours. Flying takes 30 minutes (Eric did it by accident – it’s a long story).

Ah yes, a Helsinki day trip from Tallinn. Taking the ferry to Finland is a great option if you’ve got a day to kill and you’ve seen everything in Tallinn and the surrounding area.

That said, we wrote a whole post on how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki (and back) so check that out if you are interested!

Once you get to Helsinki, there is loads to do and see. Eric only had a few hours to explore the city but really wants to return with Lisa since she’s never been. I

f you want to know what to check out in Helsinki, read the guide written by our local connection Nick about  the perfect day in Helsinki ! That said if you DID want to sleep there, check below for great places to stay in Helsinki.

Accommodation for Helsinki:   Check Booking.com for hotel deals  or  Hostelworld for great hostels !

And there you have it – a few great ideas and a rough itinerary around the Baltics. In the end, there is so much to check out in these tiny countries that you’ll end up coming back for another trip or two.

This post was just to get you acquainted with the countries and the idea of travelling the Baltics! What do you think? Have you been to the Baltics or are you considering it? We can’t wait to get back there because Eric wants to show Lisa around! We’ll keep ya posted!

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Itinerary for Travelling the Baltics

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Johnny Africa

The Perfect Baltics Travel Itinerary: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland



  • Last Updated On: November 21, 2023

The Baltics were always high on my list of places to visit in Europe. It’s a lesser traveled (although rapidly changing), cheaper, and equally as beautiful area of Northern Europe. The history of this region is very unique  As the Baltic countries are small and neighbor each other, I always wanted to do the countries at the same time.

Hill of Crosses Lithuania

The Baltics comprises three countries: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Finland is part of Scandinavia but for the purposes of this itinerary, it is part of the Baltics as there is an easy ferry connection between Tallinn and Helsinki so I couldn’t pass up adding this to my trip! This itinerary is for anyone that has roughly 8-10 days to visit this beautiful area of Europe.

Essentially, I allocated 2-3 nights per city which is enough in my opinion. If you have less days, this itinerary is also possible depending on which city you want to spend less time in. I also give ideas for those that have more time as there are so many charming little cities that are well worth the stop as well.

Where I went in the Baltics

I visited the Baltics for just over a week. As it is Europe, most of the sightseeing is done in the cities (with a few things to see in between). I went in end of April, beginning of May which was great because I got quite lucky with the weather. It was record temperatures in Riga and I could wear shorts for most of my trip. However, as this area is not know for its warm weather, expect volatile weather pretty much all throughout the year.

The summer months of course are most ideal as you get super long days and warmer weather but then you also have far more tourists. Even when visiting in April/May, the sun would set after 9pm and the temperature was a very comfortable 20-25 degrees while I was there.

In total, this itinerary is for anyone that has 7-10 days. Of course this itinerary can be shortened or lengthened depending on your schedule. I visited the following areas on this itinerary

  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Helsinki, Finland

If these places ring a bell and sound like the places you want to visit, this is the perfect itinerary for you! Also, the Baltics can easily be combined with other countries like Poland to the south , Belarus, or Russia where you can easily combine St. Petersburg and Moscow. Of course, make sure you have your Russian visa before visiting.

Baltics Travel Itinerary map

Getting around the Baltics

The Baltics are small countries and getting around the countries is easy. There are numerous ways to get from one capital to the other and almost all these options are quite affordable. The Baltics are cheaper than Western Europe as they were under Soviet occupation less than 30 years ago, but it is not as cheap as say the Balkans .

Most people that I met got around the Balkans with Bus. There is solid bus service that connects Vilnius to Riga to Estonia and vice versa. There are also numerous bus companies that you can choose from but I mainly went with LuxExpress as they have a good website online. I’d definitely recommend booking your bus tickets a month in advance if possible. I checked bus tickets for same day departure at the Riga bus station and they were going for €20-30 whereas buying them in advance was under €10 euros.

Vilnius Bus station

The bus ride is 4-5 hours between Lithuania and Riga, as well as to Tallinn.

Flying with AirBaltic

Air Baltic is the national airline of Latvia (and de factor airlines of the other Baltic countries). They have multiple daily flights between Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki in all different combinations. Prices are also very cheap for under €50 one way. This is especially useful if you’re flying into Riga for example, going by land to Vilnius, and then you can fly AirBaltic from Vilnius to Tallinn and not have to take a 8-9 hour bus ride.

Air Baltic airplanes

Getting around within the cities

All of the cities are very small and if you’re in the Old Town, you won’t need anything besides walking. However, if you need to go to the airport or some further away destination like the Marine Museum in Tallinn, then I can recommend using the ride share apps. Sure the public transport is fantastic in these cities but if you’re multiple people, ride sharing apps will be even cheaper than taking the metro. I’m a huge fan of ride sharing apps in foreign countries because it makes sure you don’t get ripped off.

Bolt (formerly Taxify) is a startup out of Tallinn that has a major presence in the Baltics. I used it for all my airport transfers and a few other rides and it is super cheap. From Vilnius to the airport, it was 20 minutes and only €4-6. Whatever you do, do not take the official taxi services because it is many times more expensive. For example, the metered taxis in Riga charged almost €30 for a transfer to the city when Bolt was €6!

There is also Uber in the Baltics, but not in Riga (yet).

Airbnb accommodations

Of course there are plenty of very cheap hostels that you can stay in, but if you are two or more people and want some privacy, the Airbnb options in the Baltics is fantastic. We stayed in huge and centrally located penthouse style accommodations in Vilnius and Riga for €100/night or so.

Airbnb vilnius lithuania

Full Itinerary

This itinerary starts in Vilnius, Lithuania.  Generally, most people start in Vilnius and work their way north to Helsinki, or vice versa. There is really no advantages/disadvantages to where you start, just a matter of which flights make the most sense at the time of travel.

I started in Vilnius where I spent two nights exploring the Old Town. From Vilnius, I took a full day tour from Vilnius to Riga that stopped at various locations in the countryside including Kaunas, and the Hill of Crosses (super cool). From Riga, I spent another 3 nights exploring the capital of Latvia. I took a day trip to Jurmala which is a beachside town about 30 minutes away. From Riga, I took a bus to Tallinn, Estonia for 2 nights. Finally, I took the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki where I spent 2 quick nights before flying home from Helsinki.

Compared to other destinations like Peru and Bolivia , or Guatemala and Belize , traveling around Europe is quite simple so this itinerary should be very easy to follow!

Day 1-3: Vilnius, Lithuania

The itinerary starts in Vilnius, Lithuania! Like I mentioned before, if you’re landing at the airport, skip the taxis entirely and go straight for Bolt or Uber as it should be no more than €6 for a trip to the old town. Otherwise take the bus which is also quick for just €1.

Vilnius is perhaps of the least known capital cities in Europe, but it won’t be for much longer. It’s old town is a Unesco protected heritage site and boasts an endless maze of cobblestone streets, cafes, restaurants, museums, and bars. It is also adorned with beautiful baroque and neoclassical buildings with colorful stucco rooftops.

What to do in Vilnius

As I like to do for all my trips around Europe, I always start with the free walking tour in a new city. This always gives me a good flavor and the highlights of the city that I can choose to re-visit later on in the trip. There are a few free walking tours in the city leaving at various times throughout the day. We visited all the highlights of the city and got in depth history lessons as well.

It seems that the three countries share similar history in that they were all pagan at one point before being forcefully converted in some degree by Germanic missionaries in the medieval ages. In more recent history, all three countries were controlled by the Nazis during world war 2 before succumbing to generations of Russian rule in the Soviet Union. One of the most interesting things I learnt was that the Baltic countries cannot understand each other. Latvian and Lithuanian are similar but not enough where they can hold a conversation, while Estonian is completely different and more similar to Finnish but also not similar enough to make conversation.

St Francis Catholic Church Vilnius

For views of the city, visit the Belltower of St. John’s Church

For the best views of the city, go to the Belltower of the St. John’s Church. It is just a €3 entrance fee and there is an elevator taking you to the very top. The belltower offers panoramic views of the old town where you can see the hill of three crosses and the Gediminas Castle. I prefer this view to the one at the castle because the belltower is in the city center giving you better views Vilnius’ red rooftops.

rooftop aerial views Vilnius Lithuania

Vilnius is a beautiful city on the ground. The buildings are all in fantastic condition and the architecture of beautiful baroque variety. From the air, you can see that all the buildings are adorned with orange stucco rooftops that make it look like a Baltic version of Dubrovnik . The church also doesn’t see that many tourists so we had the entire viewing platform to ourselves for much of the day.

rooftop aerial views Vilnius Lithuania

Visit the neighborhood of Uzupis

Užupis, a cool and edgy neighbourhood on the wrong side of the Vilnia River, declared itself an independent republic on April 1, 1997. Say what you will about autonomous hipsters, but the postcode is awash with trendy bars, shops (conceptual shoe shop, anyone?) and restaurants. Make sure you have a pint in the country’s “parliament” by the river, where the state’s constitution is on display.

Eat some Lithuanian Food

The Baltics are not known for their culinary prowess and I’m here to say that you won’t be wowed by the food but there are a few items that you  must try. My favorite thing that I had in the Baltics is also the most simplest, fried rye bread with cheese sauce or kepta duona in Lithuanian. It doesn’t sound that appetizing but this is the ultimate bar food after a good chicken wing. I’m not sure why this hasn’t been adopted anywhere else because it would be incredibly successful. If you don’t eat this here, don’t worry as they have it all over the Baltics.

kepta duona fried rye bread with cheese

Another food I enjoyed was the cepelinai, or stuffed potato dumplings. These are special soft potatoes that have been boiled and stuffed with ground meat covered with a sour cream and bacon sauce. It is tasty, incredibly filling, and certainly not healthy.

Cepelinai in Lithuania

Day 4: Day Trip from Vilnius to Riga with Riga Travellers

Day 4 is about getting from Vilnius to Riga. Most people will elect for the bus services between the two cities but I stumbled upon a much more interesting and innovative concept.

Riga Travellers started out by doing small tours around Riga before coming up with the idea of doing a full day trip between Riga and Vilnius and stopping at the numerous sights in between. There are a few very cool things to see in the Lithuanian countryside that you would need to travel the whole day for anyway so why not see those things  and end up in the next destination of the itinerary in Riga!

The total cost of the trip was €65 which is considerably more than the regular bus but I think it is well worth it. Our guide was very engaging and had a lot to tell us about the culture of the two countries. All in all, we made 5 stops along the way and it was about 11-12 hours in total. We left at 9am and arrived just before 9pm. You can also do this trip in reverse, Riga to Vilnius.

They also offer Riga to Tallinn tours (and vice versa) so this is a great way to get around the Baltics!

Trakai Castle

Trakai Castle is the first stop of the day. Located on Lake Galve, the Trakai castle was built by Lithuanian Dukes in the 14th century and was used as a residence. It is the only island castle in Eastern Europe. Nowadays it is a big tourist attraction and serves as perhaps one of the most epic settings for summer music festivals. If you have more time in Vilnius, I would recommend coming here on your own for sunset as I hear the views are spectacular.

Trakai Castle Lithuania

Kaunas City

Kaunas, Lithuania’s second biggest city was the second stop fo the day. During the past couple of years, Kaunas has invested heavily into tourism and infrastructure making it an attractive city for all travelers. The old town is much smaller than Vilnius but boasts the same beautiful buildings and cobblestone streets.

Arriving in Kaunas!

We didn’t have much time here unfortunately and if I had more time, I would definitely have stayed here for a night. There are loads of craft breweries in Kaunas producing delicious local brews that I wanted to try.

Streets of Kaunus

Hill of Crosses

The Hill of Crosses was next on the list after lunch. A Christian pilgrimage site with hundreds of thousands of wooden crosses erected on a small hill in Lithuania. The crosses start appearing as a protest to Russian occupation of Lithuanian lands. Families would plant crosses as a way to remember those sent to Siberia to their inevitable deaths. During soviet occupation, religion was of course not a thing so they bulldozed the site on numerous occasions and put soldiers to guard the site from future crosses.

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

Lithuanians continued sneaking in and planting rogue crosses until it was bulldozed again. And again. Nowadays, the Russians are no longer there and the amount of crosses have increased to the point where all walks of life are remembered here. It is supremely impressive to look at. I had no idea that this was on the itinerary and was completely wow’d at the sheer amount of crosses and the attention to detail of many of them. This was probably the highlight of the day in my opinion. We also visited on a sunny day but I can definitely see this place being super creepy on dark cloudy winter day. In fact, it would be the perfect place for a horror movie setting!

Rundale Castle

The next stop was the Rundale Castle, crafted by one of Lithuania’s dukes. It’s a nice palace with a big garden but if you’ve been to the Schonbrunn Palace in Austria , or the Palace of Versailles in France, then this will just look like any other palace.

Rundale Palace

Salaspils Soviet Memorial

The Salaspils Memorial Ensemble was erected where an extended police prison and labour correctional camp of Nazi Germany was located from 1941 to 1945. The memorial consists of a museum housed in a large open-air rectangular structure, and many statues. These statues showcase the struggle of the Latvian people, as well as the stoic might of the Soviet liberators. I found the statues to be a big creepy but overall, the memorial was very unique.

Salaspils Soviet Memorial

The museum inside the wooden building is also quite interesting as it shows the conditions that people had to endure here. A grim view for sure but a reminder of what much of Europe had to endure in the 1940s.

Salaspils Soviet Memorial

After this last memorial, we were only about 20 minutes from Riga where we ended our tour just before 9pm. Just in time for dinner in the city.

Day 4-6: Riga, Latvia

The next part of the itinerary centers around Riga. With around 700,000 people, Riga is the largest city in the Baltics. In its 800 years of turbulent history, everyone from German knights to Swedish kings and Soviet commissars have left their footprints, and today Latvia’s capital is an exciting European metropolis at the crossroads of eastern and northern Europe.

baltic trip student travel

Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage site of cobblestones and breathtaking river views, as well as Europe’s Wifi capital with almost 1,000 spots to get online for free.

The Love Lock bridge in Riga

Walking Tour of Riga

As always, I sought out the free walking tour which is offered by multiple companies at multiple times throughout the day. Our guide was a big quirky taking us too way too many Guild houses that were the meeting points of Latvian fisherman in the past. Nevertheless, we visited all the main churches and buildings of Latvia, and received a lot of history lessons along the way.

Riga's main square

Visit the food market

Riga is an adventure for the taste buds too.  The enormous Central Market  is a treasure trove of earthy sausage, cheese and black bread, smoked fish, and much more. Sample the goods on a picnic in one of Riga’s lovely parks, or enjoy a hearty meal in many great value bistro and cafes.

baltic trip student travel

To wash it down, sample intriguing local beers in the brew pubs along hipster strip Miera iela, or a cocktail with the mysterious Riga Black Balsam in fun-filled bars across town.

Visit St Peter’s Church for Panoramic Views

Like I did for every other Baltic country, I always look for viewing points. St Peter’s Church is the best place to do this in Riga. Located at the top of 9 floors at the spire of St Peter’s church, you have 360 degree views of the city. The entrance fee is €9 and is well worth it.

Views of Riga from the St peter's Church

Rooftop drinks at the Galleria Mall

While most people recommend the rooftop at the Radisson Blu, I would whole-heartedly recommend you skip that and walk down the street to the Galleria Mall. The Radisson Blu is much higher and the view is spectacular but it is enclosed. The rooftop at the Galleria Mall (on the 8th floor) is completely open so you can watch the sunset, feel the air, and an overall much better experience.

Rooftop views of Riga Galleria Mall

Cocktails here are a very reasonable €7.5 and they are delicious. Grab some cocktails and watch the sunset!

Inside of the galleria rooftop Riga

Day 6-8: Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the last stop in the Baltics. From Riga, you can take a quick bus ride or an even quicker plane ride to Tallinn.

The Old Town consists of the Upper Town or Toompea located on a hill, currently housing the parliament and the government of Estonia, and the Lower Town with many wonderful theatres, cafés, restaurants and pubs in addition to its sights. The Old Town is surrounded by the fortifications of the medieval Tallinn city wall and a green area that runs along the former esplanade.

Tallinn City Center

Free walking tour in Tallinn

The free walking tour in Tallinn goes every day and meets in the city center square at multiple times during the day. Starting from May, they meet at 10am, 12pm, and 3pm. As always, I find that free walking tours are always very interesting and this one was no different.

Our guide really knew her stuff and had great stories to tell about the history of Estonia, the culture, language, food etc. The walking tour was about 2 hours and we visited many of the highlights of the city including numerous churches, fortified walls of the city, viewpoints, and much more.

baltic trip student travel

I learned a lot from our guide. Estonia is one of the, if not the least religious countries in the world. The Baltics were one of the last areas of Europe to “convert” to Christianity and Estonia was never really all about it. In fact, after their independence from the Soviet Union, they had plans to take down some of the churches in the city as no one ever used them. They realized they were iconic landmarks to foreign tourists and would be better served as such.

St. Nicolas Church Tallinn Estonia

Visit the Creative neighborhood of Teleskivi

Everyone should pay a visit to the neighborhood of Teleskivi just outside of the old town of Tallinn. Think of this neighborhood as the nouveau, industrial, and ultra hipster neighborhood of Tallinn. There are loads of craft beers, restaurants in converted train cabins, and more.

baltic trip student travel

It was once Soviet origin factories and nowadays is the center of the vibrant artist and startup communities in Estonia. Estonia is the startup capital of Europe nowadays and Tallinn is the epicenter.

Teleskivi Tallinn Estonia

For views, visit the Kohtuotsa Viewing platform

For the best views of the city, head over to the Kohtuotsa Viewing platform. It is completely free and it was part of the walking tour I did. I came back later and spent more time here as the crowds were less. This would also be a great place to bring some drinks and enjoy the sunset over Tallinn’s skyline in the summertime.

Kohtuotsa Viewing platform tallinn estonia viewstallinn es

Day 8: Ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki

The next step on the list is Helsinki, Finland! While Helsinki is not a part of the Baltics but rather Scandinavia, it is super close to Tallinn. From Tallinn, it is just a 2 hour ride to the capital of Finland.

While exploring the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Finland, a unique aspect of Finnish leisure that’s gaining popularity is the concept of  1 euron talletus casino . These online casinos offer the convenience of enjoying a variety of games with a minimal deposit of just one euro. This feature is particularly appealing for those who prefer to experience the thrill of casino gaming without a significant financial commitment. Whether you’re relaxing in your hotel room after a day of sightseeing or enjoying the serene Finnish landscapes, these online casinos provide an accessible and enjoyable form of entertainment at any time.   

Tallink Ferry Tallinn to Helsinki

Which ferry company should I use from Tallinn to Helsinki?

There are three companies that service this route: Viking Line, Eckero, and Tallink . Tallink has the newest boats and is the most expensive, while Eckero is the cheapest. The three companies seem to use the same type of ships which are the size of small cruise ships. They are all car ferries so you’d expect the boats to be large.

I saw pictures of the new Tallink Megastar and it looks absolutely stunning. When looking for tickets, Tallink charged €30-40 per ticket, Viking was €25-30, and Eckero was the cheapest at €20 or so. These prices probably fluctuate greatly but I ended up just booking the cheapest ticket which was with Eckero. You can buy your ticket online or at the ferry terminal.

Ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki Eckero

It is such a short ferry ride that it doesn’t matter what you end up using. Ferries are pretty frequent and you can find one of the companies ships once an hour that do this route.

Ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki Eckero

I was very impressed with the Eckero ferry. I went straight to the top of the boat to the sun deck to enjoy the views. They had a bar outside where I could sample some of the local Finnish beers. There is free wifi but the signal was pretty spotty at best. They also have what looks to be a delicious buffet for €24 per person.

Ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki Eckero

Day 8-10: Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is a beautiful and peaceful capital, famous not only for its history and heritage but for its Old Town, coastline and archipelagos. The city offers a wide range of historic attractions, top museums, art galleries, tours and experiences for everyone to enjoy.

Views of Helsinki Harbor

I was very impressed with Helsinki. It is totally an underrated city that I feel like many people forget about when visiting Europe. When people visit Scandinavia, they tend to gravitate to Oslo or Copenhagen. If they visit the Baltics, then Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania because it is significantly cheaper. Helsinki is kind of somewhere in between. This is good because it means less tourists and especially less drunk Brits on their Stags.

Craft IPAs at Bier Bier in Helsinki

I came away totally impressed with the city. The architecture and buildings are stunning, the streets are super clean and orderly as you would expect from Northern Europeans, and the views from the harbor are fantastic. If Helsinki is the last stop on your Baltic itinerary, one thing to note is that it is considerably more expensive in Finland than it is in the Baltics. Beers are €8-10 on average, and food is twice the price. Starting from Vilnius, you can expect your trip to get gradually more expensive with Finland being the biggest shock to the system.

Helsinki Uspenski Cathedral

Free walking tour of Helsinki

I did the free walking tour with Green Cap tours, which appeared to be the only outfit in Helsinki doing these free walking tours. They only do it once a day at 11am and expect it to be packed. My Finnish guide was one of the most knowledgeable and interesting guys I’ve had. He had a lot to say about Finnish culture, like why the language is so different than their Scandinavian neighbors, the Finn’s obsession with karaoke, and all your standard history tidbits.

Here are some highlights of the  Helsinki Free Walking  by  Green Cap Tours

  • Senate Square
  • Helsinki Cathedral
  • University of Helsinki
  • Wellfare State functions
  • Bank of Finland
  • The Mecca of the Finnish Karaoke Scene
  • Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral
  • Presidential Palace
  • Sauna Centre
  • Market Square
  • Epicenter of National Celebration called Vappu
  • Esplanade Park

baltic trip student travel

Old Market Hall

The old market hall is one of the most popular sights in Helsinki. Located next to the main harbor, come here to sample some delicious local Finnish cuisine like Salmon soup, open faced sandwiches, and Reindeer meat. They also have other cuisines here as well like kebabs and Vietnamese food.

Old Market Hall Food Helsinki Finland

The food is not cheap however, as you can expect to pay upwards of €70/kg of salmon. I sampled a bit of everything from the salmon to the reindeer, but found that the best deal was the Bahn Mi sandwiches at the Vietnamese shop that was only €5.5 per sandwich.

baltic trip student travel

Day trip to Suomenlina

One of the most popular historic attractions in Helsinki is the UNESCO World Heritage Site,  Suomelinna Fortress Island , which played an integral part in the naval history and defense under Swedish, Russian and Finnish rule. A visit to this fascinating island includes a guided tour, three museums, and a submarine! Another historic landmark not to be missed is the stunning  Rock Church  for its awe-inspiring architecture.

Suomenlina Island

The ferry to Suomenlina Island leaves from the Helsinki harbor every 20 minutes and the cost is €5 for roundtrip tickets. Make sure to take the public ferry for the cheapest price as opposed to the smaller boats nearby that advertise this as a tour.

Ferry station for the boat to Suomenlina in Helsinki

Day by Day breakdown of Baltics Itinerary

Here is a day by day breakdown of the Baltics itinerary. It is pretty straight forward trip as it mostly focuses on visiting the big cities.

Day 1: Land in Vilnius to start the trip Day 2: Full day Vilnius Day 3: Full day Vilnius Day 4: Vilnius to Riga full day tour stopping at various locations along the way Day 5: Riga full day Day 6: Riga to Tallinn Day 7: Full day Tallinn Day 8: Tallinn to Helsinki ferry Day 9: Full day Helsinki Day 10: Depart Helsinki

Two week Baltic Itinerary

If I had another 4-5 days, I would structure my trip like this as I could spend more time in some of the smaller cities which also deserve some time:

Day 1: Land in Vilnius to start the trip Day 2: Full day Vilnius Day 3: Full day Vilnius Day 4: Vilnius to Kaunas, spend the night in Kaunus Day 5: Kaunus to Riga, with stops at Hill of Crosses Day 6: Full day in Riga Day 7: Riga to Jurmala beach town Day 8: Riga to Tartu, spend night in Tartu Day 9: Tartu to Tallinn Day 10: Full day in Tallinn Day 11: Full day in Tallinn Day 12: Tallinn to Helsinki Day 13: Full day in Helsinki Day 14:  Helsinki to Turku Day 15: Turku back to Helsinki for a flight home

Combining The Baltics with Russia

I have not visited Russia yet as the visa is a huge pain to obtain but if you have even more time, this itinerary would be perfect in combination with Russia’s highlights including St Petersburg and Moscow. From Tallinn or Helsinki, there are trains and ferries that make the journey into Russia in a matter of hours. I will eventually visit Russia and make another itinerary combining these destinations!

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Any concerns about safety while in the area, given the conflict in Ukraine?

Hi Andrea, I would not be concerned with safety there. It’s an EU country and part of NATO. If Russia actually attacked it would be WW3 and even they are not that stupid.

Hello! I love this post , thank you for writing this up ! What was the name of your tour through Lithuania on your way to Riga? Thank you

Hi Kath, I used Riga Traveller tours as my way to get from city to city. They are fantastic and perfect way to get from one city to the other while seeing some cool stuff in between!

If you go for any tour you have frequently known the place of that country. But for better travelling and also safety purpose you have choose a Transportation service provider company. Last month I had visited for a tour in Latvia through the Riga Airport Transfer company. This company provide best travel & transportation service in Latvia. I had seen many beautiful scenario and enjoy the delicious food of Riga restaurant. This tour is one of the best tour for me because I had comfortably visit all these places.

Nice to come across your blog, very informative. I’m also planning similar route as yours, will it be too tight? I am travelling solo, usually faster pace. Or Do I need to give another 1-2 days more?

Day 1: Arrive Helsinki at 7am Day 2: Fly to Vilnius, arrive 9am Day 3: Vilnius Day 4: Day trip to Kaunas Day 5: Bus to Riga Day 6: Riga Day 7: Bus to Tallinn Day 8: Tallinn (Midnight bus to St Petersburg)

Hi jas, I think this is probably enough but could recommend another day in Helsinki. But if you can’t swing another day, I wouldn’t sweat it!

Thanks Johnny! That’s very helpful, I will find out more for Helsinki.

Sauna is very popular attraction in the Baltics (different from Finnish sauna). Sauna is getting more and more popular among tourists and I personally know foreign tourists who return to Baltics every!! year just to have sauna procedure which usually last for up to 5 hours max for 2 persons and gives absolutely magical bliss, restart of the mind and body and life long memories of this part of the world. Strongly suggested while in these beautiful countries. 🙂

That’s good to know! I didn’t nkow about this and will def look into it next time I’m there.

The World Was Here First

Baltics Travel Guide: Plan Your Visit to the Baltics

baltic trip student travel

There are few areas of the European Union that have been explored less by international visitors than the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. While Tallinn, Estonia has seen a massive influx of tourism in recent years due to its capacity as a cruise ship port and Riga, Latvia has increased in popularity as Ryanair began to offer cheap connections from other major European cities, the rest of the Baltics remain essentially untouched by foreign tourism. The sheer lack of tourist crowds can make travelling in the Baltics an appealing option for those looking to get truly off the beaten path in Europe.

This Baltics travel guide will cover the basic information needed for you to begin to plan your Baltic adventure. Topics including currency, transportation, budget and accommodation information, safety concerns, religious and cultural nuances, and regional cuisine are all things worth considering before you embark upon your journey through these three undiscovered countries.

Disclaimer: This guide contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see our  privacy policy.

Table of Contents

Baltic Countries

Located in Northeastern Europe and bordering Poland to the south, Belarus and Russia to the east and the Baltic Sea to the north, the Baltics countries comprise the nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Distinct in culture and tradition, these countries are great to visit as one block or individually and you can easily spend months exploring and getting to know them.

If you want some country-specific information rather than a more holistic view of the region, you can browse guides and articles specifically for Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania below.

baltic trip student travel

Planning a Baltics Route

Though the Baltics are only comprised of three countries, planning the perfect route through them can actually be quite a bit of an undertaking. While many of those visiting this incredible region will plan to visit only the capital cities of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius and fail to branch further, this is also a huge mistake.

There is so much to see and experience in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that you really need to make sure that you put in a good amount of time to plan your route. While the capitals are lovely, dynamic and diverse and very much worth visiting, you also cannot miss the smaller cities and towns, either.

If you want to plan out the perfect Baltics itinerary to suit your travel style or are unsure which capital city to prioritise then make sure to have a look at our detailed articles below.

Tallinn's Town Hall

The Perfect Baltics Itinerary: Explore Estonia, Latvia, & Lithuania

Lahemaa National Park in Estonia

The Ultimate 5 to 7 Days in Estonia Itinerary

Tallinn's City Walls

Tallinn or Riga or Vilnius: The Best Baltic City to Visit

Places to Visit in the Baltics

While most notable for their capital cities, there is a lot more to the Baltic states than just the major metropolitan areas.

From second cities like Kaunas, Lithuania and Tartu, Estonia to beachy wonders like Liepaja, Latvia or the incredible Curonian Spit in Lithuania, the Baltics have so much to offer visitors beyond the capitals and top tourist sites and it is well worth taking the time to seek them out.

So if you’re trying to figure out where to go in this beautiful region and to step a bit beyond the well-trodden tourist trail, then have a browse through some of the articles below. Here we outline how to dig deeper in the capitals along with what to do in some of the lesser-visited cities!

Baltics Travel Guide

2 to 3 Days in Vilnius Itinerary: Things To Do in Lithuania’s Capital

Baltics Travel Guide

Things To Do In Klaipeda: Lithuania’s Charming Port City

Baltic Travel Itinerary

What To Do In Kaunas: A 2-Day Itinerary

Baltics Travel Guide

Things To Do In Liepaja: A Two-Day Itinerary

3 days in Tallinn itinerary

The Ultimate 2 to 3 Days in Tallinn Itinerary

Beautiful Lahemaa National Park

A Perfect Day Trip to Lahemaa National Park from Tallinn

Sõrve Lighthouse

12 Best Things To Do In Saaremaa, Estonia

Baltics Travel Guide

Best Things To Do In Tartu, Estonia: A 2-Day Itinerary

Parnu Mud Baths

11 Best Things To Do In Parnu, Estonia

The House of the Blackheads in Riga

2 to 3 Days in Riga Itinerary: Things to Do in Latvia’s Capital

View of Kemeri National Park

7 Things To Do In Jurmala & Kemeri: A Day Trip from Riga

Best Time to Visit the Baltics

Elsewhere in Europe we generally recommend travelling the shoulder seasons of March-May and September-October in order to get good weather while avoiding tourist crowds.

However, arguably the best time of year for Baltics travel would be in the high season months of June-August. Because the Baltic nations are so far north, they see disparate temperatures — winter highs fall well below freezing and both autumn and spring and be quite chilly and rainy as well.

If you truly want to get the most out of your Baltics itinerary, going in the summer months is highly recommended, especially if you want to enjoy the pristine coastline and white-sand beaches that rival many of those found in the tropics.

The weather is mild and never gets too hot, but be warned that there are mosquitos! We both were feasted upon while in the Baltics in July, so come armed with some bug spray if you don’t want to be covered in itchy welts for the majority of your holiday.

There aren’t huge tourist crowds in the summer, either, particularly if you venture outside of the capital cities. Another benefit to travelling in the high season vs shoulder or off-seasons is that all of the interesting tourist attractions, museums, and tours will be fully operational.

Many businesses catered toward tourists close from October-May due to a lack of crowds, so if you want to be able to experience everything the Baltic nations have to offer, travelling in summer is the best decision!

There is something to be said for visiting the Baltics in December, however. The snow-covered cities and towns look like something out of a fairytale and there are Christmas markets to rival those of Bavaria — just make sure to bundle up!

Autumn can be another appealing time to visit the Baltic States if you don’t mind a little bit of rain and cold. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are incredibly green countries (all three have gone through a massive period of reforestation since gaining independence from the USSR) and the fall foliage is any nature-lovers dream! Just make sure to pack appropriately.

Old City Walls in Tallinn, Estonia

Cost of Travelling to the Baltics

Just one point on the long list of pros for Baltics travel is that they are quite possibly one of the most affordable regions in the EU. Your money can go a long way in all three countries and the affordability of the region can allow even the most miserly of budget travellers to live a bit more luxuriously.

It is worth noting, however, that prices in the Old Towns of Tallinn and, to a lesser extent, Riga can see prices that are nearly double than what you can find in less touristy areas of the city. These are really the only areas where you might need to penny-pinch.

If you are trying to save money, we recommend staying away from the tourist centres in the capital cities where prices can be very high. Find accommodation outside of the Old Towns and search for restaurants that cater to locals rather than tourists.

This will not only help you stick to a tight budget but will also give you greater insight into how and where residents of whichever city you’re visiting live on a day-to-day basis.

Read More: Baltics Travel: How Much Does it Cost?

Tartu's Main Square

Currency in the Baltics

Unlike travelling in the Balkans or even through Central Europe , where most countries use different currencies, all the countries in the Baltics use the Euro! Estonia was the first to adopt the Euro in 2011 while Latvia and Lithuania followed in 2014 and 2015 respectively making exchanging and converting currency a breeze when travelling through the Baltic states!

ATMs are also prevalent and easy to find wherever you may be in the Baltics so you should have no problem withdrawing cash, and it is always preferable to go with this route rather than relying on exchange booths with their less-than-savoury rates and fees. It is recommended that you find a debit card that refunds ATM fees and doesn’t charge for foreign transactions.

Credit cards are also widely accepted in most major establishments, which eliminates the need to carry large sums of cash at all. Again, just make sure that your card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and you should have a seamless and affordable trip to the Baltic states!

Riga Cathedral

Baltic Cuisine

Baltic food is incredibly diverse and draws significant influences from its neighbours including Russia, Poland and Nordic countries.

Plenty of dishes you’ll encounter during your Baltics travel will be very similar to other Eastern European countries such as potatoes, pelmeni (dumplings), rye bread, dairy products and soups.

What sets the Baltic states apart from other Eastern European countries is their geographic location on the Baltic Sea meaning there is plenty of fish incorporated into their diet, such as smoked salmon and pickled herring!

Apart from standard drinks such as beer and vodka, it’s worth sampling local spirits such as Black Balsam (herbal liqueur) in Latvia, Vana Tallin (rum liqueur) in Estonia and Krupnikas (honey liqueur) in Lithuania. Fermented soft drinks made from rye bread known as Kvass in Latvia and Gira in Lithuania are also worth trying and taste similar to root beer.

For those that are interested, Estonia, in particular, has a thriving craft beer scene that can rival some of the most established further west. If you are a fan of a craft brew, Estonia is the place to go for fantastic and innovative beers that can be found throughout the country.

Read More: A Traveller’s Guide To Latvian Food And Drink

A typical meal in Riga, Latvia

Transportation in the Baltics

Whether you want to rely on public transport for the entirety of your trip or would rather have the ease and flexibility of a rental car, there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, whilst trains do exist for some routes, generally, it is more convenient and practical to use buses when travelling between Baltic countries.

Lux Express is the main bus company that operates routes between the Baltic States and Poland. Their buses are fantastic and very comfortable and offer amenities such as individual TV screens, WIFI, hot drinks and plenty of legroom! Furthermore, as the three Baltic states are part of the Schengen Area border crossings are seamless! You can book bus tickets for the Baltics here.

It is worth noting that, especially in summer, buses can book out early so it is good practice to book at least a couple of days in advance. This can save money as well, as it is usually cheaper to book online as many travel deals are offered. If you know which days you are planning on moving from city to city, this is a great option.

When moving between cities within one country during your Baltics travel, it’s worth investigating whether buses or trains are best for your route. Buses usually have the most extensive network however in some countries, particularly Latvia, there is a great train network for moving between the major cities surrounding Riga.

Though the public transit between cities in the Baltics is frequent and reliable, if you want to venture into more rural parts of the country or just don’t want to be at the mercy of bus timetables, it can be very worth renting a car.

A mermaid basks in the sunshine on Klaipeda's riverfront

Accommodation in the Balkans

One minor inconvenience of Baltics travel a budget backpacker might find is that there is a lack of hostels outside of the bigger cities.

This, however, doesn’t mean that there is a shortage of budget accommodation in the Baltics. Airbnb rentals are prevalent, and there are also more traditional guesthouses and BnBs in most larger towns and cities that can be an affordable accommodation option.

One thing to keep in mind if you happen to be travelling in the high season is to make sure to book a bit in advance, especially in the capitals and coastal towns as the best places tend to book out early.

If you’re looking for accommodation in either Riga or Vilnius, then you also happen to be in luck as we have written detailed guides outlining different areas to stay and options including hostels, Airbnbs and budget, mid-range, and luxury hotels! Browse the articles below to find your ideal accommodation in these Baltic capitals.

The Nativity Cathedral in Riga

Where to Stay in Riga, Latvia: The Best Areas & Hotels

3 Days in Vilnius Itinerary

Where to Stay in Vilnius: The Best Areas and Hotels

Language in the Baltics

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Baltic countries went through a process of reinstating their national language as the official language of their country. Latvian and Lithuanian are Indo-European languages that share similarities while Estonian is more closely related to Finnish.

The second language for many people from the Baltics is Russian, particularly for older people that went to school during the Soviet occupation. In some cities, particularly those closer to the Russian border, the main language will actually be Russian rather than the Baltic equivalent.

There is a higher Russian population in Latvia and Estonia than in Lithuania and you are more likely to hear Russian being spoken in these two countries than in Lithuania, with the possible exception of the Curonian Spit, which shares a border with Russia and therefore receives a fair amount of Russian tourism.

If you do speak Russian and want to use it to communicate in the Baltics, it is worth knowing that some people might prefer that you speak English to them first . Baltic people from all three countries are very proud of their national identity and don’t necessarily want to be associated with Russia today — including in language.

Younger people and those living in the capital cities will be more likely to be able to speak some English while German will also be common in some parts of the Baltic states.

Lithuania's Curonian Spit

Religion in the Baltics

Though the general public and governments of the Baltic nations are largely secular, religion is a very important topic to discuss as there is a lot of diversity in the region.

The majority of people from the Baltic states subscribe to a particular form of Christianity. In Lithuania, the majority of people are Catholic, in Latvia, there is a more diverse mix of Lutherans, Catholics and Orthodox Christians while Estonia is predominately a mix of Lutherans and Orthodox Christians.

Many younger people, in particular, don’t see religion as a significant part of their lives. As an example, Estonia has one of the largest per capita populations of people who don’t believe in God.

Baltic Travel Itinerary

Travelling through the Baltics is a wonderful, rewarding experience that is sure to delight all those who try it. There is so much to see, do and experience that you’re certain to be astounded by just how much these small countries have to offer.

From dynamic cities to white sand beaches to medieval castles, the Baltics can encapsulate a quintessential European experience with a fraction of the tourist crowds of Western European destinations.

Great Journeys 101

Discovering the highlights of the Baltics in an epic itinerary

Share the best places to visit in the baltics.

Last updated on: 4 February 2024

Welcome to the ultimate itinerary of the highlights of the Baltics! I traveled through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in a little over 2 weeks and got to see many beautiful cities and landscapes. In this article I tell you all you need to know about planning your own adventure. It is best done as road trip, but is also possible with public transportation. Let’s go!

Table of Contents

Map of the baltics with all sights of this itinerary, why visit the baltics: a surprising corner of europe.

A (logical) question I often get s “what are the Baltic states?”. They are three distinct countries, namely Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia .

Another question I get often is “Are Baltics Slavic?”. The answer is no, because they have their distinct identity and history. Estonians are closer to Finns culturally, whereas Latvians and Lithuanians share some similarities but are rather unique. As in most things, however, things are not black and white.

The countries are home to three vibrant and distinct capitals to discover. The capital of Estonia, Tallinn , is the most popular of them. it is closely followed by the capital of Latvia, Riga . The capital of Lithuania, Vilnius is the least visited of the three. These cities alone are a good reason to visit the Baltics, but there is much more to see. 

Day 1-2: Vilnius, Lithuania

The capital of Lithuania is actually not that big; only 550 thousand people call it home. It is a great starting point for a more extensive visit to the Baltic States. In this Vilnius itinerary you will find a lot of great things to see in this quiet yet charming capital.

The Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral, Lithuania, and the Cathedral building at dusk. It is one of ght highlights of the Baltics.

Day 2: Trakai Castle, Kernavė & Kaunas, Lithuania

Trakai castle: one of the absolute highlights of the baltics.

On this day, we picked up our rental car from the airport and drove to Trakai Island Castle , one of the highlights of this Baltic road trip itinerary. The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by the medieval ruler of Kęstutis. Around 1409, major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430.

Trakai was one of the main centers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and therefore had great strategic importance. The castle was rebuilt in the 1950s–1960s. Inside the castle complex you will find a courtyard with various food stalls and events taking place. It was very lively and just a fun thing to do for a couple of hours. You can also take a scenic boat ride at the lake.

Trakai island castle, Lithuania. View from the pier.

Kernave: One of Lithuania's most historic places

From Trakai, a 35-minute drive brought us to Kernavė Archaeological Site , also known as Cultural Reserve of Kernavė (see opening hours ). 

This place is a testimony to some 10 thousand years of human presence in the region. It is situated in the valley of the river Neris and contains a number of interesting sights: the town of Kernavė, forts, some unfortified settlements, burial sites and other archaeological, historical and cultural monuments from the late Palaeolithic Period to the Middle Ages.

The site has preserved traces of ancient land use. It also contains the remains of five hill forts, which were part of a large defense system. Kernavė was an important feudal town in the Middle Ages. The Teutonic Order destroyed the town in the late 14th century. Nonetheless, the site remained in use until modern times.

Kernave fort and Neris river, Lithuania

Kaunas: Lithuania's scenic second largest city

Early in the afternoon, we continued to Kaunas . This is a 1-hour drive from Kernavė. Kaunas has around 300 thousand inhabitants but most sights ae concentrated in a relatively small area. The city deserves a place in your Baltic states travel itinerary and it is convenient located, too. A full day will give you a good idea of the city. In Kaunas, we visited the following:

  • Laisves Aleja (Freedom Avenue)
  • Town Hall Square with a lot of iconic architecture
  • Santakos Park , where river Neman joins river Neris.
  • Kaunas Castle , dating from the the 14th century.
  • Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul , an impressive Gothic cathedral featuring a lavishly appointed interior with gold leaf details.
  • Church of Vytautas the Great , a Roman Catholic church in the Old Town of Kaunas. It is one of the oldest churches in the city and a very important example of Gothic architectur e in Lithuania.

Colorful houses and cobblestone street along Valančiaus street in Kaunas, Lithuania.

A fun and different thing to do is visiting Devil’s Museum (Žmuidzinavičius Museum; opening hours ). It contains a collection of 3,000+ devil sculptures and carvings from around the globe.

Another interesting place outside the city  Kaunas Fortress . It was constructed and renovated between 1882 and 1915 to protect the Russian Empire’s western borders. It was also a place of execution by the Nazis during World War II. Today, it houses exhibits and memorials about the Holocaust .

Last but not least, I also recommend visiting Pazaislis Monastery , about 10 km (6 miles) from the city center. 

Overall, visiting Kaunas is one of the best things to do in the Baltics. The city has a rich history and attractions to keep you busy.

Lithuania - Kaunas - Pazaislis Monastery 1 RF R

Best hotels in Kaunas

The city has a fair share of great and economical accommodations. I recommend the following:

  • Hotel Kaunas
  • Boheme House
  • Very Bad Hootel (it’s not bad at all, I promise 😀  )

How to get around

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By public transportation : You can easily get from Vilnius to Kaunas directly by train. The duration is 1 hour and 15 minutes.  You can book your tickets here .

Getting to Trakai from Vilnius is also very easy by train. The journey takes 35 minutes. You can then continue to Kaunas by train (you will need to switch trains at Paneriai station).  Unfortunately, you will have to skip Kernavė if you are coming by train, or visit it as a day trip from Vilnius on another day.

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By car : The drive from Vilnius to Trakai takes 30-35 minutes. It is another 35 minutes to Kernavė and an additional hour from Kernavė to Kaunas. A good part of the route between Kernavė and Kaunas is highway.

Day 3: Kaunas to Klaipėda, Lithuania

A city with a german past.

We left Kaunas early in the morning and drove to Klaipėda . It is the main port in Lithuania and its the sea plays an important role in its economy. The city hosts annual summer Sea Festivals and biennial Tall Ships regattas. 

Ever since the Teutonic Knights established the city as as Memelburg in the year 1252, the city has been different from the rest of Lithuania. Germans ruled Klaipėda together with the rest of Lithuania Minor. That area includes the southwestern edge of modern Lithuania as well as a big part of modern Kaliningrad.

The name “Klaipėda” first appeared in the 16th century. It is likely a pejorative term, meaning “bread eater”. This refers to the fact that city dwellers, who were mostly non-Lithuanian, ate bread grown by the Lithuanians of surrounding countryside.

Traditional colorful house on Aukštoji street in Klaipeda, Lithuania

Right before the Second World War, 70% of Klaipėda’s inhabitants were Germans, whereas in the surrounding Klaipėda County 70% of the population were ethnic Lithuanians. Germans had to flee the city to escape the Soviet armies in 1945.

After the war, Russians (22%), Russophones (5%) and Lithuanians from elsewhere (72%) repopulated Klaipėda. Unfortunately, a few of its iconic German-style buildings that survived the war were torn down soon afterwards. This included all the imposing churches, especially Saint John church, which had the tallest spire in Lithuania. Nonetheless, much more of the city’s German heritage remains visible in Klaipėda compared to other nearby cities like Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg) or Sovetsk (formerly Tilsit) in Russia.

Klaipėda Drama Theatre in Lithuania.

Pretty architecture, sea and unique sculptures in Klaipeda

We spent almost a full day in Klaipėda and we visited the following:

  • Friedrich Passageway : Why Friedrich? Because it was in June 1692, during the rule of Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, that this place received official permission to be called Friedrich town (Friedrichsstadt).

Old brick houses in Klaipeda, Lithuania

  • Black Ghost Statue (Juodasis Vaiduoklis): a rather creepy statue of a hooded ghost, which hauls itself up from the water.
  • Swinging Bridge : This is also known as the Chain Bridge and is a hand-operated metal bridge over the castle site moat.  It is the only mechanism of this kind in Lithuania. The bridge was built in 1855.
  • Meridianas Ship : This is a training sailing ship, built in 1948 in Turku shipyard (Finland). It was a contribution to the Soviet Union after the Second World War II. Today it houses a restaurant.

Meridianas ship, Klaipeda, Lithuania on a sunny day

  • Memel Castle ruins : It is an archeological site and museum in a castle built by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutons called the castle Memelburg or Memel. This is actually how Klaipėda was known until 1923, when Lithuanian military forces took over the city. The castlefirst appears in written sources in 1252. Since 2002 there has been a museum under one of its bastions. 
  • Sculpture Park : A rather unusual and quirky park close to the center of the city. It is an open-air gallery of modern Lithuanian sculpture, founded in 1977. Today it hosts 116 sculptures by 67 Lithuanian artists occupying an area of 12 hectares. In 1820, the central cemetery of the city opened on this site. The monument to those buried before 1944 is also visible in the park. The rebels who died during the battle of Klaipėda’s annexation to Lithuania are also buried there.

baltic trip student travel

Best hotels in Klaipeda

Here are my recommendations, based on own experience and my contacts’ reviews:

  • Dangė Hotel
  • VICTORIA Hotel Klaipėda

Getting around

By public transportation : You can take a bus from Kaunas to Klaipėda. The journey takes 2 hours and 45 minutes and you can find the schedule here .

Another way to get there is by train. The journey takes approximately 4.5-5 hours and you will have to switch trains in Šiauliai. You can find the train schedules here .

By car : It takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach Klaipėda by car from Kaunas. The distance is 215 km (134 miles) and it is a good-quality highway.

Day 4: Curonian Spit National Park, Lithuania

A world heritage site of astounding beauty.

The Curonian Spit is a unique sandy and wooded cultural landscape and without a doubt of our Baltic road trip itinerary. Why is it described as a “cultural” landscape? This is because the Spit was formed by the sea, wind and human activity in the course of millennia. This interaction between humans and nature shaped the Curonian Spit cultural landscape.

The Curonian Spit started forming some 5,000 years ago. At the time, a narrow peninsula separated the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon. The peninsula was 98 km (60 miles) in length and 0.4-3.8 km (0.2-2.5 miles) in width and is also called the Great Dune Ridge. Forest covered most of it initially. However, after intensive logging in the 17th and 18th centuries, the dunes began moving towards the Curonian Lagoon. They buried the oldest settlements in the process.

baltic trip student travel

In the 19th century dune stabilization works began, and have continued ever since. By the end of the 19th century, a protective dune ridge was formed along the seashore. This prevented inland sand migration. The Great Dune Ridge was reinforced using trees and brushwood hedges.

Today, forests and sand dominate the Curonian Spit. Eight small settlements cover just about 6% of the land. The Curonian Spit is a great example of the harmonious coexistence between humans. 

Admiring unique sculptures on the Hill of Witches

We left Klaipėda in the morning and took the ferry to the other side of the channel to Smiltynė. After a short drive from there we reached the entrance of the Curonian Spit National Park.

Be aware that there is an entrance fee if you are coming by car. The fee is rather steep at 30 Euro during the high season (20 June to 20 August), but only 5 Euro outside this period. You can pay by cash or card.

Our first stop in the National Park was the Hill of Witches . This is a sculpture park in a forest near the village of Juodkrantė, a seaside village just across the water from the city of Klaipėda. Juodkrantė is one of the most popular destinations for Lithuanians. Here you will find around 80 wooden sculptures, some of them dating back to 1979. The carvings relate to the pagan traditions and the Midsummer Night’s Eve festivities that take place every June on the hill, which are still widely celebrated in Lithuania.

Wooden sculpture of a witch at the Hill of Witches at the Curonian Spit in Lithuania.

Climbing the Grey Dunes

Driving south for another 10 minutes will bring you to the Grey Dunes . This is a great spot for bird watching, being home to the largest colony of grey herons and cormorants in Lithuania.

People walking on dunes in the Curonian Spit, Lithuania. Forests and the Baltic Sea in the background.

Nida: a picturesque town by the Curonian Lagoon

If you continue south for another 15 minutes by car, you will reach the picturesque and vibrant town of Nida . This is perhaps the most beautiful and characteristic town on the Curonian Spit. It is dotted with traditional wooden houses with façades decorated with colorful ethnographic motives. It also has a pretty beach facing the Curonian lagoon. The town offers enough to do to keep you busy for a day or two. Here are a few ideas:

Thomas Mann Memorial Museum  ( opening hours ): Thomas Mann (1875–1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist. He was also the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. He came to Nida back in the 1930s and liked the place so much that he decided to build a summer house here for him and his family. The museum bearing his name now houses old photos, books, memoirs and documents about his work.

Colorful wooden house in Nida, Curonian Spit, Lithuania

Fisherman’s Ethnographic Homestead  ( opening hours ): This restored building is a great representation of the 19th-century traditional fisherman’s home. The museum exhibits relics and artefacts about the life and trade of fisherman from the area.

Amber Gallery-Museum  ( opening hours ): based in a traditional fisherman’s house, showcasing a number of wonderful and unique Baltic amber pieces.

Climbing the Gigantic Parnidis Dune : This is a 7 km (4.3 miles) long golden sand dune that stretches across the border with Kaliningrad, Russia. You will first have to climb 180 steep steps to reach the top. When you reach the top, make sure you follow the wooden path and don’t stray away from it into the sand in order to protect the area. From the top, you will enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Parnidis dune near Nida, Curonian Spit, Lithuania.

If you feel like swimming, a short drive will bring you to the opposite side of the Curonian Spit facing the Baltic Sea. The vast sandy beach there is a great place to relax.

People on a beach at the Baltic Sea near Nida, Curonian Spit, Lithuania

Last but not least, do not forget to try the delicious smoked fish at one of the restaurants by the Curonian Lagoon in the town of Nida. It tastes much better than it looks, I promise. 😉

Smoked fish hanging in Nida, Curonian Spit, Lithuania

Bonus: Lithuanian Sea Museum & a cute traditional village

Later in the afternoon, we drove back to the ferry terminal in Smiltynė to get back to Klaipėda. If you have some time left, it is worth taking a small detour north to visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum ( opening hours ). The museum has a aquariums where you can see dolphin shows, sea lions and other historical exhibits.

Shortly before you reach the museum, you will also find a folk village . If you are lucky, you can meet some of the residents, like I did. 🙂

Folk village near Smiltyne, Curonian Spit, Lithuania

All in all, the Curonian Spit is a must-see if you visit Lithuania and I can certainly say that it was one of the absolute highlights of the Baltics.

By public transportation : Ferries from Klaipėda to Smiltynė and Curonian Spit depart from two different ferry ports: The Old Ferry port (passenger ferry and people with bikes), and The New Ferry port (car transport ferry). You can find the ferry schedules here .

By car : The drive from Klaipėda to Nida town, at the border with Russia, is about 52km (32 miles) and takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes, including the ferry crossing. The road is of good quality. Just make sure to take enough breaks on the way to admire the scenery.

Day 5: Klaipėda, Lithuania to Riga, Latvia

Reconnecting with nature at samogitia national park..

We left Klaipėda in the morning. It was going to be a long day but with great sights on the way. An hour and 15 minutes later we arrived at Žemaitija (Samogitia) National Park . “Žemaitija” means “lowlands” in Lithuanian. Samogitians, a Lithuanian cultural subgroup with a distinct identity, inhabit the area. 

Žemaitija National Park is worth spending a day or two just relaxing in nature. Lake Plateliai dominates the area and you can also rent a boat there. We had a very pleasant short visit, before continuing to our next stop. 

Boats in Lake Plateliai in Žemaitija National Park on a sunny summer day

Hill of Crosses: an unusual religious site

Driving for another 1.5 hour towards the northeast will bring you to the Hill of Crosses . This is a site of pilgrimage about 12 km (7.5 miles) north of the city of Šiauliai. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is not known. Even if you are not religious, this unusual place deserves a stop in your Baltic road trip itinerary.

The first crosses possibly appeared on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising. Over the next two centuries, Catholic pilgrims brought statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries. The exact number of crosses is unknown but there are possibly more than 100,000 of them.

Hill of Crosses near the Lithuanian city of Šiauliai, Lithuania

Rundale Palace Museum: entering Latvia in Baroque style

Driving north for another hour brought us to Rundāle Palace Museum ( opening hours ), very close to the Lithuanian-Latvian border. This is one of the two major baroque palaces built for the Dukes of Courland. The other palace is Jelgava Palace. The palace was built in two periods, from 1736 until 1740 and from 1764 until 1768.

In 1735 Duke of Courland Ernst Johann von Biron approved the design of Bartolomeo Rastrelli to be used for the new palace. After Biron’s fell from grace in 1740, the palace stood unfinished and empty until 1762, when Biron returned from his exile. The palace was finished in 1768 under the supervision of Rastrelli. German rococo sculptor and painter Johann Michael Graff produced lavish stucco decorations for the palace during this time. Ernst Johann von Biron often visited the palace and spent summers there until his death in 1772.

The façade of Rundale Palace Museum on a sunny day, Latvia

During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the palace was used as a hospital for Napoleon’s army. At the end of the 19th century, the palace and park were restored and reconstructed. During World War I, the German army established a hospital and a commandant’s office there. The palace suffered serious damage in 1919 during the Latvian War of Independence and again during World War II. 

In 1972, Rundāle Palace Museum was opened its doors. Since then, the state has funded restoration works at different times. Today, the palace is one of the major tourist destinations in Latvia. It also functions as the accommodation of notable guests, such as the leaders of foreign nations. 

Inside Rundale Palace Museum, Latvia. Frescoes on ceiling and golden decoration.

By public transportation : It is easy to get to Rundāle from Riga , if you make this a day trip from the Latvian capital. You can find detailed instructions here .

Day 6-7: Riga, Latvia

Riga is the capital of Latvia and is home to more than 620 thousand people, a third of Latvia’s population. Riga is the largest city in the three Baltic states and there is a lot to see and do. Therefore, it is an essential part of a complete Baltic countries itinerary and deserves at least two full days. 

The city was founded in 1201 and was a member of the Hanseatic League. Its historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains noted a lot of Art Nouveau architecture as well as 19th century wooden architecture. There is so much to experience in the city. In this Riga itinerary you will find everything you need to know!

If you have limited time, you can take a direct bus from Vilnius to Riga. Flixbus serves this route and it is very convenient.

House of the Blackheads in Riga Town Hall Square, Latvia. Roland's Statue on the left.

Day 8: Day trip to Kuldiga, Ventspils and Jurmala, Latvia

Kuldiga: an 800-year old town.

Kuldīga is a town in western Latvia and has a long history. It appeared in written records in 1242 and joined the Hanseatic League in 1368. The town has distinctive architecture and is an easy day trip from Riga.

The small river Alekšupīte runs through the center of the old town, along the walls of the houses. The Old Town around the small river itself is the only remaining 17th–18th-century ensemble of this kind in the Baltic states. An iconic building is Saint Catherine church , dating from 1252.

Colorful houses in the center of Kuldiga, Latvia, on a sunny summer day.

When in Kuldīga, do not miss the Venta Rapid . This is a 240-meter (787 ft) wide natural rapid and actually the widest in Europe.

Venta Rapid, the widest waterfall in Europe in Kuldiga, Latvia

Not far from the rapid is the Kuldīga brick bridge built in 1874, one of the longest bridges of this type in Europe. There are well-maintained walking trails on the banks of the Venta River. 

Kuldīga has a great restaurant and café culture and is just a very pleasant and lively town. Do try to visit it when in Latvia ! 

Relaxing on the Latvian Baltic coast in Jurkalne

From Kuldīga, we continued our trip to Jūrkalne . It is a very scenic location with dense forests and a beautiful coastline to relax by the sea and enjoy relaxing hikes.

Sandy beach at Jurkalne, latvia. Baltic Sea in the background.

Learning about Livonian heritage in Ventspils

In the afternoon, we started making our way back to Riga. We first drove north along the coast until we reached the city of Ventspils . The city’s name literally means “castle on the Venta” and refers to the Livonian Order’s castle built alongside the Venta River. Ventspils Castle (Livonian Order Castle; opening hours ) was an interesting place to lean more about the area’s Livonian past.

The Livonian Order was a military order of crusading knights established during the Northern Crusades. These were crusades between the 12th an 15th century that were fought against pagan tribes in Northern Europe.

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Walks and and dinner in Jurmala: Latvia's premier resort city

We started making our way back to Riga, but first stopped at Jūrmala to see why this town is so popular. It is a resort town about about 25 kilometers (16 miles) west of Riga. It has a 33 kilometer (21 miles) stretch of white-sand beach and a population of approximately 50 thousand people. It has plenty of restaurants, shops and accommodation options. Many Latvians like to plan a Jurmala day trip on weekends, to relax by the sea. I saw plenty of families when I visited.

People at the sandy beach of Jurmala, Latvia.

While Latvia was part of the Soviet Union, Jūrmala was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials. It was a favorite of particularly Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. Many amenities such as beach-houses and concrete hotels remain, since Jūrmala is still a tourist attraction. It has many cute wooden houses in the art nouveau style.

I got the feeling that a lot of (Latvian) Russians were visiting the city and the atmosphere just felt different. It was a nice stop to experience the atmosphere, but we were glad to leave for Riga in the evening.

The colorful Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Kazan Dzintari in Jurmala, Latvia

By public transportation : It is best to do this day trip by car. However, if you only want to go to Jūrmala, you can easily reach it by train from Riga and could make this a day trip. You can check this website for the train schedule.

Kuldiga can be reached by bus as well. Here you can find the schedules.

Day 9: Riga to Cēsis | Gauja National Park, Latvia

Beautiful panoramic views from turaida castle.

We left Riga in the morning and headed northeast. Our first stop was the town of Sigulda , about one hour driving from Riga. Sigulda is a pleasant and walkable town where you can easily spend a couple of hours. 

Our first stop in Sigulda was the  Castle Of The Livonian Order . It is actually the remains of a 13th-century castle with restored walls. You can get nice views from there and there is also the possibility to do a guided tour.

Turaida Castle in Sigulda, latvia, on a sunny summer day

A couple of kilometers further you will find Paradise Hill , where you can enjoy very pleasant views of the surrounding wooded area and Gauja River.

At the other side of the river do not miss Turaida Castle and Museum Reserve ( opening hours ). This is a 42-hectare museum park about Latvian history and culture. It contains a sculpture park and a castle and also hosts folk song events.

Relaxing walks and a bit of archaeology

Continuing east-northeast towards Cēsis brought us to Līgatne Nature Trails . This is a great area for hiking and highly recommended if you have an extra day to spend in the area.

We contunued heading towards Cēsis where we would spend the night. On the way, we briefly stopped at Āraiši Windmill to take a look of the structure and surrounding area. The windmill dates from 1852 and is the only windmill in Latvia at working order.

Man on wheelchair outside Araisi windmill in Latvia

If you are in Āraiši, I highly recommend visiting nearby lake dwelling Archaeological Park  ( opening hours ). It contains original and reconstructed remains of a Latgalian fortified settlement on the island of Āraiši lake. The original settlement dates from the 9th to 10th century. It was a very special place to visit and they have done a very good job reconstructing the settlement.

Araisi lake in Latvia.

Cesis: a scenic town to spend the night

We spent the night in Cesis, a town of around 15 thousand people. It has beautiful architecture and very relaxed vibes.

Cesis castle and St. John’s Church (Cēsu Sv. Jāņa evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca) in cesis, Latvia.

Best accommodation in Cesis

Hotel Cesis is the way to go! it is an excellent place for a decent price. You can book it here .

By public transportation : It is easy to get to Cēsis by train from Riga. You can find the train schedule here .

Day 10: Gauja National Park, Latvia | Tartu, Estonia

Spending the morning in pristine nature.

On this day, we spent a few hours just exploring more of Gauja National Park on foot before continuing our journey. This website about the national park has a nice selection of trails of varying difficulty. 

Forest at Gauja national park in Latvia.

Overnight in Tartu, a lively student town

Early in the afternoon we made our way to Tartu , Estonia. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive there and the distance is approximately 175 km (109 miles). We settled in our hotel and started exploring the town late in the afternoon.

Tartu is a student city and is a very lively place, even though it is home to only 93 thousand people. If you have some extra time, it is worth adding Tartu to your Baltic road trip itinerary. When in Tartu, do not miss the following:

  • Kissing Students sculpture and fountain : located in front of Town Hall Square, this structure is one of the most recognized symbols of Tartu. The fountain dates from 1948 and newlyweds like to visit it in the belief that they will find luck.

The Kissing Students' sculpture and fountain in Tartu, Estonia, in front of the city government building

  • AHHAA Science Center : currently the largest science center in the Baltic states. AHHAA was established to promote science and technology by using interactive exhibits. You can find the opening hours here .
  • Estonian National Museum ( opening hours ): Founded 1909, the museum tracks the history, life and traditions of the Estonian people as well as other Finno-Ugric peoples and minorities in Estonia. It has an extensive collection of traditional Estonian national costumes from all regions of the country.
  • Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu

If you are with a family, it is worth checking out the Toy Museum ( opening hours ). This is the biggest toy museum in the Baltic States with over 5,000 toys. It also has several interactive toys for the visitors to try out, as well as a playroom for children.

Wall art in Tartu, Estonia

Best hotels in Tartu

Lydia Hotel is excellent and the price is fair. You can book it here .

If you would rather have more autonomy, R64 Premium Apartments is a fantastic choice.

By public transportation : From Cēsis, you can take a train to Valga. From there, you switch to another train to Tartu.

There are also buses that take you to Tartu with a stopover in Valmieras.

Day 11: Tartu to Pärnu, Estonia

Viljandi: a scenic castle town in central estonia.

We spent the morning in Tartu exploring more of the sights mentioned above. Around lunchtime, we started making our way west. We were going to spend the night in Pärnu, but there are a few places of interest to check on the way.

Our first stop was the scenic town of Viljandi . It is the capital of Viljandi County and halfway between Tartu and Pärnu. The town wfirst appeared in written records in 1283, when Wilhelm von Endorpe granted it its town charter. He was the master of the Order of Livonia from 1281 to 1287.

The main sight in the town are the ruins of Viljandi Castle which dates from the 13th century. The Livonian Order erected the castle in place of a former hillfort. It suffered serious damage during the Polish-Swedish wars in the early 17th century. 

View of lake Viljandi from Viljandi castle ruins, Estonia, on a cloudy summer day

Soomaa National Park: small but spectacular

We continued west and took rural road 151, which brought us to Soomaa National Park . It was created in 1993 and is mostly covered with large mires (swamplands). There are well-defined walking trails that let you follow a circular route and admire this wonderful little piece of nature. It was definitely one of the highlights of this Baltics road trip!

Soomaa national park in Estonia. Reflection of sky and clouds on a small blue lake.

Relaxing at the beach and enjoying Estonian cuisine in Parnu

We then made our way to Pärnu , where we arrived early in the evening. Pärnu is a popular summer holiday resort with many hotels, restaurants, and large beaches. We had an excellent meal at restaurant Hea Maa and walked downtown a bit until we reached the gorgeous sandy beach.

Monumental buildings in the center of Parnu, Estonia

Best accommodations in Parnu

Boutique Hotel Rosenplänter is highly rated and has a very intimate atmosphere. Highly recommended!

Villa Ammende is another option with a more traditional character.

If you want to stay right at the beach, Hedon Spa & Hotel is the ultimate choice.

By public transportation : You can get from Tartu to Viljandi and from Viljandi to Pärnu easily by bus. On this website you can plan your route. To get to Soomaa National Park, I recommend renting  a car.

Day 12-14 Saaremaa island, Estonia

A brief stop on muhu island.

We left Pärnu around lunchtime and started driving west/northwest. After about 50 minutes we reached the ferry terminal in Virtsu . From there, you can catch the frequent ferry ( timetables here ) to Muhu island. A road connects Muhu to Saaremaa. 

We had to wait for a bit at the ferry terminal, but there is a café there, so you can grab something to drink or eat. The ferry journey lasted approximately 30 minutes. 

Upon reaching Muhu island, our first stop was Muhu Village Museum ( opening hours ) in Koguva village. It is a 10-minute drive from the ferry terminal. The museum contains some traditional-style houses and it was worth a short visit. 

Traditional house with thatched roof in Muhu village museum, Estonia

Orthodox religion traces & an impressive crater lake

Around lunchtime, we continued to Kuressaare, the capital of Saaremaa. We took a longer route, covering the north coast of Saaremaa. We stopped at a scenic spot in the north coast to have lunch, then we drove to the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity in Ööriku . 

We continued south and reached Kaali Crater after 15-20 minutes. Kaali is a group of nine meteorite craters and it is likely a result of a direct meteor impact between 1530 and 1450 BC. This is one of the few impact sites so close to a populated area.

The crater lake in Kaali, Saaremaa island, Estonia

Exploring Kuressaare, the cute capital of Saaremaa

We continued to Kuressaare where we settled and walked around a bit. Kuressaare Castle ( opening hours ) is the highlight of the town. The castle was originally constructed in the 14th century by the Livonian Order. The main building was completed in 1380.  

Kuressaare Castle is a typical example of medieval fortress architecture. It features thick stone walls, turrets, and a distinctive layout common to medieval castles. The castle served both military and administrative purposes. It was a stronghold for the Livonian Order and later served as the residence for the bishops of Saare-Lääne. 

Kuressaare castle reflection on the water at dawn in Saaremaa, Estonia

In the 18th century, the castle lost its military significance, and during the 19th century, it underwent a significant restoration. The castle was adapted for use as a spa hotel and sanatorium during the Soviet era.

Today, Kuressaare Castle houses the Saaremaa Museum, which showcases the history and culture of Saaremaa. In the museum you will find artifacts about the island’s history, such as items from the medieval period, ethnographic displays, and more.

Kuressaare Castle in Saaremaa, Estonia

We then looked for a restaurant for dinner. Another satisfying day was over, but the best in Saremaa was yet to come!

Be sure to reserve a restaurant beforehand, as it can get busy during the high season. We ended up looking for more than an hour.

A scenic road trip around Saaremaa island

On the second day of our stay in Saaremaa, we drove around the island in a counterclockwise loop.

We first drove north to Angla Windmill Park . Angla windmills are typical trestle windmills and are characteristic of the island of Saaremaa (see previous photo). They are more than a hundred years old.

From Angla we drove west to Panga Cliff . The drive takes approximately half an hour. Panga cliff is the highest bedrock outcrop in western Estonia. Its maximum height is 21.3 meters (70 ft) and it runs for about 2.5 km (1.5 mile). Panga cliff is right on the coast, cropping up like a wall. Its highest point was an ancient sacrifice site. At Panga you can enjoy the sunset or just have a picnic and observe birdlife. You will also find a dolomite sundial.

Rough sea on a windy day in Panga cliff, Saaremaa, Estonia

From Panga we made our way west/southwest towards Vilsandi National Park . There we relaxed for a bit before continuing south. 

Coast of west Saaremaa island in Estonia. Baltic sea in the background.

We drove for about an hour and reached to the southern tip of Saaemaa island, where Sõrve Lighthouse ( opening hours ) stands. For a small fee, you can take the stairs all the way to the top of this 53-meter (174 ft) lighthouse to enjoy the view o the surrounding area. This is definitely a place worth seeing while on Saaremaa. I just hope it will be less windy when you visit, because it can get rather rough up there.

Sorve lighthouse in Saaremaa, Estonia. Sandy beach and Baltic sea in the background.

Later in the afternoon we drove back to Kuressaare, where we had dinner. Overall, I found Saaremaa a very special place and it is certainly worth adding to your Baltic road trip itinerary.

Best accommodation on Saaremaa island

I highly recommend Ekesparre Boutique Hotel with excellent amenities and a great location.

Ö Seaside Suites & SPA is another fantastic option.

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By public transportation : You can get from Pärnu to Kuressaare by bus ( schedules here ). However, it is best to rent a car to drive around Saaremaa.

Day 14-16: Tallinn, Estonia

Exploring the stunning capital of estonia.

We left Kuressaare in the morning and started driving north again to get the ferry from Kuivastu on the island of Muhu back to the mainland.

How to get to Tallinn from Saaremaa : It takes around one hour to get to the ferry terminal from Kuressaare. The ferry journey took another 30 minutes. From the Virtsu ferry terminal on the mainland, it takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours to reach Tallinn. If you have no rental car, you can take the bus (see schedules here ) or even fly to Tallinn from Kuressaare.

The capital of Estonia has to much to experience and was one of the highlights of my Baltics itinerary. I have prepared a complete Tallinn itinerary for you to help you plan an awesome visit!

View of the old city of Tallinn, Estonia, from Kohtuotsa viewing platform on a sunny summer day. Tallinn is one of ght highlights of the Baltics.

So, are the Baltics worth visiting?

This part of Europe is a bit overlooked by tourists, outside Riga and Tallinn . This is a pity, as they have a lot to offer. I hope this 2-week Baltics itinerary has inspired you to give them a try! Feel free to let me know about your impressions in the comments.

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Practical information

Best time to visit the baltics.

The three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are located in northeastern Europe. As a result, the weather gets very cool between late October and mid March. Expect some snow and a lot of cloudy and short days. The best time to visit this part of Europe is between May and September when temperatures are pleasant and days are long.

How many days in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia?

3 weeks is the perfect amount of time to discover all three Baltic Sates very thoroughly. We spent 2 weeks in the Baltics and it was also doable, though at a faster pace.

Flying to the Baltics

A logical question is “where are the Baltics” located? They are in northeastern Europe, just west of Russia. This Baltic road trip itinerary starts in Vilnius , Lithuania and ends in Tallinn , Estonia. The airports of the three Baltic capitals have good connections to the rest of Europe, although Riga airport is the biggest hub of the three. We decided to go from south to north, but you can also start your trip in Tallinn and finish in Vilnius. The signs on the interactive map follow the journey that we made. Lots to keep busy for 2 weeks or even more!

An essential travel insurance

Having a travel insurance is essential for traveling, just in case. Click on this link to get a free quote from SafetyWing , one of the best travel insurance companies out there.

Staying connected | Baltics tourist SIM

Airalo offers great deals for data in most countries. it is also very convenient to have everything set up when you arrive. You can get your own eSIM via this link ! If you come from the EU/EEA, then your current plan likely covers the Baltics.

How to get around Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia?

The three capitals, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, are connected by buses. Flixbus has good soverage of all three countries, including towns outside the capitals. You can easily plan your route and book your tickets online here .

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For our trip to the Baltic states, we rent a car at a great price from Discover Cars . It was an affordable and efficient way to move around. If you have a more relaxed schedule, it is possible to move around with trains and buses. 

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Disclosure: Throughout this article you will find handy links of services and products that can be of use to you while planning your own trip. They are often affiliate links. This means that I will get a small commission if you decide to book/purchase anything through these links. This is at no extra cost to you, but it helps run this website. Thank you in advance for your support!

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About the author

Hi there, my name is Panos and I live and breathe for traveling! I have visited more than 55 countries so far and aim to discover them all! In my eyes, traveling is not a lifestyle item, but a way to learn and broaden one’s horizons. My philosophy is that, if you plan well, you can discover new places in a more relaxed way without spending a fortune. Being a natural-born travel planning consultant, I love making amazing trips accessible to everyone. I have done tons of on-the-ground research before each trip, and have documented my journeys in detail.

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Baltics itinerary by public transport- 2 weeks Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia

Author Carina Klein

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Your guide on how to travel the Baltics. Including a 14 days Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia itinerary with a map. All the resources you need for your Baltics backpacking trip plus the best Baltic country to visit.

We have spend 4 weeks in the three Baltic countries Lithuania , Latvia , and Estonia to compile a short but sweet 2 week Baltics itinerary for you - including realistic and up to date public transport options.

Travel the Baltics in two weeks by public transport. What to see in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia beyond the capitals.

Best Baltic country to visit

Lithuania public transport, latvia public transport, estonia public transport, travel between baltic states, lithuania itinerary, 3 days in vilnius, 1 day in kaunas, 2 days in klaipeda, latvia itinerary, a note on liepaja, 4 days in riga, estonia itinerary, 2 days in tartu, a note on saaremaa, 2 days in tallinn, what’s next helsinki, finland.

We loved our trip to the Baltics and 100% recommend you visit all three countries if you have the time (and more than the three capitals). Here’s what you can roughly expect from each country.

*We ate out much more often in Lithuania than we did in Latvia or Estonia.

Travelling the Baltics by Public Transport

Buses in Lithuania are cost-efficient and run frequently. It’s easy to go on day trips with local buses. Trains are a great alternative to buses although the network is not as extensive as the bus network.

Trains are the best option for day trips from Riga. They run frequently, reliably, and cheaply. You rarely pay more than 2€ for your ride.

To be honest the least suitable public transport network in the three countries for tourist purposes. Local buses for day trips run extremely seldom, long-distance buses proved to be very reliable though.

The train is a great alternative to travel in between Tallinn and Tartu.

We did our first border crossing from Klaipeda to Riga with Ollex and our second border crossing from Riga to Tartu with LUX Express . Both worked perfectly and can be 100% recommended. We needed to provide a passport or ID for booking but were not checked at the borders as the three countries are EU members.

14 days Baltics itinerary

For more in-depth information check out our detailed Backpacking Lithuania by public transport guide .

Vilnius is the charming baroque capital of Lithuania and should not be missed.

Day 1 for the city centre and old town

Day 2 for a day trip to trakai, day 3 for the modern part of town and the way to kaunas.

We wrote a short travel guide about Vilnius besides the old town .

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Kaunas is the Lithuanian hub for Soviet architecture. Make sure to check out the Kaunas Modernism buildings around town.

Day 4 to explore Kaunas

Here are 33 amazing things to do in Kaunas .

How to get from Vilnius to Kaunas by public transport

A bus ticket costs around 9€. Buses run at least every 30 minutes during the day so you don’t really have to plan ahead. The ride takes under 2 hours.

At around 7€, the train is even cheaper. It runs around every hour, takes under 2 hours, and is super comfortable.

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To see German architecture and visit the Curonian Spit.

Day 5 to make your way to Klaipeda and explore the small city centre

Day 6 for a day trip to the curonian spit, how to get from kaunas to klaipeda by public transport.

No trains are running from Kaunas to Klaipeda so the bus is your best option. Buses run approximately once per hour during the day and cost around 20€.

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Check out the other Lithuania blogposts of our travelling the Baltics series:

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Lithuania Backpacking Itinerary – 1 Week With Public Transport

Travel Lithuania by bus and train. Our Lithuania 7 days itinerary brings you to Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda – including a map!

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33 Things to Do in Kaunas, Lithuania (2023)

A short guide on what to see in Kaunas.

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10 Places to Visit in Vilnius besides Vilnius Old Town (2023)

Untouristy Vilnius places to visit. Vilnius sightseeing off-the-beaten-path!

For more in-depth information check out our detailed Riga city break guide.

We decided to skip Liepaja as there are no direct buses from Klaipeda to Liepaja anymore. Instead of hitting the beach in Liepaja, we decided to visit Jurmala.

How to get from Klaipeda to Liepaja by public transport

Before the pandemic, you could take a direct bus from Klaipeda, Lithuania to Liepaja, Latvia. Nowadays you have to take a bus from Klaipeda to Palanga where a bus leaves several times per week towards Liepaja (currently it’s Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, not daily!).

Riga is the Art Nouveau capital of Europe!

Day 7 to make your way to Riga and explore the historic centre

Day 8 to explore the modern centre of riga and the art nouveau architecture, day 9 for a day trip to sigulda, day 10 for a day trip to jurmala and kemeri bog (you might even want to spend the night)., how to get from klaipeda to riga by public transport.

Currently, there are 8 daily buses from Klaipeda to Riga between 0:05 a.m. and 6 p.m. We bought our ticket at the bus station. The ride was comfortable and we had WiFi.

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Check out the other Latvia blogposts of our travelling the Baltics series:

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Weekend in Riga – Riga city break

The best things to do in Riga for your Riga city break - whether you spend a weekend in Riga or a whole week. Including a Riga sightseeing map with all the Riga must see attractions.

For more in-depth information check out our detailed Backpacking Estonia by public transport guide.

Tartu is a young and hip university town with loads of street art which should not be missed.

Day 11 to make your way to Tartu and start exploring.

Day 12 to explore tartu and all the amazing street art., how to get from riga to tartu by public transport.

Two daily direct buses leave from Riga, Latvia, to Tartu, Estonia. One Lux Express bus leaves at 9 a.m. and the other at 6:45 p.m. strongly deciding about the amount of time you have to explore Tartu.

Picture of Tartu

We decided not to include Saaremaa in our two weeks Baltics itinerary. Compared to other destinations, it takes a long time to get there and it’s not easy to get around the island itself by public transport. The beach in Kuressaare is super small compared to the Lithuanian and Latvian beaches we have visited and the hiking opportunities were slim.

How to get from Tartu to Saaremaa by public transport

There is one daily bus from Tartu to Saaremaa at stupid o’clock (we bought our ticket here ). It’s a direct bus hopping on the ferry with you and takes around 6 hours.

Tallinn is an amazing capital with loads of history and a vibrant modern side. As it’s tough to do day trips by public transport, two days are sufficient to explore Estonia’s capital city.

Day 13 to explore the historic centre

Day 14 to explore the modern side of tallinn and visit some museums, how to get from tartu to tallinn by public transport.

Lux Express buses leave hourly from Tartu to Tallinn.

You can also take the train which we have admittedly not tried ourselves.

Picture of Tallinn, Old Town

Check out the other Estonia blogposts of our travelling the Baltics series:

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Estonia Backpacking Itinerary with Map

Travel Estonia by bus and train. This Estonia 7 day itinerary with public transport highlights what to see and what to do in Estonia beyond the capital Tallinn.

Helsinki is the logical next destination on your Baltics itinerary!

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Helsinki itinerary - 3 days in Helsinki, 3 saunas

Visiting Helsinki? Our Helsinki guide and itinerary advise you on what to see in Helsinki including the best public sauna Helsinki has to offer.

baltic trip student travel

Travel Ideas

Travemünde Helsinki ferry - review and guide

Finnlines is currently the only way to take the ferry to Helsinki from Germany and back. Here’s our complete travel guide including budget, public transport, cabins, and food.

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Plan Your Trip

Discover baltic bliss.

One thing I learned, as I planned my own Baltic states travel itinerary months ago, is that there are as many tours of the Baltics as there are travelers who explore this European frontier. While some people (a narrow majority, perhaps) stick to the Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, others prefer to explore the evergreen-encrusted sandbars and boggy forests that make up the Baltic landscape.

Whatever the end goal of your trip, my blissful Baltics itinerary will provide a solid foundation for your own adventure. I have a feeling you’ll be booking a flight by the time you’re finished reading it!

Practical Matters

When to visit the baltics.

Conventional wisdom says that Baltics weather is crappy outside the summer months, but climate change has thrown that out the window. Indeed, while only about half my early September days in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were sunny, a friend of mine who visited nearly a month later had pristine weather the whole time. Another approach to take, when it comes to the timing of your Baltics trip, is to go during the dead of winter as I did when I traveled to Russia .

Where to Stay in the Baltics

With the exception of certain properties in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn (properties whose luxuriousness requires you to pay handsomely, I should add), most places you stay during your Baltic itinerary will be unremarkable—and that’s being kind. Indeed, while I loved my stay at Tallinn’s Villa Hortensia , and would’ve preferred to have slept at Hotel Justus in Riga, had my plans not changed at the last minute, most of my Baltic hotels were too unremarkable to remark upon.

How to Get Around in the Baltics

My approach to Baltic transport was as eclectic as the Baltic States themselves. While I subsisted primarily on cheap Lithuania trains and buses, and traveled by bus on my only day trip from Tallinn, I rented a car in Latvia. While I’m hesitant to characterize this as a mistake (though it was certainly an expensive choice whose ROI was questionable), I’d say that for most Baltic itineraries, public transport should be sufficient for getting around.

Money, Costs & Communication

Are the Baltics expensive? In a word no, though there are exceptions to this rule. For example, while I never paid more than 10 euro for a meal in Lithuania, and had several bus fares there I could pay with small change, prices in Riga and Tallinn were more in line with those you find in the better-known capitals of Europe. Overall, I’d say that most travelers can expect to pay around 100 USD per person, per day in the Baltic States, though backpackers can probably go as low as 50; there’s no upper limit, for better or for worse.

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Most every Lithuania itinerary will start in the country’s capital Vilnius , though this shouldn’t be a default decision. Rather, Vilnius’ sprawling Old Town is a thing of beauty, whether you look out onto it from Gendiminas Castle Tower at sunset, or wake up early to traipse through the courtyard of Vilnius Cathedral before anyone else gets there.

Trakai and the Hill of Crosses

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There will be plenty of castles on your Baltics itinerary, but there’s no place like Lithuania’s bizarre Hill of Crosses . On the other hand, the Vermillion-roofed Trakai Castle is perhaps my favorite fortress in the entirety of the Baltic States, even if seeing it on a day trip from Vilnius (the second of my 12-day Baltic adventure) did prove a little anti-climactic.

Klaipeda and the Curonian Spit

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Likewise, most people’s Baltics travel will visit the Baltic Sea at some point—the clue is the name. While beaches and islands in Latvia and Estonia have their own charm, nothing in those countries comes close to Lithuania’s Curonian Spit . A 60-mile sandbar whose wild dunes and charming Nida town are fully worth the trek to Klaipeda city, the Curonian Spit is home to the most beautiful beaches in the Baltic States.

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Many travelers wonder how many days in Riga they should spend; I always answer simply: All of them. Then I follow up, explaining that since Riga is near the geographical center of Latvia, it will be their home base. They’ll sleep there every night, though most will only spend a day or two explore Old Town Riga and the Art Nouveau architecture on offer just to the north of it.

Jurmala and Liepaja

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My fawning for the Curonian Spit above notwithstanding, your Baltic itinerary is likely to visit the beach in several countries; in Latvia you have two main options. If you plan to travel by public transport and simple want to see the sea, get a bus to Jurmala , which is only 30 minutes from Riga and whose name literally means “Beach.” Liepaja , on the other hand, is something of a mini-Riga (and a more Soviet-style one at that), though its beach is disappointing, in my opinion.

Cesis, Kuldiga and Rundale

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Having a car, though I previously expressed regret about my decision to have rented one, greatly opens up possibilities for your Latvia itinerary . For example, while travelers dependent upon public transport could probably only fit one of the three destinations listed above into their destination, a car allows you to see the castle towers of Cesis , the wide waterfall of Kuldiga and the Versailles-like palace at Rundale in one day.

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Estonia’s capital is simultaneously the most beautiful city in the Baltics region and also the most disappointing one. I don’t say this to insult Tallinn , of course, or to suggest there’s nothing to see outside its Old Town — Kadriorg Palace refutes that notion on its own. Still, I can’t help but conclude that the city shows all its cards pretty immediately, pretty as they may be. If you feel the way I do, you can always take a day trip to Helsinki .

Lahemaa National Park

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The best Baltic itinerary will always include time in a swampy forest, which is why a day trip from Tallinn to Lahemaa National Park (whose star attraction is, well, a bog-filled forest) is such an iconic addition to make to your trip. The bus from Tallinn to Viru Bog takes less than 35 minutes, while the entire loop around the bog (including a trip up the not-so-high observation tower) can be done in less than two hours, all-in.

Saremaa Island

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Many an Estonia itinerary will include a visit to the much-hyped (among Estonians and those familiar with the country, anyway) Saremaa Island . However, if you this includes yours, you should keep in mind that it’s not very easy to visit on a day trip from Tallinn. The island is larger than it looks on the map; buses aren’t so frequent and are also not extremely quick. Book a hotel here, if you have enough time.

How Many Days Should You Spend in the Baltics?

One thing my Baltics itinerary doesn’t specifically delineate is how long your Baltic trip should last. Personally, I found a little under two weeks—which is to say four days each in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia—provided a sufficient balance of the culture, cities and nature that make this part of the world so special. You can adjust this up or down, depending both on the length of your own Europe itinerary , as well as whether you’re solely headed here, or to other parts of the continent.

Other FAQ About Visiting the Baltics

Which is the best baltic country to visit.

In my opinion, Lithuania is the most interesting Baltic country to visit. After you’ve had your filled of architecture and history in Vilnius, you can head to the coastal city of Klaipeda, which is just a stone’s throw from the dramatic beaches of the Curonian Split. While Riga (Lativa) and Tallinn (Estonia) are more interesting as cities than Vilnius, the rest of each of those countries are comparatively boring.

How do you travel between the Baltic States?

While buses run between major Baltic capitals, I personally find that flying is the best way to travel between Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, particularly if you’re short on time. AirBaltic, an airline that’s hubbed at Riga Airport, makes this especially easy, assuming you put Lativa at the center of your Baltic trip (as you should).

Which is nicer, Tallinn or Riga?

While Tallinn seems more made for Instagram and is certainly a more popular destination, I actually find Riga to be a more enjoyable city. It’s much larger and less touristic; the city is as much about its Art Deco district as it is about the quasi-Soviet edificies that stand in various places around its city center.

The Bottom Line

I hope this has helped you plan the ultimate Baltic states travel itinerary, from the eclectic capital cities of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, to the subtle fierceness of the landscapes that define the region. Whether you fashion your Baltic trip as I did, or use my Baltic trip plan as a blueprint for your own, one thing is for certain: This oft-overlooked corner of Europe is a part of the world you’ll never forget. Make sure to consider hiring me as your Travel Coach if you get stuck planning your trip to the Baltics.

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One Week Baltic Travel Itinerary – Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn

Despite the fairytalish historic centres, good accesses and great value-for-money deals, the Baltic remains a largely unknown and relatively unexplored region for most common tourists. Aside from Tallinn’s admittedly touristy Old Town, most of the remaining cities – even its neighbouring capitals – still feel largely authentic and undiscovered. That might be changing though, as more and more travellers are being drawn into the area each year! If you’re one of these lucky bastards (such as ourselves) making your way to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, then you should probably keep an eye out for this one week Baltic travel itinerary.

Since we could never recommend a plan we wouldn’t commit to ourselves, our guide, which covers the 3 nations’ capitals, is actually a pretty accurate replica of the travel itinerary we designed for the 7 days we spent in the Baltic countries last October (though we eventually made our way up-north to Helsinki).


  • Day 1 – Flying In
  • Vilnius, Lithuania – 2 days
  • Riga, Latvia – 2 days
  • Tallinn, Estonia – 2 days

As you can see, our Baltic travel itinerary involves a lot of hopping around from city to city! Luckily, the region’s main cities are very well-connected and you can rely on both buses and trains to commute between Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn . In our case, we used Lux Express and we couldn’t be happier! Their buses are modern and clean, free wi-fi is available (tough sometimes frustratingly slow) and – most importantly – tickets are dirt-cheap, especially if you book ahead!

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Although you might be lucky enough to land in Vilnius in time to enjoy your first day, there is a good chance you’ll be arriving in the afternoon or late at night, especially if you need to do a layover somewhere else. With that in mind, we chose not to plan any activities for the first day on our one week Baltic travel itinerary, allowing you plenty of time to get to the city centre, find your hotel and maybe do some groceries.


Getting to the city centre after arriving at Vilnius International Airport is quite easy. The airport is actually connected to a train station that will drop you in Vilnius Central Station in just under 10 minutes, with tickets being sold on the spot for just 0,70€.

Since we arrived during the evening and night trains are quite scarce from 8pm onwards, we ended up taking the bus. There are several vehicles departing from the arrival’s terminal and one-way tickets cost 1€. Just make sure to ask the driver whether the bus is heading to the city centre or not before boarding.

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For your first real day in Vilnius you might want to get ready for a lot of climbing, as the city’s most iconic hills and viewpoints are waiting for you! This will also be a good way to get acquainted with Vilnius’ beautiful Old Town, considered the biggest in the Baltic. Feel free to explore the area on your own pace and rhythm, but if you want a proper introduction by someone who knows the city like the palm of their hands, booking a Walking Tour may well be a wise choice.

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What better way to discover a new city than enjoying a walk along its main street? Running between the Lithuanian Parliament and the Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Avenue is one of the prettiest, classiest and liveliest streets in the city. Besides, the avenue is surrounded by beautiful architecture and encompasses other city attractions, such as the KGB Museum, the Lukiškės Square or the spooky Three Muses Sculpture.

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Much like their Polish enemies/brothers (they’re still trying to figure it out), Lithuanians are famous for being quite passionate about their Catholicism. While in most European countries churches are getting emptier as older generations die out, in Lithuania that doesn’t seem to be the case. As the city’s main church, Vilnius Cathedral gets packed every Sunday morning (trust us, we happened to be there!) for the weekly mass, making for a fantastic people-watching session. The cathedral itself is a thing of beauty, and along with its separate bell tower, forms what is probably the most recognizable building in the entire city!

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Located right behind the main church, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is the missing piece in the Cathedral Square’s ensemble. Once home to local Grand Dukes and future Kings of Poland, this palace is actually a reconstruction of the 15 th century original, after the latter was destroyed following Russia’s overtake of Lithuania. Luckily, your visit to the country couldn’t be better timed, as the brand-new structure was officially finished in July 2018 and all of its wings are finally open to the public. If you’d like to take a self-guided tour of the palace, tickets can be bought onsite for 3€.

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Time for the first climb of the day! By now, surely you will have noticed the bright orange tower peeking from atop a hill – and that’s where you’re heading next. Called Gediminas Tower, in honour of the city’s founder who built the original castle, this lonely structure was formerly a part of a major fortification which overlooked and protected the city. Nowadays, and though it was actually rebuilt in 1933, it stands as one of the very few surviving elements of the Upper Castle section, providing amazing panoramic views over the Old Town and the city’s outskirts.

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While you’re at it, take advantage of your body’s momentum and get ready for yet another climb (I promise it will be the last)! Though second in popularity to Gediminas Tower, I must say I preferred the city view from atop the Hill of Three Crosses, as you can get a better overview of Vilnius and its Old Town’s countless towers and spires. Plus, you can actually see the castle tower as part of the landscape from here!

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After walking your way down, a visit to the Bernardine Gardens is in order! This quaint park is a great place to rest your legs and help pass the time after so much climbing, with local families playing around with their little ones and an atmosphere of pure calmness. Besides, it’s located right next to one of the prettiest and most welcoming worship sites in Vilnius – the Church of Saint Anne – where we could find entire families and groups of friends having picnics and enjoying a sunny Autumn day within the church’s outdoor backyard.

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First, let me point out that we could have easily made a full list of places to see in Vilnius with nothing but churches – that’s how prominent and amazing these are in Lithuania! That being said, I recommend capping off the second day on your Baltic travel itinerary with a small detour and a visit to what is probably the most impressive church in the city. Although the Saints Peter & Paul’s Church is quite pretty on the outside, its façade doesn’t really prepare you for the jaw-dropping interiors it hides. With over 2000 figures sculpted into the all-white walls and ceiling, this will surely be a place that will leave you in awe.

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Now that you’ve seen Vilnius’ most famous tourist attractions, it’s time to get lost within the city’s immense historic centre. For your last morning in the city, you should allow yourself to wander freely while exploring the Old Town’s beautiful streets, tiny alleys and quirky details. Once you cross all the remaining sites off your list, you will then be ready to board the bus and take a lovely day trip to Trakai, where you can visit its scenic castle and experience a different side to Lithuania.

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It’s certainly not a coincidence that Pilies Gatve is considered the Old Town’s most popular street, as it includes a little sample of all the things that make the historic district such a tourist draw. Lined with restaurants, souvenir stands, ancient buildings and – of course – legendary Baltic amber shops, this pedestrian street is the city’s pumping heart and one of the must-see places if you want to experience the Lithuanian hustle and bustle.

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Surprisingly, this turned out to be one of my favourite places in Vilnius! Dating from 1579, this reputable institution features some well-kept secrets and a thriving student community that will make you wish you had had the chance to study there. Popular for its countless inner courtyards and architecture worthy of a palace or museum, the University is home to the awe-inspiring painted ceilings of the Literra Bookstore, and the insanely beautiful (meaning it is literally as insane as it is beautiful), Faculty of Philology hall – a small room painted with some bizarre nightmare-inducing frescoes depicting tales of Baltic folklore. Entrance to the university’s premises costs 1,50€, but getting to see the Grand Courtyard and the Church of Saint John is more than worth the price of admission.

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Why do anarchic communities always seem to be dotted with dodgy-looking people? The more I visit this kind of self-proclaimed republics, such as Metelkova in Slovenia or Christiania in Denmark , the more I feel their essence and original purpose have long been lost for the sake of profit. Plus, you can be a progressive left-leaning individual and still take a shower, right? Personal opinions aside, Uzupis is nonetheless an extremely interesting place to visit. Enjoying their own set of rules and some bizarre sights, this should definitely feature in your one week Baltic travel itinerary!

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It’s morbidly ironic that an area which stands as a symbol of segregation and a remembrance of mankind’s darkest hour, can nowadays flourish as the loveliest and most adorable part of a city. Between 1941 and 1943, these two areas – which were split into the Big Ghetto and the Small Ghetto – were home to 40.000 Jews, who had to endure the ghetto’s harsh conditions and the ruthlessly oppressive treatment at the hands of the Nazi occupation, before being murdered or sent to nearby concentration camps. If only walls could talk, they would tell you heart-breaking stories of loss and death, but also inspiring and uplifting stories of resistance, union and resiliency. Sadly, walls do not talk, and not many were left to tell the Ghetto’s story. However, the very few descendants of those who witnessed these crimes ensure the world’s collective memory doesn’t fade, and if you’d like to learn more from them, we recommend taking a Jewish Heritage Walking Tour.

Read Also: Visiting the Auschwitz Concentration Camps – Hell on Earth

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Before venturing on to Trakai, you’ll bid farewell to Vilnius’ magical Old Town by crossing its only surviving city gate. A reminder of the old defensive fortifications which used to protect the city from foreign invaders, the Gates of Dawn miraculously escaped the wall’s dismantlement in the late 18 th century, standing nowadays as a recollection of past times. Not trying to go for the conspiracy theory here but… doesn’t that remind you of the Illuminati symbol?!

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Trakai Castle turned out to be one hell of a surprise! Got to admit we weren’t expecting much of the place – just another pretty castle to add to our list – but we were terribly wrong. First, the setting is absolutely gorgeous! Located on a tiny island over the picturesque Lake Galve, the castle is surrounded by the lake’s tranquil waters and the mainland’s scenic shores, which, as we were visiting in the fall, were filled with yellow and orange leaves as half-naked trees dotted the area. There is a stark contrast between the crowded and energetic nation’s capital and the tranquility you will find in Trakai, and that is exactly why you should experience both realities within the same day in order to compare them both. You are free to wander the castle grounds, but if you wish to visit its permanent exhibition, you can check ticket prices in the castle’s official website.


As Trakai and Vilnius are only 30km apart, moving between the two is fairly simple. Although you can also do the trip on a train, we chose to use the bus (well, more like a van) instead, as Trakai’s bus station is a bit closer to the castle than its railway counterpart. Just pay a visit to Vilnius Bus Station, go to one of the desks and ask for a ticket to Trakai – as simples as that! The person on the other side of the counter will then hand you your ticket and tell you which platform you should head to, as well as the bus’s departure time. You can check bus schedules and even buy your ticket (depending on the company) at Autobusubilietai.lt

One-way tickets cost 2€ and the entire trip takes about 30 to 40 minutes, but keep in mind the local bus station is located about 2,5km away from Trakai Castle and you’ll have to walk the remaining distance yourself. If that sounds like too much of a hassle or if you simply want to have a better and more informative experience, getting a Half-Day Sightseeing Tour to Trakai might be your best option!

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Although you will wake up in Vilnius, the 4 th day on your one week Baltic travel itinerary will be all about the beautiful Old Town of Riga. In order to make the most of your afternoon, you’ll be better off by booking a hotel room located in the Old Town – prices are still fairly decent and you’ll manage to save a lot of precious time.

If you want to cut straight to the chase and discover the best of Riga on a pretty tight schedule (you’ll still have a full second day for the Art Nouveau quarter), then it might be a good idea to book a Riga Private Walking Tour or, if you’re on a quest to save your legs, a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of the city.


As the bus trip between the two cities will take about 4 hours, we suggest booking an early ride with Lux Express in order to be able to enjoy the afternoon in the Latvian capital.  In our case, we took a bus from Vilnius Bus Station at 10am and arrived in Riga at 2pm (we could have taken a sooner bus, but at 5€/ticket we simply couldn’t overlook this one). This meant we still had some 3 hours of sunlight left to explore the local Old Town and get acquainted with its famous edginess.

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The Central Market will be the only place outside of the Old Town that you’ll visit throughout the afternoon. However, considering its location right next to the city’s main bus station, this is an obvious first stop for newcomers arriving to Riga by bus! Comprising an indoor market and an outdoor bazaar, the Central Market in Riga is actually considered the biggest market in Europe, which means you’ll still have a lot to see, even if you’re not visiting in the morning when the market is at its busiest. Besides, this market is also famous due to its pavilions original purpose. Think about it – it’s not every day that you get to shop inside 5 of the only 9 remaining Zeppelin hangars in the world!

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Now that you’re finally ready to explore the Old Town we have so fondly mentioned, you must start with what is probably its most prominent attraction. Towering over the historic centre and dominating the city’s skyline, Saint Peter’s Church is a standing symbol of Riga, with the earliest reports of this worship site dating all the way back to the 13 th century. Still, and despite such ancient reports, it has been destroyed and re-erected multiple times, with the current building having been finished only in 1973. When in the city, taking the lift to the top of the church’s tower is a must, as the 360º views are simply amazing! Admission to the church and the tower costs 9€.

Choque de estilos na principal praça de Riga | Clash of styles in Riga's main square


Don’t tell anyone, but the Old Town’s main square is kind of a beautiful mess. Completely destroyed during World War II, local authorities decided to rebuild several features of the square, while including some new additions to the mix. The end result is a weird mix of Baroque buildings (Town Hall), stone statues, insane guildhalls (House of Blackheads) and soviet structures (Museum of the Occupation of Latvia) that somehow manage to coexist within the same frame. In fact – as you can see by the photos – they actually end up working together!

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From the Town Hall Square, you should take the picture-perfect Jauniela street and make your way to Riga Cathedral. Though very simple on the inside, this church – the largest in the Baltic states – is absolutely massive and beyond imposing, occupying a huge open area in the Old Town. Much like Saint Peter’s Church, the Cathedral’s tower can also be seen from afar, standing as one of the most recognizable features in the city’s landscape.

Luzes de rua ao final da tarde | Dim street lights in the late afternoon


With its colourful buildings and lovely flower-beds reminiscent of a Disney movie set, this adorable yet criminally overlooked square ended up becoming one of our favourite places in the Latvian capital! While looking around, make sure to spot the famous Cat House – just follow the elder Asian ladies and their mobile phone cameras and you’ll find it right away!

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Finally, cap off your day with a visit to the city walls that used to surround and protect the Old Town. Although most of the original wall has been torn down, this small stretch – renovated during the soviet period – has survived the test of time. While you’re there, don’t forget to cross the Swedish Gate!

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You may feel like you’ve just arrived in the city, but this will be your last day in Riga already! Now that you’re perfectly comfortable walking around the Old Town, the time has come to explore the city’s super-famous Art Nouveau District, discovering quaint parks, inspiring monuments and beautiful cathedrals along the way. Don’t forget to ask the hotel staff if they have some kind of storage room where you can save your stuff after you check-out. This way, you won’t need to carry all your gear throughout the day!

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Originally built in 1863, the Latvian National Opera building is a beautiful classical structure which – astonishingly considering the city’s history – has never been destroyed! You know your ancestors have gone through some bad times when this is reason for celebration. However, my favourite thing about it is actually its setting. Surrounded by the Bastejkalna Park, the Opera stands side by side with a scenic canal, picturesque gardens and historical statues.

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The Baltic states have some seriously f****d-up history, but Latvia probably stands out as the most “difficult” of the bunch. Strenuous relationships with its neighbouring empires ensured a history of hardship, invasions and oppression, while the attempted russification of the Latvian society throughout the 20 th century resulted in a country struggling with a huge identity crisis. Although we definitely won’t be discussing politics here, a quick research about Latvian history and you can easily understand why the Freedom Monument is such an important symbol for ethnic Latvians living in the country.

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Speaking of the Russian influence in Latvia, the country’s most important Orthodox worship site will be your next stop! With its imposing domes towering over the area, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral is one massive church whose photos don’t really do it justice. It just looks a lot bigger (and more impressive) in person. Entrance is free, but unfortunately they won’t let you snap any pics inside, which means you’ll have to take our word for it when we say this has got to be the most underrated attraction in Riga!

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Hate to play the devil’s advocate, but I was actually kind of disappointed after visiting Riga’s Art Nouveau District. For all the praise it gets, I was expecting some out-of-this-world architecture, with streets filled with grandiose buildings and quirky details. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a cool experience to walk around the likes of Albert Street, Jugenda Stila Nami or Elizabeth Street – but unless you’re an architect or currently studying to be one, chances are that you won’t be too impressed. Either that, or I am just an insensitive ignorant who can’t recognize great architecture – take your guess!


Have you ever felt like a city doesn’t want your money? I was pretty eager to visit the facilities where Latvian prisoners and other protesters were kept and tortured throughout the Soviet regime, but the building was unfortunately closed for renovations when we went there. Still, I thought about walking all the way back to the Old Town and pay a visit to the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. The fact that there was no prison to see kind of took away some of the excitement, but Latvia’s history is a pretty interesting one so expectations were still high… until I got there. Once again, the building was closed for renovations and the main exhibition had been moved to a temporary location outside the historic centre. Well, some things simply aren’t meant to be!

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At the end of the day, make your way to the local bus station and hop on the bus to Tallinn. Once again, we recommend using Lux Express (link for their website shared above) for the trip. This one turned out costing us a bit more, but 14€/ticket still felt like a pretty good deal for another 4-hour journey. Upon arriving in Tallinn, you can take the tram to the city centre or do it the good-old way and walk the 3km distance length. That’s what we ended up doing and – surprise, surprise – it was totally not worth the 4€ we saved on the ride.

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After spending the night in the city, get ready to wake up early and discover what is widely considered to be the most beautiful city in the Baltics. Tourists do love Tallinn and you’ll instantly notice there is a lot more tourism here than anywhere else in the region. However, credit where its due – Tallinn is beyond gorgeous! In fact, if you want to see the best the city has to offer, you should definitely look out for a Walking Tour upon arriving in the Estonian Capital. With its fairytale streets, idyllic little houses and incredible viewpoints from atop Toompea Hill, you better make sure to charge your camera the night before.

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Perhaps the most famous attraction in Tallinn, walking all the way up to the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform is the perfect way to fall for Tallinn at first glance. With the picturesque Old Town laying in front of your eyes, you won’t even mind having to fight with fellow tourists for every inch of space only to get a half-decent photo! For a less crowded experience, try out the Patkuli Viewing Platform, located just a 2-minute walk away. Equally stunning views and more space to breathe!

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Though usually outshone by the nearby Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or the huge St. Olaf’s Church, Saint Mary’s Cathedral is a place you do not want to miss! For starters, it’s the oldest church in the city – and trust us – this is one old city! Besides, its interiors are actually quite unusual, as huge coats-of-arms are used to decorate the cathedral’s rather empty white walls, making for pretty unique visuals. Tickets to visit the Dome Church (as it’s also known) are available for 2€.

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Located right next to Toompea Castle, this orthodox cathedral is the flashiest sight in all of Tallinn. Easily spotted from afar due to its elevated location (atop Toompea Hill), onion-shaped domes and bright colours, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral will have you feeling like you’re visiting good-ol’ Mother Russia! In fact, that was precisely the cause for many problems for a long time, as Estonians would more often than not look at it as a symbol of Russian oppression and control. Be that as it may, demolition plans never came to fruition, and considering the church’s popularity among visitors, I doubt they ever will!

Praça movimentada no centro de Tallinn | Busy square in the centre of Tallinn


Now that you’ve descended from Toompea Hill, it’s time to visit the Old Town’s lower city – so let’s start with a bang! Surprisingly tucked in-between narrow streets and hidden passages, the Town Hall Square is an awe-inspiring sight, surrounded by colourful houses, stalls and – of course – the ancient Tallinn Town Hall.

By now, your stomach will probably be begging you for some food, so why not trying something different? Consider hiring the services of a local and take a Walking Food Tour. You’re granted a pretty cool experience hopping from restaurant to restaurant in the heart of Estonian life.

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One thing you’ll notice about Tallinn’s Old Town, is that some streets appear to be “secret”. Resting side-by-side with major streets and wide squares, these unassuming narrow lanes are easily missable if you don’t pay proper attention, and often you’ll find them a lot less crowded than the rest of the area. Saint Catherine’s Passage is by far the most famous of all the walkways in the Old Town. Dotted with artisan shops and ancient tombstones from the adjacent St. Catherine’s Church, this has to be Tallinn at its most medieval!

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Wherever you find a city wall, there has to be a gate somewhere! Considered the main entrance to Tallinn’s historic centre, the Viru Gate is the most beautiful of all the surviving city gates. Though partially destroyed, this gate remains in pretty good condition, and still offers the perfect welcome card for those wishing to wander through the magical streets of the capital’s old city.

Praça da República - onde foi proclamada a independência da Estónia | Freedom Square - where the independence of Estonia was first proclaimed


This may not be the prettiest sight Tallinn has to offer, but it’s definitely hard to find one bearing more importance to the Estonian people. Home to the Victory Column, this is the place locals flock to when they want to honour all those who died fighting for the country’s liberation in the Estonian War of Independence. Once there, it is also worth checking out St. John’s Church – that pretty yellow building you see on the photos!

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Got to admit I had first thought two days in Tallinn was too much. Aside from the Old Town, what else could the city bring to the table? Well, as it turns out, there’s more to the Estonian capital than its admittedly lovely historic centre. In fact, the second day in the city made me realize Tallinn is not only a beautiful fairytalish place, but also a pretty cool and alternative city!

Still, this will be the least packed day in your one week Baltic travel itinerary, since you’ll be flying home at the end of the day!

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We were so lucky on this one! We had read great reviews about this maritime museum, but the 14€ rate for the tickets had us wondering if it was all worth it. Since our hotel was located in the historical fishermen area of Kalamaja (famous for its countless wooden houses), 5 minutes away from the museum, we agreed to go there and take a look before making a decision. As it turns out, the museum-ships moored at the docs were actually open to everyone! We ended up exploring a 100-year old icebreaker, with free unsupervised access to every area of the ship, including the engine room and the crew’s cabins. Needless to say, we ended up loving it!

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Next up, we recommend taking the tram and paying a visit to Kadriorg Palace and its magnificent gardens. In case you’re wondering if this park is worth the detour, just keep in mind it was commissioned by Peter the Great, the same guy who built Saint Petersburg from scratch – so you know it has to be good! Plus, the gardens have some really instagrammable spots!

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Although located right next to the Old Town, your last stop in Tallinn is a far cry away from the picture-perfect world lying behind the ancient walls. Considered the city’s cultural and artistic hub, the Rotermann Quarter represents the “New Tallinn”, an edgy and modern city aiming to show how much the country has developed since its independence. If you want to catch a glimpse of local life and take a look at some pretty cool architecture, this is the place to go!

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It’s finally time to face the sad truth – you’re going home! Your time in the Baltics may have come to an end, but at least you’ll get to save some amazing memories – and hopefully some flashy snaps – of your adventures there. Besides, the region is now more open and accessible than ever, so returning is no longer the difficult task it once was!

How to Go from Tallinn City Centre to the Airport

Located just 4km away from the city centre, getting to the airport in Tallinn is easy breezy! Just take the tram line nº 4 at Viru Gate towards Lennujaam (Airport in Estonian) and leave at the terminus. The entire journey takes between 15 to 20 minutes, and one-way tickets bought directly from the driver cost 2€.

Quick, cheap & easy!

That was it guys – hope you enjoyed our One Week Baltic Travel Itinerary! We enjoyed an amazing week there before crossing the Gulf of Finland on a ferry and continuing our adventure through Helsinki (which we also recommend btw). However, if 7 days is all you got, rest assured this guide will help make the most of your time in the region.

Have you ever visited the Baltic countries? Which other cities and landmarks do you recommend? Let us know on the comments below!


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The Baltic States

A land of crumbling castles, soaring dunes, enchanting forests and magical lakes – a trip to the Baltic proves that fairy tales do come true.

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The Ultimate Baltic Road Trip Itinerary (2023)

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A road trip through the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia was high on our travel wish list and, as soon as we had the chance, we jumped at the possibility to explore three very different countries. After weeks of planning our Baltic road trip itinerary, we finally settled on a route which took us from Riga to Kaunas to Vilnius to Tallinn and finally back to Riga with some bonus stops in between! From old towns to haunting war memorials and from stunning beaches to enchanting forests we were blown away by the variety of sights and scenery on our drive through the Baltic states. For any of you planning a Baltic road trip we’ve shared our ultimate itinerary below.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-24

Table of Contents

Baltic Road Trip Itinerary Route

Any Baltic road trip itinerary should include the main cities of Riga, Kaunas, Vilnius and Tallinn but we’ve included some optional stops that we loved and would recommend if you have some extra days.

Our Route: Riga – Kaunas – Vilnius – Sigulda – Tallinn – Jurmala – Riga

Tips for Baltic road trip:  The Curonian Split, approximately 3 hours west of Kaunas in Lithuania, and the Cultural Reserve of Kernavė, about 45 minutes from Vilnius are two optional extras for the Baltic road trip itinerary.

Our Baltic Route

Renting a Car

We highly recommend renting a car for exploring the Baltics. We’re huge fans of road trips and have driven in almost 50 countries around the world so we have a lot of experience renting cars in foreign countries. For the best rental car options check out the many options available on  RentalCars.com . We rented our car from Riga airport, however this itinerary can be done in any order!

Check Rental Car prices now!

Day 1: Arrive in Riga

We flew into and out of Riga airport: we opted for Riga as Latvia is the central country in the Baltic states and this reduced the drive time and meant we didn’t have to pay for one way car rental charges to go from point to point.

Where to stay in Riga:

  • Riga Islande Hotel: The Islande Hotel on the outskirts of Riga and was perfect for our initial overnight stopover. It’s really reasonably priced, has free parking and breakfast – Check prices now!  
  • Gallery Park Hotel & Spa: Where we chose to stay when we returned to Riga and a truely stunning hotel. The rooms are luxurious and the building itself a UNESCO world Heritage building. Definitely check this out – Check prices now!

For some good mid-range options take a look at the Relais le Chevalier or the Monika Centrum Hotel

Book your Riga hotel now!

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-2

Day 2: Drive from Riga to Kaunas

Drive time: (270km, 3.5 hours + stops)

Our first day of driving took us from Latvia into Lithuania where our first stop was the stunning Hill of Crosses before we made our way to Ninth Forth and Kaunas for an overnight stay.

Stop 1: The Hill of Crosses

The Hill of Crosses is a Christian pilgrimage site with a collection of over 200,000 wooden crosses erected on a small hill in Lithuania, around a 2 hour drive from Riga. The crosses first started appearing after the 1831 uprising against Russian ruling and relatives, with no bodies to bury, erected crosses on the hill.

The hill was bulldozed twice during a later Russian occupation as religion was forbidden but Lithuanians continued to sneak to the hill and plant the crosses. People from all walks of life are remembered here, motorbikers with crucifixes made from motorcycle parts, airforce pilots, religious ministers. It’s a must-see on any Baltics road trip and we were in awe as we wandered among the thousands of crosses of every shape and size.

Tips for Baltic road trip: Visitors can buy crosses at the entrance to the site where local people actually make them from wood turning. Parking costs 75 cents and is payable in the visitors centre before exiting.

Hauntinig beautiful Hill of Crosses

After the Hill of Crosses the next stop is a 2 hour drive to the city of Kaunas for a night.

Stop 2: Ninth Fort Memorial

The infamous Ninth Forth stands in the grounds of the heartbreaking Kaunas Fortress: it was once used as a prison and a stopover for prisoners being transported to labour camps and, later, as a place of execution during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania.  Ninth Fort has now been transformed into a poignant memorial to a very dark history of Lithuania and a 100 foot tall monument dominates the grounds.

Tips for Baltic road trip: Prepare yourself for a stop at Ninth Fort as we shed tears during our visit. There are many heartbreaking sights: the museum houses a beautiful stained glass memorial which tells the sad fate of those who were brought to the site, a bullet ridden wall stands alongside a plaque stating ‘there near this wall Nazis shot and burned people in 1943-1944’ and an exhibit details the last moments of Romas Kalanta, a student who perished after setting himself on fire protesting against the Soviet regime in Lithuania.

Baltic Itinerary

Where to Stay in Kaunas 

  • Park Inn by Radisson Kaunas: A beautiful 4 star hotel with rooms around €95 per night, located right in the middle of Kaunas town and perfect for an overnight stay –  check prices now!
  • Algrio Hotel: A cheaper option at around €50 per night and a great alternative to the Park Inn for an overnight stop in Kaunas – check prices now!

Book your Kaunas hotel now!

Day 3: Kaunas to Vilnius

Drive time: (105km, 90 minutes + stops)

After a morning exploring the maze of streets and admiring the buildings in Kaunas Old Town we set off for Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. We fell in love with its old town charm, the cobblestone alleys, the beautiful churches and the sea of orange rooftops visible from every vantage point. There are loads of things to do in Vilnius and it was our favourite city on our Baltic road tri. We’d recommend spending two nights there if you’re arriving late so you have a full day to explore!

Where to Stay in Vilnius 

  • Novotel Vilnius: Situated in the centre of Vilnius right beside the Old Town and where we chose to stay. This modern stylise hotel is perfect for exploring the city and the views from the gym on the top floor are stunning – check prices now!
  • Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel: located right on the Old Town Square this beautifully restored hotel is another perfect base for exploring the Old Town from – check prices now!
  • Imperial Hotel & Restaurant: located right in the Old Town and for those looking for something truly unique. This stunning hotel is perfectly located, with super luxurious rooms and incredible service its no wonder it s one of the  highest  rated hotels in Vilnius –   check prices now!
  • if you are after a great budget option, check out The Corner Hotel or the eLoft .

Book your Vilnius hotel now! 

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-13

Where to eat and drink : We had an awesome meal at Bistro 18 in the Old Town and the starters and mains were exceptional and reasonably priced. For post dinner drinks we headed to the amazing Bambalynė, a mix of off licence and chilled out Lithiuain beer bar located in a cosy cellar which quickly became one of our favourite bars of our travels!

Lithuania Vilnius Must See Sights UNESCO-16

Day 4: Exploring Vilnius

Vilnius is a real treat and we had a lot of fun exploring the cute and quirky Old Town where the highlights were The Gate of Dawn, the entrance to the Old Town, and Pilies Street, the oldest street in the Old Town. St Anne’s Church is a little further afield but worth the trek.

Baltic Road Trip Itinerary tip: If you have a particular Old Town restaurant you want to eat in in any of the three city’s be sure to book in advance as most are tiny and can be fully reserved at peak times.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-35

Day 5: Lithuania to Sigulda, Latvia

Drive time: (350km, 4 hours + stops)

We set off early on Day 5 to reach Sigulda, a town often described as the Switzerland of Latvia and a lovely escape from city life. We stopped en route at the UNESCO listed Struve Geodetic Arc and the Salaspils Concentration Camp which is about 20km south of Riga and another heartbreaking sight on our Baltic road trip.

Stop 1: Struve Geodetic Arc

We took a detour to the UNESCO listed  Struve Geodetic Arc , one of a chain of 34 which make up the UNESCO Site. We’ve been chasing them around Europe for a year and never managed to tick one off our UNESCO obsessed list . This is very much an optional stop but the extra 45 minute extra drive was totally worth it for us!

Lithuania Vilnius Must See Sights UNESCO-24

Stop 2: Salaspils

Salaspils is a former concentration camp established at the end of 1941 and through which 12,000 victims passed. Today, a poignant memorial complex stands on its grounds: above the entrance are the words ‘Beyond this Gate the Ground is Crying’ and huge memorials representing hope and despair tower above the surrounding forest.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-16

Stop 3: Sigulda

Autumn was in full swing and Sigulda was at its finest: we managed a whistlestop tour of its best sights and our favourites were the medieval Turaida Castle and Gutmanis cave, one of the oldest tourist attractions in Latvia: legend has it that the waters of the spring flowing out of the cave are the tears of the wife of a Liv chief.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-43

Where to Stay in Sigulda

:  Accommodation options are limited in Sigulda and we opted for the aptly named Hotel Sigulda which is a good choice and well priced at under 50 euros.

Book your Sigulda hote now!

Day 6: Sigulda to Tallinn, Estonia

Drive time: (300km, 4 hours + stops)

After a morning drive up north to Tallinn we spent the afternoon exploring the old town of Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Estonia’s capital city.

Where to Stay in Tallinn 

  • Swissotel Tallinn:  athe perfect luxury option in Tallin and where we had a fantastic stay. It’s a 5 minute walk to the Old Town, the rooms are beautiful and the views across the city from the rooftop bar are incredible – Click here for best prices!
  • Hotel Schlossle: an excellent option if you want to stay in the heart of the Old Town – Click here for best prices!
  • The Solo Sokos Hotel Estoria or the My City Hotel are good mid range options

Book your Tallinn hotel now!

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-20

Where to eat:  After working up an appetite we had dinner at Rataskaevu 16, a really chilled restaurant with a great food and drinks selection and we would definitely recommend it. Kompressor, a popular local pancake house, was another of our favourites and we indulged in some of the best pancakes of our travels. Be warned, they’re huge!!

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-18

Things to do in Tallinn:

Tallinn Old Town is the beating heart of the city and it’s a maze of cobbled streets, beautiful churches and kitschy restaurants. Our highlights were the beautiful sea of red roof tops, the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the thought provoking street art and the haunting monk statues in the Danish King’s Gardens.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-26

Day 7: Tallinn, Estonia

Day 7 is a more chilled day where we explored Tallinn and its old city some more. A day trip to Helsinki in Finland is another fantastic option and there are frequent ferries between Tallinn to Helsinki.

all aboard to Helsinki

Day 8: Tallinn, Estonia to Riga, Latvia

Drive time: 309km, 4 hours + stops

After another morning drive we arrived in Riga and spent the afternoon exploring the old town of Riga, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Where to Stay in Riga:

  • The Gallery Park Hotel & Spa:  a stunning period hotel and is actually a listed UNESCO World Heritage building so we simply had to stay! Spoil yourself and remember to check out the stunning pool in the basement – it’s pretty incredible! – Check prices now!
  • Dome Hotel & Spa: is another luxury Riga gem and part of the same hotel group as Gallery Park. – Check prices now!
  • Radi Un Draugi: for a less expensive luxury option in Riga located in the centre of the old town near St. Peter’s Church – Check prices now!

Book your Riga hotel now! 

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-28

Where to eat: We ate in Amber Way Taverna, a traditional restaurant which is run by the Latvian Tourist board and aims to show visitors the traditional food and drink of Latvia. The food is simple, wholesome and comforting: just what we needed to warm our bones on a cold day in Latvia!

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-29

Day 9: Riga

Riga is a gorgeous city with lots of sightseeing and we spent a relaxed day exploring the Old Town and its surroundings. We started the day at Riga’s Central Market where we indulged in some delicious sweet and savoury treats and picked up some souvenirs of the Baltic city. Our Old Town favourites included Town Hall Square and the incredible House of Blackheads building, the Bremen Town musicians statue (think Grimm brothers fairytale!) and St. Peter’s Church with the panoramic tower views.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-47

Day 10: Jurmala

Drive time: 40km, 40 minutes

The seaside town of Jurmala is a gorgeous escape from city life and definitely worth a night if you can squeeze it in to your Baltic itinerary. It’s all about relaxing and having fun in Jurmala with its beautiful beach, a cute pedestrianized street and an abundance of natural mineral spa resorts. The food is good and Ragakapa Nature Park is the perfect spot for a walk.

Where to Stay in Jurmala 

  • The Hotel Jurmala Spa : Located 5 minutes from the beach this hotel has a great spa, including a bar in the spa itself! –  check prices now!
  • Baltic Beach Hotel and Spa : an incredible hotel located right on the beach and has an indoor salt water pool. They offer a huge variety of spa treatment, perfect for spoiling yourself! –  check prices now!

Book your Jurmala Spa hotel now!

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary-32

FAQs and Tips for a Baltic Road Trip Itinerary

We’ve had some questions around the logistics of crossing borders, renting cars and purchasing fuel so here’s our take on a Baltic road trip logistics:

  • Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are all members of the Schengen agreement and the European Union so the border crossings involve simply driving past road signs stating that you are entering and leaving each country.
  • We used a rental car and there was no issue with driving it across the three countries but do check with your rental company to be sure.
  • The Euro currency is used in the three countries.
  • Speed cameras are everywhere so be careful to adhere to the speed limits in each country.
  • Fuel stations were frequent and we were able to top up with drinks, snacks and fuel regularly.

Baltic Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary

35 thoughts on “The Ultimate Baltic Road Trip Itinerary (2023)”

I’m really interested to visit the Baltic states and this is a really useful post. Definitely pinning for later. Thanks!

What a great advertisement to visit these places! Sounds like such good fun.

Great itinerary! I cycled through the Baltics this summer with my girlfriend and this brought back many great memories of the cool places we visited so thank you for that 🙂

I would also recommend anyone undertaking this road trip to bring a tent! There are some amazing campsites in the Baltics (particularly the free ones in Estonia)

Thanks Tom, glad you enjoyed 🙂

Will be traveling from Riga to Tallinn towards the end of July with two others. Initially was planning to take the sight-seeing tour bus but am a bit skeptical as the review is very varied. So instead of that, am thinking of driving on my own between the two cities. Do you have any recommendations of places to visit along this journey? It’ll just be a day trip and we hope to maximise the experience.

Kenny from Singapore

Hi Kenny, I’m not sure where the bus tour goes, but we always choose to take a car as it’s more flexible. Close to Riga you can visit Salaspils Memorial and Sigulda which is a beautiful town. The drive north is beautiful, with many options for stopping the forest or along the coast where the beaches are very nice

Hey guys I loved your Baltic itinerary. What air line did you use to fly in/out of Riga? It seems there are few direct flights and the airlines are ones with which I am familiar ( Wizz, RyanAir). Any info appreciated.

I meant, I am NOT familiar with Wizz and RyanAir

Hi John, we used Ryanair – they’re usually our first choice for prices, being on time etc! We haven’t flown with Wizz so don’t have any feedback there!

Hope you have a good trip, we loved it!

This is awesome – thanks so much for posting. When did you do the roadtrip? My husband and I are going late November and want to do a similar (but shorter) roadtrip. Thanks!

Hi Courtney

We went over Halloween so were there at the end of October/start of November. It was a little chilly but we were fine with light jackets.

Thank you for this fantastic itinerary! Did you encounter any issues with language barriers?

Hi Melissa, glad it is useful. We didn’t really encounter any language issues, trip was totally smooth!

Thank you very much for all the information. I’m working on our itinerary, so this is just what I needed!

Wow…this trip sounds great. Our 10 year old selected these countries. We had no clue if we should go on a cruise or road trip. Your itenerary has me ready to pack my suitcase. Since we would go in summer, now is time to make plans. There aren’t a lot of resources so yours is much appreciated. Thanks!

Glad it is useful Anne Marie, it’s a great trip! Enjoy!

can you give me the name of car rental company

It was Avis or Hertz – can’t remember which exactly as we rented a lot of cars last year but we generally use one of those two for rentals!

This is a great report. Thanks for sharing it. I am going to do the same but instead of 10 days, it will be squeezed in 4 days of March. I think I just need to be quick. Hope I can see as much as possible.

I reckon you can squeeze in a lot in 4 days! Let us know how you get on!

Incredibly useful, thanks so much for sharing this!

Glad you liked Maggie, hope you have a good trip if you’re off that way!

Where did you park when staying in Vilnius? Are there plenty of 24 hour parking spaces near the Novotel?

There was a underground car park directly across from the Novotel which was recommended to us a safe option for the car. It was about 2 minutes walk from the hotel door across the square.

Great insight to how we can plan a road trip to these three countries. Was there any problems with finding parkings in these countries and cities. What should we budget for parking and fuel and rental? can we do this trip in 7days, I am starting from Tallin, and will need to go back to Tallin

Hi Teresa, we used paid car parks and didn’t have any issues. They were relatively cheap and close to the major sites. You could definitely do the bulk of the trip in 7 days, the driving distances aren’t too long.

Really enjoyed your itinerary

Great pictures by the way! What kind of camera did you use ?

Thanks Anna. Pics are mostly from Nikon D7200 and a few from Fuji XT 10. Our camera gear is detailed here if you’d like more info

Looking forward to a Baltic state tour, we will be taking the ferry from Helsinki to Tallin going south for maybe 7 days. Question can you take a train through Poland and in to Germany for a flight home?

Hi Carol, we flew home from Lithuania so no idea on the trains. Hope you find the info.

Well that’s made me mind up I am going away in me little campervan for 67 days starting 19 of June from Harwich to hook of holland and hadn’t made any plans apart from going to see friends near burlin thank you .

Wow, a campervan is the dream! Have fun!

Really enjoyed reading your itinerary! Helps a lot for planning.

May I know about the parking when you guys were in Vilnius? Was it hard to find?

We parked in an underground car park recommended by our hotel. It was just opposite our hotel (Novotel Vilnius) on the edge of the Old Town and was easy to locate.

Hi was planning an itinerary thru the Baltics as part of a longer journey starting with 10 days in Poland, then hopefully we will be able to curtail your Baltics itinerary to a max of 8 nights, and travelling on to Denmark, Sweden & Norway, to be in time to be in Tromso around October 16 to see the Northern lights and then returning to London. Hope this is doable.

I hope we can cut your brilliant itinerary to 8 nights.

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How to Plan Your Own Baltic Itinerary

Tallinn on a Baltic Itinerary to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

Disclosure: This post (probably) contains affiliate links. If you click on one, I may make a small commission. Of course, this will come at no extra cost to you and helps keep this site running.

The Baltic is one of Europe’s most exciting regions for travel at the moment. More and more travellers are realizing the potential of the Baltic States as a destination and are seeing the trio of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in a new light. Not only are the Baltic States closer than you think, they also offer gorgeous nature, complex history , and great value for money. And a Baltic itinerary is the key to seeing it for yourself.

Many people dip their toe into travel in the Baltic with a city break to one of the region’s capitals. It’s easy to do and doesn’t require much planning. Organizing a bigger trip through the Baltic States is more challenging: I should know, with three trips and counting in the region. Having a detailed travel itinerary for your Baltic road trip or vacation makes a huge difference, from knowing how to long to stay there to how plan your itinerary to maximise your time sightseeing.

Table of Contents

What are the Baltic States?

Things to Do in Riga, Baltic travel itinerary

If you’re looking for an itinerary for the Baltic, you probably know where the Baltic States are, but let’s cover it to be sure. Generally speaking, the Baltic States refer to the three countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania which together sit along the Baltic Sea.

These three are not the only places on the Baltic Sea; Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Russian province of Kaliningrad all sit on the Baltic Sea coast. However, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are all much more defined by their connection to the Baltic Sea and each other. They may not share language, but they do have a shared past and often similar geography, to the point that this grouping really makes sense.

Now, many people will innocently talk about the Baltic States as being countries in Eastern Europe. This is largely due to their history under the USSR and because people’s definitions of Europe’s east and west vary so deeply. But if Finland is not in Eastern Europe, I don’t see why Estonia should be. Lithuania is often regarded as being close to the central-most point of the continent, making it seem strange that it isn’t considered central Europe.

Rather than try to make the Baltics fit into another grouping, why not just let it be its own group. It shares similarities with its neighbours, but that’s true of so many places.

Best time to visit the Baltic

baltic trip student travel

Travelling to the Baltic states comes with similar challenges to those of going anywhere in northern Europe. Summers are short, winters are cold, and daylight is precious. Weather and the seasons are going to be the biggest factors to handle when timing your visit.

Generally speaking, summer is the best time to visit the Baltic. That’s because summer is the season with the best potential for nice weather, not that it’s guaranteed. I’ve spent many a day during the Baltic summer watching rain bucket down, including most of my first trip to Tallinn.

Visit in summer and you can actually see the Baltic beaches at their best and happily hike through their national parks. It’s also when the Baltic capitals and seaside getaways are at their busiest. Granted, the summer crowds in the Baltic are nothing to compared to the insanity that occurs in so much of Europe. However, you’ll still expect for lines at attractions and higher rates on accommodation.

Winter, especially the lead up to Christmas, can be a popular time to visit too. But people often come for a few days to see Riga or Tallinn covered in snow and then head home. Any more and you’re in for a challenging, but not impossible, trip.

How many days in the Baltic is enough?

Church of St Anne Vilnius

Time off for a vacation is almost always limited, so wanting to know the absolute minimum number of days you need for a destination is perfectly understandable. It’s also much harder to gauge on your own when you don’t know a region.

For how many days is enough in the Baltic, my answer might be frustratingly vague – as many as you can afford. We’re talking about three countries, each with loads to see and do. You can make a week in the Baltic work, but you’ll be travelling all that way for a glimpse of what the region is like.

Honestly, if you can muster it, I’d recommend allowing at least two weeks in the Baltic. You may not be familiar with what the Baltic has to offer, but trust me when I say even that will mean missing out on stuff. I’ve visited the region three times so far and still have places I want to check out at some point.

Getting to the Baltic

Sights to See in Jelgava Latvia, Destinations on your itinerary of the Baltic States

Two big parts of the logistics of a Baltic trip are how you plan to get there and how you’ll get about.

For your travel to the Baltic, flying is going to be one of your main options . While there are several smaller airports in the region, it’s really better flying into any of the capitals of Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius. There are decent flight routes to these cities from the rest of Europe, but you’re unlikely to find routes from outside Europe.

There are two other common routes for coming to the Baltic. One is taking the ferry from Helsinki, although there are other ferry passages that are possible as well. The other is crossing over from Poland either by car or bus, with the Vilnius to Warsaw route the most common.

Getting around the Baltic

Palanga Beach, Where to Stay on Lithuania Coast

As for getting about the Baltic, your choices are car, bus, or train. Renting a car allows for the most freedom, but can create challenges if you’re not returning to the city where you collected the vehicle.

Europe is known for its international train travel, but in the Baltic it’s not as easy. Currently, the train routes between Vilnius and Daugavpils and between Riga and Valga are the only cross-border trains, which aren’t the most helpful routes. Each country has its own train networks though, and are most useful for traveling from their capitals.

Bus travel is really the easiest way to get both between and around countries in my opinion. Not only are buses reasonably priced, they run frequently enough to be useful. Check out my in-development public transport guide of Europe for more information.

Planning a Baltic itinerary

Angla on Saaremaa

There’s one unavoidable challenge of visiting all three Baltic countries in a trip, which is working out how to structure your trip. The way the countries are stacked north to south makes it hard to plan a circular route or avoid backtracking.

I’ve tried different approaches to my Baltic trips. My first trip, I flew in and out of Riga, which meant popping in and out of Latvia between going north to Estonia and south to Lithuania. If you’re tight on time, revisiting Riga/Latvia as you go is going to cost you time better spent somewhere new.

The alternative it to go from north to south or south to north to save time and not retrace your steps. This was what I did the second time around, which helped since I was already coming from Poland into Lithuania. But if you’re doing a self-contained trip, you’ll need to book individual flights.

There’s no perfect solution – you just need to think about it and decided on what works for you.

One week in the Baltic

Riga Street Art, One Week Baltic Itinerary

Let me break the bad news for you; one week in the Baltic is simply not long enough.

With one week spread across three countries, you’re looking at 2-3 days in each country. That’s only enough time to see one destination per country, likely the three capitals. You’ll even lose some of that limited time simply getting from one to the next.

And only having one full day in any of Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn is barely enough. There will still be things you miss in the capitals when going at this pace. I’ve visited each city at least twice now and continue to find new attractions and parts of the cities to explore.

If one week is all the time you have, I do get it. Maybe consider visiting with a guided tour in the case, as they’ll know how to make the most of your time. And if you have to pick one of the three capitals to spend longer in, I’d probably pick Tallinn, as to me it has the most going on.

Baltic itinerary – 2 weeks

Ignalina Lakes, Visiting Aukštaitija National Park

Two weeks is a much more suitable for actually getting to see what makes the Baltic so special. With 14 days, you can see each of the capitals, do a day trip or two, and experience different aspects of each country.

For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to look at an itinerary that goes from north to south. You can reverse it, turn it into a circuit, or really do whatever you like to it. This is just the easiest way to get the plan across. On the itinerary, we have:

  • Time in Tallinn and a day trip to Lahemaa
  • See more of Estonia at Tartu and Pärnu
  • A visit to gorgeous Riga
  • Day trips to Latvian gems Sigulda and Rundale Palace
  • A transfer day with a stop at The Hill of Crosses at Siauliai
  • Finish in Vilnius with day trips to Trakai and Kaunas

2 days in Tallinn

Tallinn City View, 2 Week Baltic Itinerary

Start your Baltic trip off with a bang by visiting Tallinn , Estonia’s quickly captivating capital. Tallinn is famous for its walled old town that has perfectly preserved its medieval charm. And that’s where you really want to spend the start of your time there, touring its cobblestone streets, seeing its churches, and admiring its city walls.

With whatever time you have left in Tallinn, I wholeheartedly recommend going outside the Old Town area . Even if it’s just across the road to the Rotermann Quarter with its hybrid architecture. Kadriorg Palace is another must visit, although a little farther out.

Lahemaa day trip

Lahemaa National Park Estonia

Of the various options for day trips from Tallinn, visiting Lahemaa National Park is the most popular. This is national park is found just east of the city and combines forests, bogs, and coast to magical effect. A day tour is the most stress-free way to get there, but I enjoyed the freedom of doing it solo despite the challenges.

1 day in Tartu

Tartu Town Hall, Visiting Estonia

Compared to Tallinn, Tartu receives barely any attention, which is a real shame for Estonia’s second city. Make the journey out to Tartu and you quickly experience many of the city’s highlights, from its pink town hall to the Ruins of Tartu Cathedral. It may not immediately wow quite like the capital, but when Tartu welcomes you, you should be glad you came.

Tallinn to Tartu Transport – Traveling between Tallinn and Tartu is super easy; you can take the train or hop aboard a bus , with both taking a little over 2 hours to get there.

1 day in Pärnu

baltic trip student travel

It’s a bit of a trip out to Pärnu on Estonia’s coast . But not only is the resort town a convenient stop for getting to Latvia, it further highlights how diverse Estonia really is. Relax at the spa, pray for sun at its beach, or walk through its coastal meadows; this seaside getaway offers a nice escape from city life.

Tartu to Pärnu Transport – While you can’t get the train for this journey, there are direct buses from Tartu to Pärnu several times of day. The trip will take you just over 2.5 hours, as you’re crossing quite a lot of the country.

2 days in Riga

House of the Blackheads, Best Places to Stay in Riga Latvia

Follow the coast down south and you’ll soon find yourself in beautiful Riga . The city’s Old Town is sure to impress with its picturesque squares and grand churches. But you’ll soon realize that the Old Town is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Riga. Art Nouveau buildings liven up the streets to its north, while to the east you find the bustling central market and the phenomenal views from the Latvian Academy of Sciences.

Pärnu to Riga Transport – Crossing the border here is seamless thanks to the Schengen Zone. Direct buses from Pärnu to Riga are very frequent as it sits along the route between Tallinn and Riga, giving you lots of flexibility to book this 2.5 hour trip.

Day trip to Sigulda

Sigulda Castle Latvia

Some destinations feel like they’ve been designed explicitly as a day trip and Sigulda is one of them. This relaxed town in the Gauja Valley offers multiple castles to explore, lush forest to get lost in, and one or two surprises – I think bungee jumping from a cable car qualifies, right? It’s easy enough to visit Sigulda on your own, but there are private guided tours if you prefer the convenience.

Day trip to Rundale Palace

Rundale Palace Latvia

Latvia not only has a bunch of moody castle ruins to visit, it also has its own little slice of Versailles thanks to Rundale Palace . An elegant interior and gorgeous gardens make this palace a popular day trip from Riga and it doesn’t hurt that the nearest town of Bauska is also worth a look; it has its own cute castle ruins and a gorgeous riverfront. Getting to the palace from Riga by bus involves transiting in Bauska anyway and the guided tours take time to see Bauska also.

1 day in Siauliai or transfer via Siauliai

Visit Siauliai Lithuania

Probably the most unusual attraction anywhere on this itinerary is the mystifying Hill of Crosses in Lithuania . Found outside the small city of Siauliai, this site is not to be missed, whether you’re religious or not. The only hassle of visiting the site independently is that you’ll first need to get to Siauliai, drop your bags, and then try to squeeze the short bus ride and reasonable walk that it takes to get to the hill plus the return trip all in an afternoon.

Now, there is an easier way and it presents a massive opportunity if you want to free up a full day for yourself.

Transfer tours between Riga and Vilnius are becoming increasingly common, in part because they let you do sightseeing along the way. The most common option takes you not to the Hill of Crosses but also to Rundale Palace, allowing you to combine the activities of these two days and arrive in Vilnius earlier. It can also be booked in reverse if you choose to travel north.

Riga to Siauliai Transport – If you decide to take public transport to Siauliai, you have a decent amount of options for buses from Riga . Again, it’s a 2.5 hour trip, so if you take an early bus, you’ll have a free afternoon for sightseeing. For convenience and time maximization, it’s hard to compete with the transfer tour though.

2 days in Vilnius

View from the Three Crosses in Vilnius, Visit with your Baltic Itinerary

Last but not least of our Baltic capitals is enigmatic Vilnius , a city that defies stereotypes and keeps you guessing. Start your visit with the city’s Old Town to see its old gates, cathedral, bell tower, and hilltop tower.

What’s nice about Vilnius is that you can quickly leave the historical centre and find all sorts of other things to do there . Check out the independent district of Uzupis, walk up to the Three Crosses Monument for its views or head down Gediminas Avenue to find some of the city’s museums.

Siauliai to Vilnius Transport – Travel to the capital when in Lithuania is never too hard; Trains depart regularly to Vilnius from Siauliai and only take 2.5 hours. Buses to Vilnius aren’t quite as useful only because they tend to take at least 3.5 hours.

Trakai day trip

Trakai Castle Bridge, Day Trip to Trakai from Vilnius, Lithuania

There are a few castles included in this Baltic itinerary, but the one that’s most likely to leave an impression is the Trakai Island Castle . A quick day trip from Vilnius, Trakai is a town surrounded by lakes that’s full of history. The island castle is going to be your main focus, but don’t run off without looking around town and seeing what else is going on.

Kaunas day trip

Things to Do in Kaunas Lithuania

While I enjoyed spending two days in Kaunas , squeezing in a day trip is definitely worth doing if that’s all the time you have. Kaunas is Lithuania’s second city and feels a bit more like your traditional European city; historical old town complete with castle ruins, vibrant student population, and occasional grand architecture found around its modern city centre. What’s less typical is its fascinating Devil Museum , which I never tire of recommending.

Baltic itinerary – 3 weeks

baltic trip student travel

If I was limited to two weeks in the Baltic, that above itinerary is looking like a busy and fun trip. But what if you have even more time up your sleeve?

Let’s say you’re lucky enough to have three weeks in the Baltic to travel about. Another seven days lets you add a few more destinations to your trip and flesh out your experience with some wonderful variety.

And yet, the first thing I’d do is simply give yourself an extra day in Tallinn. Two days in Tallinn lets you see the city centre, but there’s always more to explore. Maybe the day is for visiting Pirita for its beach and convent or going over to Kalamaja and hitting up its museums. You won’t have trouble finding somewhere new in Tallinn to go.

Staying in Estonia, let’s spend two days in Saaremaa, Estonia’s largest island . Visit Saaremaa as a side trip from Pärnu and base yourself in Kuressaare. See the town’s awesome castle and then venture out to other parts of the island like Angla with its windmills or discover the island’s coastline.

Continuing with the coastal theme, insert a stop at Liepaja in Latvia after visiting Riga. The city offers beaches, a love of music, and the crumbling forts of Karosta that I absolutely loved. You can even pass through Kuldiga with its architecture and waterfalls on the way there.

While it would be nice to spend more time in Kaunas, it’s just too easy to combine Liepaja with Klaipeda down in Lithuania. Two days in Klaipeda lets you see its assortment of attractions before getting to the headline, a day trip to the gorgeous Curonian Spit . Climb sand dunes, wander forest trails, and admire cute village homes in this special part of the country.

Baltic itinerary ideas and other inclusions

The main problem with itineraries like the ones I’ve provided is that they’re inflexible. They don’t account for your personal interests or your past travel experiences. Maybe you’ve already visited some of the Baltic capitals, so you don’t need to visit them or spend as long there.

Which is why, I’ve added this section in. You could always just look around my blog for more ideas on Baltic destinations, but let me save you the hassle. Below are ideas for some easy or worthwhile inclusions that simply didn’t make the final cut of the itineraries.

Add to your Estonia itinerary

Narva Tourism

Maybe because it’s the Baltic country I most recently visited, but I just can’t get enough of Estonia. It feels like there’s still so much for you to see, even if you’re already able to spend one week in Estonia.

While Tallinn and Tartu are the largest cities, there are plenty more cities and towns in Estonia to check out. Narva , way out on the border with Russia, is a big one. The city’s castle is iconic and overall it feels much more like the former-Soviet world that people sometimes expect from the Baltic.

In terms of natural beauty, the town of Viljandi is a stand out for me. Everywhere I looked around town was a lush green, from the castle ruins to its viewpoints over the nearby lake. There’s also a quaintness to Viljandi, from its brick and wood architecture to the cobblestone streets and cosy cafes that’s hard to resist.

I will say, there are also loads of places I haven’t been in Estonia. Sillamäe, once a closed city with lots of Soviet architecture and monuments, sounds fascinating. I’ve barely been to any islands so far, with the likes of Prangli, Hiiumaa, and Kihnu all high on my list.

Add to your Latvia itinerary

Cesis, Getting Started with Stock Photography

To me, Latvia doesn’t get enough credit as a destination. It’s where I’ve spent the most time in the Baltic I think and I’m consistently delighted by how much there is to see and do. If you like castles, palaces, and nature, you’re in luck.

While I favour Sigulda, Cesis is another destination in the Gauja Valley that’s worth visiting. Not only does it have a fun castle ruin to explore that’s bordered by a grand park and manor museum, but the town itself is pleasant to wander around.

Destinations like Jelgava and Jekabpils hit similar notes actually; both are a combination of nice natural scenery and cultural landmarks. In Jelgava , you have a converted castle and town hall, while Jekabpils features a well-preserved castle. Both offer gorgeous riverfront views, although the horses on the island in Jelgava give it the edge.

There are plenty more places in Latvia that you can look at too. Daugavpils has its fortress, while little Ludza and Rezekne were interesting to explore. Madona, Valmiera, and Ventspils all remain on my to do list, but Ķemeri National Park may be the most prominent place in Latvia I’ve yet to go.

Add to your Lithuania itinerary

Canopy Walking Path, Travel Anyksciai Lithuania

The Baltic country that’s most grown on me as I’ve travelled there has to be Lithuania. It was the country I knew the least about, partly because I don’t think it’s talked about all that often. Finding new places to visit in Lithuania can be the hardest part, so hopefully this helps you make a start.

While it’s not massive, Ankysciai is a town that I highly recommend. Not only does the town have a few neat landmarks to check out, including an Angel Museum, but the treetop walk through the nearby forest is such a good time.

Look at eastern Lithuania and you’ll see Aukstaitija National Park and a whole bunch of lakes. Whether you want to hike or cycle around the park, it’s a great choice for a simple day in the outdoors. Plus, there are some cultural attractions too, from the church at Palūšė to the carved wooden statues scattered about.

I have to admit, I’m a little light on other places to go in Lithuania. I do know that Druskininkai in the south is said to be a spa town, which I admit sounds interesting. Then there’s the Pažaislis Monastery outside Kaunas which is meant to be quite important. The archaeological site at Kernavė also piqued my attention and could be another good day trip from Vilnius.

Before you go

With your plans to visit the Baltic, you’ll likely want as much as information as you can find before you go. Below you’ll find advice for visiting each of the countries, as well as other Baltic posts that may be useful:

9 Things to Know Before Visiting Estonia

9 helpful things to know before visiting latvia, 9 things to know before visiting lithuania.

  • Day Trips from Riga to See More of Latvia

If you’ve visited the Baltic what was your own Baltic travel itinerary like? How long did you spend in the region and was it long enough? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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David is the author behind the Travelsewhere travel blog and is always on the search for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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Visiting Copenhagen Oslo Bergen Hemsedal Stockholm

From €5,385 pp

This is a guaranteed departure group tour, in the company of a tour leader and your fellow travellers. The best of the Scandinavian cities with a side trip to the Norwegian fjords and Flamsbana Railway.

Family Heritage in Lithuania Private Tour

Visiting Anyksciai Birstonas Curonian Spit Druskininkai Kaunas Klaipeda Palanga Vilnius Zemaitija

Would you like to visit Lithuania and discover your family roots? Have you always wondered where your Lithuanian ancestors came from, what is Lithuania like, what could you discover about your family if you visited Lithuania?

Helsinki & South Karelia Group Tour 2024

Visiting Helsinki Lappeenranta (South Karelia)

From €581 pp

South Karelia is east of Helsinki and is an unspoilt lakeland region with Lappeenranta is a lovely resort to indulge in some off-the-beaten-track Finnish culture. This tour can be added to some of our Baltic group tour dates.

Highlights of Poland Group Tour 2024

Visiting Krakow Warsaw Gdansk

Our Highlights of Poland group tour is the perfect introduction to Poland. Along with your local guide and fellow travellers, you will be treated to beautiful old towns, architecture, culture, and nature as you tour from Krakow up to Gdansk in the Polish summer months. This tour sold out in 2023 so early booking is advised.

Independence Day in Transnistria Group Tour 2024

Visiting Chisinau Transnistria Iasi

From €1,741 pp

Come and celebrate the independence Day of a country that doesn't exist! It doesn't get much more off-the-beaten-track than that. Transnistria is an unrecognised breakaway area of the Republic of Moldova with all the trimmings of an independent country - but no-one acknowledges that (except fellow unrecognised breakaway territories). This is Transnistria's 'National Day', come and see how they celebrate it, meet the locals, see the sights and experience something very unique.

Kiruna Winter Experience

Visiting Kiruna Jukkasjarvi

From €1,775 pp

A winter break in Kiruna in Swedish Lapland is full of authentic experiences that create awesome memories. What will be your highlight? A husky ride through the snowy forest, snuggling up in your Icehotel bedroom, hunting the Northern Lights, meeting the reindeer or listening to local stories around the campfire?

Lulea Winter Experience

Visiting Lulea Harads

Lulea is a gateway to Swedish Lapland with plenty to explore and experience for everyone - from winter fun in the snow, to exclusive stays at design hotels. Chat with us about what you want from your trip so we can recommend the best itinerary for you. Swedish Lapland is not an off-the-shelf holiday, it needs to be crafted to suit you and yours for the very best experience.

Moldova Highlights Private Tour

Visiting Chisinau Gagauzia Old Orhei Soroca Transnistria

From €2,450 pp

The ultimate private tour of Moldova. You not only see the sights, but meet the people, and experience real life from wine tasting to home-cooked meals, local crafts to traditional cooking. In the company of our excellent local guides and drivers, you will be one of the few tourists privileged to experience unspoilt and unaffected Moldova.

Moldova Wine Festival Group Tour 2024

Visiting Chisinau Old Orhei

From €1,079 pp

Moldovan wine producers invite everyone to come and appreciate the quality and taste of the new wine at the festival! Sample different local wines, try a traditional barbeque, meet locals and enjoy an unforgettable Moldovan experience with folk music and dance events.

No-Fly Holidays to the Baltic States

Visiting Latvia Estonia Lithuania Baltic States

Yes, you can visit the Baltic States without flying and we are here to help you do that. Travelling to Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia by train is an overland adventure embracing slow-travel and experiencing so much more along the way, you can even combine train travel with a ferry crossing. Let's discuss your plans...

Nordic Capitals Private Tour

Visiting Copenhagen Oslo Stockholm Helsinki

From €2,800 pp

A welcome tour of the Nordic capitals of Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm & Helsinki. Enjoy two nights in each city, with a private walking tour to get you acquainted on your first day in each capital. Tailored to suit you. Can be extended to include a Norway in a Nutshell tour to see the fjords or combined with a Baltic Capitals tour.

Norway in a Nutshell®

Visiting Bergen Oslo Flam

Norway in a Nutshell® is a travel experience between Oslo and Bergen. Highlights include the famous Flamsbana railway and cruising through the deep fjords. You can do the trip in either direction, in one day, or stay overnight in a fjordland village.

Poland & Baltic Capitals Group Tour 2024

Visiting Krakow Warsaw Bialystok Vilnius Riga Tallinn Baltic States

From €1,507 pp

A journey of discovery through Poland and the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia, full of beautiful old towns, architecture, culture, and landscapes as you tour from Krakow up to Tallinn in the lush summertime.

Deals of the Week   European Long Weekends   Up to 50% OFF

Baltic Tours & Trips

TourRadar has 263 tours visiting the Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The tours start from just 2 days in length, up to 21 days. The most popular month to go is August, which has the highest number of tour departures.

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250+ baltic tour packages with 994 reviews.

Baltic Experience Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Baltic Experience

Throughly enjoyed this trip.

The Best of Baltic Highlights in 8 days, 4* hotels (Guaranteed departure) Tour

  • Coach / Bus
  • Sightseeing

The Best of Baltic Highlights in 8 days, 4* hotels (Guaranteed departure)

It's worth the money. We have a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide.

Stunning Baltics End Warsaw Tour

Stunning Baltics End Warsaw

Travel means something different to all of us. Danielle and I have done it all. We have flown between 7 or 8 countries in Asia (most hard). We have hired a private driver between many countries (easy). We have taken organized group tours and we have completely traveled with no plan. We have used trains and boats. Europamundo is somewhere in the middle. We found them because they were the only company that could easily get us between the Baltic countries (trains, country buses and private cars were not an option). It turns out, I really like this option. These tours are like a multi-country hop on hop off bus. You can customize your countries 100%. In other words, you tell them where you want to visit and they will bounce you on and off buses to make it work [Removed in Moderation]. The buses are modern enough with recline, arm rests, tray tables and foot rests (no wifi or toilet). They stop every couple of hours and the included hotel are 4* quality. Here all the hotels have had spa facilities (it is the Baltics after all). Each city includes a short city tour (combo of bus and walking) and breakfast is always included, sometimes more meals and admission to attractions. For those looking for the ease of travel with some free time this company is worth considering. You should note - Our tour is English but this is a Spanish company so often we listen to the explanations on the bus in Spanish first, then English. Overall, I highly recommend this company for what you get! Clean, nicer-end accommodations and easy travel between locations.

Highlights of Baltic States in 8 Days (Guaranteed Departure) Tour

Highlights of Baltic States in 8 Days (Guaranteed Departure)

Enjoyed my tour of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia very much. Beautiful sights and interesting history. Our guide, Janis, was very efficient and organized. I was happy to have the 4 star accommodations to get a good night's rest and enjoy the breakfast spread.
  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

The Best of Poland and The Baltics in 13 days (Guaranteed departure) Tour

The Best of Poland and The Baltics in 13 days (Guaranteed departure)

Provided that you agree with two design objectives, the Baltic Jewels tour is excellent. First, this is not a tour that books every moment of your time. Baltic Vision provides the essential skeleton for a great tour: they handle lodging and itinerary. They provide a multi-lingual guide who travels with you the whole trip and city overview guides for each city. That leaves considerable time unscheduled. You can fill it yourself if you like to poke around at your own pace or schedule side trips on your own. They also provide numerous optional trips at an extra cost if you don’t want to do things on your own. For us, this was a perfect compromise between trying to devise a long trip entirely on our own or being managed like 2nd graders the whole time. The second tour objective to be aware of is that this tour provides an overview not a detailed study. In 10 days (not counting the arrival or departure days) you visit four countries and 5 major cities. Even though the countries are small, there is considerable travel time on the coaches. There is not a lot of time to explore any one place. But, to repeat, if you like these objectives, it’s a great tour. Baltic Visions booked very good hotels in every city, mostly Radisson Blu four star. Always clean, modern and well located. City guides were very good-to-excellent. They tried hard to give good overviews and insights in the limited time available. As noted, there were several long days of travel by coach, but Baltic Vision tried hard to break up the travel by finding worthwhile places to visit en route. I was very satisfied with my interactions with TourRadar. They were very timely and responsive to any questions or concerns. I can strongly recommend the whole package of itinerary, Baltic Visions, and TourRadar.

Stunning Baltics End Berlin Tour

Stunning Baltics End Berlin

Outstanding itinerary, guide, food , accommodation great local guides.

Baltic Adventure Tour

Baltic Adventure

This is the wonderful trip for me to feel young and energic. Our tour guide is Nevyana,smart and understanding girl,sharing lots of interesting experences and always took us to the best local restaurant. Althought we have many trouble,Nevy tried her best to deal with. Too many things to say thank you ,Nevy and G adventure! Can't wait the next tour with you again

Great Bike Tour of the Baltics (fully guided from Vilnius to Tallinn 2024) Tour

Great Bike Tour of the Baltics (fully guided from Vilnius to Tallinn 2024)

Although the "biking" was not on my bucket list (was talked into the trip by our brother/sister-in-law), but we had a very great time! Mindaugas was a great guide, and our driver was also great. The hotels were fine, the food was excellent, and the biking was better than I'd expected! Our fellow companions were delightful. The history and tours of the Baltic countries was wonderful. It would have been nice to have had a microphone hook-up during our guided walking tours in order to hear all the information. It would have been nice to be able to buy t-shirts (Mindaugas wore a few) that displayed a map of the tour. I think it would have been nice if we could have ordered them before or after the trip. Is it possible to do so now? Otherwise, I'd never done anything like this before, and may do it again at some point.

Baltics and Scandinavia in 10 Days (Guaranteed Departure) Tour

Baltics and Scandinavia in 10 Days (Guaranteed Departure)

I had lovely holiday in the Baltics. The trip was well organised with knowledgeable guides. Highly recommend this company.

Premium Baltics  Tour

Premium Baltics

Discover the Baltics Tour

Discover the Baltics

A great joy. Migle is a gem.

Helsinki to Warsaw Tour

Helsinki to Warsaw

I enjoyed my entire trip! Tour leader was great, transparent and consistent. Driver was wonderful, I always felt safe. Thank you for everything!!
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Poland and Baltic Discovery - 13 days Tour

Poland and Baltic Discovery - 13 days

Excellent tour all together, had very friendly staff and would highly recommend to anyone.

Baltic Bike Tour: Vilnius to Tallinn (self-guided supported) Tour

  • Self-Guided Cycling

Baltic Bike Tour: Vilnius to Tallinn (self-guided supported)

Would have preferred one less ride on the island and a full day in Tallinn. The maps were pretty good for the unguided portion but on day 4 we could have gone a little farther by bike and caught a ferry that unloaded right by the hotel. We followed directions and caught first ferry and then had a mile and half ride through city to get to hotel. Driver was very good, very friendly, and very helpful. Rides were very nice in national parks. Would also look to add more villages. Interesting to make stops and meet locals

Tour Metropolis of the Baltic Tour

Tour Metropolis of the Baltic

Guides including local city guides and palace guides were great Logistics especially combination of several groups onto very large buses was not as anticipated or advertised

What people love about Baltic Tours

The Baltic Experience tour was a lot of fun! Our Tour Leader, Agata, was superb! The small tour size (we had six participants) meant we got to know each other well. The tour had a perfect mix of planned group activities and time to explore the sites on our own. The on-line tour description was accurate and extensive. Three cautions: Travel insurance is MANDATORY, somewhat expensive, and not included in the tour price. Many, like me, will commit to the tour not knowing this additional cost will be tacked on. Second, the tour sometimes involves significant walking (up to 30 minutes) from transportation facilities to hotels while carrying your own bags (two weeks of baggage), as well as walking tours that sometimes involve climbing as many as 800 steps. This is a tour for fairly young and fit participants. Finally, European hotels and home-stay facilities generally don't have air conditioning or screened windows, meaning sometimes in the summer you will have to choose between sleeping in hot, stuffy rooms or opening the windows for mosquitoes to enter. All that said, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience and I would highly recommend it for fit, adventurous people with positive attitudes who can tolerate occasional less-than-luxurious accommodations.
Tour was fantastic. ILONA did a great job at keeping everyone together. He knowledge of history was outstanding. Hotels were perfect and all in or close to the city center. This was a great value foe the money. Lots of optional tours that you could or did not have to do, which I like.
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Baltic Adventures

Oct 14, 2021 | Estonia , Europe , Interrail , Interrail Global Pass , Latvia , Lithuania

The three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are perhaps the most underrated tourist destinations at the moment in Europe. With the incredible scenery of the Baltic coast, unique culture, and heritage, these small countries have a lot to offer and have their own distinct charm.

Additionally, they are also a lot more affordable than some other European countries. What’s better than saving money? Saving more money! We recommend the Interrail Global Pass with 10 travel days over 2 months to give you the best access to the region in a big enough time frame for this Baltic itinerary.

Where To Buy Tickets: Elron (Estonia) | Latvian Railways | Lithuanian Railways

Countries Visited:   Estonia |  Latvia | Lithuania  

Rail Passes:  Interrail Global Pass

Price Range: $$

Recommended Days: 15-21 Days

Riding Hours: Approx. 20.5-22 hr

Distance: 1,086 km

Transportation: Train, Taxi

baltic trip student travel

Tallinn ➝ Tartu ➝ Valga ➝ Cesis ➝ Sigulda ➝ Riga ➝ Daugavpils ➝ Vilnius ➝ Klaipeda ➝ Kaunas

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn , the capital of Estonia is an incredible city with a fascinating and rich history. With gothic towers and well-preserved medieval architecture, this city has a lot of sites to see.

St. Olaf’s Tower is one of the most popular spots in the city, after climbing up its 258 steps to the top, enjoy a wonderful bird’s eye view of the city. Tip: This spot does get crowded quickly, so try to visit early and avoid the weekends.

If you want to experience the ancient architecture of the region, visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral . Tallinn also has several museums that are worth visiting, such as the Kadriorg Art Museum which is located inside a baroque palace.

One of the most unique spots in the city to visit is the KGB Museum , which is an old spy base set up in room 23 of Hotel Viru . It has several fascinating exhibitions, and you can learn about some of the interrogation and spying techniques the Russian spies had used.

Tallinn Train Station → Tartu Train Station | Duration: 2:02 | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train


​The journey begins at the Tallinn train station where several trains leave almost every hour throughout the day to Tartu. Buy your tickets from Elron , the Estonian railways.

Recommended Accommodations:

Fat Margaret’s Hestia Hotel Europa

Tartu, Estonia

Tartu is a town of creative thinkers, intellectuals, and students. It is home to the oldest university in Northern Europe and has some incredible architectural sites, art, and museums.

Tartu is a very compact city, with most of the sites being close to each other, one of the best spots in the city is the Estonian National Museum, which has several folk art and historical exhibitions. The AHHAA Science Centre has many hands-on activities that you can take part in and has a planetarium that you can visit as well.

Make sure to check out the University of Tartu Museum as well, which has the medieval cathedral and some fascinating science exhibits.

Tartu Train Station → Valga Train Station | Duration: 1:12 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

Trains leave Tartu for Valga four times a day, and in less than 1.5 hours you’ve already arrived at your next destination. Buy your tickets from Elron , the Estonian railways.

Looming Hostel City Inn Apartments

Valga, Estonia

Valga is a small Estonian town, which is a great place to stop at before moving on to Latvia. It offers a refreshing sight of nature and has some cool museums and natural sights that you can visit.

The Pedeli River has nice walking trails along it and another great green space is Lake Rautina , which is just outside the town. On the educational and historical side of things, the Valga Museum and Valga Military Museum are worth visiting.

Valga Train Station →  Cesis Train Station | Duration: 1:07 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

Latvian Railways offers two direct train connections per day. Make sure to plan your train journey accordingly as one leaves in the early morning and the other leaves in the afternoon. Book tickets through Latvian Railways .

Centrum Apartement MaxiMar Apartment With Sauna

Cesis, Latvia

Onto the next country, Latvia ! Cesis is a small medieval town located in the Northeast of Latvia, and it is particularly famous because of the beautiful Castle of Cesis . The Cesis Castle is one of the most well-preserved medieval buildings in the country. Guided tours are offered to dig a bit deeper into its history.

When you arrive in Cesis by train, the train station itself is a tourist attraction. The beautiful building and its grounds are a great place to spend some time, and sometimes, there is also an exhibition of the Wabadus Historic Armored Train , which was used during the Independence War, between 1918 and 1920.

Cesis Train Station → Sigulda Train Station | Duration: 0:42 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

There are six connections daily from Cesis to Sigulda. Feel free to combine the short journey from Cesis to Sigulda with the next stop from Sigulda to Riga to make for a nice day of short train trips with still enough time to explore the Sigulda along the way. Book tickets through Latvian Railways .

Mēness Apartamenti Center Orange House

Sigulda, Latvia

Whilst in Riga, take a short day trip to the nearby Sigulda , to check out some of the best sites this small town has to offer.

Make a visit to the Castle of the Livonian Order , which was built in the 1200s. Turaida Castle is another great spot in the city, which also features a museum park with interesting sculptures.

Feeling adventurous? Visit the Tarzāns park , where exciting activities await such as zip-lining, bungee jumping, and climbing, or even take a scenic ride in the cable car. Looking for a quick dose of ancient history? Before leaving, check out Gutman’s Cave , home to some ancient inscriptions.

Sigulda Train Station → Riga Pasažieru | Duration: 0:47-1:06 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

There are 14 connections daily from Sigulda to Riga. Feel free to combine the short journey from Cesis to Sigulda with this stop from Sigulda to Riga to make for a nice day of short train trips with still enough time to explore Sigulda along the way. Book tickets through Latvian Railways .

City Center Kaķis B&B Aparjods

Riga, Latvia

Riga , the capital of Latvia, often referred to as the Paris of the Baltics, is a wonderful city with plenty of attractions to keep you and your travel buddies entertained. From fascinating architecture, and the bustling streets to natural wonders, a UNESCO world heritage site, culture, food, and a lot more, Riga has it all.

The House of the Black Heads in the old town of Latvia is a must-visit spot. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and displays some incredible 14th-century architecture. In the same square of the old town, check out St. Peter’s Church , a medieval church with a high steeple.

The Freedom Monument in the heart of the city is also an important historical site, which is a Latvian War of Independence memoria l. Looking for some nature? Riga is also home to many natural sights, like the Botanical Gardens of the University of Latvia , which has more than six thousand different plants.

Riga Pasažieru → Daugavpils Train Station | Duration: 2:43-3:31 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

There are four direct connections daily, and this journey winds along the Daugava River offering scenic views of Latvia. Book tickets through Latvian Railways .

Cinnamon Sally’s Backpackers Hostel Wellton Riga Hotel & SPA

Daugavpils, Latvia

The next stop on our route, Daugavpils, is another exceptional destination with historical sites and multiple museums as well. The most popular site in the city is perhaps Daugavpils Fortress , which is a unique fort made in the 19th century, and now displays some interesting abstract art. Mark Rothko Art Center is another great spot to see some contemporary art.

Near Daugavpils, you can also visit the Ozero Strop Lake , which is a nice place to spend some in nature before heading to Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius. 

Daugavpils Train Station → Vilnius Train Station | Duration: 2:34 h | Transfers: 1 | Transport: Taxi, Train

There is no direct train connection available from Daugavpils to Vilnius; however, you can take a short 30 minute taxi ride to Turmantas. There in Turmantas 2-4 train connections are available to bring you to Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius.  You can book this ticket from Turmantas to Vilnius on the Lithuanian Railways page or at the train station. Make sure to check the train connection times to Vilnius because some may be in the early morning.

Vienibas 38a Garden Chalet

 Vilnius, Lithuania

The capital city of Lithuania has a lot to offer, from historical monuments and modern art to delicious cuisine and affordable prices.

One of the most popular sites in the city is the Trakai Castle , which is built on an island in the middle of a lake. It is widely regarded as the most impressive castle in the Baltics . Within the main city, you should visit St. Anne’s Church , which is a 16th-century gothic church in addition to the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania as it has several interesting art and history exhibits.

Three Crosses Monument is another great spot and has some lovely views of the city as well as the city’s TV tower , which is easily accessible by elevator!

Vilnius Train Station→ Klaipeda Train Station | Duration: 3:58-4:24 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

Lithuanian Railways offers six daily direct connections to Klaipeda. Along this journey across almost the whole country, don’t forget to soak up the views going from the highlands of Vilnius to the coast of Klaipeda. Book tickets through Lithuanian Railways .

Downtown Forest Hostel & Camping Hotel Vilnia

Klaipėda, Latvia

The port city of Klaipėda is a great excuse to enjoy some time at the beach and take in the romantic waterfront. Kurshskaya Kosa is a popular seaside area in the city, with multiple beaches and seaside resorts. The Olando kepurė is another seafront near the city, with steep cliffs, topped with tall trees.

Make time to visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum , which has a walk-through aquarium, and a dolphin show as well.

Dane Park is also a great place to visit, where you can take walks by the river, and visit the Medirianas Ship Restaurant , where you can enjoy delicious local seafood dishes and more.

Klaipeda Train Station → Kaunas Train Station | Duration: 4:55 h | Transfers: 1 | Transport: Train

There are no direct train connections to Kaunas but not to worry there is a great transfer option through Kaisiadorys. There are 3 train connections available to Kaisadorys roughly 3:47 h long and then there are hourly connections from Kaisiadorys to Kaunas. Each leg of the trip may need to be booked separately. Book tickets through Lithuanian Railways.

Klaipeda Hostel Comfort Stay – Klaipeda

Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania holds some exciting surprises for both new and experienced travelers.

Start off your expedition by visiting the Kaunas Castle , a gothic castle, with art exhibitions and interesting tours. The Devils’ Museum is quite unique and can even feel a little scary, but it is definitely one of a kind. The M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art is also nearby, so give it a visit while you’re at it.

Outside the main city, stop by the 9th Fort of the Kaunas Fortress , which is a fascinating historic fort, with a Holocaust Museum in it as well.

We hope you have enjoyed the journey through the Baltic states by train. From Kaunas, you can return to the capital, Vilnius, with regular connections or head south to Poland. Check Rome2Rio for transfer and transport options.

The Monk’s Bunk Kaunas Moxy Kaunas Center

Back to Tallinn

*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.

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Wrześniówka | Baltic Trip | 4 stolice | Rejsy

Sztokholm, szwecja.

baltic trip student travel

Zdaje się, że nie ma końca. Rzuca urok swoją tajemnicą i zapada w pamięć na całe życie. Morze. Bałtyk, którego nie znacie. Uspokaja i przyciąga - zwłaszcza nas - poszukiwaczy przygód i dzielnych podróżników! Ekipa ST to grupa ludzi, którzy mają szaloną zajawkę na podróże i świetną zabawę! Tym razem jedzie... WRÓĆ - płyniemy na Północ. Zobaczycie Tallin, Rygę, Sztokholm i Helsinki i oczywiście bezkres Bałtyku. A my jako specjaliści od integracji zadbamy o wybitną atmosferę, którą będziecie wspominać równie dobrze, co piękne widoki, które Was czekają.

Zwiedzanie ⬇

baltic trip student travel

Sernik z kminkiem i solą? A może piwo z miodem, śmietaną z dodatkiem białego sera, zwane kahja? Nie znasz tych smaków a stolica Estonii z niczym Ci się nie kojarzy? Już my Cię wyedukujemy! :D Tallin jest bramą do Estonii. To małe miasto, okrzykniete jedną z najmniejszych europejskich stolic , ma wiele do zaoferowania! Zachwyca połączeniem nowoczesności (Tallin co roku ogłaszany jest jednym z najnowocześniejszych miast na świecie) i zabytkową architekturą, dzięki której czuć ducha miasta. Szeregi pastelowych kamienic, stojących wzdłuż wybrukowanych kocimi łbami uliczek, pamiętają czasy rycerzy i kupców hanzeatyckich. Tallin znajduje się na 7. miejscu w rankingu najinteligentniejszych miast świata! Firmę zakłada się tam w 18 minut, a dzieci już w podstawówce uczą się programowania. Chcesz poczuć klimat miasta na własnej skórze? Ruszaj z nami na wycieczkę! :D

baltic trip student travel

Mięso z renifera, czapki św. Mikołaja i wszechobecne muminki.. To musi być Finlandia! Ale tym razem nie chodzi nam o wódkę ;p Stolica tego kraju - Helsinki - skupiają jak w soczewce kwintesencję Finlandii. Wyjątkową atmosferę miejsce zawdzięcza kombinacji wpływów szwedzkich, rosyjskich, a także innych kultur. Pod względem architektury - niskiej, prostej i funkcjonalnej - Helsinki zupełnie nie przypominają innych miast w Skandynawii. Jedną z głównych atrakcji stolicy jest Suomenlinna, czyli twierdza położona na kilku wyspach, wpisana na listę dziedzictwa UNESCO. W mieście znajdują się zabytki głównie z XIX wieku, ale w dzielnicy Kruununhaka, ocalałej z wielkiego pożaru, można zobaczyć też domy z XVI-XVII wieku. Jeżeli lubisz pozwiedzać - będziesz miał co robić, a w wolnej chwili napijesz się z nami glogga i razem wskoczymy do sauny! Piszesz się? :D

baltic trip student travel

Ryga, czyli stolica Łotwy to intrygujący kierunek, który trzeba sprawdzić! Zjesz tu chlebową zupę, napijesz się ryskiej nalewki , zwanej Czarny Balsam i zapełnisz swojego instagrama zdjęciami cudownie zdobionych kamienic! W Rydze zobaczysz najpiękniejszą wśród krajów bałtyckich starówkę, największą katedrę oraz najwyższą na terenie Unii Europejskiej wieżę telewizyjną  (368,5 m). Łotewska stolica słynie z secesyjnych perełek architektonicznych i pięknego średniowiecznego Starego Miasta - obiekty są wpisane na Listę Światowego Dziedzictwa Kulturowego UNESCO. Jeżeli lubisz zwiedzać koniecznie zobacz najważniejszy zabytek - Rigas pils, czyli XIV-wieczny zamek ryski. Lecisz z nami na wycieczkę?

baltic trip student travel

Jesteś w stanie wyobrazić sobie rejs wśród tysiąca małych wysp i wysepek? Nie bardzo? A więc wybierz się na wycieczkę do Sztokholmu! Stolica Szwecji, składająca się z 14 wysp, jest położona na archipelagu sztokholmskim , który łącznie liczy sobie 24 tys. wysp, wysepek i skał przybrzeżnych. Miasto od zachodu oblewają wody jeziora Mälaren, zaś od wschodu styka się z wodami Bałtyku. Początki historii tego miejsca sięgają roku 1252, a ducha czasu można poczuć spacerując uliczkami Gamla Stan , czyli Starego Miasta. Odkryjemy tam Stortorget - najstarszy plac w Sztokholmie, na którym odbywają się główne imprezy w stolicy, majestatyczną katedrę sztokholmską i najważniejszy budynek: Pałac Królewski , będący oficjalną siedzibą króla. 

Hotel ⬇

Brak turnusów, ubezpieczenie ⬇, ubezpieczenie kl + nnw standard.

Oferowane przez nas ubezpieczenie Wiener jest jednym z najlepszych na rynku. Jest to ubezpieczenie, które powinno wystarczyć nawet na najbardziej skomplikowaną hospitalizację. 

Ubezpieczenie kosztów leczenia: 20 000 €

Koszty Ratownictwa: 10 000 € 

  • szkody na mieniu: 5 000 €
  • szkody na osobie: 10 000 €

baltic trip student travel

Transport ⬇

Plan ⬇.

🚍 Wyjazd z Polski

📍 Wieczorny wyjazd do Tallina

📍 Przyjazd do Tallina, stolicy Estonii.

Zwiedzanie miasta, czas wolny.

🚢 Zaokrętowanie na statku, nocny rejs do Sztokholmu.

🍴 Poranne zaokrętowanie w stolicy Szwecji, śniadanie na statku

📍 Zwiedzanie miasta i czas wolny

🚢 Powrót na statek, nocny rejs do Helsinek

🍴 Poranne zaokrętowanie w stolicy Finlandii, śniadanie na statku

🚢 Powrót na statek, nocny rejs do Tallina.

🍴 Poranne zaokrętowanie w stolicy Estonii, śniadanie na statku

📍 Przyjazd do Rygi w godzinach popołudniowych.

📍 Krótkie zwiedzanie miasta, czas wolny.

Wieczorny wyjazd do Polski.

🚍 Przyjazd do Warszawy ok.3:00 - 4:00 nad ranem

baltic trip student travel

Każdy z naszych autokarów to pojazd przystosowany do oczekiwań najbardziej wymagających pasażerów. Komfortowe fotele i szeroka gama udogodnień czekają!

baltic trip student travel

Na pokładzie statku są  sklepy, restauracje z bogatym menu,  a każdego wieczora dostępne będą atrakcje w postaci  pokazów tańca, muzyki na żywo czy karaoke.  Późnym wieczorem zaprosimy Was na  dyskotekę na środku morza!

baltic trip student travel

BB - śniadania

Śniadania kontynentalne w formie bufetu

Cena ⬇

🚢 3 noclegi w kajutach luksusowego statku wycieczkowego Ryga - Sztokholm, Sztokholm - Helsinki, Helsinki - Tallin

🍴 3 śniadania na statku wycieczkowym

📍 Zwiedzanie Rygi

📍 Zwiedzanie Sztokholmu

📍 Zwiedzanie Helsinek

📍 Zwiedzanie Tallina

🚍 Przejazd komfortowym autokarem

 Opieka kadry ST

 SMS-owy serwis informacyjny (wiadomości wyjazdowe na Twoja komórkę)

baltic trip student travel

Orientacyjny koszt uczestnictwa w programie

Na koszt uczestnictwa w programie składają się przykładowo: opłaty za wjazdy do miast, administracyjne, parkingowe, klimatyczne czy też przejazdy komunikacją miejską

baltic trip student travel

Turystyczny Fundusz Gwarancyjny

Od dnia 26.11.16 r. obowiązuje opublikowane 25.11.16 r w Dzienniku Ustaw (poz.1900) Rozporządzenie Ministra Sportu i Turystyki z dnia 21.11.2016 r. o wysokości obowiązkowej składki na UFG. Nasz ustawodawca wymaga od wszystkich tour operatorów pobierania obowiązkowej opłaty na tzw. Turystyczny Fundusz Gwarancyjny tj. ciało, które na wypadek bankructwa tour operatora z tych właśnie składek będzie pokrywało koszty sprowadzenia turystów do Polski czy zwrot wpłaconych przez klientów pieniędzy. Składka jest obowiązkowa i będzie się pojawiała w naszych systemach jako obowiązkowa dopłata do większości naszych produktów. Stawki są następujące (za osobę = każdego pasażera): * Imprezy lotnicze w Europie: 15 zł * Imprezy autokarowe w Europie: 10 zł * Imprezy do krajów graniczących lądowo z Polską: 0 zł

 Orientacyjnego kosztu uczestnictwa w programie - 65 € (opłata obligatoryjna, płatna na miejscu)

📛 Ubezpieczenia na czas wyjazdu - 50 PLN (doliczane do umowy)

⋆ Turystycznego Funduszu Gwarancyjnego - 10 PLN (doliczane do umowy)

baltic trip student travel

Opieka Kadry ST

O prawidłowy przebieg imprezy oraz bezpieczeństwo na wyjeździe będzie dbała odpowiednio przeszkolona i profesjonalna kadra.

baltic trip student travel

Dzięki serwisowi SMS będziesz codziennie na bieżąco z wyjazdem. Wszystkie informacje nt wspólnych wyjść, integracji i informacji last minute dostaniesz na swoją komórkę.

Zarezerwuj ⬇

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FTMBA Student Travel to Germany for International Residency

In a significant step toward global business education, Paul College full-time MBA students recently embarked on an enlightening trip to Germany from March 15 to March 23, a journey that blended academic learning with real-world business experience.

The trip began with an insightful overview of Berlin's vibrant business scene by Andreas Dittes, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of entrepreneurship. Highlighted by a panel discussion with entrepreneurs Laurence R. N., Julie B., and Michael Martens, the students received first-hand accounts of the highs and lows of starting and running a business in Berlin.

A core element of the trip was an exploration of Germany's "Mittelstand," the small and medium-sized businesses that are vital to the country's economy.  Visits to various companies, including Wurth Electronik Group and HYVE, showcased the innovation and design thinking that is integral to these businesses.

The students also engaged in flash projects with startups Jina AI and Product People, applying their MBA knowledge to real-world challenges, a testament to the trip's blend of theory and practice. Additionally, the journey included a foray into Germany's renowned automotive industry with visits to the BMW Center and MAN Trucking & Bus assembly lines, revealing the country's industrial prowess.

The trip extended beyond the realm of business. Cultural excursions to the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, and Alexanderplatz in the historic East Germany enriched the students with profound historical and cultural insights. 

A visit to the Dachau concentration camp served as a poignant historical reflection, emphasizing the significance of memory and the resilience of the human spirit.

This educational trip is a required component of ADMN 840: International Business, led by Professors Jun Li and Tom Gruen, and Graduate Program Academic Advisor Emma Pennewell, with support from the Dean's Office and the Graduate Program Office. The trip to Germany marks another milestone in Paul College's commitment to preparing its students for the global business arena.

Group shot in Germany

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Welcome to the College of Communication & Information

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  • College of Communication & Information
  • School of Communication
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News & Events

At college of communication & information, cci students travel to tampa to network with major companies.

baltic trip student travel

During these networking trips, students meet recruiters and experience each company’s culture. Students also connect with College of Communication and Information (CCI) alumni at the companies and at social gatherings organized by Associate Dean Ebe Randeree.

At Synapse Summit, students learned about the IT industry in Tampa, engaged with speakers, and attended a career fair. The conference allowed entrepreneurs, startup companies, and local industry leaders to showcase their innovations and involvements. “Taking our students there allowed them to see what was available in the entire Tampa market, and also got their name and face out there within the tech community,” said Randeree.

baltic trip student travel

“I learned a lot about the inner processes in tech companies. This included learning how people collaborate internally within teams, and externally across departments,” said student Arianna Nichols . Student Jai Reed added, “The opportunity to converse with knowledgeable representatives of each company helped settle the curiosity I had regarding which sector of tech I want to specialize in, which will undoubtedly aid in my professional development as I navigate a career in tech.”

baltic trip student travel

This networking trip provided insights and career guidance, shaping these students’ perspectives and aiding them to launch a career in the tech industry.

CCI Students Judge Middle and High School Students at TSA State Competition

baltic trip student travel

CCI Alumnus Dr. Michael Cornett Retires After Teaching 50 Years

baltic trip student travel


  1. Tours Across Baltics

    baltic trip student travel

  2. Baltics travel is a must! The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and

    baltic trip student travel

  3. A road trip through the Baltic States

    baltic trip student travel

  4. #Baltics #Travel #Estonia #Latvia #Lithuania #Travelling #TravelTips #

    baltic trip student travel

  5. 30 Pictures That Will Inspire Your Baltics Travel

    baltic trip student travel

  6. One Week Itinerary for the Baltic Countries

    baltic trip student travel


  1. The Perfect Baltics Itinerary: Explore Estonia, Latvia, & Lithuania

    That was a pretty comprehensive guide to the Baltics! We are a group of 4 (husband, daughter, son-in-law and myself), planning a trip to the Baltics for around 2 weeks, starting Oct 18th or so. We thought we could travel the 3 Baltic countries by road (bus or hired car), then head to Warsaw for a few days, and head back home to Bangalore from ...

  2. Baltics Travel Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania (+ Map)

    In addition, it also takes you to the lesser-known areas of each country. You get to spend two nights on Saaremaa, Estonia's biggest island, explore the castles of Sigulda, Latvia, and climb the impressive sand dunes in the Curonian Spit in Lithuania. Even though two weeks are not enough time to see everything the Baltics have to offer, this ...

  3. Travelling the Baltics: Your Perfect Baltic Itinerary

    Just go for a wander around Vilnius - you'll find some beautiful architecture. Estimated Time to Stay: 2 nights. How to Get There: Bus from Warsaw, Poland is about 7 hours, could also fly into Vilnius. Beginning the itinerary with a great first city, Vilnius is a rich city full of history around every turn.

  4. 2 Weeks in the Baltics: 2 itineraries

    14 days trip in the Baltics will cost you between $1,300 to $1,600. This will cover accommodation, transportation, a few tours, and meals, but excludes flights to and out of the Baltic region. If you plan to spend $2,000, you should have plenty of budget and be able to spoil yourself.

  5. The Perfect Baltics Travel Itinerary: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and

    In total, this itinerary is for anyone that has 7-10 days. Of course this itinerary can be shortened or lengthened depending on your schedule. I visited the following areas on this itinerary. Vilnius, Lithuania. Kaunas, Lithuania. Hill of Crosses, Lithuania. Riga, Latvia. Tallinn, Estonia. Helsinki, Finland.

  6. Baltics Travel Guide: Plan Your Visit to the Baltics

    Best Time to Visit the Baltics. Elsewhere in Europe we generally recommend travelling the shoulder seasons of March-May and September-October in order to get good weather while avoiding tourist crowds. However, arguably the best time of year for Baltics travel would be in the high season months of June-August.

  7. Baltic States

    Trakai Castle: one of the absolute highlights of the Baltics. On this day, we picked up our rental car from the airport and drove to Trakai Island Castle, one of the highlights of this Baltic road trip itinerary. The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by the medieval ruler of Kęstutis.

  8. One Week Backpacking Baltic Countries Itinerary

    Here are some packing tips for your upcoming trip to Baltic: Walking/Hiking Shoes: ... You can also watch my Baltic Countries travel video here: "Go with the Baltic Flow" travel video. To see all the articles about Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, visit the Lithuania Travel Guide page, Latvia Travel Guide page, and Estonia Travel Guide page. ...

  9. Baltics itinerary by public transport- 2 weeks Lithuania, Latvia, and

    Day 12 to explore Tartu and all the amazing street art. How to get from Riga to Tartu by public transport. Two daily direct buses leave from Riga, Latvia, to Tartu, Estonia. One Lux Express bus leaves at 9 a.m. and the other at 6:45 p.m. strongly deciding about the amount of time you have to explore Tartu.

  10. The Best Baltic States Travel Itinerary

    Lahemaa National Park. The best Baltic itinerary will always include time in a swampy forest, which is why a day trip from Tallinn to Lahemaa National Park (whose star attraction is, well, a bog-filled forest) is such an iconic addition to make to your trip. The bus from Tallinn to Viru Bog takes less than 35 minutes, while the entire loop ...

  11. The Ultimate Baltics Road Trip Itinerary

    Planning a Road Trip in the Baltics: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. This is your ultimate guide to the best places to stop on a road trip in the Baltics including tips and information for planning a Baltic road trip itinerary. With a car, a tent and three weeks of summer holidays to spare we decided to head off on a road trip in the Baltics to ...

  12. One Week Baltic Travel Itinerary

    Vilnius, Lithuania - 2 days. Riga, Latvia - 2 days. Tallinn, Estonia - 2 days. As you can see, our Baltic travel itinerary involves a lot of hopping around from city to city! Luckily, the region's main cities are very well-connected and you can rely on both buses and trains to commute between Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn.

  13. The Baltic States travel

    Sep 21, 2023 • 6 min read. The Baltic Trails take ambitious hikers through the wooded national parks, beaches and historic towns of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Architecture. A road trip through the Baltic States. Oct 9, 2019 • 4 min read. Food.

  14. The Ultimate Baltic Road Trip Itinerary (2023)

    Our Route: Riga - Kaunas - Vilnius - Sigulda - Tallinn - Jurmala - Riga. Tips for Baltic road trip: The Curonian Split, approximately 3 hours west of Kaunas in Lithuania, and the Cultural Reserve of Kernavė, about 45 minutes from Vilnius are two optional extras for the Baltic road trip itinerary. Our Baltic Roadtrip Route.

  15. How to Plan Your Own Baltic Itinerary

    And a Baltic itinerary is the key to seeing it for yourself. Many people dip their toe into travel in the Baltic with a city break to one of the region's capitals. It's easy to do and doesn't require much planning. Organizing a bigger trip through the Baltic States is more challenging: I should know, with three trips and counting in the ...

  16. Private & Group Tours to the Baltics, Nordic and Eastern Europe

    9 nights Private Tour. From €1,845 pp. Our most popular private tour of the Baltic Capitals - Vilnius, Riga & Tallinn. Three nights in each old town, staying in handpicked hotels and the perfect mix of private guided tours and transfers, with independent time to explore & enjoy.

  17. 10 Best Baltic Tours & Trips 2024/2025

    Baltic Tours & Trips. TourRadar has 262 tours visiting the Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The tours start from just 2 days in length, up to 21 days. The most popular month to go is August, which has the highest number of tour departures.

  18. 10 Day Classic Baltics Tour with Flights

    10 Day Classic Baltics Tour with Flights. 10 Day Classic Baltics. Discover Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania & Poland - $2069* from $1499* with code TZBLT570. Promo Valid for Departures: Mar - Oct 2024 | Mar - Oct 2025. Also Valid On: 12 Day Classic Baltics with Krakow 2024 | 2025.

  19. Baltic Adventures

    Tallinn, the capital of Estonia is an incredible city with a fascinating and rich history. With gothic towers and well-preserved medieval architecture, this city has a lot of sites to see. St. Olaf's Tower is one of the most popular spots in the city, after climbing up its 258 steps to the top, enjoy a wonderful bird's eye view of the city.Tip: This spot does get crowded quickly, so try to ...

  20. Trip-advice/recommendations for 4 week trip through the Baltic ...

    Today is my last day of my 2 week trip from Helsinki to Warsaw. Here are some advices: •there is no flixbus north of poland, but you have luxexpress (which is better imo) •rome2rio is lacking, so check up local pages for buses and trains •you can take an up to 3day trip to st.Petersburg with a ferry from either Tallinn or Helsinki, with ...

  21. Baltic Trip

    Mam nadzieje że vlog wam się spodoba i rozwieje wątpliwości co do przyszłych wyjazdów ze https://st.pl/$nati . Ja z całego serduszka polecam. Mam nadzieje że...

  22. BalticTRIP 4 Stolice

    Klasyczny city break w wykonaniu Student Travel! 4 stolice - Sztokholm, Ryga, Tallin, Helsinki i rejs statkiem po Bałtyku ⭐ Dołącz do ekipy, zarezerwuj ... Trasa Tallin - Sztokholm: Baltic Queen lub Victoria I. Trasa Sztokholm - Helsinki: Silja Symphony lub Silja Serenade. Trasa Helsinki - Tallin: Star lub Megastar. ... Baltic Trip ...

  23. Wrześniówka

    Podobne oferty. Wrześniówka | Baltic Trip | 4 stolice | Rejsy Dołącz do Najlepszej ekipy w 2024 ⭐ Wakacje, Majówki, Egzotyka⭐#NieWażneGdzie #WażneZkim. Rezerwuj wyjazd z ST.

  24. FTMBA Student Travel to Germany for International Residency

    The trip began with an insightful overview of Berlin's vibrant business scene by Andreas Dittes, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of entrepreneurship. Highlighted by a panel discussion with entrepreneurs Laurence R. N., Julie B., and Michael Martens, the students received first-hand accounts of the highs and lows of starting and ...

  25. Pope will travel to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and

    Pope will travel to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore in longest trip of papacy Pope Francis waves as he leaves after his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at The ...

  26. CCI Students Travel to Tampa to Network with Major Companies

    In late February, students from the College traveled to Tampa, Florida, to meet with three major companies: Reliaquest, Citibank, and Raymond James. They also attended Synapse Summit to connect with Florida innovators. During these networking trips, students meet recruiters and experience each company's culture. Students also connect with College of Communication and Information (CCI) alumni…