Trip Report

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Trip Report

Trip around Baltic

Explore the beauty of Baltic capitals

by patríciaAtlasGuru Contributor

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania2 days / September 2017

Highs & Lows

For a short period of time, visit three capitals of Baltic

The cloudy and windy weather.

Itinerary Overview

Our trip started in the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn. Tallinn, often called also "a treasure of the Baltic" is well preserved medieval city with amazing atmosphere, which is a good option for a day trip. Probably the best medieval vibes had a St Catherine Passage where are restaurants and shops with handcrafts so you can really feel the atmosphere of the town.

One of the most famous places where you can have a tasty lunch is the pancake house Kompressor which is located directly in the center of old town. Once you are in the old town you can not miss the the Town Hall that is the oldest town hall in the Baltics. The oldest church in Tallinn is St. Mary's Cathedral built in 1233, the 69 meter bell tower offers amazing views from different points of the old town and it is definitely worth of seeing.

The real medieval atmosphere of the old town is highlighted by the large stone wall and defensive towers which are bordering the central part. It is possible to enter one of these towers that have been transformed into a museum. Once you are there you can walk along the wall system and if you are lucky there might be some event in the courtyard.  

If you are interested in the history of this town you may visit a KGB museum that will show you the reality of the Soviet era. If you would like to go more into the past I recommend going into Kadriorg park from the Russian era of tsar Peter the Great who has built a beautiful palace with an amazing garden - a perfect place to have a rest after a whole day.

Tallinn is full of places that are worth of visiting, I definitely recommend to go and just discover by walking through the town.

From Tallinn, we took a plane to Riga which took us around  30 minutes, but there is also a good bus connection, so you can also go by bus. Latvian capital city, Riga. Starting from the old town probably looking at everything important, we started in the square in front of one of the city's landmarks, which is the Cathedral of St. James with its 86-meter tower. From there, through the alleys, we gradually get to another dominant - the church of St. Peter - whose tower is 37 meters high with a 360-degree view in it.  We ended the tour of the center full of tourists on the Town Hall Square, where probably the most photos are taken. A unique view of the House of Blackheads with the tower of the church of St. Petra in the background. However, he now locks the scaffolding on one of the buildings, so I'd rather not even compose it there.

From the square, we went along the river in the direction of the market. Which was my favorite place and  If nothing else, just this market is the reason to visit Riga. Where else do you have a central market located in buildings that previously served as hangars for Zeppelin airships and are still inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List? The first hall is used to sell fish and other seafood, the second is reserved for vegetables and the third is dominated by meat. In the end, you can park it as we did in a small bistro in the connecting corridor between the first two halls, where they serve nothing but fish and seafood.

From Riga, we took a bus to another Baltic capital - Vilnius, which is a cheap and fast option to travel from one city to another. Dominant of the city is without any doubts Vilnius Cathedral. The huge sun-drenched building with massive columns and a bell tower looked majestic on the large stone square. A Christian Mass is held there every day. Right next to the cathedral begins the long main street of Vilnius full of shops and restaurants - Gediminas avenue. If you like museums, you can choose from a large number - the KGB Museum, the National Museum, the Jewish State Museum, etc. Vilnius is a city of churches, only in the historical center there are 28 of them for me was the most beautiful one bricked church of Saint Anne.

When you cross the Vilnia river to the other side you will find yourself in the Republic of Užupio (Užupis). It is a district of artists that is compared to Montmartre in Paris. If you’re looking for the best viewpoint in Vilnius then you will probably end up on the Hill of Three Crosses. The monument has three crosses together and at the base, there is a terraced viewpoint that you can stand on.  From there you can see all the main attractions in one frame - The Gediminas Castle, St Anne’s Church, The Palace of the Grand Dukes, Vilnius Cathedral and many many red roofs of Vilnius.

 

  • Day trip: Tallinn
    Visit the treasure of Baltic.
  • 1 Night: Riga
    Explore beautiful Art Nouveau architecture.
  • 1 Night: Vilnius
    Baroque historical center will absolutely captivate you.

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I would reserved much more times, there is so much to see in this countries.

  • Packing tips?

    Do not forget raincoat, the weather especially during the autumn is windy and rainy.

  • Transportation Tips?

    There is quite good, comfortable and cheap bus trasportation across all Baltic countries.

Lodging