The small country of Lithuania is one of those old-world locations with beautiful cobblestone old towns and villages and a complicated, complex history. This country also happens to be one of the most awe-inspiring and engaging countries in this part of the world, with an equally fascinating language.
In fact, there's a lot to admire about the country. For the moment, it also happens to be a very cheap location to visit, with an impressive variety of fascinating things to experience. Basically, you might end up spending weeks there, and it still wouldn't allow you enough time to see the full scope and marvel of the country.
Today, we'll look at the 7 most fascinating things you can experience in Lithuania. Just be careful: after you've read this blog post, you will develop an obsessive desire to abandon everything and fly away to this unique country.
Table of Contents
Vilnius Old Town
Most probably you'll be flying or driving directly into the capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius.
Fortunately, Vilnius is also the #1, must-visit spot of the country.
This is an exciting place, but the most impressive part of it is the Old World-style Old Town with its charming alleys, cobblestone streets and captivating buildings that showcase architecture with the Neoclassical, Gothic and Renaissance styles. It's little wonder that it was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
However, if you aren't too interested in seeing the architecture, you can instead experience all the fantastic lunch spots in Vilnius or the exciting nightlife, which fortunately is also the best right at the centre of the Old Town.
After you've explored the Vilnius Old Town, you won't have to drive far to see more of the other unique places in Lithuania.
One of these memorable places you can't miss is Užupis, an independent state established right outside the Vilnius Old Town.
Užupis is a very artsy, bohemian state which even has its very own Constitution.
I won't ruin it for you by listing what's on it - since half the fun is experiencing it for yourself - but let's just say this: it was created by eccentrics after the Soviet Union, and the independent republic doesn't take itself very seriously. This city is most often compared to Paris' Montmartre or Copenhagen's Freetown Christiana.
The red, kingly fortress that stands out over the horizon is known as the Trakai Island Castle - a breath-taking, fairy-tale like a castle that is a can't-miss destination in both winter and summer.
It also sits on a beautiful lake, meaning you can easily spend half the day there - in part to explore the castle museum and to just to walk around Trakai, which is a normal, beautiful small town.
When you're in Trakai, don't forget to eat the local kibinai, a scrumptious little pastry that is usually made with meat.
The Curonian Spit
For this particular destination, it's always recommended to visit it in the warmer months: the world-famous Curonian Spit that lies up the seaside.
This place is a long peninsula which has some amazing nature and high golden sand dunes.
This is a place best used for relaxed activities like calming bike rides or stress-free walks through the dense forests, picturesque sand dunes and quaint beach villages.
There's also some delicious smoked fish that they're very proud of.
Druskininkai is Lithuania's largest resort town - a wonderful retreat that's popular for its ancient healing practices. It's located in Lithuania's southern region, an hour's drive from the capital city of Vilnius.
Most local doctors send patients to Druskininkai to get some relaxation, as well as enjoying the popular health methods found pretty much everywhere in the area.
But besides the healing, you can also visit the beautiful pine forests and calming rivers that go through the town.
The Hill of Witches
The long, complicated history of this nation makes it clear why the Hill of Witches is such an interesting place to experience.
These hills can be found on the coast in the Curonian Spit.
The Hill of Witches is an old public trail that leads you past fantastic statues of dragons, goddesses, and - as the name suggests - witches.
Although these creations may seem very old, the statues were in fact made in 1979 as a community project.
Nonetheless, they have become an important facet of Lithuania's myth and history, since locals congregate here during Midsummer's Eve to sing and celebrate the summer.
Kernave is another famous tourist attraction located about 20 miles northwest of the capital city.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kernave is an archaeological site that will allow you to travel back in time in Lithuania's ancient history.
You are able to view roughly 10 millennia's worth of human settlements in this site.
From the interesting castle mounds, you'll be able to see the entire town of Kernave and the spectacular countryside that surrounds it.
It's also the place where plenty of festivals take place throughout the year.
So let's imagine that you only have a few days to experience Lithuania, and you want to find out what is the absolute best part to visit. Luckily, we've got some great news for you: it's such a small country that you can explore at least three of these places in just two days.
You see, it's just a 4-hour ride from the capital city of Vilnius - in the south of the country - to the coast up north, and most of these sites fall between those two areas.
No matter what place you end up travelling to, we're 100% sure that you will enjoy this interesting country and want to come back again.
Bernard Meyer is a food and travel blogger over at the Meyer Food Blog. Originally born in Cape Town and raised in Miami, he now lives with his wife and daughters in Vilnius, Lithuania.