True Lithuania

What to see in Lithuania: Introduction

Lithuania lures most visitors with its old towns, pristine nature, and religious buildings.

Historic cities are the Lithuania's prime destinations. The top three each have enough to see in a weekend break. Massive Vilnius Old Town is famous for its Baroque churches and capital atmosphere. Kaunas claims to be a treasure trove of early modern architecture, surrounded by one of Europe's largest fortification systems. Seaside Klaipėda boasts pretty beaches and lots of picturesque German and Lutheran Lithuanian heritage.

Natural sights in Lithuania are undoubtedly crowned by the Curonian Spit "Lithuanian Sahara". Vast pristine areas of forests, lakes, rivers and wooden villages in the other four National Parks may be less stunning, but equally rewarding, offering "close-to-nature" tourism opportunities.

Northern latitudes do not stop Lithuanian resorts from attracting hundreds of thousands locals and foreigners alike. Seaside resorts (calm Neringa and loud Palanga) are favored during the May-to-September season, while mineral spring resorts (primarilly Druskininkai) easily attract visitors all year round.

While the Lithuanian towns may seem dull at first, one can find historic or unique gems among them. Massive churches and historic manors are the prime sights, but a few particular towns offer more than that.

Catholic faith has defined Lithuanian culture, and many religious sights are especially impressive. Lithuanian wooden crosses are UNESCO-recognized art, with Hill of Crosses a world-famous sight. Smaller "forests of crosses", wayside chapels and cute-to-splendid churches adorn the entire country.

Lithuania stood in the middle of every major European war, leaving formidable castles, fortresses and installations. Trakai medieval castle reminds the Crusader-Pagan battles, Kaunas fortress is a World War 1 heritage while Samogitian forests hides Cold War nuclear missile silos, all this (and more) freely explorable.

While many smaller Lithuanian museums lack modernity and convenient opening times, the few major museums are worth a visit to understand Lithuania. Most popular are the ethnographic museums (of which Rumšiškės is the largest by far) and art museums. Thematic museums will appeal to those interested in a specific subject.

With an extremely diverse history, Lithuania is a great place for specific itineraries: seeking locations related to a particular ethnicity, religion, historical period, hobby... We offer Top 10 lists of sights and activities in or about Lithuania.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis

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  1. Whoever wrote this – there are two big problems:

    1. Numerous typos! One is understandable, two seem lazy, three and four – well, that’s just plain incompetent.

    2. This is supposed to be an invitation to visit a beautiful country. Show some pride! So what’s all that stuff about towns that “may seem dull” and museums that “lack modernity”?! Accentuate the positive and the amazing progress since 1991. Visitors who focus on the negative can do so on their own; you don’t need to help them.

    • 1. The website is written by locals of Lithuania who are not speaking English natively. In any case, website is not a book, so typos may always be corrected if a native speaker will notify about them.

      2. The aim of Truelithuania is not to be an advertisement website, but rather a neutral website instead. Like in every location, there are impressive things in Lithuania and there are comparably less impressive ones. It would not be good if we’d just advertise every town as equally pretty or every museum as very modern. Even with all the great post-1990 achievements (that are described in many articles of True Lithuania website) it is still true that many towns have a rather Soviet feel (because, for example, the authentic buildings were demolished and replaced by dull Soviet ones, and post-1990 development is not equally serious in every town/city). In such case, if we would advertise every such locality as “pretty”, the tourists would get disappointed after visiting many of them and seeing they are below expectations. So, we try to explain both better sides and worse sides of Lithuania (compared to other European destinations), so tourists could choose the better sides to explore and enjoy them. If, however, a website that shows only the brighter sides is prefered, there are many such websites (e.g. owned by tourism promotion authorities of the government or the municipalities). Likewise, there are many websites that reasonlessly and one-sidedly bash Lithuania. The aim of True Lithuania is not to go at either direction but to provide a more neutral view.

    • Unreasonable comment Rita! I’ve been reading this website and believing that it’s much better than working through a Lonely Planet book. It’s informative and packed with information. I’ve been appreciating the honesty. If visiting with a limited time, I’d prefer to know of the ‘better’ places to visit.
      Take it for what it is – information written in English by a person/s who does not have English as their first language! English is my first language and I’ve not had any problems.


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