Central and Eastern Europe, Diplomacy, International Journalism and PR, Tourism

Lithuania is the place to go to

His Excellency Ambassador of Lithuania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr Darius Jonas Semaška reveals his 5 favorite places in Lithuania.

 

If one is looking for a destination that would be cool and at the same time not too cold and rainy, not too much affected by crowds of tourists, cozy, featuring nice nature, relatively low-cost and, definitely, high quality, then Lithuania is the place to go to.

Most tourism websites basically promote Vilnius, a capital of Lithuania as a place to visit. Vilnius is one of the most attractive cost-wise cities in Europe.[1] For example, taxi there costs 0.70 euro per kilometer, coffee 1.87 euro and lunch at a restaurant costs around 5 euro. However, there are way many more places worth seeing. Let me draw your attention this time to my five favorite places.

 

KAUNAS

Kaunas, my native city, is a former (1920-1939) temporary capital of Lithuania. It is a second largest city of the country. Kaunas lies at the confluence of the two largest rivers of Lithuania, Nemunas and Neris, features different architectural styles. As in a regular Central European city one will notice Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque style buildings. However, I would like to draw the attention to the art deco style and Bauhaus movement that were so popular in Kaunas in between the two World Wars.

http://www.truelithuania.com/tag/bauhaus-architecture-in-lithuania

Kaunas residents usually boast having one of the longest pedestrian zones in Europe including Laisvės alėja (Freedom Alley) and Vilnius Street. This pedestrian area is attractive for its theaters, museums, small shops, cozy cafes or luxury restaurants. There you will also find the famous Fountain of Freedom, a favorite meeting place of the city’s lovers. Life here is vibrant: cozy indoor and outdoor cafes are full of people, variety of shops and museums contribute to making this area very attractive.

Kaunas

Picture is taken from: http://kaunas.kasvyksta.lt/2013/05/22/kultura/kauno-senamiestyje-bus-steigiamas-menu-inkubatorius/

KAUNAS OLD TOWN

Kaunas old town

Picture is taken from: http://smf.vdu.lt/kaunas-vakar-siandien-ir-rytoj-kokia-turetu-buti-miesto-vizija/

DRUSKININKAI

Spa resort town of Druskininkai is famous since the 18th century for its springs highly rich in minerals. Amazing view, nature, sport and recreational areas in town combined with very attractive prices turned Druskininkai into internationally renowned resort, providing high-quality wellness, tourism, recreation services. There are 12 major mineral springs, and their water is used for various treatment procedures, drinking, spa and mud baths. Take only 1,5 hour drive from Vilnius and you can experience, all in one place, walking or riding, or jogging in a gorgeous and endless pine tree forest, skiing in a huge indoor Ski Arena and, afterwards, enjoying wellness in one of the local spa centers and water parks.

Druskininka

Picture is taken from: http://info.druskininkai.lt/new/lt/ka-veikti/lankytinos-vietos/muziejai/itemlist/category/17-faktai-apie-druskininkus#sigProIda0c7f39fe5

THE HILL OF CROSSES

Furthermore, the Hill of Crosses is a historical and cultural monument located 12 kilometers north of Šiauliai city. It is a small hill with many hundreds of thousands of crosses that represent Christian devotion and a memorial to Lithuanian national identity. This place is not only important for religious people, but also for artists that create amazing crosses.

The Hills of Crosses

Picture is taken from: https://nutspeak.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/the-lithuanian-hill-of-crosses/

KURŠIŲ NERIJA

The beauty of the nature that is a part of UNESCO World‘s Heritage. Kuršių Nerija National Park was designated to protect the unique scenic beauty of the Curonian spit, a narrow peninsula separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Best way to experience it is by bike. As long as visitors usually stay in neat and cozy fishermen villages that lie at the lagoon, in order to reach the beach at the sea they have to take a 1,5 km walk across a very nice pine tree forest on dunes. On some stretches of that walk you can find natural plantations of cowberries and blueberries. As I like cowberry jam, each summer I find it practical to spend at least a few days there. J

KURŠIŲ NERIJA

Picture is taken from: http://visitneringa.com/welcome

TRAKAI

Trakai National Park was designated in 1992 to embrace the historic city of Trakai. It is some 25 kilometers outside Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The most valuable monuments in the park are the Trakai insular castle, the remnants of the peninsula castle and the ancient site of the Senieji Trakai (Old Trakai) castle with a church and village. That is the place where each Lithuanian recalls the glory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, back in the 15th Century stretching from the Baltics to the Black Sea J

Trakaj

Picture is taken from: www.delfi.lt

 

[1] http://www.15min.lt/pasaulis-kiseneje/naujiena/kelioniu-ekspertas/ryanair-siulo-aplankyti-pigius-europos-miestus-tarp-ju-vel-yra-vilnius-638-621479

Interesting links:

Tourism: http://www.lithuania.travel/en-gb/

Invest Lithuania – http://www.investlithuania.com/

Enterprise Lithuania – http://www.enterpriselithuania.com/en

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania – https://www.urm.lt/default/en/

Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representation to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – https://nl.mfa.lt/nl/en/

 

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