Real is Beautiful
Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the historical centre of the capital of Lithuania testifies to how organically the city has developed over the centuries. Today, the Old Town of Vilnius is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Openness to a diversity of nations, cultures, religions, and forms of expression was and is the city’s calling card.
Once the temporary capital of Lithuania, Kaunas stands out from other Lithuanian and European cities for its interwar architecture. The extremely high concentration of buildings from this period is making it possible for the city to seek a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today, Kaunas is going through a transformation and becoming a modern city with a unique character and pulsing with life.
The legendary residence of the rulers of Lithuania, the lakes and picturesque shores, the heritage of the Karaims and aristocratic life – only in Trakai can you find so many valuable things in one place. This is the only historical national park in Lithuania and all of Europe, making it a must-see for local tourists and foreign guests alike.
The settlements of Alksnynė, Juodkrantė, Pervalka, Preila, and Nida join together into the Neringa resort. The entire resort is located on the Curonian Spit, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The strip of sand that separates the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon is a unique place, enchanting for the magnificence of its dunes and the spirit of Curonian heritage.
The centre of Lithuania’s sea coast, which is nearly 100 kilometres long, is the Palanga resort. Having preserved the aristocratic spirit of the 19th century resort, today it attracts more than just people thirsty for beach entertainment. All you have to do is move a tiny bit away from the bustle of the resort and you’ll find yourself on natural beaches of soft sand along the Baltic coast.
The centre of the national park is the fabled Lake Plateliai, which is the deepest, largest and most picturesque lake in Samogitia. The wonderful nature, rich history and distinctive cultural property reveal the uniqueness of the ethnographic region of Samogitia.
Cultivating old traditions, the Lithuanian mineral water resorts of Druskininkai and Birštonas now offer both water treatments with healing properties as well as numerous original, modern wellness options. And they offer plenty of cultural activities and entertainment as well.
Many attempts were made to destroy and burn the Hill of Crosses, but it survived as a sign of our freedom and as a must-see place for pilgrims around the world.
The pine forests, inland dunes, swamps and rivers that reign in the country’s largest national park harbour a unique natural world, giving shelter to numerous rare plants and animals. The park is also home to Čepkeliai Marsh – one of the most protected natural sites in the country.
The landscape of Lithuania’s oldest national park was formed in such a way that it opens up to the visitor with all its beauty – the streams that connect the hundreds of lakes covering the land provide wonderful opportunities for enjoying water-based tourism, while the high hills serve as observation towers for the surrounding area.
Lithuanian restaurants have been recognised by the “Scandinavian Michelin”. The prestigious Scandinavian White Guide has ranked Lithuanian restaurants for the third time. Seven of the 15 restaurants evaluated in Lithuania were ranked among the 30 best restaurants in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Two restaurants in the capital made it to the top three, with Nineteen18 in second place and Sweet Root in third.
There are 15 Lithuanian restaurants in the White Guide 2019 ranking (by position): Nineteen18, Sweet Root, Džiaugsmas, Monai, Uoksas, Telegrafas, Monte Pacis, Amandus, Somm, Trinity, Gaspar’s, Selfish, El Mercado, Dia, Snobas; recommended restaurants: Ertlio Namas, Bučeris, Šturmų Švyturys Vilnius, Lauro Lapas, Šturmų Švyturys Ventės Ragas.
Three tonnes of natural Baltic amber were used in Lithuania to install the first and largest amber sauna in the world. Resembling a cosy and luxurious amber room, this is the first amber sauna open to the public in the world. The walls, ceilings and even the benches are covered exclusively with natural amber. The amber sauna was given the name “Saulė”, which means “Sun”. It has an area of 22 m2 and comfortably accommodates 15 people. The first and largest amber sauna in the world is located at the Atostogų Parkas Recreation and Wellness Complex. Inside the amber sauna, the human body is warmed up with the help of infrared together with amber. The body experiences deep warmth and relaxation, and the amber emits volatile substances into the air. The sauna fills with the pleasant aroma of resin, and the human body, by inhaling and through the skin, more easily absorbs the useful properties of amber, which stimulate the metabolism, suppress various inflammations, and improve blood circulation.
In 2022, Kaunas makes a date with Europe. The city, selected to be the capital of culture of the continent, today is getting ready to welcome its guests, share the idea of community and create a brand new content for Kaunas, Lithuania, Europe. The open Tempo Academy of Culture, lectures, discussions, exhibitions, performances and installations, the contemporary myth of Kaunas and the most insane ideas that are brought to life – you must accept this invitation by Kaunas and establish the KAUNtact.
Some of the very best Lithuanian art can be found in one of the most vibrant parts of Vilnius. MO Museum opened its doors in October 2018. This cultural hub is a place where connoisseurs can become acquainted with modern and contemporary Lithuanian art. The museum currently has 4,500 pieces by 226 artists on display.
The museum was designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. The building was conceived to serve as a gateway to both cultural enrichment and art – it is a junction that connects the 18th century grid to the medieval walled city. The building features two exhibition halls, a shop, a café, and a lobby with a multipurpose auditorium that is situated next to a dramatic staircase leading to a rooftop terrace and sculpture garden.
In partnership with National Geographic, UNESCO has recently begun the “World Heritage Journeys” project, and has selected Vilnius as one of the top 34 World Heritage sites in Europe. People from around the world are encouraged to visit the Baroque Old Town, the Park of Europe, and the bohemian Republic of Užupis; to take in the quirky street art, learn about Baltic mythology, embrace the local coffee culture, and learn some traditional handicrafts.
The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, the Old Town Renewal Agency, the State Department of Tourism, and Go Vilnius.
There are things that you’ll have to return for if you don’t try out, and once you experience them, you’ll want to keep coming back!
Concerts by world-renowned stars, international sports competitions, city festivals, and top-level conferences – just take you pick!