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Lithuania is a country of intrigue and wonder, epitomized by these beautiful Lithuanian cities, ideal for a European city break with a difference.
From staggeringly beautiful architecture to charming, bustling squares, the cities of Lithuania offer something for everyone.
Lithuania is very much Northern Europe’s underrated gem, offering romance, excitement, and history by the bucket-load.
Prepare to get inspired for a European trip like no other, as a native Lithuanian guides us through 12 of the country’s most beloved cities to visit.
Beautiful Lithuanian Cities
1 – Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, located in the Eastern part of the country. Vilnius is a multicultural city, open to different religions and nationalities of all ages.
This beautiful place is famous for its churches, and there are more than 30 churches across the city.
The capital of Lithuania is surrounded by forests and parks. It is one of the greenest capitals in Europe.
The symbol of the town is Gediminas Castle, which is built on one of the hills in the city center.
Neris river splits the capital into two sides: the old town, and the exciting modernized region of Vilnius.
The old town of Vilnius has many squares and backyards, where you can find all kinds of sculptures of famous Lithuanians.
It is also rife with bars and cafes, where visitors can taste various national dishes, such as the Lithuanian lazy cake/cookies.
Vilnius fuses both traditional and modern Lithuania beautifully, and it is worth visiting any time of the year.
2 – Kaunas
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania. This fascinating city is known for its modernist architecture, as it was built in the first half of the 20th century.
The city’s old town area, where Gothic buildings such as Vytautas Church and House of Perkūnas stand proudly, is a must-visit place.
Another of Kaunas’ most impressive buildings is the Christ’s Resurrection Basilica. It is located on top of the Žaliakalnis district and has an open rooftop, from which an amazing panorama of the city can be enjoyed.
Kaunas is surrounded by green hills, reachable by a unique type of transport – funiculars.
This cable-car-like transport system is one of the oldest in Europe, and it is a wonderful way to see the city from afar.
Along with rich culture and vibrant nightlife, Kaunas is known as the city of Lithuanian basketball. Žalgiris is Lithuania’s most successful basketball team who play in the Euroleague.
The Žalgiris Arena is one of the most visited sports venues in Europe, renowned for its wonderous halftime and pre-match shows before games.
3 – Klaipėda
The third-largest city in Lithuania is also known as the gate to the Baltic Sea, due to its bustling harbor.
Because of its geography, this town has many attractions related to the sea. Prepare for boat trips along the Danė river and sunbathing on some truly beautiful beaches.
Klaipėda’s old town region is a cozy area, defined by its quaint, timber-framed architecture and pastel-colored houses.
A ferry ride across the city is a must-do activity. Golden beaches and luscious forests await, along with the highly acclaimed Lithuanian Sea Museum. There, you can see dolphins at the dolphinarium.
Every year in July, the city hosts the Klaipėda Sea Festival, routinely visited by over a million people. During this festival, people enjoy local craft markets, exhibitions, and live concerts.
4 – Šiauliai
Siauliai is a sweeping Lithuanian city renowned for cycling and rich, delicious chocolate.
The city used to be home to a bike factory that exported bicycles all over the world. Today, the Siauliai bike museum can give you a unique insight into the city’s history with cycling.
Siauliai is also the home of Ruta, whose chocolate factory was opened in 1913 and continues producing chocolate to this day.
Ruta is a beloved chocolate brand that can be found in stores throughout Lithuania. You can visit the factory, see how chocolate is made, and try a few sweet treats along the way.
On the outskirts of Siauliai lies the Hill of Crosses, a popular tourist attraction that millions of Lithuanians have a deep and emotional connection to.
The hill became significant as Lithuanians through the years brought crosses to the area during the fight for independence. In 1990, Lithuania finally declared its independence.
5 – Panevėžys
Panevezys is an industrial town in the northern part of Lithuania. Many factories, producing textile, sugar, beer, glass, and other products, used to make up the landscape of this town.
Today Panevezys is evolving to become a popular place for tourists while keeping industrial heritage open to the public.
A walking tour is highly recommended, as you can learn more about the city’s industrial past from a passionate local.
Panevezys is famous for its culture. Juozas Miltinis Drama Theater, one of the oldest and beloved theaters in Lithuania, is a wonderful place to see a native show.
Panevezys is also known for its museums, dotted around the city. The Museum of Christmas Toys is just one of several you should definitely take a visit to.
6 – Palanga
Palanga is Lithuania’s go-to sea resort. Wildly popular in the summer, there’s plenty of awe and beauty to enjoy in the winter months too.
For over a hundred years, Lithuanians and Europeans have flocked to the sun-kissed shores of Palanga for summer holidays.
Palanga is a beautiful city, modernized in recent times to accommodate tourists. There are plenty of hotels, apartments, bars, and restaurants to choose from.
Renowned for its electric nightlife, this Lithuanian city is also has a cultural side. The Amber Museum, for example, gives you a fascinating insight into amber production, known in the country as ‘Lithuanian gold’.
This museum can be found in Tiškevičiai Palace, a glorious place that belongs to the famous and wealthy Tiškevičiai family.
But undoubtedly, the symbol of the city is the Palanga bridge. This pier stretches into the sea and is one of the best places to watch the sunset.
7 – Nida
Nida is a real gem of a Lithuanian town. Its unique location on the Curonian Spit led to it being a humble fishermen village for many decades.
Today, Nida is a very different and exciting place to visit, while staying true to its port roots. Its authentic architecture defines it as a city.
The streets of Nida are lined with rows of wooden-framed, blue colored houses, creating a friendly, cozy atmosphere.
These houses are equipped with unique looking weather vanes. These weather vanes were carved from wood by fishermen, who would place them on their boats.
Nida’s architecture is set to a truly stunning backdrop. The city is surrounded by the beauty of nature. There are sweeping beaches, pines forests, and grooved sand dunes throughout the area to enjoy.
In fact, due to its jaw-dropping beauty, Curonian Spit itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and therefore worthy of any off-beat traveler’s bucket list.
8 – Druskininkai
The word ‘druskininkai’ means ‘place with lots of salt’, due to its location along the river Nemunas. This glorious little spa town is found on the Polish border, and it has been a popular resort for over a century.
Druskininkai is full of spas and baths, and it is a perfect weekend trip if you’re looking to unwind and relax.
But there are also plenty of fun things to do if you’re feeling a little more adventurous. The Aquapark and Snow Arena, perfect for outdoor winter sports, are two of many must-see attractions.
Druskininkai is also surrounded by amazing nature. As mentioned, the Nemunas winds around the city, weaving through the luscious forests.
In autumn, the forests are full of people, who always come not only to walk but also to pick mushrooms and berries.
Gruto Parkas, an open-air museum with a huge collection of Soviet-era statues and propaganda materials, is also one of the city’s must-visit places.
9 – Trakai
Trakai is a picturesque small town, located around 20 kilometers away from the capital Vilnius.
This beautiful place illustrates how 15th century Lithuania looked, as back then, Trakai was the capital city.
Today, Trakai attracts visitors to its medieval castle in the middle of the Galvė lake. Being close to Vinius make it perfect for a day or weekend trip.
Trakai is also known for its authentic food. Dishes such as Kibinas, a pastry of various fillings, such as chicken, pork, or venison, are must-try foods.
10 – Anykščiai
Anyksciai is a majestic, postcard-perfect city in the north-east part of the country.
It is a famous town, courtesy of Lithuanian poet Antanas Baranauskas, who wrote the beloved poem ‘Anyksciai Forest’.
This poem is an important piece of Lithuanian literature, and it has been translated into many foreign languages.
Through the last decade, Anyksciai’s emergence as a tourist town has led to lots of development.
One of its must-see attractions is the Medžių lajų takas, which is an incredible canopy walkway.
The canopy gives you access to breathtaking views of the city, above the treetops. It was opened in 2015 and was the first walkway of its type in the Baltic region.
Lithuania also has 158.8 kilometers of a narrow-gauge railway line, built during World War I by the German Empire.
This type of railway is an important part of Lithuanian history and heritage, and you can learn about it at the Anyksciai rail museum.
11 – Telšiai
Telsiai is the capital of Samogitia, a region in the western part of the country where a native dialect is the first language.
This picturesque city is known for producing džiugas, a very popular Lithuanian hard cheese. There is a special restaurant at the Mastis lake where džiugas is the star of the show. You can taste it and try it in a number of dishes.
The open-air Museum of Rural Life of Samogitia, which has an exhibition of typical homes in the region from the 19th century, is definitely worth spending some time at.
The town is also famous for its sculptures. The most popular sculpture is one of a mother bear, holding her cub in her arms.
12 – Kėdainiai
Kedainiai is a culturally rich and diverse Lithuanian city. Its Catholic, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox churches represent the different cultural backgrounds of the city’s inhabitants.
The heart of Kedainiai is undoubtedly the old town area, with its delightful architecture and charming cafes, shops, and markets.
This city was once integral to Lithuanian trade, as was for many years ruled by the Radvilos, one of Lithuania’s most wealthy families.
The Radvilos family are known for their patron work, and they supported the development of Lithuania in many cities and regions.
So much so, the six family members are buried in authentic sarcophaguses in the center of a beautiful mausoleum, dedicated to the family.
In Kedainiai, you will also quickly notice the grand minaret, a tower to commemorate those lost in the Russian-Turkish war that took place in the Kedainiai region.
This unique and beautiful city is ideal for anyone that cannot resist the allure of architectural decadence and fascinating history.
Beautiful Lithuanian Cities Summary
Looking for something different for your next city break or getaway? Lithuania is definitely a place you should consider.
Their backdrops draped in luscious green beauty, the cities of Lithuania have so much to offer.
There is eclectic, energetic nightlife, jaw-dropping panoramic views, and so much culture and history to soak up.
Looking to book a trip to Lithuania?
Already convinced. Use these services to help you book the perfect Lithuanian city break or exciting northern Europe adventure:
- Skyscanner to find great deals on flights
- Booking.com or Agoda to find a comfortable hotel
- Rentalcars.com for trips into the countryside
- Safety Wing for insurance
- GetYourGuide for tours and activities
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Author: Ieva Cicirkaite is a translator and writer from Lithuania. Fluent in several languages, Ieva writes on various Lithuanian topics, including culture, cuisine, and top destinations.
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