Sightseeing Tour in Lithuania and Latvia
Arrival in Vilnius International Airport. Transfer from airport to the hotel. Night at the Hotel in Vilnius
DAY 1: Vilnius & Trakai – two capitals of Lithuania
We will start our tour in the biggest and one of the oldest cities in Lithuania – Vilnius. Here you will see the most beautiful architectural styles of Southern and Western Europe – Gothic and renaissance – and the original Lithuanian Baroque. You will go on a thrilling walk through Vilnius Old Town (which is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List) and see it from the top of Gediminas’ Tower.
Lunch in Vilnius Old Town.
After lunch we will explore Trakai town which is effectively an open-air museum holding a great deal of significance in the historical sovereignty of Lithuania. It is the historical capital of Lithuania. The most notable place in Trakai is the castle of Lithuanian kings – the only remaining castle on a lake in Eastern Europe. Trakai Island Castle, representing a unique medieval heritage. The Trakai Castle is shrouded in legends and tales. It was built in the 14th–15th century as the residence for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Dinner in the hotel or old town. Night at the Hotel in Vilnius.
DAY 2: Kaunas, Šiauliai and Šiauliai Hill of Crosses
We will continue exploring Lithuania. Kaunas is the second biggest city in Lithuania. It lies at the meeting point of the Rivers Neris and Nemunis with its charming compact Old Town. It is believed that the city arose in the 13th century along with the building of the first brick castle, which was the biggest fortress in the region at the time. During the years of Lithuania’s independence (1920–1940), Kaunas was its capital. At this time, the city was undergoing rapid development.
Lunch in Kaunas city center or Old town.
After lunch we will continue our journey with Šiauliai – the fourth largest city of the country located in Northern Lithuania. Here we will visit The Hill of Crosses, one of the most famous symbols of Catholic Lithuania attracting crowds of visitors from all over the world, is located in close proximity to Šiauliai.
People started placing crosses on this hill, in a form of a saddle, after the suppression of the Lithuanians’ liberation uprising in 1831. People are place crosses here ask for heavenly graces or as a sign of gratitude or to commemorate some significant events in their personal life. The hill features a diverse panorama of crosses ranging from the most expressive sculptural compositions decorated with wood carvings to austere ascetic ones; some of them are 3-4m high, others – of human height (over 20,000), and an infinite variety of tiny ones placed by tourists wishing their dreams to come true. Presently, the Hill of Crosses is the most frequented sacral site in Lithuania.
Late evening arrival at Riga. Dinner in hotel. Night in hotel in Riga.
DAY 3: Exploring Riga – The capital of Latvia
The Old Town of Riga
Accompanied by a guide, you will stroll through the narrow streets of the medieval Hanseatic town, marvel at the mighty Riga Cathedral and see the Great and Small Guild, as well as Riga Castle. You will also visit the Town Hall Square, which was the city’s central square from the 13th century up to the 19th century. The most impressive building in this square is the resplendent Gothic-style House of the Blackheads. During the excursion, you will see other noteworthy places in Riga as well, such as St. Peter’s Church, Swedish Gate and the Powder Tower.
Art Nouveau district & Art Nouveau Museum
Forty percent of the buildings in Riga center belong to Art Nouveau architecture, which is more than in any other European city. Moreover, enthusiasts believe that Art Nouveau in Riga is particularly inspired and expressive. To ensure the conservation of Old Riga, Riga’s wooden buildings and Art Nouveau architecture, the historic center of Riga has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Also we will visit The Riga Art Nouveau Museum, opened on 23 April 2009. Here the authentic 1903 interior has been turned into a museum. The current exposition depicts what a typical apartment in Riga looked like at the beginning of the 20th century. The building has a spiral staircase with a painted ceiling. This Art Nouveau staircase is one of the most impressive, not only in Riga but in all of Europe.
Lunch in Riga city center or old town.
In the afternoon we will explore Riga by boat on the city canal and the river Daugava. The ride will take you under 16 of the Old Town’s bridges, through the marvelous city parks and along Riga’s panorama on the largest river in Latvia, the Daugava. This boat ride is a chance to see the city from a whole new angle and perspective.
Dinner in the hotel or old town. Night at the Hotel in Riga.
Day 4: Two pearls of Zemgale region – Rundāle Palace and Bauska Castle
Rundāle Palace is a true baroque pearl in an untouched Latvian scenery. The so-called Latvian Versailles was built over two periods: 1736–1740 and 1764–1768. Rundāle Palace was designed by the celebrated architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who is also the author of the famous Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. During the excursion, you will explore not only the palace itself, but also its French garden.
Dinner in Bauska City.
After lunch we will discover Bauska Castle. The castle stands upon a peninsula at the junction of the River Mūsa and the River Mēmele that form a natural defense line. The oldest part of Bauska Castle is a spectacular 15th century Livonian Order fortress. The newest part of Bauska Castle, the residence of the Duke of Courland, was built at the end of the 16th century. Bauska Castle is the only castle in Latvia that boasts renaissance- and mannerism-style architecture and applied arts characteristic to the Duchy of Courland.
Dinner in Riga. Night at the Hotel in Riga.
Day 5 : Transfer from hotel to the airport