• Now is a great time to visit the Baltic capitals

    by  • November 24, 2016 • Architecture, Baltic, City Breaks, Multi Centre Breaks, Riga, Vilnius

    It is easy to reach the Baltic capitals from the UK and they all have so much to offer the city break traveller

    The three Baltic capital cities of Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius were almost unknown to tourists from the UK a decade ago.  Now, with the advent of low cost flights these cities have become far more popular, partly because they also represent excellent value for money.

    Possibly the best known of the three cities amongst British travellers, Riga has gained a rather unfair (and probably unwanted) reputation as an ideal destination for stag weekends.  Riga is actually a fascinating city with plenty of history and many interesting sights to offer the city break traveller.  A good place to start any exploration of the city is in Old Riga.  Old Riga covers a relatively small inner area of the 13th-18th century fortifications, including medieval monuments which have survived the two world wars. The Cathedral which dates back to the 13th century is a “must” for any visitor, as is the complex of residential houses known as  “The Three Brethren”.  It is also impossible to mention Riga without talking about Art Nouveau –  40 percent of the buildings in the centre of Riga are in the style of Art Nouveau, hence Riga is often considered the capital of Art Nouveau architecture.

    Tallinn  has also become better known to British visitors in recent years, partly because it often features on Baltic cruise itineraries.  The Old Town can easily be explored on foot and you can enjoy a day wandering around the original cobblestone streets dotted with medieval churches and grandiose merchant houses.  The Town Hall Square is in the heart of the city and has several outdoor cafés where you can sit and enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by.  The Gothic Town Hall operates as a museum and a concert hall and is a good starting point for a tour of the city.  For a panoramic view of Tallinn you can climb to the viewing platform of St Olaf’s Church.

    Vilnius is probably the least known of the Baltic capitals, yet is well worth visiting.  The main attraction for many visitors is the charming medieval old town, which has been described as a living museum.  The old town is filled with charming squares and majestic churches, synagogues and monasteries.  Cathedral Square, which lies at its very heart, is dominated by the impressive Cathedral of St. Stanislav & St. Vladislav and its bell tower.   The tower of Gediminas Castle can be seen from all over the city and it is worth the climb to visit it because it offers panoramic views over Vilnius. Not far away is the Presidential Palace, the official residence of the President of Lithuania.

    It is possible to visit all three Baltic capitals in one multi-centre holiday with flights in-between the cities.  What better opportunity to compare and contrast and to enjoy three of Europe’s most fascinating cities?

     

     

    About

    With a degree in Geography under her belt, Ann felt that a career in travel might be a good choice. Fast forward over thirty years, and Ann is still in the industry so her instincts have served her well. Ann spent much of her early career working for big names such as Global Overland and Wallace Arnold where she was involved in the contracting and operation of coach tours on a large scale. Taking time out to raise her family, Ann returned to the industry working for Cities Direct. Her desire to travel is as strong as ever and she loves nothing better than visiting a new destination and being able to relay her experiences first hand to Cities Direct clients.