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?