Our final destination in the Baltic’s was Lithuania. We took an Ecolines bus from Riga to Vilnius, the country’s capital. The journey took 4 hours and once at the bus station, we caught a local bus to our hostel, where it was a short walk to the old town.
We only had 2.5 days in Vilnius, so wasted no time in heading to the old town to look around. Vilnius had a different vibe to both Riga and Tallinn, perhaps something in between the two. Big, but spread out with lots of parklands and a river on the edge of the city, which made for a lovely area to explore.
There were over 40 churches in the city which was evident from the pointed spires we could see peeking through the rooftops all around the city. Upon arrival to Cathedral Square in the centre of town, we were disappointed to see that the front of the cathedral was covered in green scaffolding. It was the one building that we were mostly wanting to photograph. So we spent a bit of time working on angles and still managed to find a nice place to get some photos.
After a bit of walking around, we discovered a couple of great viewpoints of the city, our favourite being from the hill of three crosses. From there, we could see right across Vilnius and beyond.
Another great viewpoint was from Gediminas Tower of the Upper Castle where we could also see across the city but from a lower vantage point. There was a small tower that could be climbed for an additional €5 p/p, however as it was a small structure, we thought it wasn’t worth it.
On our last day, we took a bus out to Trakai, to see the Trakai castle, which dated back to the 14th century, but had been restored in the 1960’s. It took an hour to Trakai, followed by a 30min walk to the castle. Having seen so many castles before, we weren’t sure if we wanted to go inside, or just wander around outside.
When we got there, despite being only 10 am, there were so many tour groups exploring the grounds of the castle, we decided not to go inside and just admire the fairytale looking castle from the outside. We certainly didn’t need a full day to see Trakai and in hindsight, we could have seen that and everything else in Vilnius in a day and a half.
Nevertheless, this gave us time in the afternoon to relax and prepare for our overnight bus journey to Krakow, Poland!