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 LITHUANIA
 
Vilnius
 
Vilnius City Tour (3h)
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is one of the largest industrial and cultural centers in the Baltic countries with population about 550 thousand people. City was founded in 1323 by Grand Duke Gediminas. Vilnius Old Town, covering 360 hectares, has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1994. The splendid architectural blend of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles make this wonderful city to explore.
A combined bus and walking tour of the town starting from the Cathedral Square – the heart of Vilnius and includes the most significant objects as: St. Stanislaw’s Cathedral (18th century), Vilnius’ University (the oldest university in Eastern Europe, established in 1579); main street of old town - Pilies with beautifully restored 16th-18th century buildings; Gothic ensemble of St. Anne’s and Bernadine Churches, Gate of Dawn, famous of its  miraculous icon of Virgin Mary; Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit (17th century), St. Casmir’s Church (17th century), Town Hall Square, St. Peter and Paul’s  Church (17th century, the pearl of the Lithuanian baroque with over two thousand stucco figures crowding the vaults, representing mythological, biblical and battle scenes, panoramic view of city center.
Photos by Virgilijus Usinavičius, Zenonas Nekrošius, Klaudijus Driskius.
Gediminas Castle Museum (1h)
Just in the heart of Vilnius from the top of the red brick Upper tower (14th century) you can see amazing view of Old Town and all city. Nowadays the castle houses a Museum of history of Vilnius.
 
Trakai Castle (4h)
Trakai, a small town 28 km from Vilnius, former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, is one of the most popular sightseeing points of the country. Visit to insular red-brick Gothic castle. Situated in the middle of the Lake Galve, this castle was constructed by the Grand Duke Vytautas in the second half of 14th century. At the same time Vytautas brought from Crimea the national minority of Karaites (a small ethnic group) to serve as bodyguards. About 150 of Karaites still live here at present.
The renovated castle houses a Museum of history and art.
Upon request lunch in a local restaurant tasting Karaites’ traditional dishes, the most popular Kibinai.
 
Kernavė (4h)
A village on the banks of the river Neris (35 km from Vilnius) has been known as the first capital of Lithuania, before Trakai and Vilnius. Archeological excavations uncovered a medieval settlement dating back to the 12th century. You will be able to climb 5 mounds and enjoy a breath-taking view of the valley graced by the bends of river Neris. Kernave’s Archaeological and Historical museum contains several precious exhibits of the region.
 
Sculpture park of Europe (4h)
This Open-air museum of the centre of Europe is just 20 minutes to drive away from Vilnius. You will enjoy the landscape of the park ad at the same time will discover the admirable world of contemporary art. Every year artists from all over the world come here to create this funky sculpture park. The Open-air museum exhibits over 90 works created by famous contemporary artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sol LeWitt, Dennis Oppenheim among others.
Also recommend to visit:
KGB Museum (Museum of genocide victims)
National Gallery of Art
National Museum of Lithuania
Museum of Applied Arts
Amber Museum-Gallery.
Kaunas
Kaunas - City Tour (2h)
Kaunas (100 km from Vilnius) is the second largest city and a former capital of Lithuania. The earliest known references to Kaunas appear in records dating from 1361. Kaunas is a city of very old cultural traditions and a place where generations of Lithuanian artists, composers and writers have lived. One of the most famous of them is a great painter and composer M.K.Čiurlionis. His Art museum in Kaunas is highly recommended to visit.
City tour includes such places of interest as Kaunas Castle (13th century), Town Hall Square and other important architectural accents of the Old Town: the largest Gothic style church - Cathedral Basilica, House of Perkunas (Thunder) - one of the most original examples of late Gothic architecture in Lithuania from 16th century, Church of St. Francis and Jesuit Monastery (17th century), the Church of Vytautas Great (15th century). Walking along the renovated Vilnius street with its original old architecture and Laisvės avenue, pedestrian area with a lot of shops, souvenirs’ kiosks and cozy cafes.
 
M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum (1h)
The art gallery displays works of the great Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, a philosopher in art, a symbolist an innovator who painted and created symphonies at the turn of the 19th - 20th centuries.
 
Devils` Museum (1h)
This unique museum displays a private collection of Lithuanian painter A. Žmuidzinavičius with 3000 devil figures made from different materials and collected from different countries.
 
Sugihara House (1h)
Sugihara House-Museum is opened at the building where in 1939-1940 the Japanese Consulate was established. Contemporary consul Chiune Sugihara issued visas and helped over six thousand Jews to flee from Lithuania to Japan and, thereby, avoid the ruination during Lithuania’s occupation.
 
Rumšiškės Open Air Museum (3h)
Rumšiškės Ethnographical Museum (22 km from Kaunas) on the highway “Vilnius – Kaunas”, features four villages representing Lithuania’s major regions - Aukštaitija, Dzūkija, Suvalkija and Žemaitija. Some of the houses and implements were actually moved here from their original locations. This open air museum gives a good picture of how Lithuanian people lived and worked from the 18th to the first half of the 20th centuries.
 
Pažaislis Monastery (2h)
Pažaislis architectural ensemble stands on the shore of Kaunas Lagoon. It is one of the most beautiful Baroque style monuments in Lithuania. The complex was built in 17th century under the supervision of Italian masters from Florence. During the summer the monastery hosts classical music festivals.
 
Klaipeda
Klaipėda City Tour (2h)
Klaipėda, the only one Lithuania’s port and a window to the Baltic sea, located 300 km from Vilnius and 200 km from Kaunas. Klaipeda (later known as Memel) was first mentioned by in historical records in 13th century. At that time Klaipeda Castle was built by Livonian Order survived in this area from 13th to 14th centuries. At present Klaipėda is not only trade and fishing port of the Baltic Sea, but also a major cultural and educational centre of Western Lithuania.
City tour included: Old Town with German Fachwerk houses, former City Hall at Theater’s Square with famous statue of “Annchen von Tharau”, neo-Gothic Post Office, the former Louise Gymnasium, Mažvydas Sculpture Park.
 
Clock and Watch Museum
The exhibition of the museum demonstrates the history of the development of time measuring devices from ancient times until present. Clocks are grouped by style, from Renaissance and Baroque to Art Nouveau.
 
Maritim Museum - Aquarium and Dolphinarium
Museum was founded in a restored Kopgalis Fortress, which was built by the Prussian army 1865-1871. The aquarium hosts a selection different kind of fish from Baltic to tropical seas, a big collection of sea shells and corals. In the outside pools visitors can see penguins and sea lions. Dolphinarium hall offers to visitors impressive dolphin’s shows.
 
Museum of the History of Lithuania Minor
Permanent exhibition was established there in 1988, showing the earliest history of Klaipėda region and Lithuania Minor. Today visitors can acquaint themselves with a rich knowledge of archaeology,  cartography, numismatics, and original iconographic material and documents. In 2000 the most recent part of the exhibition was opened, dedicated to the history of World War II.
 
Blacksmiths Museum
This museum have been opened in 1992 and exhibits displayed items from the old cemeteries of Klaipėda, such as crosses, fences and gates, and weather vanes typical to the port region, which were saved from destruction. Also are included work tools of the Klaipėda blacksmiths and household articles.
 
Curonian Spit
Full day tour to Curonian Spit - one of the most impressive places in Lithuania, 50 km from Klaipėda. Curonian Spit (Kuršių Nerija) is 97 km long peninsula varying in width from 400 m to a few kilometers and isolating Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. It is a unique creation of wind, water and sand. The sea winds shifted the sand, creating a range of large sand dunes, the largest one are up to 60 meters high and provide a charming view of landscape. Since year 2000 the Curonian Spit has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The four fishing villages - Nida, Preila, Pervalka and Juodkrante - were formed into one unit called the town of Neringa. Today Curonian Spit is extremely popular tourist destination.
The tour starts with ferry boat from Klaipeda to peninsula. First stop in Juodkrantė, the  old fishermen village (first mentioned in 1429). Here you will take a walk on the Hill of Witches, an open-air exhibition of wooden sculptures based on the motifs of folk tales and local legends. Further you will stop at former Nagliai village, witch was buried under the Dead Dunes. The last point of the tour – Nida, a village first mentioned in 1385. Tour of Nida includes: Thomas Mann House-Museum, Amber Gallery, Evangelic - Lutheran Church (19th century) and peaceful woodland cemetery, Fisherman’s ethnographic farmstead and walk on impressive sand dunes, some up to 60 meters high.
 
 
Palanga (25 km from Klaipėda)
Palanga, one of the most popular holiday resorts, is famous not only for its white sandy beaches, but also for its wellness school, song festivals and classical music concerts. Walking tour feature a number of natural and cultural monuments, such as: Botanical Garden, designed by the French architect Eduard Andre and unique Amber Museum in the Palace of Count Tyszkiewicz, where over 25 000 pieces of amber and 15 000 inclusions of insects are on display. You will trace the ancient Lithuanian legends while climbing the Birute Hill with Neo-Gothic Chapel (1907) on the top. IOrnamented wooden houses in the center of Palanga are excellent examples of old architecture of the resort. And in the end – funny walk along pedestrian Basanaviciaus street with its open-air cafes, souvenirs stores and live music.
In the evening highly recommended to watch a miracle sunsets from the See bridge.
 
Šiauliai (200 km from Vilnius)
Šiauliai, the 4th largest city in Lithuania is mentioned in historical sources dating back to 1236.
City tour included: St. Peter and Paul‘s Cathedral complex, the Sundial Square with the Archer sculpture, Vilnius pedestrian street. Usually Šiauliai tour is combined with a visit to the Hill of Crosses.
 
Hill of Crosses (near Siauliai)
This unique place is a local pilgrimage site. Many years thousands of crosses have been planted as memorial of the strong spirit of Lithuanian people. The first hundreds of crosses which honor the dead were planted after the tragic peasant rebellion in 1831 suppressed by Tsarist authorities. In Soviet times the crosses were repeatedly bulldozed but always replaced. Pope John Paul II visited this place and celebrated a Mass in 1993.
Recommended to visit on the way from Vilnius or Klaipeda to Riga.
 
Grūtas Open Air Sculpture Park (6h)
This only one such object is located near popular Spa resort Druskininkai, 130km south-west from Vilnius. Visit to this park-museum is like a trip back to the near past - Soviet times. In 1999, dismantled soviet sculptures from different Lithuanian cities were brought to Grūtas forest. The quantity of sculptures with ideological content put into one place is a unique phenomenon in the world. The exposition has a lot of granite and bronze statues of Soviet leaders.  These idols and symbols, thrust upon the Lithuanian nation during the tragic Soviet era, reveal the historical truth about Soviet regime.
All this can‘t be experienced deeply without vodka from „stylish“ Soviet glasses and typical snacks of that time: herring and onions, canned sprat, etc. - a good starter before lunch at Grutas Park Cafe upon request.
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