Baltic Adventures

A TOUR THROUGH LITHUANIA, LATVIA, AND ESTONIA

The three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are perhaps the most underrated tourist destinations at the moment in Europe. With the incredible scenery of the Baltic coast, unique culture, and heritage, these small countries have a lot to offer and have their own distinct charm.

Additionally, they are also a lot more affordable than some other European countries. What’s better than saving money? Saving more money! We recommend the Interrail Global Pass with 10 travel days over 2 months to give you the best access to the region in a big enough time frame for this Baltic itinerary.

Countries Visited: EstoniaLatvia | Lithuania 

Rail Passes:  Interrail Global Pass

Price Range: $$

Recommended Days: 15-21 Days

Riding Hours: Approx. 20.5-22 hr

Distance: 1,086 km

Transportation: Train, Taxi

TallinnTartuValgaCesisSiguldaRigaDaugavapilsVilniusKlaipedaKaunas

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia is an incredible city with a fascinating and rich history. With gothic towers and well-preserved medieval architecture, this city has a lot of sites to see.

St. Olaf’s Tower is one of the most popular spots in the city, after climbing up its 258 steps to the top, enjoy a wonderful bird’s eye view of the city. Tip: This spot does get crowded quickly, so try to visit early and avoid the weekends.

If you want to experience the ancient architecture of the region, visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Tallinn also has several museums that are worth visiting, such as the Kadriorg Art Museum which is located inside a baroque palace.

One of the most unique spots in the city to visit is the KGB Museum, which is an old spy base set up in room 23 of Hotel Viru. It has several fascinating exhibitions, and you can learn about some of the interrogation and spying techniques the Russian spies had used.

Tallinn Train StationTartu Train Station | Duration: 2:02 | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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​The journey begins at the Tallinn train station where several trains leave almost every hour throughout the day to Tartu. Buy your tickets from Elron, the Estonian railways.

Tartu, Estonia

Tartu is a town of creative thinkers, intellectuals, and students. It is home to the oldest university in Northern Europe and has some incredible architectural sites, art, and museums.

Tartu is a very compact city, with most of the sites being close to each other, one of the best spots in the city is the Estonian National Museum, which has several folk art and historical exhibitions. The AHHAA Science Centre has many hands-on activities that you can take part in and has a planetarium that you can visit as well.

Make sure to check out the University of Tartu Museum as well, which has the medieval cathedral and some fascinating science exhibits.

Tartu Train Station → Valga Train Station | Duration: 1:12 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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Trains leave Tartu for Valga four times a day, and in less than 1.5 hours you’ve already arrived at your next destination. Buy your tickets from Elron, the Estonian railways.

Valga, Estonia

Valga is a small Estonian town, which is a great place to stop at before moving on to Latvia. It offers a refreshing sight of nature and has some cool museums and natural sights that you can visit.

The Pedeli River has nice walking trails along it and another great green space is Lake Rautina, which is just outside the town. On the educational and historical side of things, the Valga Museum and Valga Military Museum are worth visiting.

Valga Train Station →  Cesis Train Station | Duration: 1:07 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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Latvian Railways offers two direct train connections per day. Make sure to plan your train journey accordingly as one leaves in the early morning and the other leaves in the afternoon. Book tickets through Latvian Railways.

Cesis, Latvia

Onto the next country, Latvia! Cesis is a small medieval town located in the Northeast of Latvia, and it is particularly famous because of the beautiful Castle of Cesis. The Cesis Castle is one of the most well-preserved medieval buildings in the country. Guided tours are offered to dig a bit deeper into its history.

When you arrive in Cesis by train, the train station itself is a tourist attraction. The beautiful building and its grounds are a great place to spend some time, and sometimes, there is also an exhibition of the Wabadus Historic Armored Train, which was used during the Independence War, between 1918 and 1920.

Cesis Train Station → Sigulda Train Station | Duration: 0:42 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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There are six connections daily from Cesis to Sigulda. Feel free to combine the short journey from Cesis to Sigulda with the next stop from Sigulda to Riga to make for a nice day of short train trips with still enough time to explore the Sigulda along the way. Book tickets through Latvian Railways.

Sigulda, Latvia

Whilst in Riga, take a short day trip to the nearby Sigulda, to check out some of the best sites this small town has to offer.

Make a visit to the Castle of the Livonian Order, which was built in the 1200s. Turaida Castle is another great spot in the city, which also features a museum park with interesting sculptures.

Feeling adventurous? Visit the Tarzāns park, where exciting activities await such as zip-lining, bungee jumping, and climbing, or even take a scenic ride in the cable car. Looking for a quick dose of ancient history? Before leaving, check out Gutman’s Cave, home to some ancient inscriptions.

Sigulda Train Station → Riga Pasažieru | Duration: 0:47-1:06 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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There are 14 connections daily from Sigulda to Riga. Feel free to combine the short journey from Cesis to Sigulda with this stop from Sigulda to Riga to make for a nice day of short train trips with still enough time to explore Sigulda along the way. Book tickets through Latvian Railways.

Riga, Latvia

Riga, the capital of Latvia, often referred to as the Paris of the Baltics, is a wonderful city with plenty of attractions to keep you and your travel buddies entertained. From fascinating architecture, and the bustling streets to natural wonders, a UNESCO world heritage site, culture, food, and a lot more, Riga has it all.

The House of the Black Heads in the old town of Latvia is a must-visit spot. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and displays some incredible 14th-century architecture. In the same square of the old town, check out St. Peter’s Church, a medieval church with a high steeple.

The Freedom Monument in the heart of the city is also an important historical site, which is a Latvian War of Independence memorial. Looking for some nature? Riga is also home to many natural sights, like the Botanical Gardens of the University of Latvia, which has more than six thousand different plants.

Riga Pasažieru → Daugavpils Train Station | Duration: 2:43-3:31 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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There are four direct connections daily, and this journey winds along the Daugava River offering scenic views of Latvia. Book tickets through Latvian Railways.

Daugavpils, Latvia

The next stop on our route, Daugavpils, is another exceptional destination with historical sites and multiple museums as well. The most popular site in the city is perhaps Daugavpils Fortress, which is a unique fort made in the 19th century, and now displays some interesting abstract art. Mark Rothko Art Center is another great spot to see some contemporary art.

Near Daugavpils, you can also visit the Ozero Strop Lake, which is a nice place to spend some in nature before heading to Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius. 

Daugavpils Train Station → Vilnius Train Station | Duration: 2:34 h | Transfers: 1 | Transport: Taxi, Train

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There is no direct train connection available from Daugavpils to Vilnius; however, you can take a short 30 minute taxi ride to Turmantas. There in Turmantas 2-4 train connections are available to bring you to Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius.  You can book this ticket from Turmantas to Vilnius on the Lithuanian Railways page or at the train station. Make sure to check the train connection times to Vilnius because some may be in the early morning.

 Vilnius, Lithuania

The capital city of Lithuania has a lot to offer, from historical monuments and modern art to delicious cuisine and affordable prices.

One of the most popular sites in the city is the Trakai Castle, which is built on an island in the middle of a lake. It is widely regarded as the most impressive castle in the Baltics. Within the main city, you should visit St. Anne’s Church, which is a 16th-century gothic church in addition to the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania as it has several interesting art and history exhibits.

Three Crosses Monument is another great spot and has some lovely views of the city as well as the city’s TV tower, which is easily accessible by elevator!

Vilnius Train Station→ Klaipeda Train Station | Duration: 3:58-4:24 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train

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Lithuanian Railways offers six daily direct connections to Klaipeda. Along this journey across almost the whole country, don’t forget to soak up the views going from the highlands of Vilnius to the coast of Klaipeda. Book tickets through Lithuanian Railways.

Klaipėda, Latvia

The port city of Klaipėda is a great excuse to enjoy some time at the beach and take in the romantic waterfront. Kurshskaya Kosa is a popular seaside area in the city, with multiple beaches and seaside resorts. The Olando kepurė is another seafront near the city, with steep cliffs, topped with tall trees.

Make time to visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum, which has a walk-through aquarium, and a dolphin show as well.

Dane Park is also a great place to visit, where you can take walks by the river, and visit the Medirianas Ship Restaurant, where you can enjoy delicious local seafood dishes and more.

Klaipeda Train Station → Kaunas Train Station | Duration: 4:55 h | Transfers: 1 | Transport: Train

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There are no direct train connections to Kaunas but not to worry there is a great transfer option through Kaisiadorys. There are 3 train connections available to Kaisadorys roughly 3:47 h long and then there are hourly connections from Kaisiadorys to Kaunas. Each leg of the trip may need to be booked separately. Book tickets through Lithuanian Railways.

 

Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania holds some exciting surprises for both new and experienced travelers.

Start off your expedition by visiting the Kaunas Castle, a gothic castle, with art exhibitions and interesting tours. The Devils’ Museum is quite unique and can even feel a little scary, but it is definitely one of a kind. The M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art is also nearby, so give it a visit while you’re at it.

Outside the main city, stop by the 9th Fort of the Kaunas Fortress, which is a fascinating historic fort, with a Holocaust Museum in it as well.

We hope you have enjoyed the journey through the Baltic states by train. From Kaunas, you can return to the capital, Vilnius, with regular connections or head south to Poland. Check Rome2Rio for transfer and transport options.

 

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