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Overview to Lithuania: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Like its neighbors Latvia and Belarus, there’s a stark beauty to Lithuania. It’s not a big place but its population is so spread out and the winters so cold that a compelling sense of space – bordering on isolation – pervades almost everywhere.
Few backpackers get much further than Vilnius, Lithuania’s utterly captivating capital. Red-roofed baroque buildings line the (slightly scruffy) streets, whilst on the other side of the Vilnia River the bohemian ‘republic’ of Uzupis sums up the city’s alternative vibe.
But Lithuania doesn’t begin and end with Vilnius. Striking out from the capital, Trakai Castle offers the remarkable spectacle of a fortified island in the middle of a lake, while other places of interest include the museum-filled student town of Kaunas.
In the summer months (and only in the summer months!), Lithuania's Baltic coastline is absolutely gorgeous. Stretching away either side of Nida is the Curonian Spit, featuring stunning dune formations like the Drifting Dunes of Parnidis and the shoreline woodland of Witches’ Hill.
There are also a fair few Soviet relics knocking around. Not far from Klaipeda, Zematijia National Park contains a massive underground Soviet missile base. Built in the early 60s to enable a nuclear attack on the West, it’s a thoroughly eerie place.
With its fairytale landscape of impressive castles, whispering forests and shimmering lakes, Lithuania is mysterious, magical but, first and foremost, misunderstood. One thing’s for certain, though, Lithuania’s about much, much more than just Vilnius!