|Population||Ca 2,9 million|
Lithuania – charming Vilnius and the unique coastline
Lithuania is a thriving country with a third of the country covered in forest areas. Here you will also the Curonian Spit, the unique coastal spit. White beaches may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you are thinking of Lithuania, but then you will have something to look forward to and be surprised about. The capital offers many types of amazing architecture, a grand art festival and a district that has declared itself as an independent republic.
The Curonian Spit
The Curonian Spit is a 98km long coastline which forms a kind of border between the Curonian Sea and the Baltic Sea. 52 Km of the spit belongs to Lithuania while the rest belongs to Kaliningrad (Russia). The Curonian Spit is so thin that it sometimes reaches a width of only 4 metres while at the widest parts it is around 4 km. The white beach has the biggest sand dunes in Europe which has a height of 60 metres. Here you will find many nice beach resorts, the most popular one is Nida, a picturesque small fishing village with small colourful houses close to the border to Russia. This is the perfect place to try some smoked fish and watch the artwork. The village is also the starting point for the 1200 km long hiking trail that stretches from Nida to Tallinn along the Baltic Coast.
A bit different from the white sand dunes in the south you will find moraine hills in the western and eastern highlands. Here you can take a walk in the big forests while passing quiet lakes and pick mushrooms and berries. You might also see one and another animal like moose, bear or wolf.
Only a few hours from the Curonian Spit you can arrive to the capital of Lithuania. Vilnius is a beautiful city where the rivers Neris and Vilnia come together and the city is famous for its many green and flourishing parks. Make a visit to the Japanese garden Sei Shin En, the sculpture garden Vilnius Jerusalem Sculpture Garden or maybe have some lunch in the Panama Food Garden where you can choose to sit outside or in a greenhouse. Here in Vilnius you can also enjoy the beautiful architecture while walking around, watch the houses and churches built in different styles.
If you are interested in art there is a lot to explore in the capital. Artvilnius is a big art festival where you have the opportunity to watch thousands of different artworks made by artists from all around the world. The festival attracts many visitors and in 2018 more than 20 000 people visited the festival. If you cannot get enough of art you can visit Uzupis, a bohemian and artistic neighbourhood that by some is seen as its own republic. Even though that might not be entirely true, you will see signs with the words “Uzupio res republica”. Here the streets are filled with art galleries and designer shops and the houses are decorated with different paintings.
You will also be able to find some nice food markets where you can try Vilnius own craft beer and the popular pastry Kibinai, a sort of pie filled with sweet berries. Finally, we would recommend a visit to the Museum of Illusion, an exciting and interesting museum where you can walk around among interactive exhibitions and try different experiments.
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