Best Places to Visit on a Road Trip Through Lithuania

Lithuania, the largest of the Baltic States, offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for a road trip. Traveling by car allows you to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, from charming cities and medieval castles to serene lakes and dense forests. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to visit on a road trip through Lithuania.

Planning Your Lithuanian Road Trip

Car Rental and Driving Requirements

  • Car Rental: Book your rental car in advance to secure the best rates. Major cities like Vilnius and Kaunas offer numerous rental options.
  • Driving License: If you hold a driving license from the European Union, you can use it in Lithuania. For non-EU visitors, an International Driving Permit in Lithuania is recommended.
  • Driving Rules: Familiarize yourself with local driving laws, such as speed limits (50 km/h in cities, 90 km/h on open roads, and 130 km/h on highways) and mandatory seat belt usage.

Navigation and Safety

  • GPS and Maps: Ensure your rental car is equipped with GPS, and consider using navigation apps. Carrying a physical map as a backup is also wise.
  • Road Conditions: Lithuanian roads are generally in good condition, but be cautious when driving in rural areas, especially during winter.

Top Places to Visit

1. Vilnius

Start your journey in the capital city, Vilnius, known for its Baroque architecture, vibrant arts scene, and historical significance.

  • Old Town: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town of Vilnius is a maze of cobblestone streets, charming squares, and historic buildings. Visit the Cathedral Square, Gediminas Tower, and the Gates of Dawn.
  • Uzupis: A bohemian district often compared to Montmartre in Paris. Explore its quirky cafes, art galleries, and the Republic of Uzupis, a self-declared independent republic within Vilnius.
  • Vilnius University: One of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe, it boasts stunning architecture and beautifully landscaped courtyards.

2. Trakai

Just a short drive from Vilnius, Trakai is famous for its picturesque castle and serene lakes.

  • Trakai Island Castle: Located on an island in Lake Galvė, this medieval castle is one of Lithuania’s most iconic landmarks. Explore the museum inside and take a boat ride on the lake.
  • Karaim Culture: Trakai is home to the Karaim community, an ethnic group with roots in Crimea. Try their traditional dish, kibinai, at a local restaurant.

3. Kaunas

Lithuania’s second-largest city, Kaunas, offers a blend of modern and historical attractions.

  • Old Town: Wander through the charming streets of Kaunas Old Town, visit the Kaunas Castle, and admire the beautiful Town Hall.
  • Ninth Fort: A poignant historical site, the Ninth Fort is a memorial and museum dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and Soviet occupation.
  • Laisvės Alėja (Liberty Avenue): A pedestrian street lined with shops, cafes, and cultural institutions, perfect for a leisurely stroll.

4. Klaipėda

Klaipėda, Lithuania’s main port city, is the gateway to the Curonian Spit and offers a unique maritime charm.

  • Old Town: Explore the half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets of Klaipėda’s Old Town. Visit the Theatre Square and the unique sculptures scattered throughout the city.
  • Curonian Spit: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this narrow strip of sand dunes stretches between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. The village of Nida, with its picturesque wooden houses and towering dunes, is a highlight.

5. Palanga

A popular seaside resort, Palanga is known for its sandy beaches and vibrant summer atmosphere.

  • Palanga Beach: Enjoy a day on the beach, walk along the pier, and take in the sunset over the Baltic Sea.
  • Palanga Botanical Park: Home to the impressive Palanga Amber Museum, this park is a perfect place for a relaxing stroll.

6. Aukštaitija National Park

For nature enthusiasts, Aukštaitija National Park offers pristine lakes, dense forests, and traditional wooden villages.

  • Lakes and Rivers: The park is dotted with over 100 lakes, making it ideal for boating, fishing, and swimming.
  • Ethnographic Villages: Visit the villages of Palūšė and Ginučiai to see traditional wooden houses and water mills.

7. Hill of Crosses

Near the city of Šiauliai, the Hill of Crosses is a unique pilgrimage site adorned with thousands of crosses of all sizes.

  • Spiritual Significance: This site is a powerful symbol of faith and resistance. Visitors leave crosses to commemorate loved ones and express their spirituality.

8. Druskininkai

A renowned spa town, Druskininkai is perfect for relaxation and wellness.

  • Spa Treatments: Enjoy a range of spa treatments and therapies using the town’s mineral-rich waters and mud.
  • Grūtas Park: An open-air museum featuring Soviet-era sculptures and relics, offering a fascinating look into Lithuania’s past.

Practical Tips for Your Journey

Driving Etiquette and Safety

  • Speed Limits: Adhere to speed limits, which vary by road type and location.
  • Road Signs: Familiarize yourself with Lithuanian road signs and symbols.
  • Parking: Pay attention to parking regulations to avoid fines. Many cities have designated parking areas and garages.
  • Documents: License recognized by Lithuania, or license + driver’s license translation or valid IDP.


  • Types: Lithuania offers a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels and charming guesthouses to budget-friendly hostels and campgrounds.
  • Booking: While spontaneous stops are part of the road trip charm, booking accommodations in advance during peak seasons can save you stress and ensure you have a place to stay.


Lithuania is a gem waiting to be discovered, offering a blend of historic cities, serene landscapes, and unique cultural experiences. Whether you’re exploring the medieval streets of Vilnius, the tranquil lakes of Aukštaitija National Park, or the sandy beaches of Palanga, a road trip through Lithuania promises unforgettable memories. With careful planning and a sense of adventure, you’ll uncover the rich tapestry of this beautiful Baltic nation.

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