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Baltics Itinerary for 11 nights

My partner and I are planning a trip to the Baltics in June-July and I would love some itinerary help. We are arriving in Tallin around 10pm and then will have 11 nights to explore.

Are there cities that we should give less/more time to? Ones we are missing that are essential? Is this too much to accomplish? We are using public transport. I would rather do less and enjoy more than be rushed.

We are interested in everything, but mostly love the arts, good food, culture, nightlife, beauty, and fun. We would also love to do some biking if anyone has suggestions.

Thanks for your help!!

Night 1 (arriving late)- Tallinn

2- Tallinn

3- Tallinn

4- Tartu

5- Tartu

6- Riga

7- Riga

8- Klaipeda

9- Klaipeda

10- Vilnuis

11- Vilnius

Posted by
2444 posts

I have only been to Tallinn, though I am eagerly anticipating a return to this gorgeous town in May, continuing on to Riga and Vilnius via bus--I will post a trip report, of course. I stayed a week there as I have Estonian heritage and spent a day exploring Rocca al Mare, the outdoor living history museum (which is fun to explore on bikes), a day trip to Helsinki via ferry, a couple of days around town (loved Kadriorg Palace and the KUMU museum, both in the same park near old town) and also really loved the two guided day trips. I used EstAdventures and they offer a nice variety of small-group tours, I went in mid-Sept so was lucky to have the guide, the owner himself, all to myself one day and shared with a charming couple the other. We visited Lahemaa national forest and the Baltic shore, Jagala waterfall, Viru bog, toured some manor houses and a ruined monastery, explored beautiful Haapsalu and a former Soviet missile base, had excellent lunches and he also made a point to take me to a crafts co-op as I am a knitter especially interested in Estonia's famous knitting traditions. For a wonderfully unique souvenir buy some intricately patterned knitted mittens. I never had a bad meal anywhere in old town, and especially enjoyed a pub called Hell Hunt.

I'd like to visit Tartu, but I will say that Tallinn is quite an enjoyable town and has gotten more interesting since I was last there, they have some outlying areas that were formerly industrial that now have markets, food and nightlife, called Telliskivi Loomelinnak (creative city). I'll suggest maybe dropping Tartu and adding either the 2 days to Tallinn, or 1 to Tallinn and 1 to Riga. I am planning 3 days each in the 3 cities.

How are you connecting the dots?

Posted by
504 posts

That looks pretty good. I spent more time in the capitals, but we didn't have time for the other cities--you make your choices. If you can get to Rundale Palace outside of Riga, it's worth the trip--a little Versailles without the crowds. Trakai Casle outside Vilnius can be reached by public bus. It's a pretty little spot in the middle of a lake.

The food is good everywhere. You shouldn't have a problem with that.

Posted by
700 posts

We spent a month each time on three different occasions in Klaipeda. We've also visited Tallinn (once) and Vilnius (3 times). We have traveled by bus Tallinn-Riga-Klaipeda. With that background I agree with the suggestion to visit Trakai outside of Vilnius, and I make one more. The Hill of Crosses just north of Šiauliai is an excellent site to visit and will help you understand Lithuanian culture. Get a bus that goes from Riga to Šiauliai, stow your bags, take a taxi to the Hill of Crosses for a couple of hours, and then another bus to continue on to Klaipeda. Or alternatively, travel from Klaipeda to Vilnius via Šiauliai and take the same side trip. Enjoy Lithuanian borscht (it's served cold), cepelinai (Zeppelins is the literal translation because of their shape), potato pancakes, kepta duona, and more! Have a great trip.

Posted by
99 posts

Hi. This is a great itinerary! I loved spending time in Tallinn, the Old town especially. Food wise, I can recommend the Old Hansa medieval themed tavern. Everything about it looks like you were sent back in the 15ht century, from the menus, the pots, the recipes, the bills and even the servers are dressed in medieval outfits. They speak English so you are safe :) It is always busy on warm days and mostly when cruise ships are docked. Make sure you sit outside as the inside is very dark (during daytime).
The prices are normal for the Old town Tallinn. Every time we went there I always enjoyed the wild mushroom soup with warm oven baked bread & delicious spread. Since I don't eat meat, that seemed like a great idea, plus It was filling and cost only about 7.50EUR. If you are beer lover, you may want to try their specialty beers, like Cinnamon and beer with herbs. The servers do a little performance, with a bit history about Tallinn which we found to be very entertaining. At night time there is live music and the whole atmosphere is lively and cozy. I hope this helps. Have fun!

Posted by
847 posts

I did a trip that included Tallinn 4 nights, Riga 3 and Vilius 3 and was happy with the amount of time in each. I didn't have time for any day trips except the castle near Vilnius. If I were to do the trip over again I'd probably have added another 2 or 3 days and done some more day trips to other towns. I took the bus between the cities and thought it was wonderful. Very cheap but at least as comfortable as an airplane seat, and they had great seat back entertainment.

Here is my trip report that details where I stayed and what I did.

And here are the photos -

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks so much for all of the helpful information. I really appreciated figuring out how to get to the Hill of Crosses. I wasn’t sure about that. Also, the Old Hansa Tavern sounds like a lot of fun. I cannot wait for some mushroom soup. I really appreciate the help.

Posted by
3 posts

We actually now have 14 nights, so I’ve adjusted the itinerary a bit. I am more comfortable with public transportation because I’m not that big a fan of driving personally. I’d rather sit back and watch the world go by then have to pay attention to the road and navigation.