With the relatively new political changes to the Baltic region, this part of the world has opened its culture, history and beauty to travelers and there’s really something for everyone. Why even the big cruise lines offer itineraries through the Baltics.
Here's 8 reasons to come back or come for the first time......
1. Tallinn The capital of Estonia is truly the heart of the Baltics. Just 50 miles south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of St. Petersburg, it’s on the Gulf of Finland. Beautiful medieval towers marks its skyline and the quaint cobblestone streets invite you to walk around this city so rich in history and ambiance. The Town Hall Square is filled with sidewalk cafes and the perfect place to people watch. Nearby, don’t miss the Town Hall Pharmacy, one of the oldest in Europe built in 1422 and while you can still get a prescription filled here, a visit to its museum should not be missed.
2. Riga. The capital of Latvia is a mixture of old and new and especially so in its architecture. Founded in 1201 by sea faring merchants, today it is a modern city with the charm and neighborhoods of a historic town. Narrow cobblestone streets cross grand boulevards filled with wonderful restaurants, colorful taverns, tiny shops and big department stores. If you’re a history buff visit the World War II museums.
3. Helsinki is one of the most inviting capitals to visit in Europe now. A world class city located on the Baltic Sea it has a warm, coastal and relaxed vibe. The sea surrounds the city on three sides and there’s more than 300 islands in the area. Rent a bike and ride along the shoreline. Take a short cruise to a summer island and meet some of the friendly multi lingual locals. As one of the greenest cities in the world more than 1/3 of the city consists of parks and green spaces. You won’t hear the noise or see the pollution and congestion of other capital cities.
4. St. Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia and it is the jewel in the crown of your trip to the Baltics. Home to the State Hermitage, it is one of the largest museums in the world and absolutely breathtaking. You don’t need to be an art lover to be enchanted. The city is built on 42 islands and is surrounded by water so just about any water activity you can imagine is available here. From the first week in June to the first week in July you can take in the White Nights of St. Petersburg, a pearlescent all night glow. The long warm summer days and the White Nights make this a magical city.
5. The Food. The seasonal dishes here are fresh, simple and preservative free. Pork, in every possible rendition, is mouthwatering, it’s grilled, barbecued, braised, roasted, stewed and stuffed in potatoes. But with fresh catches from the Baltic Sea you can count on amazing seafood dishes and all are affordable. Although beer is not food, it’s cheap and it’s good here.
6. The Baltic Way . This peaceful demonstration occurred on August 23, 1989 and is testament to the courageous attitude and solidarity of the Baltic people. Nearly two million people joined hands to form a human chain over 400 miles long across the 3 Baltic states considered at the time to be Soviet states. It has become an official day of remembrance and a captivating piece of Baltic history that gives me chills every time I hear the story from a local.
7. Everyone speaks English! I love foreign languages, accents and expressions and I can still enjoy listening to their native tongue. But I have to admit, traveling the Baltics is easier because of it.
8. Four Seasons While most of their big celebrations are held in the summer, each of the four seasons offers a prize to the visitor. Yes the summer is amazing with the white sandy beaches, the parks are perfectly green, the birds are singing and there are too many summer festivals to count. But the fall brings harvest time and an unbelievable show of colors. Even winter is wonderful with its quiet snow cover and snow flowers. And I can’t think of a place in the world where spring isn’t welcome and renewing!
ScandinaviaNow discounted pricing through Oct. 31, 2016 we've found a wonderful tour of the Baltics available on select days in July, August and September 2017. Call today 1 800 422 3727