December 2019 to January 2020 – I was finally able to do the road trip through the Baltic countries, which was on my mind for such a long time. And yes, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are a great travel destination in winter, too – just embrace the cold and you’ll be rewarded with empty streets and amazing sunsets.
Tallinn surprised me a lot and has probably become my second favourite city – it has a perfect mixture of old and new architecture, an amazing food scene, great urban art spots and a hip, vibrant, cool vibe. The city has an astonishing memorial for the ‘victims of communism’, which has become my first recommendation to visit when in Tallinn. Tartu is still on my to-see-list, and I am eager to go to this student gem on my next trip to Estonia, surely with a day or two in Tallinn to be spent.
Riga instead is like a time warp with its beautiful architecture and parks, with lots of odd little things to stumble upon on a day’s walk. Great restaurants are plentiful in the old city center and it is hard to choose, where to eat. A perfect weekend getaway when you enjoy local cuisine.
Vilnius is full of churches, and every single one of them is built with absolute beauty. But since I am not so much of a church enthusiast, I spent my time in museums and walking around the city center, which was just as rewarding as a heavenly blessing. The city is built in a grand style and I enjoyed the flair. Crossing the Vilnele river, you find yourself in the free republic of Uzupis, a mecca for quirky art installations and life outside-the-box. On every corner, there is something extraordinary to be explored and it’s the simple yet genius ideas that make this place so heartwarming.