Eastern Europe might not be everyone’s number one travel destination. Communist-era buildings, the conflicts in the 1990s and border disputes in recent years have meant much of the region has been overlooked by potential tourists.
But with its patchwork of pretty, pastel-colored old towns, incredible ancient history, exciting nightlife, and nature from sprawling lakes to swooping mountains, Eastern Europe is a surprising delight. History, culture, nature, ethnicity – all of them mix into an intriguing swirl that’s making this part of Europe an increasingly popular vacation destination.
Vilnius is the Lithuanian capital which comes complete with a particularly beautiful old town. This heart of the city boasts Baroque architecture along its cobblestone streets. But you can see more than just Baroque: there’s the Gothic Saint Anne’s Church, the 16th-century Gate of Dawn, and the Neo-Classical Vilnius Cathedral.
Other than being home to Europe’s largest Baroque old town, Vilnius contains an array of bars and cafes hidden down charming alleyways and lining atmospheric courtyards. With a large population of students (over 20,000 of them), after night falls, Vilnius becomes a vibrant destination with flowing beer and live music.