Lithuania often feels like the forgotten country of the Baltics. The capital, Vilnius, is sometimes overlooked in the face of its neighbours, Tallinn and Riga – although like them, its medieval Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Kaunas and coastal Klaipėda, the other main cities, see even fewer foreign visitors. As some formerly disused buildings gain a fresh – and even imaginative – lease of life, you can expect a good range of accommodation around the country. Here are the best hotels in Lithuania.
Two blocks south of Laisvės (Freedom) Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Kaunas, the cool Victoria occupies an early-1900s printing works. While preserving the attractive all-brick industrial-chic facade, interiors have been modernised – though retain key features such as large windows and lofty ceilings. Bright, well-lit rooms have subtly patterned carpets and elegant contemporary furniture, some with Tamara de Lempicka and Piet Mondrian artwork behind the beds. There’s a good restaurant and bar-terrace, along with a modest spa offering Finnish saunas, Turkish hammams and a jacuzzi.
Clad in sheeny corporate grey in downtown Kaunas, the HOF feels like a business travellers’ home away from home. Double rooms and apartments, some with balconies, feature straightforward contemporary decor in shades of burgundy, mustard and plum-purple. There’s plenty of velvet or velveteen textures to soften the vibe and offset the brown carpets. The modest restaurant serves decent breakfasts under shaded chandeliers.
Just 10km (6mi) from Kaunas but atmospherically a world away, Monte Pacis is one of the most romantic hotels in Lithuania. Part of the 17th-century Pažaislis Monastery complex overlooking the vast Kaunas Reservoir, this heritage hotel has 13 rooms, suites and apartments. Named after historic personalities, they feature vintage canopied four-posters, timbered ceilings and Tudor-style lattice windows. The elegant restraint accommodates modern amenities that blend in unobtrusively. The fine-dining restaurant has an award-winning wine list, featuring monastic vintages from across Europe.
In Nida village on the Curonian Spit, just shy of the Russian border in southwest Lithuania, El Nido is for arty escapists. The extraordinary 98km (61mi) spit separates the Baltic Sea from the vast Curonian Lagoon. From the late 1800s, the lagoon-facing village flourished briefly as an artists’ and poets’ retreat – today it’s a low-key resort, in which a rustic feel and chalet-like appearance match a carefree atmosphere and odd remoteness. Doubles, quads and bunk-bed dorms wear a simple piney decor, some with private balconies.
At the head of the Curonian Spit and Lagoon in port-city Klaipėda, the Dangė stands opposite the Pranas Domšaitis Gallery – ideal for arty types topping up on inspiration. Almost passing for a large family home, the four-storey house stands on a quiet street in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Rooms have a neat and pared-down Scandinavian feel, with wooden floors and sections of coarse russet brickwork. Loft rooms have kitchenettes and balconies.
The immaculate jade-green facade of the National lends a romantic feel to the charming Old Town cobbled-street location in Klaipėda. The 19th-century townhouse has accommodation ranging from straightforward standard rooms with rust-red carpets and awning-stripe curtains, to suites with desks, floor lamps and coffee tables. All feature local artwork, and many overlook Theatre Square or have river views. The Fat Cat gastro-bar is an atmospheric old-world den of arched windows, exposed brickwork and timbered ceilings festooned with pendant lamps.
The industrial facade in Klaipėda Port betrays its heritage as the first rice mill in Lithuania – but inside the Old Mill you’ll discover a hotel geared towards comfort. Of the 32 guest rooms in this 18th-century building, the lux category are perhaps the most stylish, with updated furnishings and a spot in the mansard roof. The in-house restaurant serves a modern European menu, best eaten on the open terrace overlooking the Curonian Lagoon.
In the northwestern suburbs of Vilnius, the Urbihop has youthful hipster cool embedded in reinforced concrete. It fits the mood of the modern city into a hotel room, utilising the subtlety of wood and the roughness of concrete. Behind the boxy glass facade is a studied oasis of urban minimalism: big slanting windows, diagonal concrete beams, bare concrete walls textured with wooden slatted headboards, two-tone carpets and decorative filament bulbs.
On the edge of the splendid Vilnius Old Town, the Trio is a school-like building that clearly has the budget traveller in sight. Inside, the rooms and apartments are more engaging and the place is conspicuously proud of the large and modern windows. Straightforward Scandi-design and beige carpets steer the standard and superior rooms, while the apartments have stripped floors, exposed brickwork, pops of red, yellow and orange and, in some, painted antlers hanging above the bed.
The handsome 19th-century Vilnia building and the enviable location by Gediminas’ Castle and Bernardine Garden in Vilnius Old Town beckons well-heeled romantics. The modernised interiors are eye-catching from the lobby – think red umbrella-like pendant lamps and russet chairs with a steel-grey lattice-patterned wall above reception. Spacious rooms feature herringbone or chevron parquet and a tasteful earthy-coloured decor with muted pops of blue. The well-regarded Upė restaurant encourages a sharing meze-like approach to dining – and if you’re yearning for eel carpaccio, this is one of the best hotels in Lithuania for you.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.