Hi, The Thorn Tree is down tonight so I thought I'd try here for a change
I've been invited to a mates weekend in Riga in June and so I've started thinking about how I could make the most of my time over there and maybe take 10 days instead of just the weekend. Just by looking at a map Helsinki - Talinn - Riga - Vilnius seems like an obvious itinery. Flights would be available from Scotland to back this up though I may have to fly from Kaunus instead of Vilnius.
Anyway, was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions: specific places of interest, worthwhile changes to the itinery, logistical details I may need to know, hostels that are worthwhile visiting. I realise this is a pretty open request - Just looking to start a bit of discussion.
I can only help you with Tallinn and Helsinki, I've only been to Riga for a weekend. But it still is a great place to go to, people are really nice and the town is quite amazing.
Tallinn has a beautiful city centre, it's right on the sea as well so there are loads of things to see, but unfortunatly as I went there in the winter...
Helsinki on the other hand is an amazing city, there are so many islands to visit, and you can take the ferry between Tallinn and Heklsinki, it's only about 4hours, and less if you take the fast one.
In helsinki you can walk around town, then go to Suomenlinna (island with a fortress on it), but the best thing to do if you can is to go visit the lakes that are a little bit further north and it's amazing. Very different from Scotland i can tell you!!
Anyway, outof the blue like that it's hard to think of what to do but if you have further questions...
We were in that area last June - so some things are still here in my memory. First off, it wasn't very warm for June, and it was rainy throughout the whole region. Wear warm clothes and bring an umbrella. We came from St Petersburg via train to Riga, then bus to Vilnuis, bus to Warsaw, train to Prague. We didn't stay overnight in Riga, just did a quick run through the city in the rain to catch the main sights. Very pretty place! Mainly we just meandered about, visited churches, etc. We took the overnight bus to Vilnius which was cheap enough - $32US, stayed at Vilnius Backpackers Hostel $37US double/shared bath. Nice place, nice people there. Again Vilnuis is another lovely city with loads of churches and great architecture, fun to just walk around. Bus to Warsaw was $36US. Warsaw was better than we expected - more great architecture, free concerts around the city. Saw a jazz band on the street and an organ recital at a church. Food is cheap and tasty - get the kebabs they sell on the street - enough for two! Stayed at the Oki Doki Hostel $43US double/shared bath. Pretty typical hostel, though they have a wacky theme thing going with their rooms. Nice enough for a night or two. The Cultural Tower is fun to go up & there are beautiful churches, etc. Prague was stunning to look at but more expensive than we expected. Stayed at at Hostel Melounu - nice place though expensive at $60US for a double/private bath. Everything in Prague is great - you'll just walk around gaping, climb up towers, peek inside churches, & sit at cozy cafes, etc. There is Prague castle, St. Nicolas and loads of classical music.
Well, if you need more specifics, I do actually have it all written down some where.
I went to Talinn and Riga about this time last year. It was lovely. Check out my blog.