Anykščiai, Lithuania’s best kept secret

Anykščiai, Lithuania's best kept secret 1

A popular destination for Lithuanians, Anykščiai is relaxed, picturesque and surprisingly fun. From large pine forests, a narrow-gauge railway, amusement park, ski tracks to spa’s and nature walks it seems that this small town is Lithuania’s best-kept secret.
With a population of about 12 000 Anykščiai is about 32 Km west of Utena and 112Km from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. Most tourists in Lithuania tend to stay in Vilnius and Trakai and the rest of the country is often overlooked but I find that the best of Lithuania is it’s nature and to truly enjoy it you need to travel by car. Places like Anykščiai, Birštonas or Druskininkai are a perfect way to escape the city life and enjoy the outdoors, so go on start packing already.

Kalita – Kalitos Kalnas

We started our day here, we wanted our son to have some fun and this place seems to fit the bill, plus it was very close to where we were staying so we just walked there. It was summer but we were the first ones there so for about one hour we were alone with the entire park as our playground, no cues, no waiting in line, just fun.
Initially, we went there for our son but it quickly became clear that it was fun for everyone and we got to be children for a couple of hours, even grandpa and grandma.
The big wheel attraction, a type of inflatable tire they strap you in and you roll down the hill is super fun and a good way to get the adrenaline pumping for the rest of the day.

The Historical Complex of Seimyniskeliai Mound

It’s a 13th-century village museum, a reconstructed fort serves as the backdrop for hours of fun. It seems to be the most reliable site of the castle of Voruta, one of the most important castles during the rein of the first and the only crowned King of Lithuania Mindaugas. Now it’s a medieval park different historic activities like bow shooting, sword fight and even a working catapult. The entrance of €2 is well worth it for the time, fun and the explanations of the guide, also it was not crowded at all so we got to enjoy our time and repeat the attraction at will.

Puntukas Stone – Puntuko akmuo

On the way to what is probably the most famous attraction of Anykščiai, the treetop path, this is the second largest stone in Lithuania, and yes Lithuanians have a rank for stones. This stone is also a memorial for Darius and Girenas the Lithuanian pilots that crossed the Atlantic and became national heroes. Lithuania’s former currency Lita even had a bill with them.

Cosmos and Art Incubator

We like art and we are sci-fi geeks so of course, this went to our list. Upon arrival, I got to say it looks far from what I expected. I honestly expected an artsy modern building all cosmo like and modern art, but the truth is this is more local artists and light attraction type of place. And that’s fine, we bought some locally made and sourced skin care, we learned about how organic local perfume is made and enjoyed the “cosmo” light and mirror room, so even if it didn’t fit the sci-fi expectation it was still cool.

City centre

The centre of Anykščiai is small and easy to walk. We went for a walk near the river and the park and visited the Church of St. Matthias, after a little walk we also decided to see the local winery where they sell a type of blueberry wine famous in this region.
The locals are super friendly and being a touristic and popular destination means there are lots of restaurant choices.

Anykščiai church

The Roman Catholic Church of St. Matthias is the tallest church in Lithuania, with towers of 79 metres. It’s quite close to the river and to a nice park to walk around and the views from up top are superb. You do need to call to book a tour of the tower.

Treetop walking path – Medžių lajų takas

Probably the reason I wanted to come here, I saw so many photos of this place in Instagram and tourism centre’s that I had to see it. It’s in a huge pine forest and you get to walk around the tree’s until you reach a tower from where you can admire the river and forest view. There’s no going wrong with this, it’s a must see and I just wish I could see it in winter and Autumn, it should be magnificent.

Narrow-gauge Railway – Siaurukas

This was kind of a last minute stop when it started raining but a surprising one. The trains are super small and cute but they still work and if you want you can get on one for a train ride. The museum guide was super funny and friendly and you get to try the bicycle rides and hop on the old trains, good for adults and kids.

Laimės žiburys

A peaceful place in the forest and the resting place of Jonas Biliūnas, a Lithuanian writer. You get to walk around the forest until you eventually reach a hill with a fantastic view to Anykščiai. There are a lot of stairs to climb to get to the grave of Jonas Biliūnas but once there the views are great and the all walk and climb didn’t take much time so it was a nice stop in between our many stops.

Horse Museum – Arklio Muziejus

Our last stop before heading home, we initially came here for a cup of natural coffee but ended staying for a carriage ride and a general visit to the complex. It’s like visiting rural Lithuania, and a nice stop for a cup of coffee and relaxing before going back to city life.

Restaurants in Anykščiai

We went to a few and the highlight in quality is the Hotel Vilnius restaurant a superb meal and a great location.

Where is it?

Anykščiai is about 32 Km west of Utena and 112Km from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city

Where to stay?

We booked an apartment near Kalitos Kalnas. But there are many options in Airbnb and booking, for the ultimate in luxury and peaceful location probably the Vilnius Hotel is the best but we have no idea about how good the rooms are as we didn’t stay there.


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