Discovering the Baltics on the cheap

Finding the best value deals and ideas for a holiday to Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia with On The Beach

Eastern and North-Eastern Europe are some of the newest places to uncover for travelers on the continent. With Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and 2011’s European Capital of Culture alongside Turku in Finland, as well as other stunning cities such as Riga in Latvia and Vilnius in Lithuania, the Baltics are a wonderful place to escape to for a long city break or an extended week in the summer.

For customers used to all inclusive holidays on beach resorts, the Baltic states will represent something a little different and, thankfully, a breath of fresh air. All three countries have coastline, and some of their most beautiful cities sit right on the water.

Riga, the capital of Latvia, is one of the largest Northern European cities, and holds over a third of the country’s population. It is located at the mouth of the river Daugava and was first developed as the trading port it now is by the Vikings, over a millennia ago. As well as being under Holy Roman, Polish-Lithuanian and Russian rule, Riga was also ruled briefly by the Swedes.

A street in Riga courtesy of Alexey Sidorenko



















This gives its ambience and rhythm and distinctly northern-European feel, set amongst a kind of history of alliances, grudges and religious upheavals which are largely unfamiliar to British tourists, whose knowledge of European history tends to focus on Catholic and Mediterranean countries to the south.

Nevertheless, Riga is stunning and extremely good value – we recommend eschewing hotels and going for some of the excellent homestays instead, which will also give a chance to meet local people and learn more about the culture and cuisine.

Travel to the Baltics is becoming far more accessible, with budget airlines running chartered flights to Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius (though flights to the Lithuanian capital are a little less frequent). If you want to fly RyanAir you can find returns for under £100. We would recommend booking well in advance if you’re planning a stay in the summer months, as the homestays in particular can fill up.



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