Sometimes the Baltic states are overlooked when it comes to choosing a holiday destination due to the climate not being as favourable as it is in some other parts of Europe and the rest of the world, but it really shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly as the region is home to some great ports and cities, packed with an exciting array of things to see and do. It’s where you’ll find some of the most intriguing and beautiful places in Europe including a number of capital cities, ensuring any Baltics cruise is one full of interest and excitement. I’ve put together a list of my top five favourite cities on a Baltic cruise, but let me know in the comments if you disagree with any of my selections and you’ve something better to suggest.
#1 St Petersburg
If you read my blogs, you’ll see how much I love St Petersburg. I think it’s a truly beautiful destination, packed with amazing sights. The Hermitage Museum is probably one of the most famous in the world, with an amazing collection consisting of millions of pieces. There’s also Peterhof Palace, the Winter Palace and Catherine Palace, all decorated in an intricate style. The churches of the city feature incredible architecture while the network of canals lends an air of tranquillity and attractiveness to the bustling streets.
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm is home to some delightful sights including churches dating back to medieval times and a selection of more contemporary examples of fine architecture. There are also various museums ranging between a number of topics, such as the Dance Museum, the Spirits Museum and the Nobel Museum dedicated to the history of the Nobel prizes. It’s a truly varied city with something for everyone to enjoy, and the archipelago is regularly rated as one of the most spectacular in the world.
Copenhagen has a very relaxed atmosphere and doesn’t feel much like a capital city, being supremely friendly and with a pleasant aura. One of the most iconic attractions is Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the whole world and situated right at the heart of the city. Outside of this, there’s the usual mix of great museums, galleries and shops along with unique architecture you wouldn’t see elsewhere, and some delightful gardens too.
Another capital city, Helsinki is known for being home to some beautiful parks and gardens. Also there’s the Suomenlinna, an incredible fortress that now plays host not just as a museum but also as a more modern destination with theatres, restaurants and more. Within the heart of the city, the Church in the Rock, the Uspenski Cathedral and the Lutheran Cathedral are all breath-taking.
A gorgeous older city filled with buildings and remnants of medieval times, Tallinn truly highlights the clash of contemporary and historic themes. From the impressive Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the Kumu Art Museum, you’ll see exciting extremes of the old and new. A great way to soak it all in is from the highest observation deck in Europe, in the Tallinn TV Tower.
By Ian Lewis