Awesome Instagrammable Spots In The Baltics

Literatu Gatve in Old Town Vilnius

My recent father-daughter adventure to Finland and the Baltics made me realize… #IHaveThisThingWithAlleys. The Old Towns of Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius are filled with them. Gorgeous Instagrammable spots. And they all seem to have some sort of interesting historical significance. Best of all, you have to do a little searching to find them. Which can sometimes lead you off the beaten path. I pretty much did an entire “Vilnius alley day,” determined to find these photographic little gems. I’d become obsessed. But, in flipping through my older travel photography, it became clear the obsession was always there, lurking. Today, read all about my favorite Baltics alleys, and see which other European alleys snuck into my camera over the years in a follow-up post.


The Narrowest Street In Vilnius

To the best of my recollection, this is where it all began—with the narrowest street in Vilnius, Lithuania. I had to find it. And it wasn’t easy. It’s about three feet wide. It has no name, dates back to the Middle Ages, and is tucked in a courtyard off what most of us would consider a real street. Should you ever actually visit the amazingness that is Vilnius, you’ll find this fun little photo opp off Savičiaus Street. In the courtyard by the Čiurlionis Memorial Museum.

Narrowest Street in Vilnius

The “Republic” of Užupis Information Center Alley

Užupis is a self-proclaimed independent republic found on the far side of the Vilnia River in Vilnius. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and, during the Soviet Era, was one of its roughest. It’s now a quirky bohemian arts district, complete with its own constitution and mermaid mascot.

You’ll find this beautifully graffiti’ed side street on your way to the Tourist Information Center. There, you can you get your Užupis visa and passport stamped. And outside, you’ll be greeted by a feline furbie whose presence is so well-known, he’s an actual landmark on the Užupis area map. (Click to view the evidence up close!) This may have been one of my favorite Instagrammable spots on our whole Baltics trip.

Uzupis Tourist Information Center alley in Vilnius, Lithuania

Saint Catherine’s Passageway in Tallinn

Hidden between Vene and Müürivahe Streets, just near the knit market, is Saint Catherine’s Passageway in Old Town Tallinn. The alley sits with a Dominican Monastery dating back to 1246 and ancient tombstones can be found in some of the walls. The cobbled street is lined with overhead vaulting and colorful wooden doors, making for the perfect camera-ready shot. Enjoy a stroll past the artisan workshops towards one end while you’re there.

Saint Catherine's Passageway in Tallinn, Estonia

Jono Meko Skersvėjis, AKA Jonas Mekas Draft

Also in Vilnius’ Užupis neighborhood is the Jonas Mekas Draft alleyway. You’ll find this guy at Užupio Gatvė 24 connecting Užupis’ main drag with the Vilnius River. It currently looks like it’s up for a massive facelift. It has portions of the walkway blocked off for upcoming cafes, restaurants, what have you. But in the meantime, take a walk down it and you’ll find interesting artworks plastered the length of it. Enjoy while snap, snap, snapping away!

Jonas Mekas Draft in Uzupis Vilnius, Lithuania
Jonas Mekas Draft graffiti in Uzupis Vilnius, Lithuania

Riga’s Rozena Iela

Rozena Street in Riga, Latvia sits just by the Dome Cathedral in Old Town. Find ethereal starry lights dangling at one end of the alleyway and medieval-style flags overhead at the opposite end. Sit with a cup of coffee at a local cafe and admire the impressive mural splayed above. Another picture perfect Baltic alley!

Rozena Iela in Riga, Latvia
Rozena Iela street art in Riga, Latvia

Vilnius’ Literatu Gatve

Literatu Gatve in Vilnius’ Old Town turned out to be right around the corner from our hotel. It’s also the featured image for this post. (Seen above… and below.) Another ancient alleyway tucked away in a maze of old streets, this one boasts a little repainting in fun colors. A small art installation for your Instagram enjoyment. Get a tattoo while you’re there or stop at the restaurant found in the corner nook. While this quaint city’s alleys hold a special place in my heart, there’s so much more to do in Vilnius. Future posts to come!

Literatu Gatve in Old Town Vilnius

Saiakang Alley in Old Town Tallinn

Find the charming Saiakang Alley by Tallinn’s Town Hall Square. The medieval passageway is lined with workshops and cafes and makes for a nice little break after touring the main square. The quaint, brightly-colored buildings are just what you need to liven up your feed!

Saiakang Alley in Tallinn, Estonia

If you happen to suffer from the same alley addiction that I do, you’ll love these awesome Instagrammable spots in the Baltics. And, if you don’t and decide to visit these gorgeous Insta-opps anyway, you’ll 100% find that you had an alley addiction just waiting to come out. Don’t worry—you’re in good company with Global Debauchery.

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18 comments

  1. #IHaveThisThingWithAlleysToo and had a similar experience when I visited Italy. Predictably I also fell in love with the tall imposing doors of old buildings. Thanks for the detailed directions to all the spots you photographed as I may put them to use in my future travels.

  2. You are so lucky. I would love to visit The baltics. Yet, your review and pics make me feel like I’m already there.

  3. These are definitely a nice sports for your instagrammable photos, they are unique and really beautiful.

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