Remember how I was making excuses recently for writing a blog post about a trip that happened in May five months too late? Well, that was nothing. Today I’m writing about a trip I went on almost a year ago. Last year, on the second day of Christmas, myself and 4 of my friends got in a car and started an eight days long trip around Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The main goal was to skip the New Year’s celebrations. So we packed some winter clothes, a brand new Mavic Pro drone and some leftovers from Christmas dinner and set off for a new adventure. In the meantime shit happened and we decided to part ways with the guys from our previous blog, Łowcy Wrażeń, and start a new one. To do so, we had to wait for Mięta to get back from Camino and use his IT skills to set up a new home for our content. It was spring when it finally happened so writing about cold winter months was pointless. And so here we are today. With a never heard before story of a great trip. It’s actually perfect timing, as it gives you just enough time to plan your own winter Eurotrip. And I advise you to do so!

This blog post is part one of my winter journal. In here you’ll find all the practical information about traveling around Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by car. In the winter. So there’s info on what gear you need, on ferry costs and timetable and  where to find the cheapest parking spot. I also gathered everything I know about Riga and Vilnus in a form of little guides. These two cities were our pitstops on the way to and from Estonia, which was our main goal during this trip. We spent 5 days in Estonia and have done a lot so I wrote another blog post just about that. You can read it HERE.



Get in the car!

Let’s start with what you need to pack. First of all some warm clothes as it’s freezing in Estonia in the winter. But there are some car related necessities you might not be are of. For example in Estonia it’s required by law to have wheel chocks with you to prevent your car from sliding down a hill. You didn’t know such a thing exists? Me neither. Another thing are snow chains. Those are not required but may proof to be necessary. There wasn’t much snow during our trip but snowdrifts are not uncommon in this region so it’s best to be prepared just in case.



As far s traffic regulations go, you should also remember that in Estonia acceptable blood alcohol level is a big fat zero. Take it into consideration especially when planning your trip around New Year’s Eve. We did get checked by the police at one point as well. Another thing that Zbiegu, our only driver, said after the trip is that he was surprised by how much people go by the speed limit. Especially in Estonia and Lithuania where speeding tickets are extremely pricey. Nobody even overtakes at a higher speed than allowed. In the end Zbiegu had to ‘learn how to drive in Poland’ once we got back. Driving under speed limit did reduce our travel costs as well, because gas mileage was great.



Ferry in Estonia

When planning a trip to Estonia don’t forget that they have some amazing islands out there. We definitely wanted to check out the biggest one of them, Saaremaa. To get there we hopped on a ferry to a smaller island called Muhu and then drove via a crazy road from one island to another. Not a bridge. A road. On the water. There are two different ferry routes in Estonia, both operated by the same company. To get to Saaremaa you need to go to Virtsu and get a ferry to Kuivastu. The price depends on the day as well as the number of people. You can find the timetable and prices HERE. Normally there’s a ferry every hour, but it’s a bit different during holidays. Plus lots of locals travel around to visit family and get to New Year’s Eve parties. So I recommend you buying a ferry ticket in advance. You can do it online so it’s really easy.



A little guide to Riga

We planned our trip in such a way, that we wanted to drive as far as possible and then slowly come back. So we were aiming for Tallin, where we would spend 3 days, and then slowly moved back south. However it’s quite a drive from Warsaw to Tallin. It is doable, but not really pleasent. So we decided to make a stop in Riga on the way there. Most of us have never been to Riga and this way our holiday was more of a roadtrip with different places to check out on the way. It was especially cool to check out 3 different capital cities in 3 different countries during Christmas. This way we were able to compare their Christmas markets and  decorations.



We got to Riga around midnight, so we didn’t do anything other than getting some sleep. It’s worth mentioning that planning accomodation without arrival time limit is crucial when planning such a long trip. You never know what might happen on the way. In Riga we found a nice Airbnb with self check-in option. Another essential thing for us was the free parking spot. In Riga parking in the city is said to be quite expensive and we didn’t waste too much money at the beggining of our journey.We preferred to spend our coin on mulled wine at Christmas markets, to be honest.



In the morning we prepared a quick breakfast and went into the city center to see what Riga is all about. The day was sunny and beautiful even though it was col AF. The Old Town in Riga looks like any bigger city in Poland, maybe just better-kept, so we felt right at home. The city made a good impression on us. We enjoyed walking down cobbled streets and checking out the Christmas market with a giant tree in the center. We also took a look at local craft in a cute store called Mūsmāja and touched the noses of animals statue. Well, tried to. Me, being the shortest of the group, could barely reach the bottom one 😉 Anyway, they’re said to bring good luck so I hope I secured some of that for myself. After all that we were freezing for we stopped for a hot coffee at Caffeine LV cafe and then decided to flight our brand new drone and take some pictures of th Old Town from  above. I was really anxious since I wasn’t an expert and didn’t feel too confident with the new gear. But I’m really happy with the result. We did stay clear from the people though.



In fact we enjoyed flying the drone so much, that we decided to skip walking around the rest of the city, got into the car and drove to one of the beaches located not far from Riga to catch a sunset over the sea. We ended up in a little town called Saulkrasti. There’s a great beach and an even better wooden observation deck above it. We drove there completely by accident but it turned out to be a magical place. Definitely check it out if you get a chance!



Mini guide to Vilnius

On our way back from Estonia we opted for a different route and ended up in Vilnius. We stayed in Fabrika hostel, which wasn’t that great but, again, the important thing for us was the option of arriving after the reception closes. Actually the hostel might not have even been bad. I was just in bad mood as I drowned my drone in a tiny river on the side of the road a few hours prior arriving to Vilnius. So the only thing I needed at the hostel was a heater for my soaked clothes and shoes. Unfortunatelly there were none. In the end it all ended well and the drone is dry and good as new. Helpful tip: sillicone cat litter is what you need to dry a drone.

Since the day was quite stressfull our night in Vilnius ended in a bar. We went to Gringo pub, which was pretty cool. People were friendly, there was a good selection of craft beers from various European countries (the Islandic ones and one of our favourites – Punk IPA by BrewDog definitely put us in a better mood). There was also an arcade in the bar and that’s really all we needed. When we found 2 euros still inside it we took it as a sign and then spent good few hours playing Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.



We started off the next day with a sweet breakfast at Donut Lab where you can find donuts with several different types of toppings. I don’t know if it’s still available but there was also a breakfast deal – when you bought a donut a coffee was free (or the other way round, I can’t remember). So that’s always good. Especially since tracking breakfast discounts is what I usually do. then we went to see the Old Town in daylight and check out their Christmas market. In Vilnius they did it in an interesting modern way and went for glass domes inside which there were cafes and tiny shops. It looked cool and classy. There was a traditional market as well but we liked this one better. We walked around for a bit, went into a church (I don’t really know much about religion, so can’t tell you more). We ended our trip with a traditional dinner, but it wasn’t really special so I didn’t even write down the name of a place.



And that’s how our winter adventure ended. Of course there’s a huge whole in this blog post called Estonia. I wrote a separate blog post about our five day roadtrip around Estonia which you can find HERE.



As usual there’s some more photos in our PORTFOLIO, so be sure to check it out as well. Altough in this blog post there’s some pictures taken by Zbiegu who’s to lazy to add his portion into the portfolio. Be sure to nag him about it, maybe he’ll finally do it. And if you do decide to go on a car trip such as ours be sure to let us know what you thought. And you might need some music for the long car journey as well so here’s our Estionian playlist full of bangers perfect for singing.