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Lithuania Travel Guide

The Republic of Lithuania consumes a total of 65,200 square kilometres of land and is an eastern European state, with Latvia to its north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south and Russia and the Baltic Sea to the west. There are around 3.6 million folk living around Lithuania who are mainly of Lithuanian, Russian and Polish descent and mostly Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Protestant and Baptist faith. The inhabitants speak Lithuanian and Russian and money-wise make their trade from petroleum refinement, shipbuilding, fertilisers, furniture, electronic components and agricultural machinery trading with countries such as Russia, Latvia, Belarus, Germany, Poland, Italy, Finland, Denmark and the Ukraine.

The country of Lithuania was self-governing between the First World War and the Second World War, but by 1940, was seized by the USSR. In 1990 though, Lithuania was the first of the Soviet nations to declare its independence, but it wasn’t until 1991, that Moscow acknowledged the announcement. Two years later, the last of the Russian troops left and Lithuania eventually began to reorganize its financial system for incorporation into Western European organizations, uniting with both the EU and NATO in 2004.

Lithuania has lots of high action fun to enjoy including ice-skating, tobogganing and cross-country skiing during the winter months, especially in eastern Lithuania at Aukstaitija National Park. During the warmer periods, the national park also provides some great canoeing, where travellers can book trips and rent gear. Birdwatchers won’t be left out, with the west coast of Lithuania abound with bird species, especially near Vente, where there is a bird preserve at the Curonian Lagoon. Those wanting to go all out and do some skydiving or air ballooning can book a sky jump or balloon ride at the capital of Vilnius and for those just wanting to scoot around on a bike all day or go on a cycling trip can rent one in the city.

After all the activity, visitors should head back into Vilnius, situated 155 miles from the Baltic Sea, which has two areas, Old Town and New Town. Vilnius’ Old Town is the largest in Europe, with many concealed courtyards and a church spire seen from every single street. Other buildings include the President's palace, Vilnius University and an observatory with restaurants and cafes to keep the energy levels up. By night, pubs and nightclubs entice the tourists to drink and dance the night away, with accommodation available in the city to sleep the evening’s events off. New Town is located 1mile west of Old Town, a place built in the 19th century, where the city hall and the Museum of the Genocide of the Lithuanian People is located. The museum is kept in the old KGB and Gestapo building and the guides are all past prisoners, who will show visitors around the cells and give accounts on the suffering they were put through. Lastly, there is the oddest sight, south of Lithuania’s river, where a monument stands in honour of American rock legend Frank Zappa!

It’s easy to get around Lithuania, with trains and buses all over the place and at a cheap price. Car rental is available too, a bit more expensive than public transport but provides so much more flexibility and the roads are in very good condition. Many flights are available from Europe to Vilnius or Kaunas, six miles from Vilnius, with all other countries having to make further connections. Buses can take people from countries such as Finland, France, Germany, and Sweden to Lithuania but are a much slower travel option. Poland and Belarus should avoid this option though, due to very long border delays, and take a train instead, which travel direct to Vilnius. Lastly, anyone from Germany, Denmark or England wanting to take a slow route and soak up the views, can get to Lithuania by ferry. The weather here is hot from May through September, with the busy tourist months being in July and August.

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