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Everything you need to know about Lithuania

Lithuania is the geographic centre of Europe. Area with 65 300 km2 is in the Northern Europe, the largest of the three Baltic states. It is located along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. Lithuania borders Latvia (to the north), Belarus (to the east and south), Poland (to the south), Kaliningrad Oblast – Russia (to the southwest).

Where to find?

Lithuania is situated in the Northern Europe and is the geographic centre of Europe. Total area is 65 300 km2, and the country is the largest of the three Baltic states. It is located along the south-eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. Lithuania borders Latvia (to the north), Belarus (to the east and south), Poland (to the south), Kaliningrad Oblast – Russia (to the southwest).

How to reach?

By plane, By train, By bus, By car, By ship

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Visitors from most countries can enter Lithuania without a visa as long as their visit is under 90 days.

There are three international airports in Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga.  Vilnius International Airport is a small but efficient airport with currency exchange services and small cafes. There are direct flights to several European cities and new flights are constantly being added, included several budget options. The centre of the city can be easily reached by bus, train or taxi and is about 20 minute drive by car.

Lithuania has also well-maintained roads and reliable highway connections between major cities.

Ferries to Klaipėda arrive from Germany, Sweden and Denmark. Transport to Vilnius can be arranged at the Klaipėda’s Bus or Train Stations.

Know symbols?

The colours of the Lithuanian Flag are yellow, green and red. Yellow represents the sun, light and goodness, green symbolizes the beauty of nature, freedom and hope and red stands for the land, courage, and the blood spilled for Lithuania. The tricolour’s stripes are horizontal.

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The state emblem of the Republic of Lithuania is Vytis (the White Knight). The heraldic shield features a red field with an armoured knight on a white horse holding a silver sword aloft in his right hand. The coat of arms of Lithuania is displayed on many Lithuanian official documents, coins, websites…

The state emblem of the Republic of Lithuania is Vytis (the White Knight). The heraldic shield features a red field with and armored knight on a white horse holding a silver sword aloft in his right hand. The coat of arms of Lithuania is displayed on many Lithuanian official documents, coins, websites.

“Tautiška giesmė” is the national anthem of Lithuania. The music and lyrics were written in 1898 by Vincas Kudirka.

Visit cities?

Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania and also the capital of Vilnius County. It is the largest city in the country with an estimated population of 560,190. The city is considered to be the economic centre of the country and is one of the largest financial centres in the Baltic States. The second largest city is Kaunas, followed by Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys. The most loved cities by tourists are Vilnius, Trakai, Kaunas, Druskininkai, Nida, Kernavė, Anykščiai and Rumšiškės.

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Lithuania is divided into 5 main ethnographic regions, which are distinguished by traditions (festivities, songs, tales) history, lifestyle, language dialects and other cultural aspects. Discerned regions are:

  • Aukštaitija (Literally Highlands) – region in north-eastern Lithuania.
  • Žemaitija (Samogitia or Lower Lithuania) – region in western Lithuania.
  • Dzūkija (Dzukija or Dainava) – region in the southeast of Lithuania.
  • Suvalkija (Sūduva) – region in the southwest of Lithuania.
  • Mažoji Lietuva (Lithuania Minor) – region by the Baltic Sea.

Meet locals?

Lithuania has a population of approximately 3 million people. A third of the population lives in rural areas and the rest live in urban zones. Lithuania is a relatively homogeneous society – over 80 % identifying themselves as Lithuanians. Other ethnical groups: Poles, Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and others.

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The Lithuanian language is the official state language of Lithuania. Nonetheless, many Lithuanians are multilingual; two thirds of the population declare that they are able to speak at least two foreign languages.

Most Lithuanians belong to Roman Catholic Church. There are also Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Reformed Church, and Eastern Orthodox, Judaism, Islam and others.

Know key phrases?

Learn key words & phrases in Lithuanian.

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English
Lithuanian
Pronunciation
Hello
Labas
//
Good morning
Labas rytas
//
Good afternoon
Laba diena
//
Good evening
Labas vakaras
//
Goodbye
Viso gero
//
How are you?
Kaip sekasi?
//
I am sorry
Atsiprašau
//
Please
Prašau
//
Yes
Taip
//
No
Ne
//
Thank you
Ačiū
//
My name is...
Mano vardas yra..
//

Enjoy the landscape?

Lithuanian climate ranges between maritime and continental. The average temperatures are +19oC and -3oC in January.

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Lithuania is a water land with around 3000 lakes! The biggest are Drūkščiai (44 km2), Dysnai (24 km2) and Dusia (23,3 km2). Total length of rivers in Lithuania is 76 800 km. the longest rivers are Nemunas 475 km, Nėris (234 km) and Venta (161 km). The length of the coastline is 90 km.

Lithuania is one of the eco-friendly countries in Europe. Forests and bushes cover more than 30 percent of area. The biggest forests are Dainava wood (1450 km2), Labanoras wood (911 km2) and Kazlų Rūda forest (587 km2). Not forgetting to mention authentic Aukštaitija, Dzūkija, Kuršių Nerija, Trakai and Žemaitija National Parks…

Celebrate holidays?

Holidays in Lithuania.

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Date
Name
Remarks
1 January
The New Year
Also Day of Lithuanian Flag
6 January
Three Kings Day
Marks the end of Christmas period
13 January
Day of Freedom Defenders
A memory day for victims of January events
February – March
Shrove Tuesday
Carnival celebration
16 February
Independence Day
Since 1918
4 March
Saint Casimir’s Day
The patron saint of Lithuania. Organized Kaziukas Fair.
8 March
International Women’s day
11 March
The Day of the Restoration of Independence
Since 1990
29 March
NATO membership
Since 2004
1 April
Fools day
Before Easter
Palm Sunday
Yew Sunday / Branch Sunday
The first Sunday and Monday of spring with full moon
Easter
1 May
International Labor Day
1 May
EU membership
Since 2004
7 May
Press recovery, Language and Book day
To remember repressions Tsarist government
First Sunday in May
Mothers Day
First Sunday in June
Father’s Day
1 June
International Children’s day
14 June
Mourning and Hope day
For remembrance of those who were exiled to Siberia
24 June
St. John’s Day – Midsummer day
Celebrated according to pagan traditions
6 July
Statehood Day
The Day of the Coronation of King Mindaugas
15 August
Feast of the Assumption
“Žolinė”
23 August
Black Ribbon day
A memory day for the victims of totalitarian regimes
1 September
Science and Knowledge Day
First day at school
23 September
Lithuanian Jewish Genocide Day
With a mark of mourning
25 October
Constitution Day
1 November
All Saints Day
23 November
Military Day
24 December
Christmas Eve
25 – 26 December
Holy Christmas

Remember the history?

The Balts started settling down in the present territory of Lithuania in the seventh century B. C.

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The formation of the Lithuanian State began in the 13th century. In 1323, by Grand Duke Gediminas, Vilnius, as the capital city, was mentioned for the first time in the official documents.

One of the consequences of the Krėva treaty signed by Lithuania and Poland in 1385 was Lithuania’s conversion to Catholicism.

During the rule of the Great Duke Vytautas, Lithuania became one of the largest states in Europe, extending from Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Under the Lublin union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland were merged into a Common wealth that lasted until 1795, while later Lithuania became a part of Russian empire.

In 1918 the Lithuania Council proclaimed the Independent Republic of Lithuania.

In 1940 Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Russia and remained incorporated n the Soviet Union until 1990.

In 1990 Lithuania declared the re-establishment of its independence.

In 2004 Lithuania became a member of a NATO and European Union.

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