Lithuania Travel Guide
Many travelers do not know the charms of Lithuania making the Baltic country a highly underrated destination. Offering a potent mixture of history, art, and unspoiled national parks, people who have been to Lithuania only have good things to say about the country. An added bonus is the famous hospitality of Lithuanians which makes visits more enjoyable.
Hikers, cyclists, and explorers will find many national parks that are waiting to be explored. Sprawling forest, numerous lakes, and wetlands filled with wildlife. There's so much to see in Lithuania. If you are a budget traveler, you'll be happy to know that Lithuania isn't expensive. It's hard to overspend here as there are many budget accommodation and food options. You can upscale, of course, if you have more budget to work with.
Here, you'll find a full guide to visiting and exploring Lithuania. But first, some quick information about the country.
Capital city: Vilnius
Currency: Euro (EUR) 1 USD = 0.98 EUR
Electricity: Power voltage is 230 Volts. Power socket type F.
10 Handpicked Highlights of Lithuania
Below are the best places to explore on any visit to Lithuania:
Vilnius Old Town
The capital city of Lithuania is famous for its historic old town. I like that the old town is reasonably compact marking it easy to explore. There, you’ll find historical buildings, winding cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and street art.
You can see an unobstructed view of the town from Gediminas’ Castle or a panoramic view from the Hills of Three Crosses. Other things to do include visiting the Genocide museum to learn more about the city’s dark past and enjoying the city’s nightlife.
While I mentioned a trip to Gediminas castle as a way of having a scenic view of the old town, there is so much history behind the tower that it should be treated as a separate attraction. Initially built for the purpose of protection in the past, the castle is a historic structure that houses the museum of local history. The national flag of Lithuania has been flying constantly at the top of the tower since the country gained independence in 1991.
Nemunas Delta Regional Park
The Nemunas Regional Park offers a potent combination of nature and culture. One of the highlights of the park is Rusne which is an island surrounded by bogs and swamps. But the main reason why people flock here is to see dozens of different bird species. Nemunas is an important rest stop for migrating birds. They rest and breed in the park.
Trakai Castle is less than an hour away from Vilnius and should be on your Lithuania itinerary. Famous for its gothic architecture and its location on one of the deepest lakes in the country, Trakai castle is breathtaking. You cross a long wooden bridge to get to the castle. There’s a museum in Trakai castle where you learn about history. Overall, the castle and its surroundings are stunning and look very medieval.
Hill of Crosses
What can you expect to find on the hill of crosses? Crosses, of course. It’s said that there are over 150,000 crosses on the hill. There’s a historical context behind the crosses as it signifies the peaceful resistance of Lithuanians and Christians against oppression.
The location of the hill of crosses is remote. But it’s worth the visit. The experience here may be different for each person but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate this sacred site.
Zemaitija National Park
Serenity seekers will love the Zemaitija national park. You get to enjoy peaceful nature walks through the park. There is Lake Plateliai to be explored, different forests and plants to see, swamps, plenty of raspberries, and of course, fresh air.
There are also several hiking and biking options with most of the trails in good condition. Remember to visit the Cold War museum and Shrovetide museum. An added bonus on any trip to Zemaitija park is the hospitality and professionalism of the staff. They will make you feel very welcome.
Nida & the Curonian Spit
Nida is a true hidden gem and you should consider visiting the town whenever you find yourself in Lithuania. Thanks to tall sand dunes (Parnidis dune) and pine forests, Nida is one of the most picturesque places in the country.
The Parnidis Dune looks even more impressive at sunset. There’s a massive sundial on the top of the tune and you can have fun trying to read the local time on it. The Curonian lagoon and the pristine Nida beaches also deserve recognition.
Dzukija National Park
Lithuania seems very serious about protecting its natural forests and this is why there are so many national parks in the country. The Dzukija park is one such park (some already mentioned above) and is an amazing place for nature lovers. The park-like pine forest trees, lakes, and rivers all create spectacular scenery.
You can also go canoeing, biking, or birdwatching in the park. As the park gets a little crowd, you get to enjoy solitude and true serenity.
If you want a getaway in Lithuania, you should check out Palanga, a beautiful and bubbling beach resort. While the beach is the main attraction, there are other interesting things to do such as visiting the Amber museum, the musical fountain, the Birute Park, or going horse riding on the Baltic shore. You are literally surrounded by fun in Palanga and you’ll never get bored.
Klaipeda is worth exploring, especially if you are passing by. It’s a popular spot for travelers on their way to Nida to see the Parnidis dunes. From exploring the city to seeing the incredibly quaint and interesting architecture, visiting the sculpture park, and seeing the Dane River, there’s no shortage of things you can do on your stop in Klaipeda.
Lithuania's Geography & Landscapes
Lithuania is mostly made up of fertile central plains that are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits. The landscape of the country consists of rich forests, lakes, and rivers. Even without high mountains, it’s possible to see a beautiful panoramic view of the country’s landscape.
Best Time To Go To Lithuania
One thing you have to accept when visiting Lithuania is that rainfall is common regardless of the time of the year. So, pack appropriate clothing, especially waterproof jackets.
Lithuania has short summers (June to August) and long winters (December to mid-March). So, if you want to spend time at the beach, you have to visit during the summer months. Even then, it can get really cool in the evenings so pack a sweater. The temperature rarely exceeds 20 to 22°C (68-71°F) during summer in Lithuania.
Naturally, the summer months are the peak periods and the influx of travelers means prices of accommodation increase. If you’d like to beat the crowd and save some money, consider visiting the country during the shoulder months of April-May or September-October as it’s still warm enough to venture outdoors during this period.
Traveling in Lithuania
Crime is low in Lithuania and you should experience no problems on your visit. You have to watch out for pick pocketing and scams in the big cities. As long as you take sensible precautions, you won’t experience any problems. Below are safety tips to follow:
- Make photocopies of your documents and secure the original in your hotel room.
- Avoid carrying valuables and large sums of money.
- If you rent a car, don’t leave your valuables in the car overnight. Break-ins can occur.
- Don’t wander around at night.
- Don’t leave your drinks unattended in bars and clubs.
- If you won’t do it at home, don’t do it in Ireland
- Purchase good travel insurance.
Getting to & Around Lithuania
The main international airport is the Vilnius international airport in the capital city. There are no domestic flight within Lithuania.
Public transportation is clean, safe, and reliable. It’s also very affordable.
Taxis are available but are more expensive. Always use public transportation whenever you can.
Trains are fast and efficient. It’s arguably the best way to travel to the main cities.
Buses are readily available and are budget friendly.
Car rentals are affordable and a great way to explore the country. Lithuania has good roads so if you are confident of your driving skills and have an International Driving Permit (IDP), you should consider renting a car.
Hitchhiking is easy and generally safe. However, you shouldn’t hitchhike at night for safety reasons.
Hostel dorms and private rooms are readily available. Same with hotels and airbnb. Your budget will decide which one you go for.
Wild camping is legal in Lithuania and travelers that have tents can camp to save money. Camping in a formal campground will cost about 8 EUR per night for a basic two-person plot without electricity.