Lithuania is my homeland, the place where I was born and spend the first 20 years of my life as a necessity. And then some more years later on by choice, because there are so many reasons to love this country (for me, a 100 to be exact). So naturally, I write about it a lot.
Very often Lithuania is either completely overlooked, or grouped together with other Baltic countries for a weekend trip. If I could count guides, helping you to visit Vilnius in just one day, I would run out of numbers. I am biased here, but I believe this country needs more time.
After all, there is so much to visit there. Vilnius, of course, is full of magical places to be explored slowly during your first visit. From there, you can plan some day trips to Kaunas and Trakai or less obvious ones to a SPA and a treetop walking path in Anyksciai or an alpaca farm.
And then, of course, there is the coast. Every year since my childhood we go to the Baltic sea. It might not be the warmest, but it is a beautiful peaceful place for nature and relaxing. Explore the port city of Klaipeda and make sure you visit Curonian spit.
Here are some practicalities to help you to arrange your trip.
Best time to go to lithuania
Lithuania is located in north-eastern Europe, so the best time for your visit will depend on what kind of weather you prefer.
Lithuania in winter will be rather cold, the temperatures dropping below 0 C and you have a good chance to catch some snow. With the exception of Christmas, it will also be time when there are fewer tourists. Late autumn, winter and early spring are great times if you like cosy fireplaces, windy walks and mulled beer.
Lithuania in summer can be much more pleasant, but also more crowded. Both Vilnius and the coast have a high season during the summer, so prepare to share the beauty with other tourists. On the upside, this is when you have fewer chances of rain and more sunshine. Like other Nordic countries, the nights are especially short during the end of June, and Midsummer is a big celebration.
what to eat in lithuania
National cuisine of Lithuania consists of meat and potatoes in all possible and impossible variations. While quite heavy, it is a guilty pleasure you can indulge in once in a while.
Most guide books would recommend you to try cepelinai. I disagree. Eating a zeppelin made of grated and boiled potatoes is an acquired taste - and skill. None of my foreign friends liked it in the beginning (but look at them now, some years later and many kilos heavier!).
For starters, try potato pancakes or Zemaiciu pancakes. Wash it over with local beer or non-alcoholic fermented bread drink called gira. And of course, taste some coffee. It's not a local drink, but somehow Lithuania has achieved a close-to-perfect art of it. Here are 10 places in Vilnius I particularly love.
recommended food tours in lithuania
If food tripping is your thing, here are some ideas on how to eat and drink your way through my country.
where to stay in lithuania
Vilnius offers a range of accommodation for all budgets, starting from cheap hostels and up to luxurious hotels in the city centre. So whichever budget you have, there is plenty to chose from. For some specific ideas, I have a post on the best hotels in Vilnius.
If you’re travelling during summer or Christmas holidays, it is best to book your stay in advance. I would recommend looking for hotels at Booking.com. I also have a whole article on getting the best deals on Booking.com.
And if you prefer to stay like a local, Airbnb is something for you. If you haven't tried it yet, this might be a good time. You can get a 34 euro off your first booking (which is a lot in Lithuania) by using this coupon code.
books to read on your lithuania holidays
Vilnius Poker: Dive into the atmosphere of Vilnius with this translation of a very popular Lithuanian novel by Ricardas Gavelis.
Vilnius - City of Strangers: Learn more about impressions Vilnius left on many other travellers like you - Napoleon, Tolstoy, Stendhal, Dostoevsky and many others.
Vilna: To discover why Vilnius was called the Jerusalem of the North, read Vilna.
Vilnius Guidebook: For a really good thorough guidebook, chose Tomas Venclova - the best our-day historian this city has.
Currency: Euro. There are many ATMs, and you can also pay by card in most shops, cafes and restaurants.
Getting around: Public transport consists of buses and trolleybuses. The fare is 1 euro if purchased on the bus. You can also get a city card in any kiosk, and travel cheaper. The best app to plan your trips is called Trafi.
For taxi download an app Uber or Bolt. It is cheap, reliable and in English. Avoid stopping taxi in the street, as this can be much more expensive.
Language: Lithuanian. Many locals in bigger cities will speak at least some English and Russian. But if you learn a couple of words in Lithuanian they will be thrilled. Try it!