Lithuania is a vibrant and quirky country, which has undergone rapid modernization since becoming independent from the Soviet Union in 1990. You’ll find a lively nightlife, both in Vilnius and on the coast, ample grounds for outdoor pursuits in the as yet unspoiled national parks and a number of good beaches, as well as a stark contrast between city life and rural poverty. Fiercely proud of their country, Lithuanians are more exuberant and welcoming than their Baltic neighbours and you are likely to encounter their hospitality everywhere.
Where to go in LithuaniaLithuania’s small size makes getting around inexpensive; even in well-trodden destinations the volume of visitors is low, leaving you with the feeling that there’s still much to discover here. Vilnius, with its Baroque Old Town, is the most architecturally beautiful of the Baltic capitals, and boasts a boisterous nightlife, while the second city, Kaunas, also has an attractive centre and a couple of interesting museums, along with some excellent restaurants and bars. The port city of Klaipėda is a convenient overnight point en route to the resorts of Neringa (the Curonian Spit), a unique sliver of sand dunes and forest that shields Lithuania from the Baltic Sea, or to Palanga, Lithuania’s party town, where everyone flocks in the summer for a good time.
Top image: Beautiful drone landscape image of Trakai castle © Lukas Jonaitis/Shutterstock
Fact filePopulation 3.2 million
Area 65,200 sq km
Capital Vilnius (population: 560,000)
International phone code t370