Lithuania Mini Guide
Lithuania sits between Russia, Poland, Latvia and Belarus, though the country is not landlocked and has a coast line with the Baltic Sea. It is here at the coast that some of Lithuania’s most beautiful areas lie such as the Curonian Spit, a nature park filled with sand dunes as well as rare flora and fauna which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The capital of this Eastern European country is Vilnius while other major Lithuanian cities include Butinge, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Marijamopole, Panevezys, Saiuliai, Taurage and Utena. These cities are all well connected by road and the roads are of good quality unless you veer off the main highways to the small villages. In lesser known territory there can be some large potholes but luckily Rhino car hire gives you complimentary breakdown assistance with every car rental. It is possible to drive to the nearby cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga or Warsaw in Poland.
Vilnius is an exciting city to visit which scores highly for shopping, architecture, nightlife and culture. While still retaining its charm and the cosiness expected from a city of only half a million people, Vilnius has recently opened many malls making it a good place to stock up on anything you need. If you want to shop somewhere a bit more unusual go to Gariunai which is the Baltic’s biggest open air market with hundreds of traders selling just about anything you could thing of.
Today Lithuania is a member of the European Union and NATO but it has had a fascinating history of struggle during which it fought to retain independence from the Polish and the Russians. As well as being part of the European Union Lithuania is a member of the Schengen Agreement. This makes it easy to enter the country from other Schengen nations without having to show your passport. Because Lithuania is in the EU smoking is forbidden indoors but there are many good bars in which to go and try the local beer.
Lithuania has three airports. If you are flying with Ryanair you will go to Kaunas airport but the main airport is in the capital, Vilnius, while there is a small seaside airport at Palanga. Most Lithuanians speak Russian as well as their own language Lithuanian, and the youngsters are becoming increasingly proficient at English. Just in case, you may wish to acquire a phrase book before making your journey.
When you hire a car in Lithuania it is possible to get there by driving through Belarus, Poland and Latvia. Car hire is available from all of these locations and you may even be able to drive to Lithuania and drop your vehicle off at a different rental office from where you picked it up. As a member of the Schengen Agreement you can pass between Lithuania and its neighbours without going through border controls.
Facts about Lithuania
- Lithuania is officially known as the Republic of Lithuania
- In 1990 Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare its independence
- The only port in Lithuania is the Port of Klaipeda
- The largest airport in Lithuania is Vilnius International Airport, in 2019 it handled around 5 million passengers
- The currency in the country is the Lithuanian litas (LTL)