Rebellious, quirky and vibrant, Lithuania (Lietuva) is Europe's best-kept secret. Shoved successively between Russian pillar and Nazi post, tenacious little Lithuania stunned the world when it played David and Goliath with the might of the Soviet Union - and won its independence just over a decade ago. Today the nation that vanished from the maps of Europe is back with a vengeance: it's part of the EU, was the first of the 25 EU players to give the European Constitution a stamp of approval and is a fully fledged 'n' fighting partner of NATO - home no less to four F-16 military alliance jet fighters used to police Baltic skies.
This is a country with a colourful history, once boasting an empire stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Its raw pagan roots fuse with Catholic fervour - the Polish inheritance that sets it apart from its Baltic brothers - to create a land where Catholics and Orthodox mingle happily in the forest to pick wild berries and mushrooms from nature's altar. Its capital, Vilnius, is an incredibly small place (can this really be a capital city?) with astonishing contrasts - eerie shadowy courtyards, eccentric artist community, awesome arts and beautiful baroque. Its natural treasures - forests, lakes, the magical Curonian Spit in Western Lithuania - shimmer, while its oddities - the Hill of Crosses in and a Soviet sculpture park - add a flavour found nowhere else.
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Best places to stay in Lithuania
Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania travel guide
Lands of crumbling castles, soaring dunes, pagan rituals, towering pine forests, quaking lakelands and churning northern seas – a trip to the Baltic proves that fairy tales do come true…
Forget the Med: five stunning stretches of coast in northern Europe
Travellers flock to the Mediterranean shores of Italy, France and Spain, but for deliciously different places to dip your toes, look a little further north on your map of Europe. You’ll need a sweater if you visit outside the summer, but the views, dunes and magical history are worth a slightly paler suntan...
Eastern Europe travel guide
Head to Eastern Europe for guaranteed adventure: from hidden gems in Russia, Ukraine and Montenegro to the classic charms of the Czech Republic, Croatia and Hungary, you’ll find a region that’s surreal, exciting and endlessly surprising.
Bizarre, beautiful and bewitching, Lithuania's capital seduces visitors with its astonishing Old Town charm.
Ten hidden gems of Europe
There’s no place like Paris, Barcelona or Rome - but Europe has untouched corners that match the big hitters on beauty and charm, and with far fewer tourists. Take the road less travelled with these ten hidden gems of Europe. 1...
Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania - Kaliningrad Excursion (Chapter)
Inside Russia’s smallest territory you’ll find all the traditions of the big parent, alongside plenty of fine hotels and restaurants, welcoming locals, beautiful countryside, splendid beaches and fascinating historical sights.
Experience the diverse delights of the Baltic states on this adventurous journey through Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany. From the medieval spires of Tallinn and the funky bars of Riga to the Baroque-styled quirks of Vilnius, hidden delights await. Visit colourful markets, be immersed in art and architecture and trek past Lithuanian lakes.
Trakai Castle and Museum Tour
Let the Lithuania landscape slide past your window as you travel 40 minutes to Trakai, located 18 miles (28 kilometers) west of Vilnius. Learn more about the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Battle of Grunwald, and Vytautas the Great (1392-1430). There are many beautiful lakes in the region. Visit Trakai Castle and Museum of the 15th century (in the middle of Lake Galve).
Monster hunting in Europe
Bloodsucking foes, ghoulish encounters, we all secretly want to unleash our inner Buffy. Would-be slayers, you're in luck: Europe isn’t short of supernatural beasts, as long as you know where to look, and there's much more out there than vampires...
Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania - Estonia (Chapter)
Estonia is completely unique. Europe has fallen head-over-heels for the charms of Tallinn and its Old Town, and Estonia’s sparsely populated countryside and extensive swathes of forest provide spiritual sustenance for nature-lovers.
Sights in Lithuania
Activities in Lithuania
Tours in Lithuania
Restaurants in Lithuania
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Kaunas has a reputation as a sprawling urban city and a hotbed of post-Soviet mafia.