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About country Gallery Where to stay Related articles

Although it comes as a surprise to many, Lithuania is actually the geographical centre of Europe. And namely for this reason, over the ages the country has found itself right in the middle of battles, wars and has had its borders redrawn many a time. Today it's a Sri Lankan-sized patch of land in the European Union bordering Russia and Belarus. It's covered in forests, has a Baltic Sea coast and many freshwater lakes. Beautiful nature, rich historical heritage and colourful seasons are just three features which lure visitors to Lithuania.

The main cities are Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. The capital – Vilnius – is a growing Northern and Eastern European city, where foreign businesses are rapidly settling, and the city‘s standard of living is fast catching up with its Western European counterparts. What's more, Vilnius is home to Eastern Europe's largest medieval town and also lots of green areas. Churches of different kinds are abundant, as are architectural monuments, and the traveller can also find plenty of new restaurants and entertainment.

In Kaunas, tourists can see Lithuania's architectural heritage from the 20th century – the city was the country's intellectual and cultural centre in between the two world wars.

The port of Klaipėda is one of the biggest motors of the country's economy. In the summer, Klaipėda turns into a gateway to Lithuania's coastal resorts – Palanga, Šventoji and the narrow streak of sand and pine what is the Curonian Spit. Idyllic hills, fine sand and rustling pine forests allure many a traveller in search of peaceful vacation.

On the other side of the county you‘ll mostly see forests, lakes and farmland. Aukštaitija region‘s national park is perfect for those thirsty for relaxation in the great outdoors – many rivers with canoing routs, lakes suitable for fishing and forests full of berries and mushrooms.

Visitors to Lithuania must visit not only the capital Vilnius, but also Kernavė – the country‘s former medieval capital and now historical and archaeological reserve, located at the side of several hill forts; and Trakai castle, built on a small island in the middle of the Galvė lake. While visiting Trakai, one mustn‘t miss out on the traditional Karaite snack kibinai, which are still baked to this day by the Karaite community.

Traditional Lithuanian cuisine is made up largely of potatoes and pork dishes. However, you can refresh yourself on a hot summer‘s day with šaltibarščiai – a traditional cold borscht soup made of kefir, beets and vegetables. During the summer, Lithuanian forests are full of berries and mushrooms, which are also used to make many tasty dishes. During the spring in the Curonian Spit you can catch the Palanga Smelt Festival, where you can try different kinds of small silvery fish, watch the Smelt Grill Championship, and take part in the competitions involving activities such as swimming in the ice-cold sea. Lithuania is also famous for its breweries and beer, and those wanting to take tours can book through all of the traditional local breweries.

Spring in Lithuania comes fast, and the blooming cherry, apple and plum trees forecast the warm and light season; summer can be rainy, but pleasantly warm; autumn paints forests yellow and red; and winter can see temperatures drop to -20 °C, although in recent years such temperatures have become rare and New Year can often be met with drizzle rather than snow. Weather permitting, however, locals enjoy ice fishing on frozen lakes, and taking saunas, after which the locals like to jump into a hole in an icy lake.

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