Lithuania - Real is Beautiful
A mere speck on the world map to an outsider, it is much more to a Lithuanian – a country that was built over thousands of years. It is a place that intertwines the experiences of our ancestors, the battles that were fought, and the love that was shared. So what is Lithuania? Lithuania is mostly about its people. The people who built the state and the cities, who engendered cultural enrichment and knowledge, and who searched for their true identity.
Although Lithuania was first recorded as a country in 1009, the first people are thought to have settled in the territory as far back as the 10th millennium BC. The first Baltic tribes arrived some 7,000 years later and settled near the Baltic Sea. Lithuanians are proud to have been brought up in a country with such a rich historical past, and they try to accentuate their national heritage by doing their best on stages and in sports arenas, by being great painters and authors, by singing their hearts out to thousands of people, and by making their presence known with the tricolor flag.
Leisure in Lithuania
We love both active and passive leisure and we do everything with sincerity. Whether it’s on bustling city streets or at a festival in the woods, on a hike through the wetlands or on a race track, in the basket of a hot air balloon or under the sails of a boat, at the seaside or in a tiny village, according to tradition or something completely new, we dive into it head first, racing, competing, and sometimes trying to prove to ourselves and others just how strong we actually are. Join us! Entertainment in Lithuania is waiting for you – there’s a lot of things to do here!
Lithuania offers a wide range of active recreation. Start your holiday here! Flights over the most beautiful places in Lithuania, marathons and half marathons, kiteboarding in the Curonian Lagoon, yacht racing, jumping from the highest bridges, dinner in the sky, night hikes through swamps, bike trips to hill forts, walking trails and unexpected encounters in the countryside. You don’t have to bring your own bike, boat or hot air balloon. We have everything here.
Entertainment in the city
We’re easy to reach, since we’re in the middle of Europe. Forget all the worries and enjoy a pleasant time in Lithuania – entertainment in the city will meet the needs of every visitor. Our cities have more than just fantastic architectural treasures – they also have concert halls and cinemas located on narrow little streets and in hipster lofts, and numerous nightclubs and places where there is no shortage of action, day or night.
It’s time for a family travel! Places where you can play, discover, learn and experience. Little discoverers are just waiting for adults to take them by the hand and show them a world full of interesting things.
Active recreation events
There are so many active recreation events in Lithuania. A hike, a bicycle race, a marathon, trail running, a hot air balloon ride or kiteboarding can become a true celebration when a huge crowd of people who are crazy about being active get together. The enthusiasm and excitement is contagious, and successful competitions become a tradition. Without it, Lithuania’s autumn, winter, spring and summer wouldn’t be quite so vibrant, and the participants would miss out on the impressions and sensations, and the opportunity to compete against themselves.
In many cases, Lithuanian traditional holidays that originated in Baltic paganism and got additional meaning with the advance of Christianity, are no less colorful than Easter eggs, Shrove Tuesday Carnival or the garlands of Midsummer Night. The Baltic, Christian and modern customs of worshipping the cycle of nature do not make a dissonance, but create a celebrated tradition that is unique to our country.
Even if you think you know Lithuania well, don’t be fooled – you may be surprised by the undiscovered places. From quarries that look like Valles Marineris to military fortifications hidden away in sand dunes; from lofty observation towers to underwater paths in swamps. Lithuania is inexhaustible – just don’t be afraid to improvise and deviate from the usual tourist routes and you’ll see for yourself.
Nature of Lithuania
Lithuanian nature is our greatest treasure. With its spectrum of shades of green, the freshness of its clean water, and its captivating landscapes, it seems as if the gifts of Lithuania’s nature are inexhaustible for its people and visitors. Enjoy them, while protecting and nurturing Lithuania’s greatest treasure.
Educational hiking trails
How to feel closer to the pureness of nature in Lithuania, how to touch it, smell it, taste it? Try an educational trail! Don’t hurry – choose from over a hundred and fifty cognitive walkways set up in the most beautiful corners of Lithuania. Walking along those trails, you will not only see the most interesting natural objects, but also hear millions of sounds of the Lithuanian forest, dispel the mystery of the wetlands, and at a moment of repose refresh yourself with water from our streams or springs.
Lithuania is a flat land – the country’s highest hill Aukštojas is only 294 meters high. However, it is possible to have a beautiful panoramic view of the diverse Lithuanian natural landscapes without high mountains. Throughout the millennia, nature itself, and in the last few years the inventive people of Lithuania have made sure that there are enough places ideally suited for admiring the landscape. The ancient hillforts, giant sand dunes or the observation towers – the choice is yours.
When we get tired of the stifling city, we look for fresh air and tranquillity in the outdoors. A great way to try something new is ecotourism. So natural, and virtually or sometimes even completely untouched by humans – this is why coming to Lithuania is worthwhile. The crystal clear lakes, the mysterious swamps, the centuries-old forests and the archaic villages that still stand in them – there are hundreds of places waiting for you where you will grasp the true harmony of man and nature.
Situated along the Eastern Baltic Flyway, Lithuania receives flocks of migratory birds in spring and autumn. Blessed with a mild climate and a compact size that lets one traverse the country in its entirety, Lithuania attracts birdwatching enthusiasts from around the world during both major migratory seasons.
The list of birds one can spot on a trip to Lithuania is impressive and, depending on the season, encompasses Aquatic Warbler, Great Snipe, Greater-spotted Eagle, Black- and Red-throated Diver, Bewick’s Swan, multiple species of geese, most of Europe’s woodpeckers, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, and many more.
Lithuania offers a diversity of habitats, including bogs, taiga forests and two of most spectacular landscapes the Baltics have to offer – Nemunas delta and the sand-dune dominated Curonian Spit. Where else can you see elks roaming in a desert-like environment?
Places for nature outings
Sometimes it seems like Lithuania is one big forest with many places for nature outings. Covered with fragrant pine forests, embellished with ancient centuries-old oaks, and enticing with its white-barked birches and mysterious fir groves. Having even made their way into the centre of town, forests invite you to get away from it all, even if it’s just for the evening or the weekend. The wonderful views that open up at the campsites and forest areas, the vast meadows, or the foot of a hill fort will take your breath away – you’ll want to check to make sure you’re not dreaming. And if you’re not dreaming, why don’t you stick around for a bit? There are so many places for picnic in Lithuania! If the rules of the forest or the national or regional park permit, you can set up camp here or just spend half the day having a picnic on the grass. Good weather, great company, tasty snacks, the smoke of the bonfire, and a beautiful place. That’s everything you need for a perfect outing. And one thing is for sure: Lithuania has no shortage of beautiful places. Protect our environment – every plant, berry stalk, shrub, tree, and piece of moss is part of nature’s miracle.
You have no idea how much we look forward to summer! Lithuanians love water recreation. The days when we can jump over the waves in the refreshing Baltic Sea. And the nights in the warm blanket of the lake, still as a mirror, reflecting the stars. The white sandy beaches of the Curonian Spit, Klaipėda, Palanga and Šventoji, and the shores of Lithuania’s beautiful lakes and rivers, welcome visitors from the very first days of summer right up until autumn. There is a memorable place for everyone – on a lifeguarded beach at the shore, at a luxurious hotel or rural homestead, or in a tent on the shore of a lake.
Art & Culture of Lithuania
From ancient times to now Lithuanian art plays a special role in our hearts. The power of creativity lives inside us and allows us to make steps that lead us further. The sound of breathing may sometimes become music for a film. The wind that blows hair at the sea – song lyrics. A kicked road stone – a sculpture, a friend’s letter sent from a distant place – a piece of painting. Creation does not begin and does not end. It lives inside us, allows us to make steps that we wouldn’t dare to make, counts codes that we couldn’t grasp if not for the power of creativity. There would be no life without creation. There would be no Lithuania that we have at present. That is what makes Lithuanian culture so special.
There are so many museums in Lithuania waiting to tell their stories. Magnificent museums located in castles that evoke the country’s glorious past, and small museums that are nurtured in earnest by the local communities. Museums that showcase valuable art collections and intrigue you with the most unexpected exhibits. Museums that take pride in their huge archives, and museums that teach in the most innovative ways – the more than a hundred museums operating in Lithuania will astonish you with their diversity.
Lithuanian architecture is very old. A countless mass of days is looking from every tower. If the brick walls caressed by many hands could talk, they would definitely narrate about famous architects and their pupils who travelled across Europe. They would remind us of the most notable schools and trends of architecture that have left an imprint in our cities and towns. The identity of Lithuania’s architecture is defined not only by historical situations, but also by people who lived at different periods of time, their perception of art, expectations, the dreams that were realised and those that have not been fulfilled. Their understanding of the living space, what they were proud of and what they wanted to show to the world. Starting with wood, stone and clay, Lithuania already built brick buildings back in the 13th century. The remains of masonry from that century might be found in the very heart of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, i.e. in the bell tower of the cathedral. Open to a diversity of culture, art trends and architectural styles, Lithuania created an extraordinary and unique face of architecture.
If art changes the world, it also changes Lithuania. In particular modern art. Lithuanians appreciate contemporary art – our history of modern art witnessed rises and the golden age, numb silence and bold attempts to swim against the current. Charming interwar Modernism, the gloomy reality of the Soviet period, the masterpieces of the thaw and creative flashes of art reflecting the contemporary world create extraordinary art space that does not finish with museums and galleries. It takes you by the hand, involves and invites to get to know the fabulous world of culture.
There is always something going on here. Cultural events bring us together: if we’re not singing in the streets, then we’re visiting museums; if our sails aren’t catching the sea breeze, then we’re swimming in a race ourselves. We love good jazz, and we watch the stars at nights with feeling; we dance barefoot by the sea, and we breathe in the theatre and drink in the energy of pulsating events, positive emotions and community.
Even though we joke that for Lithuanians, modesty is a national trait, let’s not be modest – Lithuania is the land of theatre. There are many theatres in Lithuania and Lithuanians are deeply in love with it. It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when we would wait in long queues all night long for theatre tickets. Today there are no more queues at the theatre, but there are also no tickets available online to the best shows. Reserve them in advance and surrender yourself to the magic of the theatre. Because what is happening on the stages of Lithuania’s best theatres is magic indeed.
Everything in this world is changing, but it’s nice that some things are not. Traditional crafts are full of magic and they are very popular in Lithuania. The people who have kept the secrets of their family’s craft for centuries are truly amazing. They throw ceramic ware the exact same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, and then fire it in a kiln with real fire, the exact same way their grandparents did. In Lithuanian villages, we can still find looms that our great-grandmothers used to weave their dowry. Today, ancient Baltic weaving patterns have taken on new meaning and a new life. Likewise, people still hang wooden crosses carved according to ancient tradition in their homes, still own carving of the Pensive Christ, and still stir jam on modern stoves with wooden spoons. Blacksmithing has always been an exceptional craft in Lithuania. Having earned respect, artisans now use their talented hands to decorate our homes and surroundings. You can see these crafts at the folk art fairs that are so popular in Lithuania, or you can learn old crafts during educational programmes held by museums or the artisans themselves.
The Capital - Vilnius
Not many talk about it, so discovering Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, can be a true revelation for travellers in search of new experiences. But what’s it really like? First and foremost, you’re in for a compact and walkable city filled with urban green spaces and healthy doses of impressive architecture, tasty eats and all kinds of exciting leisure activities. Plus, Vilnius’ UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town is one of Eastern Europe’s biggest and most well preserved. Feel free to just wander around and let your curiosity lead the way through the courtyards and passageways further from the more touristic routes. You’re in for an array of exceptional discoveries.