A land of enchanting natural vistas and charming historic architecture, the Baltic nation of Lithuania is a remarkable destination just waiting to be explored. With its fascinating historical past and distinct cultural traditions, Lithuania is a beautiful country with a truly unique sense of cultural identity. Journey with Odyssey Traveller as we take you to a land where there is something magical hiding behind every corner.
Small group escorted tours to Lithuania. See & experience key places of interest with like minded mature & senior travellers.
Trakai Island Castle
Hill of Crosses
Gate of Dawn
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Trains services link major cities, while bus services operate in nearly all towns and cities. Taxis are also available in cities, and can be flagged down in the street or can be ordered by phone.
In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.
Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.
Geography Environment & Weather
Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, and covers an area of 65,200 square kilometres. Lithuania’s terrain features rolling hills, marshes and lakes, and sprawling forests, with 32% of the country covered by forest.
Lithuania has a continental climate, with cold winters and mild summers. Temperatures often drop below freezing in winter, so depending on when you intend to travel, check the weather reports and prepare accordingly.
World Heritage sites
Lithuania has 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/lt). The listed sites include:
- Vilnius Historic Centre, the heart of old Vilnius featuring a dazzling array of historic buildings constructed in Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architectural styles
- Kernavė Archaeological Site, a 194 hectare site which preserves hill forts, burial sites, and other archaelogical remains of Lithuania’s past
- Curonian Spit, a 98 km long sand dune peninsula featuring a unique geographical and cultural landscape
Festivals and events
One of the biggest events on Lithuania’s annual calendar is the Song Festival, held in Vilnius. Bringing together 30,000 singers from across Lithuania, the Song Festival features many folk songs native to Lithuania and unites the nation in song and harmony. Užgavėnės is an iconic festival that is held during the seventh week before Easter, whereupon revellers don mythologically-themed costumes, cook and eat traditional pancakes and burn an effigy of winter (‘morė’). Other notable occasions include Statehood Day, which commemorates the crowning of King Mindaugas in the 13th century, and All Saint’s Day in November, whereupon graves are cleaned and decorated with flowers and candles.
- History of Lithuania, by Alfredas Bumblauskas
- Experiencing Lithuania: 3rd Edition, by Columbia J. Warren
- Vilnius: City of Strangers, by Laimonas Briedis
- Whitehorn’s Windmill, by Kazys Boruta
Eating & Drinking
Befitting its cold climate, Lithuanina food is hearty and filling, with root vegetables, meat and starch all central to Lithuanian cuisine. Soup dishes are popular, including betroot soup, a warm soup made out of beetroot, onion, carrot, and meat stock, and chilled borscht, made out of betroot, kefir and hardboiled eggs. Potatoes are frequently employed as a key ingredient in savoury dishes, including potato pancakes, kugelis (a baked potato pudding often served with lingonberry jam or sour cream) and the national dish, cepelinai (dumplings made from a mixture of raw and cooked potato dough filled with pork meat and covered with sour cream and bacon sauce). Beer (alus) is the most common alcoholic beverage in Lithuania, while production and consumption of midus (a variety of mead made from honey) is said to go back thousands of years. Coffee and tea are also widely consumed, though both are usually served black.
Health and Safety
Generally speaking, Lithuania is very safe to travel in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Lithuania’s electricity supply runs at 230V and 50Hz. Lithuania uses both the Type C and Type F electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.
Lithuania has a single time zone, Eastern European Time (UTC+2). Daylight savings begin on the last Sunday of March and conclude on the last Sunday of October
If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services.
Wifi should be freely available in most hotels, cafes and restaurants when travelling in Lithuania
Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Lithuania. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.
Responsible travel tips for Lithuania
- Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
- Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of Litai in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.