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Lithuania

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Lithuania xTend Travel Advice

A land marked by vivid red rooftops, affordable prices, and lush greenery

Lithuania — The Basics

With incredible architecture and a wealth of breathtaking natural beauty, Lithuania is among the top European destinations for history buffs, backpackers, and lovers of the great outdoors. It’s mind-blowing that this beautiful country can fly under the radar when it has some of the best leisure and travel opportunities in Europe. On top of all, it has to offer a trip to Lithuania won’t break the bank, either. A euro goes a long way here, which is excellent because you’ll wish this holiday travel experience would never have to end!

Sights and Attractions

No trip to Lithuania is complete without a visit to  Vilnius , the nation’s exquisite capital. Like many other European destinations, the city of Vilnius is practically infested with old cathedrals, fearsome forts, and captivating castles. Built-in the 1400s, the  Gediminas Tower  stands at a respectable 157 feet atop a large hill, making it easily visible from almost anywhere in the city.

Although it was built to keep attackers out, visitors and tourists are more than welcome to approach this behemoth. The top of the tower is accessible, too. Look upon the city of Vilnius from one of the highest vantage points in the city. Stand in awe at how small you really are compared to the vast grandeur of the capital. A tour inside will reveal the quaint realities of centuries past. As the undisputed tallest structure in the Baltic States, the Europa tower exceeds anything you will see in this city. Standing at 489 feet, this impressively gargantuan building is not easy to miss.

Like the other Baltic nations, Lithuania has a museum dedicated to the nation’s occupations and coinciding resistance movements. The  Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights , a former KGB building, ironically enough, is not only beautiful on the outside! The interior is home to an extensive collection of stark reminders of the horrors of war, oppression, and occupation.

The grisly execution room, where Lithuanian dissenters were murdered to be buried in mass graves, is a chilling reminder of very recent history. To have a peak into the European worldview, and to understand things from their perspective, it is very eye-opening to visit these kinds of attractions. It’s a good reminder that our problems could be much worse, and revealing peek into a history that shouldn’t be repeated.

Lithuania’s not just tall buildings and morbid museums, though! European trips shouldn’t be all about the urban centers; the lush greenery and picturesque coastlines cannot be ignored. Calm lakes, thick forests, relaxing trails await visitors to  Aukstaitija National Park .  Covering over 156.64 square miles of barely-touched natural beauty, the national park is an incredible natural expanse to lose yourself in. Luckily, you won’t actually get lost, as visitors must be accompanied by park employees at all time. Nearly 120 are spread throughout this national park, and many of these little villages have hundreds of years of history!

Lithuania’s not just tall buildings and morbid museums, though! European trips shouldn’t be all about the urban centers; the lush greenery and picturesque coastlines cannot be ignored. Calm lakes, thick forests, relaxing trails await visitors to  Aukstaitija National Park .  Covering over 156.64 square miles of barely-touched natural beauty, the national park is an incredible natural expanse to lose yourself in. Luckily, you won’t actually get lost, as visitors must be accompanied by park employees at all time. Nearly 120 are spread throughout this national park, and many of these little villages have hundreds of years of history!

Lithuania Travel Tips

Lithuania Currency Considerations

In Lithuania, they use the Euro. Instead of using Lithuania currency exchange services, you should opt to exchange your money in your home country. An online   currency exchange  site is a great option to get a fair rate. If you wait until you’re in Lithuania, you are likely to get very unfavorable rates. This especially rings true at airport kiosks and tourist hotspots. You don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for your own money!

Lodging

Leisure and travel is impossible without a place to stay at night. Luckily, Lithuania is chock-full of hotels, hostels, and homestays for tired travelers. Before embarking on your Holiday travel, be sure to look up the best hotel deals for your trip. Often times, savvy travelers can find great deals on homestays, especially outside the regular tourist season. Unlike many European trips, lodging in Lithuania can be very affordable, so you’ll have more money to spend on tours, food, and beer!

Flights and Transportation

Most often, international flights will land in Vilnius. Lithuania has an abundance of buses, and the rail network is sufficient enough to take you to any major cities. It’s very affordable, so you won’t have to spend much at all just to get around.

Language

Lithuanians, by and large, speak Lithuanian. Shocker! About 30 percent of the population can speak English. These are mostly younger people. You should be able to get around the more significant metropolitan areas without much difficulty, but be sure to learn some Lithuanian phrases to help you get around. As always, a translation app and pictures are invaluable when getting a point across.

As Lithuania had been occupied by the Soviet Union until relatively recently, about 60 percent of the population can speak Russian. Knowledge of Russian is very useful in any country that once lay behind the iron curtain. It is recommended for those who go on many eastern European trips. Given the historical circumstances, try to use English or Lithuanian before you default to Russian. The locals will appreciate it.

Lithuania Courtesy and Cultural Rules

Lithuania has been occupied and downtrodden by larger powers for centuries. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lithuania was a Soviet state. Many Lithuanians are resentful of this, and many saw their families and friends harmed under the Soviet regime. Naturally, Lithuanians do not want to be called Russian. They don’t want you to describe them as “soviet” or “post-soviet.” Lithuanians are their own people, and they fought very hard to get what they have today. Referring to them as Russian is like spitting in the face of their national identity.

Exercise sensitivity in this regard. You can ask questions, but don’t take the soviet side, and don’t make the conversation  all  about the occupation. Some older people were satisfied with the regime, so at the same time, don’t go around Soviet bashing. Tread carefully when talking about such sensitive topics.

Lithuania was also occupied by the Nazis for some time. This is a dark chapter in Lithuanian history. Lithuanians were generally excited to be freed from Soviet rule, but that excitement was short-lived.

Obviously, life in Nazi Germany was not ideal, especially for non-Germans and occupied territories. Don’t think that the existence of a few collaborators means that Lithuanians as a whole are or were supporters of Nazism. Implying that Lithuanians are responsible for war crimes and genocide is not in good taste. Lithuanians do not identify with Nazism. Shy away from these dark times in discussions.

Instead, talk about the beauty of the country and the things you like about it! Locals love to hear that. Harmonious leisure and travel really doesn’t need to include talk of war and genocide.

Like anywhere else, make sure that you’re not on public transportation without a ticket. Tickets are cheap enough, and you run the risk of paying a steep fine. Also, whistling may be normal in your culture, but it makes Lithuanians uncomfortable. There are many superstitions surrounding whistling in Lithuania. If you can’t get that one tune out of your head, then maybe you should hum it instead. No need to make the locals uneasy.

Key Points

Don’t forget to get your Lithuania currency needs taken care of ahead of time. The more Euros you have to spend, the better your holiday travel experience will be! Lithuania is an unforgettable wonderland, with a little bit of everything for everyone! You won’t break the bank, and you surely won’t forget your fantastic experience in Lithuania!

At xTend Travel, we have the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned international commuter and the passion of an innovative tourist. We use this know-how to provide you with travel currency for your journey and exclusive travel guidance.

The result is a rare balance in the travel industry — a customer focused company that supports and inspires world exploration.

xTendTravel Country Guides

At xTend Travel, we have the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned international commuter and the passion of an innovative tourist. We use this know-how to provide you with travel currency for your journey and exclusive travel guidance.

xTend Travel

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xTend Travel

We are a travel service company that has an obsession for travel; we use this passion to provide you with travel currency and exclusive travel advice.

xTendTravel Country Guides

At xTend Travel, we have the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned international commuter and the passion of an innovative tourist. We use this know-how to provide you with travel currency for your journey and exclusive travel guidance.

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