Backpacking Lithuania

The Baltic States are still one of the regions that are largely ignored by tourists and are only slowly being developed. This will only be of benefit to you as a backpacker in the southernmost of the Baltic states, Lithuania. It’s easy to explore the great Lithuanian landscape, 14% of which is under nature protection. Lithuania borders Russia, Poland, Latvia, and Belarus. It has interesting spots for city lovers, especially in the capital Vilnius.



Have fun exploring our ideal backpacking route for Lithuania.


Important Basics

Official Language

Lithuanian

Basic Vocabulary
YesTaip
NoNe
Thank youAciu!
HelloLabas!
GoodbyeViso!
Capital City

Vilnius

Form of Government

Semi-Presidential Republic

Phone Country Code

+370

Currency

Euro

Climate

ø Maximum daytime temperature: -1 to 24°C

Ø Maximum night temperature: -6 to 14°C

Summer: June to August, Winter: November to March

Fun Fact

The geographical centre of Europe is in a small village just north of Vilnius.

Cities

Vilnius

Vilnius is a great first stop because it’s the capital of Lithuania and has a lot to offer.

The city has a great, big old town and there are lots of beautiful Brick Gothic style buildings which were influenced by the Italian baroque.

The city is also situated on the banks of the Neris River, where you can canoe or kayak through the city. You can sightsee from a whole new perspective!

The Gediminas Tower, located on Gediminas Hill, is also worth a visit. There, you can discover the renovated castle and the cathedral at the foot of the hill.

Vilnius has a university with 14 courtyards and a university church. It’s also fun to walk through the small streets around Pilies Street. You can make a trip to the television tower, which has played an interesting role in history.

Shopping in another country is always exciting, but in Lithuania it’s even more fun due to the low prices. There are supermarkets like Maxima and Rimi, coffee bars, snack bars, restaurants and shopping streets and malls. The biggest shopping centre, Acropolis, is located in the northwest of Vilnius. To find the cheapest Lithuanian food, you should look in small coffee or snack bars.

There are lots of different clubs in the city centre, especially near the city hall. It’s also common to go to bars in Vilnius. Bars and good beer? Sounds like a perfect evening for your first stop in Lithuania.

In Vilnius, you can stay in one of the local hostels. For 11 euros per night, you can get a bed in a 10-bed dorm.

Aukštaitija

You continue your journey from Vilnius by rental car. Your next stop is the beautiful Aukštaitija National Park.

Established in 1974, Aukštaitija National Park is the oldest national park in Lithuania. It’s located in the northeast of the country and covers over 40,000 hectares, 15% of which is lakes.

The landscape in the national park is beautiful - there are hills, lakes, and lots of sand. The most beautiful part is a strip that runs between Tauragnai and Palūšė, because that’s where most of the lakes are.

In the surrounding area there are lots of forests. These mostly consist of pine trees, but there are also some deciduous trees. There are also a number of bogs with typical flora and fauna. A small part of the national park consists of pastureland and is used for agriculture.

It’s also worth visiting villages in the area, some of which are under monumental protection. These include Vaisnoriškė as well as the settlements Salos II and Varniskės II, which are very worth seeing.

The different types of landscapes that are present in the national park can be explored particularly well on the Botanical Trail at Palūšė. There, you can see various plants and insects including butterflies and dragonflies.

A night in a single room in a local hostel costs 26 euros per person.

Šiauliai

Your journey through Lithuania continues as you drive to Šiauliai by rental car.

With over 100,000 inhabitants, Šiauliai is the fourth largest city in Lithuania. It’s also one of the oldest cities in the country – it’s thought to have been founded in 1236 and is called the sunny city, as Saule means sun.

The city is located in the north of Lithuania and is the capital of the district Šiauliai too. Šiauliai is an important business location and transport hub of the country. It also has a university.

Most of the sights and shops are on Vilniaus Gatve, a street that is mostly for pedestrians.

You should definitely take a look at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. There are some other churches worth seeing, such as the synagogue of the Chaimas Frenkelis factory. There’s also a great photography museum.

The climate is temperate, and the warmest months are June, July, and August, with temperatures reaching over 20 degrees.

You can stay in a guesthouse on site. A double room costs 33 euros per night.

Žemaitija

From Šiauliai, you can continue your journey to the Žemaitija National Park by rental car.

The Žemaitija National Park is located in the northwest of the country and was founded in 1991. It covers an area of more than 21,000 hectares, meaning there’s lots to admire and plenty of space to relax!

There are lots of lakes and hills, as well as small waterbodies, rivers, moors, and floodplains. 7% of the national park is covered by lakes, with Plateliai being the largest lake in the national park. 17 rivers flow into Lake Plateliai and you can go diving there too. In 2002, wooden boats from the time of Vytauta the Great were found at the bottom of the lake. Divers also found a large stone with human markings.

You can relax in the national park and hopefully enjoy some beautiful weather and the wonderful nature around you.

You can stay overnight in one of the local hotels. A double room would cost you 30 euros per night.

Neringa

From Žemaitija National Park, you can drive your rental car to Neringa. The municipality is situated on the Curonian Spit and stretches for about 50 kilometres. So, you’re right in the Baltic Sea! Neringa is a self-governing municipality.

There are plenty of things to do in Neringa. You can take a walk along the beach and watch the birds, discover nature trails or go Nordic walking. There are cycling routes, places to do yoga and you can go running. Sailing and other water sports are also available.

Since you’re directly by the Baltic Sea, you should take advantage of good weather and go to the beach. If you feel like trying out water sports, Neringa is the ideal place for that!

Depending on the season, there are different festivals and events, such as the Summer Season Opening Festival in summer.

You can find hostels in Neringa for as little as 12 euros per night. This would give you a space in a 6-bed dorm where you may meet some other backpackers.

Trakai

After spending some time at the Baltic Sea, it’s time to drive to your final stop: Trakai.

Trakai has about 4,300 inhabitants and is in the southern part of Lithuania. The city is only 28 kilometres from Vilnius. The fact that there are over 200 lakes in the surrounding area makes Trakai quite special.

Trakai is also known for its old, moated castle, which is located on a peninsula between Lake Galvė and Lake Luka.

You should also definitely go to the old town because there’s unique wooden architecture to admire. The city structure is exceptional and interesting because in summer it’s linear, meaning that the city is located along the lake. In winter, however, it’s radial, as the frozen lake can be used as a path.

Before returning home, you can stay the night in a hotel in Trakai. A double room in one of the local hotels costs 28 euros a night.

Your time in Lithuania will certainly be unique. The country is diverse and allows you to relax in the national parks and at the Baltic Sea, while providing a lot of action in cities such as Vilnius.


Vilnius

Vilnius

Vilnius is a great first stop because it’s the capital of Lithuania and has a lot to offer.

The city has a great, big old town and there are lots of beautiful Brick Gothic style buildings which were influenced by the Italian baroque.

The city is also situated on the banks of the Neris River, where you can canoe or kayak through the city. You can sightsee from a whole new perspective!

The Gediminas Tower, located on Gediminas Hill, is also worth a visit. There, you can discover the renovated castle and the cathedral at the foot of the hill.

Vilnius has a university with 14 courtyards and a university church. It’s also fun to walk through the small streets around Pilies Street. You can make a trip to the television tower, which has played an interesting role in history.

Shopping in another country is always exciting, but in Lithuania it’s even more fun due to the low prices. There are supermarkets like Maxima and Rimi, coffee bars, snack bars, restaurants and shopping streets and malls. The biggest shopping centre, Acropolis, is located in the northwest of Vilnius. To find the cheapest Lithuanian food, you should look in small coffee or snack bars.

There are lots of different clubs in the city centre, especially near the city hall. It’s also common to go to bars in Vilnius. Bars and good beer? Sounds like a perfect evening for your first stop in Lithuania.

In Vilnius, you can stay in one of the local hostels. For 11 euros per night, you can get a bed in a 10-bed dorm.

Aukštaitija

Aukštaitija

You continue your journey from Vilnius by rental car. Your next stop is the beautiful Aukštaitija National Park.

Established in 1974, Aukštaitija National Park is the oldest national park in Lithuania. It’s located in the northeast of the country and covers over 40,000 hectares, 15% of which is lakes.

The landscape in the national park is beautiful - there are hills, lakes, and lots of sand. The most beautiful part is a strip that runs between Tauragnai and Palūšė, because that’s where most of the lakes are.

In the surrounding area there are lots of forests. These mostly consist of pine trees, but there are also some deciduous trees. There are also a number of bogs with typical flora and fauna. A small part of the national park consists of pastureland and is used for agriculture.

It’s also worth visiting villages in the area, some of which are under monumental protection. These include Vaisnoriškė as well as the settlements Salos II and Varniskės II, which are very worth seeing.

The different types of landscapes that are present in the national park can be explored particularly well on the Botanical Trail at Palūšė. There, you can see various plants and insects including butterflies and dragonflies.

A night in a single room in a local hostel costs 26 euros per person.

Šiauliai

Šiauliai

Your journey through Lithuania continues as you drive to Šiauliai by rental car.

With over 100,000 inhabitants, Šiauliai is the fourth largest city in Lithuania. It’s also one of the oldest cities in the country – it’s thought to have been founded in 1236 and is called the sunny city, as Saule means sun.

The city is located in the north of Lithuania and is the capital of the district Šiauliai too. Šiauliai is an important business location and transport hub of the country. It also has a university.

Most of the sights and shops are on Vilniaus Gatve, a street that is mostly for pedestrians.

You should definitely take a look at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. There are some other churches worth seeing, such as the synagogue of the Chaimas Frenkelis factory. There’s also a great photography museum.

The climate is temperate, and the warmest months are June, July, and August, with temperatures reaching over 20 degrees.

You can stay in a guesthouse on site. A double room costs 33 euros per night.

Žemaitija

Žemaitija

From Šiauliai, you can continue your journey to the Žemaitija National Park by rental car.

The Žemaitija National Park is located in the northwest of the country and was founded in 1991. It covers an area of more than 21,000 hectares, meaning there’s lots to admire and plenty of space to relax!

There are lots of lakes and hills, as well as small waterbodies, rivers, moors, and floodplains. 7% of the national park is covered by lakes, with Plateliai being the largest lake in the national park. 17 rivers flow into Lake Plateliai and you can go diving there too. In 2002, wooden boats from the time of Vytauta the Great were found at the bottom of the lake. Divers also found a large stone with human markings.

You can relax in the national park and hopefully enjoy some beautiful weather and the wonderful nature around you.

You can stay overnight in one of the local hotels. A double room would cost you 30 euros per night.

Neringa

Neringa

From Žemaitija National Park, you can drive your rental car to Neringa. The municipality is situated on the Curonian Spit and stretches for about 50 kilometres. So, you’re right in the Baltic Sea! Neringa is a self-governing municipality.

There are plenty of things to do in Neringa. You can take a walk along the beach and watch the birds, discover nature trails or go Nordic walking. There are cycling routes, places to do yoga and you can go running. Sailing and other water sports are also available.

Since you’re directly by the Baltic Sea, you should take advantage of good weather and go to the beach. If you feel like trying out water sports, Neringa is the ideal place for that!

Depending on the season, there are different festivals and events, such as the Summer Season Opening Festival in summer.

You can find hostels in Neringa for as little as 12 euros per night. This would give you a space in a 6-bed dorm where you may meet some other backpackers.

Trakai

Trakai

After spending some time at the Baltic Sea, it’s time to drive to your final stop: Trakai.

Trakai has about 4,300 inhabitants and is in the southern part of Lithuania. The city is only 28 kilometres from Vilnius. The fact that there are over 200 lakes in the surrounding area makes Trakai quite special.

Trakai is also known for its old, moated castle, which is located on a peninsula between Lake Galvė and Lake Luka.

You should also definitely go to the old town because there’s unique wooden architecture to admire. The city structure is exceptional and interesting because in summer it’s linear, meaning that the city is located along the lake. In winter, however, it’s radial, as the frozen lake can be used as a path.

Before returning home, you can stay the night in a hotel in Trakai. A double room in one of the local hotels costs 28 euros a night.

Your time in Lithuania will certainly be unique. The country is diverse and allows you to relax in the national parks and at the Baltic Sea, while providing a lot of action in cities such as Vilnius.

Lithuania Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Vilnius
Home - Vilnius
Flight
50
10-bed dorm
11
2. Vilnius
Vilnius
-
10-bed dorm
11
3. Vilnius - Aukštaitija National Park
Vilnius - Aukštaitija National Park
Rental Car
Private room
26
4. Aukštaitija National Park
Aukštaitija National Park
-
Private room
26
5. Aukštaitija National Park
Aukštaitija National Park
-
Private room
26
6. Aukštaitija National Park - Siauliai
Aukštaitija National Park - Siauliai
Rental Car
Double room
33
7. Siauliai - Žemaitija National Park
Siauliai - Žemaitija National Park
Rental Car
Double room
30
8. Žemaitija National Park
Žemaitija National Park
-
Double room
30
9. Žemaitija National Park - Neringa
Žemaitija National Park - Neringa
Rental Car
6-bed dorm
12
10. Neringa
Neringa
-
6-bed dorm
12
11. Neringa
Neringa
-
6-bed dorm
12
12. Neringa - Trakai
Neringa - Trakai
Rental Car
Double room
28
13. Trakai
Trakai
-
Double room
28
14. Trakai - Home
Trakai - Home
Rental Car + Flight
50

Total price.

Flights 100,00
Transportation 150,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 285,00
Total535,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Cheese platter: in Lithuania, people love cheese, and many locals eat it for breakfast. This could be a cheese sandwich or a cheese platter to share with friends or family.

Soups

Ruktstynes: this soup is made from vegetables and various types of meat. It has a creamy consistency and is usually served with bread or garlic baguette.

Main courses

Balandéliai:  Lithuanian cabbage rolls are a speciality you shouldn’t miss. You can have them with egg, minced meat, or vegetables – the choice is yours!

Duonos Salatos: a bread salad that’s especially popular at lunchtime. It’s served with local cheese, a mustard sauce and bread, of course.

Blynai: these are pancakes filled with potatoes or fish and meat. They’re served with a creamy sauce and vegetables.

Skuktiniai: fried meat roulades filled with garlic and bacon.

Cepelinai: in Lithuania, dumplings are filled with meat before they are cooked. They’re served with meat sauce, so it’ll definitely fill you up.

Drinks & Snacks

Balzamas: also known as herbal liqueur, this is a local favourite!

Krupnikas: this liqueur is much sweeter and made from local honey.

Lithuania

In Lithuania, payments are made in euros. See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living

Food

Free Time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Give flowers: in Lithuania you’ll see flowers everywhere, at markets and in the streets. Therefore, it’s a nice gesture to buy a bouquet for your host.

Shake hands: Hugging or kissing someone to greet them is not common in Lithuania, so just shake hands.

Shoes off: when you enter a house or private room, you should always take your shoes off. This is basic manners in Lithuania.

Don'ts

Alcohol in public: if you want to have a drink with your friends, you have to do this in a bar or a club, because drinking alcohol in public is forbidden.

Jokes about size: Lithuania is a small country, but you shouldn’t make jokes about that. Lithuanians know their country is small but they’re very proud of it.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

Yes

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Your travel documents must be valid. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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