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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Lithuania (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Lukiskiu Square in Vilnius, Lithuania


Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Lithuania (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Considering a move to Lithuania but uncertain about where to settle? Venturing on an exploratory trip to visit multiple popular expat destinations can be incredibly enlightening. Here's a list of recommended places to consider during your exploration of Lithuania.

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Lithuania is an essential step for anyone considering relocating to this Baltic gem. Such a trip allows potential expats, retirees, and digital nomads to immerse themselves in the local culture, assess the living conditions, and explore the amenities and infrastructure firsthand. It's an opportunity to envision daily life in various Lithuanian cities and towns, helping to make an informed decision about where to settle down.

Recommended Itineraries

For a comprehensive Look-See trip in Lithuania, consider two itineraries based on the length of your stay. A 10-day trip could focus on the major cities and nearby towns: starting in Vilnius, then moving to Kaunas, Klaip?da, and the Curonian Spit. If you have 20 days, extend your journey to include smaller towns and regional highlights such as Trakai, Šiauliai, Panev?žys, and the Aukštaitija National Park. This longer itinerary allows for a deeper dive into the local lifestyle and a better understanding of the regional differences within Lithuania.

Vilnius

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a vibrant city with a population of over half a million. It offers a blend of historical charm and modern amenities, making it a popular choice for expats and digital nomads. The cost of living is reasonable, and the city boasts a rich cultural scene, green spaces, and a well-preserved Old Town. Vilnius is also known for its tech-savvy environment, which is ideal for those working remotely.

Travel Tip: While in Vilnius, don't miss the opportunity to dine at "Ertlio Namas" for a taste of traditional Lithuanian cuisine in a historical setting. Also, visit the Gediminas Tower for panoramic views of the city.

Kaunas

Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city, is known for its interwar architecture and vibrant cultural life. With a population of around 300,000, it offers a more laid-back atmosphere compared to Vilnius. The cost of living is slightly lower, and the city is well-connected, with easy access to both the seaside and the capital. Kaunas is also becoming a hub for innovation and startups, attracting a growing expat community.

Travel Tip: Check out "Spurgin?" for a taste of the local favorite doughnuts, and visit the Kaunas Castle for a glimpse into the city's medieval past.

Klaip?da

Klaip?da, situated on the Baltic coast, is the third-largest city in Lithuania and the country's main seaport. It's known for its maritime heritage, festivals, and proximity to the Curonian Spit. The city has a population of around 150,000 and offers a unique coastal lifestyle with a moderate cost of living. Klaip?da's small-town feel combined with its cultural offerings makes it an attractive destination for those seeking a slower pace of life.

Travel Tip: Enjoy fresh seafood at "Friedricho Pasazas" and take a ferry ride to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning landscapes and beaches.

Curonian Spit

The Curonian Spit is a 98-kilometer long sand dune peninsula that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. It's a place of natural beauty and tranquility, ideal for those looking to connect with nature. The main settlements to visit are Nida, Juodkrant?, and Preila. While not a typical residential area, it offers insights into the leisure and tourism aspects of Lithuania, which could be important for those considering seasonal stays or tourism-related business opportunities.

Travel Tip: Explore the ethereal landscapes of the Curonian Spit National Park and visit the Hill of Witches in Juodkrant?, adorned with wooden sculptures based on Lithuanian folklore.

Trakai

Trakai is a historic city and lake resort only 28 kilometers west of Vilnius. It's famous for its picturesque Trakai Island Castle and its unique Karaim community. With a small population, it's a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Trakai offers a glimpse into the quieter side of Lithuanian life, with a focus on history and nature.

Travel Tip: Savor the traditional Karaim dish "kibinai" at "Kybynlar" and take a leisurely boat tour around the castle for stunning views of the surrounding lakes.

Šiauliai

Šiauliai, known for the nearby Hill of Crosses, is an important economic and cultural center in northern Lithuania. With a population of around 100,000, it provides a balance between urban and suburban living. The cost of living is affordable, and the city has a growing international community. Šiauliai is also a gateway to exploring the northern regions of the country.

Travel Tip: Visit the Hill of Crosses, a powerful symbol of Lithuanian resilience and faith, and enjoy a meal at "Charlie Pizza" for a local take on Italian cuisine.

Panev?žys

Panev?žys is the fifth-largest city in Lithuania, located in the center of the country. It's an industrial city with a population of around 100,000. Panev?žys is known for its cultural institutions, including theaters and museums. The cost of living is low, and the city offers a slower pace of life with a strong sense of community, appealing to those looking for a more authentic Lithuanian experience.

Travel Tip: Explore the Panev?žys Civic Art Gallery for contemporary art exhibitions, and dine at "Berneli? Užeiga" for hearty Lithuanian fare.

Aukštaitija National Park

Aukštaitija National Park is Lithuania's oldest national park, located in the northeastern part of the country. It's a region of outstanding natural beauty, dotted with lakes, forests, and traditional villages. While not a single town, the park encompasses several small communities such as Pal?š?, Ignalina, and Stripeikiai. This area is perfect for those seeking a peaceful, nature-centric lifestyle away from urban centers.

Travel Tip: Rent a kayak or a bike to explore the park's numerous waterways and trails, and visit the ancient Beekeeping Museum in Stripeikiai to learn about the region's beekeeping traditions.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Lukiskiu Square in Vilnius, Lithuania

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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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