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ABOUT LITHUANIA

 

Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in Northern Europe. The capital city is Vilnius. One of the three Baltic states, it is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.9 million people as of 2015, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, are the only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. In Lithuania is the Geographic Centre of Europe.

 

Lithuania covers an area of 65,200 km2 It has around 99 kilometres of sandy coastline, of which only about 38 kilometres face the open Baltic Sea and which is the shortest among the Baltic Sea countries; the rest of the coast is sheltered by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuania's major warm-water port, Klaipėda, lies at the narrow mouth of the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian: Kuršių marios), a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad. The main and largest river, the Nemunas River, and some of its tributaries carry international shipping.

 

Lithuania's climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild. Average temperatures on the coast are −2.5 °C (27.5 °F) in January and 16 °C (61 °F) in July. In Vilnius the average temperatures are −6 °C (21 °F) in January and 17 °C (63 °F) in July. During the summer, 20 °C (68 °F) is common during the day while 14 °C (57 °F) is common at night; in the past, temperatures have reached as high as 30 or 35 °C (86 or 95 °F). Some winters can be very cold. −20 °C (−4 °F) occurs almost every winter. Winter extremes are −34 °C (−29 °F) in coastal areas and −43 °C (−45 °F) in the east of Lithuania.

 

Lithuania became a member of the United Nations on 18 September 1991, and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements. It is also a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO and its adjunct North Atlantic Coordinating Council. Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization on 31 May 2001. It also seeks membership in the OECD and other Western organizations. Lithuania has established diplomatic relations with 149 countries.

 

Lithuania is part of a monetary union, the eurozone, and of the EU single market. The litas was the national currency until 2015, when it was replaced by the euro at the rate of EUR 1.00 = LTL 3.45280.

 

The country boasts a well-developed modern infrastructure of railways, airports and four-lane highways. Lithuania has an extensive network of motorways. The best known motorways are A1, connecting Vilnius with Klaipėda via Kaunas, as well as A2, connecting Vilnius and Panevėžys. One of the most used is the European route E67 highway running from Warsaw to Tallinn, via Kaunas and Riga. The Port of Klaipėda is the only commercial port in Lithuania

 

Vilnius International Airport is the largest airport. It served 2.9 million passengers in 2014. Other international airports include Kaunas International Airport, Palanga International Airport and Šiauliai International Airport.

 

Since the Neolithic period the native inhabitants of the Lithuanian territory have not been replaced by any other ethnic group, so there is a high probability that the inhabitants of present-day Lithuania have preserved the genetic composition of their forebears relatively undisturbed by the major demographic movements, although without being actually isolated from them. The Lithuanian population appears to be relatively homogeneous, without apparent genetic differences among ethnic subgroups.

 

Ethnic Lithuanians make up about five-sixths of the country's population and Lithuania has the most homogenous population in the Baltic States. 84% The population of whom are ethnic Lithuanians who speak Lithuanian, which is the official language of the country. Several sizable minorities exist, such as Poles (6.6%), Russians (5.8%), Belarusians (1.2%) and Ukrainians (0.5%).

 

Poles are the largest minority, concentrated in southeast Lithuania (the Vilnius region). Russians are the second largest minority, concentrated mostly in two cities. They constitute sizeable minorities in Vilnius (14%) and Klaipėda (28%), and a majority in the town of Visaginas (52%). About 3,000 Roma live in Lithuania, mostly in Vilnius, Kaunas and Panevėžys; their organizations are supported by the National Minority and Emigration Department. For centuries a small Tatar community has flourished in Lithuania.

 

The official language is Lithuanian. About 84% of the country's population speak Lithuanian as their native language, 8% are native speakers of Russian and 6% of Polish. According to the Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2012, 80% of Lithuanians can speak Russian and 38% can speak English. Most Lithuanian schools teach English as the first foreign language, but students may also study German, or, in some schools, French or Russian. Schools where Russian or Polish are the primary languages of education exist in the areas populated by these minorities.

 

The World Bank designates the literacy rate of Lithuanian persons aged 15 years and older as 100% and, according to Eurostat Lithuania leads among other countries of EU by people with secondary education (93.3%). As of 2012, 34% of the population aged 25 to 64 had completed tertiary education; 59.1% had completed upper secondary and post-secondary (non-tertiary) education. According to Invest in Lithuania, Lithuania has twice as many people with higher education than the EU-15 average and the proportion is the highest in the Baltic. Also, 90% of Lithuanians speak at least one foreign language and half of the population speaks two foreign languages, mostly Russian and English.

 

Many Lithuanians are choosing to emigrate seeking higher earning employment and studies throughout Europe. Since their inclusion into the European Union in 2004, Lithuania's population has fallen by approximately 180,000 people.

As of 2008, there were 15 public universities in Lithuania, 6 private institutions, 16 public colleges, and 11 private colleges. Vilnius University, one of the oldest universities in Eastern and Central Europe

 

About 77.2% of Lithuanians belonged to the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to the cool and moist northern climate of Lithuania: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialties. Since it shares its climate and agricultural practices with Northern Europe, Lithuanian cuisine has some similarities to Scandinavian cuisine. Nevertheless, it has its own distinguishing features, which were formed by a variety of influences during the country's long and difficult history.

 

In accordance with international standards there are about 300 classified accommodating: 189 HOTELS, 61 guest houses, 22 motels, 11 camping sites, 19 rest home.

Country Holidays: www.countryside.lt .

 
Information on all issues number 118 .
 
Emergency Telephone Number: 112 - from all public telephone networks anywhere in Lithuania . This number at any time of the day from both the mobile and the fixed-line phone calls can be made free of charge. People calling 112 to report criminal offense, any threat to life, health, safety, the environment and so on.,  call the appropriate emergency services .
 
Good morning – labas rytas
good afternoon – laba diena
good evening – labas vakaras
Hello, hi – labas,  sveikas
Goodbye viso gero,  likite sveiki,  iki pasimatymo,  sudie
Thank you - ačiū.