Lithuania

by Ucman Scher
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Townhall Square

Solo Gay Trip Guide to Lithuania

Apparently, Lithuania is the G-Spot of Europe. I am so glad they come up with that tag line after I visited this adorable Baltic country. It is one of the three Baltic states and suffers from the stereotype of a former Soviet state and one of ‘those three cold countries’ stereotype. I really enjoyed visiting the beautiful country and it some interesting things to often you won’t find elsewhere. I want to share the details if you are looking to make your solo travel to Lithuania a resounding success.

solo travel to Lithuania, the three nuns

The Three nuns in Vilnius

Another great piece of information to know is that the three Baltic countries are very different from each other; Lithuania has a distinct language and is the Catholic country of the three Baltics.

Fun Fact: Lithuania has two independence days, an original one from 1918 and the second one when they got independence from USSR, A year before its dissolution. It is the first of three Baltic states to become independent.

Republic of Uzupis

It is hard to ignore the independent state of Republic of Uzupis which resides inside the Lithuanian capital; Vilnius. Everything about this place is interesting. For one day a year, you need your passports to cross the border into Uzupis, you can only use Uzi for trade which is the official currency of the country. It has its own national anthem and constitution and the republic holds its parliament in a pub. The day of its independence is 1st of April (for crying out loud!) and this hip neighbourhood is full of small squares, narrow streets, artists and artwork and lots of surprises. There’s no way you’d want to miss this during solo travel to Lithuania.

Uzupis during solo travel in lithuania

This is what Uzupis does to you

How To Get Visa For Lithuania?

Lithuania is part of the Schengen zone and there are no internal borders per se between the countries in the Schengen zone. You can find all relevant information on who needs a visa and how to apply for it with this link. In terms of how hard it is to get a visa, it is not very different from most Schengen countries. Solo travel to Lithuania just became easier for you.

How Expensive Is Lithuania?

Lithuania uses the Euro as its currency and it has a relatively good value for money by European standards. It is quite well priced both in terms of food and accommodation, public transport isn’t expensive either. On a general world scale, it offers medium value for money.

Fun Fact: For one day a year (April, 1st), if you’re inside the Republic of Uzupis, you must exchange it for Uzis, for all other days, Euros do just fine.

Vilnius, a hidden courtyard, solo travel to lithuania

A courtyard in Vilnius

What Is The Transport Like In Lithuania?

Public transport is pretty good in Lithuania. There are 5 international airports in the country but Vilnius Airport is the busiest one. The train system is also great and you can find schedules for trains and purchase tickets for trains on Lithuanian Railway Website.

There are also great bus connections between most cities and intercity. The Lithuanian Bus has all the relevant information. You can also find buses from multiple sources like Busbud, Eurobus etc.. I found it very convenient, public transport wise, for solo travel to Lithuania.

Check out my guide on How to Find the Best Transport.

How Safe Is Lithuania?

Lithuania is very safe for travellers with a very low crime rate. it is very safe for solo and female travellers to travel. I walked around quite freely and didn’t face any issues even late at night. The country is very safe for travellers overall especially for solo travel to Lithuania.

Is It Safe To Drink Tap Water In Lithuania?

Tp water is essentially the same quality in Lithuania as the bottled water. It is perfectly safe to drink and it is regularly checked by authorities for safety. Don’t forget to take your refillable water bottle with you.

Read more in my guide about eco-friendly travelling.

a statue in vilnius

Upskirting is not funny!

Are ID Checks Common in Lithuania?

You can safely leave your passports in your accommodation. Since Lithuania is inside Schengen zone, there are barely any checks but if you wish to cross into Latvia, you must carry your passport especially if your country is not part of EU or Schengen. Even in this case, you could be asked for your I.D card. Within the country, it is perfectly safe to go around.

Which Sim Card To Buy In Lithuania? Is Internet Good In Lithuania?

During my solo travel to Lithuania, I used my UK sim since roaming is free within the EU but there are multiple options available if you are looking for a local sim card. For updated information, check this website. Phone coverage is pretty good throughout the country, especially in the cities. Wifi is also quite commonly available in cities and internet speeds are good.

Panorama of Vilnius

Vilnius from the hill of Three crosses

Are People Of Lithuania Friendly?

Not really! They are not rude and they are not dangerous or threatening but they certainly are reserved like most Northern European countries. They like to keep themselves to themselves. If you’re expecting a warm hug and welcome, Lithuania is not the country. Once they get to know you, Lithuanians are much nicer and hospitable. I think it is also the Soviet past which drives this in a lot of former USSR countries.

Learn more about all the ways you can use to explore a new city.

Trakai

The beautiful Trakai castle

Which Languages Are Common In Lithuania?

Lithuanian is the main language and no it is not the same as Latvian or Estonian. It is quite different and belongs to the Slavik and Indo European camp. Russian is the second language and widely spoken and it used to be the common language between the Baltic states. It is, however, changing very fast. The younger generation doesn’t like to speak or even acknowledge Russian. I asked a couple of people including a travel guide and the reason is the past atrocities USSR and currently, Russia, have or are committing.

English is quite easily understood and most restaurants have English menus along with Lithuanian and Russian. For solo travel to Lithuania, I would still recommend Google Translate.

Is Lithuania Racist?

I don’t think so. For a traveller, I didn’t face any issues during my travels. People were reserved but that’s just who they are and I certainly didn’t feel like I was being treated differently because of the colour of my skin. Racist, No! Reserved, Yes!

solo travel to Lithuania, church of St Anne

The Church of St. Anne, my favourite building in the entire country

 

Is Lithuania Safe For LGBT Travellers?

It is quite safe for LGBT travellers to visit Lithuania. Being part of the EU, they are ‘tolerant’ of the LGBT community but I was really surprised to find that while it is not a crime to be LGBT, there are no legal LGBT civil partnerships or marriages available to LGBT couples. It is still a taboo to be openly gay which isn’t surprising, given the catholic interest in the country. there are a couple of bars and a club in Vilnius, other cities don’t even have that.

On Grindr, I met a couple of guys but it was quite a missions because while there were some people online, most of them weren’t friendly. Also, the majority of the local population doesn’t have face pics and are very suspicious. The lack of a common language also played some role in this. The couple of people I met, were quite alright and I am still in touch with one guy, I didn’t get to meet. Overall, Lithuania is relatively safe but it will take a long time before it is ready to open LGBT crowds with open arms.

Read more tips and tools you can use during travelling.

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