Tourism in Lithuania

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Lithuania attracts many visitors from neighbouring countries and all over the world. In 2018, 1,7 million foreign visitors arrived to Lithuania for business,family and leisure.[1] Historical legacy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, rich history, architecture, pristine nature, seaside and SPA resorts are the main attraction points of Lithuania. Domestic tourism is also highly popular - in 2018 it grew by 12% percent. Lithuanians also prefer to spend their vacations in Lithuania - 70 percent.[2]

The ensemble of Pažaislis Monastery

Overview[edit]

Lithuania experiences a constant increase of foreign visitors. In 2017, the accommodation establishments of Lithuania received 3.25 million tourists, which is by 6.2 per cent more than in 2016.[3] Lithuania attracts foreign visitors mostly from Germany, Poland, Russia, Latvia, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Finland.

In 2017 hotels received 2.2 million tourists, or by 7 per cent more than in 2016. Number of Lithuanian tourists grew by 12.8 per cent, foreigners – by 3.3 per cent. The hotel room occupancy rate stood at 54.3 per cent (in 2016, 51.7 per cent), the hotel bed occupancy rate – at 41.4 per cent (in 2016, 39.7 per cent).[3]

The new Vilnius City Center

Agrotourism has also gained extreme popularity in the country among the locals as well as foreigners. Ecotourism is actively promoted by the government and national parks – Lithuania has built a successful ecotourism industry, and is also been acknowledged as one of the world's most ethical destinations. Hot air ballooning is very popular in Lithuania, especially in Vilnius and Trakai. Theme routes through historical and nature sites are popular among domestic and international tourists. Nemunas Delta Regional Park and Žuvintas biosphere reserve are known for birdwatching.[4]

Tourism information centres operating in all majors cities and smaller towns, national parks and other places, attractive for domestic or international tourism.[5]

If the nature of the tour is that the guide is "interpreting the cultural and natural heritage of an area", Lithuania requires the guide have a guiding license. This definition follows the European standard for tour guiding (CEN). Licensed Tourist Guides are the only professionals permitted to conduct tours in all sites and museums within a city. Licensed guides are required in those areas where the local authorities state that one of them is mandatory.[6] There is a Guides Database to find a guide in your language as well.[7]

Arrivals by country[edit]

Most visitors arriving to Lithuania on short term basis in are from the following countries of nationality:[8][9]

Rank Country 2015 2016
1 Germany 170,100 174,800
2 Belarus 163,500 171,900
3 Russia 149,700 150,600
4 Poland 127,200 148,400
5 Latvia 116,600 134,500
6 Ukraine 59,500 84,000
7 Estonia 52,600 58,300
8 United Kingdom 54,100 58,200
9 Italy 40,600 39,900
10 Norway 42,400 39,800
Total foreign 1,141,800 1,258,100

Major cities[edit]

Klaipėda Sea Museum

National parks[edit]

View from Ladakalnis Hill

Protected areas established for the preservation of natural and cultural features.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites[edit]

Cultural and Cognitive Routes[edit]

Žuvintas reserve bird watching tower and a cognitive route

In 2019 Cultural Route of Lithuanian composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis was opened which leads through the places in Varėna, Druskininkai, Kaunas, Vilnius, Plungė, Rietavas, Palanga where composer has lived.[13]

Cognitive or sightseeing routes (Pažintinis takas) are highly popular among domestic tourists. Usually they lead through unique places in nature, where the visitor can enjoy the nature and local history while walking some predefined path.

Resorts[edit]

Seaside resorts[edit]

  • Palanga – the summer capital of Lithuania with sandy beaches
  • Nida – a world heritage site with unique nature
  • Juodkrantė – a resort in Neringa

Spa towns[edit]

  • Birštonas – a balneological resort and a spa town, surrounded by pine forests.
  • Druskininkai – a developed spa town with the largest water park in the Eastern Europe, the Snow Arena – one of the biggest indoor skiing slopes in Europe. The Water Park and the Snow Arena connected with the cable car.[14]
  • Likėnai - a resort with mineral springs.

Pilgrimage sites[edit]

Lithuania has many holy sites, especially in Samogitia, which are worth a visit.

Major pilgrimage sites:

Military heritage[edit]

The country has some military sites left and may be very interesting place as a place of militarism heritage tourism. It might be interesting for anyone who is interested in history of the warfare or the Cold War.

Major militarism heritage sites in Lithuania:

Bicycle tourism[edit]

Signage for EuroVelo 11, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Bicycle tourism is growing, especially in Lithuanian Seaside Cycle Route. EuroVelo routes EV10, EV11, EV13 go through Lithuania. Total length of bicycle tracks amounts to 3769 km (of which 1988 km is asphalt pavement).[16] Most known bicycle routes are: Nemunas River Cycle Route, Suvalkija Cycle Circuit, Lithuanian Seaside Cycle Route. Most of the Tourism information centres and national parks have their local thematic bicycle route plans.

Festivals[edit]

Museums[edit]

The names of the executed Lithuanian partisans are carved on the basement of the former headquarters of KGB in Vilnius

Museums include:

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2018 for tourism: number of tourists exceeded forecasts".
  2. ^ "Tyrimas: 70% lietuvių ilgąsias atostogas leidžia Lietuvoje, 27% nuomojasi būstą iš privačių asmenų". www.vz.lt. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Tourism in Lithuania. 2017" (PDF). Statistics Lithuania. p. 6. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Fatbirder. Lithuania". fatbirder.com. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  5. ^ "TOURISM INFORMATION CENTRES". lithuania.travel. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Visit Lithuania". visitlithuania.net. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Lithuanian Guides Dtabase". guides.lt. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Number of guests and overnights in Lithuanian accommodation establishments. '000. All markets. 2014–2015".
  9. ^ "Number of guests and overnights in Lithuanian accommodation establishments. '000. All markets. 2015–2016".
  10. ^ Vilnius Events
  11. ^ "Lithuanian Sea Museum". muziejus.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Lithuanian Sea Museum and Dolphinarium". muziejus.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Čiurlionio kelias". ciurlioniokelias.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Druskininkai Cable Car". lynukelias.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  15. ^ Žemaitijos nacionalinio parko teritorijoje veikiantys muziejai Archived 8 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Widawski, Krzysztof; Wyrzykowski, Jerzy (24 January 2017). The Geography of Tourism of Central and Eastern European Countries. books.google.lt. ISBN 9783319422053. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Amber Museum-Gallery". ambergallery.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Church Heritage Museum". bpmuziejus.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  19. ^ "National Gallery of Art". ndg.lt. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Vilnius Picture Gallery". ldm.lt. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Vilnius Toys' Museum". museu.ms. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  22. ^ "MO Museum". mo.lt. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Tartle". tartle.lt. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Klaipėda Clock and Watch Museum". ldm.lt. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Šiauliai Photography Museum". ausrosmuziejus.lt. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Akmenės muziejus". akmenesmuziejus.lt. Retrieved 24 March 2019.

External links[edit]