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*[[Vilnius]] - Capital
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===Ports and harbors===  
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Revision as of 00:29, 19 October 2005

Quick Facts
Governmentparliamentary democracy
Currencylitas (LTL)
Areatotal: 65,200 sq km
water: NA sq km
land: NA sq km
Population3,601,138 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageLithuanian (official), Polish, Russian
ReligionRoman Catholic (primarily), Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Muslim, Jewish

Lithuania is a Baltic country in Eastern Europe. It has a Baltic Sea coastline in the west and surrounded by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east, Poland to the southwest, and Russia (Kaliningrad) to the west.

Map of Lithuania


Administrative divisions 
10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipėdos, Marijampolės, Panevėžio, Šiaulių, Tauragės, Telšių, Utenos, Vilniaus


Ports and harbors

Other destinations



Transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers


Lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil. The fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits.

Highest point 
Juozapines/Kalnas 292 m


National holiday 
Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 is the date of independence from German, Austrian, Prussian, and Russian occupation, 11 March 1990 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Independent between the two World Wars, Lithuania was annexed by the USSR in 1940. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but this proclamation was not generally recognized until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow).

11 March 1990 (independence declared from Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (Soviet Union recognizes Lithuania's independence)
adopted 25 October 1992

The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently has restructured its economy for eventual integration into Western European institutions.

Get in

As Lithuania is a member of the European Union, citizens from these countries do not need a visa and can enter Lithuania with a valid passport or a valid identity card. Lithuania is also a member of the Schengen Agreement, however it remains not yet implemented by the country.

By plane

By train

By car

By bus

By boat

Get around

By thumb

Hitchhiking in Lithuania is generally good. Get to the outskirts of the city, but before cars speed up to the highway speeds. The middle letter on the licence plates of the three letter code usually corresponds with the city of registration.

See also: Vilnius Hitchhiking Club


The official language is Lithuanian, one of the few remaining examples of the Baltic language family, and thus something of a challenge to the English-speaking tourist. Popular second languages are Polish and Russian, and English may be spoken by the more educated (and those in the tourism industry) around major centres.




Recommended Bars or Clubs

Broadway Pub




Stay safe

Stay healthy



External links

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Geographic coordinates 
56 00 N, 24 00 E
total: 65,200 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly larger than West Virginia
99 km
Maritime claims 
territorial sea: 12 NM
Natural resources 
peat, arable land
Land use 
arable land: 45.46%
permanent crops: 0.93%
other: 53.61% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
90 sq km (1998 est.)
Environment - current issues 
contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol


3,601,138 (July 2002 est.)
noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian
Ethnic groups 
Lithuanian 80.6%, Russian 8.7%, Polish 7%, Belarusian 1.6%, other 2.1%
Roman Catholic (primarily), Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Muslim, Jewish


Country name 
conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
local short form: Lietuva
former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
Government type 
parliamentary democracy
Legal system 
based on civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Vygaudas USACKAS
consulate(s) general: Chicago and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador John F. TEFFT
embassy: 2600 Akmenu 6, Vilnius
mailing address: American Embassy, Vilnius, PSC 78, Box V, APO AE 09723
telephone: [370] (2) 665-500
FAX: [370] (2) 665-510
Flag description 
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red


Economy - overview 
Lithuania, the Baltic state that has conducted the most trade with Russia, has been slowly rebounding from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. High unemployment, still 12% in 2002, and weak consumption have held back recovery. Trade has been increasingly oriented toward the West. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and has moved ahead with plans to join the EU. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities, particularly in the energy sector, is underway. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. The US government and business aid have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, amber
Agriculture - products 
grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
Exports - commodities 
mineral products 23%, textiles and clothing 16%, machinery and equipment 11%, chemicals 6%, wood and wood products 5%, foodstuffs 5% (2001)
Imports - commodities 
mineral products 21%, machinery and equipment 17%, transport equipment 11%, chemicals 9%, textiles and clothing 9%, metals 5% (2001)
litas (LTL)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
litai per US dollar - 3.4946 (15 October 2002), 3.4794 (1 July 2002), 4.000 (fixed rate between 1 May 1994 and 1 February 2002); note - litai is the plural of litas; effective 1 February 2002 the litas was pegged to the euro at a rate of 3.4528
Fiscal year 
calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use 
1.142 million (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
500,000 (2001)
Telephone system 
general assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an improved international capability and better residential access
domestic: a national, fiber-optic cable, interurban, trunk system is nearing completion; rural exchanges are being improved and expanded; mobile cellular systems are being installed; access to the Internet is available; still many unsatisfied telephone subscriber applications
international: landline connections to Latvia and Poland; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 29, FM 142, shortwave 1 (2001)
1.9 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
note: Lithuania has approximately 27 broadcasting stations, but may have as many as 100 transmitters, including repeater stations (2001)
1.7 million (1997)
Internet country code 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
32 (2001)
Internet users 
341,000 (2001)


total: 1,998 km
broad gauge: 1,807 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 169 km 0.750-m gauge (2001)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge
total: 44,000 km
paved: 35,500 km
unpaved: 8,500 km (2001)
600 km (perennially navigable)
72 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 9
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 63
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 55 (2002)


Military branches 
Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force, National Volunteer Defense Forces (SKAT)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
the Russian Duma has not ratified 1997 boundary treaty; the Latvian Parliament has not ratified its 1998 maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, primarily due to concerns over oil exploration rights
Illicit drugs 
transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe to Western Europe and Scandinavia; limited production of methamphetamine and ecstasy; susceptible to money laundering