About Lithuania

Facts about Lithuania

About the country

Lithuania is a relatively new destination for UK based medical tourists, but those from other European countries have been going to take advantage of the superior care there for years. It is reliable, safe, comfortable and has strict healthcare regulations. It has world class medical professionals and facilities, and the prices for medical treatments are between 30% and 50% cheaper.

It has one of the highest standards of living among more than 190 countries around the globe. In the International Living 2010 Quality of Life Index, Lithuania is ranked 22nd in the world by criteria which consist of nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety, risk, and climate.

Lithuania is top ranked in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (2011) for the quality of health and hygiene.

The Lithuanian population has some of the best-educated and multilingual people in Central and Eastern Europe. 90% of Lithuanians speak a foreign language. Half of the population speaks two foreign languages.

 Largest cities

Vilnius

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is the largest and one of the oldest cities of the country with population of over half a million. It was founded in the 14th century by Lithuania’s Grand Duke Gediminas. He invited craftsmen, merchants and monks from Western Europe to move, and thus Vilnius grew as a centre of tolerance where people of various nationalities, including Poles, Belarusians, Russians, Germans, Jews and others, settled and lived in harmony. With the establishment of a university in 1579, Vilnius became the biggest centre of culture and education in the region. Vilnius is well-known in the world for its extraordinarily beautiful old town inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Kaunas

Kaunas, the second largest city of the country, is situated on the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris. Its history dates back to the 13th century when the first stone castle in Lithuania, the biggest defence fortress then, was built. From 1920 to 1940, Kaunas was the provisional capital of Lithuania. Kaunas takes pride in many valuable cultural and architectural objects, including the Pažaislis Monastery, the pearl of the Lithuanian mature Baroque, located near Kaunas, on the coast of the Kaunas Lagoon. Spare a moment to go up in a funicular launched 70 years ago – it opens up a beautiful panorama of Kaunas. Kaunas also has many museums and is a city of students and sportsmen, with five higher education schools and the famous Žalgiris basketball team.

Interesting sites

There are many interesting sights and locations to visit in Lithuania but here are just a few of the favourites.

Vilnius Old Town

A Baroque masterpiece as they say, Vilnius Old Town was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. Vilnius has long been called Little Rome, North Athens or North Jerusalem. Approximately 40 churches of various architectural styles stand here, and some authentic buildings with Gothic, Renaissance or Classical features have survived.

The Old Town of Vilnius is small and cosy. Narrow streets and passages will have you disappear into a world of flower-decorated courtyards, churches and museums in no time.

Spas

Lithuanian resorts and modern spa centres offer a wide variety of services and quality. Rest in nature, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the exceptional attention of spa workers, relaxing massages, remedial baths and the unique amber therapy. Healthcare specialists will assess your condition and prescribe relevant recreational and rehabilitation treatment procedures.

Druskininkai is the oldest, most famous healthcare resort in Lithuania. It is an international recreational centre with modern infrastructure and rich in natural resources. The town has 7 mineral water springs, 9 sanatoriums and 1 balneological treatment facility with the latest diagnostics and treatment methods. Feel the effects of mineral, whirlpool, oxygen, herbal and mud baths, and enjoy the salt rooms.

UNESCO Protected Sites

As you visit the sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, you will see something that you have never seen in any other country: a unique Vilnius Historical Centre – the Old Town, which is one of the largest and most beautiful old towns in Central and Eastern Europe; Kernavė, the first capital of Lithuania, which has until today preserved traces of the most important stages of history of the humankind; and the Lithuanian paradise – the Curonian Spit. You will also have a chance to look at the unique branch of Lithuanian folk art, cross-crafting, learn about Song Festivals, and listen to Lithuanian polyphonic songs, called “sutartinės” in Lithuanian.

Trakai History National Park

The Trakai Historical National Park is the only park of this type in Lithuania. Unlike in other national parks, special importance here is attached primarily to cultural heritage, history and archaeology.

In the Park, the history of Trakai can be seen intertwined with the history of the whole Lithuania. The Trakai islands and the Peninsular Castle together with the old town form the core of the Park. In the Park, there are about 50 old buildings or remains, reminders of the majestic and romantic history of this part of the country. Castle Island is completely occupied by the Castle and the Dukes’ Palace. This is the only surviving castle on an island on a lake in Lithuania.