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Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest. Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Lithuania became a full member of the Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007. Its population is 3.6 million. Its capital and the largest city is Vilnius. In 2009, Vilnius is the European Capital of Culture and Lithuania celebrates the millennium of its name.

During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569 Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union then Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Nazis retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare its renewed independence. Prior to the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, post-Soviet Lithuania had one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union.

Vilnius is the largest city and the capital of Lithuania and is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County. Currently Vilnius is the European Capital of Culture of 2009 together with Linz, Austria.

A Guide to Vilnius, Europe's Capital of Culture


Search for more hotels in Kaunas
Best Western Santakos Hotel Kaunas
The Best Western Santakos Hotel is delightfully situated on a calm and quiet street in the heart of Kaunas, the city considered the most Lithuanian town in Lithuania. Hotel guests experience this rich Lithuanian culture through the area's many popular music festivals including Kaunas Jazz Festival, Pazaislis Classic Music Festival and the International Festival Operetta in Kaunas Castle. More popular local events for visitors include the International Modern Dance Festival and the Euroleague Basketball Tournaments.  Hotel guests enjoy a complimentary full breakfast and taking advantage of the hotel's exercise room, steam room and outdoor swimming pool. Additional highlights include a gift shop, meeting and conference facilities and an on-site night club.
Hermis Hotel Kaunas
Looking for the elegant stay in Kaunas? This one is really one of a kind.  You are welcome to a four stars business class hotel "Hermis", which is established at strategically comfortable place of the city - just off the expressway Vilnius - Klaipeda, at Savanoriai Avenue the main street of Kaunas City. We offer you a luxury accommodation with 13 modern hotel rooms (standard, two storied, suites and apartments of 75 m2 with outside terrace). We guarantee inviting prices, excellent services, high security parking place and free of charge wellness centre services and a baby sitting service, beauty parlour, souvenir shop. For conferences, presentations and meetings the hotel offers two conference halls with 25 and 40 places with all necessary equipment.
Hotel Kaunas, Kaunas
The Hotel Kaunas is not only a new and modern Hotel but it also has a convenient location and excellent staff. There is a great deal of details, which are invisible, however create the thing we call real comfort. The hotel houses 62 rooms, including room for non-smokers, suites with separate bedrooms, executive suites, a triple room and rooms for disabled guests. In each room You can find telephone and internet lines, a TV set and sattelite TV with 20 channels, a mini bar, a cosy bathroom with heated floor, and a hairdryer. The majority of rooms have air conditioning systems, and for the convenience of our guests we offer individual safes.  The rooms, located on the upper floors facing Laisves avenue, are especially well-liked by the guests. From here, a picturesque panorama of Laisves avenue and Zaliakalnis area opens for our guests. 


A Guide to Vilnius, Europe's Capital of Culture   by Kate Tee
Bored of brioche? Pale at the prospect of pasta? Why not sample somewhere different for your next city break?  Taking the baton from Liverpool, Vilnius is the new European Capital of Culture. And with a host of special events organised in celebration, now's the time to discover Lithuania's medieval-yet-modern gem.... read more
Search for more hotels in Vilnius
Best Western Vilnius Hotel
Best Western Vilnius hotel located on the right side of the river Neris in the up-and-coming business district at a walking distance to the Old town.  Bright and modern interior, comfortable rooms, cozy restaurant, business and fitness centers are the right choice for business visitors as well as leisure individuals and groups.  Newly renovated Best Western Vilnius hotel offers 114 cozy and stylish rooms, including four luxury rooms and one apartment with private sauna. All rooms equipped with air conditioning, queen size bed, work desk, direct dial telephone, wireless internet access, mini bar, bathroom with hair dryer, satellite TV & pay TV. The price also includes solid breakfast buffet. During morning hours you can appreciate our exercise facility for free with exercise equipment, sauna and swimming pool.
Europa Royale Hotel Vilnius
A four-star hotel Europa Royale Hotel Vilnius lies in its splendor of a nineteenth-century mansion in a peaceful spot in of the Old Town close to the main gates of the city, the mystical Gates of Dawn. To the other side the hotel faces the City Hall and City Square with only a two-minutes walk from the hotel entrance door. The city's famous landmarks, cozy restaurants, sunny terraces, stylish shopping and cultural offerings are reachable within a walking distance from the EUROPA ROYALE VILNIUS - 4 star hotel in Vilnius. All 39 guest rooms are of different sizes and layouts in order to preserve the former shapes and walls. This gives an exceptional coziness and aura to the hotel.  Hotel restaurant MEDININKAI is the oldest restaurant in Vilnius old town with a wine cellar that dates back to 16th century.  Hotel also offers two conference/meeting rooms with the latest conference equipment up till 60 persons at a time.
Le Meridien Vilnius
Set on 154 hectares of private grounds, Le Méridien Vilnius overlooks two scenic lakes amidst lush and rolling countryside speckled with birch and pine forests. Board our hotel shuttle bus, and in just 20 minutes the streets of picturesque downtown Vilnius will be at your feet. A UNESCO World Heritage site beloved for its warm hospitality and striking mix of modern skyscrapers, Gothic cathedrals, and ancient fortresses - Vilnius charms all who enter.  Enjoy excellent dining options at our onsite restaurants and bars, or pamper yourself at our spacious Health Club Oasis + Spa. Boasting fabulous views over the lake, and both indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, we’re the ideal place for rest and relaxation, complete with a large heated indoor swimming pool, steam baths, saunas, fitness centre, private treatment rooms, outdoor tennis and golf.  The V Club, the hotel’s 18-hole championship golf course, is the first golf course in the Baltic States designed by PGA Design consultants. This is complemented with a Driving range and 9-hole Bridgewater Academy.
Search for many more hotels in Vilnius

A Guide to Vilnius, Europe's Capital of Culture   by Kate Tee

Vilnius Hotels / Vilnius Self-Catering Apartments

Bored of brioche? Pale at the prospect of pasta? Why not sample somewhere different for your next city break?

Taking the baton from Liverpool, Vilnius is the new European Capital of Culture. And with a host of special events organised in celebration, now's the time to discover Lithuania's medieval-yet-modern gem.

The Old Town

Get lost in the labyrinthine alleys of Vilnius' Old Town. The narrow, cobbled streets hug every curve and slope of the hillside and hide churches, markets, squares and artists' workshops.

A visit to the Užupis district is a must. Not only is it a self-declared republic, its residents helped furnish the city with the world's first-ever public statue of musical pioneer Frank Zappa - a man who'd never even set foot in Lithuania!

St Anne's Church

Rising up out of the Old Town in gothic splendour, this 16th century red brick church is not to be missed. Napoleon was apparently so struck by the building he wanted to carry it back to Paris.

Europos Parkas

Just outside the main city, Europos Parkas is an open-air museum set in woodlands, springs and rolling hills, with over 90 sculptures by international artists.

The park occupies the official geographical centre of Europe, and is marked with a monument that lists the distance to every European capital, so you can work out just how far away from home you are!

The Amber Museum-Gallery

The amber trade has been at the golden heart of Vilnius's merchant community for centuries. This museum and exhibition space explores the history and offers live demonstrations of the material being worked. There's also a permanent collection of petrified plants and insects!

Where to stay

This pocket-sized capital city isn't short on accommodation options. Catering for all budgets, from the frugal to the big spenders, Vilnius offers plenty of places to rest after a day's exploring.

Vilnius Ecotel is a large two-star hotel that won't dent the savings, and is well located near the Old Town.

The modern and mid-budget Martialis Hotel is nestled in the Antakalnis district - a short bus ride from the city centre.

And if money is no obstacle - the elegant four-star Hotel Ratonda is in the very heart of the city.

For great accommodation deals, compare hotels.

Money matters

Lithuania is all set to join the Euro in 2010, but in the meantime you'll need to invest in some litas.

Credit cards are widely accepted, and there are plenty of ATMs to withdraw cash, so you can hit the shops and open-air markets with confidence.

Getting there and getting around

Vilnius' airport is just a short bus or taxi ride outside the city. And once you're in the centre, there are over 80 tram and bus routes to help you get around.

Invest in a City Card from the tourist information centre. They come in 24-hour and 72-hour varieties and give you free or discounted public transport and entry to many museums.

Last but not least...

If all this has got in the mood for a trip to Vilnius, see if you can save money on travel insurance by using a comparison site. And for more information on the 2009 European Capital of Culture, visit the official website.

Vilnius Hotels / Vilnius Self-Catering Apartments


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