June 10, 2022. Lithuania Travel, the national tourism development agency for Lithuania, is offering visitors to experience what an average day looks like for the locals. As part of a playful campaign “Plan your ordinary day in Lithuania”, the agency highlights some of the “everyday” activities Lithuanians engage in that might not seem so familiar to foreigners.
Travelers that wish to exchange their intensely scheduled life may opt for an ordinary Lithuanian experience: by starting their day in a kayak and ending it in a treehouse.
Kicking off the day by kayaking on a river
For many Lithuanians, paddling a kayak through the many routes strewn across the country’s 3, 000 lakes or 60, 000 km of rivers is a suitable substitute for an early morning shower. As kayaking is an unofficial national sport in the summertime, Lithuanians choose to spend as much time as possible by the water.
Some of the most widely enjoyed kayaking routes are found in the southwest region of Dzūkija, which contains winding rivers that take watersport enthusiasts through a forest filled with rare birds, such as the black stork or barn owls.
Despite being a good start of the day, Lithuanians enjoy this activity at any time for its accessibility and diverse scenery. Some routes run past the downtown areas of Vilnius, the capital city, or Klaipėda, the biggest port town, creating a commute that no bus could rival. For seasoned kayakers — the coast of the Baltic sea offers challenging routes, while torch-lit night tours around the historic town and gothic castle of Trakai help wind down after the day.
Famous art pieces line the streets of the two largest cities
Long queues in museums are not a problem in Lithuania, as its streets are lined with art pieces. While heading towards the next stop on their schedule, Lithuanians usually end up in entire open-air galleries.
A walk in Vilnius’ Užupis District— which declared itself as an independent republic as part of an April Fool’s joke — is full of eclectic sculptures, colorful trinkets, and graphic street art tucked away in many of its courtyards.
On the way towards the Užupis Art Incubator gallery — a creative space for budding artists — is filled with quirky murals. For example, the (R)estart Reality paintings appear to be made in simple grayscale, but come alive with bursting color when viewed from a specialized app.
An outing can offer so much artistic content that Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania, has put together a map of all the exhibitions one might walk past every day. The city has been named the European Capital of Culture for this year. With over 1,000 events, a Yoko Ono exhibition, and Art Deco design, art dazzles inhabitants on every corner.
Cold soup and snail pastries make up a Lithuanian diet
As part of the campaign to show an “ordinary day” in the country, Lithuania Travel also highlights some of the quirky foods that have become loved by locals. Fortunately for travelers, local dishes are regularly available for purchase in most shops and restaurants.
Every summer, a vibrant pink chilled soup created from natural local ingredients (cucumbers, beetroot, herbs, and kefir) makes its way onto sun-drenched tables in Lithuania. Beloved by all locals and visitors, the dish has become a national symbol, depicted on lighters, T-shirts, and even car decals.
Kibinai — a Karaite traditional stuffed pastry — is enjoyed either as a quick snack or as a main dish. People of the Zarasai District of northwestern Lithuania prefer a snail meat stuffing to the usual pork, beef, lamb, or veggie alternatives.
For dessert, a large serving of ice cream with fried bread or sea buckthorn sorbet helps satisfy any lingering cravings. Lettuce, cucumber, honey, rose, cedar nut, kvass, and smoked berry flavors are just a few varieties of this frozen treat that Lithuanians enjoy daily.
Winding down with a light bath whisk smacking
After a long day of activities, a simple bath is not enough for most Lithuanians. They love to relax in saunas and treat their bodies and souls with a range of therapeutic plants.
The mild slapping of the bather with bath whisks or brooms – bundles of birch or oak twigs (called vanta in Lithuanian) or even other trees – is a unique technique in a Lithuanian sauna. The Lithuanians also tend to also rub the body with salt, crushed chestnuts, clay, honey, and other natural ingredients.
A long-lasting tradition among many families, participating in sauna rituals is essential to having the ultimate Lithuanian experience. Luckily, it is also available to visitors, as most rural tourism homesteads offer the service and can be found throughout the whole country.
A stylish night in the woods or on a lake
Lithuania is ideal for nature lovers - both active adventurers and those looking for a quiet place to rest. High-quality sleep does not mean needing to book an expensive hotel in the city center — a variety of forest dwellings in Lithuania offer comfort, entertainment, and peace among nature.
Glamping in Lithuania feels one-of-a-kind, with tree houses built amid century-old pine trees in the Varėna region, overwater bungalows disconnected from the internet for a chance to truly unplug, and the wide variety of quaint cabins found in the Atokampis Boutique Spa and Resort near the Kaišiadorys district, between Vilnius and Kaunas.
Skipping a traditional accommodation altogether, some locals prefer the Getrest SEALANDER — a modern and adaptable caravan on wheels that can be used both on land and in the water. Drifting away to sleep under the stars while floating in the middle of a lake is just another end to an ordinary Lithuanian day.
ABOUT LITHUANIA TRAVEL
Lithuania Travel is a national tourism development agency responsible for Lithuania’s tourism marketing and promotion, acting under the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. Its strategic goal—to raise awareness of Lithuania as an attractive tourism destination and to encourage inbound and domestic travel. The agency closely collaborates with tourism businesses and organizations, presents Lithuanian tourism products, services and experiences on social and digital media, press trips, in international travel exhibitions and B2B events.