Although the colder months in Lithuania bring plentiful precipitation, with propper attire, you’re sure to enjoy all the delights of autumn and winter!
Starting in October, temperatures in Lithuania drop and the weather stays pretty crisp until well into spring. However, that doesn’t mean colder months here are bleak.
On the contrary, these are some of the richest, most colourful and inspiring times to be in Lithuania. Hiking through golden forests, experiencing the crisp delights of cross-country skiing, trying your hand at local crafts, and explore at the many local eateries. These are just some of the treasures in store.
Below, we’ll unpack what’s so special about the cold season in Lithuania and what kind of activities lie in store for those who like to live more than a little.
A little word about clothing
Life in the autumn and winter is full of delights, but for a pleasant experience, you need to be dressed properly. That means waterproof shoes with adequate warm lining and warm waterproof jackets (think Parka chic). After all, getting a runny nose from sporting your finest Converse in -10°C temperatures is not a good look.
Late autumn and winter are also great times for a bit of cultural immersion. Vilnius’ newest gallery is also one of its architectural jewels (designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind). The gallery houses specially curated shows that present both local and international creators. A great place to see and be seen.
Late autumn and winter are perfect times to experience some of the amazing restaurants the city has to offer. There’s the special spin on Asian Fusion offered by Gaspar’s Restaurant (recently featured on Vice’s Munchies Youtube channel). Those who want to pick’n’choose and try many different cuisines at once, may well head to one of the popular food halls (G9 Food Hall, Downtown Food Hall & Kino Deli, Baltas Tiltas Food Hall, and the list goes on). There, you’ll find everything from fish’n’chips to ramen and from Greek gyros to Mexican tacos.
There’s no better place to catch the last, brightest colours of autumn. You can wander the park’s main avenue or explore one of its small gardens. And you’ll find benches aplenty if you’re looking for a spot for quiet contemplation. One of the city’s cutest coffee houses, Strange Love, also lies at the park gates – it’s a great spot for some people watching!
This is the winter destination in the capital for true ski lovers. The biggest snow park in the Baltics, it boasts10 different tracks catering for all levels of skiers. So, it doesn’t matter if you are a newbie, this is the perfect place to learn.
What better way to celebrate the romance of Vilnius in winter than a trip to an outdoor ice rink in the heart of the city? Located in a recently redesigned tree-lined city square, this ice rink is illuminated in the evening by the twinkling Christmas lights of nearby Gediminas Avenue.
Kaunas is a city synonymous with culture. So much so that it won the bidding for the European Capital of Culture 2022. And nowhere is this affinity with art more obvious than on the walls of the city’s buildings, where you might come across giant pink elephants or surreal re-imaginings of the Mona Lisa. Wrapped up on a bright and crisp winter day, and armed with a latte, why not explore these amazing examples of urban art?
There’s a lot of fun to be had outdoors (have you ever built a snowman?) but you can also try out a new hobby. Luckily, Kaunas, and other cities for that matter, has something to offer. First, there’s indoor climbing, a sport with a very tight-knit yet open community. For a more interactive activity, there’s also laser tag, with several arenas across the city. And speed junkies will definitely appreciate Go-karting, with the biggest indoor track in the country – Kartland Kaunas.
Neringa and its dunes are charming at any time of year. Brew a thermos of your favourite tea, grab a couple of friends, and go for a hike in the Baltic Sahara. What’s more romantic than the sight of giant snow-covered dunes and pine trees? If you’re lucky, you might even spot a moose!
Want a fun fact about Lithuania? It’s one of the few countries in Europe that doesn’t have Starbucks! But with its own local chains (Caffeine, Vero, Huracan) and many cosy independent roasteries, it really doesn’t need it. Come to think of it, Lithuania is the perfect place to actually learn about coffee, as even the tiniest place will have a wide variety of beans and preparation techniques. The romantic streets of Klaipėda, with its many cute statues, are also perfect for a coffee walk with the new friends you’ll make here.
Lithuanian nature never looks better than when it’s given a fresh frosting of snow. And what better way to experience it first-hand than on a cross-country ski trip. If you have experience, you can just hire some skis and plan your own route (having a local alongside is, of course, advised). For first-timers or those wanting to benefit from more local knowledge, you’ll find that there are organised groups.
There’s something quite unique about sitting in the middle of a frozen lake, crouched over a hole cut in the thick ice, and waiting for the bite of a fish. Ice fishing is not a particularly Lithuanian pursuit, but for lovers of fresh air that are happy to get wrapped up in layers of clothing, there’s nothing quite like it.
This is just a taste of the many amazing things you can do in the winter months in Lithuania. Want to learn more about the amazing work/life balance Lithuania has to offer that makes all these experiences so accessible? Check out our other blog here.