Located in the northeast of Europe, with a coastline along the east of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is a picturesque country. Though not the most conventional of expat destinations, its charming forested landscape punctuated by lakes and rivers has given many an expat a good reason to stay.
Living in Lithuania as an expat
The largest and most populous of the three Baltic States in northeastern Europe, Lithuania is a Schengen state, a member of the EU and in 1990 it became the first former Soviet state to declare independence from the USSR. Today, Lithuania is considered a developed country with a high-income economy, with the major industries being services, industry and agriculture.
English is not widely spoken, and the language barrier can make doing business a tricky task. Interpreters are a good solution, though expats will therefore find they’ll need to learn at least basic Lithuanian to get by conversationally. The language is also notoriously difficult to learn, but locals are often charmed by foreigners' attempts to use it.
Expats moving to Lithuania will discover a beer-and-sport-loving nation that boasts efficient infrastructure and beautiful countryside vistas. Lithuanian society is a mix of conservative Catholic viewpoints and a quirky, Bohemian youth culture.
Cost of living in Lithuania
Lithuania has a comparatively low cost of living when considered among other Western European countries. In fact, the 2023 Mercer Cost of Living ranks Lithuania's capital city, Vilnius, as the 123rd most expensive city out of 227 cities. While most accommodation in Lithuania's cities consists of Soviet-era apartment blocks, detached houses can be found further away from city centres and are quite affordable.
Expat families and children
When it comes to the standard of education, Lithuania has a long and distinguished history, and public schooling is free for all citizens and residents. There is a wide range of options available, including cathedral, vocational, public and private schools, and homeschooling. There are also a number of international schools in the country and their popularity is on the rise.
When it comes to healthcare, Lithuania's medical staff are highly qualified, but the healthcare system is still recovering from Soviet mismanagement. That said, state healthcare is free to residents and citizens. Private clinics are also available in most cities.
Climate in Lithuania
Lithuania's climate tends toward chilly, snowy days in the winter and mild temperatures in the summer. Snowy weather can be expected from roughly October to April each year, sometimes with the addition of sleet in September and May. Despite the cold, the climate does allow plenty of opportunities for winter sports such as skiing and ice skating.
Lithuania has plenty of beautiful spots to visit and outdoor activities to keep expats busy. If the low cost of living and the free healthcare and education aren't enough, the beautiful scenery will surely attract many expats.
Population: Around 2.7 million
Capital city: Vilnius
Neighbouring countries: Lithuania is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest.
Geography: Lithuania is characterised by flat lowland areas separated by hills and highlands, as well as a scattering of lakes and swamps. The Baltic Sea stretches along Lithuania's western coast.
Political system: Parliamentary democracy
Major religions: Roman Catholicism
Main languages: Lithuanian
Currency: The Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents.
Tipping: 10 percent if the service charge is not included.
Time: GMT+2 (GMT+3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs, type C, are the most common.
Internet domain: .lt
International dialling code: +370
Emergency numbers: 112 (general emergency number)
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road in Lithuania. Vilnius has a good public transport network consisting of buses, trolleybuses and trains.
►Check out Expat Experiences in Lithuania for personal expat stories on moving to the country
"The cost of living was very affordable, making it a great city for a young couple to save money. The healthcare is also excellent, and the city is rapidly changing to become more international, open, and creative while holding onto Lithuania’s unique culture."
American expat Elizabeth shares her experiences of life in Vilnius.
Are you an expat living in Lithuania?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Lithuania. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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