Irrespective of the past, Lithuania is now a proud, strong Eastern European force. Corporate travel and serviced accommodation living in Lithuania is as popular as ever and contributes considerably to the three million people who stay in Lithuania each year.
Lithuania is the southernmost Baltic state based in north-eastern Europe. It is based on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, sharing borders with Latvia, Belarus, Poland, and the Russian Province Kaliningrad. Lithuania is the largest Baltic country with a landmass covering twenty-five thousand square miles. The topography of the land is varied. Whilst lowland terrain and several lakes dominate central regions, hills and highlands predominantly occupy east and western regions. Of the 2.8 million population, almost a fifth live in the capital Vilnius, Lithuania’s largest city. However, Vilnius does face competition from the second largest city, Kaunas. Both cities enjoy positive business climates, a vast range of attractions and numerous corporate housing options, so arriving expats are really spoilt for choice.
Lithuania’s history is best described as a rollercoaster ride. It all began over ten thousand years ago when humans first inhabited the land. Baltic and Germanic tribes influenced the land before the first mention of Lithuania and its people came in the early eleventh century. Later saw Lithuania create one of Europe’s greatest empires, thanks to strong leadership, good neighbourly relations and successful extension procedures. Yet, when all seemed upwards, the Russian Empire invaded and partitioned Lithuania. The rollercoaster of change then ensued. Despite gaining independence from Russia in 1918, Lithuania then became Soviet Union property during the Cold War. Lithuania did, however, become the first state to declare its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. The road to repairing Lithuanian identity has been tricky, but nowadays, European integration and economic success are being fulfilled.
Despite a troubled past, the recovery of Lithuania’s economy has been impressive. Since becoming an EU member in 2004, economic freedom has been well above regional and world averages, and Lithuania now possesses the largest Baltic economy. It has been calculated that the average Lithuanian is richer than 83% of the world’s population. Unemployment rates are steadily decreasing, and GDP growth is forecast for the upcoming years. Vital to these successes is trading, as the combined value of Lithuanian imports and exports is imperative for national GDP. The government understand the importance of being very open towards foreign trade and potential overseas investment. Business travellers, therefore, can expect a welcoming business climate when staying in Lithuanian corporate accommodation.
Lithuania ranks in the top ten and fifteen in Europe and the world respectively according to the World Banks’ Ease of Doing Business Report. These results have clearly not gone unnoticed. Lithuania attracted more foreign direct investment projects in 2017 than any other year before. Incentives for these investments include the support of Lithuanian Free Economic Zones (FEZ), in Klaipeda and Kaunas, profitable tax benefits, limited red tape and developed infrastructure. For instance, Lithuania’s e-infrastructure is world leading. Furthermore, corporates do not require government permission to conduct business or invest in Lithuania and equal treatment of all is at the forefront of the nation’s business climate. Lithuania would appear to have one of the best environments for business travel in Europe and the world. For more information though, be sure to visit www.investlithuania.com.
Schengen visa requirements apply to those visiting Lithuania. Citizens of EU countries, the USA, Canada and Australia are all eligible for visa-free travel here for up to ninety days. Length of stays visa-free is different across continents, so it is worth visiting or contacting your national Lithuanian Embassy for more details on visas. Foreign travellers to Lithuanian can expect nothing too abnormal of local law though. The country scores well on safety indexes, and surveys suggest Lithuanians are the happiest of the Baltic states. Belongs as visitors respect local culture and customs, there are no reasons why they cannot enjoy a safe and happy trip to Lithuania.
As mentioned before, Lithuania’s developed infrastructure is very appealing to expats. Road infrastructure comes under this appeal. Benefits range from the four-lane highways which connect major cities such as Vilnius and Kaunas to the relatively cheap parking compared with much of Europe. Fuel prices are reasonable too, and petrol stations are frequent across the country. Drivers only require a valid driving license and proof of insurance. Car rental hire is straightforward from Lithuanian airports too. The only negatives are that during the winter months, appropriate tyres are compulsory, and toll roads are also common across Lithuania. Otherwise, Lithuanian driving is a fulfilled experience.
Lithuania also boasts many captivating tourist attractions. Remembrance of Lithuania’s brighter past is frequent, particularly in the capital Vilnius. Stunning fifteenth and sixteenth buildings include the Gediminas Castle Tower, the Gate of Dawn St Anne’s Church. These structures all tourist favourites, radiating the past power of the Lithuanian Empire and showcasing architectural beauty and great wealth. Similarly admired is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and old town neighbourhood, Užupis. Locals adore this district as they have witnessed its resurgence since Soviet victimisation. Nowadays, tourists pour into the revitalised district to gain a greater understanding of Lithuanian struggles and modern-day prosper. Whatever ways visitors explore Vilnius, they can be sure that city apartments put them at the centre of it all.
Despite the business climate lure of the major cities, expats can also opt to broaden their horizons. For example, easily accessible from Vilnius corporate accommodation is Lake Galvė in the town of Trakai. The lake is home to twenty-one islands and the especially popular, fairy-tale Trakai Island Castle. Another popular attraction, found on the western shore, is the Palanga Amber Museum. Here, thanks to the exhibition of over 4,500 artefacts, travellers get a real taste for true Lithuanian art, culture and history. Otherwise, for nature lovers, there are also popular national parks such as Žemaitija and Curonian Spit, which have a sole focus of protecting and preserving native species and unique ecosystems. We are only touching upon the possibilities of Lithuanian travel and staying in serviced apartments grants visitors’ access to both fascinating attractions and a promising business environment.
Overall, evidence suggests Lithuania has all the necessary traits, both leisurely and business related, to become a profitable business travel destination. There is no surprise demand for more serviced accommodation in Lithuania has emerged in recent times.
Vilnius International Airport is the busiest of four commercial airports in Lithuania. It is based no further than four miles from the capital city centre, and a specific train shuttles to the airport from Vilnius Railway Station around sixteen times a day.
City buses and microbuses also operate from the airport to grants arrivals easy access to their serviced apartment. Other international airports include Kaunas, Palanga and Šiauliai.
Most railway lines are operated by Lithuanian Rail, covering one thousand miles of track. Its headquarters are in Vilnius.
For the range of services offered by Lithuanian Rail, visit www.litrail.lt. A popular tourist attraction is the Aukštaitija narrow gauge railway running between Panevėžys and Rubikiai.
The idea of a metro system in Lithuania has been proposed and planned since the 1990s, to tackle traffic congestion. Plans are underway to open the new metro in the capital in 2020.
Whether it be local or national services, Lithuania has an extensive bus network to accommodate for everyone. Prices are relatively cheap, and buses are well-maintained. Bus tickets are very self-explanatory, but for more help, visit www.autobusubilietai.lt.