There are two kinds of camping in Lithuania: wild camping at the appointed place where you have a right to park your car and set up the tent - and “civilized” camping at the camp site suitable for camper vans.
Most of the latter camp sites are the members of Lithuanian Camp Site Association Lietuvos kempingų asociacija, they have at least the basic facilities of shower/toilet blocks, and often offer a range of useful additional facilities. Camp sites are ranked by stars 1 to 4 stars. Most of camp sites are in recreation areas and very few are near the main roads. There are about 25 camp sites that are members of the association, and several that are not. Lithuanians consider this kind of business not profitable. If there is a need for a camp site it is very common to look for the homestead instead: many homesteads allow to stay with the camper vans or just to set the tent in their territory, some have the parking sites specifically for campers, separately from the car parking lots. All facilities are available, living comforts vary in accordance with the rank storks of the homestead. Therefore it is impossible to come across the camp site incidentally just driving down the main road e.g. Via Baltica if you don’t know its location beforehand or don’t look specifically. In this case one should also pay attention to the road signs of homesteads.
Camp sites by the main roads:
Open since 1 May to 30 Sep.
Also camping cabins for rent. Open since 1 May to 30 Sep.
Also offer cabins for rent. Open since 1 May to 10 Sep. Although it is within the city, location is very convenient to arrive, to set a base for the further exploration, and to leave. Territory is within the exhibition complex, in the valley, and is surrounded with pine grove, the built up areas are not visible but very close and easy to reach.
Recreation and entertainment complex that have all needful facilities and offer a wide range of entertainment, rather typical for such complexes all over the country .
The other kind of camp sites, plenty of which are marked on the regional maps with an icon resembling a tent specified on bilingual legend: stovyklavietė, en. transl. campsite, in contrast to the camp sites suitable for camper vans: kempingas, en. transl. camping, are just a small plots of meadow in the depth of the forests and by the rivers. Some of those icons indicate the presence of homesteads that specialize in countryside tourism industry and offer a certain zone where the canoeists and bicyclists can stay in their tents overnight for the small fee. Typically such sites are surrounded with impassable thickets; scarce wild meadows are either swampy or full of formicaries and unsuitable for rest, the private land is the only salvation. The sites that are in public recreation zones usually are free of charge and have no facilities except some rugged wooden furniture benches and tables typical for Lithuania.
Countryside tourism homesteads
Coordinates 55°11'54.08"N, 23°50'9.16"E. Total number of sleeping places for business events 30-40, for family celebrations and parties ~50. Capacity without accommodation up to 120. 1ha recreation area territory. Clay pigeon shooting, archery, individual training, tournaments, competitions. The place is styled like a "sanctuary" of hunters and set in a corresponding environment: southernmost end of a tiny village several metres to Šušvė River Landscape Reserve; cozy, picturesque and nearly untouched nature. This is a homestead for all kinds of fests and business conferences.
Coordinates 54°47'25.98", 24°58'5.32". Tennis courts, basketball, football, volleyball sites, table tennis, billiard. Total capacity up to 120 guests, and up to 90 guests for lodging. Features the kind of setting that Lithuanians like most: a cosy oasis in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by dense impassable forest, suitable for berry/mushroom hunting, and only 12 min by car from the nearest regional road. No road signs, no signboards or plates suggesting the presence of a delightful stay. The only signs near the main road are pointing to the HQ of the Forest Enterprise at the corner.
Homestead Sodyba, nom., sing. or sodybos, nom., plur. is a common name of the separate tourism industry branch. One of the key features is that homesteads typically are not related to agriculture, but usually are associated with short-term and long-term recreation places. They are a type of accommodation in the countryside. Homesteads which are members of Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association are ranked by storks 1 to 5 storks. The official website of the Association Countryside.lt offers the shining catalogue for accommodation alternatives and you find nearly all the countryside targets and a reservation system from there.
There are 10 official types of activity; each homestead is focused on one or several of them. Here is a list of all ten types of activity you can choose from their website: Quiet recreation, Culture recreation, Active recreation, Holidays for Families, Culinary Heritage, Environment-friendly Homestead, Wellness Homestead, Family Celebrations, Business events, Agrotourism.
Currently the association has over 400 homesteads, most of which provide Quiet recreation services around 200 homesteads. The Family Celebrations are in second place, and the third is the Holidays for Families with children. Culinary heritage homesteads are scattered throughout the regions and offer services related to the traditions of the concrete region.
The popularity of Celebrations service can answer the question where the Lithuanian urban youth go to celebrate: the further from city the better. You have a whole house with all equipment and a territory with ponds and saunas on your own... and everything is surrounded with a large forest. This is a striking difference compared to the Westerners who come to the Baltic cities to get drunk. It may give you an idea why locals sometimes express a very negative attitude to the foreign visitors and insist that they are inappropriately behaving in the inappropriate place. You should know and accept that the forest is an appropriate place in such situations. Homestead that is focusing on Celebrations provides a far more adequate service than some luxury hotel or a restaurant in a city can offer.
The styles of homestead range from very simple “sleeping with the grandmother" to large mini-resorts. Three homesteads listed below are not only deserving attention, but also distinctly represent three different styles. They all are conveniently situated near the main roads, but at the same time conveniently secluded. The first one is almost in the middle of the country, Samogitia region; the second one is in the centre of the country not far from Kaunas and Via Baltica, Aukštaitija region; and the third one is closer to the capital and situated on the edge of Aukštaitija and Dzūkija regions.
Coordinates N55°20'22" E23°05'52". This place is not only devoted to fishing, so beloved by Lithuanians, but also has the setting that Lithuanians find to be attractive for recreation.
There are two main clearly distinguished types of accommodation in Lithuania: “urban style” accommodation and “countryside style” accommodation. Roughly the former type is called Viešbutis Hotel, and the latter is called Sodyba Homestead. Which one belongs to the actual hotel or hostel, or B&B, or some other standard international category depends on how the owners' marketing policy is aimed at foreign visitors. Domestically it is considered that the actual difference is only in those two types of accommodation and price. For example, the range of “urban” type of accommodation may be called by locals a luxury hotel, budget hotel, a cosy hotel, and a motel – those all versus the “homestead”, which can range from a cosy little farmhouse style hotel to mini-resort. This may be very useful to know if you want to move around without pre-booking accommodation or just in unusual circumstances: you’ll be able to understand locals if they say that “there are no hotels, only one farmstead homestead nearby”, and you won’t try to insist that “there must be a B&B, I know that for sure”.
hotels, motels, hostels, apartments
There are several international hotel chains in the major Lithuanian cities, and a variety of local hotels. Many hotels and motels are members of Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association, some hostels are members of Lithuanian Hostels Association. Hotels, hostels and motels are ranked by stars 1 to 5 stars. The price of accommodation depends very much on the place. For instance, in Joniškis Northern Lithuania, you can get a good hotel room for about €30 whereas an equivalent room might be as much as €60-90 in Vilnius.
Some hotels in Neringa and Palanga may be similarly or more expensive as in Vilnius because of highly acclaimed location. In this case the price may seem high and hotel itself overrated, but it all is determined by location. It especially applies to Neringa which is a more expensive place in all respects.
Most hotels do have web home pages, but some do not. Nevertheless, the Internet helps considerably in planning.
You will find the hotels of every town in their own articles. However, remember that this is a service maintained by the volunteers and you should not wait for current prices let alone that there would be all the possibilities listed.
Most large cities such as Vilnius or Kaunas have an abundance of hotel options from €15 and up. When travelling to a popular vacation spot in the summer and around the New Year like Palanga or Druskininkai make sure to book a room in advance because demand may outnumber supply. Additionally, some of the cafes on the main highways between cities also have rooms to rent.
Hostels, usually called Svečių namai Guest Houses, provide simple, budget accommodation. They may be good places to meet other travellers and wrong places if you expect to deal with locals.
If you want to rent the apartment, the prices will be usually from €200 a month. In the biggest towns there are companies which rent apartments "to the long-time tourist or worker". In these you complete on good conditions the apartment furnished and cleaned by the cleaner from €300.
If you are looking for an apartment for a shorter period from a few days onwards, do a Web search for "trumpalaikė butų nuoma". This will give you some portals or sites of companies, though not all of them are available in English – some are, however, available in other languages such as German, Polish or Russian. Also you can use option of online translation, it often is sufficient.