Lithiania - officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest. Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden and Denmark. Its population is 3.32 million. Its capital and the largest city is Vilnius.
Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Lithuania became a full member of the Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture and Lithuania celebrated the millennium of its name.
Total area: 65,300 sq. km. Nearly one third of the territory is covered by forests, 4.5% - by inland waters. There are over 2,800 lakes larger than 0.5 hectares in size, and 18 rivers longer than 100 kilometres in Lithuania.
Climate: oceanic/continental. Average temperature in July is +17°C, in January - -4.9°C. However, temperatures can soar up to +30?C in summer, and drop down to -32?C in winter. Summers here are pleasantly mild, whereas not every winter offers abundance of snow.
Local Time: Lithuania lies in the Central European Time zone (GMT + 2 hours, or same as, for instance, Helsinki, Riga, and Tallinn).
Population: 3.34 million.
Ethnic Composition: Lithuanians - 84%, Several sizable minorities exist, such as Poles (6.1%), Russians (4.9%), and Belorussians (1.1%). Lithuania is home to as many as 115 ethnic groups. Based on ethnic composition, Lithuania is the most indigenous of all the Baltic countries.
Religion: Predominantly, Roman Catholic (approximately 80% of the total population). Other confessions include Orthodox, Old Believers, Lutheran, Reformat, Judaist, Sunni, Karaite and other communities.
Language: the state language is Lithuanian. All correspondence and official communication is conducted in Lithuanian.
Capital: Vilnius. The city was officially established in 1323. But a fortified castle at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia rivers was set up earlier. The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the largest (360 ha) and prettiest in the Eastern and Central Europe included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city boasts excellent public transport with trolleybus, bus and minibus routes; plenty of taxis available.
Largest Cities by population: Vilnius - 555 thousand; Kaunas - 352 thousand; Klaipėda - 238 thousand; Šiauliai - 129 thousand; Panevėžys - 112 thousand.