Services for travellers and expatriates in Lithuania | True Lithuania
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Services in Lithuania

In recent decades the quality of services in Lithuania has improved greatly.

Three tiers of services in Lithuania

Services in Lithuania generally fall into these three types:

1.Modern private services that have the same marketing gimmicks, locations, and amenities you could expect in Western Europe or the USA. The prices are sometimes comparable but usually lower. They are usually owned by foreigners or Lithuanian mega-businessmen. Main cities have modern private services of all types, while modern shopping, cell phone, and internet services are available all over Lithuania.

Inside the 'Europa' shopping mall in Vilnius. Developed a large Lithuanian property developer, it was sold to a foreign fund later. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

2.Private 1990s-styled services, which may be harder to find, lack advertising, and may lack some other common features (e.g. a 1990s-styled accommodation may lack online booking opportunities and credit card readers). But they can be much cheaper, far more authentic, and more "humane", with money not "the king". They are usually owned by some self-made (wo)men who discovered how to do business by trial and error in the 1990s and did almost everything with their own hands. Services of this type predominate in smaller towns but are available in cities as well (especially out of downtowns and shopping malls).

3.Public services, which are owned by the government and often plagued by Soviet attitudes that client is a nuisance. Inconvenient opening times, inefficiency, queues, and corruption are common. Public services predominate in healthcare, education, and cultural activities (e.g. theaters, and museums). Railways and many buses are also government-owned. The prices of public services are usually somewhat arbitrary (two services demanding the same amount of work may have very different prices). There definitely is a trend of public service modernization but it has been slow compared to private services. While sometimes a new or renovated public building may lead to a more First World service inside, at other times renovations change little in the experience itself.

A Soviet-level museum of geology in Vievis. These days, however, such stuck-in-the-Soviet-Union locations are becoming rare, with many public institutions getting renovated on state money and coming closer to the private institutions in quality (still, the difference in work ethics often remains). ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

List of services

Hotels and restaurants are all private. While a few Soviet-style institutions remain in smaller towns, generally they have been all built or renovated after 1990, offering a good service quality.

Lithuania has some of the world's most competitive cell phone, internet provider, and food retail markets, offering considerable quality even at the lowest end of price range.

Lithuanian media is all-private, but it has lost much of credibility recently due to perceived political and business meddling in its articles and reporting.

Lithuanian utilities are usually a state monopoly administered by private companies. These tend to have a dubious reputation as the monopolistic status fails to encourage them to respect clients. Ceasing to buy utilities (such as public heating) is often banned, completely destroying clients' market power.

Transportation in Lithuania is provided by public companies (railways, municipal buses) and private companies (some intercity buses, taxis, airlines, ships). While public companies are noticeably worse at management, they have improved their vehicles and may offer services at times when there are no private services. Private taxis are infamous for scams.

A Soviet-manufactored train at Marcinkonys in 2017. While Lithuanian Railways have been modernizing their fleet and many of the trains are now new Western-built, such modernization has been much slower than that at the private bus companies or airlines that did away with Soviet vehicles long ago. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

One remaining case where Soviet attitudes are well-entrenched is the healthcare. While Lithuania has great doctors, public hospitals tend to view clients as a nuisance, even expecting bribes for non-substandard treatment. Private hospitals, on the other hand, respect clients and perform much better.

In education, private schools and universities tend to be better equipped and managed. However, key public institutions still trump them in size and faculty. In the case of universities, public ones attract the best students too, arguably contributing to better prospects there. Public university buildings have been a key area of public investment recently, leading to the transformation of major campuses.

As Lithuanian salaries are lower than those in the West, the prices of services are also lower than in Western Europe. They are more expensive than in Asia however.

A list of ways to send money to Lithuania is provided by

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Internet, Cell Phones, and Post in Lithuania

Communicating with the world is easy while in Lithuania as the country's internet and cell phone facilities are among the world's best.

The expansion of the internet has been especially massive. So much so that Lithuania is regularly at 1st place in Europe according to various statistics such as high-speed internet users as a percentage of the total population.

Wireless internet (Wifi) access is possible (free) in major shopping malls, libraries, restaurants, and hotels (ask in advance). A few streets and squares in the main cities and resorts have free municipal wireless internet coverage.

Moreover, nearly every location in Lithuania is covered by a 4G GSM cellphone network. Roaming charges are significant but fierce GSM network competition ensures that for local clients the charges are among the lowest in Europe. A foreigner may easily buy a cheap pre-paid SIM card such as "Ežys", "Pildyk" or "Labas" and thus pay negligible local rates. These are sold at every kiosk and at specialized provider shops at the malls. At the latter, one may inquire about the specific plans depending on your needs (international calls/internet/local calls/SMS). The subscription plans (paid monthly) are useful only for residents.

Some public payphones still exist in cities (as required by law) but barely anybody uses them today. Payphone cards may be acquired at kiosks. Likewise, with the proliferation of the internet, internet cafes disappeared.

An international phone prefix for Lithuania is +370. When calling from another Lithuanian phone it is replaced by 8. This is followed by either a city prefix or a cell phone provider prefix (1-3 digits) and then the number itself (5-7 digits). The prefix(es) may be missing from phone number listings.

If you prefer sending postcards the old way, post offices are now available at many of the largest shopping malls (open 7 days a week until late evenings). The traditional post office locations on the ground floors of some residentials have been recently downsized and may be hard to find as they are not well-advertised - ask a local to show them and hope that the office will be open (unlike in the malls, the opening times are limited to working week). Stamps, envelopes, and some postcards are sold at the post offices.

A post office in Šilutė. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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Healthcare in Lithuania

Healthcare of Lithuania is of a formidable standard with the number of doctors per 1000 people larger than in most Western societies. Hospitals are well-equipped to perform even the most difficult surgeries. The doctors are well-trained and sought-after by Western hospitals.

For Lithuanians and people of the European Union, most medical services are free of charge. However, corruption is rampant, meaning that a person with relationships among doctors (or a bribe) may get preferential treatment bypassing the queues (which may get long, depending on location and procedure). This used to be the norm in the Soviet Union when all goods and services were, in theory, equal-to-all but, in reality, depended on bribes and relationships; today, such practices are declining.

Adverts against corruption in the Vilnius clinics. The signs, aimed both at doctors and patients and available on many cabinet doors, declare: 'Do you want to show gratitude to the doctor? Please [just] say THANK YOU', 'The best gratitude to your doctor is your smile' and 'I follow the Hippocratic Oath, therefore I avoid patient disinformation and corruption'. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

This, as well as the Soviet "patient-is-always-wrong" attitudes in some public hospitals (also declining), makes a part of the population pay the full price at the private clinics (even though they are still subjected to massive compulsory public healthcare taxes). The likelihood of choosing a "private doctor" heavily depends on the medical services needed: nearly everybody visits a private dentist or gynecologist just as nearly everybody uses public hospitals for major surgeries. For a foreigner, private hospitals may be less of a hassle in all cases especially if one has insurance coverage for them. Even without such coverage, many procedures may be cheaper in Lithuania than in the West. Lithuanian emigrants come back to perform non-urgent medical procedures (dentistry, plastic surgery) and there is some medical tourism into Lithuania.

If you choose public hospitals, the best ones (and the largest) are in Vilnius and Kaunas.

Lithuania has a wide range of health resorts and spas, especially in Druskininkai resort. These tend to vary in quality from Soviet-level facilities (sometimes still state-owned) to modern facilities (private), therefore do your research before committing to spending a week somewhere. Like with hospitals, often it is the attitudes of the personnel that makes the difference (rather than the quality of the procedures, which may be good everywhere).

People enjoying a free relaxation in the Birštonas spa resort. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

There is generally no need to get any vaccination before going to Lithuania. Major infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV are extremely rare.

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Education in Lithuania

In Lithuania, the education is mostly public (taxpayer-funded) with private or religious facilities being rare. School life is especially long with university education being a norm for modern youth. Literacy is at 99,8%.

Schools and pre-school education

Most children attend state (public) schools where the education is free (taxpayer-funded). These have three tiers: for ages 7-10 ("primary schools") a single teacher teaches most subjects, for ages 11-14 ("progymnasiums") there are separate teachers for each subject but still no choice on what to learn (save for religious education and 2nd foreign language), while at ages 15-18 ("gymnasiums") students have a limited choice of their lectures. While there are prestigious gymnasiums, at the earlier tiers most pupils are commonly enrolled at schools closest to their homes as the quality varies little.

The official language is Lithuanian but there are minority-oriented public schools that use their languages for instruction. The network of Russian schools covers the main cities while the Polish schools are concentrated in the southeast.

Private schools tend to be expensive (by Lithuanian standards) and not very popular, although they've been growing in popularity among the newly-rich. Few private schools cover the entire school life with private schooling being more popular for younger kids. For English medium-of-instruction education, however, "private" is the only option and largely limited to Vilnius.

There are also a few Roman Catholic schools in the cities which survive on almost-mandatory donations but are still cheaper than the private schools.

Pre-school education (kindergartens) is not compulsory. With more women than ever working (the female share of the workforce is larger in Lithuania than in every single Western society), there is a shortage of public kindergartens in the main cities. It is common to write your child into a queue immediately at birth. Akin to schools, private kindergartens are expensive, although the shortages of public ones make them somewhat popular. Some families rely on (great) grandparents to rear their toddlers instead of kindergartens.

Lithuania has a wide range of paid informal education, most of it in the Lithuanian language. Lithuanian basketball academies are especially famous.

Universities and colleges

In Lithuania, most young people attend public universities of which there are many. Vilnius University is the oldest and the most prestigious but some others successfully compete in specific fields (Mykolas Romeris University in social sciences, the Kaunas University of Technology in technological sciences, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in medical sciences). Public university tuition is state-subsidized for Lithuanian citizens; for many better local students the education there is free.

Yet other public universities are however widely known to be "second-choice" and some politicians doubt their need. The few private universities (limited to social sciences) are somewhat infamous for being a choice of "rich-yet-incapable" as they accept nearly everyone who pays a large tuition. Even the largest tuitions are very small by US standards, however.

University education takes 4 years (Bachelor's degree), 6 years (Master's degree, the most sought-after), or 10 years (Ph.D.). Some universities offer English medium-of-instruction studies and attract a sizeable foreign student population (up to 10% of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences).

Numbers of Lithuanian people with varying levels of education in different decades. In the 2000s the number of higher-educated people in Lithuania increased rapidly as it became the social norm for anybody of mediocre capabilities or above.

Alternatively, there are colleges with 3-year education and more practice-oriented studies - but they all are regarded as less prestigious.

Even less prestigious is the vocational education opted mainly by those seriously incapable of doing anything "more". However, even some of those people attempt to seek a Master's degree regardless (at some obscure humanity they dislike but were able to successfully apply to). The government would prefer to popularize vocational training as many of the less capable university graduates end up in blue-collar jobs anyway.

Enrollment into Lithuanian universities and colleges is largely based on the annual Lithuanian National Exams (May-June) taken by those graduating gymnasiums that year. Each potential student may choose which of 14 subject exams to sit, while each study program has a pre-decided set of National Exam results taken into account when admission. A student then drafts a National Application (one for all Lithuanian universities and most colleges), listing the desired study programs by priority. In July-August, he/she is automatically admitted to the highest-priority one for which his/her National Exams results have been sufficient. The National Exams are hyped as making or breaking a person as they decide both the career path and scholarships/tuition discounts. To prepare for National Exams, parents of many students hire tutors one or two years in advance.

Foreign students may pay the full price and enroll into universities without sitting at National Exams.

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Media of Lithuania

Lithuanian media is surviving an upheaval these days as a newspaper after a newspaper closes, dailies become weeklies and the audiences grow older. The main remaining dailies are "Lietuvos rytas" (leftist, anti-religious), "Vakaro žinios" (tabloid, conservative) and "Lietuvos žinios" (center).

At the same time, the share of internet news portals expands, despite them being notorious for liberal attitudes towards countless insulting comments under nearly every article (some psychologists even claim this became a new Lithuanian way to vent off anger). The main portals are,,,

Magazines are doing better than newspapers. Veidas (conservative, laissez-faire) is the longest-running weekly of political insights. Most female-oriented monthly magazines are catch-all while male-oriented ones tend to have particular topics (automobiles, fishing, etc.).

TV has been hit less by internetization. Still, while the average viewing times change little TVs are no longer considered a necessity as some 40% of young people opt not to own a TV set and some take pride in this, associating television with cheap programming and the commercial stations (TV3 and LNK are two catch-all market leaders and both have many smaller specific-audience channels). State-owned LRT TV station provides less glitzy programs and is more popular among the old. In the 2020s, the internetization trend reached TV as well, as online-only TV channels were established.

Lithuanian TV stations take an interview. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Radio is mostly used for music (especially while driving) by the youth while in other contexts a turned-on-yet-unwatched TV effectively serves as a radio.

TV stations are all national (Vilnius-based) and while important regional and local newspapers do exist Lithuania may be too small a country to have a strong regional media.

English, Russian and Polish media in Lithuania

Main internet portals own scaled-down English versions to cater for expatriate community and also there is The Baltic Times newspaper (joint with Latvia and Estonia). Major foreign media reports on key Lithuanian issues but lacking representatives and knowledge in the Baltics they usually base their articles on local media.

If you are interested only in the most important news and analysis, news section provides that.

Russian and Polish media are more widespread. Polish one is largely limited to the Polish minority in southeastern Lithuania (Znad Willi radio, Kurjer Willenskij daily). Russian media, on the other hand, is also enjoyed by some non-Russian people who grew up under the Soviet occupation and speaks Russian at near-native levels.

The aficionados claim Russian TV shows to be of higher budget and thus higher quality. Opponents have been quick to note anti-Lithuanian programming of some Russian TV stations. Both primarily apply to production created in Russia itself (which has a popularity far outweighing anything created by the local Russian minority).

History of Lithuanian media

The crisis of Lithuanian media goes further than the print/internet divide. Back in 1990-2004 libertarian Lithuania media used to be the Fourth Estate in the strictest sense. Every opinion poll indicated that media was the most trusted institution (surpassing the church, army, and all the government agencies). Journalists seemed to be chivalrous "fighters for truth" and some even sacrificed their lives for it (Vitas Lingys was murdered for his articles on the mafia, his name still printed on every back-cover of Respublika newspaper he worked for). In the corrupt atmosphere of the era, only a fear of publicity could have prompted judges, prosecutors, and politicians to refuse mafia bribes.

Later, however, media grew increasingly partisan while several business groups consolidated their control over large numbers of newspapers, TV and radio stations as well as internet portals. Advertisement packages are now commonly believed to include media silence on the advertiser's wrongdoings. Confidence in media plummeted after people noticed one-sided coverage of some events (but still more trust it than distrust it according to opinion polls). Among the most striking biases noted by "Transparency International", most of the Lithuanian media is pro-EU because EU directs major taxpayer monies for the publication of "information about EU".

Whatever the current situation would be it is still lightyears in front of the Soviet occupation era (1940-1990) when the media was all nationalized and heavily censored. Crimes and disasters used to remain unreported to promote the "nothing bad happens in the Soviet Union" thought (even the Chernobyl disaster was initially hidden from the public, precluding anti-radiation precautions). Word of mouth thus used to be the "media" most people would rely on, in addition to ephemeral illegal press.

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Living in Lithuania: utilities and more

It is useful for everybody who stays in Lithuania for a longer term (especially if renting an apartment or room) to familiarize himself with the utility system, utility bills, and other legal requirements.

Water and electricity

Lithuanian tap water is among the cleanest in Europe and is perfectly drinkable. This is because 100% of it is taken from abundant underground sources sheltered from human interference (rather than from surface lakes or rivers where it could be easily contaminated).

88% of all homes now have access to municipal water (75% to hot water) and 85% have sewerage. The remainder is mainly old wooden village homes that use wells for water and outdoor toilets (but the number of such homes nearly halved between 2001 and 2011).

Electricity in Lithuania is 230V (thus American or Japanese devices may be incompatible). Power plugs have two round pins. Electricity is now universal and there are nearly no service disruptions.

Lithuanian power plug and socket, compatible with continental Europe. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The European Union has ordered Lithuania to have an even more environmentally friendly electricity system, leading to more expensive wind power as well as a ban on incandescent lightbulbs.

Fridges, WCs, cooking stoves, and showers are nearly must-haves, while bathtubs, dishwashers, and washing machines are also common.

Heating, cooling and gas

Heating in Lithuania can be especially expensive, with the costs to heat a two-room apartment approaching 50% of the average salary in the coldest months. Both the bad insulation of Soviet-built homes and the punitive Russian gas prices are blamed for this, leading to major political drives for home renovation and energetic independence achieved through a natural gas terminal.

This is especially true for the 55% of all dwellings (mostly Soviet-built apartments) that have public central heating without any possibilities to either regulate temperature, choose another supplier, or disconnect altogether. The remainder of the buildings is lucky to have local heating systems, ~21% of them (mostly in villages) use wood, which is cheap yet labor-intensive.

The annual "public heating season" is declared by a municipal decree and it is usually longer in kindergartens and hospitals. Given the costs of heating and the inability to freely regulate home temperature, this season is nearly always controversial, with many preferring it to be as short as possible while others claiming this would be detrimental to health.

In cities, many homes have centralized gas pipes for kitchens. Others use electricity to prepare food.

Air conditioning has been virtually unknown in Lithuania as late as the early 1990s but now is increasingly believed to be a must in middle-to-upper-class public buildings and cars. Few personal homes have it, but the increasingly hot summers make many wish to consider installing ones.

TV, radio, phones, and the internet

Television broadcast in Lithuania is DVB-T MPEG4 (free and not taxed). Traditional PAL transmitters have been turned off. The DVB-T broadcast gives one access to ~10 free channels, nearly all of them Lithuanian.

Many Lithuanians own a cable TV (paid) which gives access to some 50 channels, adding more foreign channels to the ordinary Lithuanian ones. Television, in general, is more popular among middle-aged and older people (with the youth preferring the internet). They speak better Russian than English so Russian TV stations predominate over Western ones, although this has been controversial due to Russian imperialism.

Some Lithuanians own satellite TV antennas, which allow them to see many foreign channels free of charge (this was especially popular in the 1990s with the opening-up of Lithuania to the world).

Radio broadcast is nearly all FM. Most radio stations are Lithuanian but at least one is Russian and one is Polish (although the music played is usually English in many of them).

While a fixed home telephone has been a must until well into the 2000s, today it has been nearly outcompeted by cheap cell phones. Most new homes and even some offices lack telephones and rely on cell phones while older homes disconnect their telephones. While cell phone fees, like other bills, are often paid monthly, pre-paid SIM cards are also popular among young people and visitors.

Internet is now held to be compulsory by younger and middle-aged families and most homes have broadband access. Young families with the internet often abandon TV, watching the best shows on their computer screens.

Utility bills and payments

Lithuanian homeowners pay utility bills every month. Typically, every home has hot water, cold water, gas, and electricity meters installed. At the end of the month, the owner checks the meter, writes down how much he/she used, and pays for a such amount based on then-current rates (by bank transfer or at terminals). In case the authorities suspect incorrectly declared usage, they may come to check the meter. In case the utilities are left unpaid, they may be eventually turned off.

Additionally, owners receive bills for their phones and the internet (based on usage), as well as "common services" (including building maintenance, trash collection, stairwell cleaning) and cable TV (fixed rates). In winter, the heating bill is added, often equaling to the rest of the utility payments put together. The colder the winter, the more has to be paid.

If the apartment is rented out, then the lessee is usually expected to pay for all the utilities rather than the owner. In the case of short-term rentals, however, the owner may pay.

In villages, it is common for homeowners to produce and gather some utilities by themselves (especially heating and water). In an urban environment, the possibility to replace municipal/governmental (now usually privatized) services with self-catering are difficult. However, some Apartment block communities (which exist in most apartment buildings) vote to curb the "common services" at least by opting for apartment owners to perform some building maintenance themselves.

Parking and other rules for apartment block living

While the apartment block communities may set some rules on behavior in public spaces (such as the necessity to clean such spaces on a certain schedule), these are generally limited.

The municipal regulations are also more libertarian than in many Western countries. The main/only actions they ban are typically loud music at night and smoking in public staircases.

Parking is usually in the apartment block courtyards on a first-come-first-serve basis. It is free, but in many courtyards, it may be hard to find a place for a car at many times. In city downtowns, street parking is paid, but those who live in the respective streets may often buy a monthly permit (at a great discount) to park anytime. In other districts and suburbs, street parking is free. Public transport offers an adequate but slow alternative to cars.

It should be noted that very different people (of different affluence, ethnicities, jobs, and ages) live in each Lithuanian apartment building and it is difficult for them to find some common ground on caring for the common property. Therefore, public spaces are often neglected and people cherish their apartments instead. As such, "a bad neighbor" (or, often, "a very different neighbor") is often a major nuisance, while an apartment block where "all the neighbors are good" is highly sought after, although so rare that it is not even expected by property buyers.

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Internet in Lithuania

The Internet is the top way to receive information and arguably the favorite pastime in Lithuania for those under 55. While the internet was slow to start, Lithuania has overtaken the West ~2010 in terms of internet usage. Today, the internet is accessible in nearly every home and workplace, wifi hotspots cover many public spaces while 4G internet is the cheapest and fastest in Europe.

Popular websites in Lithuania

The most popular websites in Lithuania, just like in many Western countries, are Google, Youtube, and Facebook, in that order. All of them have Lithuanian translations and lots of local ones. Google has a virtual monopoly on the Lithuanian and English internet search, while Youtube is *the* video site and Facebook is *the* social network of Lithuanians.

These websites are followed in popularity by the local so-called "internet portals", which are the most popular locally produced Lithuanian websites. These portals provide a massive amount of information ranging from news to articles on various topics to videos. They also provide lively comment sections, traditionally the most popular online locations to discuss. The top Lithuanian internet portals are, [5th],, [21st], and [33rd]. Some portals (Delfi, Alfa) are the sole business of the respective companies, while others were established by media companies (TV3 moved in from TV business and Lrytas from newspapers).

There are also "specialized portals" which provide similar information on some particular topic. The largest among those is (business and economy). Others may be less popular but altogether their traffic forms a significant part of the Litnet, as Lithuanian internet is sometimes called. The most popular topics include sports (basketball, football, F1) and child-rearing. Many of the specialized portals have been started by hobbyists but later bought out by the main internet portals and effectively serve as subsites (e.g. moved to subdomains). During the late 2010s and early 2020s, there has been a trend of discussions moving from the portal comment sections to social media (Facebook).

As merely 3 million people speak Lithuanian worldwide, the number of available websites in the Lithuanian language is generally smaller than in larger languages. As such, users who seek more specialized knowledge sometimes revert to foreign websites. These are either Russian or English as those two foreign languages are the most popular. Russian is spoken by 70% and English is spoken by 30%. However, as Russian speakers are mostly older, the non-Lithuanian-language web traffic is more evenly divided among English and Russian websites.

As Lithuania also has a significant Russian-speaking minority (~8% of the population), the Russian websites that are popular in Russia are also somewhat popular in Lithuania (among the Russian-speakers and their friends). This includes the top Russian-language search ( and the top Russian-language social network (

Lithuanian-Russian-English keyboards are the most common keyboards sold in Lithuania. The letters of the English, Lithuanian, and Russian layouts are all marked, so it would be easy to use the same keyboard for typing all three languages. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Also popular in Lithuania are the local pirate websites, providing torrents, and, even more popular, the ability to watch illegal films online in a browser, like on Youtube. Unlike in the West, most pirate websites in Lithuania are paid, earning money by selling the stolen content (for a fraction of the price of the "original"). They even provide added value in the form of original Lithuanian translations of otherwise untranslated films. The ability or will of Lithuanian authorities to combat these websites has been limited so far. Despite them being both easily accessible and owned by Lithuanians, little initiative is made to close them down.

All this, as well as the language barrier, make international pirate websites rather unpopular in Lithuania. Likewise, the legal ways to get music or films online (e.g. Netflix) are much less common in Lithuania than in the western world.

Other global websites that enjoy less popularity in Lithuania than in the West include Twitter, LinkedIn, and

History of the internet in Lithuania

In Lithuania, the internet was slower to start than in the West. As Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union until 1990, PCs were effectively banned and not available in the 1980s. In the 1990s, freedom arrived but the Soviet-ravaged economy meant that few people could afford a PC. The same was true even for newly-started small businesses, while larger businesses were initially still Soviet-minded and saw little use for computers.

The situation gradually changed as the economy improved in the mid-1990s, yet until the early 2000s, the Lithuanian internet consisted entirely of hobbyist websites. The general population was unable to even make a distinction between a PC and a video games console, believing that PCs are only needed for games and adults have no use for them. At the time, the use of PCs was discouraged in schools and universities. Interestingly, internet services were free-of-charge in Lithuania throughout the 1990s (a remnant of Soviet rules for state-owned telephony) but even that attracted just a few users. Therefore some forms of internet popular in the West in the 1980s-1990s (such as Usenet) never really took hold in Lithuania.

In the 2000s, the situation changed. Inspired by the success of the internet in the West, some businessmen (foreign internet businesses and local non-internet businesses) established their own websites which eventually started to turn in profits as the internet became increasingly more popular. As telephony was privatized, the internet was no longer free, however. Yet Lithuania experienced an economic boom and that did not discourage people, while the price of PCs has fallen enough for them to become widely accessible. As such, the number of hobbyist websites boomed. Forums and IRC became the most popular ways to discuss things online as well as to meet up with new people. Internet cafes initially sprung up (in the early 2000s) but later closed down one after another ~2010 as by that time there were no Lithuanians remaining who did not own a PC (save for some older people who didn't use it).

In the 2010s, the internet established itself as the main way to get news and even a major pastime for everybody under 50 years old and even for many above that age. Internet portals have outcompeted newspapers in that age range and largely replaced TV for under-30s. As former hobby sites became lucrative, they were often bought out by larger internet business companies, forming internet conglomerates. However, in many areas, local companies have lost the competition to foreign ones (especially startups). Facebook has outcompeted local social networks, for instance, as well as many forums and IRC. In light of this, Lithuanians have also attempted to establish startups, but have failed to achieve true worldwide success so far. Internet was now a necessity, and cheap mobile telephony, as well as wifi, made it accessible everywhere save for a few deep forests.

Since late 2010s cell phones have replaced PCs as the main way Lithuanians access internet, leading to a massive popularity of various apps.

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