4 August, 2022

Benefits of living in a compact country

Lithuania is not only a relatively small country – it’s also compact. Technically, this means that all of its boundaries are located at a similar distance from the center. More specifically, however, it conveys that everything people need for a fulfilling life is always within arm’s reach and optimised for convenience. Rest assured, in Lithuania, you won’t have to worry about long commutes or sitting in traffic for hours! With that, let’s take a closer look at what makes living in a compact country so attractive.

Vilnius old town © L. Ciūnys & Lithuania Travel

All in one place

Imagine that you live in a sprawling metropolis. Chances are, much of what you need just to get by everyday is spread out across a massive territory. Dropping off your kids at school or kindergarten may take at least 45 minutes, depending on the traffic. Going to work and back takes an hour each way. Finally, you run some errands in the afternoon, wolf down a quick dinner, and it’s already time for bed.

That’s not how a weekday looks like in Lithuania. Given the compactness of its towns and cities, you can get most anywhere in 30-40 minutes, even in rush hour. Cafés and restaurants, grocery stores, boutiques, music venues, city parks, film theatres – everything is right around the corner, waiting to be integrated seamlessly into your daily routine.

Fast and cheap travel

Short distances within and between cities means that you’ll be spared the tedium of driving for hours each day, and save a bunch of money on fuel.

In fact, you won’t have to drive at all, if you don’t want to! Lithuania has a modern, well-developed public transit system with a fleet of comfortable, eco-friendly vehicles. A monthly pass costs less than €30 and gives you access to unlimited travel all days of the week.

Kaunas © A. Aleksandravicius

If sitting on a bus is not your cup of tea, however, you can always swap it for a bicycle or electric scooter. Lithuania boasts an ever-growing network of cycle paths that snake around the cities, along riverbanks, and beyond. Thanks to a largely flat landscape and gorgeous scenery, riding in Lithuania is an absolute joy.

But what if you’d have a bicycle or scooter of your own? No problem! Just pick a bike-sharing system you prefer and grab one from a docking station nearby.

Work-life balance

The compactness of Lithuanian cities (and Lithuania more generally) is great for those seeking a better work-life balance. You can drop your kids off at school, go to work, hit the gym, run a few errands, and hang out with some friends by the lake – all before it’s time for dinner! Lithuania is also one of the greenest countries in Europe with numerous parks, gardens, and wooded areas inside the city where you can recharge in the afternoon or have your lunch during work hours.

The Parnidis Dune © A. Aleksandravičius & Lithuania Travel

Short distances also make it easy to spend time with family living in the countryside or another city, and to maintain relationships with your friends across different neighbourhoods.

Another benefit of compactness is that you don’t need to wait for holidays or go on vacation to get out of the city. For instance, you can board an early morning train in Vilnius headed for Klaipėda, walk amidst the dunes, swim in the sea, and come back home before it gets dark.