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Travel & living abroad

Europe

Lithuania

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Still current at: 07 January 2011
Updated: 10 December 2010


This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an addition to the Safety and Security - Local Travel section (winter travel). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in Lithuania.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country

Travel Summary

  • There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • Petty crime, notably pick pocketing in bars and restaurants and especially in outside areas, is common. Take extra care of your belongings in busy, and particularly in outside, locations. See Safety and Security -  Crime.

  • Road traffic accidents are common.  Extra care should be taken at all times when driving, particularly when driving at night.  Drivers must carry original vehicle registration documents (copies are not acceptable).  See Safety and Security - Local Travel -  Road Travel.

  • Seek medical advice about inoculations against rabies and tick-borne encephalitis if you intend to visit forested areas. See Health

  • Increasing numbers of British tourists visit Lithuania every year.  If you need to contact the emergency services in Lithuania call 112. See General - Consular Assistance Statistics .

  • You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  See General - Insurance.

Safety and security

Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our terrorism abroad page. 

Safety and Security - Crime
Petty crime, notably pickpocketing in bars and restaurants and especially in outside areas, is common. Take extra care of your belongings in busy, and particularly in outside, locations. There is also a risk of mugging and bag snatching, particularly on public transport.  Avoid poorly-lit streets, parks and secluded areas after dark.
 

Be wary of accepting food and drink from strangers in bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Some visitors have been drugged and subsequently robbed. There have also been reports of foreign tourists being charged extortionate prices for drinks or having fraudulent transactions debited against credit/debit cards. You can help avoid situations like this by:

  • Checking  the price of drinks before ordering, consulting a price list where possible;
  • Determining whether a 'cover' charge is made for entry;
  • Being careful when ordering drinks for new acquaintances, which may be exorbitantly-priced;
  • Being alert to the possibility of being overcharged or falling victim to credit card fraud after being lured into a bar or club. When paying by credit/debit card ensure the transaction is completed in your presence and be wary of attempts to make you re-enter your pin number;
  • Paying for one round at a time.


Seek recommendations for bars and clubs from trustworthy sources such as your hotel or other holidaymakers. Vilnius Police publish on a six-monthly basis a list of clubs where they have received the highest number of crimes reported.


Car theft, particularly of/from new or expensive cars, is rife.  Lock unattended vehicles and conceal all contents (and radios, if possible).  Major cities have guarded car parks, which you should use if possible, especially overnight.

 
We are aware of a number of recent thefts of bicycles in Vilnius. Make sure your bicycle is securely locked when leaving it unattended.

See our victims of crime abroad page. 


Safety and Security - Local Travel
Tickets for buses and trolley buses in Vilnius and Kaunas are best bought from a news kiosk (spauda). They cost more if bought from the driver. Tickets should be franked on the machine on board. If they are not - or you are travelling without a ticket at all - you may be fined by undercover inspectors. Taxis are widely available in the major cities and are reasonably priced. However, do make sure there is a visible meter and that it is being used. It is cheaper and safer to phone for a taxi from a recognised company rather than to hail one in the street. Ask your hotel reception to call one for you if necessary. Do not use taxis that are unmarked, as they are illegal and usually cost a lot more than registered taxis. Tourists walking along the Curonian Spit should be aware that after a short distance the Spit forms part of Kaliningrad, which is Russian Federation territory. 

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel
In 2009 there were 370 road deaths in Lithuania (source: DfT). This equates to 11.0 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 3.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2009.

If driving into Lithuania in winter, equip your car for severe conditions. Winter tyres are a legal requirement in Lithuania between 10 November and 1 April. Dipped Headlights are also compulsory all year round. The speed limits, unless otherwise indicated, are 50km/h in towns, 90km/h on country roads and 110km/h on highways. If you do not have a UK photocard driving licence you will need to also carry either an international driving licence or your passport. Do not drink and drive. The legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.04%. Those found over the limit face a fine and possible imprisonment. When arriving in Lithuania by road, border officials will ask for the following documents:

  • A passport with a validity of at least six months
  • Original vehicle registration documents (copies are not acceptable)
  • International vehicle insurance (Green Card)
You will also need to have appropriate car insurance valid for Lithuania.  See our driving abroad page. 

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Air Travel
The revised EU-wide security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 are also being implemented in Lithuania. For more details about this see airline security.

Safety and Security – Local Travel – Winter Travel
Be prepared for extremely cold and possibly hazardous weather if you intend to travel to Lithuania in the winter (October to March). There is likely to be snow on the ground and temperatures may drop to -25 degrees Celsius or below.

Safety and Security – Local Travel – Klaipeda, Nida & Palanga
Those wishing to travel to Klaipeda, Nida and Palanga should be aware that we now have an Honorary Consul, Mark Uribe, to assist should you have any difficulties. His number is: 8-699 33210 and the address of the Honorary Consulate is: Zveju 2/513, Klaipeda.

If you intend to walk along the Curonian Spit be aware that after a short distance the Spit forms part of Kaliningrad, which is territory of the Russian Federation.

Safety and Security - Political Situation
Lithuania country profile  

Local laws and customs

Do not become involved with drugs. Possession of even very small quantities of drugs can lead to imprisonment and/or heavy fines.

See our your trip page.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements - Visas
Holders of British Citizen passports do not require visas to enter Lithuania. You need a valid passport to enter Lithuania. Holders of other categories of British passports may require visas and should contact the Lithuanian Embassy in London.

Entry Requirements - Passport validity
Passports should have at least three months' validity remaining when you leave Lithuania.  


Entry Requirements - Staying for three months or longer
British Citizens intending to live and work in Lithuania for a period longer than three months in any calendar half-year from the first day of their entry into Lithuania should apply for an EC Residence Permit from the Migration Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.  

Entry Requirements - Travelling with children
For information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the Lithuanian Embassy in London.

Health

Obtain a European Health OCard (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Lithuanian nationals. It also does not cover you for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. See our EHIC page.

Tick-borne diseases, including tick-borne encephalitis, are common to Lithuania, especially in forested areas during the summer months. You are advised to consult a doctor about inoculations and precautionary measures well in advance of travelling.

In July 2010 there were reports of an outbreak of Trichinellosis in Panevezys, the source is believed to be the eating of undercooked wild boar. It is important to ensure that all food is cooked and prepared appropriately.

In the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 2,200 adults aged 15 or over in Lithuania were living with HIV; the prevalence rate was estimated at around 0.1% of the adult population. This compares to the prevalence rate in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page.

Seek medical advice before travelling to Lithuania and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention visit the websites of the NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

See our travel health page.

General

General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. Check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our travel insurance page.

If things do go wrong when you are overseas then see our When Things Go Wrong page.

General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.

General - Issuing replacement passports
The British Embassy cannot issue passports locally but it can issue temporary passports in an emergency. UK passport applications from customers living in Lithuania will be handled by the British Passport Processing Centre in Düsseldorf which is part of the British Consulate General, Düsseldorf, Germany. It is recommended that the application is sent by courier (this will be at your own expense). We aim to issue a replacement passport within 15 days. More information is available from the UK in Germany website.

General - Customs Regulations

If you travel within the European Union (EU) you can bring an unlimited amount of most goods. For example, you can bring in any alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy products - as long as they are for your own use and transported by you. If you are bringing in alcohol and tobacco goods and the Customs officer may have reason to suspect they may be for a commercial purpose, an officer may ask you questions and make checks. This refers to travelling into Lithuania and/or entering the UK. See the website of HMRC (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingeu.htm).

General - Money

Legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the money that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 euro or more (including cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders, etc.). This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU, nor to those travelling within the EU.
 
The official currency of Lithuania is Litas (Lt). Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines can be found in most banks and hotels. There are numerous currency exchange kiosks in the capital Vilnius and travellers' cheques can be cashed at some banks.
 
Ensure that any Sterling you take to Lithuania is in Bank of England notes. Banks and Bureaux de Change have refused to exchange Scottish or Irish notes, as they do not recognise them as Sterling.

General - Consular Assistance Statistics
Increasing numbers of British tourists visit Lithuania every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Three British nationals required detailed consular assistance in Lithuania in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 March 2010 for the following types of incident: one hospitalisation. During this period six British nationals needed replacements for lost or stolen passports.

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Contacts

Lithuania, British Embassy

Address:

British Embassy,
Antakalnio str.2
LT-10308 Vilnius

Telephone:

(370) 5 246 29 00

Fax:

(370) 5 246 29 01

Email: be-vilnius@britain.lt

Office hours:

GMT:
Summer (mid-June to end-August): 0530-1345
Monday-Thursday and 0530-1100 Friday;
Winter: 0630-1445 Monday-Thursday and 0630-1330 Friday.

Website: http://ukinlithuania.fco.gov.uk

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