The majority of natives from most European countries can enter Lithuania visa-free for up to 90 days. US, Australian, Canadian and New Zealanders also don’t need a visa for a period of less than 90 days. There are still some nationalities, such as Mexicans and Brazilians for instance, which are required to have visas. To ensure you have the necessary entry requirements contact your nearest Lithuanian embassy before travelling.
The official currency used is the litas (plural litu) and it is divided into 100 cent. Notes come in denominations of Lt1, Lt2, Lt5, Lt10, Lt20, Lt50, Lt100 and Lt200. Coins used are 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c.
Lithuanian is the official language, although there are many different dialects.
The climate is variable between maritime and continental. The best months to visit are between May and September.
The health care system in Lithuania is good and if something happens to you which requires medical attention or ailments, you won’t be long looking for a chemist/pharmacy or hospital.
It is advised that you take out travel insurance before going.
Lithuania is two hours ahead of GMT and seven ahead of EST.
Shop opening times are generally between 8am-5pm Monday-Saturday. Food shops/grocery stores open from 7am-9pm seven days a week (8am-6pm Sun).
Banks open from 8am-4pm Monday-Friday.
The Lithuanian Tourist Board has offices all over the country and are good places to pick up brochures and get information on places to visit. Most offices have English-speaking staff.
The rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on most goods and services in Lithuania is 18%.
Banks and bureau du changes are the best places to change money, with the latter having longer opening hours. If your bankcard works overseas you should be able to obtain cash from ATMs.
Nowadays, nearly all phone boxes accept pre-paid call cards only, which can be purchased at kiosks or post offices. When dialling overseas from within Lithuania first dial 8 to get an outside line, then dial 10 followed by the country code, the area code (dropping the 0) followed by the local number.
If calling Lithuania from another country, the country code is +370.
Sending letters/post cards to Western Europe takes approximately 4 working days and 10 to get to America.
Post offices’ opening hours are 7am-7pm from Monday-Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturdays.
Some restaurants add a service charge of 7%, but if you are particularly happy with the service you can up that to 10%. Tipping other services such as taxi drivers isn’t normally expected, but obviously appreciated.
In Lithuania the public holidays are New Years Day (1st January), Restoration of the State Day (16th February), Independence Statehood Day (11th March), Easter (March/April), Mothers Day (first Sunday in May), Statehood Day (6th July), Assumption Day (15th August), All Saints Day (1st November), Christmas (25th and 26th December).
It is good to note Lithuania’s public days before travelling as most businesses, banks etc close on those days.