Lithuania : Travel Information before you go!
London-Vilnius: 2 hrs 55 mins.
Vilnius international airport is 4 miles from the town centre. A 10 minute drive by taxi for about LTL 20 (£5.50 and a 10% tip would be appreciated). The no. 2 bus line serves the town centre in 15 minutes, and every 20 minutes. The airport tax when leaving Lituania is USD 7 (£5).
In Vilnius, security systems were reinforced to improve the safety of foreigners. However, due to rampant petty crimes during the tourist seasons, you are advised to avoid walking around alone at night, notably in the undeveloped areas of the town centre , and eating in certain restaurants or dancing in certain clubs.
The official language is Lithuanian, the most ancient modern language in Europe. Russian and Polish are also spoken.
Required travel documents for
European citizens need to show a valid identity card or passport.
The main religion is Roman Catholicism (80%), followed by Russian Orthodox, Evangelical churches, Judaism and Islam.
Although the country joined the European Union on 1st May 2004, the Euro is not expected to be introduced here until 2013. Until then, the national currency is the Litas (LTL), whose exchange rate is fixed against the Euro. 1 LTL = £0.26 Sterling; £1 Sterling = 3.83 LTL. Major international credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in hotels, restaurants and larger stores and can also be used to withdraw cash from ATM machines (which can be found in airports, cities and seaside resorts). Travellers cheques (drawn up in Pounds) can be exchanged at banks and foreign exchange offices. Bank opening hours: from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Although there are airports in Kaunas, Palanga and Siauliai, there are few interior flights. For long distances, opt for coaches rather than trains, as they are generally overloaded and slow. You can also hitch-hike, which is a widespread practice in the country which is not very dangerous. You can rent chauffeur-driven or non chauffeur-driven cars in some of the major cities and the national driving license is sufficient. Note that driving is on the left here. In the case of any accidents, call the British embassy and immediately alert the police.
The urban transportation system in the country is efficient. Buses and trolley buses circulate from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and tickets are bought in newspaper kiosks (roughly LTL 1, 20p) or on the buses (roughly LTL 1, 20p). Bus tickets are not accepted in trolley buses and vice versa. Minibuses are faster and relatively cheap (LTL , 60p depending on the town). For taxis not equipped with a meter, negotiate the journey in advance, especially if the distance is long.
No vaccine is required. However, as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you make sure that your vaccination booklet is up to date. For longer stays in the forest, in particular in the summer and autumn, you should be vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis. Bring sunscreen with you (the weather is nice in the summer), a hat, sunglasses, and, most importantly a lotion against mosquitoes if you want to go hiking or eat al fresco without any worries.
Voltage is 220 V. Electrical plugs are of European style, an adapter is unnecessary.
Lithuania welcomed 1.8 million tourists in 2005.
Taxes and tips
A gratuity will be included in your bills, but feel free to leave a little extra as a sign of your appreciation (generally around 10% of the total).
The VAT rate in Lithuania is 18%.
To call Lithuania from the UK, dial: 00 + 370 (country code) + town code Vilnius: 2; Kaunas: 7; Klaipeda: 6) + number you are calling.
To call the UK from Lithuania, dial: 8 (dialling tone) + 10 + 44 + the number you are calling.