Republic. Gained independence from Russia/Germany 1918-1940 and from the Soviet Union in 1990.
Head of state:
President Dalia Grybauskaite since 2009.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius since 2012.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are in use.
Lithuania is a land of castles, lakes and forests. Its landscape consists of vast plains parted by hills and sand dunes along the Baltic shore. Its capital, Vilnius, is one of Europe's most enchanting cities, owing especially to its Baroque old town.
Lithuanian independence came soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. By 1995, the transition to a full market economy had been completed. The long-running border dispute with Poland was settled with the signing of a friendship and co-operation treaty in January 1992 and negotiations with Russia led to the withdrawal of the remaining Russian troops in Lithuania in August 1993.
It is the largest of the three Baltic states. Since gaining EU membership in 2004, the country has been placed on the global stage, encouraging more visitors than ever.
Most visits to Lithuania are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
There has been an increase in petty crime, including pickpocketing in bars and restaurants.
Holders of British Citizen passports do not require visas to enter Lithuania. You need a passport or a National Identity Card to enter Lithuania.
Road traffic accidents are common. Extra care must be taken at all times when driving, particularly when driving at night.
Travellers to forested areas should seek medical advice about inoculations against rabies and tick-borne encephalitis.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: