Lithuania travel guide
Lithuania is a spellbinding land of castles, lakes and forests. Though relatively few knew of its charms until recently, Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, is one of Europe's most enchanting cities, owing especially to its Baroque old town. Then there is the Baltic shore, which may not have the sun-soaked appeal of other coasts, but is idyllic and largely unspoilt. The southernmost country in the Baltics, Lithuania is also home to vast plains parted by hills and sand dunes.
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. The Russian connection remains, however, with Russians being the second largest ethnic minority in the country. The largest of the three Baltic states, Lithuania gaining EU membership in 2004, since which time the country has been thrust on to the global stage, encouraging more visitors than ever.
Most of the attraction for Lithuania lies with its natural treasures. Much of the country is verdant, with several national parks that are perfect for hikers and explorers. All around the country there are countless sprawling forests ripe for wandering, as well as numerous lakes sprinkled across the landscape.
Perhaps the country's trump card is the Baltic coastline, where beguiling wetlands brim with wildlife, most notably the thousands of bird species. There's also the Curonian Spit, a stunning 100km strip of land that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea, which is covered in white sands.
65,300 sq km (25,212 sq miles).
2,850,030 (UN estimate 2016).
44.2 per sq km.
President Gitanas Nauseda since 2019.
Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė since 2020.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.
Before you travel
No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:
- advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
- information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers
If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Lithuania set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the UK.
There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Lithuania.
Passport validity requirements
To travel to Lithuania, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.
To enter Lithuania (and all Schengen countries) your passport must:
- have a ‘date of issue’ less than 10 years before the date you arrive. Passports are now valid for only 10 years, but for passports issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added if you renewed a passport early
- have an ‘expiry date’ at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave
Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements.
You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document, or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.
Checks at border control
Make sure you get your passport stamped
If you’re a visitor, your passport must be stamped when you enter or leave the Schengen area (which includes Lithuania). Border guards will use passport stamps to check you have not overstayed the 90-day visa-free limit for stays in the Schengen area. If your passport was not stamped, border guards will presume you have overstayed the visa-free limit.
If your passport was not stamped, show evidence of when and where you entered or left the Schengen area (for example, boarding passes or tickets) and ask the border guards to add the date and location in your passport.
Read about passport stamping if you live in Lithuania.
At border control, you may also need to:
- show proof of your accommodation, for example, a hotel booking confirmation or proof of address for a second home
- show proof of your travel insurance
- show a return or onward ticket
- prove that you have enough money for your stay – the amount varies depending on your accommodation
You can travel to countries in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel:
- as a tourist
- to visit family or friends
- to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events
- for short-term studies or training
If you are travelling to Lithuania and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.
Apply for a visa
To stay longer (for example, to work, study or for business) you must meet the Lithuanian government’s entry requirements. Check which type of visa or work permit you need with the Embassy of Lithuania in the UK.
If you stay in Lithuania with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
You can apply online at Lithuania’s Migration Department.
Arrivals from Belarus, Ukraine or Russia, including the Kaliningrad Oblast
If you have arrived in Lithuania from Belarus, Ukraine or Russia (including the Kaliningrad Oblast) and need help, call +370 5246 2900 and select the option for “calling about an emergency involving a British national.” You can also send an enquiry via the web contact form.
British nationals can travel to Lithuania from Belarus, Russia or Ukraine by car or bus. Trains between Kaliningrad and Moscow allow British nationals to get off in Lithuania.
For more information, please see our Russia Travel Advice.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Lithuania guide.
There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of Lithuania. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.
Taking food and drink into Lithuania
You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
Restrictions on Russian vehicles
There are restrictions on vehicles with Russian licence plates in Lithuania. See Lithuania’s Customs Department for more information.
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.
Terrorism in Lithuania
Terrorist attacks in Lithuania cannot be ruled out.
In an emergency or if you want to report a crime, call the police on 112.
Protecting your belongings
Petty crime is common. Beware of pickpockets in busy locations and on public transport. Avoid unlit streets and parks at night, and be alert if you’re walking alone. Do not leave coats and handbags unattended in bars, pubs and clubs.
Drink and food spiking
Do not leave drinks unattended and be wary of accepting food and drink from strangers in bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Car theft is a problem as well as theft from cars. Park in guarded car parks in cities, especially overnight, and do not leave your luggage in a car for any length of time.
Laws and cultural differences
Illegal drugs and prison sentences
Possession of even very small quantities of drugs can lead to imprisonment or heavy fines.
Read our advice for LGBT+ travellers.
You can drive in Lithuania with a UK driving licence. Make sure it’s up to date and has the correct name and address. If necessary renew or update it.
If you are planning to drive a hire car or a UK vehicle, see information on driving abroad and check the rules of the road in the RAC’s Lithuania guide. The guide lists driving regulations and other requirements that you need to be aware of.
It is safer to use a recognised taxi app, or phone for a registered taxi that uses a meter. Make sure the meter is switched on to avoid arguments about the fare.
Curonian Spit, Klaipeda
The Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is divided between Lithuania and Russia – the northern half is in Lithuania and the southern half is part of Kaliningrad, Russia. If you intend to walk along the Curonian Spit, be aware that after some distance you will reach the territory of the Russian Federation. Please follow FCDO’s latest Russia Travel Advice.
Before you travel check that:
- your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
- you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation
This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.
Emergency medical number
Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.
Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
For more information read guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe.
Vaccinations and health risks
At least 8 weeks before your trip check:
- the latest information on vaccinations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s Lithuania guide
- where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.
The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.
Healthcare facilities in Lithuania
FCDO has a list of English speaking doctors in Lithuania.
COVID-19 healthcare in Lithuania
A list of private clinics offering PCR and antigen tests is available on the Lithuanian Ministry of Health website. The tests booked through these clinics will be charged.
Health insurance cards
Apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC, it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.
The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Lithuania nationals. If you do not have your card with you or you’ve lost it, contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team.
It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. A GHIC or EHIC does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.
GHIC and EHIC cover state healthcare only, not private treatment. You will be responsible for the cost of any treatment provided by a private doctor or private clinic.
Travel and mental health
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.
Emergency services in Lithuania
Telephone: 112 (ambulance, fire, police).
Contact your travel provider and insurer
Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.
Refunds and changes to travel
For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.
Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:
- where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
- how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim
Support from FCDO
FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:
- finding English-speaking lawyers, funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Lithuania, dealing with a death in Lithuania
- being arrested in Lithuania
- getting help if you’re a victim of crime
- what to do if you’re in hospital
- if you’re affected by a crisis such as a terrorist attack
Help abroad in an emergency
If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Lithuania
You can also contact FCDO online.
FCDO in London
You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.
Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)
Risk information for British companies
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.