Lithuania

Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Friday, 27 June 2014.   This advice has been reviewed and reissued with editorial amendments. We continue to advice Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in Lithuania.

Lithuania overall

Summary

  • We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Lithuania.
  • Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
  • There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
  • You should avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent.
  • Australia has a Consulate in Lithuania, headed by an Honorary Consul, which provides limited consular services (not including the issue of passports). The Australian Embassy in Poland provides full consular assistance to Australians in Lithuania.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
click on image to expand

Entry and exit

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Lithuania for the most up to date information. Non-EU citizens visiting Lithuania are required to have proof of holding valid travel insurance. Travellers without travel insurance may be required to purchase it at the border. For more information see the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Lithuania is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with 25 other European countries, which allows Australians to enter Lithuania without a visa in some circumstances. See our travel bulletin on the Schengen Convention for more information.

The export of religious materials and antiques is subject to strict controls. Local authorities can confirm prior to purchase if export of such items is permitted.

People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) carrying 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Under the legislation, the term "cash" includes cheques, travellers' cheques and money orders. Travellers failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country.

Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.

Safety and security

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General advice to Australian travellers.

There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.

Civil unrest/Political tension

You should avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent.

Crime

We advise you to exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and bag snatching does occur. Most instances of pick-pocketing occur on public transport and in bars and restaurants. Travellers should be aware of their personal belongings at all times and not leave their belongings unattended or unsecured. The risk of crime increases after dark so you should avoid walking alone at night.

Incidents of car theft and theft from vehicles are common, especially for new and or expensive cars. When driving you should keep your car locked, windows up and valuables out of sight. You should use guarded car parks where possible.

Do not accept food or drink from strangers. There have been reports of travellers being drugged and robbed.

Victims of crime should file a police report at the nearest police station. The Lithuanian police can provide translators to assist foreigners who are victims of crime.

The emergency assistance phone number within Lithuania (police, fire and ambulance) is 112.

Money and valuables

Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work in Lithuania.

Credit card fraud occurs in Lithuania, particularly in places frequented by tourists. When making purchases keep your credit card in view and under no circumstances sign blank credit card slips.

Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.

As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.

Local travel

Hazards on country roads include horsedrawn carts, bicycles and cars without tail lights or reflectors. These driving risks increase at night. Driving in winter can be dangerous due to snow and icy conditions as roads are not always cleared. For further advice, see our bulletin on road travel page.

Winter tyres are required on vehicles from 10 November until 1 April. Drivers are required to use headlights (low beam) at all times when driving. It is a legal requirement that drivers carry car insurance valid for Lithuania.

Visitors to the Curonian Spit (UNESCO World Heritage Site - an elongated sand dune that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea) should be aware the Spit is divided between Lithuania and the Russian Federation at the Nida border crossing. Visitors to the southern portion of the Spit, which is in Russia, require a visa.

Airline safety

For information please refer to our air travel page.

Laws

When you are in Lithuania, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.

Penalties for all drug offences, even possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and/or imprisonment.

Penalties for driving over the blood alcohol limit (0.04) are severe and may include heavy fines, possible imprisonment and cancellation of your driver’s licence.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

Information for dual nationals

Lithuania recognises dual nationality in limited circumstances. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Lithuanian dual nationals who are arrested or detained. If in doubt, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Lithuania for information on your dual nationality status. We recommend you travel on your Australian passport at all times.

Our Dual nationals brochure provides further information for dual nationals.

Health

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. For non-European Union citizens, health insurance that guarantees coverage of any health-related expense during your stay is also recommended. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

Medical professionals in Lithuania are highly trained and some may speak English. Public medical facilities in Lithuania have improved but do not yet meet Western standards. Some private medical facilities are well equipped. Dental care is comparable to Australia in most major cities and medical supplies are generally available in major cities. Visitors should bring plentiful supply of prescriptions for known health problems when travelling in regional areas.

Doctors and hospitals require up-front payment before commencing treatment. In the event of a serious accident or illness, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities may be necessary. The cost of medical evacuation could be considerable.

Travel in forested areas brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases. Ticks are common from spring to autumn.

Where to get help

Australia has a Consulate in Lithuania headed by an Honorary Consul. The Consulate provides limited consular assistance (not including the issue of passports). Australians can obtain full consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.

Australian Embassy, Warsaw

Nautilus Building, 3rd floor
ul. Nowogrodzka 11
00-513 Warsaw POLAND
Telephone (48) 22 521 3444
Email: Ambasada.australia@dfat.gov.au
Website: www.australia.pl

Contact details for the Consulate are:

Australian Consulate

Mr Tony Meschino
Honorary Consul
Vilniaus St 23
LT-01402, Vilnius, Lithuania
Telephone: +370 5 212 3369
Facsimile: +370 5 212 3369
E-mail: australia@consulate.lt

If you are travelling to Lithuania, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.

Additional information

For parents

For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with children page.



While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia's diplomatic and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Maps are presented for information only. The department accepts no responsibility for errors or omission of any geographic feature. Nomenclature and territorial boundaries may not necessarily reflect Australian Government policy.