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Lithuania

If you’re travelling to Lithuania, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available by contacting the Health Service Executive, and that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to take normal precautions.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Lithuania by dialling 112. The service is multilingual.

Our tips for safe travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and security

Terrorism

Although the threat from terrorism in Lithuania is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

Crime targeting tourists remains relatively low in Lithuania but you should take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • There’s a risk of mugging, pickpocketing and bag snatching, particularly on public transport. Avoid poorly-lit streets, parks, and secluded areas after dark. There has been a recent increase in pickpocketing in bars and restaurants.
  • Car theft, particularly of/from new or expensive cars, is rife. Lock unattended vehicles and conceal all contents (and radios, if possible). Major cities have guarded car parks, so you should use them if at all possible, especially overnight.
  • Be wary of accepting food and drink from strangers in bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Some visitors have been drugged and subsequently robbed.
  • There have also been reports of foreign tourists being charged extortionate prices for drinks or having fraudulent transactions debited against credit/debit cards in bars and nightclubs. We recommend you check the price of drinks before ordering and whether there is a ‘cover’ charge made for entry. You should be vigilant when using your credit/debit card.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Lithuania, report it to the local police immediately.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Lithuania, you should be extremely careful as roads and driving may be of a poor standard. Road traffic accidents are common and extra care must be taken at all times when driving, particularly when driving at night.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road
  • Winter tyres are a legal requirement in Lithuania between 10 November and 1 April
  • Dipped headlights are compulsory all year round

If you’re moving to Lithuania on a long-term basis, please note that right-hand drive vehicles cannot be registered in Lithuania.

Car documentation

Border officials and police require original car documents and if you’re driving into the country, you need car insurance valid for Lithuania.

When travelling by car, border officials will ask you for the following documents:

  • A passport with a validity of at least 6 months
  • Original car registration documents (copies are not acceptable)
  • International vehicle insurance (Green Card)

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 

Alcohol

Public drunkenness (i.e. in the streets, on public transport, etc.) will be dealt with very severely by the Lithuanian authorities, who have the right to detain people in detoxification centres if they believe them to be very drunk.

Health

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

European Health Insurance Card

As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.

Apply for your EHIC and find out more information.

The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.

Influenza

From late January 2013 there has been an influenza epidemic across many regions of Lithuania. Travellers are advised to take sensible precautions to reduce the risk of infection, including avoiding contact with flu sufferers if possible, regular washing of hands, avoiding spreading the virus by touching the mouth, eyes and nose, and frequently disposing of tissues used for coughing and sneezing.

Tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease are common in Lithuania, especially in forested areas during the summer months. You should seek medical advice regarding inoculations against rabies and tick-borne encephalitis if you intend to visit forested areas.

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Lithuania. However, entry requirements may change from time to time and you should check with the nearest Lithuanian Embassy before you travel. Lithuania is a member of the Schengen Area.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

If you intend to live in Lithuania for longer than three months, the Lithuanian authorities will require that any child travelling and living with you will need to have his or her own passport. You may experience difficulties upon your arrival or departure in the case of children who are listed on the passport of one of their parents.

Storms

Warm, humid weather gives rise to frequent storms throughout the year, some of which cause damage to buildings, trees, etc. You should be careful during stormy weather, and avoid unnecessary travel.

Flooding

Floods, including urban flash floods, are common in Lithuania, following heavy rain and the spring thaw. Property is frequently damaged but loss of life is rare.

Forest fires

With over 30% of Lithuania covered in forestry, forest fires frequently break out in periods of dry weather. We advise you to avoid areas that may have fire warnings in place.