Did you know?
- Lithuanians celebrate two independence days – the 16th of February and March 11th!
- Lithuania was the last country in Europe to be converted to Christianity.
- After a meal on Christmas Eve, everyone leaves the table and the remaining food is left to stand overnight for the spirits of dead relatives.
- Basketball is the most popular sport in Lithuania.
- By the end of the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe.
- Lithuanians do not believe in the Easter Bunny, instead they believe that Granny Velyku Bobute delivers the eggs. The bunnies just help her decorate the eggs and load her cart.
- The longest Lithuanian word is ‘nebeprisikiškiakopūsteliaujantiesiems’ which has 37 letters. It’s rough translation is ‘a group of people that used to go to the forest to eat some rabbit grass, but are no longer doing that’ !
- Forests cover approximately one third of Lithuania’s 65,000 square kilometres.
- The Curonian Spit is a 98 kilometre long shifting sand dune that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea.
Visas and Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Lithuania do not need a visa at this time.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
Australian Embassy in Lithuania:
23 Vilniaus St
LT 2001 Vilnius
Ph. +370 5 212 3369
Fax. +370 5 212 3369
The official currency of Lithuania is the Euro. Notes come in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5.
The recommended currency to take to Lithuania is the Euro. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Euro’s with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Vilnius is approximately €2.50 - €3.
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately €10.
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately €25.
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately €4.50 - €5.
Lithuanian cuisine includes soups (beef, sauerkraut and sorrel), stews, sausages, smoked meat and rye bread. Main meals consist of meat (pork, chicken and duck) or fish (eel, pike and herring) served with potatoes and vegetables such as beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, radishes and turnips. Lithuania has a variety of potato dishes including pancakes and stuffed potato dumplings called cepelinai. Dairy products, especially cottage cheese and curd cheese, are used in Lithuanian recipes. Eggs are used to make a variety of omelettes. Cakes, pastries, fruit dumplings and ice cream are popular desserts as are cold sweet soups, such as cherry soup, made with berries and fruit.
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
With its semi-continental climate, Lithuania has cold to mild temperatures all year round. Temperatures during the summer months (June through to August) can reach as high as the low to mid 20s, however, the days are long and pleasant. The winters are cold and damp that last from November to mid-March, and heavy snowfall is common. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
In Vilnius, taxis are inexpensive and usually privately owned and all of them should have a meter box. At night, it is safest to grab a taxi, but be aware there may be a night surcharge.
And, of course, walking is a must in Europe’s finest cities. Vilnius is a particularly wonderful city to walk around and most attractions are within walking distance of the old town centre.
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Lithuania…
Amber, linen goods and local crafts are good buys in Lithuania. National artists sell their works in specialised art galleries in major towns.
Carry moist wipes for cleaning your hands after using public transportation and being out and about. They can be invaluable on sticky summer days.
Carry some toilet paper or tissues in case you’re faced with using a public restroom.
Smoking is acceptable almost everywhere.
If entering a church or mosque both sexes should cover shoulders and legs. In a mosque, women will most likely be asked to cover their hair with a scarf (usually provided).
Celebrations & Public Holidays
What it lacks in size, Lithuania makes up for in fun, energetic festivals! Lithuanian’s enjoy their music and host some of the best music festivals on continental Europe. The largest of these is the Galapagai Rock Music Festival and the Lithuania Music Festival, held in the capital, Vilnius during the summer months. Lithuania also celebrates with a Film Festival, medieval festival and other religious festivals.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- New Year’s Day
- Restoration of State Day (February 16th)
- Restoration of Independence Day (March 11th)
- Easter Sunday and Easter Monday
- Labour Day (May 1st)
- St Johns Day (Midsummer Day) (June 24th)
- Anniversary of the Coronation of King Mindaugus (July 6th)
- Assumption Day (August 15th)
- All Saints Day (November 1st)
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Founded in the 10th century, the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, exudes a warm Northern European charm. One of the most haunting sights to see in Vilnius is the Hill of Three Crosses. The crosses, which can be seen for many kilometres around, were erected in the 1600s to commemorate three Franciscan martyrs (so the story goes) but were torn down by the Soviets. The crosses were triumphantly re-erected in 1989. The view from the hill gives a lovely panorama of the streets of Vilnius. To the west of town is Vingio Park, a large grassy area where mass meetings took place to protest the Soviet occupation. During the Dairu Svente (Festival of Songs), a choir of up to 20,000 voices performs at the open-air theatre in the park.