Lithuania General Info.
Capital Vilnius
Min. Budget $30 or 25Euro/day

Country Code 370 $1=2.82Lt 1Euro=3.4528, 9 July, 2004

Lithuania, independent from Soviet Union in 1991, is one of Baltic 3 counties and has the border with Poland, Belarus, Latvia and Russia(Kaliningrad). In May 2004, it joined to European Union and is expected to have more travelers in future.
Language
Lithuanian is spoken by 85% of people with the remaining 15% being Polish and Russian. English is spoken by the younger generation. Among old generation, Russian is understood.

Weather
June: most pleasant and weather is suitable most for traveling.
July: the hottest month reaching 20 degrees.
February: the coldest when it reaches -15 degrees.
Travel in summer!

Currency/Exchange
The currency is Litad (Lt) which has been pegged to Euro at $1=3.4528Lt.
Denominations- 1, 2, 5 coins. 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 notes.
Exchange - Many banks and convenient exchange booths that dot the major towns. Rate varies but the difference is minimum.
Cash - can be changed without commission.
T/C - Can be exchanged at 2% commission.
ATM - Many all over Lithuania
Changing back - Banks buy back there currency with 1-3% commission.

Basic Travel Costs
Big Mac - 6.50Lt, Set 9.9Lt, Dinner - 15Lt, Beer - 3Lt, Dorm bed - 32Lt, Breakfast - 8Lt, Mars Bar- 1.92Lt, Water 500ml- 1.30Lt, coffee- 2.5Lt, Icecream 1.2Lt

Opening hours
M-F 9.00-17.00, Sa 9.00-15.00. Su Generally speaking most of museums and stores close on Sunday but restaurants remain open.

Immigration
Most of nationals do not need visa and can stay upto 90 days. South Africans, Tiwanese and those who need a visa, single entry 20 Euro, but no visa required to those if they have Latvian visa(single entry 15Euro)?

Border Crossing

International Transport
Roads are the best in the Baltic with large four lane highways making bus travel fast and comfortable. Timetables are easy to read and Eurolines staff speak fluent English.
Air: Vilnius Airport: Rodunios Kelias 2 T5-306666
Kanaus Airport: Karmekava Kaunoraj T37-3993076
Palanga Airport: Liepojos II, T36-52020
Buses: the best option when entering to/from Poland because absurdly,
Trains: go via Belarus/Poland which means huge red tape and delays.
Druskininkai (Lithuania) > Hranda (Belarus), expect a 2 hr wait
Marijampole (Lithuania) > Suwalki (Poland), expect a 1 hr wait.
Sea: Many ferries are running to Klaipeda from major ports in Baltic. Kiel(Germany 20 hrs, 760Lt), Sassnitz(Germany 20hrs, 570Lt), Karlshamn(Sweden, 15hrs, 210Lt)

National Transport
Mini buses, buses, trains are available.
Minibuses: holding 10 people are incredibly fast and efficient, arriving 25% quicker than an average bus. The best scenery is when taking trains, which are quite slow but comfortable.
Rent-A-Car: Ultimate Service(A&A Litinterp): Bernardinu 7/2, T52123850, M-F8:30-17:30, Sa9-15:00, 150Lt+/day

Local Transport
trolley/bus: The large towns have this system and it is very good. A single journey 0.80Lt (0.40Lt for students), and tickets can be bought at Kiosks (say biliteria achu).
Minibuses: also operate and cover the exact same routes as public buses but are faster and cost 2Lt.
Taxis: rip off and should only be taken if it's a emergency or make sure that they use the meters.

Tourist Information
tourist information center: Every major town has a good tourist information center, which speak fluent English. They have photos of all the surrounding accommodation, and choose one based on location and your budget.
Publications:
`In your pocket Vilnius & Kaunas`
are written in English by Latvians and is highly recommended.
The Baltic Times
5Lt a weekly newspaper, and
The City Paper a magazine published every two months are great English publications

Telephones
Phone cards. LIETUVOS TELEKOMAS and Centrinis PASTAS, 50 units 9Lt. Not compatible, but the cost are the same.
For international calls: the way to call are displayed at the telephone booths.
Western Europe/Australia/US 83.4Lt /min, Japan 467.4 Lt /min
AT&T - tel 8 then 196, BT direct - tel 8 then 192
Postcard Letter Air parcel 1kg Sea 2kg
US 1.00Lt 1.30Lt 52.11Lt 43.68Lt
Europe 1.00Lt 1.30Lt 60.11Lt 61.95Lt( )
Japan 1.00Lt 1.30Lt 61.96Lt 53.67Lt
Australia 1.00Lt 1.30Lt 69.08Lt 45.69Lt

Accommodation
Lithuania`s accommodations are very erratic. Vilnius has excellent hostels, Trakai has excellent B&B`s, Kaunas has excellent cheap hotels, but none of the towns have all three. However it is obvious that Lithuania is getting ready for the tourist boom that is sweeping across Eastern Europe towards it.

Food
Tips: not to be expected but some pay 5-10%
Balandelial:
incredibly popular with vendors. It is cabbage rolls stuffed with some kind of meat. It might be pork.
Virtiniai
: pancakes or Chinese dumplings stuffed with meat with special sauce.
Cepelinai: big potato dumplings stuffed with meat.
Coffee is quite good in the trendy cafes on Piliies iela (3Ls). Lithuania have great light tangy
beers: such as Utenos (2.95Ls) and Kalnapilis (2.35Ls).

Souvenirs
Amber like other Baltic States is popular. The art sold on Pilies Street in Vilnius is world class and a bargain, ship it home.

Health
The Baltic & American medical clinics operate in Lithuania, which offer excellent western care, with English speaking staff. Tap water is not suitable to drink.

Entertainment
Vilnius doesn`t have the vibrant club scene that the other Baltic capitals have. They instead seem to have well-lit cellar dance bars where the locals come to dance, kiss or fight. ACDC seems to be the band of choice so don`t dance when the DJ starts playing this, you might get hit. Yes Lithuania is one big retro night.

Safety
Lithuanian men are quite violent when drunk, so care must be taken if you are talking to a Lithuanian girl. Do not walk alone in the middle of the night. There is a very high police presence in the major towns, with portable police booths.

Internet
Trendy internet cafes are popping up in the major towns. But still not many.

Miscellaneous
Voltage: 220 volts, 50hz. Standard European plug.

World Heritage Listed
Vilnius old town: 12 century old town, putting re-devolpement under close scrutiny
Curonian Spit: SW part of Lithania, National park of a sand beach.
Kernave Archaeological site: In eastern Lithuania, 35km from Villnius. Feudal town of 100 thousand years' settlement from the stone age to the middle age.

National Holidays
January 1 New Years Day
February 16 Independent Declaration Day
March 11 Independent Day
April Good Friday and Catholic Easter
May 1 Labor Day
July 6 Day of Statehood
August 15 Virgin Maria's
November 1 All Saints Day
December 25-26 Christmas

Festival 2004  Month/Day
4/21-25 Kanaus International Jazz Festival:
5/ Vilnius International Cinema Festival:
5/26-31 Vilnius International Theatre Festival:
5/27-30 Vilnius International Folklore Festival:
5/28-6/5 Vilnius Vilnius Carnival
6/ Vilnius Festival 2004
6/19 Kanaus Lithuanian Song Festival:
6/23-24 Vilnius St. John's Festival:
6/ Trakai International Boar Racing Regatta:
7/4-6 Kanaus International Festival "Operetta in Kanaus Castel"
7/6 Lithuanian King Mindaugus' Day(The festival for commemorating Mindaugas' Coronation Day)
7/ Klaipeda SEA Festival: last week of the month (3days)
8/15 Trakai Theatrical History Festival "Let's set fire on the old altar"
9/10-12 Kanaus International Unconventional Folklore Festival:
9/11-19 Vilnius Capital Days
9/9-12 Vilnius International Instrumental Folklore Music Festival:
9/15-25 Vilnius International Theatre Festival:
9/16-19 Vilnius International Jazz Festival:
9/ Trakai International Kayak and Canoe Rowing Regatta:

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