Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime is common. Take extra care of your belongings in busy locations. Pickpockets operate in bars and restaurants. There is a risk of mugging and bag snatching, particularly on public transport. Avoid poorly-lit streets, parks and secluded areas after dark.

Be wary of accepting food and drink from strangers in bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Some visitors have been drugged and robbed.

Foreign tourists have been charged extortionate prices for drinks and had fraudulent transactions debited against credit/debit cards

Seek recommendations for bars and clubs from trustworthy sources. Vilnius Police publish a list of clubs where they have received the highest number of crimes reported.

Car theft is rife. Lock unattended vehicles and hide contents, including radios if possible. Use guarded car parks in cities, especially overnight.
 
There have been a number of recent thefts of bicycles in Vilnius.

Local travel

Bus and trolley bus tickets are cheaper if bought from a news kiosk (spauda). Remember to frank your ticket on the machine on board or you may be fined by undercover inspectors.  

Taxis are reasonably priced. Make sure the meter is used. It is cheaper and safer to phone for a taxi from a recognised company than to hail one in the street. Ask your hotel reception to call one. Do not use unregistered taxis

Road travel 

You can drive using a UK photo card driving licence. You must have suitable insurance and carry the original vehicle registration documents (copies are not acceptable).

Take care when driving, particularly at night. Equip your car for severe conditions in winter. Winter tyres are a legal requirement in Lithuania between 10 November and 1 April. Dipped headlights are compulsory all year round. Speed limits, unless otherwise indicated, are 50km/h in towns, 90km/h on country roads and 110km/h on highways.

Do not drink and drive. The legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.04%. Those found over the limit face a fine and possible imprisonment.

In 2012 there were 301 road deaths in Lithuania [(source DfT)[(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/245387/rrcgb-2012-complete.pdf). This equates to 10 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2012.

When arriving in Lithuania with a car, border officials will ask for:

  • a passport with a validity of at least six months

  • Original vehicle registration documents (copies are not acceptable)

  • International vehicle insurance (Green Card)

See the AA and RAC guides on driving in Lithuania.

Winter travel

Be prepared for extremely cold and possibly hazardous weather if you intend to travel to Lithuania in the winter (October to March). There is likely to be snow on the ground and temperatures may drop to -25 degrees Celsius or below.

Local travel - Klaipeda, Nida and Palanga

If you intend to walk along the Curonian Spit be aware that after a short distance the Spit forms part of Kaliningrad, which is a territory of the Russian Federation.

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