Transportation in Lithuania (get in&get around) | True Lithuania
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Getting Around Lithuania: Buses, Railroads And More

Roads and driving conditions

Lithuanian roads are among the best in Eastern Europe. Lithuania has a network of four-lane highways connecting Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys and Palanga. Smaller towns are accessible by well-kept asphalt roads. Some villages can be reached only by gravel roads. All the roads are free to use for regular cars. Car rental is readily available in the airports.

Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipėda four-lane highway (A1) with a typical rest stop consisting of a single Lithuanian restaurant and a small motel. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Should you drive yourself and prefer to visit out-of-the-beaten-path locations, a good map is essential. By now, GPS (either "Google Maps" or "Open Street Map") covers even minor roads. Should you want a printed atlas, we suggest 1:200 000 "Lietuvos autokelių atlasas" published by Jana seta which also includes maps of some 50 cities and towns.

Car speed limits are 50 km/h (cities/settlements), 70 km/h (dirt/gravel roads) and 90 km/h (most tarred roads). On the four-lane highways, the speed limits are seasonal: 110 km/h winter and 120 km/h summer for some of them and 110 km/h winter, 130 km/h summer for the best ones. It is illegal to drive with an alcohol level over 0,4‰ (0,04%).

In winter (especially January-February), the icing makes it more difficult to stop and make turns. Those unused to such conditions should be careful. While some minor roads may temporarily become unusable after heavy snowstorms, Lithuania has a massive fleet of road-cleaning vehicles that quickly push the snow away. Moreover, the cars are required to use winter-certified tires (many Lithuanians switch summer and winter tires twice a year, while others opt for "universal" ones). In summer some roads are partly closed for repairs (due to works-friendly weather), slowing the traffic flow somewhat.

Fuel prices are on par with Western Europe (and more-or-less double the US prices due to a higher excise tax). Fuel stations are available nearly everywhere and are open 24/7, however, the recharging stations for electric cars are rare. Parking is generally much cheaper than in Western Europe and the USA. There are few dedicated paid parking facilities - instead, it is common and possible to either park in the streets or at supermarket parking lots. Most apartments and offices have their own parking areas although these are sometimes insufficient now.

Lithuanian road network scheme with distances in kilometers marked. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Intercity buses and railroads

The Lithuanian intercity public transportation is cheap but rather slow. The system is dominated by buses. Each Lithuanian city has a single bus station where most buses leave from. Some towns that are beside major roads have two bus stations: one in the downtown for buses terminating there and another on the road for the passing-by express buses.

Buses between the main cities are very frequent, with Vilnius-Kaunas buses leaving each terminal station every 15 minutes. Bus routes connecting the main cities to regional towns are usually at least several a day. If you go from one small town to another, it might be wise to connect through a larger city. You can buy bus tickets in advance at the bus station. However, it is also possible to acquire them from the bus driver; it is rare for them to be sold out. The bus stations are organized into quays based on the general directions, that way e.g. all buses going towards Vilnius will stop at "Vilniaus kryptis" quay but not every one of them will actually go all the way to Vilnius.

599 m long and 42,5 high railroad bridge towering over Dubysa valley in Lyduvėnai, Samogitia is the tallest in Lithuania. Commissioned in the rail era (1916), it is no longer served by local passenger trains. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Lithuanian railroads are not on par with those in Western Europe and many other developed countries. Lithuania has no high-speed railways, with the fastest services going at speeds somewhat above 100 km/h. What's more important, before planning to go somewhere by rail, you should first check the map of Lithuanian railroads if both your origin and destination have a rail connection and whether there is a relatively straight route. Moreover, not every rail line has passenger traffic as the railroads lost the competition to buses since the 1990s. Even where the rail services exist, they are less frequent than bus counterparts.

Vilnius-Kaunas, Vilnius-Klaipėda, Šiauliai-Klaipėda, Šiauliai-Panevėžys, and Vilnius-Šiauliai are among the pairs of cities that can be traveled by railway. Additionally, three of the Lithuanian national parks have direct train access to Vilnius: Trakai NP, Aukštaitija NP and Dzūkija NP. The Vilnius-Kaunas route is operated by modern double-decker trains that are faster than buses. On all the other routes trains are lagging behind the buses somewhat. However, the passenger railways are subsidized by the state and the tickets are almost always cheaper. Moreover, the trains (unlike most buses) could carry bicycles (good for those national park routes). The comfort level in buses and trains is about the same. There are no significantly different rail classes, but Vilnius-Klaipėda train seats are better than those on the shorter routes.

Lithuanian passenger railway services scheme. The times necessary to get between the station pairs are marked. The times are approximate but fast and slow trains in Lithuania do not deviate that much from each other, so you shouldn't expect the real travel time to be more than 20% longer or shorter than specified here. The train routes are normally quite long (100-400 km) so you would not need to change trains if going in one direction. A few less-than-daily and suburban routes are not marked on the map. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Hitchhiking and long-distance bicycle travel

Hitchhiking is possible and practiced by Lithuania's youth, although waiting times can be unpredictable.

Bicycle paths are prevalent in the top cities, seaside, resorts, and national parks but may be extremely sporadic elsewhere. Rather-empty countryside roads and little altitude differences mean that even without special paths bike travel may be enjoyable.

Domestic flights and shipping

Although Lithuania has 3 passenger airports, there are no domestic flights. Good road connections and small country size ensure that it would almost always be quicker to go by car than by plane (if you take into account the times of going to and from the airport as well as those for passing the security).

The local shipping lines connect Curonian Spit to Klaipėda and Nemunas Delta. There is also a passenger service between Kaunas and Nida that serves as a kind of mini-river-cruise.

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Get To and From Lithuania: Rail, Air, Bus, Car

Lithuania has three international airports. Vilnius International Airport is the largest one, frequented both by the regular and low-cost carriers. Kaunas International Airport is a Ryanair hub with few other services. Palanga International Airport offers several routes, however, flying from there is generally more expensive due to lower competition.

All the Lithuanian airports are connected to the city centers by public transport (from there you can catch inter-city buses). In Kaunas and Vilnius, you can catch inter-city buses to major other cities directly at the airport, but the options are limited. Unfortunately, nearly all the public transport comes to halt during the night (after some 00:00-01:00) and so it won’t help you in the case of early departures or late arrivals. Each of the Lithuanian international airports has a car rental facility within its arrival hall.

Kaunas airport's only terminal as visible from departing airplane. All Lithuanian airports are small and hassle-free. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Lithuanian airlines had been having bad luck as five of its carriers (Lithuanian Airlines, Air Lithuania, Amber Air, Star 1, and Air Lituanica) went bankrupt and were liquidated. There are no more national carriers in Lithuania.

Generally, Western Europe and Southern Europe are both well-served by air routes from Lithuania (the latter especially so in summer). A few Eastern European cities are also served but going anywhere beyond that (e.g. the Balkans, America, or Asia) you'll need a transfer via such major European hub airports as Istanbul (Turkish Airlines, convenient for Middle East, Asia, and Africa), Frankfurt (Lufthansa, convenient for America), Copenhagen (SAS, convenient for Europe and North America), Warsaw (LOT, convenient for Europe), or Riga (Air Baltic, convenient for Europe).

A map of available air routes and frequencies from Lithuania and the most popular ways to transfer further on.

Lithuania boasts an extensive network of open general aviation airfields, with 25 of them available across the country (flights from the Schengen area countries are permitted to land in any of them without further hassle).

Entering Lithuania by car is trivial when arriving from the other countries that signed the Schengen treaty – Latvia and Poland. There are no customs or passport checks. However, the waiting times on the borders with Russia and Belarus may get long (several hours) and the easiness to cross them often depends on the political situation at the time.

You can also reach Lithuania (Klaipėda port) by DFDS car ferries from Germany and Sweden. The duration of the journey is at least 15 hours. Cruise ships also dock in Klaipėda during the Baltic cruise season (mainly summer, with some extension into spring and autumn).

Cruise ship 'Wind Surf' and a trans baltic ferry in Klaipėda. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The possibilities of entering Lithuania on railroads from the West are rather limited due to Lithuania using a broad gauge instead of a common gauge. As such, the inconvenient service to/from Poland is the only train service going westwards. There is also a train service to Riga (Latvia also uses broad gauge).

There still are international buses leaving for Western cities. However, with the advent of low-cost airlines, the number of them has severely dwindled. Buses remain a popular option for shorter distances, however, such as Vilnius-Riga or Vilnius-Warsaw.

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Get Around Lithuanian Cities: Public Transport And More

The larger Lithuanian cities have an extensive public transport system. Buses and trolleybuses are available in Vilnius and Kaunas. In the smaller cities (Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys), only buses are available. There is no subway or local railroad anywhere which means that Lithuanian urban public transportation is relatively slow. In most cities, the routes and schedules of local buses are available online. The timetables are also available at every bus stop and in some cities, the buses soon to arrive are shown on special screens located at the major stops. The tickets for buses and trolleybuses may be bought both in the kiosks and in the bus or trolleybus itself. However, if you buy them from the driver they are somewhat more expensive. There are monthly tickets in every city and there are day, three days, and week offers in many as well. They are worth it only if you plan to use public transport extensively.

A bus in Vilnius with a small national flag for July 6th national holiday. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Many public transport routes are available on the city transport websites.

In the smaller towns, public transport is less convenient because even if there are a few bus routes, the schedules are usually limited to a very low frequency aimed at locals. Given the small size of such localities, it is often wiser to walk the distance.

Using your own (or rented) car is generally easy. Rush hours are short (7:00 to 8:30 and 17:00 to 18:30) and limited to the streets leading to/from the major city downtowns. Parking is abundant and free of charge everywhere except for the compact city downtowns (where it is paid but easy to find in the streets). There are few dedicated paid parking facilities, although the parking lots of the main malls often serve as such.

Some thoroughfares of Vilnius look like this in rush hours but this is easy to avoid by altering your schedule a bit. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Taxis are not recommended, as Lithuanian taxi drivers (arguably just like taxi drivers in many other places) are known to rip off foreign tourists (and Lithuanians from other cities) by charging amounts up to 10 times the real price. In many cases even negotiating will not help you as the drivers simply refuse to drive non-locals for an official price. You should avoid them if possible. Bolt and Uber now offer a good alternative in Vilnius (you may order a taxi in the Uber or Bolt app and see the approximate price in advance). Estonian-designed "Bolt" is more popular than "Uber".

Bicycles are gaining popularity, but comprehensive rental services and bike routes are limited to the main cities and resorts.

Addresses in Lithuania consist of a street name and building number. Every building (rather than an entrance) has its own number. They are numbered from lowest to highest. However, one streetside receives all the odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9...) while the opposite side has even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 10...) and these are not dependent on each other. Therefore, for example, building number 120 and number 121 may actually be very far away from each other, but numbers 120 and 122 will always be nearby. In the downtown, where all the buildings are typically built in line, this is easy to understand. However, in the Soviet districts, it might be difficult, as many buildings are further away from the streets they officially belong to. When a new building is constructed, it gets an address of the nearest building, appended by a distinguishing letter (e.g. a new building between 120 and 122 would get a 120A address). Buildings typically have a number plaques attached to them. The street name plaques are also attached to the buildings - however, usually just the buildings located on the street corners.

The southern side of Vokiečių st., Vilnius, has narrower medieval buildings while the northern side was rebuilt after World War 2 with wider buildings. That's why while the numbering starts at 1 and 2 it reaches only 15 on the northern side yet gets to 28 on the southern side. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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Going to and from Vilnius

Vilnius Airport is the largest airport in Lithuania, offering both low-cost and ordinary airlines. The majority of direct flights are to Western Europe. A few routes lead to the key ex-Soviet cities. The remaining destinations are mostly Southern European resorts (seasonal flights).

Vilnius Airport is built within the city limits, merely 4 kilometers away from the Vilnius Old Town. In fact, most Vilnius inhabitants live further from the city center than the Vilnius International Airport is located. As such, the airport is easily reachable by cheap public buses as well as a train. Unless there are traffic jams or you need to transfer at the train station, it is both cheaper and more convenient to use the buses.

The airport bus no. 88 goes to downtown and operates during the night as well. The other airport routes operate 5 AM to 10:30 PM. Buses no. 1 and 2 go to the stations of intercity buses and trains. The "fast bus" no. 3G passes the downtown to the Soviet districts of Vilnius, stopping only at some stops en-route.

Arrivals building at Vilnius airport

Vilnius train station and the intercity bus station are located next to each other in Naujamiestis borough. Buses travel from Vilnius to most of the cities and towns of Lithuania at least a couple times a day, with buses to the main cities leaving over 10 times a day and every 15 minutes to Kaunas.

Trains are a quicker option on a route to Kaunas. On most other routes, however, they lag behind buses, are rare and their only advantage might be a slightly lower price.

Many public bus routes of Vilnius start and/or end at the station square, therefore it is easy to reach any district from this place.

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Getting around Vilnius

Vilnius has an extensive network of public buses. They reach even the most remote areas of the city as well as low-rise suburbs. The timetables to some areas may be scarce, but they are never rarer than once in two hours and usually at least one bus an hour. On the most popular routes, there is one bus every 10 or 15 minutes.

Trolleybuses generally travel on the busiest routes and their timetables are more frequent. During the morning and evening rush hours, there may be a trolleybus every couple of minutes on certain routes.

Even if you don‘t know the schedules, it is fair to expect a trolleybus to come to a stop in the next 10 minutes at the latest. This is not so with buses as many bus routes are thinly served. Therefore if you have no interest in checking schedules in advance, choose trolleybuses.

A Lithuanian-assembled Amber Vilnis trolleybus in Vilnius. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

In 2013, "fast buses" were introduced, their routes marked with the letter "G". Actually, they are the same buses as those in the other routes. The difference is that they are as frequent as trolleybuses and somewhat faster than regular public transport as they stop only at half of all stops en route. Moreover, their routes are long, making them convenient for tourists.

Note that the same numbers are reused for the bus, trolleybus, and fast bus routes (i.e. bus no. 1, trolleybus no. 1, and fast bus no. 1G are not related at all).

The best stop to catch a bus is "Stotis" near the intercity bus and train terminal, as there are routes to nearly everywhere from there. "Žaliasis tiltas" stop also has many trunk routes.

A scheme of the fast bus routes in Vilnius. Bus stop names are first and the local sight names (if available) are in the brackets. Only the stops with sights, possible transfers, or the final stops are marked. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

There is no subway or light rail in Vilnius (although there are perennial talks on the construction of rapid transit), making the public transport (even the "fast buses") rather slow compared to the other capitals.

The same one-time ticket (30 min or 1 hour with transfers possible) applies for all public transport. You can buy them at kiosks or from the driver. If you buy it from the driver it costs approximately 25% more (this money goes to the driver as compensation for the additional job).

In the case of the monthly tickets, there are both ones that apply to both types of transportation and ones that apply either to buses or trolleybuses alone. There are tickets valid for several days, useful if you will use public transport extensively.

The final regular public buses and trolleybuses depart at around 23:00, although in some stops it can be as late as 23:40. Only the airport-to-downtown bus (no. 88) operates at night.

A girl at a bus stop in Vilnius. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The timetables of Vilnius public buses, trolleybuses, and fast buses are available here. A powerful journey planning tool is also included in this multilingual website.

Car parking is free in most of Vilnius but has to be paid for in the Old Town, New Town, Žvėrynas, and southern Šnipiškės (except for the residential yards, some of which are not blocked for non-residents). The prices are lower than in most foreign and neighboring capitals.

During the morning rush hours (~7:00-8:30) avoid driving towards the downtown and during the evening rush hours (~17:00-18:30) avoid driving from the downtown as main thoroughfares get clogged.

Traveling by a taxi is not recommended as taxi drivers are known to cheat people, especially (but not only) foreigners. They inflate prices as much as 10 times. Uber is available, while Bolt is an Estonian-created ridesharing system that is even more popular in Lithuania. There are also self-drive car-sharing apps like "City Bee", although due to additional hassles to join and not that much lower price a short-term visitor is probably better with "Uber", "Bolt", or car rental.

Vilnius downtown has an automated bicycle rent system where short rent is free (if you join the system). Look for orange bicycle racks. Additionally, since the late 2010s, electric scooters became popular and they have their sharing service as well. The price is, however, not that small compared to the distance traveled.

The orange rental bicycles in Vilnius Old Town. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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Get To And From Kaunas

Being the major city closest to the center of Lithuania, Kaunas is easily accessible by car and bus. Major four-lane highways directly connect it to Vilnius and Klaipėda. Via Baltica road (mostly two-lane) go southwards to Poland and northwards to Latvia via Panevėžys.

Direct rail connections to the west of Lithuania have never been built, however, therefore the rail is only convenient to go from Kaunas to Vilnius and certain towns in Sudovia region (Marijampolė, Kybartai).

Both the Kaunas train station and Kaunas bus station are located in the New Town next to each other.

Double decker Vilnius-bound train at Kaunas station. These are the top passenger service in the otherwise rather outdated Lithuanian railroads, and the only one which is faster than buses. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Kaunas International Airport is the 4th largest in the Baltic States after the three capital airports. It became Eastern Europe's first Ryanair hub in the year 2010. Ryanair dominates its passenger flights offering high-frequency flights to the United Kingdom as well as scarcer routes to places like Germany or certain Southern European resorts. Unlike its Vilnius counterpart, the Kaunas airport is outside the city limits although it is still frequented both by city buses and more expensive private vans. Direct intercity buses link the Kaunas airport to Vilnius and Klaipėda but it is cheaper although time-intensive to transfer at Kaunas city.

Kaunas Airport is located next to Karmėlava suburb north of the city. The suburb is best known for its extra-large cepelinai national meal eagerly gouged by emigrants returning for holidays. These are served at multiple restaurants; authentic cepelinai are smaller, however.

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Getting around Kaunas

Kaunas public transport consists of buses and trolleybuses. Trolleybuses and buses are municipal-owned. They use the same ticket. Trolleybuses serve the trunk routes and are more frequent (typically one every 10-20 minutes). However, the trolleybus network is limited to the districts north of Nemunas river. Buses serve the less popular routes, including the suburban ones (some buses go merely once in 2 hours, so better check the timetables before going to a stop).

A bus stop in Kaunas with a screen telling what buses would arrive. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The public transport system works from 5:30-6:00 to some 22:00-23:00. The airport bus is synchronized with flight times and operates longer. There is a modern information system at the main stops where screens show the upcoming transport and waiting times. The destination of every bus and trolleybus is written on the vehicles themselves.

A unique form of public transport in Kaunas are its interwar funiculars, constructed when buses were still unable to ascend the Kaunas hills. Now more of a tourist experience, they connect the downtown to vantage point locations in Aleksotas and Žaliakalnis.

The timetables and routes of Kaunas public transport are available here.

There are no public underground parking lots, but parking at the sides of the streets is both abundant and cheap by Western standards. Furthermore, the downtown is relatively compact (3,5x1,5 km) and parking in the surrounding low-rise districts (Žaliakalnis, Aleksotas, southern Vilijampolė) is both free and easier.

Aleksotas and Žaliakalnis hill districts are connected to Downtown by authentic interwar funiculars which became a symbol of Kaunas. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Leaving your car in the multi-storey parking of "Akropolis" shopping mall in the New Town district (Karaliaus Mindaugo Avenue) is another alternative if you don't mind exploring the downtown on foot (Old Town is 2 km away from there).

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Getting To and From Klaipėda

Klaipėda can be reached by car from Vilnius in 3 hours and 4 hours by express bus. A four-lane highway connects the city to Kaunas and Vilnius as well as Palanga. Another option of traveling to/from Kaunas is by the scenic Panemunė road via Šilutė.

Interesting locations around Klaipėda include Neringa and Palanga resorts. Both may be accessed by frequent buses: Palanga buses depart from the bus station while Neringa ones stop at the Smiltynė Old Ferry terminal (you have to take the ferry by yourself before boarding the bus).

Passenger trains leave Klaipėda station for Vilnius and Radviliškis. Both of these routes have intermediate stops in various towns, among them Kretinga, Telšiai, Plungė, and Šiauliai. The route to Vilnius also stops at Kėdaniai. The route to Šiauliai is more or less direct whereas the route to Vilnius is 100 km longer than the highway route and thus it takes 4-5 hours to go there by train.

Klaipėda has no passenger airport but Palanga airport some 30 kilometers to the north effectively serves Klaipėda as well. It is even branded as "Palanga/Klaipeda" in the timetables of some airlines. Air services from Palanga are limited, however, to just a few destinations. The rest of the European cities might be reached with transfers. Still, transfer flights originating in Palanga may be ~40% more expensive than similar flights from Vilnius, Kaunas, or Riga (some 2, 3, and 4 hours away by car, respectively), where the competition is tighter.

Being Lithuania's only seaport, Klaipėda may also be reached by ferries from Germany and Sweden. The ferries are overnight and transport cars as well as passengers. Cruise ships visit Klaipėda in summer (some also in spring and autumn) as a part of a longer Baltic cruise. However, Klaipėda is a less popular cruise port than those of Estonia and Latvia, likely because Klaipėda is not the capital.

The ferries dock in Southern Klaipėda while the cruise ships mostly dock in Old Town although some dock at Southern Klaipėda.

Container vessel in the port of Klaipėda. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Getting around Klaipėda: cars, public transport

Klaipėda Old Town is very small and many of its streets are effectively pedestrianized. Therefore, it would not be logical to use any form of transport there. If you'd go to the New Town, however, the distances become somewhat larger and beyond that (Seaside Klaipėda and Soviet districts) a car or public transport is essential.

Klaipėda is a car-friendly city where traffic jams are rare. The parking is rather cheap and paid in the Old Town (higher rate), New Town (lower rate) and near the beaches in Seaside Klaipėda. Elsewhere, the parking is free.

The only comprehensible public transportation in Klaipėda are buses. Generally, they go to all the districts and many suburbs.

The only area of Klaipėda where the buses don't go is Smiltynė beyond the Curonian Lagoon. It can be reached only by a ferry from either the Old Town "Senoji perkėla" (passenger-only) or the Soviet Districts "Naujoji perkėla" (cars and passengers). In Smiltynė, it is advisable to either walk or use a bike; the distances may be long but the forest paths are generally pleasurable.

A passenger ferry ride from Smiltynė to the Klaipėda Old Town. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Get To and From Šiauliai

Like every Lithuanian city, Šiauliai is well accessible by bus. However, unlike many cities, Šiauliai also enjoys good connections by rail. Trains go both to Klaipėda (via Telšiai, Plungė, Kretinga) and Vilnius (via Jonava, Kėdainiai, Kaišiadorys) as well as to Panevėžys.

Road connections to Šiauliai are not perfect as they are limited to 2-lane roads if you want to go anywhere further than several neighboring towns. However, the two-lane roads are of good quality, and Šiauliai's location makes it easy to reach not only Panevėžys, Kaunas, or Klaipėda, but also Latvia's capital city of Riga.

Šiauliai Airport has an international status but is actually operating as a NATO airbase with its civilian flights limited to cargo. The passenger airport most people of Šiauliai use is the Riga International. Being only 100 km away it is closer to Šiauliai than any of the major Lithuanian airports. If you arrive at Riga then it is possible to visit the Šiauliai (and the Hill of Crosses) city while en-route to either Vilnius or the Lithuanian seaside (with a detour).

If you are not too fond of independent travel, the Hill of Crosses is included in many tourism agency itineraries of Lithuania.

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Lithuanian Visas and Entry Requirements

After Lithuania joined the European Union (2004), it also ascended to the Schengen Treaty. This treaty establishes a single Schengen visa to enter all the member states. Within the Schengen area, there are no customs nor border control meaning that you could easily combine a trip to Lithuania with some neighboring countries (Latvia, Poland) without having to worry about time lost on the border or rental car policies. You can go beyond these neighboring countries without any checks either (e.g. to Germany, Czech Republic, or Estonia).

A person may apply for a Schengen visa at any Lithuanian embassy or consulate. Furthermore, if there is no Lithuanian embassy or Lithuanian consulate in your country, Lithuania is represented by an embassy or consulate of some other EU member state; a visa could be applied for there.

While Lithuania would be willing to extend a visa-free regime to more countries, the Schengen regime means that the Lithuanian visa regime has to be similar to that of Western Europe (which is plagued by illegal immigration and therefore is reluctant to grant visa-free regime to most countries except for the richest or far-away ones). Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, UAE, Brunei, Hong Kong, Israel, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, and most of Latin America are the only areas outside Europe whose citizens could travel visa-free to Lithuania. Moreover, nearly all Europeans can do this with the exception of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Turkish citizens.

Citizens of the green countries do not need a visa to Lithuania.
Citizens of the red countries need a Lithuanian visa.
Citizens of light green countries do not need a visa if they have biometric passports.
2016. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Schengen visas are short-term only; a longer visa is called "national" (and must be applied at Lithuanian embassies/consulates) but still allows traveling inside all Schengen countries. If you are just transferring at the airport you need no visa unless you come from a migration-sensitive country (some Asian and African countries).