Accommodation
For accommodation during the conference, please check our accommodationn webpage for details.

Allergies
Since the summer school takes place in early spring, pollen allergies might be an issue during the event. For up-to-date information check this website.

Banks
Banks are usually open Monday to Friday 08:30-16:30. There are plenty of cash machines around in Vilnius. There is a DNB branch with an ATM close to the hotel at Totoriu gatve 1 (on the corner to Gedimino pospektas). It opens Mon - Thu 08:00 - 17:00 and Friday 08.00 - 16:30.

Climate
The climate of the Lithuania can be described as typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly severe winters.

During end of April the daily average minimum temperature is 5 degrees (Celsius), whereas the average daily maximum is 16 degrees centigrade. Average rainfall is 40 mm in this month, normally 14 rainy days are recorded in April (hopefully none under the conference). There is a small probability of snow (5 percent) during the conference. Some consolation: In case of snowfall during the conference, the Chair of the COST Action TD1308 will pay for the drinks at the conference dinner.

Clothing & Equipment
Clothing should be adapted to the Lithuanian weather (see "Climate" above). Rain showers can take place, so it is wise to bring rain gear. Since many roads in the old city as well as in Trakai are cobbled, good shoes are an advantage. If you are moving in a wheelchair, please inform the conference organisers.

Surely, no dress code exists at the conference.

Criminality
Generally, the level of criminality is not too high in Lithuania (horror stories from tourists are taken with a bit of a pinch of salt), but one should, nevertheless, be prudent: Pickpockets do operate in Lithuania, especially at crowded places. Cheating tourists is also not too common, although rip-offs by taxi drivers have been frequently reported: read the info on the "Venue and Access" page if you want to get to or from the airport by taxi.

DO NOT leave valuables in your car, car burglaries are a problem, especially near tourist places. Areas where dubious "gentlemen's clubs" are prevalent should also be avoided. Furthermore, the area around the railway station in Vilnius is not the best one to walk around a lot at night. Also, sites where a lot of drunk people (often Scandinavian tourists) gather are better shunned.

At Artis Centrum Hotel, there are safe boxes in the rooms for your belongings.

Customs
Lithuania is part of the EU. Infos about customs can be found here.

For importing prescription medicines a formal doctor's note may be requested by the customs officials. Also importing food from non EU-countries is discouraged and could lead to hassle.

Driving in Lithuania
Driving in Lithuania can be challenging. In rural areas, many unpaved roads still exist. Seat belts are mandatory and the use of mobile phones during driving is prohibited. Always take an insurance for your rented car. Drink-driving is an absolute "must not". If you are caught with alcohol in your blood driving a car you can immediately lose your license. A heavy fine or a prison sentence will also be imposed. Always use dipped lights under the day when driving.

Petrol stations usually open from 08:00 to 20:00, but can be open round the clock in Vilnius and near main motorways.

Finding a parking space can be tough in Vilnius. You are better off parking on the outskirts where you are more likely to find a space. To park within the city costs around EUR 1,-, to park just outside will cost you less. The machines for tickets do not give change, so make sure you have exact change ready when trying to park your car.

Electricity
Lithuania uses 220 Volts AC, 50 Hz frequency (like continental Europe). Also plugs are continental safety plugs (like those used in France and Germany). Never attempt to connect any electrical device not explicitly specified by the manufacturers for 220 V AC to Lithuanian sockets!

Emergency
The general emergency phone number in Lithuania is 112. The European emergency number 112 is not the only emergency number in Lithuania. Alongside 112, the following emergency numbers are available: 01 for the fire brigade, 02 for the police and 03 for the ambulance. 112 calls are answered on average within 6 seconds.The 112 operator should be able detect the location of the caller within about 2 seconds

Food
Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to its cool and moist northern climate: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialties. It has much in common with other Eastern European and Jewish cuisines. Thus there are similar Lithuanian and Polish versions of dumplings (pierogi or koldunai), doughnuts (paczki or spurgos), and crepes (blini or blynai). German traditions also influenced Lithuanian cuisine, introducing pork and potato dishes, such as potato pudding (kugelis) and potato sausages (vedarai), as well as the baroque tree cake known as šakotis. The most exotic of all the influences is Eastern (Karaite) cuisine, and the dishes kibinai and ceburekai are popular in Lithuania. The popular "Tarte Napoleon" was introduced during Napoleon's passage through Lithuania in the 19th century.

Cepelinai, potato dumplings stuffed with meat, curd cheese or mushrooms, is the most famous national dish. Other national foods include dark rye bread, cold beet soup (šaltibaršciai), and kugelis (a baked potato pudding), smoked sausage and vedarai (cooked potatoes and sausage stuffed into pig intestines).

Locally brewed beer (alus), vodka (degtine), and kvass (gira) are popular drinks in Lithuania. Lithuania is also a place where you may taste the unique snacks with beer such as: garlic bread, peas with ribs, smoked cheese, smoked pig ears and plums with various fillings.

Every region in Lithuania has preserved its original traditional dishes.

Health issues
For European visitors who fall ill or have an accident, free or reduced-cost treatment is available in most cases on production of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC gives access to state-provided medical treatment only. Note that the EHIC replaces the Form E111, which is no longer valid. Healthcare might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from your own health service. This means you may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care.

US visitors and those of other countries: Please check with your health insurance company in your home country for information about coverage. Healthcare can get expensive if you are not insured!

Drinking tap water is generally safe in Lithuania. However, you might encounter bacteria your immune system is not used to, which can leads to milder stomach ailments. Very sensitive people might therefore prefer drinking bottled water.

If you plan to visit the countryside, you are recommended to be vaccinated against tetanus and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), since the whole country is a risk area.

Please note: Some medication which is sold over the counter in other countries might require a prescription or even be illegal. The former includes contraceptives! If you are required to take some drugs with you, bring a written confirmation of your doctor and take the red line at the customs (to avoid problems).

Immigration & Visa requirements
Lithuania is a member of the Schengen agreement which exempts travellers from regular personal border controls between 13 European Union (EU) countries and two European Economic Area (EEA) countries (Norway and Iceland). People living in Great Britain and Ireland are subject to personal border controls upon entry to Lithuania. Border controls can, however be imposed on travellers from all states (especially under the current situation).

A valid passport is necessary for visitors to Lithuania, except for citizens of the following Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. But also for citizens of those states it is highly recommended to take a passport with them.

Visitors from many countries are exempted from tourist visa requirements. A list of countries whose citizens do not need a visa is found here. If you are citizen of such a state, you should contact the Lithuanian embassy responsible for your country before application to avoid delays. For practical reasons, visas to Lithuania are, in some countries, issued by diplomatic missions from to other countries, depending on the country where the applicant is located. General infos about immigration to Lithuania can be found here. Unfortunately, conference organisers can only issue invitations to oral and poster presenters approved by the scientific committee of the meeting. No exceptions to this rule will be made.

Internet access
The hotel offers fast Wifi free of charge to the conference guests. Access can be slow, though, especially if 100 people want to get into Facebook during the coffee break.

Language
Lithuanian belongs to the Baltic Languages and is related to Latvian. Some researchers believe it contains many features of Proto-Indo-European now lost in other Indo-European languages. Lithuanian could be the European language closest to the primeval Indoeuropean one, a source of prode for some Lithuanians. In 1864 the use of Lithuanian in education and publishing and the Latin alphabet was banned by Russian authorities. However, books in Lithuanian were smuggled into Lithuania from Germany until the ban was lifted in 1904. The Lithuanian alphabet has 32 letters and pronounciation is difficult. Further infos about the language with some listenijng examples can be found here.

Laundry facilities
Artis centrum Hotel offers a Laundry service.

Legal issues
Lithuanian law applies for and throughout the conference.

Meals
Buffet breakfast is prepared for guests staying at the conference venue at the hotel's in-house restaurant La Traviata, Level 2 from 7 am to 10 am on weekdays and from 8 am to 11 am at weekends. Lunches are served for conference participants in La Traviata also. Apart from the conference dinner on Wednesday at Belmontas restaurant, there are no common dinners at the conference.

A public event will be held on Sunday 24th at the Vilnius planetarium. For directions to the Vilnius planetarium, please check the directions here or on Google maps. The welcome reception will take place afterwards.

For suggestion of restaurants for the other dinners check our Where to eat? webpage.

Medical help
Medical help is available from different places at Vilniaus g. 78. Please note that the command of English of the health personnel might be a bit lacking, it is good to take a Lithuanian-speaking person with you. With outside help, Lithuania has managed to set up some good medical facilities. But be cautious about care at most hospitals and clinics; without insurance you can end up paying a lot for a hospital room.

The Baltic-American Medical and Surgical Clinic: Antakalnio 124, within the Vilnius University Antakalnio Hospital, tel. 276-2020 is friendly and attentive private Lithuanian-American clinic offers care for both children and adults; they do major and minor emergency care, as well as general, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Most resident foreigners, including diplomats, come here. This is the only hospital in Lithuania certified by all major insurance companies.

Denticija dental care Grybo 32/10, in the Antakalnis region, tel. 270-9125 is Lithuanian-American venture for dental care in the Baltic states. Denticija is often used by ex-pats and diplomats based in Latvia and Estonia. Another dental clinic is Gidenta, A. Vienulio 14-3, tel. 261-7143.

There are plenty of pharmacies ("Vaistine" in Lithuanian) in Vilnius. Camelia on Vilniuas g. 29 (400m from the hotel) is open at weekdays from 08:00 to 18:00 and 09:00 to 15:00 on Saturdays.

Money
Since 1 January 2015 Lithuania has the Euro. Cash can be obtained with these cards at ATM machines, they are very abundant in Vilnius.There is a DNB branch with an ATM close to the hotel at Totoriu gatve 1 (on the corner to Gedimino pospektas).. Credit cards are widely accepted (Amex a bit less) but at small places and market stalls cash is still king. The use of traveller cheques as payments is uncommon.

Opening hours
Shop opening hours differ quite a lot, but many shops close on Sundays. Banks usually open Monday to Friday 08:30-15:00.

Pharmacies
There are plenty of pharmacies ("Vaistine" in Lithuanian) in Vilnius. Camelia on Vilniuas g. 29 (400m from the hotel) is open at weekdays from 08:00 to 18:00 and 09:00 to 15:00 on Saturdays.

ays, 09:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays and 09:00 to 16:00 on Sundays.

Post and post offices
The conference venue is close to Lithuania's main post office located Gedimino prospektas 7, Vilnius, It opens Mondays - Fridays 08:30 - 19:00 and Saturdays 09:00 - 14:00. Late night post offices (open until 22:00) are located at the shopping cemters "Akropolis" and "Saltoniskiu".

Poster printing
Poster printing can be done at the company Copypro. They are located at Gedimino prospektas 33 and open round the clock. Usually poster printing is very quick. The LOC does not, however, take any responsibilty or liability for posters printed late.

Poster session
The session will be held at the foyer and Carmen room (on Level 3). Poster walls are white and in portrait A0 format (118.9 cm height and 84.1 cm width). Please dimension your poster accordingly.

Public Holidays
The only public holidays around the summer school is Labour Day (1 May).

Religion
Catholic influence is very strong in Lithuania. Some Catholic priests actively led the resistance against the Communist regime and Lithuania was the only predominantly Catholic Soviet republic. Church holidays are still celebrated intensively.

The traditionaly strong Jewish community was almost wiped out by the Shoah. Today, however there is a very active Jewish community in Vilnius with 4000 members.

Registration
Please check the relevant info under the "Registration" menu at this website.

Shopping
Compared to other European states, Lithuania is still an inexpensive country. The following souvenirs are usually a goood choice:
  • Amber jevellery
  • Clothes made from linen
  • Hand-woven baskets (Lithuanians like to collect berries and mushrooms)
  • Berry jams and dried mushrooms (not the magic ones)
  • Ceramics and wooden artefacts
  • For children: High-quality wooden toys (starting to get expensive though)
For traditional handicraft products check out the website of the Lithuanian heritage.

Sightseeing
The conference excursion will go to the ancient capital Trakai (see the "Social programme page" under the "Programme" menu bar on this webpage for details). Due to the dense programme, longer sightseeing trips are not possible. Thus we recommend to spend some extra days before or after the conference.Top destinations are:
  • Vilnius itself, of course
  • The cities Kaunas and Klaipeda (Memel)
  • The Curonian spit
  • The seaside near Palanga
Telephone
The country code for Lithuania is 370. To telephone out from Lithuania, dial 00 and the country code, so 0049 for Germany and 001 for the US.

Time
During the summer course, Eastern European Daylight saving time (UTC + 3 hours) will be in force. If it is 1 o'clock in London and 2 o'clock in Paris it is 3 o'clock in Lithuania.

Tipping
In restaurants, tipping of 5 - 10 percent of the bill is usual.

Tourist information
For tourist information about Lithuania check the site of the Lithuanian tourist office. Information about the City of Vilnius can be found here. Also, checkout the page "About Vilnius" under the "Information" header on this website.

The closest tourist office from the Venue is located in Vilniaus gatve 22. It opens dayly from 09.00 to 18:00.

Travel
Please check our Venue & Access webpage for information on this subject.

Weights and measures
Lithuania uses the metric system.

! Disclaimer !
All the information given above is to the best of our knowledge. However, we cannot accept any liability for inadvertently false or incomplete information on this site.

Karaite houses in Trakai Trakai Island Castle Belmontas restaurant

Sveiki atvykę !