Changing money in Lithuania

Lithuania has its own currency which is the Lithuanian litas (LTL). Its symbol is simply "Lt", that is usually after the amount e.g. "3,82 Lt" . Each litas consists of 100 centas. Coins go as little as 1 centas to 5 litas, while banknotes (bills) go as from 10 litas to 500 litas. 

The litas has been pegged to euro at the rate of 3.4528 LTL= 1 EUR  since February 2002. Euro being the official peg currency makes commercial banks to follow Lithuanian Central Bank mandate (www.lb.lt) to not exceed 0.50 percent margin in commercial transactions. Lithuania has had hopes to join the EU monetary union in 2007 so the Euro would become the currency. SEB/Vilniaus Bankas (www.seb.lt) now claims no worries about converting to Euro and puts the best forecast for 2009. Thus among notable rates of exchange, it is roughly 4 litas to the pound sterling (2011). There is limited possibity to buy Litas outside of Lithuania so you have two main ways to get your spending money:

1. Take your own local currency and change it when you arrive. Go to a bank and you will find that the cashiers will exchange your money without the need for you to enter into any explanation. Just hand over the money and back will come the Lita. Some banks have a little machine inside the door with symbols on so that you just press the 'currency exchange' button, receive a ticket with a number on and then wait for your turn.

2. The second way to obtain some spending money is take your bank card card to an cash machines (ATM) - be it Visa, Mastercard or any plain debit card bearring Cirrus logo. The machines will offer you a choice of languages when you insert your card. Select the appropriate one and then proceed as you would at home. The machines are common in the large cities in the sort of places that you would expect to find them - outside banks and supermarkets. Written wisdom tells that the ATM is almost impossible to find in small villages.