Shopping in a Lithuanian market (turgus), although perhaps not for the faint hearted, is an experience to be savoured if at all possible when visiting the country. Remember that many things can be haggled down in price, and please watch your wallets, especially during the weekends.
Unless the item in question is less than 50 years old, some degree of bureaucracy will almost certainly be required to get antiques out of the country. A reputable antiques salesperson will assist you with this. If they can’t, you might like to think again about making the purchase.
Bookworms and cheapskates should note that in addition to the following bookshops reading matter can be found at various libraries listed in our Directory. International press is best found in the city’s better hotels, some of which offer a pre-ordering service for newspapers and magazines they don’t usually stock, as well as at Narvesen in Europa (see shopping centres).
If you’re thinking of giving flowers to somebody in Lithuania, remember that superstition remains rife here and it’s easy to make a mistake. There are certain rules that should be adhered to if you wish to keep on the right side of your sweetheart and/or future parents-in-law. Firstly, unless somebody just died, make sure you only give an odd number of flowers or stems. One will do, but isn’t particularly welcomed unless it’s a single red rose for the one you love. Lilies and chrysanthemums are potent symbols of death and should be left well alone unless heading to the cemetery. If giving flowers to members of the older generations avoid yellow ones. Yellow is the colour of jealousy, and can be traced back to the Middle Ages when yellow was the traditional colour of the dresses worn by ladies of a questionable profession. Carnations, especially red ones, are symbols of the communists. Again, avoid. And if you just so happen to be in Lithuania on International Women’s Day (March 8), it’s appropriate for men to give red tulips to their female colleagues at work.