In this paper structural and optical studies of lithium titanate (LTO) thin films are presented. Nanocrystalline thin films with 800 nm thickness were prepared by sol–gel method. To examine the influence of the annealing time on as-prepared films crystallization, the coatings were heated at 550 °C for 10, 20 and 80 h. Structure of manufactured thin films was investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD). The most visible lithium titanate phase was obtained after 20 h annealing. Increasing of annealing time over 20 h revealed appearance of titanium oxides phase. On the basis of transmission characteristic optical properties were calculated. It was found that transmission through the thin films was reduced and position of the fundamental absorption edge was shifted toward a longer wavelength with increasing of annealing time. The optical band gap was calculated for direct allowed and indirect allowed transitions from optical absorption spectra.