Vilnius Transportation Tips by matcrazy1 Top 5 Page for this destination
Vilnius Transportation: 116 reviews and 108 photos
BLUE-YELLOW PUBLIC BUSES
Most points of tourist interest is located inside or very close to quite large Old Town of Vilnius. There was no better way to visit it than walking around esp. that many/most streets of the Old Town were narrow and surely closed for public transportation.
But outside, you can use extensive net of both buses and trolleybuses although the last ones can't go to farer suburbs. Some buses I saw, looked a little bit old, some were new. They were not crowded on business day when I was in Vilnius. The bus stops were put close one to the next one.
Ticket prices: check here
There were the same tickets for buses and trolleybuses: single tickets, one-day, 3-day and 10-day tickets. They costed 0.80 Lt in kiosks or 1.00 Lt (0.3 € or $0.36) when purchased by a driver. You must validate your ticket in a machine immediately after getting on a bus/trolleybus.
You can download and print out the map of public transportation: click here
BUS STOP IN VILNIUS
As I noticed the bus stops of public buses were located close one to the next one. There were well marked and the timetables in Lithuanian language were easy to understand. The public buses were not crowded on business day when I was in Vilnius.
Trolleybus is not a common mean of transportation neither in Europe nor in the USA, as I noticed. Although in cities of the former Soviet Union they were quite common in the past. And they still survived in Vilnius. It maybe additional attraction, at least for a kid, am I wrong?
As I know, trolleybuses survived only in 3 cities in Poland including my hometown, Tychy. Well, trolleybuses are more expensive than buses and the company who runs them needs money from the city budget to survive . Each year there is a discussion whether to pay them and how much. I voted for trolleybuses - clean, silent and nice mean of transportation although the question is: trolleybus or (never and) new school, money for poors etc. Does it work the same way in Vilnius?
There were scheduled mini-buses like this one on my picture in Vilnius. They stopped at public transportation (bus and trolleybus) stops. The itinerary was written on info table behind the front windscreen.Excuse, I didn't use them but I noticed that their passengers pay a driver.
Enlarge my picture to see the parking info sign. Well parking there was paid as usual in Vilnius from Monday (I) to Saturday (VI) from 8.00 am - 8.00 pm - notice the mode of writing days of a week with Roman numbers (I - VII) and hours with 24-hour's clock. (0.00 - 24.00).
Well, the sign 10, 20, 50 meant that the parking was paid - look for parking guard, they were always ready to take my money. I paid 2 Lt for two hours of parking close to Gedimini prospektas and the guard (lady) told that we will pay more when we came back if needed - for the half hour more we paid additional 0.5 Lt. I was asked to pay 10 Lt for unlimited parking in another place.
Type: Car/Motor Home
TRAIN CLOSE TO VILNIUS
Vilnius was connected by direct trains with neighboring countries:
- Poland (Warsaw - almost 10 hours),
- Belarus (Minsk - approx. 4 hours),
- Latva (Riga - almost 6 hours),
- Russia (Kaliningrad - almost 7 hours, St, Petersburg - almost 20 hours, Moscow - almost 17 hours),
and with Ukraine (Kiev - 17 hours, Simferopol on Crimea - 40 hours :-)
Check the European train schedule here.
Keep in mind that generally trains are slow or very slow in this part of our globe, always slower than a car and sometimes even slower than a bus. And travelling by train around Baltic states is very slow and there were no direct trains between Riga, Latvia and Tallin, Estonia. From Vilnius to Tallin you must take a train via St. Petersburg, Russia (Russian visa needed!) and it takes 37.5 hours! Additionally trains are more expensive than buses.
The railways and bus stations were located close, south of the old town. I was driviing there and it was not the best area of Vilnius... hmm... like usual areas around main train stations or bus terminals but not that bad - the building of the railway station was renovated recently.
STOP BEFORE CLOSED GATES
Excuse, it's more Lithuania than Vilnius tip. I will transfer it to my Lithuania page soon.
Driving a car around Lithuania I had to cross railway tracks a few times. Usually railway crossings were equipped with gates but once there were only lights. Keep in mind that flashing red light means STOP as the train is coming.
I don't know whether they have heavy train traffic but when I wanted to drive across the railway crossing the gates were almost always closed - just one example on my picture taken close to Trakai.
Type: Car/Motor Home
PARKING LOT AT BACKYARD
Looking for a parking lot when I was in Vilnius for the first time I thought about parking a car in one of the backyards of the old town. There were no signs in front of its entrances, so I thought it was allowed but... it was not a wise idea to leave a car hidden there. During the second visit surprisingly I easy found paid (and cheap!) parking lot at Gedimino prospektas close to KGB museum.
Type: Car/Motor Home
TOWN HALL SQUARE
This is a tip for those who walk around Vilnius (my recommendation). Well, after my second visit to Vilnius I realized that Vilnius in contrast to many other old European cities had no central point/square in 2004 - a place like say Piazza di S. Marco in Venice, Italy, Staromestske Namesti (Main Square) in Prague, Czech or Rynek Glowny (Main Square) in Krakow, Poland. Well, some larger old European cities (Berlin, Rome) had a few such places. What about Vilnius, city of 550,000 citizens with one of the largest old towns in Europe ?
Well, there were a few places which pretends to be such central point for visitors (with a lot of lovely, small cafes, restaurants, hotels etc.):
1. Town Hall's Square (Rotuses aikste) - on my picture, quite large square where there was a platform put up, for music concert, I suppose;
2. Cathedral Square (Katedros aikste) - the largest square but... empty when I was there, maybe when they finish reconstruction of the Lower Castle... wise architecturer and much money needed :-);
3. Gedimino prospektas around the parliament bulding - well, outside the old town and... the place is rather too busy and more for business although...
I will come back to Vilnius again sooner or later to see the changes...
NO ENTRY (FOR CARS)
Driving around Vilnius was quite easy but surely I can't recommend you to drive a car from place to place esp. in the old town. Walking on foot was the best way to visit Vilnius attractions.
Traffic was not as heavy as in most European capitals, there were no traffic jams but the area of the old town was easy to get lost as mostly one-way (but not as narrow as say in Italy) streets were winding, no right angles there. And first of all driving in this area was easier than parking a car. Except numerous one-way streets, a few main streets like Gediminas prospektas, Pilies and Didzioji were closed for traffic at some (or most) hours, read the hours on road signs. Gedimimo prospektas was closed from 6.00 pm to 3.00 am on business days and 10.00 am to 3.00 pm on weekends and holidays. The only close 24 h street was the southern part of Ausros Vartu gatve, close to the Gates of Dawn (look at the sign on my picture).
Type: Car/Motor Home
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