Getting around Vilnius, Lithuania couldn’t be easier with the many options offered to visitors and residents, which include bikes and scooters, taxies and ride-sharing, and an extensive public transport network. Get around the Lithuanian capital your preferred way. Some options offer payment in cash (buses in non-pandemic times and taxis) or manually via a transaction point (Cyclocity bikes), while others will require you to download an app (see the end of this article for useful apps for getting around Vilnius that you may want to download to your mobile phone in preparation for your visit).
Whether you’re wondering how to get to and from the Vilnius Airport or how you’ll navigate the city when you’re there on vacation or business, you’ll discover that Vilnius makes it easy for people to get around! This comprehensive guide presents all of your options for transportation throughout Old Town and beyond.
Getting around Vilnius on foot is the preferred method for most short-term visitors. Vilnius is a small city, and visitors often end up staying in and exploring Old Town Vilnius, which means that they can access a great many sights, restaurants, and museums on foot—Old Town is where many of the city’s events take place, too. From the Old Town center, it’s also possible to walk to Zverynas or Uzupis. Just note that Vilnius’s cobblestone streets aren’t kind to shoes, so if you plan on doing a lot of walking, do wear comfortable shoes that can take some wear and tear.
Rental bike stations are available at various locations during the warm season (these disappear in the winter). Cyclocity’s orange bikes are unmistakable. You can register and rent a bike via the Cyclocity Vilnius mobile phone app, which gives you a map of the various bike stations located around the city. Terminals at each of the docking stations also offer rental options, but bank card is the only payment option. Both short-term and long-term tickets are available, and bikes come equipped with security for making stops between docking stations. If you’d prefer to use a subscription card, you can ask for one at the tourist information center on Pilies Street.
You can also rent a bike from Velocity at Pylimo Street 31, but you must call in advance to make sure that staff is available to help you rent a bike on location.
By Electric Scooter
Electric Scooters are everywhere on the city streets and are some people’s favorite way to get around Vilnius. Both CityBee and Bolt offer scooter rental services, rentable via their mobile phone apps. These are not herded into docking stations; rather you find a free scooter, use the app to rent it, and off you go. Note that these also disappear from the streets once the cold weather hits for safety reasons.
By Bus or Trolleybus
The city’s bus and trolleybus network offers such excellent coverage throughout the city, residents and visitors won’t have trouble getting around Vilnius. You can check the website stops.lt or vilniustransport.lt for routes and times.
In non-pandemic times, it was possible to buy tickets from the driver for one euro and validate them immediately, which will allow you to ride that bus for any length of time with no changes. These days, electronic tickets or the Vilniečio Kortelė are the way to go—these allow you to ride without any driver contact. Buy your Vilniečio Kortelė at kiosks such as Narvesan and top up accordingly. In most cases, topping up with half-hour tickets is sufficient, but you can also buy one-hour tickets. Use the machine on board to scan your card and register the use of your ticket (and take stock of the time so that you don’t outride it—riders who don’t have a valid ticket can be issued a fine during spot checks).
You can also use the Trafi app to buy tickets—more about the app below.
Taxis in Vilnius are affordable and typically clean. These days, apps make it easy to book a taxi without having communication issues get in the way (as they used to when you had to call a company to pick you up and deal with dispatchers who didn’t understand you). Try eTaksi or Taxi.lt (book online with these services or download one of the apps.) You should have cash in hand for these services because paying by card in Lithuania for a taxi is less common than paying by cash. Small bills/coins are preferable for short distances in the event that the driver does not have change.
By Ride-sharing Service
Ride-sharing services are another way to get around Vilnius. Bolt and Uber both work throughout the city. These services offer the benefit of linking your card to the app, meaning the cost of your ride is deducted automatically via your card. On the other hand, these cars may be personal cars and not as clean or well-maintained as taxis.
By Car-sharing Service
Both CityBee and Spark car-sharing services are an option for getting around Vilnius—your US drivers license is valid for driving in Lithuania. CityBee cars are easily found parked throughout the city, and with the app, you can identify the one closes to you. Spark is an electric car-sharing service if you’re trying to clean up your treatment of the environment.
Getting To and From the Airport
Getting to and from the airport when you are staying in Vilnius is easy. The small Vilnius Airport is only about 15 minutes from the city center by car, and the ride by bus takes only a little longer. You can buy a Vilniečio Kortelė and top it up at the Narvesan shop at the airport. The 3G (the “G” means greitai or “express”) bus will drop you off near Lukiskiu Square. The No. 88 (this one looks like a van) will also drop you off in the center, but you must pay the driver cash for tickets on this mode of transport. No extra fee is required for luggage.
If you’re staying near the train station, the train that runs between the station and the Vilnius airport may be an option. At 70 euro cents a ticket, it’s an economical option. You can find more info at http://www.traukiniobilietas.lt.
You can also take a taxi to and from the airport. If you are at the airport, you can catch a cab from the taxi rank outside the airport—but beware, as these taxi drivers tend to overcharge even while Vilnius Airport attempts to curb this trend. If you take a taxi directly from the airport, ask for a receipt, and if it’s more than what the Vilnius Airport’s guide indicates you should pay, you can follow up for a refund.
Calling (using a taxi app to call) a taxi ensures fair rates—these taxi drivers typically meet you at the departure drop-off point upstairs.
Apps for Getting Around Vilnius
Apps making getting around Vilnius super easy. Depending upon your needs, you should consider downloading the following apps:
Trafi: The Trafi app, which is a Lithuanian-developed app, came to Vilnius in 2017 and has since spread to other European cities. It covers your transportation needs in various ways by allowing you to buy tickets for buses, offering traffic information, and showing you where cars where bikes or cars can be rented.
Bolt: Ride-sharing service and scooter rental service.
Busai Vilnius: Shows you routes and schedules for buses and trolleybuses in Vilnius.
CityBee Shared Mobility: For finding and using CityBee car-sharing cars and renting scooters.
Cyclocity Vilnius: Allows for bike rental from the Cyclocity docking bays around the city.
eTaksi: Order taxis via your mobile phone.
Spark Car Sharing: For finding and using Spark car-sharing cars.
Taxi.lt: Order taxis via your mobile phone.
Uber: Ride-sharing service.
By now it should be clear that you won’t have a problem getting around Vilnius, no matter what season or the distances you travel within the city limits!
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