Tourist Guide
 Getting Oriented
 

Lithuanian 
Tourist 
Guide


Vilnius:
An Introduction

Getting Oriented
 
Arrival
 -  Taxis
 -  Info Points
 -  Money
 -  Time
 -  Emergencies
 -  Medical Help
 -  Tips

Bars
What's to Drink
Cafés
Deliveries
 
Culture

History
Hotels 

 High End
 -  Mid Range   
-   Airport
 -  Bed&Breakfast
 -  Low Budget
 - 
On the Cheap
 - Apartment Rental
Real Estate
Map
 - Lithuania
Vilnius

Nightclubs
 - Rave/Dance Music
Restaurants

-   Argentinean  
-   Caucasian

 -  Chinese  
 -  French 
 -  International 
-   Greek
 -  Italian 
 -  Japanese 
 -  Lithuanian    
 -  Ukrainian  
 -  Vegetarian

-  Fast Food/Delivery
Shopping
Sights
-   Klaipeda
Travel
What's New
What's On
Yellow Pages

Other Lithuanian-related 
tourist articles: 
Letter from Little Lithuania
The Stalin World Theme Park 
Magical Curonion Spit

Zappamania in Lithuania
Jewish Vilnius
Ghosts and Goblins
Lithuanian Jazz
Wine: A Baltic Guide
What's in a name?
The Anyksciai Grove

Tidbits

Estonian Guide

Latvian Guide

Links

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

Arrival   Taxis   Info Points   Money  Time  Telephones   Emergencies   Medical Help  Other Tips   Back to Top

Arrival

Arriving in Lithuania has become quite trouble-free, particularly at airports. By car, hold-ups at the Polish and Latvian border have also reduced. However, at the Belarusian and Russian (Kaliningrad) borders, lines can still be several hours long.

To and From the Airport: Vilnius Airport (or oro uostas in Lithuanian) is just 5 kilometers from the city center, so getting in and out poses few problems. Cabs are the best option for the 10-minute ride to city center. The trip should never cost more than 20 litas (6 EUR). Avoid the hagglers outside the main arrival hall and dart for the licensed taxis in line; they’re safe but have pricey meter rates. Taxi stands are right outside the arrival hall. If your budget is tight, buy a phone card, order a taxi (phoning tel. 1446 could cut your costs in half). The airport is smallish and almost never crowded, so finding your way around is also simple. There are currency exchanges, money machines, luggage lockers and easy access to public phones.
If you don’t have much luggage, you can also take bus #2; buy a ticket for about 1 litas from the driver or from a kiosk inside the arrival hall. This airport bus goes near the Hotel Centrum, down the hill to the central Lukiskiu Square and then across the river past the hulking Lietuva Hotel. The #1 bus goes to the train and bus stations.

To and From the Train and Bus Stations: The train and bus stations are next to each other, so instruction on how to come and go from here are the same. Trolley buses #5 and #2 (for about 1 litas) can also take you to the city center, but make sure you buy and punch a ticket. Minicabs #4 and #5 just outside the bus station are quicker, and cost about 2 litas. But you’re not that far from the center anyway, so walking is a viable and pleasant option, if you don’t have much luggage. A cab from here to anywhere within the city center shouldn’t cost more than 10 litas.

Taxis

As cab drivers go, the ones in Vilnius are pretty civilized but not always models of honesty and good manners. Be sure the taxi meter is working and make sure you’re not charged the night rate during the day. Many taxi drivers drive like bats out of hell, so a seat belt, if you can dig one out of the back seat, is advisable. Rates are significantly higher if you pick one up in the street, but even at these inflated prices taxis are, relatively at least, cheap.

Ekipazas: tel. 1446. Highly recommended! English-speaking operators, cheapest rates, reliable, no minimum distances or fees.

Kabrioletas: tel. 1445. People movers for large groups.

Martonas: tel. 240-0004 or 1422. Highly recommended! Well-kept cars, good rates.

Mersera: tel. 278-888 or 1421.

Info Points

The Vilnius Tourist Information Center: (J-3) Didzioji 31 at the Town Hall, tel. 262-6470; open:10-18; turizm.info@vilnius.lt. Also at (C-4) Vilniaus 22, tel. 262-9660; open:09-18; TIC@vilnius.lt; and at Gelezinkelio 16, tel. 269-2091.  These centrally located info centers will tell you much of what you need to know, and in fluent English. They also book hotel rooms and sell good maps. www.vilnius.lt 
There’s a tourism information center at (G-2) Liejyklos 8/26, tel. 262-5242, run by the Visit Lithuania travel agency. 
You can find some good tourism related web sites: www.tourism.lt and www.travel-lithuania.com

Money

After regaining independence, Lithuania switched in 1993 to its national currency, the litas. The litas is pegged to the euro at the rate of 3,45 litas to a euro. Credit cards are widely accepted; there are ATM machines in abundance. You can change traveler’s checks at bigger banks, like Vilniaus. Currency exchanges are everywhere, and their rates don’t vary much. Snoras Bankas has exchange kiosks around the city center, some of which are open 24 hours. 

Time

Lithuania is now also on Eastern European time, two hours ahead of GMT in winter and three hours in summer. Lithuania was in the First European Time Zone, an hour behind Latvia and Estonia. This was an ill-planned and poorly-motivated move to demonstrate Lithuania’s commitment to European integration. But the time change, which caused havoc with opening and office hours, was immensely unpopular with almost all Lithuanians, and so the government reverted back to Eastern European Time.

Telephones

Generally speaking, the phone system in Lithuania is solid, Western-standard. For dialing details, see the YELLOW PAGES at the end of the Vilnius listings.
New phone-card phones are now the norm in the city center. Cards range in price from 9 to 30 litas. You can buy them at kiosks, post offices and some stores. Cards can be used for local, national or international calls. Calling mobile phones or international numbers will gobble up your credit very, very fast. 

Emergencies

Fire: tel. 01

Police: tel. 02

Ambulance: tel. 03

From mobile: tel. 112 for all emergencies.

Medical Help

Emergency and medical services tend to fall below Western standards. There are emerging pockets of good care, and with outside help, Lithuania has managed to set up some good medical facilities. But be cautious about care at most hospitals and clinics; without insurance you can end up paying a lot for a hospital room.

Baltic-American Medical and Surgical Clinic: Antakalnio 124, within the Vilnius University Antakalnio Hospital, tel. 276-2020. A friendly and attentive private Lithuanian-American clinic offers care for both children and adults; they do major and minor emergency care, as well as general, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Most resident foreigners, including diplomats, come here. This is the only hospital in Lithuania certified by all major insurance companies. It is run by highly qualified American doctors. Recommended.

Denticija: Grybo 32/10, in the Antakalnis region, tel. 270-9125. Supposedly the highest standard dental care in the Baltic states. Everything inspires confidence here the minute you walk through the doors, from the clean waiting room to the smiling, helpful receptionists. A Lithuanian-American venture, Denticija is often used by ex-pats and diplomats based in Latvia and Estonia. Recommended. www.denticija.lt 

Gidenta: (B-4) A. Vienulio 14-3, tel. 261-7143. Private dental clinic for the whole family. www.gidenta.lt

Medicine Central Private Clinic: (B-3) Gedimino 1a-19 (2nd floor), tel. 261-3534. An Australian general/family doctor; consultant to Vilnius embassies. www.clinic.lt 

Tips and Explanations

Familiarizing yourself with a few good landmarks in Vilnius should help you keep your bearings straight. A few good reference points are the Bell Tower and Cathedral (G-3), the Gates of Dawn (D-5) and Seimas, the Lithuanian parliament (B-3).

If drinking Lithuanian tap water is something you always wanted to do, it's not the worst. But as a rule, stick with bottled or boiled water.

The shortest way from point A to point B is not a one-way street, at least not here in Vilnius. If you're a driver, one-way streets can make your life miserable, especially in and around the old city. If you plan on doing lots of driving in the city center, learn in advance how to negotiate the one-way roads.

On one hand, Lithuanian bureaucrats can be more personable than their counterparts in either Estonia or Latvia. Lithuanians sometimes seem a little more amenable to bending the rules. At the same time, bureaucrats here can devise especially creative, nonsensical obstacles. (There's a fondness here of notarizing anything and everything.) If they don't like you, Lithuanian bureaucrats can dig in their heels and never budge. A kind word or a sad story can work wonders.

Arrival   Taxis   Info Points   Money  Time  Telephones   Emergencies   Medical Help  Other Tips   Back to Top

 



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