Taxis run on a meter and can be booked by the phone numbers shown on the door of the taxi. Taxis are relatively cheap compared to western Europe. Some companies may not be as honest as others, common sense will keep you safe in this regard. It is common to ask about the approximate price to your destination in advance before boarding the taxi. If the answer does not satisfy you, you are not obliged to board this vehicle. Therefore, Lithuanians prefer to call the taxi by phone in order to know the price and the time of journey, and at the same time to be sure that the driver who will take them is aware of destination and the agreed price. However not all operators speak fluent English, nor drivers. On the other hand, people typically know more than one or two languages and know how to explain the relevant information without being fluent, this applies to drivers and passengers as only a minority of travellers from abroad are native English speakers.
Taxi can also be booked online. Be aware that some inaccuracies may occur as the infrastructure construction and renovation works are carried out in all largest cities, the works affect the traffic. Depending on your destination there may be a necessity to choose a longer way, compared to that which was calculated. If you suspect some dishonesty you must know all circumstances for sure before starting the dispute with company or driver, otherwise it is common that you will be simply ignored as unreliable customer.
Orientation of prices company's name, phone, boarding fee and price in EUR/km can be found on the Taksi Lt website, you have to select the city first from the list of 11 cities at the top. Each company has different prices, but roughly expect to pay around 30-75 cents/km. All taxis have also a fixed boarding fee in addition, so one should have that in mind before reaching any final conclusions.
Taxi prices are highly dependent on fuel price which is constantly increasing recently, therefore all the figures above should be interpreted as approximate.
Cycling in Lithuania is quite popular, however it depends on the exact location as in major cities pavements usually will have a bicycle pathways with numerous signs, although getting around by bicycle in rural areas might become a bit of a challenge. Two international EuroVelo cycling routes across the country, EuroVelo No 10 and EuroVelo No 11, the former one equipped with quality signs and is of excellent quality, the latter one requires to have a map.
EuroVelo-10leads along the coast from Curonian Spit in the south to Latvian border in the north. Keep in mind that only on several occasion you are able to see the sea from the bikepath: usually you have to do a short detour to the beach itself in order to see the water. The beach is sandy, the sand is very fine and often powdery that makes riding the bicycle rather difficult or impossible. There are no roads or paths on the beach, the coast itself is a natural value and under the State protection, there are various restrictions on the development of infrastructure. Therefore the beach all along the sea retains its natural, sometimes genuinely pristine characteristics and appearance. The bikepath is constructed slightly away from the sea, softly winds across the dunes and forests allowing to see the most interesting corners of the area.
EuroVelo-11crosses eastern part of the country from south to north, with the capital city Vilnius in the middle. Southern end is at Lazdijai border crossing point N54°9'25.88" E23°28'21.84"; after entering the country you soon have to make a sharp turn to the south before the lake, N54°10'5.67" E23°28'39.13" and ride along the border down the unpaved border track. This one was a part of Soviet Union external border zone infrastructure, now not in use for its intended purposes. There is a possibility to make a shortcut using a recently recreated ancient connection between Berżniki PL and Kapčiamiestis LT villages, border crossing point at N54°2'46.49" E23°31'31.32" road No 2505 in the middle of a large Dzukian forest . You soon cross the same border track and proceed to ride to Kapčiamiestis.
Northern end of EuroVelo-11 bikepath crosses Latvian border at N55°40'30.59" E26°34'59.98" just before Grivočka hamlet on Latvian side. Before the border the path is meaningfully winding across the pleasant environment among the lakes and hills and leads you through the town of Visaginas and village of Tilžė, both of unusual history, towards Latvian city Daugavpils.
Keep in mind, that although it is possible to get from Vilnius to, say, Riga, taking a road A2 which leads directly from Vilnius towards Riga, there hardly can be worse and more senseless decision as the road is designed specifically for cars across the flat and boring environment, away from any object that can distract the driver. It is equally true about all the other main roads.
When staying in the country it is more common and reasonable to get to the certain region or area and explore it in more detail, rather than cycling across from one end to another. In the latter case, the most of time would be spent on roads that are friendly for cars and not very healthy for cyclists; distances between the outdoor recreation areas are rather long and not too scenic, whilst recreation areas, in contrast, are quite diverse and often puzzling. This adds attractiveness to recreation areas, but requires more time and flexibility, also some basic knowledge about the place itself.
State Department of Tourism has issued a booklet for domestic needs with a description of 16 most attractive cycling routes all along the country. A downloadable English version of a booklet introduce you to them and also supply with the maps of all of them.
Essential tip: don't leave your bicycle outside without locking it in, unless you are riding outside the settlements. Within any city or a smallest village always lock your bicycle, even if you are going to the store for cigarettes, even if you know for sure that your bike will constantly be in a field of view.
More detailed information and help can be provided by the international bicycle project BaltiCCycle. It also can give you ideas about the other and more sophisticated routes in different regions of the country or within the cities that are not described in the booklet or elsewhere. Lithuanian version of this website, Veloland.Lt, can be investigated using online translator – what you need to find there is the detailed maps of the routes you have to select the region first from a drop-down menu “Maršrutai”. Many of the routes are remote but, surprisingly, often accessible quite easily and are no less attractive than more popular ones. For example, this downloadable map describes a 35km/5h route in a very attractive area of Dzūkija forest: the starting/ending point is in Marcinkonys village which can be reached from Vilnius by train, the bikes can be brought with you or hired in advance at Marcinkonys itself.
Litrail has services to major cities in Lithuania as well as to some small towns and villages which are difficult to reach by other public transport eg popular holiday/weekend destinations in Dzūkija and Aukštaitija National Parks, Neris Regional Park and, Kretinga town, a final stop for those who are travelling to Palanga seaside resort by train. Fares are low compared to Western Europe: Vilnius-Kaunas costs about €5.20, with Vilnius-Klaipėda at approximately €15.
Many of the long distance trains have compartments which can accommodate six seated passengers or four sleeping passengers. The headrest can be lifted up to form a very comfortable bunk bed, which can be used while people are seated below. The seats themselves form the other pair of beds. As some journeys are quite long about 5h in the case of Vilnius-Klaipėda, it is common to see people sleeping on the upper bunks during daytime journeys as well.
Generally the railway network is not considered as an alternative to the road network as it does not exactly duplicates the roads. As a result some places are more convenient to reach by train, some other places by bus, even if the railway and the highway are not far apart. Examples of the destinations which are more convenient to reach by train: Ignalina, a main point where the trip to Aukštaitija National Park begins; Kaunas' eastern part around the dam where several recreation areas and tourist objects are situated one have to get off at Palemonas suburb. This makes the question "which one is better, train or bus?" rather hard to answer because it depends on the specifics.
Narrow Gauge Railway in Anykščiai offers short trips to a near-by lake. In summer it runs on regular schedule, rest of the time tours must be booked in advance.
Hitchhiking in Lithuania is generally good. Get to the outskirts of the city, but before cars speed up to the highway speeds. The middle letter on the older licence plates with Lithuanian flag of the three letter code usually corresponds with the city of registration V for Vilnius, K for Kaunas, L for Klaipeda, etc.. Newer licence plates with EU flag are not bound to city of registration in any way.
Lithuanian traffic moves on the right and, as with most of the world, all distances are posted in km.
Headlights are mandatory and must be kept on at all times when driving.
Wearing the seat-belt is mandatory for both driver and passengers.
A vehicle is required by law to stop at a zebra crossing, if there is a pedestrian who obviously is going to cross the street but still didn't step from a sidewalk.
The alcohol limit is up to 0.4‰ for the drivers who have at least 2 years of driving experience of category B vehicle; 0.0‰ for others.
The road network in Lithuania is fairly good, especially the motorways. The quality of road surface on minor roads can vary. The improvement work hampers traffic in many places. The Via Baltica road goes through Lithuania from south Poland to north Latvia. Another important roads are the A1 Vilnius-Klaipėda and the A2 Vilnius-Panevėžys.
The A2 European route code E272 road has motorway status with 130km/h speed limit during summer and 110km/h during winter, the road length is 136km. There are 6 spots along the road where the speed is reduced from 130 to 110 km/h: the U-turns with separate deceleration lanes are constructed there. These are needed for sparse local inhabitants and emergency services, while regular traffic is not supposed to use them.
The A1 European route code E85 is the longest 311km highway in the country, completed in 1987. Its western section between Klaipėda and Kaunas has motorway status with 130km/h speed limit during summer and 110km/h during winter, and its eastern section between Kaunas and Vilnius has expressway status with 120km/h speed limit during summer and 110km/h during winter. It is planned that this section too will be given the status of the motorway in c. 2018, when the installation of connecting roads and overpasses and the reconstruction of individual stretches of this section will be fully completed. There are two relevant U-turns left on this road: one at the western edge of Vilnius, another one at the western edge of Kaunas.
Most of the other highways and regional roads have 1+1 lanes and a 90km/h speed limit outside settlement limits. Within settlement the speed limit usually is 50km/h.
Moving domestic animals and roe animals may cause dangerous situations on the rural roads. The motorways are almost entirely fenced up to protect from wild animals, secondary roads have the signs warning about possibilities of such collisions. Drivers who are not used to that must be very alert as collisions with elks, although rare, may be lethal. Potentially the most dangerous time, when even the fence can succumb, is in May and October, between 18:00 and 01:00.
Fixed speed cameras are frequent along country roads and motorways, usually near crossroads or pedestrian crossings, and in cities. These are usually announced by a sign. Many of them appear to be designed to be turned around from time to time, watching the opposite direction.
Roundabouts are a feature of the Lithuanian road network, particularly in the cities. Recently many small or "midi-" roundabouts were installed at the crossroads of regional roads. Visitors from countries where this type of junction is uncommon or not used at all, may find the Wikipedia article on roundabouts useful.
In the cities: unlike many European countries, but similar to North American practice, turning right at a red traffic light is allowed where indicated by a "green arrow" square white sign next to the red light, containing a green arrow indicating the permitted direction, after a full stop and provided that it does not endanger pedestrians and other traffic. Be aware that the absence of such a sign means that turning right on red is not allowed, and the police will stop any driver seen breaking this rule. It is scheduled to remove all "green arrows" until 2020, while gradually installing the smart traffic lights.
Many bigger city junctions have a separate green light for traffic turning left, but no red light. The green light for the other directions shows arrows going straight and to the right, but you need to look closely to make them out.
Traffic rules equally apply to both pedestrians and drivers, therefore the pedestrian violator has no advantage over the vehicle driver. This especially is relevant in cities: if you walk on a carriageway part of the street, you have to be alert and leave this part of the street if the car is approaching, otherwise it's your fault if accident happens.
Driving: on two- or three- lane roads, it is polite to move out of the right-hand lane if safe to do so when you intend to travel straight ahead; this keeps the right-hand lane clear for right-turning traffic. When moving back to the right hand lane watch out for fast-moving vehicles approaching from behind.
On 1+1 lane highways without barrier be careful of the overtaking cars: the driver behind you may suddenly find the oncoming car is coming too close and decided to get back to your lane - you have to predict that. You are supposed to keep the speed and move a bit to the right so that the car behind could see what's in front of him clearly, and he will overtake you when it's feasible. When driver overtakes you, he wants to get back to the lane as fast as possible, and this may seem as if he is tailgating you. Keep calm, it's not hostility.
In Lithuania it is easy to move by buses and in practice, all the bigger even a little places can be reached with buses. The buses usually run more slowly than where a Western has got used due to if it is not a question of Ekspresas, the bus stops at every stop exactly. To be more precise, there are two types of bus lines see below and three types of the bus stops: "red" stops for "Ekspresas" buses very few, the journey with "Ekspresas" is quick, "yellow" stops for the regular intercity buses, and the "blank" stops for suburban buses very frequent, the journey is slow. The color is a color of a road sign for the bus stop. For example 40km the trip by suburban bus can last thus an hour. Some buses are old cars that have mainly been brought from the Nordic countries, some are new ones, it is not predictable which one you will get. Practically, when you travel the time is most important factor and the best decision is to take the closest bus which runs in the right direction.
There is usually its own bus company on every town district centre and more than one company in the largest towns. Just to name few, TOKS long distance routes and mini bus company Transrevis which will drive turns between Kaunas and Vilnius, are based in Vilnius; KauTra Kaunas Transport additionally specializes in bicycle transfer service, though luggage compartments vary in size and not all types of bicycles always can fit in. Company offers the option to transport the bike to the agreed stop by the next bus with capacious compartment, informing you about the delivery by the short message to your cell phone. However, during the high season in summer popularity of this service is enormous, one should have that in mind if planning the trip by bicycle. Šiauliai company Busturas, in addition to the regular routes, offers the tours to and from Riga Latvia via Rundale which otherwise is inconvenient to visit from Lithuania. Klaipėda Bus Fleet Klaipėdos autobusų parkas is based in Klaipėda and serves mostly the routes in Western part of the country as well as some international routes. There are also several smaller intercity and suburban bus companies in all the cities mentioned above.
For students with Lithuanian student ID, bus companies grant 50% discount around the year with the exception of July and August. For students with ISIC international student card, bus companies grant 50% discount.
The bulk of Lithuania's bus routes and turns have been listed in an address from which you also can reserve the tickets for certain routes. However, pay attention to the fact that the payment system supports only some of the Lithuanian banks for the present and the credit card at the moment does not suit.
The list above is only for the intercity buses, which generally is sufficient. There are two types of bus lines in Lithuania: intercity tarpmiestiniai buses and suburban priemiestiniai buses. This is reflected in the structure of the bigger bus stations, for example Vilnius bus station has two sections, a suburban "blue" one blue color dominates in the timetables, destination plates on buses are written in blue and a intercity "red" one red colour dominates in the timetables, destination plates on buses are written in either blue or red. Thus, for example, "Trakai" direction has two platforms, a "red" one where intercity buses leave directly towards Trakai, and a "blue" one where suburban buses leave to Trakai but run different routes, zig-zagging from village to village and finally arrive to Trakai. Similarly, at the Trakai bus station there are two platforms for "Vilnius" direction: blue one and red one. It is important to know that the "red" intercity bus always is faster. At the same time, intercity bus does not stop everywhere, for example the bus stop near the Hill of Crosses is for suburban buses only, if you wait there you can see many buses passing by but they won't stop there, you have to wait for a "blue" suburban bus. Schedules for suburban buses usually are put up separately from the schedules for intercity buses.
For buses and trolley-buses on routes within towns and cities it is usual to buy the ticket from the driver. Recently the electronic ticketing has been introduced in major cities, but still the ticket can be obtained from the driver, though the types of tickets vary from town to town, for example in Vilnius you have to validate stamp using one of the punches for paper tickets the ticket obtained from the driver thus you can buy several tickets and use them later, in other cities you get a one-ride ticket which already is valid for this particular ride. Inspectors periodically check tickets and will issue a fine if you cannot produce a correctly punched ticket or your electronic ticket is not valid. The bus is exited by the middle door and it is important to head for the door before the bus has stopped - it can be impossible to leave once people have started boarding; and if the driver sees that the bus stop outside is empty and nobody waits to leave the bus, the bus can skip the stop.
In addition to common buses run by municipality, many towns have private minibuses which usually operate express routes.