“There is a dreamy quality to Vilnius (vil-nyus), especially in the golden glow of a midsummer evening. Lithuania’s capital has an Old Town of rare authenticity: marvellously intact, its pebbly streets are lined with weather-worn period buildings that hide cafes, boutiques and dainty guesthouses.” – Lonely Planet
The easiest way to get here if you’re not traveling far is by bus. Check Lux Express or Ecolines for international routes. If you are looking for a something a little different you can also take a sightseeing bus from Riga that will make stops along the way and is a great way to see more than the average visitor.
Vilnius Airport is located a few km outside the city and offers multiple options to get into town. There are two public buses that run to the train station and the bus station. Each ride takes 20 minutes and costs up to €1. The Airport Train will take you to the train station in 8 minutes for less than €1. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or on board. Make sure to check the schedule as it runs less frequently than the buses. Mini buses run between the airport and the center and take up to 20 minutes for a price of up to €2 and as always there are taxis that will cost upwards of €20+.
While it’s impossible to cover everything, here are a few other noteworthy places around Latvia I wasn’t able to get to.
Or, take a closer look at Riga.
More of Latvia
Gilly on Unsplashed
Lāsma Artmane on Unsplashed
Kristaps Grundsteins on Unsplashed
Jevgenij Voronov on Unsplashed
“The Gothic spires that dominate Rīga’s cityscape might suggest austerity, but it is the flamboyant art nouveau that forms the flesh and the spirit of this vibrant cosmopolitan city, the largest of all three Baltic capitals. Like all northerners, it is quiet and reserved on the outside, but there is some powerful chemistry going on inside its hip bars, modern art centres and the kitchens of its cool experimental restaurants.” – Lonely Planet
If you’re coming from neighboring countries the easiest way to get to Riga is by bus. Lux Express offers routes from Tallinn and Ecolines offers a wider variety of routes. You also have a more expensive and longer but more interesting option of taking the sightseeing tour bus on your way from both Tallinn and Vilnius. Stop off in some lesser visited towns and see a side that many visitors skip over.
Trains are available but not recommended as usually there are not direct routes and long stopovers.
If you’re flying in from somewhere farther away you can take a bus or a taxi into the city. The airport is located 13 km outside of Riga and will take about 30 minutes on the #22 bus (buy ticket onboard, at the airport, from the a machine at the stop or at newstands) and costs less than €2. Airport transfers are around 15 minutes and costs a minimum of €23.
“It’s lively yet peaceful, absurdly photogenic and bursting with wonderful sights – ancient churches, medieval streetscapes and noble merchants’ houses. Throw in delightful food and vibrant modern culture and it’s no wonder Tallinn seems in danger of being loved to death, especially after a few cruise ships dock. But it’s one of those blessed places that seems to cope with all the attention.” – Lonely Planet
Lennart Meri International Airport (TLL) is the largest airport in Estonia located 2.5 miles (4km) southeast of Tallinn. To reach the city center you can take public transportation, taxis or a private shuttle.
A private shuttle will cost you €21 for up to 6 passengers and is your most expensive option. A taxi is usually around €10 into the center and you can take buses 2, 49 and 65 for €2 (tickets purchased onboard) or tram 4 (tickets purchased online or onboard).
If coming overland then Lux Express has bus routes in and out of Tallinn or you check Flixbus for more routes outside the Baltics. If you are coming from Russia you also have the option of taking the train.
Tallinn is also very accessible by water from big cities like Stockholm, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. Check out ferry prices and schedules HERE.
Riga, Latvia; Helsinki, Finland,;St. Petersburg, Russia or Stockholm, Sweden are all common next stops