Travelling the Baltics: Travel Lithuania by bus and train. This Lithuania 7 days itinerary highlights what to see and what to do in Lithuania beyond the capital Vilnius. Including our handy bucketlist2life map!
Lithuania might just be the best Baltic country to visit. It’s definitely the cheapest. The public transport by bus and train is amazing. The food is hearty and affordable. There’s a great variety of Lithuanian cities like Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda as well as beaches like on the Curonian Spit and Palanga.
This blogpost highlights the best places to visit in one week in Lithuania - whether you travel the Baltics as a whole or just Lithuania.
Buses in Lithuania are cost-efficient and run frequently. It’s easy to go on day trips with local buses. You can easily purchase tickets for local and long-distance buses online.
Trains are a great alternative to buses although the network is not as extensive as the bus network. It’s the best way to get from Vilnius to Kaunas. You can easily purchase train tickets online.
Yes! We probably shouldn’t pick favourites but it was our favourite capital of our tour of the Baltics. The combination of the historic city centre with the artsy Užupis area offers it all. The food in Vilnius was the cheapest of all Baltic capitals. If you look around, you can find a hearty local dinner for under 5€.
As in every capital city, start your trip with a free walking tour to get an overview.
Our highlights in the city centre include:
Every last Sunday of the month, museums are free of charge. We visited the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the National Museum of Lithuania. To be honest, we wouldn’t pay for the Palace because the exhibition was super text-heavy and not very well presented.
Our highlights outside the city centre include:
We wrote a whole blogpost about our favourite things to do in Vilnius outside of Vlinus old town.
You need at least 3 days in Vilnius:
We stayed at Mikalo House. The location was super central and the price was great. The staff was extremely friendly but the beds could have been sturdier and one shower is barely enough for the whole hostel.
The most notable and easiest day trip from Vilnius is Trakai.
Of course, the highlight is the Trakai Island Castle - and the castle alone is worth the visit. You can either just look around the outside or pay the entrance fee to enter the courtyards and exhibitions.
Don’t make the mistake to think that this is the only thing you can do in Trakai. You can also:
The easiest way to get from Vilnius to Trakai is by bus. It runs approximately every 30 minutes throughout the day and costs 2,60€. It’s a bit of a walk to the castle but it’s beautiful and worthwhile. We recommend the bus over the train as it runs more frequently and the walk is a bit shorter.
Kernavė was the first capital of Lithuania. The Cultural Reserve of Kernavė belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The archaeological site consists of 5 mounds which demonstrate 11,000 years of continuous human use.
Only 6 buses per day go from Vilnius to Kernavė so make sure to time your visit.
The Paneriai massacre was the mass murder of up to 100,000 people, mostly Jews, Poles, and Russians by Germans and their Lithuanian collaborators during World War II. The murders took place between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station at Paneriai, a suburb of Vilnius.
The train from Vilnius to Paneriai runs super frequently (often more than once per hour), takes under 10 minutes and costs less than 1€ so there’s no reason to visit this bleak part of Lithuanian history.
Yes! Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania and was its capital from 1920 to 1940. Kaunas Modernism architecture is super interesting. The city is very different from Vilnius and hence a great addition to your Lithuania itinerary.
We wrote a whole blogpost about the amazing things you can do in Kaunas so check it out!
You can easily spend two days in Kaunas. There is plenty to see in the city centre, loads of museums, and, of course, the day trip to the Ninth Fort.
A bus ticket costs around 9€. Buses run at least every 30 minutes during the day so you don’t really have to plan ahead. The ride takes under 2 hours.
At around 7€, the train is even cheaper. It runs around every hour, takes under 2 hours, and is super comfortable.
We stayed at The Monk's Bunk Kaunas which was right on the main street, clean, and had a good vibe.
The Ninth Fort is a part of the Kaunas Fortress, which was constructed in the late 19th century. During the occupation by the Soviet Union, the fort was used as a prison and way-station for prisoners being transported to labour camps. After the occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany, the fort was used as a place of execution for Jews and others.
On weekdays, bus 57G runs several times from Kaunas city centre to the Ninth Fort. On weekends, the buses run less frequently.
Yes, Klaipeda is worth visiting. It is very different from Vilnius and Kaunas with an abundance of German architecture. Klaipėda's Old Town is unique in Lithuania with its fachwerk architectural style and the planned street structure. Additionally, it’s the perfect jumping-off point for Lithuanian beaches.
Two days should be enough to see Klaipeda. You should budget one day to see the Curonian Spit and some additional time if you want to hit the beach at Palanga.
No trains are running from Kaunas to Klaipeda so the bus is your best option. Buses run approximately once per hour during the day and cost around 20€.
We stayed at Klaipeda Hostel. You cannot beat the location right next to the bus station, the kitchen was well equipped and there was a decent amount of showers and toilets.
The Curonian Spit is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, It is a 98-kilometre (61 mi) long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Its southern portion lies within Russia and its northern within Lithuania. Nida on the southern end is not only a famous seaside resort but also known for the second largest sand dunes in Europe.
The sand dunes in Nidda are impressive but you should also visit some of the other sights like
There are basically two options:
We took option 1 there and option 2 back.
The spa town Palanga is the centre of Lithuania's 100 km (62mi) long Baltic Sea coast.
Buses from Klaipeda to Palanga run every 30 to 60 minutes during the day. A one-way ticket costs 2-3€.
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