Alytus

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Alytus
<map lat="54.39999999999977" lng="24.0500000000004" zoom="11" view="0" float="right" />
Information
Country: Lithuania
Population: 68,304 (2008)
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Alytus is a city in Lithuania, situated to the West from Vilnius, South from Kaunas and about 50 km from the border of Poland. The abbreviation which could fit your hitch-hiking sign is "ALT".

Hitching out

East/Southeast towards Vilnius, Druskininkai, Varėna, Hrodna (Belarus)

Take a minibus 4, 7, 11, 14 towards AB "Dainava" (Public transportation map). Get out at the last stop, walk 100 meters and you'll see the city sign with "Alytus" crossed out. This is the spot. In about 5 km, the road splits into the directions of Vilnius and Druskininkai (or Hrodna in Belarus). The driver should know where to let you out, if you want to skip this - have a sign with your destination on it.

North towards Kaunas, Klaipėda, Latvia

Take a minibus 4 or 11 towards AB "Izomega", 5 towards Geležinkelio stotis or 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 towards AB "Alytaus pieninė" (Public transportation map). You can get off when you see the bus station: it is at the end of the city, together with "Maxima" shop, there is a small lake Gulbynė on the other side of the road. You can hitch-hike from there, on the shore of Gulbynė. With minibuses 4 and 11 you can go past the bus station and get off when they turn right. This spot is right at the end of the city, so there is less local traffic.

West/Southwest towards Marijampolė, Poland

You need Santaika street (Santaikos gatvė). You can reach it with minibuses 4, 7, 11, 13, 14, 20 (Public transportation map): ask people, because stop names are not that important in Alytus. When you are on it, walk up the hill. It will take a walk of a few kilometres: you should walk past "Maxima" supermarket and the sign that marks the end of the city. When you reach the crossroad (it's called Simno sankryža by locals), the road straight goes towards Marijampolė. If you are going towards Poland, you have two choices. First is to turn left and go through Lazdijai (road to Augustow): cars that go from Vilnius to Warsaw usually take this road, but trucks cannot go here. The second is to go straight, in the direction of Marijampolė, through Kalvarija and Suwalki, where most trucks go. Which way is better, is still a matter of discussion.

Accommodation and Sleep

Alytus has two parks and a big forest next to the city, which are fine to sleep in summer. Also, you can use CouchSurfing or other hospitality networks: even though there are not to many people from Alytus there, they are usually excited about hosting someone (due to lack of foreigners in the city). If anything, you might try reaching the city park (Miesto parkas) and looking for some young non-formal people under the roof of art school (Dailės mokykla) or in the park: especially in summer, there are lots of youngsters there, and some might agree to host a weary traveler if you are nice enough.

Public transportation and Blackriding

The only public transportation in Alytus is minibuses (mikroautobusai, mikriukai in Lithuanian). One-way ticket costs 1.8 litas (about 52 Euro cents) or 0.9 litas (about 26 Euro cents) for students, schoolchildren and seniors (a document is required). One has to pay directly to the driver when getting in, so it's hard to go for free. Anyway, you can always try to negotiate with the driver. You can also use your feet: Alytus is not too big, it takes about 1-1.5 hour to go from one end of the city to the other.

Note that minibuses 4, 7, 11 and 14 can bring you from the hitch-hiking spot for Kaunas/Latvia (the bus station) to the spot for Vilnius/Belarus (end of the city) and vice-versa in one ride: save your feet, as it takes about 1.5 hour to get from one point to another.