<map lat='54.689386' lng='25.280024' zoom='11' view='3' height='350' float='right' country='Lithuania'/> Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania.
When coming from Kaunas ask the driver politely if he drives near the place of your destination. If the answer is negative, it might be more convenient to take a free bus from a huge hypermarket called "Maxima" which is situated ~13 kilometres away from Vilnius (map) to the city centre or to some other destinations in the city.
North towards Utena A14
You can take a routing bus from Kunigo Broniaus Laurinavičiaus stop towards Raudondvaris. There is a good hitchhiking spot with bus stop and big cafe.
- Option 1 A hitch-hiking spot towards Riga (as well as towards Panevėžys and Šiauliai) is situated behind the bus stop after one of the major street crossings in Pašilaičiai/Fabijoniškės at pretty much the end of the Ukmergės avenue (map). There are many buses going this direction (you can use this journey planner) so you won't have troubles of getting to so called Via Baltica road (E67). It is also a popular spot for locals to hitch-hike to their homes in towns nearby, so the smart thing would be to go a little bit further and to write your destination on a hard paper to show to the drivers.
- Option 2 Take the trolleybus 11, 16 (goes from main station) or 19 direction Pašilaičiai and leave it on the last bus stop Pašilaičių žiedas (point A on the map) and walk around 20 minutes by foot following the route on the map until you will reach point B. Cars don't go fast here because of the lights and there's enough place for car to stop.
- Option 3 Take the bus 40 which terminal station is located near very good spot. Or take bus 52A to the stop "Medelynas" which carries you little bit further.
There are two places in Vilnius offering you a good possibility to get a ride towards Poland. In order to get to Poland you can head towards Kaunas, Alytus (map) or via Trakai and Prienai (map). The three routes have ups and downs. Going through Kaunas is a longer road, but it's a highway and you are likely to need to change car only once in Kaunas and then in Marijampole, also it's a higher traffic.. the downside is that you are quite likely to get stuck in Kaunas since most cars won't go to Marimapole / Poland. Going through Trakai is recommended since all the cars that actually go to Marijampole - take this route (you might want to check what part of week or day you are going.. most cars go in the morning and after work, Friday and Sunday is high traffic too). Some Polish trucks go through Alytus from Minskas, so that might as well be very good option too.
So the first spot is next to the huge shopping mall "Maxima Baze" which lies outside the city. You can get there by taking a free bus run by "Maxima" every hour, at **:18 from "Savanorių", or from the centre of the city (info is in the spot description) schedule on the carrier website ("darbo dienomis" = Mon-Fri). Or, from the bus stop "Savanorių" on the Savanorių avenue take a bus 21, 22, 23, 29, 54 or trolleybus 4,6,11,12,14,16. To reach Savanorių from Main Station take Trolleybus 6. (Every 5-10 minutes).
Once you are there , jump over the road onto the other side (there's a newly built fence between the two roads, but it's small and you shouldn't hesitate to jump over it) - there you will see a small parking space which is a perfect spot for the cars to stop while you are thumbing on the road. This place has never failed, and waiting times are always good.
But consider: You have to cross a proper motorway! For locals it seemed to be usual, for travellers it seemed just crazy. The safer possibility is to take bus Nr. 29 at Savanorių bus stop towards Grigiškės, get out at huge market Gariūnai and then walk a little bit further, turn right and you'll appear standing on the motorway to Kaunas. From there on you can ask people at the petrol station or try it like the locals and hitchhike directly at the motorway. It seems to be stupid, but it worked out twice.
Info for May 2016. The fence on the motorway is upgraded with a net and is 1,5-2 m high now. One crazy local was seen getting over it, but it's really not a good idea: if you aren't hit by a car, you can easily rip your clothes. So the best way from "Maxima Baze" is to walk east to the junction along the motorway or parallel Pirkliu street. Then go under the bridge and go up just after you cross it – there should be stairs just next to the bridge. It will take not more than 10 min. Then go to the parking opposite to "Maxima Baze".
The second spot is situated at the end of Savanorių avenue (see the map, picture on the right), many buses and trolleybuses go there - it is easy to get there but the waiting time can be longer in comparison with the first described spot - it is mostly because of 2 reasons: less traffic towards Kaunas (since it is a road towards Alytus and Trakai, too), and competition (there wouldn't be a day without some local short-distance hitch-hiker standing and thumbing there).
Third point is popular by hitch-hikers coming from northern part of Vilnius.
There are another free bus which takes you almost to the A1 highway, to the biggest market in Lithuania, "Gariūnai".
Schedule on the carrier website.
Bus don't run on Monday.
- Tomasmarc says: the road to Poland through Kaunas doesn't seem to be the best to me, due to difficulties while leaving Kaunas when you arrive there and a detour that you make. The road through Marijampolė is used by most trucks and the road through Alytus by most cars that go from Vilnius to Warsaw/Western Europe. Both roads can be reached by bus 51, which goes from Vaduvos stop (the same spot at the end of Savanorių avenue): go with it until the stop Trakų Vokė, get off, walk to EMSI petrol station. From here, roads split: the one on the left leads to Trakai and Marijampolė, the one on the right goes towards Alytus.
- Prino says: the road to Poland via Kaunas is OK, provided you get a ride to the big Klaipeda/Marijampolė junction just after Kaunas. A few hundred metres after the bridge there is a petrol station from where its not too hard to get a ride - make sure it's at least to the exit for Marijampolė near Garliava!
- Option 1 After you get on the Minsk Road (Minsko plentas in Lithuanian, see the map) you'll see a huge supermarket on your right. You might as well look for Belorussians at the parking lot by this shopping mall - it is possible to convince some of them to take you to the border. If this doesn't work, walk about 50 meters ahead where the last slip road ends and a soft verge starts, and start thumbing there.
- Option 2 Take the bus 16 from train station (Stotis), the ride will take around 20 minuts. Leave the bus at Posūkis bus stop (it's just 50 meters before the bridge under the road, pay attention because it's optional stop). Walk 100 meters and hitch-hike after the junction. There is less local traffic here.
Note that it is no longer permitted to cross the border on foot, so be sure to get a lift across.
Find routes at marsrutai.lt or alternatively, this is also a great journey planner and includes timetables for all the public transport in Vilnius, with the added advantage of being translated into 16 languages.
You can find public transport prices here, but a quick summary, correct as at 2015-09-08:
- Adults: single-ticket only on-board EUR 1.00. If you plan to stay longer it is good idea to buy E-ticket card (EUR 1.50) and top-it-up with money or tickets. E-ticket prices: 30min - EUR 0.64, 60min - EUR 0.93. In ticket validity time you can change as much vehicles as needed.
- Students: get a 50% discount. You must have a valid student or school ID. ISIC must be used with your personal ID or passport.
There are also private buses, in which you can't use tickets, bought from press shops. But prices are the same. In Vilnius, we also have Minibuses. Price 3.50. No discounts. Routes.
As of 2013-07-01 there are no private companies on public transportation system. Also there are no single tickets to buy from selling places. Single ticket can be bought only on-board.
As of the end of 2013 private carriers is being integrated into public transport system and you can use E-ticket as well.
Freeriding: Every bus has a machine to punch holes into the ticket which are shaped in a certain pattern (saying - there's no time limit on the tickets). People often leave there used tickets on the seat or drop it on the floor, so just take one and be happy. Alternatively always have a fresh ticket with you and punch it as soon as you see the controllers from the distance (they have a separate minibus and are usually 5 or more in shiny uniforms - easy to spot) - that said, it rarely happens that there are single controllers or conductors teams consisting of two people. You could technically spot them as well though. (Marshrutkas aren't so common in Vilnius and usually more expensive than the buses/trolleys.)
In most places such as public transportation stops is free Wifi (sometimes a little limited, but rarely). Moreover, it is in many places a lot of interactive art (QR codes are wearing), which also have free Wifi to listen to the guide, business with pleasure. ;)