‘How has this 12 course meal WITH beers AND pudding for the BOTH of us cost less than €50 in Vilnius?!’
I simply had to look at the bill again but this time reaching out for my glasses, just in case.
My willing partner in crime, Jess of The Fly Away American, just giggled and gnawed at yet another attempt at a corner of a pig’s ear.
We were in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, in Eastern Europe – one of the Baltic states and both of us JUST couldn’t get over how dirt cheap this quite unknown city to all simply was to us. We were constantly pleasantly surprised throughout the three day trip here and the Euros we had taken out with Post Office Money simply wasn’t spending itself despite our best efforts to do so.
This Yorkshireman was evidently pretty pleased.
So, I pocked the bill as a memento for myself and watched further, to my amusement, to Jess choking herself on sampling one of Lithuania’s local delicacies, pig’s ear.
(To be honest, I choked myself but at least I tried it!)
Are you interested in getting the best budget tips for Vilnius in Lithuania?
Luckily for you, I have not only ten, not twenty but FORTY tips that you can use. Check it out below and tell me what’s the tip that YOU are definitely going to use. Just tell me on Facebook, Twitter or even comment at the end of this post. I’d love to hear what would work for you!
Budget Tips for Vilnius in Lithuania
Here are the top budget tips for your city break to Vilnius!
- Flying from London Stansted is usually the cheapest and you can offset that saving by taking the Stansted Express from Liverpool Street (or Stratford) in quick time.
2. Thirsty at Stansted? Get to the end of the long route from security through duty free to Wetherspoons where there are reasonably cheap beers. As it was St Patrick’s Day then, both Jess and I took a budget happy round of Guinness!
3. Yes, we may all hate to admit it, Ryanair does give the best budget flights. So, remember to pack the sunglasses and earplugs to avoid the bright yellow colours and the trumpet fanfare at the end of the flight.
4. Take a pre-booked smart taxi from Vilnius airport (not that far from the city) to your hotel. It’s only €15 and what’s more, they will have your name on a card waiting for you in arrivals. Too bad the paparazzi wasn’t told…
5. Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to constrict yourself to the cheapest hostel available. You can even stay in a 4 star hotel if you shop around. We stayed at Congress Avenue Vilnius Hotel that’s right in the middle of the city. Plus, it’s luxury too!
6. The nightlife seems to be vibrant all night long! Most people tend to go out from 11pm onwards so if you are looking for a friendly bar/club to party in, why not try Soho Club? You can get a cheap taxi there and back from the hotel.
7. The nightlife drinks were the most expensive. We faced at €5 for a bottle of beer but we strongly recommend that you avoid DAB beer – a german imported drink. Because you’ll get these faces below.
8. Vilnius is a small capital city. You don’t need a travel card or pay for any public transport, all you need to use is your two legs to walk around. We recommend you start sightseeing first thing in the morning to get the best photos. Although, throughout the weekend we were here, we hardly saw many people in the streets!
9. There are plenty of good quality and value for money coffee shops to get your fuel intake after your sightseeing. Both Jess and I got two rounds of this yummy snacks and coffee meal for only €8 for the both of us. We were pretty full.
10. The architecture of the Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral and Vilnius Cathedral on the outside is something to marvel at! Simply walk around and appreciate it.
11. Here’s the best vantage point to get yourself in the picture to demonstrate to family and friends back home how MASSIVE they actually are! Actually, don’t forget to bring a
screaming willing partner in crime to take your picture.
12. But before you explore Vilnius in great detail, head to Lithuania’s biggest secret – Trakai. You can get there in 30 minutes by taking a tour minibus from the stand outside the Cathedral. What’s more, you’ll get a running audio commentary of the history of Lithuania and detailed accounts of the sights you’ll see along the way. This cost €40 for the both of us to get a return journey.
(By the way I was listening to a very accented English voice hence why the look)
13. This is the reason why you should go to Trakai! A castle in the middle of a frozen lake! Dare you hear me start singing ‘Let It Go?’
14. Weirdly enough, it was warm at times. You can get four seasons in one day so be prepared to bring with you warm and waterproof clothing.
15. I don’t recommend walking on frozen lakes. Otherwise you’ll be in a whole load of trouble. Just remember to get travel insurance and you won’t have to worry forking out loads of money for rescue.
16. Avoid going inside Trakai Castle. Take a free perimeter stroll on the island and you’ll see great hidden spots. You can see I’m well excited. Probably a bit too much.
17. You can also take a free stroll along the lake in Trakai too. It’s stunningly beautiful. Just do it!
18. Trakai is also a town. Take a meander around and check out the local crafts in their markets.
19. Trakai also has beautifully colourful houses that always have three windows on either side. Why? Trakai is home to the Karaites, a Turkish community with its own religion (an offshoot of Judaism), who came in the 15th century and only 65 of them remain in the town. The wooden homes have the iconic Karaim three facade windows – one for God, one for the family and one for Grand Duke Vytautas – a guy you will learn about later.
20. Speaking of Karaites, you must try out their local delicacies in Trakai. Head on over to Bona Lounge, which gives you great views of Trakai Castle over the lake. But simply get a selection of Karaite pastries filled with different flavours.You’d gonna love it!
21. You can see me about to tuck in a large plate of Karaite pastries! I’m that absorbed that I didn’t see my photo being taken! I must have been that committed!
22. And here’s the bill! For both of us, the plates of Karaite pastries with drinks cost €15.40.
23. All in all, you’re gonna give a huge thumbs up to Trakai, which will take up your late morning and early afternoon. Well, worth being a few hours here.
24. Now, we’re back in Vilnius where we left for Trakai earlier on in the day. You can see Jess jumping for joy to check out Vilnius Cathedral, which is free to enter.
25. It’s free to check out inside Vilnius Cathedral. This is quite a quirky one and I enjoyed having a walk round.
26. Don’t forget to keep walking around. You’ll come across these statues.
27. For an immersive history of Lithuania, why not check out Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. It’s right next door to Vilnius Cathedral and costs only €3 per person.
28. Although, I couldn’t steal the Grand Ducal Crowns to pay for the rest of my trip I’m afraid…
29. After all that educational experience, it’s time to blow the cobwebs away and take a stroll up the hills in Kalnu Park to get the best view point of Vilnius.
30. Once, you’re at the top, you’ll be able to see Three Crosses that stands in full view wherever you are in Vilnius. It’s also a great view point too!
31. Be prepared to have warm clothing with you as it can get chilling just before sunset.
32. Okay, weird stuff may happen at the top. I have no idea what I was doing. But, hey, it’s free!
33. Keep a keen eye for statues around Vilnius! Grab a free local map from your hotel and follow the trail.
34. Perhaps see a local play at the national theatre. Just don’t get scared of the three evil nuns at the top.
35. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden bars that are on the main street, you’ll sure find cheap local beer to sample away from the touristy areas.
36. I hear you, €4.60 for two beers. It’s a goddamn steal!
37. If you want to try out as much as traditional Lithuanian food as possible in one place, I’d recommend Berneliu Uzeiga for the amazing experience! Check out the photos below!
YES, and all these dishes, a feast for a king, came to €46.70 for two people. Bargain!
38. Don’t forget to brush up your Lithuanian language. Memorise ‘thank you’ ‘please’ ‘hello’ ‘goodbye’ and of course ‘cheers!’ This will go a long way with the Lithuanian people.
39. It is absolutely recommended that you sightsee the old town in the early morning before the city wakes up. It gives great views, great photos and what’s more, it’s free!
40. Before you go home, it is essential you learn about Lithuanian history, particularly through the dark times. Take a visit at the Museum of Genocide Victims (KBG Museum) and understand how Lithuania suffered throughout the 20th century. It’s €4 and it’s worth every penny to feel the haunting experience within.
So, there you have it! My 40 budget tips for Vilnius in Lithuania! Jess and I travelled with €350 for the both of us for a three day weekend break in the capital of Lithuania and we still had loads of money left over despite TRYING to spend it! It really goes to show that if you plan out your trip right, identifying where you can get best value for money and cutting down your costs, your budget trip can be so worthwhile. Both of us had a blast in Vilnius and Trakai, and you know what? I’d still come back!
Where can you start researching your next budget trip?
There are so many resources out there that can help you (ahem, this blog) but it can get a bit daunting not knowing where to start from. Perhaps go straight to the money? The Post Office Money has developed a City Costs Barometer report for 2017 which can help you where to find the cost-effective places to travel to. Find out more here:
Even at glance, prices are cheapest of all in Paphos in Cyprus! I didn’t know that! Guess I know where I will be travelling to for Autumn sun! You can download reports for each European region to give a quick glance of their infographics to find out which activities are budget friendly or not.
Find out how what six other travel bloggers say about travelling to Europe without breaking the bank here: Take a European break without breaking the bank
Where will you be travelling to this year? Leave a comment below or say hello to me on Twitter!
Check out more budget travel tips from RexyEdventures: travelling luxury style on a budget