In 2006, after exploring Lithuania for about 10 days we returned to Vilnius from Panevezys by bus. The trip took about 3,5 h and was 22,50 Litas (about 6,80 Euro; 2006).
In 2011 we left Vilnius by bus to Minsk in Belarus. We bought our ticket for about 13 Euro one day before the departure. We returned from Belarus to Vilnius from Grodno (BY) via Druskininkai.
Vilnius' bus station (Autobusu Stotis) is served by several bus companies from almost all bigger cities in Lithuania. International services are available from many European countries including Poland, Latvia, Germany and Belarus.
The bus station is conveniently located just next to the train station, only 10 minutes on foot south of the old town.
Vilniaus Autobusu Stotis:
The Buses station is just beside the railway station, and it's quite big, with many shops, cafés and supermarkets inside.
There are much more buses than trains, so you can choose among much more destinations, both local/national (Toks) and international (Eurolines).
It's also the best way to visit the nearby Trakai, and for going to Kaunas, Klaipeda, SIauliai and any other town in Lithuania.
Buses for short trips are usually old and not in great conditions, while for longer distances they use modern coaches.
The bus terminal is opposite the train station on the left side. For late-night travellers, note there is a 24-hour currency exchange located at the circle between the train and bus stations. The sign outside reads Valiutos Keitykla.
To get to the centre: read the tip "By train" at my Vilnius' page.
vilnius is also served by bus from all the neighbouring countries.
it's generally slightly cheaper and not so comfortable as the train, but a perfectly ok solution.
the bus station in vilnius is only a 2 minute walk from the main train station.
Vilnius has a good system of buses and trolleybuses to get you where you need to go. UPDATE: The city has introduced an electronic fare card (Vilniečio kortelė, cost 4 Litas), available at many newspaper kiosks, on which you can pre-load fares. 30 minutes of travel will cost 2.2 Litas with the card, while a 60-minute ride will cost 3.2 Litas. If you haven't bought a fare card, you can still buy a single-ride ticket from the driver for 2.5 Litas. You can also buy 1-day tickets (12 Litas), 3-day tickets (21 Litas), and 10-day tickets (41 Litas), but the average tourist most likely won't use the system enough to make these options pay off in a walkable city like Vilnius.
Frequent buses leave Vilnius bus station for all other cities in Lithuania, as well as other cities in Europe (particularly the major Baltic cities of Riga and Tallinn).
An extensive timetable can be found on the following website:
The buses range from small minibuses on short domestic routes to luxurious Eurolines coaches (with TV sets, toilets on board and coffee machines) on longer routes.
In October 2005, we caught a Eurolines coach for the 4 hour journey north to Siauliai (via Ukmerge, Panevezys and Radviliskis) at a cost of 32 Lt (approx 6 GBP / 9 Euros).
We purchased tickets in advance from the English-speaking information desk at the station but the bus was far from full and many passengers paid the conductor as she came around rather than pre-purchase a ticket.
The bus station is located in the south of the Old Town, across from the main railway station, and contains a number of cafes and shops and seating areas.
The most common means of getting to and from Vilnius is by bus. These are generally high quality transport, many of which have wi-fi. For international travel the most famous, and most expensive, line is Eurolines. But there are a number of others who are probably as good, or close enough.
The bus station is a bit of a mess, and a fair walk from the old town. It's easy enough to get to and from there without walking, however. Most of the trolley buses seem to go near the old town.
Just a note to anyone coming from Riga. The eurolines bus stops at a shopping centre on the far side of the river. This can be convenient if you are staying in a hotel in the new part of the city, but you are probably better staying on until it gets to the bus station. You'll know you are there because there will be a lot of other buses there too.
Dead easy to get to Vilnius by bus/minibus from Kaunas.
There are lots of services operating. Just buy your ticket from the ticket office (you will see the timetables displayed at both Kaunas and Vilnius bus stations). Decide what time you want to travel, because the person behind the counter will ask you (I found the ladies to have very reasonable English, which helped).
You could buy your return ticket when you arrived if you wish, as I did. That way you are sure of a seat on the bus/minibus at the time you want. The timetable does not show which service is a bus and which is a minibus, so it is difficult to know how much space there will be (I imagine that buses at the beginning and end of the working day can be quite crowded). There are no 'return' tickets as such, just one-way tickets (20 litas when I visited in August 2010).
Both Vilnius and Kaunas bus stations are well-signed, and you will easily see which stand ('gate') your bus leaves from.
Journey is around 1h 20m, although can obviously be affected by traffic congestion at busy times.
Vilnius has a well-developed public transportation system. There are over 60 bus and 19 trolleybus routes, the trolleybus network is one of the biggest in Europe. Over 250 buses and 260 trolleybuses transport about 500,000 passengers every workday. The first regular bus routes were established in 1926, and the first trolleybus was introduced in 1956.
I arrived in Vilnius by train from Kaunas, and left by longdistance bus for Riga. The two stations are short of next door to each other.
Vilnius is well served with trains and buses to/from Kaunas but if you want to go to Latvia there are only buses to choose from. I used the Eurolines for my journey to Riga and was satisfied with the quality of the bus and service.
I'm still not quite sure we took the most efficient bus to Trakai, we purchased at the ticket window because the boards did not list a direct bus there but once we got out to the platform there was one that had 30 buses listed for Trakai and they looked direct.
In any case, we got on a bus going towards Alytus and it got us there all the same. The cost was 2.50 lt going to Trakai and took about 1/2 hour. On the way back, we got on the milk run, it cost 3.5 lt and took an hour.
The public transport system in Vilnius is a throwback to former times. The busses are old but they work. They appear to be plentiful and run frequently. The astounding thing to visitors is that they are cheap (1.10 Lt)!
You must remember to buy your ticket before getting on the bus at one of the many kiosks around the city. The fare is fixed and you can travel on bus No2 from the airport to the city centre for the same fare. If you buy a ticket on the bus it will cost more and you must have the correct fare.
If you are caught without a ticket beware - instant fine!
The cheapest way to get to the town from the airport is by bus, and it's very easy as well. You'll find the buses right in front of the airport arrival hall, which, by the way, in my opinion looks more like a railway station than an airport. There are buses no. 1 and 2 that both go to the town. Bus #1 goes to the railway station, which is only 10 - 15 minutes walk from the old town. Bus # 2 goes to the new city centre. You can change money at the airpot and there's also an ATM. The bus ticket costs 1.40 Lt which you pay to the driver.
If you are going to travel in the Baltic States the longdistance buses are a very good option. I used Eurolines but there are others as well.
I'll post some links here:
Most points of tourist interest is located inside or very close to quite large Old Town of Vilnius. There was no better way to visit it than walking around esp. that many/most streets of the Old Town were narrow and surely closed for public transportation.
But outside, you can use extensive net of both buses and trolleybuses although the last ones can't go to farer suburbs. Some buses I saw, looked a little bit old, some were new. They were not crowded on business day when I was in Vilnius. The bus stops were put close one to the next one.
Ticket prices: check here
There were the same tickets for buses and trolleybuses: single tickets, one-day, 3-day and 10-day tickets. They costed 0.80 Lt in kiosks or 1.00 Lt (0.3 € or $0.36) when purchased by a driver. You must validate your ticket in a machine immediately after getting on a bus/trolleybus.
You can download and print out the map of public transportation: click here