Arriving in Vilnius in the early hours of Sunday morning, and our first time here, I'd booked a transfer shuttle through Wizzair for 9 Euros.
My e-ticket confirmed my booking, and stated that our meeting point was 01.30 by the Tourist Info Office, where our driver would be waiting with a Wizzair board.
Well, we arrived early, and having hand-luggage only were at our meeting point at 01.15. We couldn't see our driver, so stepped outside, returning a few minutes later. 01.30 came and went, as had all of the other passengers.
So, I attempted to contact the driver on the number given. No reply, so finally contacted Wizzair Who also couldn't contact the driver. We were instructed to get a cab and we'd be refunded. I enquired how much this would be, but he didn't know.
Vilnius airport is just 5km south of the City Centre
So, there was a cab outside. The driver said it would be about 80 Litas. The meter was whizzing round at an alarming rate.
Well, we arrived at our hotel with the fare clocking in at 82.30 Lt. I only had 100Lt notes, and he was struggling to find change.
I was expecting him to just take the 100 note, but........ no, he rounded the fare down to 80 and handed over a 20 Lt note! Well that was a pleasant introduction to Vilnius!
Apparently taxi fares are cheaper if booked ahead by 'phone.
Other alternatives are by bus - Service 1 goes to the train station for 2.50 Lt - Buy on board and validate it.
Trains run every hour or so (06.00-21.30) buy ticket from station or on board. We caught the train back to the airport from Vilnius.
I'm sure that I've got a photo of a Vilnius taxi - SOMEWHERE! Will add when I find it!
I didn't take a taxi in Vilnius, but I did do a lot of research before I arrived trying to find one that had a baby seat: none did. I did find out which are the most recommended. Perhaps the best thing to do is use the online taxi booking service: Etaksi. Apart from that Martono and Ekipažas were also, perhaps grudgingly, recommended to me.
Taxis in Vilnius don't seem to have a good reputation, especially those picked up off the street. It's definitely worth calling a reputable company.
Instead of hailing a cab off the street, call the cab company directly and you pay less per kilometer. Most cabs have the telephone numbers posted on the side. A good way to save a bit so you can buy more Utena beer!
One other thing ... when taking a taxi from the airport, make sure you ask approximately how many litai it will cost to your destination. The cab company that services the airport is known to tack on some extra litai during the trip.
Let's face it, taxi-drivers in Vilnius drive atrociously. Their cars are not always in the best of conditions, but never the less the drivers managed to make me feel quite safe and they know their way around. Even if they don't wear the seatbelt, it's required by law in Lithuania.
There are different rates for the fairs (1.40 - 3 litas/km) One if you hail a taxi in the street and another, if you call for one. It's way cheaper to call for a taxi - almost half the price. Make sure though to check the taximeter. Only once it was preset for the right rate. No hassle though, just point at it, and they change it to the proper rate. In all fairness we only drove with Martono Taksi, as it was the preferred taxi-company of the hotel where we stayed.
The first time you'll need a taxi is probably on arrival. If you bring your mobile and it operates abroad you dial the country code +370 then 240 00 04 (Martono). You can also buy a phonecard at the kiosk in the airport or railway-station then the number is merely 1422.
Obviously there are other companies one is Vilniaus Taksi +370 266 66 62. Short number 1800.
On our departure getting from the hotel to the airport we were basically screwed by our Martono taxidriver. Our suitcases were in the boot, we we're in a hurry, and then we noticed that the taximeter was out. Let's just say that the driver had a very good day.
And for you who're still reading: leave for the airport in time for you, to get out of the taxi and order another or make the driver turn on the meter before he let in the clutch.
I could see a lot of taxis waiting for consumers, esp. in front of the Cathedral Square. Hmm... I made a big mistake. I wanted to save some money on taxi (hmm... not that much) and I didn't take one to Vilnius TV tower... Instead, I tried unsuccesfully to get there by my car. Details: read in my the only Vilnius Tourist Traps tip.
Vilnius taxi was marked by yellow-black stickers on both sides and advertisement (lighted at night) of a taxi company with a phone number put on its roof. Each taxi had its own number as well. I didn't see any "unregistered" taxis although i was told (warned) about them before my trip (not true).
I could call for a taxi (hmm... better to know Polish or Russian, I suppose; tel. 1460, 400100 and others), to take it from a taxi stand or to stop an empty taxi on a street. I was told they were not very expensive, at least much cheaper than in any western European capital. I think I would spend around 20-30 Lt to get to TV tower AND back.
There are many taxis available in Vilnius at many different prices. Some are very cheap and some -expensive. Note that it is less expensive to call a taxi instead of getting one at street, also, that foreigners are sometimes cheated and higher price is said. Ask price per kilometer before using taxi and try to bargain if it is large. Normally, it should be around 1 Litas per kilometer if you called a taxi.
Taxis in Vilnius are either yellow or white and not older than 7 years, checkerboard pattern is on the sides. Although there are some illegal taxis, which are ussually older and has little or no signs that it is a taxi. You can use them if you want, but you have to know it's illegal, although nobody will put your in jail for this :) .
Telephones of main taxi companies should appear in telephone books. I am giving you one telephone I know.
In my opinion, taxis are the best way to get around Vilnius. They are ridiculously inexpensive, as long as you call in advance. The difference between ordering a taxi or taking one at random is huge - last week a driver tried to charge me 18 Lt for a trip that normally costs about 4.50.
A taxi from the airport to the old town should never cost more than 10-12 Litas -- bargain with the driver if he wants to charge you more.
My preferred taxi service is Ekipazas (see below). The cars are clean, and they call you when they arrive to pick you up.
I took a taxi (at 0945 hours) from the Hotel Rinno, Vingriu str. 25, to the airport and was charged 20Lt. I do not know whether this was a fair rate for the meter was not running. Based on my knowledge I suspect there was some element of overcharge. The hotel ordered the taxi for me and it was from Martono taksis.
As I was with my own car I was not need to use a taxi, not a regular one at list, but there were also those taxi bike options if the distance is not too far.