Transportation in Vilnius is organized by buses, trolleybuses and taxis. There is a subway project still in discussion, but it is unclear if it will happen anytime soon. There are also plans to maybe transform the planned metro in a tram. At the moment, transportation in Vilnius is quite cheap, but many buses are old and information in English is rare.
When you are thinking about traveling to Vilnius, you’ll most likely think about flights. Yet, it’s also possible to reach Vilnius by train. There are several regional and international trains that connect Vilnius with other cities nearby. The regional transport is operated by a Lithuanian state company.
As the company is quite large, there is an extensive system which is comparable to many rapid transport systems in other cities. It connects Vilnius with the second largest city in the country, Kaunas, as well as both cities with its suburbs.
In the early 21st century, Vilnius was supposed to get a metro system consisting of a subway with three lines. However, due to financial and public reasons, the project never got started. Nowadays, there are debates about transforming the three yet non-existing lines into a tram system.
At the moment, the most important transportation system in Vilnius is operated by buses and trolleybuses. The latter are kind of comparable to trams. As huge investments in the fleet happened a few years ago, most of the trolleybuses are modern and accessible nowadays. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that you’ll get one of the new buses as there are still some old ones operating on the 21 lines.
The 21 trolleybus lines in Vilnius are mostly operating on high frequency routes in the city center. Normal buses are mainly operating in the suburbs, but also partly in areas where there are no overhead wires. The network of buses and trolleybuses in Vilnius is quite extensive, making buses and trolleybuses a good way to get around in the city.
It’s also a very cheap way to get around as the prices for buses and trolleybuses in Vilnius are extremely low compared to other European metropolises. Single tickets (available by the driver only) cost 1 Euro (~ 1.10 US-Dollar), while time tickets (to be bought online) are available starting at 0.64 Euro (~ 0.71 US-Dollar) for 30 minutes.
If you are looking for a more private transfer in Vilnius, you may choose one of the taxis available in the city. There are different companies operating taxis making it a little tough to always find one that offers fair prices. As it appears, there is no list of fixed taxi prices for taxis in Vilnius.
Yet, most of the taxis operate with a taximeter. When taking a taxi, you should always have the average prices in mind. There usually is no base fare, but rather a fare for each kilometer. This one should be approximately 0.70 Euro (~ 0.78 US-Dollar). As the prices are that low, rides to the airport usually cost 10 Euro (~ 11 US-Dollar). Most taxis are modern and convenient, but not all drivers speak proper English, so be prepared with a written address of your destination.
As most other larger cities in Europe, Vilnius also has some special means of transport. The options include city bikes and special touristic modes of transportation. Most of those are not operated by the city, but rather by private companies.
Due to that, prices are usually way higher than the ones for the “normal” public transport in Vilnius. However, there’s one exception. The funicular on the castle mountain is operated by the city and offers fair prices. At the same time, you may also use the stairs to avoid an extra cost. The way up and down is actually only 15 to 20 minutes.