Lithuania is one of the three Baltic countries we visited in May 2019. Sandwiched between the Baltic Sea and almighty Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have a reputation for being affordable destinations, especially if compared with more established Western European countries or Scandinavia. So, how much does it cost to visit Lithuania?
Our daily travel expenses in Lithuania were EUR39.40 / USD44.14 per person per day. Our budget is USD50.00, so we were well under. As we explored Lithuania, we divided our time between the capital Vilnius (three nights), its second-biggest city Kaunas (also three nights), and Šiauliai (one night).
- The costs are based upon a couple travelling together.
- We did not travel as part of an organised tour group but as independent travellers.
- Not considered is the entry or exit transport into/out of the country.
- We are digital nomads so base ourselves in accommodation that has good Wi-Fi.
- Included in the overall daily costs (for the period of time we are in the country) are:
Where We Travelled
We sourced our accommodation through Airbnb, renting a private room with shared bathroom in our host’s home and two small apartments.
Shared accommodation allows us to stay within budget while not compromising on certain comforts, such as a kitchen where we can prepare meals. It also allows us to learn more about our destinations through conversations with our hosts. This was certainly the case with our Vilnius hosts, Vilte and Aivaras, whom we even had dinner with on our last night in Vilnius.
Two of the three places we stayed at were austere, five-story apartment blocks from the 1960s/1970s, which reminded Sandra of her childhood (as she grew up in a very similar one in East Germany). Not luxurious, but comfortable and perfectly suitable nevertheless.
|Accommodation Name||City||Type||Cost Per Night|
|Cosy room with a beautiful view||Vilnius||Double room with shared bathroom||EUR36.46|
|Cozy Apartment in Kaunas with Free Parking||Kaunas||One bedroom apartment||EUR37.37|
|Sun city centre apartament||Šiauliai||Studio apartment||EUR28.04|
Vilnius and Kaunas both had very efficient bus and trolleybus systems. A single ride was EUR1 per person (purchasing the tickets from the driver). If you are in Vilnius for more than a couple of days (and are better organised than we were), it pays to get the Vilniečio kortelė (Electronic Ticket) – a card that is credited with money and/or public transport tickets. The two benefits are:
- the ride cost is cheaper (EUR0.65), and
- you are able to transfer to another route on the same ticket.
Groceries and Dining
Trying typical Lithuanian dishes and beverages was certainly something we were looking forward to, and we were not disappointed. We just had to get away from the touristy areas and eat where the locals eat. As usual, we ate a hot lunch at cafes and a cold dinner of cheese, meat and bread in the evening.
On average, our daily lunch cost EUR5.70 per person. The most traditional Lithuanian restaurant we checked out was Berneliu Uzeiga in Kaunas. We had the Farmer’s Feast which was a whole lot of potatoes (in all variations) and meat. Thankfully, we asked for one portion to share. And it was still way more than we could eat. Including a drink each, it cost EUR20.49.
As mentioned, on our final night in Vilnius, we went out for dinner with our hosts. Bambalynė is a beer hall in the basement down an alleyway in the Old Town. We shared five different beers and a cheese and meat platter. Total bill for a great night out was EUR11.45 each.
We only paid for four tourist attractions in total (all others we chose were free):
- Gediminas Castle Tower and the Museum of Occupation and Freedom Fights (highly recommended) in Vilnius;
- the Christ Resurrection Church (with amazing views of the town and beyond) and the House of Perkūnas in Kaunas.
In Šiauliai, we visited the famous Kryžių Kalnas, or Hill of Crosses, located 12km north of the city. Although free to explore, you would need (to pay for) public transport to get there.
Travel Costs Summary Table
|Categories||EUR per person per day|
|Total per person per day||EUR39.40|
From a safety point of view, we like to have as little cash as possible on us, yet enough to not feel uncomfortable. Of the expenses incurred in Lithuania, we paid 21% in cash. The biggest cash amount was EUR10 for entry into the Gediminas Castle Tower. No credit card facilities were available.
Other Cost Summaries and Budgets
Other websites have calculated the costs as shown in the table below. We are unsure whether their data includes entry/exit cost. However, it is good to compare our actual versus their data. As a travel cost estimator, Budget Your Trip is one of the best ones, however, it pays to review sites such as Numbeo
|Name||Daily Amount Per Person||Travel Style|
|Budget Your Trip||EUR67||Mid-range|
Feature image by 680451 from Pixabay