Car Rental Vilnius
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Why rent a car in Vilnius?
The capital city of Lithuania is a fun travel destination. Rapidly developing, but with a touch of interesting history, it has plenty of castles, museums, and art centers to explore. Though influenced by its Northern, Eastern, and Central European neighbors, the city has a distinct character of its own. After seeing Vilnius, you can drive to explore the rest of the country or even visit one of Lithuania’s neighboring countries.
Top ways to enter Vilnius
- Vilnius Airport: The largest airport in the country, it served 4.9 million travelers in 2018. The airport is served by around 20 airlines, with GetJet Airlines, Ryanair, Wizz Air, and airBaltic providing most of the traffic. Located just 7km (4 miles) south of the city center, the airport can be reached in 15-20 minutes.
- Kaunas Airport: Served by five different airlines, the airport of Lithuania’s second city offers flights to and from the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and other European countries. The airport is located 98km (61 miles) northwest of Vilnius and the distance between the two can be traveled in about one hour.
- Palanga Airport: A small international airport on the Lithuanian Baltic coast, it serves the cities of Palanga and Klaipeda. As of August 2019, the airport has flights by eight different airlines. Located 335km (208 miles) northwest of Vilnius, it can be reached in about 3 hours and 20 minutes.
- Riga Airport: The busiest in the Baltics, the airport serving Latvian capital handled 7 million travelers in 2019. The airport is a large hub for the national carrier airBaltic and is also served by 16 other airlines. Located 302km (187 miles) north of Vilnius, the airport can be reached in three to four hours. To go from Latvia to Lithuania, you’ll have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it. If not, you can travel by public transportation and pick up a rental car after arriving in Vilnius.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Vilnius by train, you can conveniently pick up a rental at the Vilnius Railway Station (or Vilniaus geležinkelio stotis).
Useful city facts
Vilnius has a humid continental climate. Its summers are warm and have experienced noticeable heat waves during the last couple of years while its winters are cold and usually have a lot of snow. The average high temperature is 23°C (74°F) in July, the hottest month, and -2°C (29°F) in January, the coldest. The precipitation is at its highest from June to September.
For centuries, Vilnius has been a large center of politics and trade. During the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Lithuanian, Polish, Yiddish, German, Russian, Tatar, and Hebrew were spoken in the city, prompting some writers to compare Vilnius with ancient Babylon. Later part of the Russian, Polish, and Soviet empires, the city became the capital of independent Lithuania in 1991.
Top destinations and activities
- Gediminas Tower. The remaining part of the castle of the Dukes of Lithuania built in the 13th century, Gediminas Tower is one of the symbols of Vilnius. A place of great symbolic importance for Lithuanians, the hilltop tower also offers great views of the city below. After visiting the tower, check out the nearby Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Rebuilt on the site of the same palace that was destroyed in 1801, the new palace was finished in 2018.
- Vilnius Cathedral. Unlike the other two Baltic nations, Lithuania is primarily Roman Catholic. Vilnius Cathedral is the most important religious building in the country. Sitting on the site of a former Pagan place of worship, the cathedral was first built in the 13th century. Destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, it remains one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings in the country.
- Užupis. Jokingly pronounced an independent republic by its inhabitants, Užupis was once the bohemian soul of Vilnius and a place that many of the city’s writers, painters, and other artists called their home. Although the area has been rapidly gentrified during the last decade, it remains an important cultural hub and retains much of its free-spirited atmosphere. The inhabitants of Užupis also created a monument to Frank Zappa, a prog-rock legend, another place that’s worth visiting even though it’s in another part of town.
Traffic and parking tips
- Lithuania drives on the right hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits in Lithuania are 130km/h (80 mph) on motorways (automagistralė in Lithuanian), 120km/h (75 mph) on expressways (greitkelis), 110km/h (68 mph) on both expressways and motorways from the 1st of November to 31st of March, 90km/h (55 mph) on asphalt and concrete roads outside built-up areas, 70km/h (43 mph) on unpaved roads outside built-up areas, and 50km/h (31 mph) inside urban and built-up areas.
- It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving.
- Even though the road conditions have been steadily improving in Lithuania, some rural roads might still have potholes and be in otherwise bad condition, so it’s important to exercise extra caution when driving on them.
- Vilnius is quite a busy city with a lot of people coming to work there from other parts of Lithuania. If possible, it’s smart to avoid driving between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. as that is when the city experiences the highest amount of traffic jams.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.04% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, a licence ban, and even imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation need to be in it whenever you’re driving.
- When you are driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number in Lithuania, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
In Lithuania, only vehicles that are heavier than 3.5 tonnes need to purchase a vignette for driving on national motorways (A1 to A18). All passenger rental cars are lighter than that and therefore don’t need to purchase a toll vignette.
If you plan to rent a heavy vehicle that needs a vignette, ask your rental car provider in advance about it. Some rental cars might come equipped with it, and some rental car providers will include an additional fee for this service. Learn more about the toll roads in Lithuania on the country’s official toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Kaunas. Lithuania’s second-largest city and Vilnius’ great rival, Kaunas is a fun place to visit. The city is famous for its beautiful old town, cathedrals, monasteries, and opportunities for walks along the Nemunas River. Easily explored on a day-trip, go see it and find out which of the two cities you prefer. Kaunas is 105km (63 miles) northwest of Vilnius and can be reached in about 1 hour and 20 minutes by car.
- Trakai. A small, but historically important city, Trakai punches way above its size when it comes to attractions and landmarks. A former capital of Lithuania, it houses the Trakai Castle Museum, Trakai Historical National Park, and the Tyszkiewicz Palace. The city is also the center for Lithuanian Karaims, a Jewish community that speaks a language related to Tatar and Turkish. Located just 39km (24 miles) west of Vilnius, the town can be reached in 30 to 40 minutes.
- Birštonas. Although the small town of Birštonas only has a population of about 2,500, it has long been and remains an important resort and spa town. Visitors enjoy its many gardens, parks, and mineral water springs, as well as modern spas and sanatoriums. Birštonas is also at the heart of Nemunas Loops River Park. Located 110km (68 miles) west of Vilnius, Birštonas can be reached in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Vilnius is the VW Polo. Many travelers also choose the VW Up and the Ford Mondeo. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and mini.
- The Baltic coast. Although winters are quite harsh in Lithuania, the country’s beaches can be an absolute delight if you’re visiting from June to August. Great places for swimming and enjoying the sun, they are also starting to become regional hubs for water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing. Klaipeda, the largest city on the coast, is 310km (192 miles) northwest of Vilnius and can be reached in just over three hours.
- Curonian Spit. Also part of the Lithuanian coast, but deserving a special mention, the Curonian Spit is a thin and long stretch of land in the Baltic Sea. It is bordered only by the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and has no land border with the rest of Lithuania, so it can only be reached by ferry. Luckily, you can bring a car on it, so go on to explore its huge dunes, beautiful lagoon, and delicious seafood. Nida, the capital of the region, is 357km (222 miles) northwest of Vilnius and can be reached in about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
- The rest of the Baltics. A popular travel route for many visitors after seeing Lithuania is to drive north to see the other Baltic states, Latvia and Estonia. Rich in history, forests, and with a lengthy coastline, both countries have plenty to offer, not the least of which are their two charming capital cities, Riga and Tallinn. The former is just 294km (182 miles) northwest of Vilnius and can be reached in 3 hours and 30 minutes. Note that although all three Baltic states are members of the Schengen Area and there are no physical borders between the countries, you should still ask your rental car provider if they permit taking the car outside of Lithuania.
How can I save money on my rental car?
Follow these tips and land a great rental car in the capital of Lithuania:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Vilnius is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 67% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 79% cheaper than renting a vehicle in July.
Top 6 Locations near Vilnius
Vilnius Airport Car Rentals from $5.93 per day
Vilnius, Downtown Car Rentals from $14.81 per day
Vilnius Railway Station Car Rentals from $17.76 per day
Kaunas Airport Car Rentals from $16.08 per day85.2 km / 53.0 miles away
Kaunas Railway Station Car Rentals from $17.76 per day91.3 km / 56.7 miles away
Palanga Airport Car Rentals from $16.51 per day304.1 km / 189.0 miles away
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Vilnius?
What’s the usual rental length in Vilnius?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Vilnius?
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Top 12 Suppliers for Vilnius in 2019
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