There's a reason why Lithuania has been dubbed the "hidden gem" of Europe. With fascinating culture, lush landscape and a history that both intrigues and bewilders, anyone visiting this beautiful country is certain to have experiences they'll never forget. The most important thing to consider when traveling to any destination is how to get around. In Lithuania there are plenty of options, however there are also certain things to note with regards to getting around safely.
One of the more popular means of transportation in Lithuania is renting a vehicle.
This should be done with extreme caution, however, given the high rate of accidents and resulting deaths that occur there each year. Simply put, the driving there is dangerous. Lithuanian drivers are known to be extremely aggressive, speedy and careless. You must drive defensively and remember that it's best to yield to anyone who appears to be driving fast or erratically, to be on the safe side.
Night driving can be particularly treacherous and extra care should be exercised. When driving in more rural areas, watch for wildlife. There is also the issue of poorly kept roads and severe potholes. Additionally, keep in mind that drivers must use dipped headlights at all times.
Driving during the winter can be extremely hazardous due to the harsh cold and severe weather. In fact, between November 10th and April 1st, winter tires are required by law on all vehicles. Be sure the vehicle you are using is well equipped to handle the elements. Every year hundreds of people lose their lives on Lithuanian roads from traffic accidents caused by either negligence of other drivers or weather related incidents. Either way, be aware of the dangers and use caution.
You should also take note that Lithuania is full of radar speed traps. You'd best adhere to the posted speed limits, otherwise you'll likely end up paying a hefty on the spot fine to a police officer. The authorities are also always on the lookout for drunk drivers, and violators face fines and possible imprisonment. In case you do happen to get pulled over, make sure you have your international driving license or your passport as well as the original vehicle registration documents (copies aren't accepted).
Given the risk involved with driving in Lithuania, you may choose instead to use available public transportation to get around. As is typically the case, crowded buses and trolleys are often havens for petty thieves so if you go this route, keep a close eye on your belongings.
Taxis are quite accessible throughout Lithuania, particularly the larger city areas.
It's a safer bet to call ahead for one, rather than hailing one on the street (particularly at night). Your hotel concierge should be able to assist you with this.
If you do flag your own ride down, make sure there is a visible working meter before you get in to avoid being ripped off. Unmarked taxis are illegal and often cost way more than legitimate ones, so stick with those that are registered.
Trolleys and buses are cheap, easy ways to get from here to there. Keep in mind, however, that tickets should be purchased from reputable sources rather than from anyone on the streets. Additionally, your ticket must be stamped by the onboard machine otherwise you'll find yourself in trouble with undercover inspectors and possibly charged a fine.
Lithuania is a beautiful country that can be explored on foot in many areas. As a pedestrian, however, you should be very aware of the dangerous drivers on the road.
They often speed and drive recklessly, paying little regard to people attempting to cross the road or even walking on sidewalks. Even pedestrian crossings, which are meant to provide a safe place to cross busy streets on foot, are widely ignored by hazardous drivers. Remain alert at all times.
The terrain in some areas, such as Vilnius, can be challenging to negotiate. Footpaths are often uneven or poorly kept making them dangerous for anyone not surefooted. Pay attention to where you're stepping to avoid any trips and falls.
What's not to love about Lithuania? Explore the cozy streets, lavish along the shores of the Baltic Sea and discover a unique culture filled with rich traditions and refreshing authenticity. Ther's certainly plenty to do and see. But while you're there, you'll need to figure out the most practical ways to get from here to there.
These tips should help you get around safely so you can truly enjoy everything that this charming country has to offer without encountering any problems.
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