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Day trip from Riga to Vilnius

Riga to vilnius
Vilnius is closer to Riga than you think

How far is Vilnius from Riga?

Vilnius is the capital city and largest city of Lithuania. The city is located in the southeast of the country and It is also the most populated city in the Baltic countries with 576.195 population.

So just how far away is Vilnius from Riga? And can you visit it just for one day?

Vilnius is located 295 kilometres from Riga. It takes a good few hours to reach there from Riga, so if you are planning to make a really short day trip to Vilnius you will need to know how to get there and what options you have!

Vilnius day trip from Riga
Vilnius has a very different character than Riga

How can I get Vilnius from Riga?

Vilnius has good transport connections from Riga. The city can be reached by bus, plane or train.

The most comfortable and cheapest way to get to Vilnius from Riga is by bus. It takes about 4 hours and the bus stations in both cities are situated in the city centre. There are a few bus companies which operate this route, FlixBus, EcoLines and LuxExpress

The last one is a local company which operates routes linking the main Baltic cities.

This route might cost 10-20€ (2024).

If you aim is to just visit Vilnius for a day, why not take the bus at night time from Riga? You will be able to choose a bus that arrives right in the morning and return the same day also at night time to Riga from Vilnius. If you feel for you that sleeping on the bus is a reality then you may find that you are able to save on 2 night accommodation! Ah the good old days of back packing when sleeping on the move was the most effective way to explore Europe on a budget!

Vilnius for a day
Vilnius is easy to explore on foot

Recently, It is also possible to get to Vilnius by train from Riga. It is operated by the Lithuanian Railways Company LTG LINK. The journey takes about 4.30 hours and costs 24€. (2024) Many tourists are choosing the train over the bus now and no surprises here as the train is by far a more adventurous and relaxing way to travel from Riga to Vilnius.

The quickest and most expensive way to get Vilnius is by plane.

The route is operated by the local company AirBaltic and Its prices depend on the season and the previous time of booking.

Both airports have good connections to the city centre by public transport. Its up to you of course but from a timing and environmental perspective these short flights are really not that much faster at such cost to environment. After all you need to get to the airport, check in, check out, depart It all adds up.

What to do in Vilnius?

Check out the Vilnius Free Tour. Our partners in the capital of Lithuania are a great way for you to explore the city. Follow there link here to see the schedule and book your places. -

Vilnius old town
Old Vilnius is as charming as old Riga

Vilnius Old Town 

Vilnius Old Town was declared UNESCO World Heritage in 1994. In 2009 was also European Capital of Culture.

The Old Town of Vilnius follows the mediaeval layout and It is easy to walk the streets and see the stunning collection of Ghotic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical buildings.

Its labyrinthine Old Town, Its sleek business district, Its elegant centre, Its many open squares and parks, Its historic suburbs all blend together into a seamless whole. The city's charm is in Its harmonious sense of unity.

Vilnius Cathedral 

Vilnius Cathedral was rebuilt several times as a result of frequent fires, wars and unstable soil under its foundation. Due to the building´s importance, many prominent foreign and local architects and artists led the reconstruction projects. 

The building currently reflects the Classicist style, but Its walls have traces of Ghotic, Renaissance and Baroque.

A 57 metre tall bell tower stands right by the cathedral and is one of the symbols of vilnius.

Entrance is free.

The Gedimina´s Tower 

The symbol of Vilnius is visible from many spots in the Old Town. It is one of the best places to see the fantastic panoramas of Vilnius.

The tower houses an historic exhibition displaying reconstruction models of the castles of Vilnius, an armament and iconographic material of Old Vilnius. Its exhibition invites visitors to learn about the history of Vilnius as the centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. 


8€ adults (April-September), 4€ pupils, students, pensioners.

6€ adults (October-March), 3€ pupils, students, pensioners.

The Hill of Three Crosses

The three Crosses memorial consists of three white reinforced concrete crosses that are visible from afar. 

This 12 tall metres monument has become a symbol of national identity, but the crosses themselves are often illuminated in different colours to commemorate special events for Lithuania and the world.

Climbing the hill you also will see vast panoramas of Vilnius old Town. 

Climbing up the hill and visiting the monument is completely free. 

Trakai vilnius
Trakai is very close to Vilnius

Trakai Castle

This small town located 27 kilometres from Vilnius is famous for Its castle.

The castle is famous for Its gothic architecture and Its special location. It stands on an island on Lake Galve, one of the deepest lakes in Lithuania.

You can reach the castle by crossing the long wooden bridge.

Visiting the museum inside the castle to explore the exhibitions of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, various archaeological findings and artefacts. In the summer there are mediaeval festivals as well various events and concerts in the castle's courtyard. 

It is possible to get Trakai from Vilnius by car, bus, or train

The journey will take around 30 minutes in either option.


12€ adults (May-September), 6€ pupils, students, pensioners.

10€ adults (October-April), 5€ pupils, students, pensioners. 

What to eat in Vilnius?

Lithuanian houses
Lithuania and Latvia share many things in common

Trying some of the traditional Lithuanian food is something that you should do if you visit the country.

There are so many restaurants in the centre where you can taste those traditional dishes.

These are some of the traditional dishes you should try if you visit Lithuania:

  • Cepelinai (Lithuanian potato dumpling)

  • Saltibarsciai (cold pink beetroot soup)

  • Bulviniai blynai (potato pancake) 

  • Kibinai (mutton and onion pastries)

  • Grybu Sriuba (mushroom soup)

  • Kiaules Ausis (pig ears)

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