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Kaunas, Vilnius, Riga & Tallinn in 9 days

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip to these cities for the number of days here and I would like to ask for some advice!

For a female solo backpacker like me (this will be my first time in Eastern Europe), are these cities mostly safe in the day time? I'm not a party-person so I know to avoid wandering the streets at night-times and will be in my hostel.
What's the general attitude towards Asian women in this region?

For the administrative details, I will be landing in Kaunas Airport at 23:50 at night, via Ryanair. I have heard that there are shuttle buses that coincide with Ryanair flights to bring them to the city. Is this true? If not, what is the safest way of getting to the city centre?

Do you think these days are enough?

23:50 12 June: sleep in Kaunas
13 June: Kaunas
14 June: Go Vilnius by train/bus (which is better?) in the early morning
15 June: Vilnius
16 June: Vilnius
17 June: Go Riga by bus in the early morning
18 June: Riga
19 June: Go Tallinn by bus in the afternoon
20 June: Tallinn
21 June: Fly out of Tallinm at 12:00

Am I allocating too much time to Vilnius? I've done a bit of research and the general consensus is that Vilnius has more to see than the rest.

My interests are mainly in architecture. I'm really interested in old towns and visiting beautiful cathedrals. Riverside walks and panoramas are nice too! and a fair bit of post-soviet era history of the Baltic countries.

As I've mentioned, no drinking :) Good and affordable food is a must though (I absolutely love meat and intensely-flavoured dishes)

I've been to Porto and Lisbon in Portugal and I must say I really love it when the country's people are really friendly when I ask for directions! But I only know English and Mandarin so communication might be a problem in the Baltics. Do they have English signs for the bus and train stops/stations?

Sorry for all these questions but it'd be great to clarify all of them at once, especially when the Baltics are so often missed out on travel review sites due to the more popular Scandinavian or Russian destinations!

Posted by
669 posts

Sienna,
We’ve been to Lithuania three times and have visited the cities you name except Riga. I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

We believe these cities are safe in the day time. In fact, we believe that, with minor exceptions, they’re safe all the time.

No, you are not allocating too much time to Vilnius. But we wish you had more time in Tallinn. There is Soviet era history all over the region, and of course, post Soviet.

In Kaunas, consider visiting the Ninth Fort and Rumšiškės, an open air museum a short ways out of town.

Vilnius has lots of things to see in Old Town, but you also might visit Trakai with its wonderfully restored old castle. Its between Kaunas and Vilnius, but easier access from Vilnius via bus.

When traveling to Riga see if you can get bus connections that allow a couple of hours in Šiauliai, in order to visit the Hill of Crosses which is just a few miles out of town.

In our opinion, bus transportation is better than train. See eurolines.com for transportation from Vilnius to Riga to Tallinn.

"In Your Pocket" publishes free city guides for all the places you are planning to visit. See inyourpocket.com .You’ll find answers there to more of your questions. Tallinn was included in the RS Scandinavia guidebook but I don’t know if it still is.

And Lithuania began using the euro at the beginning of this year!

Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
2096 posts

I've only been to Tallinn-spent a week there since I have Estonian heritage--& I'm a female solo traveller. I stayed in a hotel just inside the old town and felt completely safe walking there and into the rest of Tallinn night and day. I don't recall much English signage but the Estonians are as helpful as can be, younger people and those in tourist trade speak English. There are also plenty of Russians, though, and none seemed to have English skills. I'd suggest at least 2 full days there, lots to do and see and for a capital city it has a pleasant pace, not frantic like Prague, where I am right now. I recommend EstAdventures for incredibly wonderful small group day tours and walking tours in town.