Vilnius railway station, Lithuania

Vilnius station - terminus of the train journey from London.  Courtesy of Yuk Wah Chu.

UK to Lithuania overland by train...

The closest of the three historic Baltic capitals, Vilnius can be reached overland from London via Berlin and Warsaw.

Train times, fares & tickets...

  London to Vilnius by train via Warsaw

  London to Vilnius via Kiel & the ferry to Klaipeda

  Useful country information - currency, dial code, etc

  Hotels & accommodation in Vilnius & Lithuania

On other pages...

  Warsaw to Kaunas & Vilnius by train

  Train travel within Lithuania

  Trains from Vilnius to Riga, Tallinn, Moscow & St Petersburg

Useful country information

Train operators:

Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (LG,

Train times in Europe:

Train times in all ex-Soviet states:

Train times for any journey in Europe


Time zone:

GMT+2 (GMT+3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

Dialling code:




£1 = approx 1.15 euros, formerly 4.0 Litas.  Lithuania joined the eurozone in January 2015.    Currency converter

Tourist information:  Recommended guidebooks

Hotels in Lithuania:

Find a hotel in Vilnius.  Hostels:


UK citizens don't need a visa for Lithuania.  Warsaw-Vilnius trains do not pass through Belarus, so a Belarus visa is not required.

Page last updated:

20 February 2019

London to Vilnius

Option 1, by train via Warsaw...

This is the fastest way, all by train with daily departures.  Alternatively you may prefer the train+ferry option using a Germany-Lithuania ferry, described in Option 2 below.  It's up to you!

London ► Vilnius

Vilnius ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

Warsaw to Vilnius by train:  At Bialystok station, the Intercity train from Warsaw has arrived on the right, the connecting train to Kaunas in Lithuania is on the left.  Courtesy of Joerg Schmidt.

Option 2, by train to Germany then ferry to Lithuania...

This is a leisurely way to reach Lithuania, using comfortable trains from the UK to Germany then a civilised & comfortable DFDS Seaways ferry from Germany to Lithuania.

London ► Klaipeda & Vilnius

Vilnius & Klaipeda ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

What's the journey like?

1.  London to Cologne by Eurostar & ICE:  Watch the video!

2.  Cologne to Hamburg by InterCity train:

German InterCity train   InterCity 2nd class   InterCity 1st class (6-seat compartment type)

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains, a few are high-speed ICEs.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...


InterCity 2nd class.  You'll also find a few compartment coaches on InterCity trains, and a bistro or restaurant car...


InterCity 1st class, often available in both open-plan saloons like this and in compartments.

3. Kiel to Klaipeda by DFDS ferry...

Traveller Lewis Baston reports:  "We took the Friday ferry that departs at 22:00, making - if you can get the 06:50 from London to Brussels - it feasible to board the ferry on Day 1, overnight, and arrive on Day 2 in the evening (20:00) in Klaipeda. The Klaipeda boat leaves from Ostuferhafen, which is in an industrial area east of the fjord on which Kiel is built. The ferries to Sweden leave from a very modern looking port more or less across the road from Kiel Hbf but the Klaipeda dock is more basic. The signage isn't great - if people know exactly what they are doing, there's a number 11 bus from Hbf that gets you most of the way to Ostuferhafen, but for the uninitiated it is a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the city centre and station.

The ferry is of a standard type rather than the vast mega-ferries that go on routes from Kiel to Sweden or from Hoek van Holland to Harwich. Embarkation is smooth and uncomplicated; the check-in building has a pizza restaurant in it. Passengers are taken to the ferry by a shuttle bus from the terminal. The last shuttle leaves an hour before departure.

Facilities on the ferry are pretty good. It is Lithuanian-operated and crewed, so you do get the occasional taste of post-Soviet customer service, but mostly it is fine and the quality of the food and cabins is a pleasant surprise. We went 'Commodore Class' which involves two proper beds and an outside window, looking out in the direction of travel. The ferry was busy, with lorries packed in like sardines. There are two bars and two restaurants (one self service canteen style and one a la carte). We chose to book breakfast, lunch and dinner (a word of warning - if during booking online you are offered breakfast vouchers and your room rate says it includes breakfast DO NOT order a breakfast voucher - this differs from Stena Line's system I think). The meals are full, hearty and Baltic-style - and very tasty and filling, particularly if you (like me) are fond of meat and potatoes. But my companion, whose tastes are more refined, also thought the food was good. In retrospect, you only really need breakfast and one other meal, not two!

Arrival in Klaipeda is, as in Kiel, in an industrial port area. There is a bus (1A) into town but its timetable does not match up very well to the later ferries. Arriving on the 22:00 departure from Kiel you need to be lucky and on the first shuttle bus from the ferry to the dock gate to get the bus (it does not wait for passengers, however useful that would be!) and there aren't buses to meet the 23:00 departure from Kiel. You are more or less at the mercy of taxi drivers, although even taxis are scarce. Booking in advance might be efficient. We paid €20 split between four, which felt reasonable at the time as it was bucketing with rain. The standard bus fare is LIT2.60, a good deal if you arrive earlier in the day as the stop is just outside the dock gate and port building where outbound passengers check in.

Photos below courtesy of Lewis Baston...

Ferry check-in at Kiel   Kiel to Klaipeda ferry boarding in Kiel

Ferry terminal at Kiel...


The ferry to Klaipeda boarding in Kiel...

Cafe on board   2-berth cabin with shower & TV

The cafe-lounge on board...


2-berth Commodore cabin with shower, WC, TV...

Klaipeda station   Klaipeda to Vilnius train

Klaipeda station...


The express train from Klaipeda to Vilnius...

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Train travel within Lithuania...

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Moving on from Lithuania...

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European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from

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Recommended guidebooks

Make sure you take a good guidebook.  For the independent traveller, this means either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide.  Both books provide a similarly excellent level of cultural and historical background and practical information.  You won't regret buying one of these guides..!

Click the images to buy online at


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Find hotels in Vilnius & Lithuania


Favourite hotel search & price comparison: checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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Travel insurance & health card



Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

Get a VPN for safe browsing when you travel.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use them myself.


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