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The Baltics

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1. Posted by tatjana (Inactive 2 posts) 11y

Has anyone considered or has done the Baltic countries by train/buses? I am considering it January 2006, maybe for 2 months. Possibly Hungary and Poland as well.Any other suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.


2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I think 2 months would be too long for the Baltics. They're great countries and places to visit, but also very small. I did it by car and really enjoyed Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia. Sorry I don't know anything about the buses there, but I'd say if you're planning on a 2 month trip, you counld definitely also visit Poland (it's right there). Another nice place close by is L'viv in Ukraine. And if you like "fantastic architecture" you'll definitely want to stop in Prague, on the way to Hungary.

3. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 11y

yeah took buses all over the baltics, easy and cheap -
my route was Tallinn -> St Petes (8 hours overnite)
St Petes -> Riga (10 hours)
Riga -> Vilnius (8 hours)

All very cheap. The best part of europe I think. Hurry before everyone finds out and makes it tourist hell.

and poland is a must - Warsaw - not so good - Torun (western Pole) and Krakow are nice!

Hungary - live in Buda now and its a great city by all means (but nite life is lackin so far)

If u have two months u have plenty of time.

Try East Slovak - went there from Krakow on route to Hungary and saw THE Largest Castle in East Euro. its in SPisky Hard - Near Kosice I think.

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Krakow is Great! In Lthuania, check out the "Hill of Crosses."

St. Petersburg is also a beautiful city. Maybe you could start in St. Petersburg and work your way down.

5. Posted by jonc (Budding Member 28 posts) 11y


Does anyone know what the baltics are like for train travel? Will be there in september and am going to be using trains a lot on my travels!



6. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 11y

All the backpackers I met (myself included) only took buses in these countries. Trains arent as practical it seems and more expensive.

Hungary / Poland - trains are better im sure as distances are further.

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Trains are essentially useless in the most part, with the exception of Riga and Vilnius overnight to St. Petersburg, and the same plus Tallinn overnight to Moscow. There is currently only 1 (with a change) connection to Poland, and no overnighter, and no inter connections between any of the 3 Baltic countries with the exception of a once weekly train which takes in Vilnius and Riga. The only reasons to use trains would be on some day trips, or within Lithuania (to Kaunas or Klaipedia for example), but even then there are large numbers of more frequent bus alternatives at similar prices.

Vilnius - Riga and Riga - Tallinn (via Parnu, worth a stop) are both between 5 and 6 hours and frequent. You can do overnighters between them, although excpect early arrivals (4am) or late departures (2.30am) etc.

Bus is the way to go by Pub Trans, although hitchhiking is EXTREMELY good, and normally significantly quicker, and obviously cheaper, although whether you choose to use it is entirely up to you.

In 2 months, you have time to see alot, and maybe add Helsinki (which many do as a day trip from Tallinn or v.v, but in a couple of better with a couple of days) and Finland in general and St. Petersburg - blog entry up soon - with Poland an obvious continuation.