How to handle things like a true Lithuanian

Article published on April 29, 2016
Article published on April 29, 2016

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

If you just arrived to Lithuania - you’re probably a little bit cold. Your shoes are wet, and everyone’s speaking a weird language. But whatever you might be going through it’ll be all ok soon. It’s only a matter of time until you discover how beautiful and treasureous Lithuania and the locals are. 

First things first. If you haven’t done a proper research, you might end up spending more time or money than you should. Remember, Lithuania has one of the fastest internet in Europe that allows us to design many life, time and money saving applications. No Lithuanian throws around his money – we guard it with our lives. That’s why we’ve prepared a special toolkit to receive the fastest services and get closer to Lithuanian community. Keep on reading, keep on learning – ease your life with some useful tips!

1. Prove your identity and get benefits with ISIC International Student Identity Card

ISIC not only proves your student status worldwide, but also provides access to many discounts and benefits from public transport to various cultural and music events. If you haven’t ordered ISIC in your hometown, you can do it in Lithuania as well.

2. Public Transport in Vilnius

You can either use an electronic card called „Vilniečio kortelė“ or one-time paper tickets. But forget paper tickets if you are planning to get to know the city and make the most of your stay. You’ll definitely need a card. The fastest and most convenient way to purchase different kinds of tickets is an m.Ticket app that is free of charge. Moreover, the application allows to view Vilnius public transport schedules and plan your trip accordingly.

People are used to the idea that public transport usually costs a pretty penny. But if you’re a student in Lithuania, you’re a lucky devil! You’ll get an 80% discount for 30-day ticket which is only 5,79 Eur, and 50% discount for 30 min or 60 min tickets.

3. Get a new SIM card pay as you go

You’re going to miss your family, close friends and you’ll call them. However, if you’re planning to keep your current SIM card, you’ll soon be flat broke. Charges for international as well as local calls can cost the earth. The easiest way is to get a prepaid card that can be topped up each time your credit runs out. Sure,  a monthly contract is a good solution too, but it comes with long-term responsibilities while pay as you go cards help to keep an eye on your spending. Ežys prepaid card has one of the best mobile internet coverage in Lithuania – its 4G network covers 85% of Lithuania. There are many different yet uncostly plans to choose from. Either you’re a talker, a texter or an internet surfer, they’ve got it covered.

4. Public transport alternatives

Sometimes public transport is not the most convenient option. Luckily, Vilnius offers pretty awesome alternatives:

eTAKSI is a mobile app that helps you to find a cab faster, cheaper and safer. You only need to tap your smartphone and in a few seconds your cab will be on the way. Plus, you’ll see the approximate price and the route it’s taking.

CityBee is a car sharing network. You don’t need to pay a monthly fee or sign any contract, just create your account online, pick the car at one of the stations and rent it by the hour.

Uber is quite similar to eTAKSI but usually a cheaper option. One of the best parts is that you don’t need to carry cash because Uber automatically charges your credit card.

What to visit and things to try and learn

Now you know how Lithuanians save their money. But, darling, that’s not enough. A true Lithuanian has seen all the pretty corners of Vilnius, participated in national celebrations, tasted traditional meals and drinks. You don’t need to do everything at once, but there are things you can start with. The smartest decision would be to download a special Visit Vilnius application that provides all necessary information about famous objects and entertainment venues: restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. 

Plenty of choices, but what if you’re one of those people having trouble making decisions? Well, in that case, please feel free to start with our little musts:

1. Vilnius Old Town don’t just see it, live it

It’s not enough to see the Old Town, a true Lithuanian knows all the little mysterious streets and corners leading to fascinating architectural heritage: Gediminas Castle, St. Anne’s gothic church, etc. Moreover, Lithuanians know that the best bars like Piano Man, Gringo, Peronas or Beer Library, also clubs and cafes are right here - in the heart of Vilnius. That’s where we spend our young nights dancing to some live beats.

2. The Republic of Užupis the most bohemian place you must see

Užupis is the bohemian district of Vilnius. As artists have been passing through centuries it finally turned into a republic with its own anthem, constitution, traditions and festivals. Užupis is the most avant-garde district: people read their poems in cafes, artists open their studios to the public, youngsters play and sing near the river Vilnelė while the symbol of Užupis – sculpture of the Angel protects the residents of this district.

3. Attend Street Music Day unite with Lithuanian hearts

Once in a year (in May) Lithuania becomes a soul of music. Lots of professional and amateur musicians go to the streets, play and sing whatever they want to: from rock music to African beats. Streets, squares and parks are filled with people talking the same language – music. This is the day you’ll connect with thousands Lithuanian hearts.

4. Haven’t tried Cepelinai haven’t eaten in Lithuania

Cepelinai is one of the traditional Lithuanian meals that every citizen has tried at least once. To be honest, once is only for the weak ones. Cepelinai are potato dumplings filled with meat, served with sour cream and bits of bacon. They look a bit funky, yet they’re truly yummy!

5. Learn Lithuanian expressions

The best way to connect with a Lithuanian mind, in fact with any mind, is to talk their language. We are not talking about phrases like „how are you?“ or „what’s your phone number?“. We are talking about true language – local expressions that are common among Lithuanians. Here are a few to break the ice:

- Lithuanians don’t lie, they hang pasta on the ears.

- People who don’t close the doors behind them are born in a trolleybus.

- Nothing is too far away for Lithuanians, it can only be nine seas away.

- Lithuanians don’t get surprised, their eyeballs pop out of their forehead.

- Lithuanians never say it's too late, there are only spoons that were served after lunch.

Now you’ve learned some basics, but these basics will help you to save money and become a true Lithuanian fella shortly.