The (chea) p/b est trip in your life

The Netherlands is located in probably the best part of Europe, where every other European country can be reached within a maximum of 3.5 hours by plane. Moreover, Dutch people have a wide variety of choice of travel destinations as Schiphol airport is one of the busiest in Europe and offers direct flights to many other continents. Hence, it is not surprising that, according to Gastvrij Nederland, in 2011, 18.6 million trips to foreign countries for holidays were made by people living in the Netherlands. However, they rarely choose uncommon countries as their travel destinations, for instance, Lithuania and I strongly believe that it is only because people don‘t know a lot about it. Or i56_senamiestis žiema-14they don‘t see it as a country worth spending money to travel to. However, recently, several online travel websites, including Lonely Planet, listed this Baltic country as one of the hotspots for holidays, where you can find “vibrant, optimistic culture of today”. Main reasons provided by websites are Lithuania’s beautiful nature, valuable heritage,
which is even recognized by UNESCO and capital Vilnius with its gorgeous old town. But these characteristics are only a part of the whole picture of reasons why Dutch people, especially students, should choose Lithuania to travel to. The biggest one, though, is that it’s really cheap to do that. And when I say really, I mean REALLY CHEAP. Hence, this piece is going to describe and estimate the most inexpensive way to have a memorable trip from the Netherlands to Lithuania.

 

Transport

Everything starts with getting to the place. Luckily, there are several airports in the Netherlands from which you can fly directly to Vilnius and this takes approximately 1.5-2 hours. Besides, one of the cheapest airlines in Europe, company Wizz Air, is doing these flights from Eindhoven airport. Hence, if you look for flight tickets at least two months in advance and you don’t plan to go on a trip during the main holidays (e.g. Christmas), you will not spend a lot. Especially, if you are a member of Wizz Discount Club as it is possible to find tickets for 40 euros to go back and forth, but they will cost only 20 euros with the Wizz discount. Incredible, isn’t it?

 Accommodation

There are several options for a place to stay during your trip: hotel, hostel or Airbnb (local people offer to stay at their apartments for lower price). I looked into all three options as I am not sure what your preferences would be. First of all, in Airbnb you can find a room in a big apartment in the city center for 17 euros per night. However, if you do not trust this kind of search for stay, you can have a bed in a hostel. For instance, Hostel Jamaika in the old town of the city offers beds from 9 to 13.50 euros per night. And finally, for those of you, who want to have a more comfortable stay, you can find plenty of hotels in the heart of the city starting from 30 euros per person per night.

bn-0483Food

After you settle in your hotel / hostel / Airbnb room, you will probably want to eat something. Good thing about
Lithuania is that eating in restaurants is almost cheaper than making dinner at home! So you will be able to treat yourself. For instance, the most expensive and biggest pizza in any pizzeria will not cost you more than 12 euros and you will be full after eating half of it. If you want something really fancy, you can try a luxury restaurant and choose chef’s menu for around 20 euros, whereas you would pay about 40 euros for similar dinner in the Netherlands. Finally, you have to try some traditional Lithuanian dishes such as ‘cepelinai’, ‘šaltibarščiai‘ or ‘bulviniai blynai‘. Actually, you need to try all of them (maybe not at the same time). Best part – you will spend only around 8 euros in total and this can be your two dinners.

 

Sightseeing

Finally, you should do some walking around the city center and old town, visit several museums and most important places. It is not going to require a lot of your money as many memorials, such as the Cathedral, the Tower of Gediminas or the Royal Palace can be visited for free or very inexpensively. Additionally, students get 50% discount, which ends up in 1 or 2 euros per museum. If you want to see something really impressive, you should go to the city of Trakai, which is around 40 km away from Vilnius and can be reached by bus in 30 minutes for less than 1 euro for students. There is the castle of Trakai, which is located on the island in the lake and currently has a museum inside of it. Believe me, it’s gorgeous and unforgettable view!

 

After naming the prices of all the most important aspects of every trip it is time for an estimation of how much money would you need to travel to Lithuania. As there is no limit to how much you could spend, let’s look at the lowest prices and assume that you go on a trip to Lithuania for 3 days. Hence:

  • plane tickets can be bought for 20 euros;
  • bed in a 10-bed dormitory room in Hostel Jamaika for 3 nights is 27 euros;
  • you eat three times a day in restaurants all days (exclude one breakfast as you will come to Lithuania in the afternoon and one dinner as you will leave before it) and each meal costs you 6 euros on average, hence, 42 trakai5euros;
  • you visit The Royal Palace (1.5€), the tower of Gediminas (1€), National Art Gallery (<1€), the Castle of Trakai (3€ + <1€ to get there) and other places that are free to enter, hence, 7 euros;

It adds up to 96 euros. 96 euros for plane tickets, accommodation, food in restaurants and visits to main tourist attractions. Just to compare, Nike Air Max sneakers, which are so popular in the Netherlands that everybody has at least a pair of them, cost more than 100 euros. You can organize a trip for this money! And that trip would be the best proof that the words of Alton Brown are wrong: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance”. It’s not true. The journey of a thousand miles can begins with little money and it will always end with the best experience.

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