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Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

New York City, New...
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Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

I'm going in July and would like to fly, but the only direct flights are Air Baltic, which has ghastly reviews. Other airlines are hugely expensive and seem to connect in Stockholm or Copenhagen and take hours. Would driving, even if it is 8 hours, be the best way? Or take the bus, which is 9 1/2 hours (ugh). Or should we chance Air Baltic? I don't want to spend a whole day in a car or bus, but that would be preferable to having a flight cancelled with no notice and being told to come back in two days!

There are three of us, including our 21 year old tall and restless son.

Certainly some people seem to be ok with Air Baltic, but I've never seen an airline with so many terrible complaints posted about it.

Thanks in advance!

Cairo, Egypt
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1. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

From the practical point of view 1 hour in a ghastly airplane is still better than 9 or 10 hours in a bus where the leg room is the same or even less...

Driving on the other hand might be quite nice, it is in fact what many families in the Baltics love to do, because especially in Northern Latvia the roads (roadsides) are so beautiful. If you can leave time to stop in at least a couple of smaller towns, too, like take a short 0,5 hrs drive to Jurmala in Latvia, or Sigulda

http://www.google.com.eg/search?q=Sigulda+Latvia+photos&hl=ar&client=firefox-a&hs=4Gt&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivnscm&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=HZa4TeCLEcShOrO6mLAP&ved=0CBwQsAQ&biw=1028&bih=613

or visit Kaunas on your way to Vilnius, then this might actually be quite a nice experience and you even see so much more. Or even if you drive straight down :).

Tartu, Estonia
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2. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

Is it a pleasant drive in my experience, but if you prefer flying then opt for that.

I don't know where you are reading all these ghastly reviews about AirBaltic, it's a great airline. I have never had any problems with them, in fact between that, SAS and Estonian Air, I think it's the best.

Tallinn, Estonia
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3. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

Be aware that Air Baltic uses Fokker F50 to fly between Tallinn and Vilnius. I'd never want to fly with that coffin again- It was so small, no room for overhead baggage. In addition, all turbulences made the plane shake really bad...

I'd better take a car (Or bus).

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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4. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

I'd go for an hour on Air Baltic rather than lose a day on the bus, which is no luxury limousine. I've flown with AB a few times and found them nothing remarkable among budget airlines.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

Thanks! We were coming around to driving and this really helps!

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6. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

Looking at the map, are these lovely roads the main road along the coast coming down from Tallinn, or the smaller, less direct ones inland? I see you can come down through Tartu. But maybe that would take too much time? And school is not in session.

We'd give the drive two days but want to allow time to get out and look around a few places. Maybe Sigulda and Cesis and stay around there? Or maybe stay in Riga? Then next day see Hill of the Crosses and whatever else catches our fancy on the way to Vilnius.

I'm mostly interested in prettiest roads to take though for those 9 hours.

Thanks!

Cairo, Egypt
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7. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

The "Via Baltica" is of course the one by the sea! :)

Cairo, Egypt
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8. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

BTW you can do both Sigulda/Cesis and Riga, I think. Leave Riga for the first evening- mind that it is the time of white nights so you can still look around in Riga's old town after dinner even, or drive out to Jurmala beach resort in the soft evening light. But in my personal opinion, as Riga is anyway quite similar to Tallinn, then North Latvia around Cesis and Sigulda especially in summertime should not be missed... The pristine forests, river valleys, occasional glimpses of sea even from the road... :).

Did you check accommodation around Cesis on Tripadvisor - not hotels, these are best in Riga, but farm type B&B around Cesis are very charming - I sure saw some gems here.

Road to Riga from Tallinn cannot be replaced but what about taking the road to Liepaja from Riga, instead of the road to Vilnius directly? Following the seaside through Palanga (the Ivory museum!) to Klaipeda (Devils museum, clocks museum), then from there inland through Kaunas to Vilnius. It then becomes a tour of the Baltics already but when I was a school kid we regularly did these exactly so - first day down to Latvia, second to Lithuania (Palanga/Klaipeda exactly, then Kaunas) and back to Latvia for the night, then third day for driving back home.

Klaipeda and Palanga sure are charming but do not remember anything about the road at this point :).

Cairo, Egypt
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9. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

The Amber museum, of course! (not ivory) Sorry, not using this word too often :).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palanga_Amber_Museum

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Best way to get from Tallinn to Vilnius

Sounds great. We leave tomorrow. Thank you so much!