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Lithuania, Vilnius - Belarus, Minsk

December 2011

posted by

Jenea's picture
Type of transport: 
All costs: 
EUR 30-EUR 95
Train is probably the best choice for those travelling from Vilnius to Minsk. There are many trains running between Vilnius and Minsk daily with some journeys taking as little as 2 hours and 45 minutes or as long as 5 hours depending on the number of stops the train is scheduled to make en-route. So, fast trains are ideal for those heading straight to Minsk with no stop-over plans anywhere else in Belarus. The trains are operated primarily by Lithuanian Railways and Russian Railways with some long-distance sleeper-train services running from Kaliningrad (Russia) to Moscow and stopping in Vilnius and Minsk along the way. The tickets cost around EUR 95 for first class travel with EUR 30 being the cheapest possible option (but nevertheless, it guarantees you a reserved seat and prevents “budget airline-style who gets their preferred seat first contest”). The level of comfort is subject to one’s willingness to pay for the ticket. The ticket reservation system is very advanced and most journeys can be arranged through e-ticket and purchased on-line as well as at Vilnius Central Train Station. On crossing EU border with Belarus: the passengers with their luggage do not need to get off the train when leaving EU/Lithuania before entering Belarus/ the CIS. The immigration and customs officers enter the train to check documents of all passengers (Lithuanian officers first and then relevant authorities from Belarus.) The process can take up to one hour (when we travelled in December 2011) but there were severe delays in the past on Vilnius-Minsk route due to the border crossing procedures/set-backs.