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The Baltics via Simple and Lux Express

Vilnius, Tallinn, and Riga by Bus

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Old Town Riga

Old Town Riga

Kerry Kubilius, licensed to About.com
If you are interested in seeing all three Baltic capitals and want to do so in an affordable, comfortable, and relatively time-efficient manner, consider booking a ticket with Simple or Lux Express, two bus lines run by the same company that offers coach rides between the capital cities for as low as 3 euros. While most rides will cost more, from 10 to 30 or more euros depending upon the length of trip, time of departure, and amenities on the bus, Simple Express and Lux Express nevertheless remain an affordable and convenient means of travel.

Stops in the Baltic Capitals

In Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn, Simple and Lux Express buses pick up and drop off passengers at the main bus station.

In Vilnius, the coach station (Autobusų Stotis) is located directly across from the train station, near Old Town Vilnius, on Sodu gatve. Buses also make a stop at the Panorama shopping center. Though it won’t be comfortable to roll luggage through snow, if you have booked a hotel in the vicinity of the Town Hall or the Gates of Dawn during good weather, it is possible to walk there from the bus station if you don’t mind a mini hike.

Riga’s bus station (Rīgas Starptautiskā autoosta) is also within walking distance of its Old Town on Pragas Street. Located inside the bus station is an information center where you can pick up maps or get pointed in the direction of your hotel.

Tallinn’s bus station (Tallinna Bussijaam), is unfortunately not located as conveniently as bus stations in the other Baltic capitals. The closest hotel, the Radisson Blu Olumpia, is nearest to the bus station, but it doesn’t put you as near to Old Town Tallinn as other hotels. Fortunately, you may order a taxi to pick you up at the Tallinn bus station at the same time you book your bus tickets.

Simple and Lux Express Service

Vilnius and Riga are a mere four hours by bus from each other, and Tallinn is another approximate 4.5 hours from Riga; just under nine hours will get you from Tallinn to Vilnius.

Lux Express buses are spacious coaches complete with internet connection, a hot drink dispenser, and on-board entertainment. Coaches are clean and comfortable. Simple Express is a pared-down version of its Lux counterpart, with buses offering few amenities. However, Simple Express buses are also comfortable and clean, though less spacious. Price reflects the comparatively few amenities found on these coaches.

Drivers are professional and make announcements in various languages, announcing border crossings, approaching stops, and duration of breaks. You will be issued a ticket for your checked baggage, which you will be asked to show in order to retrieve your bag.

Tickets, Identification, and other policies

Lux and Simple Express advertise that passengers must only show their passport before boarding coaches. While this policy makes impromptu travel easy, printed tickets show departure and arrival times, type of ticket you have purchased, seat number, departure platform, and other information that may be useful to you and your driver.

One carry-on bag is permitted, as well as one checked bag. Buses leave on time from their platforms at the bus station. Tickets can be purchased online or at designated ticket agents. While tickets may also be purchased on the bus if seats remain, it is advisable to book in advance, especially if you are traveling with others or if your schedule is tight.

Other Destinations on Simple and Lux Express

Simple Express buses also stop in other nearby cities, including other cities in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia; St. Petersburg; Warsaw; Poznan; and Berlin. Lux Express Buses have a wider scope, which includes Minsk and Kaliningrad.

Lux Express website

Simple Express website

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