A Travel Price Comparison for Lithuania Vilnius vs. Kaunas for Nightlife, Old Town, Backpackers, and Food

Should you visit Vilnius or Kaunas?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Vilnius and Kaunas. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Vilnius

Vilnius is a authentic, historic, and religious city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Kaunas

Kaunas is a young, vibrant, and cultural city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the nightlife and food.

Vilnius and Kaunas: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Vilnius or Kaunas?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Kaunas than Vilnius. While Vilnius is larger than Kaunas, Kaunas has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Kaunas is more popular for its big city activities, while Vilnius is known for its museums, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and impressive beauty. Vilnius is popular for its authentic old town and long running history. Kaunas is popular for its traditional Lithuanian culture and authentic old town. It is also home to The Kaunas Old Town.

How is Vilnius different from Kaunas?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Kaunas and Vilnius. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Vilnius or Kaunas?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius is a good destination for its sights and museums. However, Kaunas does not have museums and landmarks.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Vilnius. The city has fascinating museums relating to Soviet times. These include the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights and the Lithuanian Diaspora Art Museum. Other notable sights include the Three Crosses Monument and the St. Anne's and Bernardine Church Complex.

Kaunas does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Vilnius or Kaunas? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Vilnius and Kaunas can be difficult as they are each good in their own way.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Vilnius. The food is hearty with plenty of meat and potatoes. There are also soups and herring dishes as well as great desserts. Popular dishes in the area include cepelinai (meat filled potato dumplings), kibinai (a pastry), and potato pancakes.

Kaunas is becoming an appealing option for foodies. It is a great place to try traditional Lithuanian dishes as there are a number of good restaurants and an active restaurant scene. Popular local dishes include cepelinai potato dumplings and cold beetroot soup.

Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for Nightlife?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Vilnius has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The large student population is at the heart of the city's nightlife scene. You'll find most of the activity centered around three streets - Vilniaus, Islandijos and Vokiečių. These areas have a number of bars and clubs, and they draw the biggest crowds.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Kaunas. The nightlife scene continues to improve with a growing number of bars and clubs. During the warmer months you'll find many places opening outdoor areas. The old town is one of the more lively areas in town where it's nice to enjoy a drink on a terrace.

Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for its Old Town?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius is notable for its historic old town charm. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its historic old town.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Vilnius. The old town is filled with history, architecture, and churches. It's also where you'll find Vilnius University. At the heart of the area is Pilies Gatve (Castle Street), which has shopping, cafes, and restaurants.

Kaunas is a good destination for visiting its old town. The old town has tree-lined streets with charming cafes and a number of museums. It's also where you'll find the Kaunas Castle.


Is the Shopping Better in Vilnius or Kaunas?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius is a good destination for its shopping areas. However, Kaunas is a mediocre city for shopping.

Many visitors go to Vilnius to go shopping. For quaint shops, head to old town, particularly around Pilies Gatve. The city also has an open air market, Kalvarijų Turgus, that is popular on Saturdays. There are also a few shopping malls around town.

Kaunas is a good destination for shopping. The old town is the place to pick up souvenirs, but there are also shopping malls and outlets in the city.

Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for Families?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Both Vilnius and Kaunas are good family-friendly destinations.

Vilnius is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of historic sights, but once your kids have had their fill, you can head to one of the outdoor or indoor play areas in the city center. There's also a toy museum and an Energy and Technology Museum that kids will enjoy. After a busy day, make sure you grab some ice cream to lift everyone's spirits.

Kaunas is a family-friendly city. The city has both outdoor and indoor areas that are fun for kids. Vienybės Square has fountains and splash areas that are fun for kids of all ages. Lampėdis Lake is a great place to swim or visit an adventure park. When the weather isn't great, you can head indoors to the the Kaunas Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum or "CurioCity" in the Mega Mall.

Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for Couples?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius is a good destination for couples. However, Kaunas is a mediocre city for romance.

Vilnius is a good city for couples to visit. The city is filled with viewpoints, from hill tops to towers, where you can enjoy romantic views over the landscape. You can also dine in a local restaurant or enjoy a picnic in one of the outdoor settings.

Kaunas is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The city has a number of historical sites as well as interesting restaurants that you can explore.


Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius is notable for backpackers. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Vilnius is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. For backpackers who want to escape the crowds, this off-the-beaten path European capital is a great option. It has history, charm, and an authenticity that is hard to find in a more touristy area. It's also an affordable city, with hostels and plenty of cheap places to eat.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Kaunas. It's not a popular destination, but there are enough concerts and festivals throughout the year that it does see a few tourists.

Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for Students?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius and Kaunas are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Vilnius is a good city to visit for students. The city is small but charming with a number of places where international students can study. It's an affordable city with a lively atmosphere and an authenticate and genuine personality.

Plenty of students visit Kaunas. The city has a vibrant and young student population. It also hosts festivals, concerts, and other events that make it a fun destination for international students.

Is Vilnius or Kaunas Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Both Vilnius and Kaunas offer good public transit options.

Vilnius has a few public transit options. Bus and trolleybuses are available.

Kaunas has some public transit options. There are both buses and trolleybuses around town.


Is Vilnius or Kaunas a more walkable city?

Vilnius
Kaunas

Vilnius and Kaunas both are good when exploring on foot.

Vilnius is a somewhat walkable place. The old town is the most walkable part of the city.

Kaunas is a somewhat walkable city. When the weather is nice, the city is a nice place to take a walk.

For even more information, also check out Is Vilnius Worth Visiting? and Is Kaunas Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Kaunas or Vilnius?

How long in Vilnius or Kaunas?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Vilnius or Kaunas to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Vilnius than Kaunas because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-4 days is a good amount of time for Vilnius, and 1-2 days is enough time in Kaunas.

Families should spend more time in Vilnius than Kaunas. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Vilnius, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Vilnius than Kaunas. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Vilnius that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Vilnius than Kaunas if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Vilnius.


  • How many days in Vilnius or Kaunas? Ideal Length of Stay
    Vilnius 1-4 
    Kaunas 1-2

One day in Vilnius or Kaunas?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Vilnius. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

In Kaunas, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A weekend in Vilnius or Kaunas?

Vilnius is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

In Kaunas, you'll find food and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kaunas has to offer.


Five days in Vilnius or Kaunas?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Vilnius. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Kaunas is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Vilnius or Kaunas?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the historic destination of Vilnius. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kaunas. Many people enjoy the food and nightlife when visiting Kaunas. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Vilnius, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Lithuania, The Best Bicycle Tours in Lithuania, and The Best Adventure Tours to Lithuania.


Which place is cheaper, Kaunas or Vilnius?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Vilnius is €94, while the average daily cost in Kaunas is €95. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Vilnius and Kaunas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Vilnius 42
    Kaunas 44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Vilnius 84
    Kaunas 88
Compare Hotels in Vilnius and Kaunas

Looking for a hotel in Vilnius or Kaunas? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Vilnius


Hotels in Kaunas


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Vilnius Hotel Prices and Kaunas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Vilnius 8.30
    Kaunas 17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vilnius

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Vilnius:

  • Airport Bus Transfer to/from Central Bus Station: $3.24
  • Riga: Bus Transfer to/from Vilnius: $21
  • Vilnius Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Riga: $24
  • Private Vilnius Airport Arrival Transfer: $28
  • Vilnius Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Warsaw: $36
  • Arrival Transfer from Vilnius VNO Airport to Vilnius by Minivan: $46
  • Vilnius Airport Transfer: $52
  • Vilnius Airport (VNO): Bus Transfer to/from Gdansk: $52
  • Vilnius Private 1-Way Airport Transfer: $54
  • Jewish Heritage Sites Private Tour with Transfer: $216
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride with Hotel Transfer: $216
  • Private Transfer: Vilnius to Klaipeda or Klaipeda to Vilnius via Trakai Castle: $242

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kaunas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kaunas:

  • Private Transfer from Kaunas City to Kaunas Airport KUN by car: $46
  • Private Kaunas Airport to City Transfer: $49
  • Departure Private Transfer Kaunas City to Kaunas Airport KUN by Minivan: $57

Is it cheaper to fly into Vilnius or Kaunas?

Prices for flights to both Kaunas and Vilnius change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Vilnius 40
    Kaunas 37
Typical Food Prices in Vilnius

Some typical examples of dining costs in Vilnius are as follows:


  • Dinner for Two
    13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Vilnius

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Vilnius.

  • Cooking Class in Vilnius : $85
  • Cooking Class in Lithuanian House Surrounded by Nature: $110

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Vilnius 9.72
    Kaunas 19
Typical Entertainment Prices in Vilnius

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Vilnius are as follows:


  • Walking Tour
    5.79

Tours and Activities in Vilnius

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Vilnius are as follows:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.24
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $6.48
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.48
  • Vilnius Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.60
  • Secrets of Old Vilnius Smartphone App GPS Audio Walking Tour: $7.50
  • The Old Town of A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Explore Vilnius's Rich Tapestry: In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Skip the Line: Europos Parkas, Open-Air Museum Ticket Vilnius, Lithuania: $12
  • Vibrant Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $14
  • Vilnius Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Regular walking tour of Soviet Vilnius: $19

Tours and Activities in Kaunas

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Kaunas are as follows:

  • Kaunas Old Town tour + IX Fort Museum (BONUS): $55
  • Recreational Tour in Kaunas - The City of Freedom: $65
  • Private Custom Walking Tour with a Local Guide in Kaunas: $77
  • Kaunas Tour: Love Stories: $87
  • Kaunas Old Town: 2-Hour Ghost Tour: $87
  • Kaunas Private Walking Tour: $102
  • Kaunas city center tour + IX Fort Museum (BONUS): $110
  • Kaunas, Lithuania 2-Hour Sightseeing Tour: $146
  • Kaunas Tour: Love Stories: $172
  • Kaunas Old Town: 2-Hour Ghost Tour: $172
  • Kayak Tour in Nemunas: $187
  • 2-Hour Sightseeing Walking Tour: $193

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Vilnius 6.38
    Kaunas 16
Typical Alcohol Prices in Vilnius

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Vilnius from other travelers:


  • Beer
    4.34

Sample the Local Flavors in Vilnius

Also in Vilnius, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Vilnius Private Pub & Bar Crawl Tour & Hidden Gems: $46
  • Beer degustation at Bear & Boar Brewery Taproom: $54


When comparing the travel costs between Vilnius and Kaunas, we can see that Kaunas is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Vilnius Expensive? and Is Kaunas Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Vilnius or Kaunas?

Vilnius has a larger population, and is about 45% larger than the population of Kaunas. When comparing the sizes of Vilnius and Kaunas, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Vilnius or Kaunas?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Vilnius or Kaunas in the Summer?

Both Kaunas and Vilnius are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Vilnius because of the family-friendly experiences. Also, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Kaunas this time of year.

In the summer, Vilnius is around the same temperature as Kaunas. Typically, the summer temperatures in Vilnius in July average around 18°C (65°F), and Kaunas averages at about 18°C (64°F).

It's quite sunny in Kaunas. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Vilnius. Vilnius usually receives less sunshine than Kaunas during summer. Vilnius gets 219 hours of sunny skies, while Kaunas receives 256 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Vilnius usually receives around the same amount of rain as Kaunas. Vilnius gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Vilnius 18°C (65°F) 
    Kaunas 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Vilnius or Kaunas in the Autumn?

Both Kaunas and Vilnius during the autumn are popular places to visit. The shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Vilnius this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Kaunas for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

In October, Vilnius is generally around the same temperature as Kaunas. Daily temperatures in Vilnius average around 8°C (46°F), and Kaunas fluctuates around 8°C (46°F).

In the autumn, Vilnius often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Kaunas. Vilnius gets 94 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Kaunas receives 99 hours of full sun.

Vilnius usually gets more rain in October than Kaunas. Vilnius gets 53 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Vilnius 8°C (46°F) 
    Kaunas 8°C (46°F)

Should I visit Vilnius or Kaunas in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Vilnius and Kaunas. Many travelers come to Vilnius for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Kaunas in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Kaunas can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Vilnius. Vilnius is around the same temperature as Kaunas in the winter. The daily temperature in Vilnius averages around -5°C (23°F) in January, and Kaunas fluctuates around -5°C (23°F).

Vilnius usually receives less sunshine than Kaunas during winter. Vilnius gets 36 hours of sunny skies, while Kaunas receives 40 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Vilnius usually receives around the same amount of rain as Kaunas. Vilnius gets 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Vilnius -5°C (23°F) 
    Kaunas -5°C (23°F)

Should I visit Vilnius or Kaunas in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Vilnius as well as Kaunas. Many visitors come to Vilnius in the spring for the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Kaunas for the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Vilnius is around the same temperature as Kaunas. Typically, the spring temperatures in Vilnius in April average around 7°C (45°F), and Kaunas averages at about 7°C (44°F).

In the spring, Vilnius often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Kaunas. Vilnius gets 164 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Kaunas receives 175 hours of full sun.

Vilnius usually gets more rain in April than Kaunas. Vilnius gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Vilnius 7°C (45°F) 
    Kaunas 7°C (44°F)

Typical Weather for Kaunas and Vilnius

Vilnius Kaunas
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) -5°C (23°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Feb -4°C (26°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) -4°C (25°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Mar 1°C (33°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 0°C (33°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 7°C (45°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 7°C (44°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 13°C (56°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 77 mm (3 in) 16°C (62°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 18°C (65°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 13°C (56°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 8°C (46°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 8°C (46°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 2°C (36°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Dec -2°C (29°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) -2°C (28°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)