I arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania on a Thursday afternoon at 3pm. I’d needed to text my friend Pedro on Friday afternoon but was able to use the roaming feature on my Polish SIM card. (I’m pretty sure that data would have expired by the time I got back to Poland anyway.) When Pedro came with me to get a SIM the next afternoon, the nearest shop was closed. So I didn’t get a SIM until my 3rd day in Vilnius.
People said the best to get was Tele 2 and that I could get it at the bus station.
However, it never occurred to me that a bus or train station was actually THE place to buy a SIM card and I had not learned that at this point in my travels. (It turns out that was the case, at least in the major cities, through the entire area.) Having known, I might have purchased my SIM and plan at the Vilnius Coach Station, which is right across from the train station.
Anyway, not knowing this, and being focused on meeting my friend Pedro and finding a hostel (I didn’t get lucky with my two CouchSurfing requests), I’d missed buying a SIM upon my arrival at the Vilnius bus station.
So having been to the bus station twice already and not wanting to go back again, I purchased a SIM from a company that had offices on, Gedimino, the main street where I happened to meet Pedro each day.
It was easy to walk into the large, bright, clean, friendly storefront and purchase this SIM and service in a convenient starter pack.
As I visited Lithuania, the currency of the country was still Lithuanian Lita, although they were officially part of the EU and were overdue to switch to the Euro. (They switched on January 1, 2015.) So what you see here, is the starter package priced in Lita.
In the USA, we use a decimal point to say 3.50, but here they use a comma, so this is 3.5 Lita ($1.35 at the time) for the SIM and starter service.
For this $1.35 I got:
150 phone minutes
1,000 text messages
This would be good for 30 days.
That would be plenty of texting and calling, but I knew I’d need more data soon enough.
To “refill” or add more data (or minutes or text I would purchase another card at a supermarket or other store, then expose the code that’s on the card and text it to the provider.
The booklet that came in the starter package explained the extra data pricing:
500mb for 5 Lita ($1.93)
1gb for 8 Lita ($3.09)
2gb for 14 Lita ($5.80)
For an American traveling in Lithuania, this was easily affordable and good news.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d leave Lithuania for some days, then return. When I arrived in Riga, Latvia, I simply removed this SIM to use a Latvian SIM. Then, crossing back into Lithuania, I put this SIM back in my iPhone and continued where I’d left off. I did get one refill while in Kaunas.
By the way, the country code for Lithuania is +370.