Moving to Vilnius, Lithuania

By Expat Exchange Member

Expat Exchange Rental Properties

Summary: One member shares advice about moving to Vilnius, Lithuania -- from avoiding brand new flats that may be poorly constructed to insisting on a steel door.

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

You can get pretty much everything here, but it might take you a while to find it. One thing that is hard to find are the little things like a nylon bag pacifier to give a baby a piece of apple with. Buying a computer here is a chancy thing as they often offer sale computers with a few obsolete parts, that complicate use. My laptop, for example, has a French keyboard. Electronics seem to be a lot more expensive here as well. Foods are different here and while major brands may be available, your local favourite foods may not be. The latest DVDs and books will probably not be available here for a while or at all. Wrist/ankle wallets are not available here.

Things to leave behind. Most of your clothing. You can get inexpensive, good quality clothes at the used clothing shops. Tons of books. Some used clothing shops do a good job of selling used English books. Only take those you need immediately or are rarer. Most of your tools. You can find most of them here. But good quality hand tools like carving chisels go ahead and bring.

What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Language is critical. You probably will not succeed or even stay if you do not know the language. Let a local handle as many of the transactions as possible. A spouse or girl/boyfriend is best for this.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

I live in a flat. Houses have only recently come into fashion. So expect to live in a flat, which is considerably cheaper than a house.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

Actually my wife at that time chose this flat due to location. Things to watch out for: a seedy neighbourhood, top and bottom floors, brand-new flats (sub-standard fixtures and settling can cause serious damage), and no shade. The sun can get pretty hot here and if you have no balcony overhand or trees to block the summer sun, June/July can get pretty warm on occasion. Insist on a steel door.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Probably higher since a run down flat in Vilnius a couple of years ago cost nearly as much a modern flat in Stockholm, only our wages are consideraby lower than those in Sweden. The Lithuanian ex-pats sending money back home to invest are what is driving the real estate market.

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Comments about this Article

Fenton7
Feb 23, 2012 15:07

Very helpful. Thank you. I'd love a list of non-seedy neighborhoods or perhaps a list of areas to stay away from.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Lithuania Forum Lithuania Forum
Join our Lithuania forum to meet other expats and talk about living in Lithuania.

Living in Lithuania GuideLiving in Lithuania Guide

Guide to Living in Lithuania covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Lithuania.

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