To date, there is nowhere else more eerie and creepier than visiting the Hill of Crosses, about 13 kilometers away from Šiauliai, a city in northern Lithuania. Does it look like a Silent Hill?
Well, the Hill of Crosses is one of the best highlights in Lithuania but going there can be challenging. You ought to take a bus/train to Šiauliai and thereafter, change to a local public bus that takes you to the Hill of Crosses (Domantai station). Ideally, spending a half-day in Šiauliai is sufficient which of course include your time at the Hill of Crosses.
TIP: Take note of your departure times between Šiauliai and the Hill of Crosses!
THE “SILENT” HILL OF CROSSES
The Hill of Crosses are situated in the inner fields and yes, you will need to take a good 2 kilometers walk from its main road, where the bus drops you at Domantai station (you may check with driver). The walk isn’t too bad because it was an early morning and the sun were rising; yet allowing you to have a far glimpse of the Hill of Crosses ahead. How mystical..
To my surprise, I have also heard a soft tingling music that probably comes from a small music box being placed among the crosses.
Watch your steps as the path can be really narrow as you go deeper. You may also want to avoid touching these crosses.
Getting closer to the Hill of Crosses gives you a little heartbeat where you are approaching someplace mysterious and sacred while not many will visit though being one of the best highlights in Lithuania.
I would highly suggest taking an early trip to the Hill of Crosses (especially during the winter seasons) so that you are in time for a brighter day. It’s already creepy and you should avoid when skies are turning dark.
Overall, it was a priceless experience and I would recommend visiting the Hill of Crosses for at least once. Some says that Šiauliai has nothing much to do and therefore they’d skip the Hill of Crosses. Otherwise, take Šiauliai as a middle stop if you’re travelling between Riga and Vilnius, and vice versa. By doing so, you may then spend a half-day in Šiauliai but requires you to arrive early in order to visit the Hill of Crosses; just in time when the sun rises.
Notes: Photography is allowed but do respect this place and keep your voices down.
Before reaching the Hill of Crosses, you will also come-by the information center which also has a souvenir store and ember shop in it. Good thing that you could bring something back as souvenirs!
OTHER OPTIONAL PLACES WORTH VISITING
St. George’s Church
To be honest, this visit wasn’t intended due to limited time available in Šiauliai and St. George’s Church is located near opposite of Šiauliai train station where you could board the train to/from Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania.
RECOMMENDED MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION
By Bus at Šiauliai & Domantai bus station
You may take the local bus at platform 12 from Šiauliai bus station to Domantai bus station if you’re visiting the Hill of Crosses. Upon getting down at Domantain station, you ought to take a turn by walking into the junction with the signboard pointing the direction to “Kryžių Kalnas“.
On the opposite side from where you initially get off the bus, is where you could find another mini bus-stop like the above to take your ride back to Šiauliai. Hence, you should properly time yourself as it takes time to walk back from the Hill of Crosses; so that you will not miss your bus!
For more information in regards to bus departure times between Šiauliai and Domantai station, you could get a piece of schedule from the ticketing counter located in the Šiauliai bus station.
Tips: Šiauliai bus station do provide baggage locker services and I have paid EUR1 or EUR2 for two (2) big backpacks. Extremely affordable beyond words! Therefore this option is ideal if you’re crossing through Šiauliai to visit the Hill of Crosses and you could leave your bags secured and move freely without any weight on your back!
This is how the train and its station looks like and they are situated about 10 – 15 minutes away from Šiauliai bus station; by foot. Just take note of its correct platform as it may be situated on the opposite track.
The train station has clean toilets and ticketing officers that may guide you if you require assistance.
TYPICAL COSTS AND MONEY SAVING TIPS
- Local Bus: You could take the local bus at platform 12 from Šiauliai bus station to Domantai bus station and vice versa for EUR0.90 per adult/way and its journey takes about 15 minutes ride.
- Train: You may take the Lithuanian railways from Šiauliai train station to Vilnius and vice versa for approximately EUR9.70 per adult/way and its journey takes about 2 hours ride. You may visit Lithuanian Railways – Website for more information. However, you may require local credit/debit cards to purchase via website and therefore, you may need to get your train tickets (by cash) directly at Šiauliai train station.
- Minivan (Ollex Express Company): You may take the minivan (Ollex Express) from Riga to Šiauliai while I’ve managed to book them for EUR12 per adult (one-way) and its journey takes about 2 hours 30 minutes ride.
Good thing that no admission fares are required to visit the Hill of Crosses!
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Disclaimer: All the information and prices (as at November 2017) provided on this website are based solely on experience and you agree that you use such information entirely at your own discretion and will.