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Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuaniasince 1413. In the Russian Empire it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from 1843 to 1915. It became the only temporary capital city in Europe during the interwar period. Now it is the capital of Kaunas County, the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas District Municipality. It is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, and near the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest body of water entirely in Lithuania.
|POPULATION :||• City 297,669|
• Metro 577,221
|FOUNDED :||First mentioned 1361|
Granted city rights 1408
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone EET (UTC+2)|
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
|LANGUAGE :||Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4%|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5%|
|AREA :||• City 157 km2 (61 sq mi)|
• Metro 8,089 km2 (3,123 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||48 m (157 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||54°53′50″N 23°53′10″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.05%|
• Female: 53.95%
|ETHNIC :||Lithuanian 84%, Polish 6.6%, Russian 5.9%, Belarusian 1.2%, other or unspecified 2.3%|
|AREA CODE :||37|
|POSTAL CODE :||44xxx - 52xxx|
|DIALING CODE :||(+370) 37|
Kaunas in the centre of Lithuania, is the country's second biggest city with approximately 350,000 inhabitants (2009) in the municipality. For a time it acted as temporary capital and as such benefited from investment and the status.
Central Kaunas is defined by two pedestrian streets: the 2-km-long Laisvės alėja (Liberty Avenue), a central street of the city, lined by linden trees, and its continuation, Vilnius Street, leading to the oldest part – Old Town of Kaunas.
Some of the most prominent features in Kaunas include:
- Kaunas Castle, a 14th-century fortification;
- Vytautas' Church, one of the oldest churches in Lithuania and the oldest in Kaunas;
- St. Gertrude Church in Kaunas;
- Kaunas Cathedral Basilica, the largest Gothic building in Lithuania, with a late Baroque interior;
- St. George's Church, which was rumoured to have been turned into a dance studio during the Soviet Occupation;
- Pažaislis abbey, an impressive complex in Baroque style;
- St. Francis Xavier Church;
- Neo-Byzantine church of St. Michael the Archangel;
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,Eternal flame, and Statues ofLithuanian national renaissancefigures are located in the Vienybės square in front of the War museum;
- Christ’s Resurrection Church with an unfolding panoramic view of the city;
- Kaunas Zoo, the only state-operated zoo in Lithuania;
- Kaunas Fortress, one of the largest defensive structures in Europe, occupying 65 km2 (25 sq mi), a 19–20th century military fortress, which includes a Holocaust site of the Ninth Fort;
- Kaunas Botanical Garden;
- Napoleon's Hill;
- Kaunas Synagogue;
- House of Perkūnas;
- Kaunas Town Hall and the square;
- Interbellum functionalism architecture complexes;
- Two funiculars – Žaliakalnis Funicular Railway and the Aleksotas Funicular Railway;
- Kaunas Mosque;
- Ąžuolynas Park and the valley of Girstupis River named after Adam Mickiewicz;
- Memorial Petrašiūnai Cemetery;
- Lithuanian open-air Ethnographic Museum displaying the heritage of Lithuanian rural life in a vast collection of authentic resurrected buildings is situated east of Kaunas on the bank of Kaunas Reservoir in a town of Rumšiškės;
- Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital;
- Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations;
- Marine aquarium in the Mega Shopping mall.
Kaunas is often called a city of museums, because of the abundance and variety of them. The museums in Kaunas include:
- the War Museum of Vytautas the Great;
- the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, commemorating the work of the early 20th century avant-gardeartist M. K. Čiurlionis who sought to combine painting and music into a single artistic medium;
- the Žmuidzinavičius Museum (best known as the Devils' Museum), which houses a collection of more than two thousand sculptures and carvings of devils from all over the world, most of them of folk provenance. Of particular interest are the Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin devils, together doing the dance of death over a playground littered with human bones;
- Lithuanian Aviation Museum;
- Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy;
- Historical Presidential Palace, displaying exhibits from the interwar period
- Kaunas Museum for the Blind;
- Povilas Stulga Museum of Lithuanian Folk Instruments;
- Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum;
- Sugihara house-museum;
- Communication History Museum;
- The so-called ab underground printing house was a part of the nonviolent resistance press during the Soviet times. Now it is the branch of Kaunas War Museum, located 8 km (5 mi) north of Kaunas in a small Saliu village, near the town of Domeikava. Although the AB printing house worked regularly, it was never detected by KGB. It was included into the Registry of Immovable Cultural Heritage Sites of Lithuania in 1999.
- The apartments of some famous Kaunas natives, including Paulius Galaunė,Adam Mickiewicz, Juozas Grušas, Balys Sruoga, Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas,Salomėja Nėris, Juozas Zikaras, Vincentas Sladkevičius have been turned into public museums.
Kaunas is notable for the diverse culture life. Kaunas Symphony Orchestra is the main venue for classical music concerts. There is an old circus tradition in Kaunas. There was established static circus in the Vytautas park of Kaunas in the beginning of the 19th century. The only professional circus organisation in Lithuania – Baltic Circus was founded in Kaunas in 1995. Kaunas theatres has played an important role in Lithuanian society. There are at least 7 professional theatres, lots of amateur theatres, ensembles, abundant groups of art and sports. Some of the best examples of culture life in Kaunas are theatres of various styles.
The official contacts are:
- Kaunas Region Tourism Information Center, Laisves aleja, 36, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. June–August: Mo-Fr 9-18, Sa 10-18, Su 10-15; September & May: Mo-Fr 9-18, Sa 10-15, October–April: Mo-Th 9-18, Fr 9-17.
- Kaunas Old Town Tourist Office, Rotuses sq. 29., , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Fr 9AM – 8PM, Sa-Su 10AM- 6PM.
- Kaunas International Airport, , e-mail:[email protected]. 1 hour 30 minutes before and after the company's "Ryanair" flight.
- Kaunas Train Station, M.K. Čiurlionio g. 16, , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Fr 9:10-17:30; Lunch break: 13-14.
- Kaunas Bus Station, Vytauto av.24, , e-mail:[email protected]. Mo-Sa 8-19; Su: 8-15.
- Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, K. Donelaičio g. 27, , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Sa 18-9; Sa-Su: 24h.
According to the archeological excavations, the most affluent collections of ceramics and other artifacts found at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris rivers are from the second and first millennium BC. During that time people settled in some territories of the present Kaunas: the confluence of the two longest rivers of Lithuania area,Eiguliai, Lampėdžiai, Linkuva, Kaniūkai, Marvelė, Pajiesys, Romainiai,Petrašiūnai, Sargėnai, and Veršvai sites.
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
A settlement had been established on the site of the current Kaunas old town at the confluence of two large rivers, at least by the 10th century AD. Kaunas is first mentioned in written sources in 1361 when brick Kaunas Castle was constructed. In 1362, the castle was captured and destroyed by the Teutonic Order. The commander of the Kaunas castle garrison Vaidotas with 36 men tried to break through, but was taken prisoner. It was one of the largest and important military victories of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century against Lithuania. The Kaunas castle was rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century.
In 1408, the town was granted Magdeburg Rights by Vytautas the Great and became a centre of Kaunas Powiat in Trakai Voivodeship in 1413. Vytautas ceded Kaunas the right to own the scales used for weighing the goods brought to the city or packed on site, wax processing, and woolen cloth trimming facilities. The power of the self-governing Kaunas was shared by three interrelated major institutions: vaitas (the Mayor), the Magistrate (12 lay judgesand 4 burgomasters) and the so-called Benchers' Court (12 persons). Kaunas then began to gain prominence, since it was at an intersection of trade routesand a river port. In 1441 Kaunas joined the Hanseatic League, and Hansa merchant office Kontor was opened — the only one in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By the 16th century, Kaunas also had a public school and a hospital and was one of the best-formed towns in the whole country.
In 1665, the Russian army attacked the city several times, and in 1701 the city was occupied by the Swedish Army. The Black Death struck the area in 1657 and 1708, and fires destroyed parts of the city in 1731 and 1732.
After the final partition of the Polish–Lithuanian state in 1795, the city was taken over by the Russian Empire and became a part of Vilna Governorate. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Grand Army of Napoleonpassed through Kaunas twice, devastating the city both times.
To prevent possible easy access through the city and protect the western borders of Russia the Kovno Fortress was built, still visible throughout the town.
Kovno Governorate, with a centre in Kovno (Kaunas), was formed in 1843. In 1862, a railway connecting the Russian Empire and Imperial Germany was built, making Kaunas a significant railway hub with one of the first railway tunnels in the Empire, completed in 1861. In 1898 the first power plant in Lithuania started operating.
Prior to the Second World War, Kaunas, like many other cities in eastern Europe, had a significant Jewish population. According to the Russian census of 1897, Jews numbered 25,500, 35.3% of the total of 73,500. The population was also 25.8% Russian, 22.7% Polish, 6.6% Lithuanian.
After Vilnius was occupied by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1919, the government of the Republic of Lithuania established its main base here. Later, when the capital of Vilnius was forcibly annexed by Poland, Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania, a position it held until 28 October 1939, when the Red Army handed Vilnius back to Lithuania. The Constituent Assembly of Lithuania first met in Kaunas on 15 May 1920. It passed some important laws, particularly on land reform, on the national currency, and adopted a new constitution. The military coup d'état took place in Kaunas on 17 December 1926. It was largely organized by the military and resulted in the replacement of the democratically elected government with a conservative authoritarian government led by Antanas Smetona. The last meeting of the Lithuanian government was held just before midnight in Kaunas on 14 June 1940. During it, the ultimatum presented by the Soviet Union, was debated.
Between the World Wars industry prospered in Kaunas; it was then the largest city in Lithuania. Under direction of the mayor Jonas Vileišis (1921–1931) Kaunas grew rapidly and was extensively modernised. A water and waste water system, costing more than 15 million Lithuanian litas, was put in place, the city expanded from 18 to 40 square kilometres (6.9 to 15.4 sq mi), more than 2,500 buildings were built, plus three modern bridges over the Neris and Nemunas rivers. All the city's streets were paved, horse-drawn transportation was replaced with modern bus lines, new suburbs were planned and built (Žaliakalnis neighbourhood in particular), and new parks and squares were established. The foundations for a social security system were laid, three new schools were built, and new public libraries, including the Vincas Kudirka library, were established. J. Vileišis maintained many contacts in other European cities, and as a result Kaunas was an active participant in European urban life.
During the inter-war period Kaunas had a Jewish population of 35,000–40,000, about one quarter of the city's total population. Jews made up much of the city's commercial, artisan, and professional sectors. Kaunas was a centre of Jewish learning, and the yeshiva in Slobodka (Vilijampolė) was one of Europe's most prestigious institutes of higher Jewish learning. Kaunas had a rich and varied Jewish culture. There were almost 100 Jewish organizations, 40 synagogues, many Yiddish schools, 4 Hebrew high schools, a Jewish hospital, and scores of Jewish-owned businesses. It was also an important Zionist centre.
After the outbreak of German invasion into USSR on 22 June, the June Uprising against the retreating Red Army began in Kaunas and a short-lived period of independence was proclaimed in Kaunas on 23 June 1941. During the battles with the Red Army, Lithuanian rebels secured government offices, police stations, shops, warehouses, and attempted to re-establish order in the city. On 25 June the main German forces marched into the city without opposition and almost in parade fashion. The Nazi Germans did not recognize the newprovisional government, but they did not take any actions to dissolve it until the establishment of a German civil administration on 17 July. The government's powers were taken over by the new occupants. Nazi Germany established the Reichskommissariat Ostland in the Baltic States and much of Belarus, and the administrative centre for Lithuania (Generalbezirk Litauen) was in Kaunas ruled by Generalkommissar Adrian von Renteln.
Jewish community of Kaunas
Jews began settling in Kaunas in the second half of the 17th century. They were not allowed to live in the city, so most of them stayed in the Vilijampolė settlement on the right bank of the Neris river. Jewish life in Kaunas was first disrupted when the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania in June 1940. The occupation was accompanied by arrests, confiscations, and the elimination of all free institutions. Jewish community organizations disappeared almost overnight. Soviet authorities confiscated the property of many Jews, while hundreds were exiled to Siberia. Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Activist Front, founded by Lithuanian nationalist émigrés in Berlin, disseminated anti-semitic literature in Lithuania.
Following Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Soviet forces fled from Kaunas. Both before and after the German occupation on 25 June, the anti-Communists began to attack Jews, blaming them for the Soviet repressions, especially along Jurbarko and Kriščiukaičio streets. The Lithuanian provisional government established a concentration camp at the Seventh Fortress, one of the city's ten historic forts, and 4,000 Jews were rounded up and murdered there. Prior to the construction of a museum on the site, archaeologists unearthed a mass grave and personal belongings of the Jewish victims. At times Lithuanian Jews were murdered in their homes with unprecedented brutality - slowly sawing off heads or sawing people in two. The Ninth Fortress has been renovated into a memorial for the wars and is the site where nearly 50,000 Lithuanians were killed during Nazi occupation. Of these deaths, over 30,000 were Jews.
Beginning in 1944, the Red Army began offensives that eventually reoccupied all three of the Baltic states. Kaunas again became the major centre of resistance against the Soviet regime. From the very start of the Lithuanian partisanswar, the most important partisan districts were based around Kaunas.Althoughguerrilla warfare ended at the time of 1953, Lithuanian opposition to Soviet rule did not. In 1956 people in the Kaunas region supported the uprising in Hungary by rioting. On All Souls' Day in 1956, the first public anti-Soviet protest rally took place in Kaunas: citizens burned candles in the Kaunas military cemetery and sang national songs, resulting in clashes with the Militsiya.
On 14 May 1972, 19-year-old Romas Kalanta, having exclaimed "Freedom for Lithuania!", immolated himself in the garden of the Musical Theatre, after making a speech denouncing the Soviet suppression of national and religious rights. The event broke into a politically charged riot, which was forcibly dispersed by the KGB andMilitsiya. It led to new forms of resistance: passive resistance all around Lithuania. The continuous oppression of the Catholic Church and its resistance caused the appearance of The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania. In strict conspiracy, Catholic priest Sigitas Tamkevičius (now the Archbishop Metropolitan of Kaunas) implemented this idea and its first issue was published in the Alytus district on 19 March 1972. The Kronika started a new phase of resistance in the life of Lithuania's Catholic Church and of all Lithuania fighting against the occupation by making known to the world the violation of the human rights and freedoms in Lithuania for almost two decades. On 1 November 1987, a non-sanctioned rally took place near the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica, where people gathered to mark famous Lithuanian poet Maironis' 125th birthday anniversary. On 10 June 1988, the initiating group of the Kaunas movement of Sąjūdis was formed. On 9 October 1988, the Flag of Lithuania was raised above the tower of the Military Museum. Kaunas, along with Vilnius, became the scene of nearly constant demonstrations as the Lithuanians, embarked on a process of self-discovery. The bodies of Lithuanians who died in Siberian exile were brought back to their homeland for reburial, and the anniversaries of deportations as well as the important dates in Lithuanian history began to be noted with speeches and demonstrations. On 16 February 1989 Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius, for the first time, called for the independence of Lithuania in his sermon at the Kaunas Cathedral. After the services, 200,000 persons gathered in the centre of Kaunas to participate in the dedication of a new monument to freedom to replace the monument that had been torn down by the Soviet authorities after World War II.
After World War II Kaunas became the main industrial city of Lithuania – it produced about a quarter of Lithuania's industrial output.
After the proclamation of Lithuanian independence in 1990, Soviet attempts to suppress the rebellion focused on the Sitkūnai Radio Station. They were defended by the citizenry of Kaunas. Pope John Paul II made the Holy Mass for the faithful of the Archdiocese of Kaunas at the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica and held the meeting with the young people of Lithuania at S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium, during his visit to Lithuania in 1993. Kaunas natives Vytautas Landsbergis and Valdas Adamkus became the Head of state in 1990, and, respectively, in 1998 and 2004. Since the restoration of independence, improving substantially air and land transport links with Western Europe have made Kaunas easily accessible to foreign tourists. Kaunas is famous for its legendary basketball club Žalgiris, which was founded in 1944 and was one of the most popular nonviolent resistance ways during its struggle with the CSKA Moscow. In 2011, the largest indoor arena in the Baltic States was built and was named Žalgiris Arena. Kaunas hosted finals of the widely appreciated EuroBasket 2011.
Kaunas has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with an average annual temperature of approximately 6 °C (43 °F).
Despite its northern location, the climate in Kaunas is relatively mild compared to other locations in similar latitudes, mainly because of the Baltic Sea. Because of its latitude, daylight in Kaunas extends 17 hours in midsummer, to only around 7 hours in midwinter. The Kazlų Rūda Forest, west of Kaunas, create a microclimate around the city, regulating humidity and temperature of the air, and protecting it from strong western winds.
Summers in Kaunas are warm and pleasant with average daytime high temperatures of 21–22 °C (70–72 °F) and lows of around 12 °C (54 °F), but temperatures could reach 30 °C (86 °F) on some days. Winters are relatively cold, and sometimes snowy with average temperatures ranging from −8 to 0 °C (18 to 32 °F), and rarely drop below −15 °C (5 °F). Spring and autumn are generally cool to mild.
Climate data for Kaunas
|Record high °C (°F)||9.3|
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.6|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||−8.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||−35.8|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory|
The city covers 15,700 hectares. Parks, groves, gardens, nature reserves, and agricultural areas occupy 8,329 hectares.
Kaunas is a large centre of industry, trade and services in Lithuania. The most developed industries in Kaunas are: food and beverage industry, textile and light industry, chemical industry, publishing and processing, pharmaceuticals, metal industry, wood processing and furniture industry. Recently information technology and electronics have become an important area of business activities in Kaunas. The city also has large construction industry, including commercial, housing and road construction.
Primary foreign investors in Kaunas are companies from the United States, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and Russia. Head offices of several major International and Lithuanian companies are located in Kaunas, including "Kraft Foods Lietuva", largest Generic Pharmaceuticals producer in Lithuania "Sanitas", producer of sportswear AB "Audimas", one of the largest construction companies "YIT Kausta", JSC "Senukai", largest producer in Lithuania of strong alcoholic drinks JSC "Stumbras", Finnish capital brewery JSC "Ragutis", JSC "Fazer Gardesis", JSC "Stora Enso Packaging", producer of pharmaceuticals, and the only producer of homoeopathic medicines in Lithuania JSC "Aconitum". Due to its geographic location, Kaunas is considered one of the biggest logistics centres in Lithuania. The largest wholesale, distribution and logistics company in Lithuania and Latvia JSC "Sanitex", as well as a subsidiary of material handling and logistics company Dematic in the Baltics have been operated in Kaunas. Currently, the feasibility study for Kaunas Public Logistics Centre is being prepared by the national state-owned railway company Lithuanian Railways.The "Margasmiltė" company currently has been working on a project that concerns exploitation of Pagiriai anhydrite deposit. The project includes mining of anhydrite, a mine with underground warehouses, building the overground transport terminal, as well as an administrative building. The Pagiriai anhydrite deposit is located 10.5 km (6.5 mi) south from the downtown of Kaunas, at a 2.2 km (1.4 mi) distance to the southwest from the Garliava town. The resources of thoroughly explored anhydrite in the Pagiriai deposit amount to 81.5 million tons.
The "UBIG group" (a branch of commercial Ūkio bank) is a management company of diversified holdings that operates in the property development, banking, aluminium, mining, logistics, textiles, sports, financial intermediary, and other sectors. The Lithuanian Central Credit Union – national cooperative federation for credit unions established in 2001, is located in Kaunas. At present the Lithuanian Central Credit Union has 61 members.
There are also some innovative companies located in Kaunas, such as leading wholesaler of computer components, data storage media "ACME group", internet and TV provider, communications JSC "Mikrovisata group", developer and producer original products for TV and embedded technologies JSC "Selteka". Joint Lithuanian-German company "Net Frequency", based in Kaunas, is a multimedia and technology service provider. Kaunas is also home to JSC "Baltijos Programinė Įranga", a subsidiary of No Magic, Inc., producing world-leading software modeling tools. A LED lighting assembly plant was opened in Kaunas by South Korean company LK Technology in February 2011. JSC "Baltic car equipment" is one of the leaders in Baltic countries, in the field of manufacturing electronic equipment for automobiles. It also specialises in development of new telemetry, data base creation, mobile payment projects. Kaunas Free Economic Zone established in 1996 has also attracted some investors from abroad, including the development of the new 200 MW Cogeneration Power Plant project, proposed by the Finnish capital company Fortum Heat Lithuania. Before its disestablishment, Air Lithuania had its head office in Kaunas. Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant is the largest one in Lithuania.
Some notable changes are under construction and in the stage of disputes. The construction of a new landmark of Kaunas – the Žalgiris Arena – began in the autumn of 2008. It was completed in August 2011. Currently discussions are underway about the further development of the Vilijampolė district on the right bank of the Neris river and the Nemunas River, near their confluence.
Kaunas is divided into 12 elderates:
Free Wi-Fi hotspots all over the city, especially in restaurants. Since June 2009 free Wi-Fi available on all Laisves aleja.
For tourism information there is Kaunas region tourism information center functioning since 1999. It also has offices at Kaunas airport, Central train station, Kaunas Bus station, and "Park Inn by Radisson Hotel“.
Prices in Kaunas
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.00|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.90|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€14.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€26.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€5.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€2.50|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€2.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€4.60|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€5.50|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.11|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.75|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€77.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€38.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€68.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.75|
44 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
101 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Kaunas International Airport (IATA:KUN) can accommodate planes of practically all types. It is 14 km (8 miles) or approximately a 25–30 minutes drive from downtown Kaunas and directly linked to the A6/E262 (Kaunas - Daugavpils) highway, which borders the airport's northern boundaries and meets up with A1/E85 motorway at the Murava junction about 7 km south of the airport.
As of 2014, the airport is only served by Ryanair. Today it connects Kaunas with Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels-South Charleroi, Dublin, Edinburgh,Frankfurt-Hahn, Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, Luton andStansted, Oslo-Rygge, Stockholm-Skavsta and Tampere. In the summer season there are also flights to the Greek islands Kos and Rhodes, Alicante andMallorca in Spain, as well as Pafos in Cyprus, and Malta.
A modern new terminal for passengers was opened in March 2008. There are some vendors in the terminal building, including a restaurant, bars, and duty-free shops, as well as car rentals. Travel agency, currency exchange, and ATM services are also available. Airport has three parking lots with about 1000 parking spaces offering short- and long-term parking.
From the airport a bus #29 - found right outside - takes you into the center of Kaunas, going by route: Kaunas Central Train Station - Central Bus Station - Savanoriu ave. - Kaunas Airport (tickets for LTL2 (€0,58) are available from the driver). If you arrive on a late night flight, Kaunas City bus #29E is for your convenience. Every day the bus #29E leaves the airport for downtown only after the last flight has arrived. Be aware that the last Ryanair flight usually arrives before 23:00 and the last 29 bus departs at 22:30 while 29E departs at 00:30.
Shuttle bus #120 goes by route: Kaunas Airport - Savanoriu Ave. - Kaunas Castle (in the Old Town) bus stop. There are also two regular routes by shuttle bus from Kaunas airport to Vilnius and Klaipeda.
There is a taxi stand in front of the airport. A taxi to the Old Town of Kaunas costs around LTL55 (€16). Some Kaunas' hotels offer a shuttle to/from the Kaunas airport.
Vilnius airport is just 100 km away The airlines that operate from there are Aer Lingus, AirBaltic, Czech Airlines, Ryanair, Estonian Air, Finnair, Lufthansa, Norwegian AirShuttle, Brussels Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and LOT.
Kaunas is served by a number of major Baltic freeways. The international road Via Baltica E67 (connecting Warsaw to Tallinn) crosses Kaunas just after about 70 km (45 miles) from the Lithuanian-Poland border. It is the most important road connection between the Baltic states. Via Baltica also serves as the western bypass of Kaunas city.
There is a 210 km (130 miles) motorway A1/E85 connecting the western part of Lithuania, Klaipėda and Palanga (a resort by the Baltic sea) to Kaunas and Vilnius in the east. The major junction of the highways Via Baltica and Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipėda is constructed in Sargėnai in the northeastern part of Kaunas City. Buses serve section Kaunas-Vilnius every 30 to 60 min.
Another important highway, A6/E262, links Kaunas with Jonava, Ukmerge, Utena, and Daugavpils, in Latvia. The modern four-lane motorways and highways are in a very good state. The speed-limit is 130 km/h on the motorways (110 km/h in winter), but just 100 km/h on the Vilnius-Kaunas sector.
National status roads connects Kaunas with Alytus, Šakiai, and Klaipeda through Jurbarkas and Šilute.
At the Kaunas Central Train Station (M.K. Čiurlionio g. 16) there are lockers next to the ticket office, a tourist office, an ATM and a small café. There are many trains from Vilnius to Kaunas. If travelling from Klaipeda by train to Kaunas, you must make a stop at Kaišiadorys, and wait for another train running from Vilnius or travel from Siauliai on Fridays and Sundays to Kaunas directly. Some trains run from Vilnius to Šeštokai, and, Poland, through Kaunas. There is also an international rail route connecting Kaliningrad, Russia andKharkiv, Ukraine, that crosses Kaunas. Czech-made double-deck electric trains, alongside with older ones, go from Vilnius to Kaunas, and vice versa. Recently renovated 1,3 km (0,8 miles) long Kaunas railway tunnel built between 1859 and 1861 near Kaunas central railway station is worth attention for tourists. It started operations earlier than the Underground of London. A restored steam engine stands at the western entrance of Kaunas railway tunnel.
There are some frequent bus routes that radiate out from Kaunas and serve other countries. These particularly go to Riga in Latvia, Tallinn in Estonia, Minskin Belarus, and Warsaw in Poland. Bus companies also serve other parts of Lithuania, such as tourist destinations Druskininkai, Palanga or Trakai.
Transportation - Get Around
Kaunas has well developed public transport system. There are 16 trolleybus routes and 47 bus routes inside of the city. Buses and trolleybuses tickets can be bought at press kiosks and in the transport. The Kaunas Public Transport site offers useful information and a downloadable map of the bus and trolleybus routes. Since 2007 electronic monthly tickets are being introduced for public transport in Kaunas. From July 2012 tickets, which are valid for single journey in Kaunas public buses and trolleybuses, can be purchased from public transport drivers only. You must purchase a ticket immediately after boarding the vehicle. Each public transport stop in the downtown area is equipped with Kaunas public transport maps and electronic scoreboards. Price for one journey is LTL 1.8 (€0.52) or LTL2 (€0.56) if ticket is bought in the bus or trolleybus. You must validate your ticket on entry in one of the machines. Tickets purchased from the driver are already time-stamped. Single journey (paper) tickets are valid for buses and trolleybuses. E-ticket prices: E-ticket card price containing e-tickets – you are not allowed to purchase empty card) - LTL6 (€1.74); 3-day e-ticket - LTL16 (€4.64); 7-days e-ticket - LTL29 (€8.40). Electronic tickets for 3, 7 days, 1 or 3 months are valid for both public transport means as well. Activation of the 3 or 7-day e-tickets is done pressing validator's button No. 2 and approaching e-ticket card to the validator. If already purchased at the news stand, electronic ticket may be replenished at the internet site (regrettably, at the moment, only in Lithuanian). E-ticket for 3 or 7 days is valid from the moment of its activation using ticket punchers in the public transport.
Kaunas Tourist Card is an option for getting around Kaunas for less money. The card costs LTL68,99 (€19,98) and is valid for 7 days in Kaunas. It offers a public transport e-ticket for travelling in Kaunas and gives discounts up to 50% in Kaunas' museums, city tours, restaurants, and some hotels.
The bus network covers the whole city and is the widest public transportation system in Kaunas. Three guided routes by bus (bus tours) are for your convenience in Kaunas. A two hour sightseeing tour starts and ends at the Town Hall square. It is possible to arrange Kaunas City Tour in English, German, Russian, Polish, French, Spanish, Italian or other languages upon request. Price: LTL20-30 (€5,8-8,7) per person. Discounts are available for groups by making a call +370 686 72224 or at E. Ožeškienės g.4.
Kaunas trolleybuses service is very reliable. The fleet of trolleys is relatively new, represented by Polish Solaris and some of older Czech Skodas.
Driving a car in Kaunas is easy, as long as you comply with traffic regulations. Admittedly, the central part of Kaunas city is heavily affected by intensive traffic flows. It is notable, that some main central streets, i.e. K. Donelaicio/Kestucio are the part of a one-way system. It facilitates a smoother flow of traffic through the Kaunas city centre grid. Drivers must have a valid driving license and vehicle registration document, insurance (green card is valid in Lithuania). Renting a car for at least 24 hours in Kaunas is effortless. There are some companies renting cars in Kaunas, including Fortuna, Avis, Hertz , Europcar,Budget, AviaEuropa, NeoRent, Autonuoma Kaune and Carent. All of these companies have offices at Kaunas airport. The vehicles are provided with a full tank. The car must be returned with a full tank, otherwise, €1 per litre is charged. To rent a car without a driver a deposit must be paid. The speed limit in Kaunas is 50 km/h, except for some bigger streets which have a speed limit of 60, 70 or even 80 km/h.
Parking in central Kaunas, as well as in the Old Town area, is paid. Central Kaunas is divided into three zones with different parking fees - red (LTL3/h; LTL2/30 min), blue (LTL2/h; LTL1/30 min) and green (LTL1/h). All parking ticket machines are equipped with card readers for city chip cards, and some of them accept coins. Also one may pay for parking with a special 1 or 2 hour parking card or by sending special SMS to number 1332 if one has a local mobile provider - Omnitel, Bite or Tele2 card. A special sticker on the windscreen of the car to indicate that SMS payment can be used is required. The parking ticket or parking card must be clearly visible to be valid. Chip cards or parking cards are available in news-stands, in the Parking in Kaunas company office, Gedimino g.45, or at dressed in green parking controllers. Everyone is liable to an excess charge if they park beyond selected parking period. The excess period is 15 minutes.
Taxi prices varies from LTL2 (€0.6) to LTL2.5 (€0.72) per kilometer. For travelling with taxi, it is advisable to order one by phone because halting a cab on the street is not a custom. In the evening and at night, the price will be higher. Reputable companies are:
- Žaibiškas greitis, +370 37 234 444; short no.: 1422 (Omnitel); 1441 (Bite). Established in 1992 and owned largest taxi fleet in Kaunas
- Taxi Kaunas, . , All taxi services available
- Smugis, .
- Einesa, .
- Greitasis taksi, .
There are more than 50 km (30 miles) of bicycle roads in Kaunas and the number of available roads is increasing each year. The Eurovelo international route goes through the city. Kaunas city bike routes chart is available here.
- 2RIDE, Laisves aleja, 36, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Fr 9-18; Sa,Su 10-18.. The first bicycle rental in Kaunas. Another service point at the Old Town tourist office, Rotuses square 29. The rent price starts from LTL10 (€2,9)/hour. Helmets are available.
Regular water tourism routes: Kaunas - Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant -Kaunas (duration: 3 hours; price: LTL20 adults, LTL10 children) and Kaunas -Rumšiškės - Kaunas (duration: 6 hours; price: LTL17 adults, LTL8 children) are available on Saturdays and Sundays from Kaunas Pažaislis pier. Each route start from Kaunas Reservoir pier at 11:00 Another water tourism route Kaunas -Zapyškis - Kulautuva small resort town (duration: 2 hours; price: LTL10 adults, LTL5 children) starts from Kaunas Vytautas' church pier in the Old Town on Sundays at 12:00. Tickets are also available in advance at Kaunas region tourism information center, Laisves aleja, 36.
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There are some beaches on the banks of Nemunas river, shores of Lampedziai lake and Kaunas Reservoir. Beaches are open in summer time.
- Panemunes Park Beach. Is in the loop of Nemunas river on the shore of the brilliant Panemune Park. The beach is easily reachable on foot if start from shopping center "Molas" (K. Barsausko g.), you should go by A. ir J. Gravrogku g. and then by pedestrian bridge across the Nemunas river or by car or taxi from the city center. It‘s a popular place to visit.
- Lampedžiai Lake Beach. Is set in the western part of Kaunas. It is a small lake surrounded by Lampedziai park that attract a lot of locals in summer time. Beach is reachable by car, taxi, or buses #48 (runs from Kaunas castle bus stop) or #9 (runs from Silainiai residential district).
- Kaunas Reservoir Beach. Is situated on the shore of Pažaislis park near Pažaislis church and monastery ensemble. The water is almost the purest of all Kaunas beaches. Beach is reachable by car, taxi, or trolleybuses #9 or 12 (summer time only). Kaunas Reservoir is the largest Lithuanian artificial lake, created in 1959 by damming the Nemunas river near Kaunas and Rumsiskės. The reservoir supports the operations of theKaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant. The reservoir also supports the operations of Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant, which is situated near confluence of Reservoir with small Strėva river, at distance of about 25 kilometers east from Kaunas.
The best known grocery stores are: Maxima, IKI, Rimi, Norfa, Šilas, Samsonas and Senukai (household goods). Each of them offer everything for daily needs. There are also a great amount of well known Western brand stores, stylish boutiques usually set at the central streets of Kaunas or shopping malls. Also one may choose to stroll around in the areas of some Kaunas outdoor markets.
What to buy
- Hand made bone china table sets, cups, mugs and other souvenirs. Available at the ImDeco store in Akropolis shopping mall (or directly from producer JSC Jiesia at Chemijos g. 29, at the eastern part of Kaunas).
- Šakotis - popular traditional Lithuanian poundcake grilled layer by layer. Its name means branched, and that describes its distinctive shape, usually dressed-up for a wedding ceremony.
- Vodka (Degtiné) - a whole range of flavoured vodkas starting at 5 LTL for 200 ml. Try cherry, cranberry, lemon, blackcurrant, raspberry and of course classic. The pepper was an acquired taste - but got easier the more you drank.
- Flax (linas) products - high quality and old traditions.
- Mead (midus) - original national beverage made of vodka, some herbs and with honey flavour and taste. Not to be confused with medus, which is honey in Lithuanian.
- Cottage cheese - lots of variations.
- Amber (gintaras), so called "Lithuanian gold", decorations.
- Linen or wooden dolls - for children.
Where to buy
Within Kaunas there are several malls which are usually open from 8AM until 12PM. Typically most shopping centers have not only dozens or more stores, but also a food court, restaurants, multiplexes, branches of commercial banks, ATMs, bowling alleys and even may have a skating rink. Shopping lovers should visit the cozy craft shops in the Old Town for Lithuanian souvenirs as well.
- Mega, Islandijos pl. 32. A huge shopping complex just outside the city centre with shops, 4D multiscreen cinema, Q-zar laser space, a bowling and pool club, restaurants and a spectacular aquarium in the main entrance stocked with tropical fish including some sharks. Stairs and an escalator take you up beside it for a better view. You can even watch them feed the fish (twice a day in the week, once at weekends). Served by bus #38 and #21 from the city centre (journey time about 20 minutes).
- Akropolis. Shopping mall built in 2007 and located in a 4-storey building in the centre of the city. There are lots of retailers, restaurants and cafés, entertainment providers. The shopping centre also comes with a huge multi-level parking lot (free of charge), an ice skating arena surrounded by a food court, a bowling alley, a casino and a multiplex cinema.
- Urmas, Pramonės pr. 16. “Urmas” shopping area located at the eastern part of the city, comprises more than 65000 m², and, is equipped with specialized meat, fruit & vegetable and fish markets. The business area is divided into separate units: Yellow, Green, Grey, Western and Eastern galleries and the Red passage. Area is decorated by antique passenger train from the beginning of the XX century. The train is adapted to trading activities & catering services. Urmas center features a 2.500 parking lot which surrounds all galleries. Urmas shopping area is reachable from the city center by taxi, minibus #99 or troleybusses #15,16.
- Molas, K. Baršausko g. 66A. A department store Maxima, around 50 groceries, bookstores, opticians, some restaurants, pizzerias, branches of commercial banks, a bowling alley, tables of snooker and pool.
- Savas, Savanoriu av. 346. A lot of stores, including huge RimiHypermarket, service center, coffee-house, pizzerias, and more.
- Hyper Maxima, Savanoriu av. 255. Some restaurants, including self-service Delano restaurant with decorative windmill on the outside, more than 40 other shops and services available.
While in Lithuania, one should try these national dishes: appetizers - Piršteliai prie alaus - thin, rolled-up puff pastries served with beer (LTL4-7); main courses: Cepelinai(or didžkukuliai) su spirgučiais - potato balls with meat (about LTL11/€3.20); Vėdarai - a sausage, made of a potato stuffed intestine of a pig (about LTL10/€3); Skilandis - pig stomach stuffed with meat, garlic and cold-smoked; Plokštainis - meal of potatoes(about LTL8-12/€2,3-4); Bulviniai blynai (grated potato pancakes) with different sauces (about LTL8-11); Virtinukai - curd patties (about LTL10); Kastinys - soft sour cream butter (LTL3-4); Šaltnosiukai - dumplings filled with lingonberries; Fish - pike or perch, is often baked whole or stuffed, or made into gefilte fish (various prices); Silkė - marinated, baked, fried or served in aspic herring; soups - Šaltibarščiai (a summer soup based on beets and soured milk), Juka (blood soup) or Cabbage soup flavored with carrots, ham, onions (around LTL4-6). Ruginė duona (dark rye bread) is very advisable to try with soups. Lithuanian cuisine is also famous for wide use of wild berries, mushrooms, and cheese. Honey and poppy seeds are commonly used as filling in pastries. For desserts, try Žagarėliai - twisted, thin deep-fried pastries dusted with powdered sugar or Spurgos - a Lithuanian variant of doughnuts, often filled with preserves. Of course, European, Oriental, French, Italian, Russian and other cuisines are available at Kaunas' restaurants.
- Chocolate Museum, Taikos av. 88. An interactive museum at the premises of largest Lithuanian chocolate producer Kraft Foods have been opened to the public since 2004. One could take a look at the cacao seeds, the spadix, the leaves of the cocoa tree, and to be introduced to the tricks of making chocolate. The museum aims to the younger audience. Groups from 10 to 20 people are accepted. Only pre-arranged guided tours are available, please call +370 37 305110 to register.
- Spurginė, Laisvės aleja, 84. One of the last traditional places in central Kaunas, where you can buy the standard Lithuanian doughnut, known as a spurga.
- Sushi Express, Laisves aleja, 12A. Japanese fast food restaurant offers more than 30 sushi, maki, sashimi dishes, vegetarians as well.
- Radharanė, Laisvės aleja, 40. Restaurant in the city centre, offering vegetarian Indian food at very reasonable prices. Main dish LTL 8-12.
- Arena Pizza, Laisves aleja, 57 and Savanoriu av. 363. Offers a huge range of pizzas and side dishes at good prices and is very centrally located.
- Hesburger, Laisves aleja 48; also at Mega shopping mall, Vilniaus g.43, and Pramones avenue, 6A; (the last one - with Drive-in).. A bit like McDonald's, but this is a Finnish chain.
- Čili Kaimas (at Mega shopping center). Traditional Lithuanian food in a country themed surrounding; including live chickens in glass cabinets - great for kids.
- Panda, M. Dauksos g. 51. Chinese restaurant in the Old Town. Very pleasant environment alongside with quick service and deliciuos dishes.
- Viva blynai, Laisves aleja, 53. Tasty pancakes and dumplings.
- Arbatinė, Laisves aleja, 99A. Small teahouse in front of Vytautas monument offers vegetarian menu only.
- Ciau, K. Donelaičio g. 66. Tasty and welcoming but don't expect lightning fast service - a relaxed pace and a chance to watch the world go by while your food is cooked. Closest eating place to the Vytautas the Great War Museum (see above) - tasty, warm, good value but a little slow.
- McDonald's, Savanoriu av. 321A, and Pramones av.8B. American fast food.
- Čili Pica, Laisvės Aleja 76. Good value, tasty and comfortable. Also at Mega shopping center.
- Kavos Kerai, Vilniaus str 60. Very good ice coffee, many different kinds of coffee and tea, nice and welcoming coffee house, tasty traditional Lithuanian dishes. Right next there is President garden - famous and warm place to go after a cup of coffee in Kavos Kerai!
- Bernelių Užeiga, M. Valančiaus g. 9, also at K. Donelaičio g. 11, and Akropolis shopping mall. Tasty traditional Lithuanian dishes, soup in bowls made of bread and home brewed beer. Cosy and atmospheric and very convenient if you are in the Old Town as it is just a minute from the tourist information center.
- Alkava, S. Daukanto g. 23; A. Mickeviciaus g.40; Varniu g. 24; Savanoriu av.6 and more locations at shopping malls.. Wonderful confectioneries with wide arrangement of patisserie and coffee.
- Miesto Sodas, Laisves aleja, 93. Very good restaurant offering European cuisine with adjacent night club "Siena".
- Crazy House, Vilniaus g. 16 (in the cellar). Mo-Th 11-24; Fr-Sa 11-02. Not very expensive, but luscious; some kinds of horror nights starts from 18:00.
- Al Diwan, Girstupio g. 9-12. Fr-Sa 12-02; Su-Th 12-24. Middle East cuisine restaurant. Belly-dance and the hookah are available in 2 halls.
- Bella Toscana, S. Daukanto g.14, Vilniaus g. 74. A cup of nice latte, pizzas and some fine snacks.
- Konrado užeiga, Laisves aleja, 49A. Situated in the courtyard of Kaunas' central avenue, restaurant offers real Lithuanian, as well as European, cuisine and live beer in three styles - retro, youth and small barel chamber.
- Ramzis II, M. Dauksos g. 29. Tu-Sa 12-24, Su,Mo 15-23. Egyptian restaurant with souvenirs from Africa store in the Old Town of Kaunas.
- Pizza Jazz, Laisves aleja, 68; Laisves Aleja, 106; Savanoriu av. 349; Taikos av. 141; and others. Great pizzas and other dishes and good beer in very comfortable surroundings.
- Morkų šėlsmas, Laisvės aleja, 78B. In front of Kaunas Drama theatre recently opened a restaurant and fresh pressed juice bar is highly recommended for vegans. All menu comprises natural ingredients, is cholesterol free, and cooked by a chef from Canada.
- Milano, A. Mickeviciaus g. 19. Quality Italian pizzeria close to Laisves aleja.
- In Tilsit, Vytauto av. 32. Fr,Sa 9-24; Mo-Th 9-23. Stylish restaurant with pleasant service in the business center offers European and German cuisine.
- Master grill, Savanoriu av. 235. At the restaurant one may enjoy traditional American steak, as well as excitement looking at preparation dishes on hot lava stones.
- Abato menė, Vilniaus g. 7. 10-20 daily. At the premises of former abbey opened a culinary heritage restaurant offers delicious courses such as dumplings, fresh beer brewed in monasteries of the Netherlands and Belgium.
- 55°, Laisves alėja, 79. Mo-Sa 11-24, Su 11-23. One of the best restaurants in terms of service and dishes. At the 55° restaurant guests are invited to observe the demonstration of a homemade vodka production technology. European and Lithuanian cuisine.
- Žalias Ratas, Laisvės aleja, 36b (behind tourist information center). A traditional country inn recreated in the city. Roaring fire, costumed waitresses, and tasty traditional Lithuanian food make this a great place to visit.
- Yakata, M. Valanciaus g. 14. Opened in 2003. Japanese restaurant that also offers vegetarian dishes and European cuisine.
- Tiflisi. Mo-Fr 10-22, Sa, Su 10-23. Spicy Caucasian restaurant at the Mega shopping mall. Pleasant staff and excellent wine.
- Tain Fu, A. Mickeviciaus g. 8. Mo-Sa 11-23, Su 12-23. Spicy South China's cuisine concoct by cooks from Far East.
- AJ šokoladas, Rotuses sq. 26. Chocolate restaurant that offers marvelous snacks, nice coffee, and a beautiful atmosphere in the heart of Old Town of Kaunas near City Hall square.
- Pas Stanley, Vilniaus g. 24. Excellent service provided in a family run restaurant combined with warm atmosphere of the 1960s. Mo-Th, Su 9-24, Fr-Sa 9-4.
- Bokštas, Kestucio g. 86. Located near Musical Theatre and former tower of the City Wall, and so named after the Tower. One of the best recently opened restaurants in Kaunas. European cuisine.
- Carlstonas, Kestucio g. 93. In front of Musical Theatre is set another restaurant with European, Italian and Spanish cuisine.
- Gralis, Trumpoji g. 10. Restaurant is located close to Old Town, just get about 300 metres up the hill from Benediktiniu g. and turn left on Trumpoji stret. There are 4 banqueting halls inside on 2 floors. Luxury European cuisine, and Italian dishes have a very special place. There is also a small guesthouse alongside. In the summertime, one may enjoy unique views of nature from the terrace.
- Sadute, Rotuses sq. 4. Located in the very heart of Old Town, known for groovy interior but also splendid service and clients' confidentiality.
- Medžiotojų užeiga, Rotuses sq.10. 11-24. Restaurant offers dishes made not only from deer. High quality Lithuanian and European cuisine in 4 halls. 11-24.
- Pompėja, V. Putvinskio g. 38. Named after the Roman ruined city of Pompeii, this restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine for formal business lunch or for romantic dinner at the very heart of Kaunas' downtown.
- Senieji rūsiai, Vilniaus g. 34. Mo-Su 11-02. Very high quality restaurant offers three chambers and the only specially equipped Hall of Cigars in the cellars in the middle of the Old Town. Restaurant offers live music on weekends, abundant assortment of dishes, desserts and more than 120 sorts of wine.
Sights & Landmarks
Kaunas has several districts and sites interesting for tourists. The Old Town was mostly built between the 14th and 17th centuries, resembling buildings in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Open spaces, parks, and places of interest are in the compact New Town as well as some other locations. A walking tour is the best way to see the Old Town. Guided excursions are available at Kaunas region tourism information office. You can also get a free tour from a local guide (often a student). They take you on a three hour tour, showing you all the popular and also less known spots and telling loads of funny stories. Afterwards, you can give them a tip (LTL10 per person). More information on [email protected] Kaunas boasts around 40 museums of art, nature, literature, history, science, and sports, as well as historical and memorial museums.
- Kaunas Castle, Papilio g. 17. The castle was built in the middle of the 14th century and is the oldest building in Kaunas. Today the round tower houses an art gallery. The castle is open to tourism, and hosts occasional festivals. Nearby is the nice Santakos park, at the confluence of the two largest rivers of Lithuania - the Nemunas and Neris.
- Kaunas City Hall. Rotuses sq. 15. Built in the mid-16th century, at the time when Kaunas was flourishing city of merchants, City Hall is a nice example of renaissance architecture. Locals unofficially call it The White Swan. In 1836 it was reconstructed and the residence for Russian czars was made there. The Wedding Hall (marriage registration office) was opened on the ground and first floors in 1973. The cellars are used by aKaunas Ceramics museum. The museum collection consists of archaeological findings from the Old Town and surroundings of Kaunas. The collection contains craftsmen-made crockery, tile stove ornaments, and roof tiles of impressive size. The exposition also reflects the lifestyle of the townsmen of the time. Open: Tu-Su 11AM-5PM.
- City Hall Square. The main square of the Old Town contains the City Hall and surrounding buildings, with lots of restaurants, bars, coffee houses, museums, art galleries, and hotels nearby.
- Wax Melting Furnace. The unique exposure of 15th century wax melting stove near the Tower entrance of the City Hall was opened in 2002. Recently renovated the furnace exposure shows wax melting process. Kaunas was an important center of wax trade in the Middle Ages. So called wax stones (each of which 16 kg/35 lb weight) were melted in 9 stoves of Kaunas and later stamped with a Coat of Arms of Kaunas for export to Western Europe.
- Communications History Museum, Rotuses sq. 19. W-Su 10-18.The museum houses the collection of unique and still working exhibits, and offers visitors to familiarize themselves with the history of development of post, as well as others means of communications. A visitor himself may test the operation of some telegraph devices or in the courtyard take a look at the remnants of an old bronze melting furnace. Museum is set in the 16th century two brick granaries to stack exported grain. In the 19th century buildings have been set up as horse postal station. Tickets LTL5 (€1.45) adults, LTL3 (€0.90) for children.
- Maironis Museum of Lithuania Literature, Rotuses sq. 13. Tu-Sa 9-17. Located in Baroque palace. Has been arranged as a memorial home of famous Lithuanian poet and priest Maironis. The museum houses huge collection of books, manuscripts, art works, and memorial items. LTL4 (€1.20).
- Kaunas Arch-cathedral Basilica, Vilniaus g. 1. Being 84 m long and 34 m wide is the largest Gothic (with Renaissance and Baroque elements inside) church in Lithuania. It was first mentioned in writing sources in 1413. The tomb of poet Maironis was constructed in the southern wall of the cathedral in 1930s.
- Kaunas Medicine and Pharmacy Museum, Rotuses sq. 28. Houses a huge collection of skulls, herbs, medicine articles, and other items of older times. Open 10AM-7PM daily. Closed Mon.. Tickets: LTL3 adults, LTL1.5 LTL children, Excursions in English are available: LTL25 (€7.30).
- St. Francis Xavier Church, Rotuses sq. 9. The construction of late baroque Jesuit church was begun in the second half of the 17th century but finished only in 1720. At the same time Jesuits' residence served as the central school of the Kaunas region. Famous Lithuanian and Polish poet Adomas Mickevičius (Adam Mickiewicz) worked as a teacher there between 1819 and 1823. The church was transferred to the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky’s Cathedral in 1843. The church and school were returned to Jesuits in 1923. The church was closed during the Soviet occupation and reopened in 1990. Sacral music concerts are organised in the church.
- Vytautas' Church, Aleksoto g.3. Officially named The Church of Taking Holy Virgin Mary into the Heaven church is the oldest one in Kaunas and is one of the first Gothic brick buildings built in 1400 in Kaunas on the bank of the Nemunas river. The church belonged to Franciscan monks. During the Napoleonic Wars it was turned into a war ammunition warehouse.
- Vytautas' Bridge. Connects the Old Town and Aleksotas district. The original bridge on wooden poles was built in 1812. It was used by Napoleon’s Army fleeing from Russia. At the beginning of the 19th century, Aleksotas district belonged to Poland, while other parts of Kaunas on the right bank of Nemunas river was then part of the Russian Northwestern region where different calendars were used. Jokingly, the bridge was called the longest bridge in the world: the Slavic (Julian) calendar was used in the province of Kaunas, whereas Aleksotas region used the Catholic (Gregorian) calendar; therefore, it took 13 days to cross the bridge (the old calendar was 13 days behind the new one).
- Evangelic Lutheran Church, Karaliaus Mindaugo av. 3. A small church located on the right bank of the Nemunas river in so-called Germans quarter of the Old Town is in Baroque and Romanticism styles. The church was built in 1682-83.
- St. Gertrude Church, Laisves aleja 101A. The church was built in the late 15th century. It is a small sacral building in the outskirts of the Old Town in one of the courtyards, a national architectural monument of Gothic style.
- Napoleon's House, Muitines g. 8. This 16th century brick building is famous for the fact that in June 1812 the Emperor of France Napoleon resided there. Later the building was named after its distinguished guest. The restored eastern annexe of the Napoleon house has a beautiful staircase, an example of Fachverk, an architectural style rare in Lithuania. It is thought that this rare staircase is the heritage of the Germans who significantly contributed to the formation of the area. Nowadays Napoleon‘s house, as well as a former Renaissance consistory of a Lutheran church, and other buildings of the area near the Nemunas river, houses Vilnius University Kaunas Faculty of Humanities.
- Church of Holy Trinity, Rotuses sq. 22. The Bernardine convent's church was built in 1624-1634. It is of late Renaissance style with a Gothic tradition. At the moment, it is used for needs of Kaunas Priest Seminary.
- St. George Church and Bernardine Monastery, Papilio g. 7.Located near Kaunas Castle, the church's Gothic walls have survived despite frequent fires. The church and a monastery built in the 15th century are a Gothic monument with unique façades. The interior features a number of valuable Renaissance and Gothic elements. The complex is under renovation at the moment.
- Perkunas' House, Aleksoto g. 6. One of the most beautiful secular so called "flaming" Gothic building (House of Thunder) in Lithuania. At the moment, the building belongs to the Jesuits order, and a small museum of Lithuanian and Polish poet Adomas Mickevicius (Adam Mickewicz) is opened inside.
- St. Michael Church and Benedictine Convent, Benediktiniu g. 8.The church is a fine example of 15th century Gothic sacral building that is only with asymmetric layout in Lithuania. The church and convent complex are on Benediktiniu g. at the north-east part of Kaunas Old Town. It is reachable on foot by crossing busy Saukliu g. from Kaunas castle side.
- Jewellery (Gemmology) Museum, L. Zamenhofo g./Kurpių g. 13.Mo-Fr 10-18; Sa 10-16. Located between the Nemunas river and the main - Vilniaus street of the Old Town, small private museum attracts visitors with rare minerals, precious stones exposition from different locations of the world. Quality certificates of precious stones and gems are issued there. Entrance free.
- Historical Presidential Palace, Vilniaus g. 33. Tu–Su 11-17. The Former Palace houses objects, which relate to presidential institution of the First Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940). Representational portraits, art works from the interiors of Presidential Palace are exhibited here, also – the presents received by presidents, authentic furniture. In the garden of the Palace, 3 the Interbellum period Presidents of Lithuania face to the visitors. Tickets LTL3 (around €1).
Kaunas downtown area is compact so everyone is able to stroll around on foot and take some photos. Be prepared for great variety of sculptuary on display in the public areas of Kaunas. Kaunas Old Town ends at the remnants of the former Kaunas City wall near the garden of the Musical Theatre.
- Laisvės alėja. Kaunas' most famous walking street is fully pedestrianised and runs from the Old Town for almost 2 km to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. Two lines of Linden trees, seating and flower beds run the length of the avenue. There is a good assortment of shops, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, a cinema, casinos, nightclubs, museums, tourist information office, places to stay and a central post office. It would be possible to spend your entire stay on Laisves Aleja and not get bored. It is kept clean and snow free (in the winter) with great efficiency and is a great place to spend time. In the late morning and afternoon various stalls selling foods, souvenirs hats etc. appear and are worth a look.
A high school student, Romas Kalanta is well known for his public first self-immolation protesting Soviet occupation of Lithuania. He was religious, and at the same time attended an evening school while working at the factory. His sympathies with the hippie movement were later exploited by the Soviets to discredit R. Kalanta among the population. On May 14, 1972, he poured 3 liters of gasoline on himself and set himself on fire in the square adjoining the Laisvės Alėja in front of the Kaunas Musical Theatre. R. Kalanta' death provoked the largest post-war riots in Lithuania. On May 18 and 19, 1972 the gathered high school students and young workers broke into a politically-charged riot and marched along the Laisvės Alėja, which was forcibly dispersed by the KGB. Demonstrations spread to other cities reacted as well. R. Kalanta became a symbol of the Lithuanian resistance throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
- The Field of Victims. The memorial in Laisvės alėja near the garden of the Musical theatre was unveiled on 14 May 2002. It was dedicated to Romas Kalanta, who self-immolated himself protesting the Soviet oppression on 14 May 1972.
- Vytautas' Monument. Located on Laisvės alėja, near the Kaunas city municipality building. The monument to Vytautas the Great - the most famous ruler of medieval Lithuania was erected in 1930. It was demolished by the Soviets and then re-erected in 1990.
- The Synagogue, E. Ožeskienes g. 13. Kaunas Choral Synagogue, located near the western end of Laisvės aleja, is one of two remaining Jewish houses of prayer in Lithuania. It was built in 1872 in reformist decorative style of synagogues of that time. The façade of the synagogue is reminiscent of a neobaroque church. Its dome was rebuilt some years ago. There is an exposition of rabbis' paintings on the second floor of the Synagogue.
- Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum, Laisves aleja, 106. Houses a collection of thousands of stuffed and preserved animals. In winter make use of the cloakroom to the left of the main hall on the ground floor as the museum is well heated. Arranged over several floors the collection ranges from full grown giraffes and wisents to butterflies and is well worth an hour or two of your time. Open 11-19 daily. Mon. closed. Tickets: LTL5 (€1.50) for adults, LTL3 for children.
- The Catacombs. Enter theChurch of St. Michael the Archangel (the beautiful domed building at the eastern end of Laisves Aleja) sand the entrance to the catacombs (katakombos) is on your right. Ask at the sacristy (right of the main altar) and they will let you in for free. You descend a spiral staircase into total darkness then begin a journey using your remaining senses which takes you through an underground assault course. When you make it through you ascend a similar spiral staircase on the opposite side of the church entrance. Not for the fainthearted, small children or anyone with difficulty moving around. They appreciate a donation to the church afterwards in one of the boxes scattered around.
- Kaunas Officers' Club, A. Mickevičiaus g. 19. One of the finest examples of Kaunas Interbellum architecture (Karininkų Ramovė in Lithuanian), especially from the inside, built in 1937. The main façade is adorned by the granite sculpture Three Giants that became a symbol of the Club. On the main - second floor of the building the Grand Hall, as well as Hall of Vytautas, so called Hall of Dukes, and Hall of the President are located. Each hall is decorated in different styles (Gothic, classic, and national style respectively) with unique chandeliers, paintings, frescoes, furniture, and stained glass. Good quality cuisine pizzeria is situated on the first floor of the club.
- Vytautas the Great War Museum, K. Donelaicio g. 64.Tu-Su 11-17:30. An interactive exposition of history of Kaunas from prehistoric times to the present day. It houses an immense collection of weapons through the ages from medieval arbalests and suits of armor to guns of World War II. The highlight is the complete, but tragic, remains of the plane Lituanica in which S. Darius and S. Girenas crossed the Atlantic in 1933 (see the 10 Litas note) are displayed. The crypt For Those Who Died for the Freedom of Lithuania is available to visit beneath the floor of the museum. adult LTL2, child LTL1.
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Eternal flame. Both in the square in front of Vytautas the Great Museum with the statues of Lithuanian national renaissance figures where they are located. It was the main square where Lithuanian national holidays were celebrated during the period when Kaunas had been the Temporary capital of Lithuania.
- The Carillion. Kaunas 35 bell Carillon in the tower of Vytautas the Great War Museum was completed in Belgium in 1935. The bell music from the tower started to ring in 1937. Kaunas carillon was restored by Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry in Netherlands in 2006. After the restoration, Kaunas carillon now has 49 bells and a new keyboard. Everyday the Lithuanian folk melody of wartime is being played automatically in the middle of the day. Carillon concerts are performed every Saturday and Sunday at 16:00 in the Garden of Vytautas the Great Military Museum.
- The Bank of Lithuania, Maironio g.25. The branch of Lithuania National bank in Kaunas. It was built in 1928 as a new Central Bank building. There is a small exhibition of Lithuanian banknotes and coins of the First Republic time inside. Very impressive architecture of neoclassicism style. One may purchase Lithuanian collector coins there.
- M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, V. Putvinskio g. 55. Oct–May: Tu–Su 11-17, Jun–Sep: Tu–Su 10-17. Museum collects, keeps, investigates and popularizes Lithuanian most famous artist and composer's M. K. Čiurlionis' (1875–1911) creative works, cultural heritage of Lithuania and the world. Some art critics call M. K. Ciurlionis the pioneer of abstract art. His creations combine symbolism, secessio, abstractionism and romanticism. Tickets: LTL6 (€1,7) for adults, LTL3 (€0,9) for pupils.
- Devils' Museum, V. Putvinskio g.64, . Tu-Su 11-18. Contains the Lithuanian artist' A. Zmuidzinavicius collection of sculptures and carvings of devils, and a unique collection of devils from the whole world.
- Kaunas Picture Gallery, K. Donelaicio g.16. Tu-Su 11-17. Gallery houses XX century Lithuanian and Lithuanian émigrés art, and a collection of North American Indian art donated by Juozas Kaributas (the USA). There is also Jurgis Mačiūnas FLUXUS cabinet and Art Collection of prof. Algimantas Miskinis. LTL4 (€1,2).
- Funiculars. There are two still functioning funiculars in Kaunas. The Žaliakalnis Funicular on V. Putvinskio street is an electrically operated funicular railway. The oldest funicular in Lithuania and one of the oldest in Europe. It was constructed by AEG and began operating on 5 August 1931. The funicular has wood panelled coachwork and is serviced by an English speaking operator in uniform. It climbs the 75 m up from behind the Vytautas the Great War Museum to the Church of the Resurrection for some of the best views in Kaunas. The ticket costs LTL1 (LTL0.50 for children). Another -Aleksotas Funicular, built in 1935, near Aleksotas (or Vytautas) bridge, that connects the Old Town with Aleksotas district, takes people up to Aleksotas hill. From here is probably the best view of Kaunas downtown.
- The Nemunas Island Park (Nemunos salos parkas).Accessed across a footbridge at the southern end of S. Daukanto pedestrian street. A huge open space minutes from the bustle of Laisvės Alėja. A great place to sledge when there is snow and of course the place to leave your padlocks. The largest indoor arena in the Baltic states, Žalgirio Arena, is on the eastern part of the island. Since its opening in August 2011, it has hosted numerous sports events and concerts.
- Kaunas M. Žilinskas Picture Gallery, Nepriklausomybes sq.12.June–September Tu-Su 10-17, October–May daily 11-17. Contemporary building at the eastern end of Laisves Aleja, near the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. Gallery houses collection of fine and applied art from around the globe. One exposition is dedicated to Man and Woman. There are Ancient Egyptian amulets, Roman glassware, Ming vases, old tapestries, XVII-XX century European Works of Applied Art donated by collector Mykolas Žilinskas. The gallery houses the Contemporary Art Information Center, and the best movies are shown on a large screen at the Galerijos Kinas. Right outside the gallery stands a statue of naked man - a place for youth meetings and artistic performances. LTL6 (€1,8).
- Kaunas Orthodox Cathedral, Vytauto av. 38. The Orthodox the Annunciation Cathedral as well as smaller Orthodox church located nearby, forms unanimous complex in the southern part of Ramybes park near Vytauto avenue. The new Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1935 and represents the variety of consequences of traditional forms of Russian Orthodox churches. Smaller - Holy Resurrection Orthodox church was constructed in 1862 on the area of the local Orthodox cemetery and since 1923 till 1935 acted as Lithuanian Orthodox Cathedral. Entrance free.
- The Mosque, Totoriu g.3. The only style building and in Lithuania Eastern, a mosque of bricks located in the northern corner of the Ramybes park of Kaunas downtown. It was rebuilt in bricks in 1930, in commemoration of Vytautas the Great 500th anniversary of his death.
- Museum of Deportation and Resistance, Vytauto av. 46, . Tu-Fr 10-16. The museum is sacred to the memory of victims of Soviet regime and Forest Brothers who fought for Freedom of Lithuania. Museum is set on the western part of Ramybes park. Entrance and excursion guide are free of charge.
- Church of the Resurrection. Follow V. Putvinskio street from the Devil Museum or walk up behind the War Museum and turn right to find the Žaliakalnis Funicular Railway. This takes you up to the Church of the Resurrection. The door on the right hand side of the church (as you face it) takes you in and from 12:00 you can climb the stairs (LTL4, LTL1 children) or take the lift (LTL14, LTL8 children) to the terrace at the top. One of the attendants at least will insist on selling you only the stairs tickets but then let you use the lift! Spectacular views of Kaunas and beyond. The church itself is also open to visitors. If you arrive too early and the terrace is not open then carry on north-west along Žemaičiu street and at the junction you'll find an IKI supermarket that has a coffee bar/restaurant upstairs.
- The House of Sugihara, Vaizganto g. 30. The memorial exhibition located in quiet residential area of Žaliakalnis is functioning in the building where before World War II, The Japanese consulate's vice-concul Chiune Sugihara resided. In 1940 he handed out Japanese transit visas to Jews from Lithuania, Poland and other countries. It saved about 6,000 people from Holocaust.
- Ažuolynas Park. Named after the old Oak-wood tree park, it is in Žaliakalnis residential district easily reachable from the downtown area by some staircases or buses #6,10,21,37 (from K. Donelaičio g.) or #38,43 (from Vytauto av.). The park is one of the most popular places among locals to stroll and athletes to run. At the western part of the Ažuolynas park, the monument to famous Lithuanian aviators S. Darius and S. Girenas stands. They made a significant flight in the history of the world aviation on July 15, 1933. Their research aircraft that crossed the Atlantic, crashed under mysterious circumstances close to its destination, Kaunas. At the eastern part of the park, Kaunas Zoo entrance is set.
- Lithuanian Zoo Park. 9-19. The only Zoo garden in Lithuania was established in an Ažuolynas park, in which grow hundred year old oaks near the city center in 1938. It is made up of 11 sections and offers 6 classes of animals. Children may ride a pony, a donkey, or take a ride in a horse drawn carriage. May–October LTL11 (€3,2) for adults & LTL8 (€2,4) for pupils, November–April LTL7 (€2) for adults & LTL5 (€1,45) for pupils.
- Lithuania's Museum of Aviation, Veiveriu g. 132 (Museum is reachable from the city central bus or railway station by taxi, bus #6 or minibus #51, 68, 105). Tu-Sa 9-17. Museum is in Aleksotas district, at the former S. Darius and S. Girėnas international airport of Kaunas. It is the oldest still functioning for air sports and rescue reasons airport in Lithuania, established in 1915. The exposition explores the development of Lithuanian aviation, some flying apparatus, and the aviation signs of various countries. Visitors may test a real aviation simulator. Tickets - LTL4 (€1,2), with guided excursion - LTL10 (€2,7).
- Kaunas Botanical Garden, Z. E. Zilibero g. 6. The Garden is one of the most beautiful sites of nature in Kaunas comprises the area of 62.5 hectares with greenhouses founded in 1923. The labyrinthes, little zoo, mythological track, and car parking are also attainable at the garden.
- Napoleon's Hill. Actually the Jiesia river hill, located on the left bank of the Nemunas river, between the Panemune residential neighborhood and so called Green Railway bridge. Since the early XIX century it has been nicknamed Napoleon's hill. It is believed that from this hill in June 1812 Emperor of France Napoleon I watched his Grand Army crossing the Nemunas. The hill is accessible from the Kaunas castle by bus #25 or taxi.
- Kaunas Fortress. Built between 1882 and 1915, it was designated a "first-class" fortress in Russian Empire in 1887. The fortress was battle-tested in 1915 when Germany attacked the Russian Empire, and withstood eleven days of assault before capture. The Ninth Fort of the Fortress houses a museum and memorial devoted to the victims of World War II mass executions.
- 9th Fort Museum, Žemaičių av. 73. April–October Mo, We-Su 10-18; November - March, We-Su 10-16. Located in the western outskirts of Kaunas, museum offers expositions of Soviet terror and deportation of Lithuanians to Soviet camps and Siberia, Kaunas' Stronghold and 9th Fort, Massacre of Jewish people in Lithuania in 1941–1944, Prison-breaking of 64 prisoners from 9th Fort, and others. Dungeon and defense wall (about 1 km long), guns and ammunition of 1st and 2nd World Wars of 9th Fort are a separate itinerary of an excursion. The memorial of 105 feet (32 meters) high to the victims of fascism at the Ninth Fort was erected in 1984. LTL5 (€1,5) adults, LTL3 (€0,8) students, children. Tours are available.
- Pažaislis Monastery and Church. Tu-F 10-17, Sat 10-16.Pažaislis monastery complex was built by Italian architects, whereas sculptors from Lombardy took care of the frescos and plaster casts. They form the largest monastery and church complex in Lithuania, and is one of the most magnificent examples of Italian baroque architecture in Eastern Europe. Pažaislis camaldolese monastery located on the bank of Kaunas Reservoir. Tickets: LTL5 (€1,45) for adults, LTL2 (€0,6) for pupils.
- Kaunas reservoir. The aforementioned monastery is situated at the peninsula of Kaunas Reservoir - the largest Lithuanian artificial lake, created in 1959 by damming the Nemunas river near Kaunas and Rumšiškės town. Kaunas Reservoir supports the operations of the Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant. The reservoir also supports the operations of large Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant, which is situated near confluence of Kaunas Reservoir with small Strėva river, at distance of about 25 kilometers east from Kaunas.
Museums & Galleries
Kaunas is often called a city of museums, because of the abundance and variety of them. The museums in Kaunas include:
- the War Museum of Vytautas the Great;
- the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, commemorating the work of the early 20th centuryavant-garde artist M. K. Čiurlioniswho sought to combine painting and music into a single artistic medium;
- the Žmuidzinavičius Museum (best known as the Devils' Museum), which houses a collection of more than two thousand sculptures and carvings of devils from all over the world, most of them of folk provenance. Of particular interest are the Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalindevils, together doing the dance of death over a playground littered with human bones;
- Lithuanian Aviation Museum;
- Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy;
- Historical Presidential Palace, displaying exhibits from theinterwar period
- Kaunas Museum for the Blind;
- Povilas Stulga Museum of Lithuanian Folk Instruments;
- Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum;
- Sugihara house-museum;
- Communication History Museum;
- The so-called ab underground printing house was a part of the nonviolent resistance press during the Soviet times. Now it is the branch of Kaunas War Museum, located 8 km (5 mi) north of Kaunas in a small Saliu village, near the town of Domeikava. Although the AB printing house worked regularly, it was never detected by KGB. It was included into the Registry of Immovable Cultural Heritage Sites of Lithuania in 1999.
- The apartments of some famous Kaunas natives, including Paulius Galaunė, Adam Mickiewicz, Juozas Grušas, Balys Sruoga, Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, Salomėja Nėris, Juozas Zikaras, Vincentas Sladkevičius have been turned into public museums.
Things to do
Lovers of nightlife may enjoy Kaunas’s theatres, nightclubs, cafes and bars, offering a wide range of entertainment, including casinos, striptease, local and foreign DJs, or, for instance, basketball/football games translations on large screens.
Kaunas has many theatres showing plays of different kinds:
- Kauno Musical Theatre, Laisves aleja 91. Variety of classical opera and operetta plays in original language. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Prices vary from LTL15 (€4.40) to LTL100 (€29).
- Kaunas State Drama Theatre, Laisvės alėja, 71. Shows drama performances.
- Kaunas Pantomime Theatre, M. Dauksos g. 34. The only theatre in Lithuania of that kind.
- Kaunas Chamber Theater, Kestucio g. 74A. Located near Musical theatre, it is small, but yet well known drama theatre.
- Kaunas Modern Dance Theatre Aura, M. Dauksos g. 30A. Located in the Old Town. The only theatre of Contemporary art of dance in whole country.
- Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, L. Sapiegos g. 5.Orchestra plays concerts at Kaunas Philharmonic which is set at the premise of former Lithuanian Parliament House.
- Vytautas Magnus University Grand Hall, S. Daukanto g.28.Located near the Laisves aleja and Vienybes sq. in the center of the city is home for various events, for instance, Kaunas Jazz festival.
- Kaunas Puppet Theater, Laisves aleja, 87A. Cosy theatre, plays for children with small museum of puppets inside. Located near Musical theatre.
There are two multiplex cinema complexes in Kaunas. Both multiplexes - Cinamon and Forum cinemas are located in shopping centers Mega and Akropolis, respectively. Other option is the oldest movie theatre in Lithuania named Romuva (at Laisves aleja, 54) available on rare events, such as Kaunas International film festival only.
Kaunas‘ sports and leisure centres are scattered throughout Kaunas offering swimming pools, sports courts, fields and exercise equipment.
- Dariaus ir Girėno Sports Complex, Perkuno g. 5 (Sports complex is accessible by from city center by bus #6,10,21,37 (from K. Donelaicio g.) or #38,43 (from Vytauto av.) or by taxi (be aware, there is a shortage of parking lots near the Dariaus ir Girėno sports center).), , e-mail: [email protected]. Home of FBK Kaunas F.C. and the only large athletics stadium in Lithuania. FBK Kaunas is the most successful football club having won 8 Lithuanian national football championships, 3 Lithuanian Football Cup titles after the restoration independence of Lithuania in 1990. Dariaus and Girėno stadium, located near the Ažuolynas park, is also used as IAAF Accredited Training Centre in Kaunas. Stadium capacity is up to 10,000 seats. Sports complex also includes adjacent Kaunas Sports Hall, which had been the city's largest arena for sports and events before the 2011 opening of Žalgirio Arena (see below). Built in 1939, it was Europe's first arena built specifically for basketball. Capacity is 5,000. Nearby is the Lithuania's only institution devoted to higher education in physical education - Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education.
- Žalgirio Arena, Karaliaus Mindaugo pr. 50, , e-mail: (tickets)[email protected]. The largest indoor arena in the Baltics, with a capacity of over 15,500 for basketball and up to 20,000 for concerts. Since its opening, it has been home to BC Žalgiris, one of Europe's most storied basketball clubs.
- Ąžuolynas, Sporto g. 3, , e-mail:[email protected]. Neighbouring to Dariaus ir Girėno sports center, there is a privately owned "Ąžuolynas“ sport center with 8 tennis courts, SPA procedures and a gym available to the public.
- Elnias Golf Club. Set at Didziosios Lapes settlement, the first golf club in Lithuania, opened in 2000, is famous not only as sports activity, but also as a place where hundreds of deers are kept. Golf club is reachable if going by regional route #232 on the left side of Neris river from Kaunas' Vilijampole district to Zeimiai town.
- Žalgiris Sports Club, A. ir J. Gravrogku g. 4 (near the shopping center Molas), . , Mo-Fr 8-22, Sa, Su 8-20. For active travelers, universal sports complex offers 7 tennis courts (including 4 of them under roof), training sessions for fans of yoga, aerobics, basketball and karate. Massage, sauna, and coffee-bar are available.
- Kaunas Air Club. Why not explore Kaunas from the sky? You may order flights and parachute jumps from Kaunas Aeroclub. Flights with small planes or gliders, parachute jumping are available at Kaunas Darius and Girenas airport, accessible from the city central bus or railway station by taxi, bus #6 or minibus #51, 68, 105.
- Linija, Taikos av. 44A. Mo-Fr 7-22, Sa-Su 9-21. One of the oldest wellness center in Kaunas offers swimming zone with pools and saunas, 3 floors of gyms, as well as 2 halls of group exercises. Additional services are available.
- Marvele Stud Farm, Marveles g. 199, . Tu-Su 10AM - 8PM. Located near the western bypass of Kaunas Marveles žirgynas is a good choice for fans of horse-riding. To get the stud farm, from the city center, take a bus #18 or taxi.
- Notas Tennis Club, Veiveriu g. 151. Situated in Aleksotas, near Darius and Girenas airport, tennis club tenders 6 tennis courts.
- Kart Racing Sports Center, Raudondvario g. 105, , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu-Su 14-20. Situated in the western part of Kaunas, Vilijampole district, Kart Center offers to the public small, open, four-wheeled karts fo leisure as well as for kart racing. Standard price for 10 min. of leisure Tony kart Viper limited to speeds of 60 km/h (37 mph) is LTL30 (€8,7). For kart racing center there is a kart school open on Sundays. Working hours:; closed on Mondays.
- Kaunas Yacht Club, M. Gimbutienes g.35. Set on the shore of Kaunas Reservoir, near the beautiful Pazaislis park, club offers to rent everything for active water sports leisure - boats, yachts or pedalo; tennis courts, sauna, and conference hall are available. Nearby the comfortable motel Baltosios bures is established.
- Legionas Paintball Club, Europos av.34-62, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Club offers to play, both for women and men, the paintball - game in which players fight to eliminate opponents by hitting them with pellets containing paint. The club also tender to spend leisure time by playing an airsoft. Both games are played in Kaunas Reservoir Regional Park, in the territory of Kaunas Fortress' 5th fort. Standard price for 3–4 hours of paintball is LTL45 (€13), for airsoft game LTL60 (€17,4).
- Amazon Gym, Laisves aleja, 51A (4th floor, in the courtyard). Mo-Fr 8:30-20, Sa-Su 11-15.
Festivals and events
Kaunas is home to a variety of festivals, including famous summer time Pažaislis Music festival , Kaunas Jazz festival (at the end of April/ beginning of May) and International Modern Dance Festival (at the beginning of October). All year round in Kaunas one will have an opportunity to see some annual cultural events like Kaziukas Fair (at the beginning of March), Days of Kaunas city (in the middle of May), National Brass Band Festival Let's pipe for Kaunas in the squares of the city (on May 21), International auto-moto fan fiesta Bike Show Millenium attracts huge amount of bikers and their bikes in the middle of June, Operetta in Kaunas Castle (at the end of June and the beginning of July) or traditional folk music competition Play, Jurgelis (in November). Kaunas is proud of being the only city in Lithuania that belongs to the international towns' union The New Hansa. Every year, Kaunas presents itself at the annual event of the union International Hansa Days by introducing the heritage of cuisine, folk art, medieval music and theatre; Hansa Kaunas festival is usually held in the last decade of August. The shopping festival Akropolis Kaunas Grand Shopping Festival is held in the first decade of July at Kaunas Akropolis shopping center. During the festival, the great discounts apply to all goods in all stores of the shopping center.
Beer (Alus in Lithuanian). Utenos, Švyturys and Horn are brands worth trying. Expect to pay around LTL5 (€1.50) per 0.5l in tourist bars and restaurants (Around LTL3 (€1) in local bars.
- rePUBlic, Laisves av. 57 (Near the center fountain in Laisves av.), , e-mail: [email protected]. Su-Th 11-02, Fr-Sa 11-05.RePUBlic is an analogue of the old English style modern London pub located in Kaunas. More than 20 varieties of beer on tap and more than 40 varieties of bottled beer from Lithuania and entire Europe are offered here. A unique hand-made oak bar adorned with more than 30 varieties of long matured whiskey and various Lithuanian alcoholic beverages.
- rePUBlic No.2, Vilniaus g. 13, , e-mail:[email protected]. 11-01. RePUBlic No.2 is a smaller brother of the first pub. An analogue of the old English style modern London pub located in Kaunas old town. More than 10 varieties of beer on tap from Lithuania and entire Europe are offered here. A unique hand-made oak bar adorned with more than 30 varieties of long matured whiskey and various Lithuanian alcoholic beverages
- Avilys, Vilniaus g. 34. A great place to get a beer - all home brewed - but does not allow children in. The restaurant is famous for serving beer-based dishes such as soups and desserts and is proving to be a great attraction for guests and beer-lovers alike.
- Fortas, K. Donelaicio g. 65. Mo-Fr 11-16, Sa,Su 11-24.. Irish pub.
- City Caffe, Laisves aleja, 56. Opened a few years ago as a nifty coffee-house, now also invites everyone to indulge a glass of wine in the recently renovated wine cellar.
- Stumbras Museum, K. Bugos g. 7. Mo-Fr 12-16. The largest producer of strong drinks in Lithuania Stumbras (Wisent) at the end of 2009 have opened a museum at the premise of the factory that introduces company's history and development of consumption in Lithuania. Only prearranged guided tours are available, please call +370 686 94388 to register. Guided tours in English, Russian and Lithuanian are available. Groups from 5 to 23 people are accepted. Visitors must be older than 18 years.
- Liberty pub, V. Putvinskio, g.48. Fr-Sa 11-03, Su-Th 11-24. Irish style pub with rock and acoustic music.
- B.O. (Blue Orange), Muitines g. 9. Very popular bar among local students. Tender friendly atmosphere, good beer, and rock music on 2 floors in 8 halls.
- Senamiescio vyninė, M. Dauksos g. 23. Fr-Sa 11-24, Su-Th 11-23.Probably the best wine-bar in the whole Kaunas offering widest wine menu.
- Kauno alus, Savanoriu av.7. 9-21. Branded pub of local brewery. Very fresh stock.
- Buon giorno, Vilniaus g.34 / L. Zamenhofo g. 13. Very fresh high quality winery at the heart of Kaunas Old Town.
- Barcode, Gedimino g.30/23. Th-Sa 20-05. Set near eastern end of Laisves aleja, bar offers music and more than 30 cocktail types.Admission for free but "face control“ exists.
- Geras vyno rusys, Laisves aleja, 75. Mo-Th 10-22, Fr-Sa 11-24, Su 12-22. Perfectly located cellar offers wide assortment of wines. The option of fish and seafood in the menu is of more than the average.
- W 1640, Kurpiu g.29/Birštono g. Tu-Th 17-01 Fr-Sa 17-05. Very fresh and the only in Lithuania perfectly located in the Old Town whisky bar offers more than 150 varieties from 60 distilleries.
- Antipops pub, Laisves aleja. Great pub just off Laisves aleja playing rock & indie music. LTL5 a beer. Everyone very welcoming and friendly.
- Latino, Vilniaus g. 22. F-Sa 20-04. Latino music nightclub open to all who can get past "face control". There are 3 halls for dancing inside.
- Siena, Laisvės alėja, 93. 21-04. Nightclub "Siena" is in the very heart of Kaunas city center and offers dance, disco, retro music. There is a popular restaurant Miesto sodas on the first floor.
- Dzem'pub, Laisvės aleja, 59 (5th floor). Great for lovers of live alternative and rock music.
- Exit, Maironio g. 19. Saturday only 22-06. The best nightclub in Lithuania with 5 bars. Dance music for up to 1500 visitors. Working hours:
- Pop Star Bar, Vasario 16 g. 2. Fr, Sa only 22-04. Very close to Laisves aleja, undeground club offers a mix of music from disco till house. Wide arrangement of cocktails. Admission:. Open:. LTL10-30 (€2.50-9).
- Macao Open Air, V. Putvinskio g. 51. An elite and spacious nightclub that can hold up to 850 people at a time recently opened in the downtown of Kaunas.
- Amerika pirtyje, Vytauto av. 71. Nightclub offers dance and pop music is popular among students, reasonably priced. In the port area, plays middle of the road pop and disco; 5 halls overall.
- Extaze, Savanoriu av. 64. Dance, pop, trance, chill-out, Latino music. House and RnB dance music on weekends. Restaurant offers European cuisine. Open: 24 hours daily.
- Žemyn upe, M. Valanciaus g. 24. Fr-Sa 11-04, Th 11-03, Su-We 11-01. Perfectly situated in the outskirts of the Old Town, nightclub welcomes fans of disco and pop music; European cuisine restaurant with homelike service is on the spot, as well as bathhouse, pool, and billiard room.
- 3M club, Riomerio g. 37. Fr-Sa (only) 10-04. Latin, saxophone, percussion live music, thematic events (hen parties). Sauna and pool available.
- Nautilus, Savanoriu av. 124. Quality events on two floors.
- Combo, Raudondvario g. 107. Fr-Sa 18-03. Situated near the shore of Nemunas river at the former Kaunas pier, nightclub is home for pop music, parties of 80's, 90's hits. Spectacular sound and images inside.
Safety in Kaunas
Kaunas usually is a safe place but everyone should take some precautions against pickpockets and baggage theft, especially in public transport and at stations.
Opposite of the central train station there is a "Station‘ market“ - a rough area, especially on evenings. The baggage lockers in Kaunas railway station are a cheap and secure place to store bags and other items.