Kaunas, is Lithuanias second most popular city. The capital Vilnius, is very popular with tourists, but is Kaunas worth a visit? At just two hours from Vilnius there is no reason why not, it can be taken as a simple day trip, with many choosing to stay even longer!
Kaunas is a city, characterised by its historic 14th century architecture which has be preserved, as it was largely untouched during WWII. These days Kaunas is still a major commercial centre of Lithuania, popular with manufacturing & textile industry. Kaunas is wedged in between the Nemunas and Neris Rivers.
What is the currency in Lithuania?
Lithuania adopted the Euro is 2015.
Map of Kaunas, Lithuania (Attractions):
DIVE INTO OUR MAP! User Guide: Simply Click the +/- buttons to zoom in & out, Click on a favourite attraction, and click directions symbol to give you the driving or walking route directly there!
Top Tip: Many visitors choose to share our map on facebook by clicking the link in the top right corner!
Things to do in Kaunas:
Town Hall Square
Town Hall Square (Rotušes aikšte) had its first recorded mention in 1361! This square is the cobbled stone heart of Kaunas, it reminds me of Old town square in Prague.…but with much less tourists! The square is surrounded by 16th-century German merchant houses, and in the centre lies.
Kaunas Town Hall:
Kaunas Town Hall (Kauno Rotuše) which is known as The White Swan for its grace and 53-metre (175ft) tower! The still is classic Baroque and it was constructed in 1542. First it was just a single storey builded then later the secure gothic cellar was a prison & warehouse.
These days you can find a Ceramics museum and archaeological exhibits in the cellar.
Choral Synagogue was built in 1871, and is the only functioning Synagogue which as survived since 1941! This is a true representation of the once large Jewish community in Kaunas. The style is a mixture between dark woods & gold bimahs (Platforms).
Heart wrenching memorial:
Outside there’s an emotional memorial to 1600 children killed at the Ninth Fort.
It’s best to call ahead if you would like to visit.
Where is it?
The Ninth Fort
The Ninth Fort is arguably the most iconic landmark is Kaunas. Be sure to take a tour of this place. It was built in the 19th century by Tsar Alexander II, to protect the town & strength the western border of Russian Empire.
During the war it became a concentration camp when Kaunas was occupied by the Nazis. On a tour you can visit the prison cells, where many Jews were held before being executed!
On the war of a prison cell you can see the inscription “Nous sommes 500 Français” (“We are 500 French”), which was scribed by Abraham Wechsler from the French town of Limoges before being killed.
Follow the tour to the The Way of Death (Mirties kelias), where over 30,000 jews were shot!
The Ninth Fort Museum:
The Ninth fort Museum just next to the fort describes the horrors which many faced and the battles by the Soviets and Nazis.
There is a breath taking, 32-metre (105ft) reinforced-concrete monument dating from 1984 which commemorates the horrific events at the Ninth fort.
How to get there?
Take bus 23 from Jonavos gatvė to the 9-ojo Forto Muziejus stop, then cross under the motorway.
Žemaičių pl. 75, Kaunas 47435, Lithuania
TeL: +370 37 377750
This creepy Museum is dedicated to the Devil himself…or Satan to his friends! Here you will find over 3000 Erie statuettes, carvings and masks. This collection was put together by Landscape artist Antanas Žmuidzinavičius (1876–1966).
The Museum details various devilish mythologies and various festivals dedicated to fighting of evil & darkness. Fro. Walpurgis Night and Shrovetide to Halloween.
Kaunas Castle (Kauno pilis) is a real icon of Kaunas which lies on the banks of the River Neris. This is the earliest stone castle in Lithuania and looks like a giant gingerbread house!
The perimeter walls span 2 metres (7ft) wide and 13 metres (43ft) high and were designed to protect against crusaders who eventually breached the walls in 1362. Afterwards walls 3.5 metres (12ft) thick were introduced and four guard towers.
Where is it?
Pilies g. 17, Kaunas 44275, Lithuania
Tel: +370 37 222414
Museum of Art
Kaunas Museum of Art is one of the most historic in Lithuania. It was founded in 1921 and included art by some of Lithuanias greatest artists, such as Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911).
There is also a variety of contemporary art sculptures, folk & religious art.
Be sure to check out the 20th century landscape portraits of Lithuania, simply astonishing.
Where is it?
How much is entry?
Perkunas House, was a 15th century gothic chapel, with many believing it was dedicated to Perkunas, the god of thunder, after a stone tablet was found during workers in 1818, which had symbols of the god and three fishes which symbolised the river Nemunas & Neris.
Similarities can be drawn between St Anne’s Church in Vilnius, with regards to its captivating gothic style & architecture.
Fun Fact: The House of Perkunas, was converted to a school in the 19th century and a drama theatre in 1844.
Where is it?
Sugihara House (‘Japan’s Schindler’)
Sugihara House is dedicated to a Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (1900–86), who saved over 12,000 jewish lives between 1939 and 1940.
He gave transit visa to many polish jews who were going to be forced into soviet citizenship. Soviets called for all consulates to be short but he continued to give 300 visa stamps per day and then handed the stamp to a jewish refugee before leaving.
Church of St Michael the Archangel
The Church of St Michael the Archangel (Sv Mykolo arkangelo bažnycia) is an imperial monument built in 1895. It was built in a Byzantine Revival architecture style and has a 2000 person capacity. Inside you can find a variety of frescoes and an artistic stained glass exhibition.
During the autumn, the grand church becomes popular for weddings with many couples queuing up outside to tie the knot.
Where is it?
Nepriklausomybės a. 14, Kaunas 44320, Lithuania
+370 37 226676
Pazaislis Monastery was constructed by Camaldolese monks in the 17th century. The imposing monastery is located 9km east of central Kaunas. Herre you will find a 50m high cupola (roof dome) with opulent venetian interiors and polished marble.
Fun Fact: During 1831 Tsar Alexander gave the church to the Russian Orthodox order.
After sightseeing head for a romantic meal at Monte Pacis, one of Lithuania’s best fine dining restaurants.
Where is it?
Over a 10 years ago Artist Vytenis Jakas, took over this courtyard and transformed it into a powerful art project of murals and even transferring photos of jewish families who lived there previously onto the walls.
Where is it?
Ožeškienės gatvė 25
Kaunas Hot Air Balloon Rides?
Taking a Hot Air Balloon ride can be a wonderful experience and over an historic city like Kaunas it can be even better! For more info see: ballooning.lt
Prices cost: Price: 99 EUR / person for a 1 hour flight.
Kaunas Nightlife guide:
Kaunas offers a vibrant nightlife with most pubs/clubs on the main square, here are some poplar ones:
- Shamrock Pub – Irish Bar
Location: Vilniaus gatvė 13, Kaunas 44283, Lithuania
Tel: +370 641 54100
Location: Rotušės a. 20, Kaunas 44279, Lithuania
Tel: +370 699 11500
Location: Laisvės al. 21, Kaunas 44311, Lithuania
Tel: +370 613 31203
and many more! The nightlife here reminds me alot of Prague, but on a smaller scale.
Street Art in Kaunas
Kaunas has some captivating & creative Street art Murals, this is a cool addition to city and gives it a real hipster vibe.
It really reminds me of the Street art murals in Prague. Check out:
Kaunas: Should you visit?
If you would like a historic city break which is both captivating, beautiful, unique and even a little Emotional. Then you should definitely take a trip to Kaunas. Live webcam Kaunas square.
Top Tip: Flights from Europe/U.K are very cheap.
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