Kaunas

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Kaunas, in the centre of Lithuania, is the country's second biggest city with approximately 350,000 inhabitants (2009) in the municipality, but is no way a poor relation. For a time it acted as temporary capital and as such benefited from investment and the status.

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Points of Interest in Kaunas

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 [11]. 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 (10 litas per person). More information on kaunasfreetour@gmail.com. Kaunas boasts around 40 museums of art, nature, literature, history, science, and sports, as well as historical and memorial museums.

Old Town

  • Kaunas Castle. Papilio str. 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 a Kaunas 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. 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. Open: W-Su 10AM-6PM. Tickets 5 LTL (€1.45) adults, 3 LTL (€0.90) for children.
  • Maironis Museum of Lithuania Literature. Rotuses sq. 13. 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. Working hours: Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Tickets: 4 LTL (€1.20).
  • Kaunas Arch-cathedral Basilica. Vilniaus str. 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: 3 LTL per adults, 1,5 LTL per child. Excursions in English are available (price - 25 LTL (€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 str.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 str. 8. Thia 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 str. 7; located near Kaunas Castle, 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 str. 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 str. 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 str. at the north-east part of Kaunas Old Town. It is reachable on foot by crossing busy Saukliu str. from Kaunas castle side.
  • Jewellery (Gemmology) Museum. L. Zamenhofo str./Kurpių str. 13; 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. Open: Mo-Fr 10AM-6PM; Sa 10AM-4PM. Entrance free.
  • Historical Presidential Palace. Vilniaus str. 33; 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. Working hours: Tu–Su 11AM–5PM. Tickets 3 LTL (around €1).

Central Kaunas

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.
  • 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 str. 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 AM-7 PM daily. Mon. closed. Tickets: 5 LTL (€1.50) for adults, 3 LTL for childs.
  • The Catacombs - enter the Church 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 str. 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 str. 64. 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 Dyed for the Freedom of Lithuania is available to visit beneath the floor of the Museum. Open Tu-Su 11 AM- 5:30 PM. Admission - adult 2 LTL, child 1 LTL.
  • 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 and the 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 4 PM in the Garden of Vytautas the Great Military Museum.
  • The Bank of Lithuania - Maironio str.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 str. 55. 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. Working hours: Oct–May: Tu–Su 11AM–5PM. Jun–Sep: Tu–Su 10AM–5PM. Tickets: 6 LTL (€1,7) for adults, 3 LTL (€0,9) for pupils.
  • Devils' Museum. V. Putvinskio str.64. Contains the Lithuanian artist' A. Zmuidzinavicius collection of sculptures and carvings of devils, and a unique collection of devils from the whole world. Tel: + 370 37 221 587' Open Tu-Su 11AM-6PM.
  • Kaunas Picture Gallery - K. Donelaicio str.16. 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. Open Tu-Su 11AM-5PM. Ticket price 4 LTL (€1,2).
  • Funicular railways - 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 1 LTL (0.50 LTL 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 multifunctional arena in the Baltic states on eastern part of the island Žalgiris Arena is used to host sports games as well as concerts. It was completed in August 2011.
  • Kaunas M. Žilinskas Picture Gallery. Nepriklausomybes sq.12; 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. Open June–September Tu-Su 10AM-5PM, October–May 11AM-5PM. Ticket price - 6 LTL (€1,8).
  • Kaunas Orthodox Cathedral - Vytauto av. 38. 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 str.3. The only in Lithuania Eastern style building and 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. 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. Tel.: + 370 37 323 179. Open Tu-Fr 10AM-4PM.

Other sights

  • 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 12PM you can climb the stairs (4 LTL, 1 LTL children) or take the lift (14 LTL, 8 LTL 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 str. 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 str.) 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. 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. Working hours 9AM-7PM. Tickets: May–October 11 LTL (€3,2) for adults & 8 LTL (€2,4) for pupils, November–April 7 LTL (€2) for adults & 5 LTL (€1,45) for pupils.
  • Lithuania's Museum of Aviation. Veiveriu str. 132. 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. Working hours: Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Tickets - 4 Lt (€1,2), with guided excursion - 10 Lt (€2,7). Museum is reachable from the city central bus or railway station by taxi, bus #6 or minibus #51, 68, 105.
  • Kaunas Botanical Garden. Z. E. Zilibero str. 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 [12] devoted to the victims of World War II mass executions.
  • 9th Fort Museum - Žemaičių av. 73; 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. Open: April–October Mo, We-Su 10 AM-6PM; November - March, We-Su 10 AM - 4 PM. Price: 5 LTL (€1,5) adults, 3 LTL (€0,8) students, children. Tours are available.
  • Pažaislis Monastery and Church- 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 [13] is open Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sat 10AM-4PM. Tickets: 5 LTL (€1,45) for adults, 2 LTL (€0,6) for pupils. Pažaislis monastery complex was built by Italian architects, whereas sculptors from Lombardy took care of the frescos and plaster casts.

The 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.

Town Hall Square

Perkunas House

Kaunas Cathedral

Kaunas Castle

Kaunas Town Hall

Vytautas the Great Bridge

Vytautas the Great War Museum

Devil\'s Museum

Vytautas Magnus University

M.K. Ciurlionis State Art Museum

Kaunas State Drama Theatre

St. Michael the Archangel Church

Zalgiris Stadium

Aleksoto Funicular

Pazaislis Monastery

Kaunas Sports Hall

Ninth Fort

M. K. Ciurlionis Bridge

Azuolynas

Kaunas Zoo

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Popular events in Kaunas in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Kaunas

History

Between the 4th and 5th century B.C. at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers the settlement was established. In the 14th century a castle was built here. Now it is considered to be the oldest in Lithuania.

Kaunas was first mentioned in written Teutonic Knights sources in 1361, who captured the town and destroyed the Kaunas Castle in 1362. It was rebuilt at the beginning of the XV century.

In 1408 Kaunas was granted Magdeburg Rights by Vytautas the Great. While being located at the intersection of trade routes and a river port Kaunas has become one of the major trade centers in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and joined the Hanseatic League in 1441. By the XVI century, Kaunas was one of the best-formed towns in the whole country.

In XVII and XVIII centuries Kaunas was attacked by armies of Russia and Sweden several times, some parts of the city was destroyed by fires. After the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian state in 1795, the city was taken over by the Russian Empire. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Grand Army of Napoleon passed through Kaunas twice, devastating the city both times.

Kaunas was one of the centres of the two Uprisings in XIX century. To suppress the local population, the Russian authorities placed a large military garrison with a formidable fortress, including many forts, artillery bastions, and fortifications. At the same time Kaunas grew as an important center of transport and industry. In 1862 a railway connecting the Russian Empire and Germany was constructed, making Kaunas a significant railway hub.

At the period after Vilnius was occupied by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1919 and captured by Poland in 1920, the government of Lithuania established its main base in Kaunas. The city became the Temporary capital of Lithuania. Between the World Wars Kaunas grew rapidly and was extensively modernised, a lot of buildings were built, representing neoclassicism, functionalism, and art deco. Kaunas become the largest city in Lithuania.

Up to the Second World War Kaunas had a significant Jewish population, who constituted about one-fourth of the city's total population. Jews were concentrated in the city's commercial, artisan, and professional sectors. Kaunas was also a center of Jewish learning.

In 1940 Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union. Following Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Soviet forces fled Kaunas. Immediately before and following the German occupation of the city, several thousand Jews were killed. The Nazis eventually established the Kaunas Ghetto, which by the end of the war would be nearly completely liquidated.

After World War II Kaunas became the main industrial city of Lithuania, at the same time citizenry of the city were under continuous oppression of Soviets. After the restoration of Independence in 1990, Kaunas has become a center of logistics, transport, computer technologies, sports, and tourism of Lithuania.

Climate

The best time to visit Kaunas is between early May and late August. July has the highest mean temperature, 16.0 °C (63.0 °F). Most of Kaunas's annual events are held during spring and summer. The rainy season often starts July, yet at the same time rains are short in time. Winter can be sometimes stinging cold, with short daylight hours.

Kaunas has a milder climate than other major cities in Lithuania. Its gets fewer windy and rainy days than Klaipeda, and less freezing in winter than Vilnius.

Activities

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.

Festivals

Kaunas is home to a variety of festivals, including famous summer time Pažaislis Music festival, Kaunas Jazz festival (at the end of April/ begininng 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.

Theatres

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. Everyone should purchase tickets in advance. Prices vary from 15 LTL (€4.40) to 100 LTL (€29).
  • Kaunas State Drama Theatre – Laisvės alėja, 71; shows drama performances.
  • Kaunas Pantomime Theatre. M. Dauksos str. 34; the only theatre in Lithuania of that kind.
  • Kaunas Chamber Theater. – Kestucio str. 74A. Located near Musical theatre, it is small, but yet well known drama theatre.
  • Kaunas Modern Dance Theatre Aura. – M. Dauksos str. 30A. Located in the Old Town. The only theatre of Contemporary art of dance in whole country.
  • Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. – L. Sapiegos str. 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 str.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.

Cinemas

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.

Sports

Kaunas‘ sports and leisure centres are scattered throughout Kaunas offering swimming pools, sports courts, fields and exercise equipment.

  • Dariaus ir Girėno Sports Complex, Perkuno str. 5, tel.: 370 37 777 589. Home of FBK Kaunas F.C. [14] 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 [mailto: llaf2009@gmail.com] in Kaunas [15]. Stadium capacity is up to 10,000 seats. Sports complex also includes adjacent Kaunas Sports Hall - the largest arena for sports and events of Kaunas at the time of 2009. It is the first arena built in 1939 specially for basketball in Europe. Capacity is 5,000. Nearby is situated the only in Lithuania higher institution of physical education - Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education. Sports complex is accessible by from city center by bus #6,10,21,37 (from K. Donelaicio str.) 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).
  • Ąžuolynas - Sporto str. 3, tel.:+370 37 301 010; ([16]), [17]. Neighbouring to Dariaus ir Girėno sports center, there is a privately owned "Ąžuolynas“ sport center with 8 tennis courts, SPA procedures [18] 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 +370 37 351 616 or +370 604 03177. A. ir J. Gravrogku str. 4; (near the shopping center Molas) if the occasion arises, 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. Working hours: Sa, Su 8 AM -8 PM; Mo-Fr 8 AM - 10 PM.
  • 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; 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. Open: Mo-Fr 7 AM-10 PM, Sa-Su 9 AM - 9 PM.
  • Marvele Stud Farm +370 688 75206. Marveles str. 199. 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. Working hours: 10 AM - 8 PM. Closed on Mondays.
  • Notas Tennis Club. Veiveriu str. 151; Situated in Aleksotas, near Darius and Girenas airport, tennis club tenders 6 tennis courts.
  • Kart Racing Sports Center +370 671 111 66, e-mail: kartodromas@zebra.lt. Raudondvario str. 105,; 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 37 miles per hour (60 km/h) is 30 LTL (€8,7). For kart racing center there is a kart school open on Sundays. Working hours: Tu-Su 2 PM - 8 PM; closed on Mondays.
  • Kaunas Yacht Club. M. Gimbutienes str.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 +370 687 22333, fax: +370 37 311 809, e-mail: info@legionas.lt. Europos av.34-62; 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' 5-th Fort. Standard price for 3–4 hours of paintball is 45 LTL (€13), for airsoft game 60 LTL (€17,4).
  • Amazon Gym. Laisves aleja, 51A (4th floor, in the courtyard). Working hours: Mo-Fr 8.30 AM - 8/9 PM; Sa-Su 11 AM- 3/3.30 PM.

Beaches

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 str.), you should go by A. ir J. Gravrogku str. 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 the Kaunas 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.

Food

While in Lithuania, one should try these national dishes: appetizers - Piršteliai prie alaus - thin, rolled-up puff pastries served with beer (4-7 LTL); main courses: Cepelinai (or didžkukuliai) su spirgučiais - potato balls with meat (~11 LTL/€3.20); Vėdarai - a sausage, made of a potato stuffed intestine of a pig (~10 LTL/€3); Skilandis - pig stomach stuffed with meat, garlic and cold-smoked; Plokštainis - meal of potatoes(~8-12LTL/€2,3-4); Bulviniai blynai (grated potato pancakes) with different sauces(~8-11 LTL); Virtinukai - curd patties(~10 LTL); Kastinys - soft sour cream butter (3-4 LTL); 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 4-6 LTL). 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 and is opened on We 12 PM - 1 AM only. Groups from 10 to 20 people are accepted. Only pre-arranged guided tours are available, please call +370 37 305110 to register.

Budget

  • 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 (Mean dish 8 to 12 litas).
  • 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 str.43, and Pramones avenue, 6A; (the last one - with Drive-in). Finnish style fast food.
  • 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 str. 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 str. 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. One at Laisvės Aleja 76 - good value, tasty and comfortable. Also at Mega shopping center.

Mid-range

  • 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 str. 9, also at K. Donelaičio str. 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 str. 23; A. Mickeviciaus str.40; Varniu str. 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 str. 16; (at the cellar); Not very expensive, but luscious; some kinds of horror nights starts from 6 PM. Working hours: Mo-Th 11 AM-12PM; Fr-Sa 11AM-2AM.
  • Al Diwan - Girstupio str. 9-12; Middle East cuisine restaurant. Belly-dance and the hookah are available in 2 halls. Open: Fr-Sa 12 AM-2 AM; Su-Th 12 AM - 12 PM.
  • Bella Toscana - S. Daukanto str.14, Vilniaus str. 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 str. 29; Egyptian restaurant with souvenirs from Africa store in the Old Town of Kaunas. Working hours: Tu-Sa 12 AM-12PM; Su,Mo 3 PM-11 PM.
  • 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 professional man from Canada.
  • Milano - A. Mickeviciaus str. 19. Quality Italian pizzeria close to Laisves aleja.
  • In Tilsit. Vytauto av. 32. Stylish restaurant with pleasant service in the business center offers European and German cuisine. Working hours: Fr,Sa 9 AM-12PM; Mo-Th 9 AM - 11PM.
  • 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 str. 7. 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. Working hours: 10 AM - 8 PM daily.
  • 55° - Laisves alėja, 79; 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 ant Lithuanian cuisine. Open: Mo-Sa 11 AM- 12 PM; Su 11 AM - 11 PM.
  • 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 str. 14. Opened in 2003 Japanese restaurant also offers vegetarian dishes and European cuisine.
  • Tiflisi - spicy Caucasian restaurant at the Mega shopping mall. Pleasant staff and excellent wine. Sa, Su 10 AM - 11 PM; Mo-Fr 10 AM - 10 PM.
  • Radharane. Laisves aleja, 40. Indian vegetarian restaurant with cozy atmosphere open daily from 11AM till 8 PM.
  • Tain Fu. A. Mickeviciaus str. 8; Spicy South China's cuisine concoct by cooks from Far East. Working hours: Mo-Sa 11 AM - 11 PM; Su 12 AM - 11 PM.
  • AJ šokoladas - Rotuses sq. 26. Chocolate restaurant offers marvelous snacks, nice coffee, and a beautiful atmosphere in the heart of Old Town of Kaunas near City Hall square.
  • Pas Stanley - Vilniaus str. 24. Excellent serwice provided in family run restaurant combined with warm atmosphere of 1960s. Open: Mo-Th, Su 9 AM-12AM, Fr-Sa 9AM - 4AM.
  • Moksha, Vasario 16-osios str. 6,  +370 676 71649, e-mail: kavine.moksha@gmail.com. Mo-Fr 11AM-10PM, Sa 12PM-10PM, Su 12PM-8PM. Small cozy Indian cafe. Fresh food, great service. 8-15€.
  •    rePUBlic, Laisves av. 57 (Near the center fountain in Laisves av.),  +37061443444, e-mail: info@pub.lt. SUN - THU: 11AM - 2AM; FRI - SAT: 11AM - 5 AM;. 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 str. 13,  +37061213111, e-mail: info@pub.lt. 11AM - 1AM. 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

Splurge

  • Bokštas. Kestucio str. 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 str. 93; in front of Musical Theatre is set another restaurant with European, Italian and Spanich cuisine.
  • Gralis. Trumpoji str. 10; restaurant is located close to Old Town, just get about 300 metres up the hill from Benediktiniu str. 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. Restaurant offers dishes made not only from deer. High quality Lithuanian and European cuisine in 4 halls. Working hours: 11 AM - 12 PM.
  • Pompėja. V. Putvinskio str. 38; named after Roman ruined city of Pompeii, restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine for formal business lunch or for romantic dinner at the very heart of Kaunas' downtown.
  • Senieji rūsiai - Vilniaus str. 34; 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. Working hours: Mo-Su 11 AM- 2 AM.

Drinks

  • Beer (Alus) - Utenos, Švyturys and Horn are to be recommended - expect to pay around 5 LTL (€1.50) per 0.5l in tourist bars and restaurants (Around 3 LTL (€1) in local bars e.g. Geru Alu Gerti Gera - has a red awning outside and is situated on Birštono street. Worth a vist just to see the wild boar skin and wild boar head on the walls).
  • Avilys. Vilniaus str. 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 str. 65. Irish pub. Working hours: Mo-Fr 11 AM- 4 PM; other days 11 AM- 12 PM.
  • City Caffe - Laisves aleja, 56. Opened a few years ago nifty coffee-house, now also invites everyone to indulge a wineglass in the recently renovated cellar of wine.
  • Stumbras Museum - K. Bugos str. 7; 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. Working hours: Mo-Fr 12 AM- 4 PM.
  • Liberty pub - V. Putvinskio, str.48. Irish style pub with rock and acoustic music. Working hours: Fr-Sa 11 AM-3 AM; other days: 11 AM - 12 PM.
  • B.O. (Blue Orange) - Muitines str. 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 str. 23. Probably the best wine-bar in the whole Kaunas offering widest wine menu. Working hours: Fr-Sa 11 AM - 12 PM; other days: 11 AM - 11 PM.
  • Kauno alus. Savanoriu av.7. Branded pub of local brewery. Very fresh stock. Working hours: 9 AM - 9PM.
  • Buon giorno - Vilniaus str.34 / L. Zamenhofo str. 13. Very fresh high quality winery at the heart of Kaunas Old Town.
  • Barcode - Gedimino str.30/23; set near eastern end of Laisves aleja, bar offers music and more than 30 cocktail types. Working hours: Th-Sa 8 PM-5 AM. Admission for free but "face control“ exists.
  • Geras vyno rusys - Laisves aleja, 75. Perfectly located cellar offers wide assortment of wines. The option of fish and seafood in the menu is of more than the average. Open: Fr, Sa 11 AM - 12 PM, Su 12 AM - 10 PM; Mo-Th 10 AM - 10 PM.
  • W 1640. Kurpiu str.29/Birštono str. Very fresh and the only in Lithuania perfectly located in the Old Town whisky bar offers more than 150 varieties from 60 distilleries. Open: Tu-Th 5 PM- 1 AM; Fr-Sa 5 PM - 5 AM.
  • Antipop, Laisves aleja. Great pub just off Laisves aleja playing rock & indie music. 5 Litas a Beer. Everyone very welcoming and friendly.
  • Shamrocks, Old Town. Small pub located just in the Old Town. Excellent prices on food and drink.

Nightclubs

  • Latino. Vilniaus str. 22. Latino music nightclub open to all who can get past "face control". There are 3 halls for dancing inside. Working hours: F-Sa 8PM – 4 AM.
  • Siena - Laisvės alėja, 93; 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. Open: Th-Sa 9 PM - 4 AM.
  • Dzem'pub. Laisvės aleja, 59. 5th floor. Great for lovers of live alternative and rock music.
  • Exit. Maironio str. 19. The best nightclub in Lithuania with 5 bars. Dance music for up to 1500 visitors. Working hours: Saturday only 10PM - 6 AM.
  • Pop Star Bar. Vasario 16 str. 2; Very close to Laisves aleja, undeground club offers a mix of music from disco till house. Wide arrangement of cocktails. Admission: 10-30 LTL (€2.50-9). Open: Fr, Sa only 10PM - 4 AM.
  • Macao Open Air. V. Putvinskio str. 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 str. 24; 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. Open: Fr-Sa 11 AM - 4 AM; Th 11 AM - 3 AM; Su-We 11 AM - 1 AM.
  • 3M club. Riomerio str. 37; Latin, saxophone, percussion live music, thematic events (hen parties). Sauna and pool available. Open: Fr-Sa (only) 10 PM - 4 AM.
  • Nautilus. Savanoriu av. 124; quality events on 2 floors.
  • Combo. Raudondvario str. 107. 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. Working hours: F-Sa 6PM– 3 AM.

Shopping

The most well known grocery stores are - Maxima, IKI, Rimi, Norfa, Šilas, Samsonas; 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 str. 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 - lot's 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 8 AM until 12 PM. 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. 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. “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 str. 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.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Kaunas on Wikivoyage.

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