According to a2zgov, Kaunas – the second largest and most important city in Lithuania was founded in 1280 at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers: the Nemunas and the Neris. Now it is an important industrial and cultural center with a population of about 400 thousand people.
Locals call Kaunas a “hotbed of the mafia”, tourists enjoy its hectic life and abundance of attractions. The city itself looks at the bustle around it with the calmness and wisdom of an old man: for a long and rich history, he has never seen anything.
Legend has it that Kaunas, located 100 km west of Vilnius, was founded by young lovers with a tragic fate. The beautiful maiden Milda took away the Sacred Fire to her beloved Daugerutis, but there was no “happy ending”: the young people were killed by angry gods, but managed to give birth to Kaunas.
Archaeologists date the city to the 13th century, until the 15th century it was considered an important stronghold in the fight against the Teutonic Order and the western outpost of the country. As a major river trading center, Kaunas was formed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Here they traded with German merchants, and here was the Hanseatic office. Because of this strategically important position, the city was repeatedly destroyed, but the abundance of ancient monuments proves that the inhabitants loved their city, and tirelessly restored and retouched it. Today Kaunas is considered a fun student city with beautiful architecture and worthy museums.
How to get to Kaunas
Kaunas International Airport does not accept flights from Russia. You can get here with a change in Hamburg, London, Munich, Warsaw and other European cities.
Train routes Moscow-Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg-Kaliningrad pass through Kaunas, but none of them stops there. You will have to get off in Vilnius and then continue on the regional trains or intercity buses. Moscow and St. Petersburg are connected with the Baltic countries by bus routes of the transport company Ecolines. There are no direct flights to Kaunas, but there are convenient connections. By car from Moscow to Kaunas 1000 km along the federal highway M1 “Belarus” and international highways E30, E28 and E85.
Read more about different ways to get to Kaunas here.
Buses and trolleybuses run from 5:00 to 23:00, a ticket costs 0.70 EUR from the driver. Minibuses run along small streets and work longer than regular buses; the driver sells tickets for 1 EUR.
From the airport to the city center can be reached by minibus number 120, it goes to the local bus station at Šv Gertrūdos gatvė. Buses leave every 10-15 minutes between 06:00 and 23:00.
Trolleybuses No. 1, 5 and 7 run north of the railway. stations along Vytauto prospektas, west along Kestucio gatve and Nemuno gatve, then north along Birstono gatve. On the way back they follow Sv Gertrudos gatve, Ozeskienes gatve and Donelaicio gatve, then south down Vytauto prospektas to the bus and railway stations.
You can order a taxi by calling 366-666 (which, by the way, is safer than catching a “motor” on the street).
In the vicinity of Kaunas there are a lot of nice beaches – on the Neman, on Lake Lampedziai and on the Kaunas reservoir. The beaches are only open during the summer.
Panemunes Park Beach is located on the Neman, on the territory of Panemune Park. The beach is easy to find if you walk from the Molas shopping center (K. Barsausko str.) along Gravrogku str. and then along the pedestrian bridge over the Neman. Either take a taxi or a bus from the city center.
Lampedžiai Lake Beach is located in the western part of Kaunas. This small lake in the vicinity of Lampedziai Park is very popular with locals in summer. The beach can be reached by taxi or bus No. 48 (from the Kaunas Castle stop) or No. 9 (from the Silainiai area).
Kaunas Reservoir Beach is located near Pazaislis, next to the temple and monastery ensemble. It is believed that here the cleanest water in the entire district. You can get there by taxi or trolleybus number 9 or 12 (run only in summer). The reservoir is the largest freshwater reservoir in Lithuania, artificially created on the Neman between Kaunas and Rumsiskės.
Weather in Kaunas
The best time to visit Kaunas is from early May to August. The hottest weather is in July, around +25 °C. Also at this time of the year, and even in spring, most of the brightest events in the life of the city take place. The rainy season usually starts in July, but it also rains at other times of the year. Winter can be quite cold with short daylight hours. However, it is believed that Kaunas has a fairly mild climate compared to other cities in Lithuania. Despite the fact that it is quite windy here, the winters here are warmer than in Vilnius. See also the current weather forecast in Kaunas for 10 days.
Shopping and shops
Well-known chain shopping malls are Maxima, IKI, Rimi, Norfa, Silas, Samsonas and Senukai (household goods). There are several outlets for Western brands, fashion designer boutiques can be found in the city center. In summer, open markets with farm products are often open.
Popular souvenirs from Kaunas: handmade tableware (in the ImDeco store in the Akropolis shopping center or JSC Jiesia at Chemijos str., 29, in the eastern part of Kaunas), Sakotis – a popular national Lithuanian pie, vodka and Degtine tinctures (cherry, blackberry, lemon, blackcurrant and classic), Mead (midus) – herbal tinctures on vodka, herbs and honey, village cheese, amber, linen or wooden toys for children.
Entertainment and attractions in Kaunas
The buildings of the Gothic style here include the Kaunas Castle and the house of Pärkunas. The Palace of Princes Masalsky is a creation of the Renaissance. And in the baroque style, the Camaldolian monastery in Pažaislis, the city hall and the Jesuit church were built.
Kaunas is a city with very old and well-established cultural traditions. This is the place that gave the country whole generations of Lithuanian artists, composers and writers. Their works are presented in numerous museums and galleries, including the M. Žilinskas Art Gallery and the Maironis Museum of Lithuanian Literature.
After visiting the sights of Kaunas, it is nice to relax by walking along the streets of the Old Town. One of the main ones is the one and a half kilometer Laisvės allee, extremely rich in souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes, whose doors are always open for guests.