Thinking of visiting stunning and historical Kaunas, but not sure about things to do there? The artistic, edgy, and pristine Kaunas offers a perfect location to enjoy your vacation in a European destination. The city won the award for the European cultural capital, resulting in tremendous changes ongoing in the city. The improvements are meant to steer and make the city more appealing and add more tourist sites and better infrastructure. Kaunas is a hundred kilometers off the capital Vilnius, and the city has so much to offer that you cannot finish exploring all the features in a day.
Reasons to Visit Kaunas
Kaunas is one of the most exceptional places that you can explore as a traveler. The hidden gem has a multitude of things that you can do as well as visit. You can do numerous things in the city, including churches, grand architecture, an old town, and cozy parks that you can explore while in the country.
Kaunas is a popular tourist destination that you should add to your travel list in Eastern Europe. The museum capital has over thirty museums. These museums showcase numerous collections such as antiquities, art, and other notable items from artists around the globe and the locals. Kaunas is a pioneer city in Europe, and it is the first city to be recognized by UNESCO as a city of design. This means that the city has much more to offer than just amazing buildings.
Visiting Lithuania anytime soon and planning to do a road trip around this beautiful country? Preparation is the key! Luckily, we’ve got you covered here. Below, you can find our Lithuanian guides that will prepare you for everything Lithuania throw at you:
- Lithuanian fun facts – Weird things you didn’t know about Lithuania
- Lithuanian stereotypes that are far from true
- Awesome things to do in Lithuania
- What to do in Klaipeda, Lithuania
How Do You Get to Kaunas?
Kaunas is one of those locations that you can visit any time of the year as you have many things to do and see, whether in the summer or winter. There are local flights that operate from the city and other major European cities. In addition, you can connect from Oslo, Warsaw, or other European destinations. Kaunas is also accessible by road and train from Poland. Besides, you should not feel left out. You can book an international flight to the capital in Vilnius.
Some numerous trains and buses connect the capital to Kaunas, and you can choose a day for your day trip and enjoy your stay in the capital. The journey from the capital will take you about an hour and a half. There are various places that you can stay while in Kaunas. You can get around by bus or taxis available in the city all year round.
Things to do in Kaunas
Explore the old town
The old town in Kaunas is one of the most magnificent places you can visit while on your trip. The winding streets are lined with the most amazing colorful houses and unique architecture that embraces the ancient building techniques used during the war. Most of the building in the old town center is from the 15th and the 16th century and these are good places where you can learn history about Kaunas and enjoy the architectural designs.
The main street is the oldest in the city, and it is part of ancient Vilnius and today, it has numerous restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars. You will find multiple places where you can enjoy a meal on the outside setup.
The Kaunas castle is the most iconic and memorable place that you can ever visit while in Kaunas. The imposing structure is located at the junction of the Neris and Nemunas rivers. The castle was constructed in the 14th century, and it has been in place ever since this period.
Did you know that Lithuania is full of amazing castles? Well, if you are into history, don’t hesitate to read our guide on Lithuanian castles here.
There is a large bank around the place, and you can enjoy your sunny day outside the castle. You can walk around the park outside the castle, but there is a 3 euro charge for adults and a 1.5 euro charge for students. Touring the castle will give you an insight into how far the city and country have come from the ancient rulers to modern times.
Visit the Sugihara House
The Sugihara House is a former residence of a Japanese ambassador, and it is situated a few kilometers outside the city center. This location is easily accessible via public transport or a taxi if you choose to ride on one. The museum explores the work of different authors and artists around the globe and the locals as well.
Did you know? Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat who was “illegally” issuing visas for Polish citizens who were escaping Nazi Germany in 1939. Lacking the options, Mr. Sugihara with a help of the Dutch consulate saved the lives of more than 10,000 people during Nazi and Russian occupation. Read this inspirational story here.
This museum was a popular spot because of the beehive of activities that it experienced during the Second World War when people were fleeing Nazi Germany and Russia. The ambassador helped people to move across from the volatile environment to a safer place. There are different stories and depictions of what the ambassador promoted, and it is worth exploring them.
Explore the Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy Museum
One of the most exceptional places that you should visit is the museum of pharmacy and medicine. This is a beautiful spot located at the center of the old town. Some people tend to assume that it is a dull event when they hear medicine and pharmacy.
However, there is more to the museum than just medicines. There are artifacts and data about medicine and history about the development of medicine and pharmaceutical products in the country.
Visit the Presidential Palace
One of the most historical places that you can visit is the former presidential palace in Kaunas. The palace is rich in history and diversity, and you will learn more about the history of the country and the local leaders. The building is constructed in a neo-baroque style, which features a beautiful park within the location.
There are sculptures of different presidents in the area, and you can learn something about the country. There are temporary exhibitions from time to time, and you can visit when they are exhibiting artwork from different parts of the country and the world.
This monastery is one of the places that you can never miss while in Kaunas. It is one of those awesome places that you should visit as it is the largest monastery in Lithuania and has a very diverse history of the country. The monastery is built in Italian baroque style architecture, and there is a church used by monks in the past centuries.
The church has a hexagonal layout and a fantastic concave façade. This monastery has lasted over three hundred years, and it is time to explore the location when you are visiting the city.
Ninth Forth Memorial Park and Museum
The ninth fort museum and memorial park is a place that holds a special place in the hearts of Lithuanians. It is a significant location where the country commemorates people who died because of genocide. The fort was constructed in the year 1913. It has been home to different purposes from World War 2.
Since then, the country is using the memorial park to remind people of the victory and how Lithuania overcame a dark past to a glorious present. The admission to the park is 3 euros, and you can visit anytime from 1000hrs to 1800hrs.
House of Perkunas
This is called the house of thunder is one of the most spectacular gothic archaic buildings in Kaunas. The building was constructed in the 15th century, and it is still in place as it was in the past centuries. The architecture is rich, and it is a symbol of the Hanseatic League. The name comes from a Lithuanian pagan god, and the gothic architecture is something that you should not miss while visiting Kaunas.
The basilica is situated in the city, and it is a place that you must visit. Here you will learn more about the history of the country as well as the people. The Kaunas Basilica is the largest gothic structure in the country. And it was constructed in the 14th century, and there have been numerous changes made to make it better.
However, the basilica retains its original features while incorporating Renaissance, classicism, and luxurious features. The paintings and gilding on the building are exceptional features that you should look into as you check out the basilica. Access to the cathedral is free.
This is one of the museums in Europe where you will some of the darkest things you have ever encountered in your life. The whole museum is dedicated to the devil, and it began as a small collection to a private artist before it evolved into a prince of darkness museum.
This is the only museum dedicated to the devil in the world, and the assortment of objects in this museum are made from paper, wood, and glass. There are tons of toys and music, and you can explore the museum since they have their description in English. If you want to explore something unconventional, then this is the place to visit.
Explore the Amazing Street Art
Kaunas is one of the best destinations where you can check out street art. There is art from different parts of the country and the local people. in the streets of Kaunas, you will find creative individuals displaying their art on the street, and you can purchase some artwork for your souvenir. In addition, Kaunas is home to some of the exceptional war architecture, and you can explore the largest collection in town and check out the contemporary art from the locals in the area.