Kaunas (Lithuania) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Kaunas with descriptions, guides and maps.
Kaunas city, Lithuania
Kaunas is a city in northern Lithuania, located at the confluence of the Vilija and Neman rivers. It is the second most important city in the country with a wonderful old town. Kaunas is a city of students and one of the capitals of culture with a rich history, plenty of museums and interesting sights. If you want to see the real Lithuania, come to Kaunas.
Things to do (Kaunas):
€85 per tour.
Kaunas – New Town Walk
Walk along the main pedestrian street and see modernist buildings with a professional guide
€85 per tour.
Get to know Kaunas!
Full sightseeing tour of the Old Town
Geography and Climate
Kaunas is located 100 km northwest of Vilnius at the confluence of the Vilia River into the Neman. The terrain is predominantly flat. Kaunas is situated at an altitude of 60-70m above sea level. The highest point in the city is 100 meters.
The climate is moderately continental with warm summers and rather cold winters. During the year there is more than 600 mm of precipitation. Average annual rainfall is about 600 mm. South-west winds are mostly blowing during the year.
- Population of Kaunas is more then 300 thousand people. Majority of them are Lithuanians.
- Area of Kaunas is 174 sq.km.
- Official language is Lithuanian.
- Currency is euro.
- Visa is Schengen.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Kaunas is from May to September.
Kaunas was founded in 1361. It is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. In 1408 Grand Duke Vitovt granted Kaunas city rights (the so-called Magdeburg Rights). At that time, the city was called Kovno.
In the 15th century Kaunas joined the Hanseatic League. The city became one of the major trade centers of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. In the 17th-18th centuries the disintegration of the Hanseatic League and wars stopped the prosperity of Kaunas. The city fell into decline. In 1795 Kaunas became part of the Russian Empire.
In 1920-1940 it was a temporary capital of Lithuania after the Revolution.
The streets of Kaunas
How to get there
Kaunas International Airport is situated 14 km from the city. Most flights are to major cities in Central Europe, Scandinavia and Great Britain. It is possible to fly to Spain, Malta and Cyprus in summer. From the airport you can get to the center of the city by bus 29.
Kaunas is easily accessible by car. The A1 highway connects Kaunas and the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, the A6 highway connects Daugavpils, the Baltic highway goes slightly to the west and further on goes to Tallinn and Warsaw.
Regular bus lines connect Kaunas with Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Minsk and Warsaw.
Lovers of shopping should not miss the many stores in the Old Town. There you can buy souvenirs and products of local artisans. From Kaunas as souvenirs bring china, amber products, dolls made of wood and fabric, and linen products.
There are several large shopping centers in Kaunas:
- Mega, a huge shopping complex 20 minutes walk from the city center. You can get here by buses 38 and 21.
- Acropolis – a large shopping center practically in the center of Kaunas, located in a 4-story building.
- Urmas is an entire shopping district in the eastern part of the city with an area of 65,000 square meters.
From the dishes of national Lithuanian cuisine we recommend to try: Šaltibarščiai – beet vegetable soup, Šaltnosiukai – dumplings with lingonberries, Piršteliai prie alaus – puff pastries, Cepelinai (or didžkukuliai ) su spirgučiais – potato balls with meat, Vėdarai – potato sausage stuffed with pork, Virtinukai – curd cakes, Silkė – pickled or salted herring, Ruginė – rye bread, Bulviniai blynai – potato pancakes. In addition to the national cuisine, you can find European, Eastern, Russian and Italian dishes in many restaurants.
A lot of budget establishments can be found in the vicinity of Laisvės aleja. In general, in Kaunas there should not be any problems with food. You can find plenty of budget and quite expensive places to eat in Kaunas.
The main sight of Kaunas is the castle of the same name. Founded in the 14th century at the confluence of the Vilija and Neman Rivers, it is one of the oldest castles in Lithuania. It was built to defend against crusaders. It is interesting that the Kaunas castle was the first stone castle of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. Although it did not serve the city long. After Kaunas received the town rights, the significance of the castle quickly declined.
In Kaunas you can also see the Kovno Fortress, a system of defensive fortifications built by Russian troops in the 19th century.
The Town Hall is one of the most interesting buildings in Kaunas and is nicknamed the “White Swan”. It is an impressive building from the 16th century, combining Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque features. The square in front of the town hall has practically always been the center of busy city life.
Kaunas City Hall
The House of Perkunas is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Kaunas. The house was built by Hanseatic merchants at the end of the 15th century. This house can be found in the old town near Vytautas Church.
To enjoy the wonderful panorama of Kaunas you can climb Aleksotas Hill. The hill is connected with the old city by a funicular railway.
It is worthwhile to walk along the most beautiful street in Kaunas – Vilnius Street. It is the main street of the old town, which is completely pedestrian. There are buildings from the 16th century and later preserved on it.
A popular place for walks is the Laisves pedestrian alley, which connects the old and new city.
St. Peter and Paul’s Church is a 15th-century brick basilica. It is the only fully Gothic church of this type in Lithuania.
Church of St. Peter and Paul
St. George’s Church and Bernardine Monastery is one of the oldest religious buildings in Kaunas. The Gothic-style church was built at the end of the 15th century. Here you can see a beautiful altar and ancient burial places.
St. George’s Church
Pažaislis Monastery is a beautiful baroque monastery complex built in the 17th century. It is one of the most beautiful structures of its kind in Lithuania.
Vytautas Church is one of the oldest stone buildings in Kaunas. Brick church from the 15th century in the Gothic style.
One of the oldest religious buildings in Lithuania built in the second half of the 15th century. The architectural style is Gothic.
St. Gertrude’s church
St. Michael’s Church is an Orthodox church in Neobyzantine style built in the late 19th century.
St. Michael’s Church
Basilica of the Resurrection of Christ – religious monumental building, built in the 30s of the 20th century.
Church of St. Francis
The Church of St. Francis is a late 17th century Baroque church with two tall towers. Located not far from the Town Hall.
Interesting museums in Kaunas:
- Folk Life Museum is one of the largest museums in Lithuania. With an area of 195 hectares, there are 140 buildings and more than 88,000 exhibits that introduce the life of Lithuanians in the 17th century.
- Museum of Aviation – more than 40 aircraft and tens of thousands of other exhibits.
- Museum of Cultural Heritage of Pažaislis Monastery
- Museum of the 9th Fort – one of the fortresses of Kaunas (Kovno)
- Kaunas Art Gallery
€63 per excursion
Vilnius for children and adults
Exciting introduction to local fairytale characters and the most interesting sights
€65 per tour
Medieval Vilnius: Evening Walk
Hear ancient legends and unusual facts while wandering the mysterious streets of the Old Town.
Kaunas Castle Ceramics Museum Kaunas Airport Devils Museum Ciurlionis Museum Pažaislislis Monastery Laisves Alley Zoological Museum Tadas Ivanauskas
The site contains Kaunas attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to questions: what to see in Kaunas, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Kaunas.
Kaunas Castle is an ancient defensive fortress located in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas. In earlier times the castle was used as an important strategic point built to repel attacks by Teutonic Knights of the Crusades.
Kaunas Castle is a very old building. The first records of it date back to the fourteenth century, when it had already been partially destroyed during another assault. The castle was rebuilt again. But in the seventeenth century it suffered again, only this time from natural disasters – the foundation was washed away by the river, and the whole tower was washed away by a violent stream. By that time the castle had already lost its extraordinary strategic importance, and full restoration was never carried out.
Today Kaunas Castle is an important architectural monument and the only building of its kind in Lithuania. Because of its Gothic architecture and venerable age, Kaunas Castle has always attracted tourists and in the near future is scheduled to be fully restored and converted into a historical museum.
The Museum of Ceramics in Kaunas is located in the beautiful white-stone building of the City Hall, or more precisely, in its underground premises. The museum was opened in 1978 and is a branch of the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum.
About 700 authentic examples of ancient ceramics are on display in the exhibition halls. These include frying utensils (“terle”), tiles, bowls and mugs, pots, luxury jugs, dishes for sweet cooking (“palivons”), “bosses”, dishes for butter (“lekasy”) and others. Next to them and new items of pottery, there are ethnographic exhibits. The oldest preserved, blackened but still unbroken earthenware is about 200 years old. Most of the exhibits, however, are the handiwork of potters from the first decades of the 20th century. Before this earthenware came into the museum, it had been used in peasant households for decades, so only the sturdiest and most beautiful remain. Bowls, vases, dolls, tiles, painted plates, and amusing figurines line the glass tables among the brick arches of the town hall cellars. A particularly valuable exhibit is an antique 18th century weathervane that once adorned the roof of the White Swan.
The museum often hosts themed exhibitions, including young artists, dedicated not only to fired clay, but also to other materials, such as glass.
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Lithuania has a rather favorable geographical position: several major passenger and trade flows pass through it. Kaunas Airport is not the least important for transport links with Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Scandinavia.
The Kaunas Airport was built near the village of Karmelava in 1988. It is only 13 kilometers from the central districts of the city. Today the airport is able to receive almost any type of aircraft. In 2008 the three-storeyed passenger terminal, which was reopened here, became fully operational. It took 7 months to build a modern terminal that meets Schengen requirements. Total cost of the project is LTL 64 million.
New engineering networks, parking lots and repaired road surface are equipped around the terminal. The passenger terminal occupies an area of 7573 square meters. There are bars, cafes and a restaurant, a medical center, stores (including Duty Free), a tourist office, a bank branch and a VIP-hall. At the airport you can rent a car.
Between the airport and the central railway station of Kaunas runs bus number 29. If you arrive late, you can take bus number 29E. Its schedule is coordinated with the time of arrival, and it leaves only after the last flight.
In photo mode you can view landmarks in Kaunas by photo only.
Museum of Devils
Kaunas Museum of Devils is the only museum of its kind in the world. It was established in 1966, and the exposition is based on the private collection of artist Antanas Žmuidzinavicius, who for many years collected various “devils” – fairies, devils, witches and other creatures.
The very first devil was given to the artist in 1906, and according to the artist’s plan, it was necessary to collect thirteen, devils – “a devil dozen”. And this was for a reason, because the number 13 was lucky for Antanas. Gradually, the fame of the strange collector of “devils” became more and more, and with it the number of exhibits. Zhmuidzinavicius was so carried away by this business, that as a result, he collected not one, but as many as 20 dozens – 260 devils of different colors.
The museum exhibits include devils made of clay, wood, various metals, leather, plastic and even unusual materials. All the inhabitants of the museum have different moods – they are fierce, and playful, and sad. There are not just figurines, but also badges, candy boxes, mugs, pens, ashtrays, candlesticks, canes and pipes in the form of devils. There is a Ukrainian devil from the tale “Evenings at farmstead near Dikanka”, and a Moldavian “devil on a tobacco leaf” (it is no secret that tobacco was considered a devilish potion), and a Polish “devil-joker,” who served seven years in the hired farm for a bad joke, and even “Leningrad devil after the blockade. This is not all the exhibits of the museum. The collection is being constantly replenished and anyone can make an original present to the museum.
You can see paintings radiating music in the museum named after the famous Lithuanian artist and composer M. K. Čiurlionis. It was opened as a modest gallery in 1921, and later grew into a full-fledged museum, the Vytautas Culture Museum. It was called the Vitovt Museum of Culture. In 1944 the institution was named after Ciurlionis. It has the most complete collection of the artist’s paintings, as well as his diaries, letters, and essays. While enjoying the aesthetic pleasure of painting, you can at the same time listen to Ciurlionis’ sonatas, which can be heard from the music hall, also located in the museum.
The world of Ciurlionis is a special world, sometimes a little naive, sometimes sad and funny at the same time. Here top and bottom swap places, the force of gravity does not exist, ships soar into the clouds, and there is a small village on the bottom of the sea. Čiurlionis is scary during the day and safe at night. He has his own, special looking-glass. Through his paintings, the artist created his own world, a fantastical, non-biblical world.
“I’m going to work on it (the cycle of paintings) for the rest of my life, as long as I have new ideas. It’s a world creation that’s different from the biblical world! It’s a different, fantastical world. I would like to paint at least a hundred paintings for this cycle. “, wrote Čiurlionis to his brother.
Meanwhile, the museum has also found a place for works of other masters. There is a beautiful collection of wooden sculpture and painting of the last century. There are objects from other countries and different epochs. The museum also keeps handicrafts of folk art, the oldest of which dates back to the 15th century.
Today the collection of the museum consists of more than 330,000 items.
The museum is open every day except Monday from 11 am to 5 pm. Adults ticket costs 5 Lt, discount ticket – 2,5 Lt.
The Pažaislis Monastery is one of the finest in Northern Europe and a benchmark of Baroque architecture. The monastery rises on the shore of the Kaunas Sea and is located twelve kilometers from the center of Kaunas. It should be noted that during its existence, and the temple was built in the late 17th century, it was often used not for its intended purpose. There was an archive, a psychiatric hospital, a tourist center and many other organizations located there.
After the structure was restored, the monastery became a place of solitude for those contemplating eternity, believers and tourists. The latter are always welcome by the sisters of the Order of St. Casimir, hospitably opening the monastery’s doors.
On the territory of the monastery there is a grave of the composer Alexei Lvov, the author of the anthem “God Save the Tsar”, and in the Pažaislis church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary there is a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary with the Child. In addition, the monastery is famous for its small unassuming door of 50 cm in height, behind which lurks an underground passage. In the old days, the tunnel stretched for 12 km and led to Kaunas. Unfortunately, over the centuries, underground passage was almost completely covered with earth and could disappear forever, but thanks to the efforts of archaeologists, volunteers and novices of the monastery, it is gradually being dug out.
Every summer, the monastery hosts a festival of classical and church music. Performances of Lithuanian and foreign orchestras and chamber ensembles can be heard in the main cathedral of Pažaislis.
The monastery is open Tuesday through Friday from ten in the morning until five in the evening, and on Saturday from ten in the morning until four in the evening
The entrance fee for adults is 10 Lt, for children and pensioners 5 Lt.
Coordinates : 54.87632300,24.02233600
The green pedestrian alley in Kaunas is a favorite place for walks in the fresh air for all tourists without exception. Firstly, there are many stores, souvenir shops, cafes and hotels, and secondly, you can safely breathe here – it is strictly forbidden to smoke on this street. It turns out – two kilometers of clean air. The pedestrian area of Kaunas somewhat reminds our Arbat in its best days.
Laysves is always cheerful, colorful and noisy. There are a lot of flowers and trees, and the colorful merchandise in the glass windows beckons passers-by. When the linden alley blooms, everything around is filled with a honey aroma. When the weather is clear, it’s impossible to walk down this street with a frown on your face. The alley is often chosen for a variety of festivals and colorful processions, which you can comfortably watch from the balconies of hotels or cozy on one of the many benches with a cup of hot coffee.
Here you can easily find something that interests you. If you want shopping – go ahead, if you want a cultural program – there are theaters and museums. You can just enjoy the views of fountains, monuments and cityscapes. There is also the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, and in the City Garden there is a Musical Theater, whose founder was Peter Stolypin.
In the park of the theater there is a plaque in memory of 19-year-old Romas Kalanta, who in May 1972 at this site committed self-immolation to protest against the Soviet occupation.
In Lithuanian “laisves” means “freedom”.
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Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum
The Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum is one of the largest natural science museums in Lithuania, located in Kaunas. The museum has more than 175,000 exhibits that represent the fascinating fauna of Lithuania and other countries.
The museum was founded in 1919 by a scientist and professor, author of 37 scientific books, Tados Ivanauskas. The museum has an entire memorial exhibition dedicated to this scientist.
Also in the museum you can see stuffed animals and skeletons of large animals, such as hippos, giraffes, bison, orangutans and camels.
Here you can hear the voices of exotic and native animals. In all its glory, the museum displays collections of birds, insects, fish, amphibians and reptiles, mollusks, invertebrates and mammals. In addition to the exhibits on display, you can watch an interesting documentary about the animals in the museum.
The most popular attractions in Kaunas with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Kaunas on our website.
More places of interest in Kaunas
White Swan” Town Hall, Kaunas, Lithuania House of Perkunas (Thunder), Kaunas, Lithuania St. Vitautas Church, Kaunas, Lithuania The Kaunas Zoo”, Kaunas, Lithuania Michael the Archangel Church, Kaunas, Lithuania History of Communications, Kaunas, Lithuania