True Lithuania

Getting To and From Klaipėda

Klaipėda can be reached by car from Vilnius in 3 hours and 4 hours by express bus. A four-lane highway connects the city to Kaunas and Vilnius as well as Palanga. Another option of traveling to/from Kaunas is by the scenic Panemunė road via Šilutė.

Interesting locations around Klaipėda include Neringa and Palanga resorts. Both may be accessed by frequent buses: Palanga buses depart from bus station while Neringa ones stop at the Smiltynė Old Ferry terminal.

Passenger trains leave Klaipėda station for Vilnius and Radviliškis. Both of these routes have intermediate stops in various towns, among them Kretinga, Telšiai, Plungė, and Šiauliai. The route to Vilnius also stops at Kėdaniai. The route to Šiauliai is more or less direct whereas the route to Vilnius is 100 km longer than the highway route and thus it takes 4-5 hours to go there by train.

Klaipėda has no passenger airport but Palanga airport some 30 kilometers to the north effectively serves Klaipėda as well. It is even branded as "Palanga/Klaipeda" in the timetables of some airlines. Air services from Palanga are limited, however, to just a few destinations. The rest of European cities might be reached with transfers. Still, such flights may be ~40% more expensive than similar flights from Vilnius, Kaunas or Riga (some 2, 3 and 4 hours away by car, respectively), where the competition is tighter.

Being the Lithuania's only seaport, Klaipėda may also be reached by ferries from Germany and Sweden. The ferries are overnight and transport cars as well as passengers. Cruise ships visit Klaipėda in summer (some also in spring and autumn) as a part of a longer Baltic cruise. However, Klaipėda is a less popular cruise port than those of the Estonia and Latvia, likely because Klaipėda is not the capital.

The ferries dock in Southern Klaipėda while the cruise ships dock in Old Town.

Container vessel in the port of Klaipėda. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis

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