True Lithuania

Weekend in Kaunas: Top 10 Sights & Experiences

Kaunas may be Lithuania's second city but it is not that far behind Vilnius in both size and importance. Ryanair flights and good road/rail access opened up Kaunas as a weekend destination. Here are some ideas to spend your couple of days in Kaunas.

1.Spend time (and maybe sip a drink) in the historic heart of Kaunas, the Rotušės square which is still surrounded by authentic buildings, churches and the city hall (Old Town).

2.Enjoy the incredible view of Kaunas Old Town and its gothic spires from Aleksotas vantage point (Aleksotas).

3.Take a short trip to Pažaislis monastery, one of the prettiest Baroque complexes in Northern Europe. In summers you may swim in the local Kaunas Reservoir beach nearby (Pažaislis).

4.Learn about Lithuania's most famous painter and his symbolist works right in his prime shrine, the M. K. Čiurlionis Gallery (New Town).

5.Walk under the tree shades of Laisvės Avenue, noting the prime Industrial Era and Interwar architecture en route (Central Post, Officers' Club, Sobor, Interwar Presidency, Musical theater) (New Town).

6.Listen to a free evening carillon concert in Vienybės square while looking at its monuments dedicated to the Lithuanian freedom (New Town) .

7.Walk the Vilniaus street, a new-old hub for Kaunas downtown cafes and entertainment with authentic pre-20th-century buildings. Don't forget to take a detour to the small Gothic St. Gertrude church (Old Town).

8.Visit at least a single fort of the pre-WW1 Kaunas fortress (best surviving European fortifications of the era). 9th fort with its sad past and museum is the most popular, but renovated 7th fort and dilapidated 6th fort are more off-the-beaten-path alternatives (Fortress districts).

9.Ascend the Žaliakalnis hill district in a funicular to see the massive art deco Ressurection church and other key projects of Interwar independent Lithuania, standing amidst historic private homes where luminaries used to live (Žaliakalnis).

10.Take a stroll in one of many Kaunas parks, such as Santakos (confluence) or Basanavčiaus, both offering interesting views of Lithuanian prime river Nemunas.

Map of the top 10 Kaunas tourist sights. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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