Probably the only well-known Lithuanian city is its capital. However, we would consider Kaunas city as a hidden gem of Baltic countries. Visitors of city says that Kaunas is pretty, refreshing, lively. Yet – not crowded! In this article, we would like to present TOP 7 highlights, why you should visit and explore Kaunas.
Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania. City is known as a temporary capital of Lithuania, capital of basketball and as a European Capital of Culture 2022. The city is in the middle of the country (almost in the middle of geographical Europe). In the course of history, Kaunas got influence and impact by other countries and different cultures. Putting it all together, in Kaunas you will have an experience of wealthy history.
An old, charming and cozy Old Town of Kaunas
Medieval Old Town is a narrow place, surrounded by two rivers, with many buildings from the 14 – 15 century. In the heart of the city, you will find Town Hall, Kaunas Castle, a lot of churches with monasteries and other historical buildings and streets. Even the medieval gothic style House of Thunder! Explore the city center on foot and enjoy this cozy old part of the city.
Kaunas – 2022 European Capital of Culture
During 1920–1939 Kaunas was the temporary capital of Lithuania. One century later Kaunas will become European Capital of Culture. This time – rather a contemporary capital. Hundreds of cultural events and initiatives that started in 2017, ongoing now and not stopping later after 2022 is bringing a new breath. The city feels different – try to feel it too!
Street Art in Kaunas
Probably all art what you can see on the streets we can call the Street Art. There are at least a few hundreds of mural wall paintings, sculptures and other objects, which changed the face of the city in recent years. Kaunas is part of UNESCO Creative cities network as a design city, this program also helps to change the city. Not every object is just interesting by itself, but also by the history behind it. While wandering around the city you will notice plenty of Kaunas Street Art.
The Interwar modernistic architecture
During 1920-1939 Kaunas was capital of Lithuania. During this twenty years of Inter-War period city built hundreds modernistic architecture buildings. City is known as a unique phenomenon in Europe with its art deco, Bauhaus, modernism style architecture, which survived to the present day. Lithuania seeks to receive UNESCO World Heritage status for Kaunas modernism architecture.
Museums – plenty of them
There are more than 40 museums in Kaunas – M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Military, Zoology, Aviation, IX Fort, Folk Instruments, Presidential Palace… and even The Devil’s Museum, one of the most popular in the city. Try to visit at least a few of the museums around Kaunas.
Pedestrian friendly city
Kaunas is a green city, with plenty of places to walk and enjoy nature. You can walk in famous Confluence Park, surrounded by the two rivers – Nemunas and Neris. Visit Oakwood Park – Europe’s largest Oak Forest growing inside the city. In addition, you can visit Nemunas Island Park, Botanical Garden, Kaunas Lagoon Park, Panemunės Pinewood and do not forget to walk along the longest pedestrian boulevard called Laisvės Alėja (Liberty Avenue) which is situated in the center of Kaunas. Enjoy walking in the city!