What to see in Kaunas?
Kaunas is a Lithuanian town at the confluence of the Viliya and Neman rivers. Its name translates as “wetland,” but no one pays any attention to this. A city of several hundred years is the opposite of its name. Cobbled streets, old but well-kept houses … There you can see a lot.
Kaunas is, for the most part, a river port. A good half of the city is somehow connected with it. But for the tourist in this interesting enough. The historical part of the city is much more attractive, and this attraction is fully justified. Residents (about 300,000 local) are justly proud of all that they have left for centuries, ranging from Jesuit monasteries to princely palaces. The city is also known in educational terms, in some months the population may increase to 400,000 at the expense of students and tourists.
Almost all major airlines fly to Kaunas airport, there are bus services from almost every neighboring city, and a train from Vilnius runs every day. Kaunas, by the way, is a transit point for many trips around Lithuania and international flights, so day tours of the city are a common phenomenon. And if you want to leave the city in an unusual way, then choose a river, you will be happy to take it to the next port — the cities of Rusne and Nida.
Kaunus has a story to tell. Every aspect of the city’s history has been preserved in stone, and has been carefully restored to this day. Starting from the classical European architecture in the center and ending with the Gothic castles on the outskirts, it does not leave indifferent. The story in greater magnification is represented in museums. There are dozens of them here! Historical, zoological, artistic, even a museum of devils, and this is not the end of the list! Some exhibitions have thousands of copies, and some (for example, apartment museums) can be viewed in ten minutes. Here it is necessary to choose what is more interesting.
There is no shortage either. There are seven theaters alone, where performances take place several times a week, and besides them there is also an orchestra, a circus. Each of them has its own history of creation, which the local guide or bas-reliefs on the walls will gladly tell you for free (but taking into account your knowledge of Lithuanian). Theatrical tradition is quite old, so you should listen to conversations about the high skill of its representatives. And then go and check. After all, it is better to see once!
And if such activities are not for you, if theaters bore you, and the existence of museums seems to be not fully justified, then Kaunas will find something here to offer. There are only four shopping centers, with a bowling alley and a cinema. In summer, beaches open at local reservoirs, and in winter, in some areas, skating rinks are collected. Do not forget that the city is a student. Therefore, a complete set of what people usually want to interest desperately craving for knowledge of young people is present. Here you will find clubs, bars and an endless variety of street cafes. But it is distinguished from the typical European cities of Kaunas by the abundance of one-story buildings, giving everything around some comfort.
What deserves more attention?
And now in detail about the most popular tourist places, those that are worth a visit in any case:
- Old city.
- Laisves alley.
- The open-air museum in Rumsiskes.
- Peter and Paul Cathedral.
In the very center of Kaunas, there is a piece closest to its past — the Old Town. It is not particularly great, you can go around in a circle in half an hour, but you will remember it for a long time in your spirit. This is not a separate, not enclosed part. The Old City fits well into its surroundings, but the difference is noticeable, as if it were a step through the centuries. Castles, bridges and cathedrals will surround you, remaining in memory for a long time.
Or Alley of Freedom. The widest street of Kaunas. It is the most recognizable among tourists. The majority of cafes, souvenir shops, farm shops and other things are concentrated on it. This is a paradise of small businesses. And a paradise for the tourist, if he, of course, has enough money. Although the prices in Kaunas are not very high, there are a lot of reasons to spend money. Leave even for coffee on the way back!
The open-air museum in Rumsiskes
Although he positions himself as a place to demonstrate the culture of the Latvian people, it is much deeper than it seems at first glance. Exposure, built in full size and located in almost open access, allow us to look back. Back to the history where the nations were not yet divided into the current state framework, and the borders existed under completely different names and with completely different laws.
Peter and Paul Cathedral
The cathedral under construction for two centuries looks like a living history. Red brick outside, dozens of statues inside, frescoes of wonderful work … You can touch the centuries without any problems. Even if you don’t like baroque later, be sure to check in for ten minutes. The very mention of this place will give your word in any cultural dispute a special value.
All in all, Kaunas is a great place for a four-five-day stop on a trip to Europe. This is a pleasant town with a stunning variety of places to go. More than half of the population speak Russian. I want to return to such cities.