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Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, a treasure waiting to be discovered! Book your cheap air tickets to Kaunas if you want to get to know Lithuania’s true spirit, where the past meets the present and fairy tale meets reality. At the confluence of Rivers Nemunas and Neris, legends say that when radiant Milda, taking care of her beloved Daugerutis, left the Eternal Flame to burn out, the gods cursed both of them. Looking for a shelter, they entered a cave, where Milda gave birth to their son who, bearing the mark of his parents’ tragic destiny, he founded Kaunas. Organise your accommodation in Kaunas and you will come across a city of excellent architecture and treasured cultural wealth. Modern Kaunas looks forward and is now a top destination among travellers around the world. Don’t miss it for the world!
Kaunas was founded in the 13th century. Lithuania’s second largest city was rapidly developed and soon attracted the “Crème de la crème” of German merchants, becoming one of Hansa’s major trading hubs.
The following years, Kaunas’s ownership was strongly claimed by Russia and Sweden, which lead to the annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union – the city’s castle still reminds us of these old times.
In-between the two World Wars, Kaunas knew further development; this is when most of the city’s neoclassical and art nouveau buildings were constructed!
Visitors love modern Kaunas, because it retains something of its old charm, while at the same time following all the latest trends in art, culture and cuisine. This is a – budget friendly for now – extraordinary destination, one of the most unique cities you can find in Europe. Try it!
Kaunas is served by the international airport of Vilnius (Vilniaus oro uostas). The airport is located 101 kilometres southwest of the city and can be reached by bus and train.
Getting around Kaunas
Kaunas’s public transportation system consists of buses and trolleys. Fares start at 0.90 LTL and minimum taxi fare costs around 2.25 LTL.
Your day in Kaunas begins at the central square of the Old Town Hall (Rotušės Aikštė), the Old Town’s heart, surrounded by beautiful 16th century buildings that were once the houses of rich German merchants.
At the centre of the square, you can admire the marvellous Old City Hall (Kauno Rotuše), a baroque-neoclassical building of 1542. The town hall is widely known as the “White Swan”, referring to its elegant shape and immense height, greatly resembling to this beautiful bird.
The building’s second floor was a later addition of the 16th century and has served as a treasury, a prison, a warehouse and an archive. It now houses the Museum of Ceramics, with interesting collections of archaeological items and traditional Lithuanian ceramics of the 20th century.
Don’t miss the House of Perkūnas, one of the city’s few surviving Gothic buildings, restored in 1818. During the restoration process, a statue was discovered, later identified as Perkūnas, the Baltic god of thunder!
Continue to the Kaunas Castle (Kauno pilis), the city’s major landmark. The castle was built by the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century and though it was reconstructed after a long siege of the city, it was finally left to decay. Today you can see only a small section of the castle, restored and housing an art gallery.
Next stop, the St. Michael the Archangel's Church! Built in 1893 as an Orthodox church for the castle’s Russian garrison, this imposing blue neo-byzantine building now serves as a Roman Catholic church and is a popular tourist sight.
Your visit in Kaunas could not be considered complete without paying a visit at the IX Fort Museum. This fort was built in the late 19th century upon a section of the city’s old fortifications, in order to reinforce the west boundaries of the Russian Empire. Later converted into a Nazi concentration camp, it now houses a museum with very informing collections on both eras.
Kaunas’s official language is Luthuanian.