Kaunas is the center of economic, scientific and cultural life in Lithuania. The second-largest city in Lithuania – Kaunas is considered the most Lithuanian city because it is the historical capital of Lithuania and is alive with the myths of real and imaginary nationalism.

Kaunas, Lithuania 🇱🇹 | 4K Drone Footage

Guided tours visiting Kaunas city

History of Kaunas

aerial view of sunrise at kaunas main square in lithuania

In 1317 Kaunas became a city and received the right of self-government in 1408. The city was frequently attacked by the Teutonic Knights. In 1795 it fell to Russia by the Third Partition of Poland and was devastated by Napoleon's advance in 1812. The city recovered and became a provincial center in 1842. With the advent of railroads later in the 19th century, the city's trade increased and industry began to develop. From 1920 Kaunas was the capital of independent Lithuania for 20 years! Annexed by the USSR in 1940, Kaunas suffered severe damage during World War II, but many historical buildings have been preserved, including the ruins of the castle at the confluence of the rivers.

Where is Kaunas

54°53′50″N 23°53′10″E 

The city of Kaunas is situated at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers: Nemunas and Neris. It is also located in the center of Lithuania, 100 km northwest of the capital Vilnius. 

How to Get to Kaunas

By plane

man with a luggage in an airport before boarding a plane

Kaunas Airport is a small, modern airport located in Karmėlava, about 12 km north of the center of Kaunas. Low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air fly between Kaunas and 17 different European cities. City bus number 29G connects Kaunas Airport with Kaunas city.

By train

If you decide to travel by train, there is a direct connection from Vilnius to Kaunas. Train tickets can be purchased at the train station or on the train. The journey takes about 1.5 hours. For routes and timetables of trains, you can visit the website: https://www.traukiniobilietas.lt/portal/

By bus

There is a direct bus connection from Vilnius to Kaunas. You can find the bus timetables on the website: www.autobusubilietai.lt

What to do in Kaunas

Ninth Forth

9th fort monuments in Kaunas city in lithuania

The place where 30,000 European Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their Lithuanian accomplices between 1941 and 1944. The Ninth Forth is a vital part of any trip to Kaunas. On October 29, 1941 alone, a staggering 9,200 Jewish men, women and children were brought here from the Kovno Ghetto and shot. A vast memorial unveiled in 1984 marks the place where they were buried.

Old Town Kaunas

old town buildings street view in kaunas city

The main Vilnius Street is the most important street in Old Town Kaunas and many restaurants are located in its old authentic buildings. Smaller and less busy streets parallel to Vilnius Street are also great places to walk around and explore the Old Town of Kaunas which suffered less of the post-war Soviet destruction than its counterpart in Vilnius and is, therefore, more intact.

The Devil’s Museum

The Devil Museum, included in the list of the world's most unique museums, houses about 3,000 horned exhibits from all over the world. Inside, you’ll find pieces of fine arts and crafts, souvenirs, and masks. It is an opportunity to take a closer look at the mysterious mythical creature and various forms of its representation in no less than 70 countries around the world.

Pažaislis Monastery

aerial view of pazaislis monastery in kaunas city near kauno marios

Pažaislis Monastery is probably the most romantic place in Lithuania that you’ll visit! The monastery, a 17th-century baroque gem, was built by the wealthy, influential and religious Pacas family. Although the monastery was devastated several times during various wars, the works of art by Italian artists have survived the test of time.

Kaunas Castle

kaunas castle and surroundings in lithuania at summer

Located at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, the Kaunas castle was built in the 14th century to defend against enemies. It is not only one of the first stone castles in Lithuania but it is also the only one with two rows of defensive walls.

Best Time to Visit Kaunas

maironis statue in old town in kaunas city center

Kaunas is worth seeing at any time of year. However, average temperatures range from 0°C in January to 24°C in July. The rainiest months are October, July and August. We recommend visiting Kaunas in the months of June, July, and August when the most beautiful colors of the city unfold.

Some facts about Kaunas

  1. The name of the city is of Lithuanian origin and is probably derived from a personal name. Before Lithuania regained independence, the city was commonly known as Kovno, the traditional Slavicized form of its name.  
  2. An old legend claims that Kaunas was founded by the Romans in ancient times. These Romans were supposedly led by a patrician named Palemon, who had three sons: Barcus, Kunas, and Sperus. 
  3.  A settlement was founded on the site of the present Old Town of Kaunas, at the confluence of two major rivers, likely in the 10th century CE. 
  4. Kaunas is first mentioned in written sources in 1361 when the brick Kaunas Castle was built. 
  5. The city covers 15,700 hectares. Parks, groves, gardens, nature reserves and agricultural land occupy 8,329 hectares. 
  6. Kaunas is one of the host cities for the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup. 
  7. Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania after Vilnius and an important center of Lithuanian economic, scientific and cultural life. 
  8. In 1413, Kaunas was the largest city and the center of a county in the Trakai Duchy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Trakai Palatinate. 
  9. Kaunas is located at the confluence of Lithuania's two largest rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, and near the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest body of water in all of Lithuania. 
  10. In 2022, Kaunas was selected as the European Capital of culture together with Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

Best places to eat in Kaunas

eating cepelinai potato dish in lithuania

Uoksas (Maironio 28, Kaunas, Lithuania) 

Uoksas was listed as one of the top 30 restaurants in the Baltics in 2017 and is sure to delight you with its creative cuisine. The menu offers some incredible flavor combinations with dishes such as steamed buns with pork belly, fermented beetroot and honey, lamb shank and grilled mackerel with bulgur, black pudding and pears. 

Numan Restaurant (Nemuno 43, Kaunas, Lithuania) 

This newly-opened restaurant has quickly become a favorite in Kaunas. Their food is simple, delicious and features only the finest ingredients. 

Spurgine (Laisvės 84, Kaunas, Lithuania) 

This traditional restaurant serves special Lithuanian doughnuts with savory meat and vegetables or sweet combinations. 

Jurgis ir Drakonas (Kurpių 26, Kaunas, Lithuania) 

Jurgis ir Drakonas is run by a British expat and Lithuania's version of Martha Stewart, Beata Nicholson. It serves excellent salads and pizzas. However, visitors will also find special dishes created by Nicholson on the menu.

Where to stay in Kaunas

liberty avenue view in Kaunas city in summer in lithuania

Algiro Hotel

Algiro Hotel is a newly built three-star hotel in the heart of Kaunas city. The hotel offers comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and suites as well as conference facilities.

Daugirdas Hotel 

This business class four-star Daugirdas Hotel is situated in the Old Town of Kaunas, in a restored 16th/19th-century building, only 50 meters away from the Town Hall and in the confluence of the biggest Lithuanian rivers: Nemunas and Neris. 

Perkūno Namai

Surrounded by 100-year-old oaks, the four-star Perkūno Namai Hotel has been a family-run hotel since 1994. The hotel has beautifully maintained natural surroundings. The rhododendron grove and oak hill surrounding it create a perfect oasis for rest and relaxation. 

Kaunas Hotel 

Located on the main street of the historic city center, Laisves Ave, the Kaunas Hotel displays a perfect combination of luxury and elegance. It is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building and all major attractions are within walking distance. 

Sfinksas 

Sfinksas is a luxury class hotel situated in Žaliakalnis, a prestigious part of Kaunas close to the city center but far from the crowds and the noise. It is a very green area and staying there is a perfect escape from busy city life.