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Top 10 Things To Do In Kaunas, Lithuania [City Guide]

One of the best cities in Eastern Europe, Kaunas is a Baltic gem! There are many wonderful things to do in Kaunas, Lithuania. Find out our recommendations for the things to do, see, and eat!

We first visited Kaunas, Lithuania during a Thanksgiving weekend about five years ago on an exchange trip. Our gracious hosts were musicians and fellow teachers and they bent over backwards to show us a good time. We left after four days impressed with Lithuanian history, culture and food. However, we knew we’d have to go back during a more favorable season to really get a feel for tourism in this former Soviet controlled country.

Kartu heart Kauna sign on the riverbank in Kaunas.

I finally had the chance when I climbed aboard the tall ship Stadrad Lehmkuhl for a tall ship race from Turku, Finland to Klaipeda, Lithuania. After leaving the ship, I made my way to Kaunas for a weekend break before flying home to Germany. We’ve compiled this list of the top things to do in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Kaunas, Lithuania: European Capital Of Culture 2022

On this last visit I discovered that Kaunas has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2022 and the city has already begun getting ready. I noticed several changes from my last visit. First, there are major works being done on city infrastructure. New water pipes are going in along major thoroughfares and street upgrades are being accomplished after the digging is finished.

Street lights, landscaping, and new asphalt are transforming some old, previously potholed streets and avenues.Additionally, green painted bike lanes are snaking throughout the city center with more being planned and delivered. The goal is to make Kaunas the most bicycle friendly city in the Baltics.

What are the Top Things to Do in Kaunas?

Kaunas is already a top notch tourism destination, but with more and more work going on with the Culture Capital preparations, it will just get better and better! So what is there to do in Kaunas, Lithuania? Read on for our top ten recommendations.

Kaunas Castle is one of the top things to do in Kaunas, Lithuania.

1. Visit a Lithuanian Castle

Originally built in the 14th century as Lithuanian defensive works against crusading Tuetonic Knights, the castle was taken and retaken. Not much is left of the castle today, but the grounds are beautiful and the remaining ruins are picturesque. There is also a good sized playground where children can play in the shadow of the castle walls. How cool is that?

Pilies g. 17, Kaunas 44275, Lithuania

Kaunas Old Town Hanse House - Top sight in Kaunas.

2. Explore Kaunas’s Old Town

Kaunas’ Old Town has a well preserved selection of building and architectural examples spanning hundreds of years. Walking the cobbled streets is like walking back in time. One of my favorite is the supposed Hanseatic building pictured here. There are a few other buildings sharing similar characteristics, all are beautiful and well maintained.

Town Hall in Kaunas Lithuania.

The old town hall stands right in the center of the old town. There is a small museum inside the gorgeous building, but otherwise it is used for weddings and other functions. What a grand venue for a wedding!

Rotušės a. 15, Kaunas 44279, Lithuania

What to do in Kaunas? Search out one of the many streetside cafes.

The old town is chock full of quaint pubs, cafes, and restaurants where you can stop for a little refreshment and rest during your walk.

3. Attend Mass in an 18th Century Cathedral Basilica

Kaunas Cathedral Basilica is one of the top 10 things to do in Kaunas.

Whether you are religious or not, you should step inside the massive cathedral basilica to admire this 17th century masterpiece. This is the largest Gothic church in Lithuania. If your timing is right, you’ll here the choir singing or chanting and haunting tones of the organ.

Kaunas tourism will state that the Kaunas Presidential Palace is a must-see sight.

4. Take A History Lesson At The Presidential Palace

Kaunas held the position of temporary capital during the Interwar period between WWI and WWII. Russian Bolsheviks occupied Vilnius in 1919 and later was annexed by Poland. The Soviet Union annexed Lithuania in 1940 but after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941, rebel Lithuanians regained independence from the Red Army. Of course, the unstoppable German army soon came and claimed occupation of the region. Eventually the Soviets returned, pushed the German army out, and reclaimed the Baltic states. This would set off a long period of Lithuanian resistance that was centered around Kaunas and lasted until independence was reclaimed in 1990. A visit to the temporary capital’s Presidential Palace and the grounds around it, are a good place to start your history lesson.

Vilniaus g. 33, Kaunas 44290, Lithuania
+370 37 201778

Kaunas Old Town Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Kaunas.

5. Enjoy Some Coffee And A Pastry

There are more coffee and bakery shops in Kaunas then I’ve seen in many other similar sized cities. One of my favorites is the Motiejaus Kepyklele located in one of these classic brickwork facade buildings.

Motiejaus Kepyklele
Vilniaus g. 7, Kaunas 44280, Lithuania
Open at 8:00 AM

Kaunas Devils Museum - a must-see sight in Kaunas, Lithuania.

6. Visit A Museum Or Two

Kaunas has a wide variety of good museums to while away your time, especially if you have some rainy weather to escape. One of the most unique is the Devil’s Museum, Zmuidzinavicius Museum. This museum will run your emotions through the whole range from laughter to shock, from scared to confused. You’ll find devils collected from cultures around the world. Other museums options include the Vytautas the Great War Museum where the visitor will discover military artifacts from the early wars against the invading Teutonic Knights all the way to modern times and struggles with the USSR.

Devil’s Museum
V. Putvinskio g. 64, LT-44211 Kaunas
Tu-Sun 11–17, Th 11–19

Vytautas the Great War Museum
K. Donelaičio g. 64, Kaunas 44248, Lithuania
Tu-Sun 10–17

Kaunas Bike Routes like this one will take you right through Kaunas Old Town.

7. Go For A Bike Ride

Kaunas has gone to great lengths to make this a cycle friendly city. Visitors today will find these green bike lanes throughout the city center. The goal is to make Kaunas a biking haven. They are off to a good start! You can rent a bike for cheap from the CityBee bicycling sharing service.

CityBee Bike Sharing Service
22 Locations throughout the city

Kaunas Lithuania Amber Shopping - Shopping for amber in Kaunas is one of the top things to do!

8. Go Shopping

Lithuania is known around the world for amber, the Baltic gold. Shoppers will find several high quality shops in Kaunas sure to have that special piece to please someone special back home. You’ll find amber of every possible color and variety including amber encased insects and plant material. It’s all beautiful and affordable.

J. Naugardo g. 17
Kaunas 44280, Lithuania

9. Street Art

Kaunas Castle Statue is part of the charm of Kaunas, Lithuania.
Kaunas Street Art -Look for all kinds of art when in Kaunas Old Town.

Sculptures, statues, graffiti and murals abound in Kaunas. Some are still remaining from before the independence of 1990 when Kaunas was a hotbed of resistance to Soviet occupation. Keep your eyes open and your observation skills awake as you travel through the city.

Kaunas Street Sculpture - Old Town Kaunas, Lithuania.
Lithuania - Fried Bread.

One of my absolute favorite Lithuanian snack foods is fried bread. It sounds so simple, and I suppose it is, but this crunchy, chewy, garlicky, cheesy, buttery snack will knock your socks off. This is the national snack food of Lithuania and you’ll find it in every pub or bar. It goes perfectly with a cold half liter of local brew.

Vilniaus g. 34, Kaunas 44287, Lithuania

The Zeppelin - Lithuanian Snack Food.

Hungry for more than a snack? Why not try the traditional Lithuanian Zeppelin? This meat filled dumpling will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. Forto Dvaras has a wide selection of these tasty rib stickers, as well as  so many other culinary treats you won’t know where to start. That’s why we say to start with the zeppelins!

Forto Dvaras
Rotušės a. 4, Kaunas 44280, Lithuania

Where To Stay In Kaunas

There’s always a decision to be made when looking for a hotel in a new place. Kaunas hotels are all affordable and even cheap by other European city standards.


We love traveling around the Baltic region of Europe, and we’ve seen and done some amazing things, but definitely Kaunas is one small city we’ll return to again and again. We love it!

Author Bio: Jim Vail, is a travel, food, and video creator and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 15 years. For many years he lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands, and he’s visited over 90 countries.

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One of the most under-rated cities in Eastern Europe, this Baltic gem is sure to please! If you haven't been to Kaunas, Lithuania: read and start planning!
Top Ten Kaunas Lithuania.

Jesper, The Biveros Effect

Monday 18th of September 2017

After visiting Vilnius a few years ago a return trip to Lithuania has been high up on our list. It is either Kaunas or the Baltic Coast that we would like to visit if we go. Kaunas has always looked so cozy in photos. :)

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 19th of September 2017

Jesper, We've been to Kaunas in both winter and summer and loved it both times. It gets my vote!


Monday 21st of August 2017

You introduced me to a new destination, Jim. We wanted to visit all three Baltic countries last year, but in the end we just had time for Latvia. We are planning to return and visit Lithuania as well, but I had no plan to see Kaunas. However, after reading your post I think it would be a great idea to add this too to my list. It's seems like a very nice town, with a lot of interesting places to visit. #WeekendTravelInspiration

Corinne Vail

Monday 21st of August 2017

Anda, It is a pretty small city, and I'm sure you would love it.


Thursday 10th of August 2017

One of my favorite things about regularly reading travel blogs, instead of just reading them to research a particular trip, is being introduced to places that aren't on my radar. Kaunus looks like a terrific place to visit. I do feel rather bad for the area being occupied by so many different factions, but at least they have their independence now. And fried bread seems like a truly fantastic snack. #WkendTravelInspiration

Corinne Vail

Thursday 10th of August 2017

Michele, It's not bad, the bread that is. History-wise it seems many of the countries in Eastern Europe suffered under conqueror after conqueror. It's all very interesting.

Anabel Marsh

Saturday 5th of August 2017

I'd only heard of Vilnius too - compiling ideas for a European trip next year maybe.

Jim Vail

Sunday 6th of August 2017

I can definitely recommend Lithuania If you haven't been yet.

Corinne Vail

Saturday 5th of August 2017

The Devil museum was one of those oddities that you can never forget. We loved it.