Lithuania
Kaunas

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kaunas. Discover travel destinations in Lithuania of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

26 travelers at this place:

  • Day11

    Kaunas

    August 6 in Lithuania

    Kaunas is known as Lithuania’s city of museums,which made my choice to spend a Monday there somewhat ironic, luckily it is also another surprisingly charming and beautiful Eastern European city. Compact and easily walkable, it has a nicely preserved old town, a number of green parks and, due to it having been the first capital of the Republic of Lithuania from 1919-39 a number of very impressive administrative buildings and cathedrals. What drew me here was reading that it had just recently been announced as the European capital of culture 2022, which from past experience is always a good sign that somewhere is worth a visit.

    My hunch wasn’t wrong, despite the huge amount of renovations going on to spruce the city up and make it look the part, the place proved to be very cool and relaxing after the craziness of Riga. It also helped that the hostel was very chill, which allowed me some early nights and some planning time for the next legs of my trip.

    Monday was spent exploring its nooks and crannies, wandering the old town, crossing the river to take the furnicular to a view point looking over the city from the opposite bank and exploring the parks, one of which contained an old soviet theme park. The theme park is still somewhat functioning, with a surreal mix of rusted, broken down or dilapidated rides and more recent, but by no means more impressive, add ons. My favourite had to be repurposed electric wheelchairs, which had been converted into bumper cars with kids careening around the paths barely being able to reach the handlebars.

    I had a choice on Tuesday to either stay in the City and hit up the museums or to head out of town to the Ninth Fort. I took the second option, which I’m very glad I did. The Ninth Fort is located an hours bus trip away and is one of a circle of forts that were built prior to WW1 by the Russians at the cost of $500 million in todays dollars and, which collectively made up the Kaunas Fortress. Seeing as it subsequently took the Germans a total of 11 days to take the city, the money may have been better spent elsewhere. However, what it is most famous for is being the site of a succession of brutal prisons and concentration camps, first by the Lithuanian Republic, then the Soviets and finally the Nazi’s who used it as an extermination camp, mainly for political prisoners, but also Jews and Russian POW’s. This was not a concentration camp, the only reason for people being taken there was to be killed. In total over 50,000 people were murdered in less than 3 years by being shot, stabbed or beaten, unlike other camps where gas chambers were built to ‘sanitise’ the operation. A single breakout of 62 prisoners in 1944, before the final liquidation, where the only survivors and witnesses to the horrors inflicted within. Once the Soviets were back it was once again used as a prison camp and staging post for the deportation of ethnic Lithuanians to Siberia. Today, it forms the basis for a spectacular, beautiful and very moving museum and is towered over by a fantastic 40m high brutalist communist sculpture erected in 1984, which is an appropriately awe inspiring and amazing sight.

    Right next to the sculpture is a large green field, which is where 50,000 people are still buried and is marked by a simple memorial and a number of simple plaques from European cities where some of the murdered originally came from. One of my favourite rooms in the museum though was one devoted to those who harboured and protected enemies of the Nazi regime. Hundreds of portraits and a sentence describing their heroics, it was incredible moving and, surrounded by so much misery and horror, a fantastic and uplifting reminder of the personal courage and fortitude displayed by so many in the face of such overwhelming fear and brutality.
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  • Day7

    Kaunas Altstadt

    May 13 in Lithuania

    Morgens kleine Stadtbesichtigung gemacht. Hier steht die einzigste Festung Litauens aus Backstein. Nette Innenstadt mit einer Einkaufstrasse und Marktplatz. Heute ist Sonntag und in allen Kirchen ist Kommunion. Kaunas ist UNESCO "Stadt des Designs" und 2022 Kulturhauptstadt Europas

  • Day113

    Kaunas

    July 29, 2017 in Lithuania

    It's KAUNASTIC!

    Thats what they say and it makes complete sense to me now. To find out for yourselves, you will just have to come here! A fab city with lots to do for tourists but very few tourists around.. perfect :)

    We are staying in the suburbs in a lovely cottage in someones garden. Stuart has won a fan already in the guise of the owners dog who is waiting for him each time he steps out of the door. Kaunas acted as the capital of Lithuania between 1920 and 1939. It is our first taste of Lithuania and is home to a castle, a very successful basketball team, a huge mix of architecture and a devil museum, amongst many other things.

    After a round the houses bus trip on a mini bus we arrived across the beautiful river Nemunas straight into the centre of the old town, past the Perkunas "Thunder" house, an impressive gothic building housing a jesuit museum. We found our way to the Baroque style Town Hall in a very attractive square to collect a mound of maps from the tourist information.

    Heading first to the Cathedral we were treated to lovely singing from the balcony accompanied by the organist and quickly realised that we were inadvertent guests at a wedding! Don't worry we weren't the only tourists there, but whilst Stuart scarpered I lingered a while to see the dress of course! She was one of three brides that we saw in Kaunas this morning, the weather was lovely - and not too warm! - 23 degrees, obviously a perfect day for a wedding!

    Moving through old town streets mooching for souvenirs, we walked the length of "Laisves Aleja" (Freedom Avenue). It is reported to be the longest pedestrian street in Europe, so not surprisingly half way along we needed to stop for lunch. Our intended lunch stop was quite a distance away so we settled for Mexican. And boy it didn't disappoint! Food was delicious and Stuart had a skull drink. A cocktail in a skull shaped glass with food on cocktail sticks and a flaming sambuca in the centre.. this boy sure knows how to choose a drink! I meanwhile sampled a Lithuanian beer which apparently is the best in the World. Now where have I heard that before....

    On a majorly full stomach, and having been to quite a few historical museums recently, we decided to visit the Devils Museum. Basically it is collection of 2000+ devil statues housed in the house of the late collector, an artist named Antanas Zmuidzinavicius. Completely random but a bit of fun and interesting to read about the folklore from Lithuania and other countries regarding the devil, be he stupid or scary.

    To Stuart's delight we found another funicular, this one being the oldest in Lithuania Unlike the one in Prague - where we had to queue for 20 minutes - there was only one other guy riding it.
    At the top of the funicular we visited Christ's Resurrection Church. It was completed in 2005 and apparently is seen as an eyesore by some. It cost us 1.2 euro to walk the 165 steps to the top where you have great views of the city.

    Kaunas is also full of street art that they are obviously very proud of, so much so that they are all marked on the tourist maps.. We passed a lot on our travels, including an old man the size of a building with a pipe full of stars, a multi coloured shack and a space hedgehog.

    According to one of my many guides, we visited/saw 10 of the 15 top things to do in Kaunas today so all in all a good days sightseeing!
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  • Day10

    Vilnius to Kaunas, Lithuania

    August 21, 2017 in Lithuania

    Today we woke up to drizzly rain. First day on the cycing tour was good. Did a walking tour of 700 year old Vilnius in the drizzly rain. Very pretty and old. We weren't looking forward to riding in it but we then got on a bus and drove a bit to see a castle at Trakai and have lunch. Best castle set up I've seen so far. All the rooms were open with great displays of normal castle life for the Duke.
    Then the rain stopped and sun came out as we got ready for the ride. Rode 27 k along a country road, then back on the bus to Kaunus. Very nice, a few rolling hills but easy enough. Just came back from a lovely Lithuanian meal in a great little restaurant. They seem to eat late here or maybe just our guide does ??
    There is 14 of us- all Australians!! A great bunch - lots of laughs.
    4 couples from a bike group in Melbourne, 2 from Sydney, 2 from Coffs Harbour, Nicole my room mate from Brisbane and me.
    Was great to be back on the bike 😊😊
    Good news- Nicole got her luggage just before we left Vilnius
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  • Day66

    Kaunas, Litauen

    August 6, 2017 in Lithuania

    Start in dien nächsten langen Reiseabschnitt. Eigentlich nur von Kaunas nach Vilinus, aber mit einem Abstecher nach Polen und am Kurort Druskininkai vorbei.
    Während wir in Estland und Litauen das Gefühl hatten, alleine auf dem Strassen unterwegs zu sein ist es in Litauen anders. Hier rasen die Fahrer. Und es gibt viele davon. Überholen geht bei denen immer und überall. Und wenn man selber nicht rast kommt die Lichthupe.
    Nur Hupen oder den Vogel zeigen macht hier keiner.
    So bleibt noch genug Zeit für die Landschaft, die jetzt von Wald zu Feldern übergegangen ist.
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  • Day24

    Kaunas

    July 29, 2015 in Lithuania

    13.00Uhr, 1 Stunde Zeitverschiebung. Letzter Fahrerwechsel in Litauen, wir sind mitten im Nirgendwo. Nach Zeitplan noch 5 ½ Stunden Fahrt, kaum geschlafen, hungrig, aber der Bus ist so gut wie leer, endlich die Füße ausstrecken, nochmal die Augen schließen, bald sind wir da.

  • Day6

    Kowno

    May 3 in Lithuania

    Drugie największe miasto na Litwie. Tymczasowa stolica Litwy, podczas okupacji Wilna przez Polaków w okolicach 20lecia międzywojennego. Miasto muzeów (np. muzeum diabłów). Europejska stolica kultury 2022.

    Okazuje się że to zajebiste miejsce, które chciałbym lepiej poznać. Jeden wieczór to zdecydowanie za mało.

  • Day9

    Kaunas

    June 19 in Lithuania

    Mit mir kamen gestern vier Mopedfahrer aus Hagen beim Hotel an. Wir haben uns nett unterhalten und abends sowie beim Frühstück wieder getroffen. Bevor sich unsere Wege endgültig trennten sind wir noch ein Stück gemeinsam Richtung Memel gefahren.
    Wirklich Spaß gemacht hat die Fahrt nach Kaunas allerdings nicht. Tierischer Wind, der immer wieder die Richtung änderte, dazu heftige Boen und immer wieder Regen. Außerdem ging es so gut wie immer nur geradeaus. Das längste Sück waren 117 Kilometer ohne Abzweigung.

    Aber Kaunas hat eine schöne Altstadt und ist preislich angenehm. Morgen geht's nach Polen.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kaunas, Kauen, كاوناس, Kawnas, Горад Каўнас, Каунас, Κάουνας, Kaŭno, کاوناس, קובנה, KUN, ᑯᓇᔅ/kunas, カウナス, კაუნასი, 카우나스, Couna, Kauņa, कॉनास, Kowno, کاؤناس, Kauns, เคานัส, קאוונע, 考那斯

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