The third largest Lithuanian city, Klaipeda, and once the capital of Prussia – Memel, retained the atmosphere of the Soviet Union and the architectural “consequences” of powerful German influence, thanks to which a majestic red-brick castle and a whole quarter with half-timbered buildings were created here. Check topschoolsintheusa.com to learn more about Lithuania.
Klaipeda is also notable for being a port to the world of Baltic communication and an open door for travelers who are in search of peace on the snow-white dunes of the Curonian Spit.
How to get to Klaipeda
Domestic flights connect Klaipeda with Palanga, Kaunas and Vilnius. Trains run here from Vilnius (5–9 h; 75 Lt), Kaunas (6 h; 45 Lt), Kretinga (30 min; 6 Lt) and Siauliai (2–3 h; 32 Lt).
Klaipeda can also be reached by bus from the main cities of Lithuania and some cities outside the country (for example, Kaliningrad or Riga). Buses to Juodkrante and Nida (1.5 h; 12 Lt) depart daily from the Smiltynė ferry station on the Curonian Spit. From Klaipeda to Smiltyne get by ferry.
Klaipeda is connected by regular ferry service to Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
In the north of Klaipeda, there are two large beaches Giruliai and Melnrazhe, which have gained special fame among tourists. But it is unlikely that both of them will be able to beat the fame of the beach in Smiltyne on the territory of the already reserved Curonian Spit. There is soft white sand, wide dunes, shimmering in the sun, surrounded by pine groves, and clear cool water of the Baltic Sea.
At first glance, it may seem that there are no cafes, bars, or restaurants in the city, but upon closer examination, you find a whole “bouquet” of restaurants with traditional Lithuanian and European cuisine. A full meal of “first, second, third, dessert and compote” will cost about 20-80 Lt, depending on the institution and the degree of “complexity” of the dishes.
Foam drink lovers: go to the old “barn” Memelis (a mug of draft will cost 10 Lt) and the local Švyturys brewery (Švyturys).
Although Klaipeda is known for its beer drinks, here you can taste good local wine or go to one of the cocktail bars (for example, Aperitivo 24 or Viva La Vita).
Entertainment and attractions of Klaipeda
Despite the complex historical past, full of wars and bloodshed, architectural monuments have been preserved in Klaipeda, most of which were created in the period from the 13th to the 19th centuries.
Klaipeda is a city of stone warehouses, half-timbered buildings and a neo-gothic post office, which is somehow embarrassing to enter, because the red brick building looks more like a majestic cathedral, and not a place where you send funny postcards to your homeland to friends.
And yet, the first thing “experts” advise to do when they find out that you are heading to Klaipeda is to visit the Maritime Museum. This complex with sea vipers, penguins, seals and dolphins is located in the ancient fortress of Kopgalis. Over the 20 years of the existence of the museum’s exposition, they managed to tell not only about the inhabitants of the kingdom of Neptune, but also about the relationship that connects the underwater world and the world of “homo sapiens”.
In Klaipeda you can also go to:
- museum of watches of all kinds and “grades” (Liepu str., 12)
- the art gallery of Pranas Domšaitis, where a collection of European paintings is collected and cultural events are regularly held (Liepu str., 31-35)
- blacksmithing museum with thematic exhibits such as forged products, openwork crosses, blacksmithing tools and other examples of blacksmithing skills (Šaltkalvu street, 2).
- Museum of Lithuania Minor, reminiscent of the exposition of the museum in Trakai (Didzhoji Vandyans street, 6).
Despite the modest size of the city, there are enough opportunities for club life. Especially popular are El Calor with Latin American music, jazz club Kurpiai, disco-funk club Dr. Who and classic nightclubs Kiwi and Martini.
Every last July Saturday and Sunday in Klaipeda, a cheerful and noisy “Sea Festival” is celebrated, led by the hero Neptune, sailing along the Dane River. The city is filled not only with locals and tourists, but also with a rich cultural life in the form of theatrical performances, art and craft exhibitions, music festivals and concerts and, finally, the Baltic Sails sailing regatta.
In spring, Klaipeda hosts the international festivals Poetic Spring and Musical Spring; in early June – a jazz festival on the territory of the Old Town in the castle of Klaipeda, in late June and early July – the international folklore festival Parbek laivelis, and in July and August – an opera and classical music festival.