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Best things to do in Kaunas

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Lithuania  /  Kaunas County  /  Kaunas

Top 15 things to do in Kaunas

1. Trakai Island Castle Museum, Trakai

The erstwhile political epicenter of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai Island Castle Museum today provides a striking example of an island fortress in Europe and remains one of the country's most famous symbols. Built in several stages beginning in the 14th century, the castle fell into ruin during the 1600s; however, a major push after World War II led to its complete restoration. Cross the wooden bridge to access the castle and its massive defensive towers and gate, situated on a tiny islet just offshore from its namesake town. Within the walls lies yet another fortified bastion. Wander its multiple floors and view exhibitions displaying medieval artifacts, armor, and weapons. The site documents both the history of the castle and its role in the nation's past. Be sure to stop by the grand hall, where rulers such as national hero Vytautas held feasts and state meetings.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Tours from $495 › Learn more about Trakai Island Castle Museum

2. Walking tours, Vilnius

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $32 › Learn more about Walking tours

3. KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus), Vilnius

Housed in the former headquarters of the Soviet Union's notorious security service, KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus) documents the tactics of the secret police and memorializes the victims. Though Lithuania was a part of the USSR until its independence in 1990, its forcible incorporation into the country in 1940 led to a great deal of resentment and resistance against Russia. Visit the museum to see a multitude of exhibits displaying personal items of victims of the 50-year occupation who were killed in this very building. Don't miss the prison here, where many of the most ghastly abuses were carried out. Keep in mind that, due to the brutal subject matter, the museum may not be suitable for young children.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $6 › Learn more about KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus)

4. Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Vilnius Old Town

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Vilnius is one of a very few European capitals allowing hot air ballooning in its skies. Do not miss your chance and experience an amazing hot air balloon ride over the majestic baroque Old Town of Vilnius. Forget about regular sightseeing and seize the moment observing the UNESCO heritage site in the perfect lighting.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $181 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Ninth Fort

Originally constructed as part of the Kaunas Fortress, Ninth Fort now serves as a museum dedicated to the atrocities committed here during the Soviet and Nazi occupations, and to its past role as an important stronghold. The building of the fort began in 1902 and was not completed until the night before the outbreak of World War I. Throughout the Soviet period of 1940 to 1941, the fort was used to house political prisoners before shipping them off to Siberia. During the Holocaust, it served as a place of mass murder, with over 30,000 Jews and 10,000 foreigners being executed here, in what came to be known as the Kaunas Massacre. Visit the memorial located on the grounds and pay your respects to the victims who died here. Learn more about the events that took place in the fort through the museum exhibits, displaying artifacts and historical records.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $110 › Learn more about Ninth Fort

6. Old Town

Resting at the confluence of two key rivers, Old Town represents the medieval heart and architectural focal point of the city. Spread across 144 hectares (356 acres), the historic center comprises numerous buildings of different styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque, and houses many of the city's major structures like the town hall and cathedral. Wander the cobbled streets and explore the winding alleyways. You'll discover a number of Lithuanian restaurants, museums, and religious buildings along the way, complemented by a backdrop of pastel colors and cathedral spires. Don't miss the tower of Kaunas castle, which guards the banks of the Neris: it's a surviving medieval remnant that you can access and climb.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $110 › Learn more about Old Town

7. Kaunas Botanical Garden

Kaunas Botanical Garden also known as the Kaunas Botanical Garden of Vytautas Magnus University, is a botanical garden in Kaunas, Lithuania. It is located in the south of the center of Kaunas city in Freda district. With an area of 62.5ha it is the second largest in Lithuania.
Kaunas Botanical Garden was founded in 1923 as the centre of botanical sciences that belonged to Lithuanian University. Spacious green area with the old park, picturesque ponds and several buildings of the former estate of Juozapas Godlevskis was provided for establishing botanical garden at that time. Professor Constantin Regel from Tartu University was invited to direct Kaunas Botanical Garden. The detailed project for the garden landscape was made in 1924 by architect Karol Rauth from Hanover. With the help of other botanical gardens, especially Berlin's Dahlem, Konigsberg and St. Petersburg's Kaunas Botanical Garden built up very rapidly. The construction of the Greenhouse was finished in 1938.
Presently, Kaunas Botanical Garden occupies the area of 62.5 ha close to the city center. It is multifunctional university botanical garden that consists of two departments: Collection Department and Department of Services and Innovations. Collection Department is divided into four sectors — Medicinal Plants, Dendrology, Pomology, and Floriculture — and Plant Systematics and Phytopathology groups.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Kaunas Botanical Garden

9. Laisves aleja (Liberty Boulevard)

Stroll down Laisves aleja (Liberty Boulevard), and grab a bite to eat, shop, or simply people-watch. The tree-lined street is closed to cars and is full of restaurants, cafes, shops, and outdoor market stalls. It stretches from the beginning of Old Town to St. Michael's church, and is a lively place to be day or night. To stay connected, access the free public WiFi. Be sure to stop by a stall and view some of the famous amber (a Lithuanian specialty) incorporated into jewelry and art pieces.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $110 › Learn more about Laisves aleja (Liberty Boulevard)

10. Gediminas Castle Tower, Vilnius

Perched atop a hill on the site of a medieval castle, Gediminas Castle Tower today offers both sweeping views of Vilnius and represents one of the city's (and the country's) most enduring symbols. Originally a part of a 15th-century brick fortress, the tower's current iteration is the result of a reconstruction in 1930. Wander the path from the base of the hill to the tower and be rewarded with panoramic views of Vilnius' old and new areas, as well as the surrounding hills. Climb to the top of the structure for completely unobstructed views. Be sure to take a look at the small archaeological and historical exhibitions within, detailing the origins and history of the tower, as well as Lithuania's split from the Soviet Union in 1990.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Gediminas Castle Tower

11. Kaunas Lagoon Regional Park

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Kaunas Lagoon Regional Park

12. Small-Group Mountain Bike Tour to Pavilniai Regional Park

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Bike tour for mountain bike lovers meant to introduce the exceptional landscape of winding rivers, waving hills, and breath-taking viewpoints around Vilnius.Mountain biking can be enjoyed by everyone as long as you can ride a bike, you are good to go!The tour rides along Belmontas park with former cannon production facility and old watermill exposition; to the top of Pūčkoriai viewing point, the most important geological monument of Lithuania; through Pavilniai and Markučiai resort towns with enchanting wooden architecture along River Vilnia. Distance: 22 km.Cycling surface: 20 % forest tracks, 30 % gravel roads and 50 % low-traffic paved roads.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $38 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Vilnius Old Town, Vilnius

Home to winding medieval streets, defensive walls, ornate Baroque churches, and a host of historical buildings, Vilnius Old Town earned World Heritage Site status with its extensive and well-preserved mixture of architectural styles. The area has origins in the 13th century and became the capital of the powerful Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 1300s. Enter through the old fortified gate and stroll down the hill to the main square and town hall, and then onward to the base of the castle-topped hill. As you wander the cobbled streets past buildings of both brick and stone, consider ducking into one of the traditional Lithuanian restaurants or bars. Keep an eye out for some of the 40 churches in the city center, ranging from Catholic cathedrals with elegant interiors to domed Russian Orthodox temples. Top attractions include Vilnius Cathedral Square, Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral, Arkikatedra Bazilika, Gate of Dawn, and Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $50 › Learn more about Vilnius Old Town

14. Kaunas Castle

Located at the edge of old town Kaunas, Kaunas Castle represents a Gothic-style castle thought to have been built during the mid-14th century. The castle served as a strategic military outpost that guarded nearby cities and the roads between important trade routes. By the start of the 21st century, only approximately a third of the original castle remained intact. It was renovated in 2011, but some of the original walls remain. Climb the stairs to the upper levels for expansive views of the surrounding town and scenery. You can walk within the walls for free, or pay to go into the round tower where you'll find an art gallery.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $55 › Learn more about Kaunas Castle

15. Private Tour: Vilnius Beer Experience

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This tour brings two great things together – Vilnius and beer. During this guided tour, you will visit 4 different city pubs. Experience different styles of Lithuanian small brewery beers, all the while enjoying Vilnius culture and its off-the-beaten-path streets.Many folks are surprised to learn Lithuania is the site of unique beer making rituals and home to unique beer styles. When it comes to beer tasting – our team of brewing enthusiasts has your back – join us on a trail of beer taste discovery and other adventures.Lithuanian brewing traditions run way back, intertwined with tales, rich pagan rituals and stories of salvaged recipes. Vilnius in Love Beer tour is an adventure of informal city touring while learning about brewing traditions, unique tastes and bar hopping to taste only the unique Lithuanian beers.
Suggested duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Tours from $110 › More about this tour at viator.com ›