The most popular museums
The museums that are favourites among locals and visitors alike invite you to stop by.
The reconstructed residential palace of the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania houses exhibitions on its own historical development and architecture, as well as late Gothic, Renaissance and early Baroque interiors. To help understand the significance of the historical treasure exhibited at the Palace of the Grand Dukes, there is a 3D virtual reality tour that takes visitors to the hundred-year past and gives them the opportunity to see and feel history change with their own eyes.
This is the largest repository of Lithuanian cultural heritage and the oldest museum in the country, featuring exhibitions filled with authentic exhibits that reflect the history of Lithuania and present traditional Lithuanian culture and customs. The museum experience is complemented by various educational programmes and creative workshops which get participants involved in live exploration of the exhibits.
Situated in the halls of the Island Castle, which the rulers of Lithuania frequented during their glory days, the most visited museum in the country tells the story of the town and castles of Trakai. Authentic items that have seen the great history and notable individuals are on display, including hunting trophies, furniture, porcelain and glassware. Every year, the castle hosts the Medieval Festival and Craft Day, when visitors are invited to go back to the golden age of Trakai.
Housed in the magnificent palace of the Tyszkiewicz counts, the museum has one of the largest collections of amber inclusions and specimens in the world, with approximately 30,000 exhibits on display that tell the story of “Baltic gold” – amber. During the interactive workshops that are held at the museum, the history of amber is told using modern means, and visitors are given the opportunity to make their very own interactive pendant!
The museum acquaints visitors with the Kernavė Archaeological Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was established in the 13th century. The museum’s halls contain a detailed presentation of the site’s history, from its inception, which dates back to prehistoric times, to the thriving craft period during the 13th–14th century. At the modern exhibition, you can see authentic exhibits, and also learn about the production of the tools on display and how to use them – the work of experimental archaeology specialists is presented to visitors in video material.
The 55-hectare open-air museum of contemporary art gives meaning to the geographic centre of the European continent and represents the greatest achievements of Lithuanian and world sculpture, displaying more than 100 works of art by artists from 34 different countries. This is one of the most impressive contemporary art museums in Lithuania. The unexpected sculptural compositions are presented to visitors on the park’s expressive terrain – on hills, next to small lakes, and in the depths of the forest.
Located in the Presidential Palace, this Lithuanian and regional educational centre is perhaps the most modern of its kind, employing state-of-the-art interactive tools to introduce visitors to the functioning of a democratic state and the role of society and the citizen in the creation and management of the state. The exhibitions at the centre unveil the history of the country and the people who were key in its creation; state awards and decorations are on display, as are the coats of arms of the cities and towns, gifts from foreign leaders to Lithuanian presidents, and other topics and exhibits that reveal the history and present-day life of the country.
Housed in the former KGB headquarters with the prison intact, the museum tells the story of the Sovietisation of the region and the armed resistance against it, as well as the deportation and KGB operations. Visitors can view the authentic KGB prison and execution room, and there is a modern exhibition to introduce them to the complex history of the 20th century repressions and the freedom struggles.
Dolphins and sea lions, fish and penguins, shells, and molluscs – the magical water world is baffling. The Lithuanian Sea Museum invites you to become acquainted with it and learn how to respect and protect it. All you have to do is to take the ferry from Klaipėda to Smiltynė and then walk along the shore or even take a horse-drawn carriage. There you’ll meet Baltic grey seals and penguins, dolphins and California sea lions. The cheerful emotions and the eyes of little ones, filled with joy, explain why the museum has half a million visitors every year.
Chock-full of interactive solutions, theme films, educational tools and games, the museum exhibition introduces visitors to the history of money and banking in Lithuania and around the world, from the most primitive forms of payment – grain, fur or amber – to the electronic money of today. Visitors interested in Lithuania’s history can see coins that circulated in our region right back from the times of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and those interested in the wider world will be able to examine banknotes from different corners of the globe that are still being used today.