Day plan: after a hearty breakfast at the hotel, the rest of your day in Klaipėda will be spent exploring Klaipėda’s most exciting locations, guaranteed to give you a fascinating historical and cultural experience. In just one day, you’ll learn all about the city’s historical development. Take a walk along the cruise ship terminal, discover a variety of sculptures – each carrying a different message – visit the city’s main landmark sites, and watch the sun plunge into the sea from Klaipėda’s breath-taking observation towers.
Castle site and Castle Museum
We recommend you start your trip around the historically rich port city of Klaipėda by visiting its oldest quarters, namely the Klaipėda Castle site. The exhibits you’ll find in the Castle Museum, burrowed underneath the castle mound, will introduce you to its development in the XIII-XVII centuries. While you’re there, make sure to check out the Museum’s key exhibit – a XVI century ring inlaid with a gorgeous jewel discovered at the castle site.
If museums are not your thing, you can also take a walk around the castle site (rest assured, the sense of history is palpable here!) or climb up the mound and enjoy the magnificent port city landscape.
More information – here.
Cruise ship terminal and the Childhood Dream sculpture
Once you’ve done exploring the castle site, head on over to the cruise ship terminal (which is also used by military vessels, by the way). This is arguably the best spot if you want to get a feel for the spirit of Klaipėda – visitors often lose all sense of time here and spend countless hours gazing at the broad, foggy panorama, dotted here and there by passing ships, and the distant shores of Smiltynė on the other side. Here you’ll also find one of the city’s most famous sculptures, namely that of a little boy waving a sailor’s cap towards the sea and his dog guarding an incantation that says “Love, believe, and wait” under his paw. The bronze sculpture – titled Childhood Dream – is by Vytautas Paulionis and Svajūnas Jurkus. The message is believed to bring good luck to seafarers.
More information – here.
Teatro aikštė (Theatre Square) and the Old Town of Klaipėda
Klaipėda – just like any other major city – has a central square. In this case, it’s called Teatro aikštė (Theatre Square), after Klaipėda’s most prominent Drama Theatre, known for its storied, almost 200-year history. It’s the oldest theatre building in all of Lithuania. It’s widely believed that, in the past, troupes of wandering thespians held outdoor performances here. Although this is now in the past, you can still visit one of the charming theatre cafés and have a bite to eat.
After lunch, continue your trip by navigating the labyrinthine streets and alleys of the Klaipėda Old Town.
Swing Bridge (Chain Bridge) and the Ghost sculpture
Klaipėda’s Swing Bridge (also known as the Chain Bridge) is a unique piece of technical heritage with historical value. The Bridge – built as far back as 1855 – is possibly the only metal bridge in Lithuania with a hand-operated mechanism of this type. When in Klaipėda, visiting this bridge is a must – just like taking a selfie next to the city’s famous Ghost sculpture located nearby.
The Magical Mouse sculpture
One of the most beloved inhabitants of Klaipėda’s Old Town – a tiny mouse of stone and bronze greets city residents and guests with the following bit of wisdom: “Transform your ideas into words – and words will become miracles”. The sculpture, authored by S. Jurkus and S. Plotnikovas, is believed to have the power of granting wishes.
If the time you have for exploring Klaipėda is strictly limited, but you still want to take it all in with your own eyes – why not visit one of the city’s numerous observation decks! Our first recommendation goes out to all of you romantics – the Viva LaVita restaurant, located 70 m above sea level, is an excellent way to both savour a great meal and enjoy a view of the sea below. The second recommendation is for those in a rush – all you have to do is climb the 46 m tower of The Church of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, and a breath-taking panorama of the city is all yours!
Fachtwerkhäusen-style buildings in the Artists’ Yard
Klaipėda differs from most other towns and cities of Lithuania due to (among other things) its German Fachtwerkhäusen architecture that reached its peak of popularity in the early XIX century. The highest concentration of Fachtwerkhäusen-style buildings can be found in the Old Town, between Didžioji Vandens Street and Turgus Square, while the most beautiful structures of this type are located in the Artists’ Yard.
Klaipėdos rotušė (Town Hall)
When in Klaipėda, make sure to visit the Town Hall – the majestic, regal building that used to be home to the Prussian royal family in 1807-08. Many believe it to be the place where some of the period’s key political decision were made.