Three-day plan: a three-day trip to Klaipėda will allow you to explore all the key attractions and enjoy the port city’s natural wonders to boot! The first day will be dedicated to the city’s history and culture, with a delicious dinner waiting for you at the end. On the second day, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city’s natural environment by bike, and the third day will be all about peace and quiet in Smiltynė. Vacations in Klaipėda are perfect for those seeking a respite from the daily routine.
Teatro aikštė (Theatre Square)
Teatro aikštė (Theatre Square) is one of Klaipėda’s most popular locations, the historical Drama Theatre being its main attraction. Fun fact – the Drama Theatre of Klaipėda is nearly 200 years old, and considered to be the oldest theatre building in 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 cup of coffee to start your day.
Castle site and Castle Museum
Klaipėda is one of the most prominent Lithuanian cities with its own unique history. If you’re a history buff or just someone who loves to explore different cultures – definitely consider visiting the Castle Museum, which provides an excellent overview of the city’s development through the ages.
Once the museum tour is over, we recommend you take a walk around the historical surroundings and climb the castle mound to enjoy a beautiful view of the Old Town.
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.
Old Town of Klaipėda
Done exploring the cruise ship terminal? If so – time for a short reprieve in the Old Town! So grab a cup of hot tea or coffee and take a leisurely walk around the intricate labyrinth of the Old Town’s cobbled streets and narrow alleyways.
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.
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.
Talking sculpture path
If you want to explore Klaipėda on your own, why lug a big pile of maps around when you can just talk to a sculpture! The Klaipėda Tourism and Culture Information Centre has drawn up a map of talking sculptures – all you need is a smartphone capable of reading QR codes, and the stories of each sculpture will be yours to enjoy.
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.
Klaipėda Sculpture Park
The Klaipėda Sculpture Park is not unlike an outdoor art gallery with over 100 artworks by Lithuania’s most famous sculptors, each concerned with a different subject.
Dinner on the terrace of Achtung, Baby or Meat Lovers
We have two recommendations for a perfect finish of your first day in Klaipėda. Did you enjoy the Fachtwerkhäusen-style architecture in the Artists’ Yard? If so, you absolutely have to visit the Achtung, Baby wine bar that’s all the rage among the locals. If, on the other hand, you were taken in by the dreamy image of slowly undulating waves and languid vessels inching across the surface, then you’ll definitely enjoy the terrace at the Meat Lovers pub.
Cycling to the Botanical Garden of Klaipėda
Given Klaipėda’s well-develop network of bicycle paths, the city’s Tourism and Culture Information Centre recommends visitors dedicate at least one afternoon to cycling.
More specifically, the route that’s usually recommended to visitors goes between the Old Town and the Botanical Garden of Klaipėda, along the River Danė. On the way, you’ll also see the better part of Kaipėda’s industrial heritage.
Upon reaching the final destination, park your bicycle at the entrance and step right up to the Botanical Garden! Here you’ll get to explore a wide variety of coniferous and deciduous trees, and medicinal plants; an exhibition of dune flora; or take part in a tasting of different herbal teas.
An old gas and fertiliser plant, a hiding place set up inside one of the smokestacks of Klaipėda’s power plant – these are just some of the industrial curiosities that you can find in Klaipėda. According to the Klaipėda Tourism and Culture Information Centre, all the objects of interest to industrial tourism are located within an 8 km stretch along the River Danė – a perfect excuse for a cycling mini-trip!
Park of Melnragė
The Park of Melnragė is a relatively new attraction that immediately became popular with city residents and guests who come here in droves to enjoy the relaxing murmur of the sea. This is the perfect spot to rest your weary soul after a full day of exploration – the Park has a number of playgrounds, a “fleet” of lounge chairs and picnic tables, and everything else that’s needed for a comfortable spell of recreational reverie.
For more than 100 years, the small town of Giruliai has been among the most popular urban holiday destinations in the country. Early in the XX century, it was known for its local health resort, therapeutic hot tubs, and restaurants. Nowadays, the old resort town attracts weary travellers from around the world. In addition to spending a restful afternoon splayed out on the beach, you can also explore a variety of historical sites and cultural heritage artefacts, such as the town’s gorgeous family villas or the Radio and Television Station of Klaipėda. If you’re interested to learn more about the exceptionally rich local fauna and flora – check out the superb Botanical and Zoological Nature Reserve of Giruliai.
For those champing at the bit for a dose of adrenaline – how about a guided trip in a hand-made wooden canoe along the Danė River… at night, holding a burning torch to light the way! If you’re up to it, this is an excellent way to see Klaipėda from an entirely different perspective.
The Streets of Klaipėda theatrical tour
If, at any point during the trip, you start to feel as though you’ve seen everything there is to see in Klaipėda, a theatrical tour offered by actors from the local pantomime theatre is just what the doctor ordered! Either of the different tours will give you access to places usually out of bounds to regular travellers, such as the now-defunct court chambers, prisons, city synagogue, or even a visit to Lithuania‘s most famous Marinist.
Morning at Smiltynė
We recommend you dedicate the first half of day three to Smiltynė – take the ferry, rent a bike, visit the old family villas, and take a stroll around the white sandy beach or waterfront areas. If you’re up to it, you can also try out the public sauna located inside the Smiltynė Rescue Station.
Keep walking until you reach the Pier of Melnragė (or North Breakwater), where you can enjoy a bit of quiet solitude, disturbed only by the sounds of restless waves below and the lonely calls of seagulls above.
Lithuanian Sea Museum
After a relaxing, laid-back morning, we recommend visiting the Lithuanian Sea Museum – arguably the most popular attraction in Lithuania, both among the locals and tourists from abroad. Interestingly, the Museum is located inside a XIX-century coastal fort, which makes it perfect if you care to learn about the history of Lithuanian shipping or see a massive collection of ancient and contemporary anchors. In addition, you can also enjoy a dolphin or Californian sea lion performance, and buy some souvenirs for your loved ones back home.
To celebrate your trip around Klaipėda, why not grab a drink at Hofas – a brand new space comprising different bars and a concert hall, located in a now-defunct industrial workshop. During warm summer nights, Hofas is abuzz with laughter and free-flowing conversation, echoing between hulking shopping containers.