I left Vilnius by train to travel to Kaunas, the next city on my imaginary list of what to see in Lithuania. I had no plan for my week in Lithuania, except to make my way around the country. To go to Kaunas by train came recommended from the tourist information office. It’s either that or the bus. In both cities train and bus stations are close by and time wise it almost makes no difference. So this is up to you.
Personally I don’t think the train is a must. The scenery was mediocre which left me with enough time to finally read up on Kaunas. The second largest city in Lithuania consists of a new part with the long Liberty Boulevard (Laisvės alėja) and an old town with a castle. My hotel was right around the corner from the Liberty Boulevard, an excellent location and within walking distance from the bus and train station.
It is albeit a really long way from the old town, especially since part of the way was under reconstruction. This is done for 2022, when Kaunas is European Cultural Capital. Good for all visitors next year, but not so great for me.
Eventually though, after only a short detour, I made it to the old town and came to the central square. The only thing around here were churches, in whatever direction you looked. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul especially is a real gem from the inside. As simple as it looks from the outside, the interior is lush like a cream gateaux.
The old town has a couple of very beautiful houses. It kind of looks like a small village and not the second biggest city of Lithuania.
But best of all, Kaunas has a castle. The Lithuanians and Teutonic Knights fought over it several times, starting with it sometime in the 14th century. Nowadays it houses tower houses a museum, which was unfortunately already closed for the day when I arrived.
Kaunas by the way lies next and in between two rivers and just behind the castle is the place where these two meet. I saw something similar in Passau, but in Kaunas it’s kind of in its natural setting.
I passed the Church of Vytautas the Great, another building from the 14th century, on the way to the other side of the river Neman. With a funicular I got up to the Aleksotas Observation Deck from which you get a good view over the city.
Back in the new town and at the complete end of the Liberty Boulevard, I circled the church of St. Michael the Archangel and took a good look at the Sculpture Man. Apparently the unveiling of his manhood made quite a splash. Not that there is so much to see.
Kaunas definitely has a lot to offer to its visitors. Besides the sightseeing of the old and new town, the city has a lot of street art. It took me a while to find everything, but it’s lovely to search for it and meanwhile discover the city a little bit more. I also managed to get to two sites outside of the city, which you shouldn’t miss. But more on those later. Yours, Pollybert