Kaunas Guide

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    Kaunas

    Kaunas:

    Lithuanias second citytakes centre stage

    N22 - 6Lt

    nyourpocket.com

    May 2014 - April 2015

    Maps Events Restaurants Cafs Nightlife Sightseeing Shopping Hotels

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    May 2014 - April 2015 3facebook.com/inyourpocket

    Contents

    E S S E N T I A L

    C I T Y G U I D E S

    Arriving & Getting Around 5A moving experience made easy

    City Basics 9Alcohol to visas

    Culture & Events 11Art, music, festivals, photography and more

    Where to eat 13A catalogue of cuisines

    Nightlife 23Drinking, dancing and a little bit of nakedness

    What to see 26

    All the main sights and more

    Where to stay 38From camping to Jacuzzis

    Shopping 42

    Mail & Phones 46Keeping in touch

    Directory 47

    Maps & IndexStreet index 48City centre map 49City map 50

    Sts. Peter & Pauls Cathedral-Basilica (see p.27)

    PRESS BOX

    Brutally honest.

    Wall Street Journal

    Entertaining and honest: at times devastatingly so, the InYour Pocketcity guides make their rivals seem tame bycomparison.

    The Independent

    From Albania to Ukraine In Your Pocketis a wonderful

    source of boutique hotels, spas and great little bars.Elle

    Detailed, carefully researched guides.

    Daily Mail

    Solid, reliable information on everything from whereto book a reasonable B&B to how best to spend 72hours in a city.

    The Guardian

    In Your Pocket: a cheeky, well-written series of guidebooks.

    The New York Times

    Christs Resurrection Church (see p.26)

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    4 KaunasIn Your Pocket kaunas.inyourpocket.com May 2014 - April 2015 5facebook.com/inyourpocket

    Arriving & Getting AroundForewordFor many people, Kaunas is everything that Vilnius isnt: laid-back, relaxed, provincial and populated by people who donot have the superiority complex of those in the capital. Inour experience this is not entirely true: Kaunas is not all thatmuch smaller than Vilnius, can hardly be called provincial (itwas, after all, Lithuanias capital for decades) and while it is re-laxed it is home to some of the countrys best cultural institu-tions and is famed for its nightlife. Indeed, some in-the-knowparty peope will insist that the clubs of Kaunas knock thoseof Vilnius into next week. While all of these things are subjective and worthy ofdiscussion over several local beers, what we can say with allcertainty is that Kaunas deserves level billing with the capital.Whats more, given that the two cities are so close together,to visit one without a trip to the other is daft: Kaunas has adifferent flavour to Vilnius and merits exploration. Its a joyto explore on foot - not least in summer and particularly inautumn - and rewards the curious visitor with more hidden

    treasures than just about anywhere else in Lithuania. Itstherefore highly likely that if you do visit Kaunas you will be-come one of many people who leaves Lithuania saying: Yes,Vilnius was great, but you know the place we reallyliked wasKaunas...

    COVER STORY

    There are several works by studentsfrom the Juozas Gruas Secondary ArtSchool displayed on a wall inside thecourtyard of Kaunas Puppet Theatre(see p.12), and this is one of them. Giv-en that Kaunas is home to some of thebest cultural institutions in the country,we thought it made the perfect cover.

    PublisherVilnius In Your PocketBernardin 9 - 4, Vilnius, Lithuaniatel. (+370) 5 212 29 76, fax (+370) 5 212 29 82kaunas@inyourpocket.com, www.inyourpocket.comISSN 1822-1785 UAB VIYPPrinted by UAB Spaudos kontraiPublished once a yearPrint run up to 30,000

    EditorialEditorCraig TurpDesignVaida GudynaitResearcherVaida KurseviitCover PhotoRta Klimaviit

    Sales & CirculationPublisherVilnius In Your PocketGeneral ManagerRta KlimaviitAccountingV ACORDOSales ManagerTel. (+370) 610 468 64.

    This guidebook and all of our other Lithuanian guides areavailable for sale from kiosks, tourist information centres, theVilnius In Your Pocket office and other outlets throughoutKaunas and Lithuania as well as online at www.inyourpocket.com. Complimentary copies of Kaunas In Your Pocket are alsoavailable in many hotels.

    Copyright noticeText and photos copyright UAB VIYP 1992-2015; some photos,LATGA-A; maps, cartographer. All rights reserved. No part of thispublication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extractsfor the purpose of review, without written permission from thepublisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocketis used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardin 9-4,Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370) 5 212 29 76).

    Despite Kaunas position in the centre of the countryand its former role as the countrys capital city, facili-ties awaiting fresh arrivals are almost entirely gearedtowards the local community, with little in the way ofmodern, helpful or efficient services. Much improvedairport terminal facilities have helped enormously, butfor everybody else arriving in Kaunas can be hard workto say the least. Getting around the city is relatively sim-ple once youve grasped the basics, with a large choiceof public transport options running throughout the dayand affordable taxis operating around the clock.

    ARRIVING IN KAUNASWhether youre flying, coming by bus or train or even driv-ing to Kaunas yourself, arriving in the city has its good andbad points. At all of the following places, especially the busstation, keep your senses about you. Unattended bags and

    possessions are apt to disappear in the blink of an eye.

    BY BUSKaunas reasonably central bus station (autobus stotis),which handles all national and international journeys toand from the city, is a purely functional affair offering littlein the way of modernity or comfort. If youve been stuck ona bus with a locked toilet for hours, well maintained facili-ties (open 05:45 - 21:30, 1Lt) can be found hiding behindthe buildings in the southeast corner of the station. If youreonly in town for the day, you can leave your luggage in theSiuntos Autobusais (2Lt) in the northwest corner of the sta-tion. Take note of the opening hours on the door if youreleaving town on a bus during the evening. If you need cash,an ATM is located on the main street just in front of theticket office. Limited tourist information is available insidethe main ticket hall.

    Getting to townThe bus station is a 15-minute walk tothe city centre and something more like a 25-minute strollaway from Old Town. If youre laden with luggage you

    might prefer to take a taxi or public transport. To do thelatter, exit the station onto the main street and jump on atrolleybus, of which all pass through the centre. Taxis canbe found lurking all around the station. See Taxis for moreinformation.

    BUS STATIONQF-4, Vytauto 24, tel. (+370) 37 40 90 60, www.autobusubilietai.lt. Open 05:45 - 22:30. Ticket officeopen 05:45 - 21:30. JA

    BY CARAt the crossroads of the A1 (E85) Vilnius-Klaipda highwayand the Via Baltica, Kaunas is an attractive if somewhatchallenging place to visit by car. Its road network is a fright-ening squiggle of badly signposted asphalt full of holes andpopulated by a high percentage of drivers who give theimpression they never took a driving test. The city centre

    features a rather complicated one-way system and parkingmeters that dont accept coins. Use guarded parking at alltimes and never leave valuables in your vehicle.

    BY PLANEThe small and modern airport at Karmlava is about 12kmnorth of Kaunas. Once the formalities are out the way, findseveral information kiosks, a caf, a Narvesen kiosk forsnacks, soft drinks and pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards, abank, ATM, toilets and car rental outlets.

    Getting to townTaxis can be found parked outside thearrivals hall. Try to negotiate a fare before setting off, andexpect to pay around 50Lt for a trip to the city centre. Localminibus N120 runs regularly to Old Town for a mere 3.00Lt.Pay the driver when you get in and let him know whereyou want to stop. You can also get city bus N29 and N29E

    from the bus stop at the front of the airport, which passesthrough the centre as well as going to the bus and trainstations. Buy a ticket from the driver for 2.40Lt.

    KAUNAS AIRPORT KAUNO ORO UOSTASThe modern terminal at Kaunas Airpor t handles a grow-ing number of flights to and from destinations withinEurope, operated at the time of going to press by Ry-anair.QKarmlava, tel. (+370) 37 39 93 07, www.kaunas-airport.lt. Information open 08:00 - last flight.AULKW

    BY TRAINTrains arrive in Kaunas from Vilnius, iauliai and a handful ofother destinations in-between. The imposing Socialist Real-ist building was completed in 1953 and is worth a quicklook around. Of particular interest is the main hall, featuringsome classic white sheaves of wheat in relief high up on thewalls. Despite the s witch to capitalism, facilities havent im-proved much. Toilets (free) can be found downstairs. If youwant to leave your bags, dont bring very large ones as the

    lockers (4Lt) next to the ticket office arent very big. Theresan ATM, an average caf and a branch of the Regional Tour-ist Information Centre and not a lot else inside.

    Getting to townIf you dont want to walk the 20-minutesor so required to get to the centre, catch a trolleybus acrossthe street, reached via the underpass at the front of thebuilding. All trolleybuses go via the city centre. Taxis canusually be found waiting just to the right as you leave thestation.

    TRAIN STATIONQK-5, M. K. iurlionio 16, tel. (+370) 700 551 11, www.litrail.lt. Open 04:00 - 22:15. Ticket office open 04:10 -21:20.JAW

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