Kaunas is Lithuania's second city but is in no way a poor relation. For a time it acted as temporary capital and as such benefitted from investment and the status.
A visit in February is not everyone's idea of peak holiday time but it may add to the city's appeal. Yes it will be -15 degrees C outside, and yes there was snow and ice and it takes 10 minutes to dress before venturing out and another 10 to undress when you go back inside but when else do most of us get to experience that? It's not like England where one snowflake brings the transport network to a halt. Don't forget the people of Kaunas are used to it and life goes on with great efficiency. Museums have cloakrooms, everywhere is well heated and draft proofed, supermarkets have lockers to leave your coats, hats, scarves, gloves, sledges and so on and nobody minds you sipping vodka from a 200 ml bottle to keep your insides warm. As well as the usual attractions this time of year allows you to go sledging (sledges from 3 LTL in supermarkets) or across the bridge to the park on an island in the river to build snowmen, have snowball fights and drag huge chunks of ice up to the bridge to send crashing onto the frozen river below. You will notice that some couples had attached padlocks to the bridge with their names scratched or painted on - a custom one may have observed in Riga. The gist is pretty clear and the bridge to the park is an ideal location to continue this eastern European (?) custom. There is a locksmith who sells padlocks in a courtyard off the northern side of Laisves Aleja towards the eastern end - reasonably priced too. Go for the ones with the longest hasp (loop) as the bars of the bridge are really thick. Failing that attach yours to one that is already there!
Kaunas can be reached with the low cost airline Ryanair to the Kaunas airport  which is located ~30 minutes drive from the downtown. From the airport bus #29 - found right outside - takes you into the centre of kaunas (tickets 2.0 LTL from the driver).
There is 100 km motorway from Vilnius (capital city) to Kaunas. Buses serve this route every 30 to 60 min.
Buses and trolleybuses tickets can be bought at press kiosks and in the transport. Price for one journey is 1.7 LTL (0.50 EUR) or 2.0 LTL (0.56 EUR) if ticket is bought in the bus or trolleybus. You must validate your ticket on entry in one of the machines. The Kaunas Public Transport  site offers useful information and a downloadable map  of the bus and trolleybus routes.
Shuttle (microbuses) service charges 2.5 LTL (0.72 EUR) per journey.
Taxi prices varies from 1 LTL (0.29 EUR) to 2.5 LTL (0.72 EUR) per kilometer.
- Pažaislis monastery and church form the largest monastery complex in Lithuania, and one of the most magnificent examples of Italian baroque architecture in Eastern Europe.
- Kaunas castle is now reopened for the visitors.
- Laisvės Alėja - Kaunas' most famous walking street is fully pedestrianised and runs from the Old Town for a distance of alomost 2 km to the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. Two lines of Linden trees, seating and flower beds run the length of the avenue. There is a good assortment of shops, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, a cinema, casinos, night clubs, museums, tourist information office, places to stay and a post office. It would be possible to spend your entire stay on Laisves Aleja and not get bored. It is kept clean and snow free (in the winter) with great efficiency and is a great place to spend time. In the late morning and afternoon various stalls selling foods, souvenirs hats etc. appear and are worth a look.
- Devil's museum, . Contains the A. Zmuidzinavicius collection of sculptures and carvings of devils, and a unique collection of devils from the whole world. Putvinskio 64 Tel: 22 15 87 Open Tue-Sun 11.00-18.00
- Vytautas the Great War Museum (K. Donelaicio gatve). A history of Kaunas from prehistoric times to the present day. It houses an immense collection of weapons through the ages. The highlight is the complete, but tragic, remains of the plane Lituanica in which S. Darius and S. Girenas crossed the atlantic in 1933 (see the 10 Lita note). Open Tu-Su 11AM-5:30PM. Admission - adult 2 LTL, child 1 LTL. When you finish Ciau Pizza is on the corner ahead and to your right. Tasty and welcoming but don't expect lightning fast service - a relaxed pace and a chance to watch the world go by while your food is cooked.
- Lithuanian Zoo Park, .
- Catacombs/ enter the Church of St. Michael the Archangel (the beautiful domed building at the eastern end of Laisves Aleja) sand the entrance to the catacombs (katakombos) is on your right. Ask at the sacristy (right of the main altar) and they will let you in for free. You descend a spiral staircase into total darkness then begin a journey using your remaining senses which takes you through an underground assault course. When you make it through you ascend a similar spiral staircase on the opposite side of the church entrance. Not for the fainthearted, small children or anyone with difficulty moving around. They appreciate a donation to the church afterwards in one of the boxes scattered around.
- Funicular railways. The Žaliakalnis Funicular Railway (V. Putvinskio gatve) is an electrically operated funicular railway. The oldest funicular in Lithuania and one of the oldest in Europe. It was constructed by AEG and began operating on 5 August 1931. The funicular has wood panelled coachwork and is serviced by an English speaking operator in uniform. It climbs the 75 m up from behind the Vytautas the Great War Museum to the Church of the Resurrection for some of the best views in Kaunas. The ticket costs 0.5 LTL.
- Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum, Laisves Aleja 106. Houses a collection of thousands of stuffed and preserved animals. In winter make use of the cloakroom to the left of the main hall on the ground floor as the museum is well heated. Arranged over several floors the collection ranges from full grown giraffes to butterflies and is well worth an hour or two of your time. 11AM-7PM daily except: Mon. Closed.
- Church of the Resurrection, follow V. Putvinskio gatvě from the Devil Museum or walk up behind the War Museum and turn right to find the Žaliakalnis Funicular Railway. This takes you up to the Church of the Resurrection. The door on the right hand side of the church (as you face it) takes you in and from 12PM you can climb the satirs (3 LTL) or take the lift (5 LTL) to the terrace at the top. Spectacular views of Kaunas and beyond. The church itself is also open to visitors. If you arrive too early and the terrace is not open then carry on north-west along Žemaičiu gatvě and at the junction you'll find an IKI supermarket that has a coffee bar/restaurant upstairs.
- The Park (Nemunos salos parkas), accessed across a footbridge at the southern end of S. Daukanto gatvě. A huge open space minutes from the bustle of Laisvės Alėja. A great place to sledge when there is snow and of course the place to leave your padlocks.
Kaunas is home to a variety of festivals, including famous Pažaislis Music festival , Kaunas Jazz festival and International Modern Dance Festival.
Supermarkets - Maxima, IKI, Rimi
- Vodka (Degtiné) - a whole range of flavoured vodkas starting at 5 LTL for 200 ml. Try cherry, cranberry, lemon, blackcurrant, raspberry and of course classic. The pepper was an acquired taste - but got easier the more you drank.
- Arena Pizza, Laisves 57 and Savanoriu 363, . Offers a huge range of pizzas and side dishes at good prices and is very centrally located.
- Bernelių Užeiga, Valančiaus 9, . Tasty traditional Lithuanian dishes, soup in bowls made of bread and home brewed beer. Cosy and atmospheric and very convenient if yo are in the Old Town as it is just a minute from the tourist info. centre.
- Ciau. Closest eating place to the Vytautas the Great War Museum (see above) - tasty, warm, good value but a little slow.
- Cili Pica, . One at Laisves Aleja 76 - good value, tasty and comfortable. Also at Mega shopping centre (see below).
- Cili Kaima, at Mega shopping centre. Traditional Lithuanian food in a country themed surroundings icluding live chickens in glass cabinets - great for kids.
- Pizza Jazz, Laisves Aleja 68, Laisves Aleja 106 and others, . Great pizzas and other dishes and good beer in very comfortable surroundings.
- Zalias Ratas, Laisvės 36b behind tourist info. centre. A taditional country inn recreated in the city. Roaring fire, costumed waitresses, and tasty traditional Lithunanian food make this a great place to visit.
- Beer (Alus) - Utenos, Švyturys and Horn are to be recommended - expect to pay around 5 LTL per 0.5l in tourist bars and restaurants (Around 2 LTL in local bars e.g. Geru Alu Gerti Gera - has a red awning outisde and is situated on Birštono gatve. Worth a vist just to see the wild boar skin and wild boar head on the walls).
- Avilys, . A great place to get a beer - all home brewed - but does not allow children in.
- Solo B&B,  Dysnos 10, tel.+370687 54443; +37037 743839 firstname.lastname@example.org. Solo B&B is newly built, in 2006, annex in the private territory, which provides excellent lodging facilities. Currently offering 2 homelike and modernly designed (27sq.m.) rooms with the separate entrances and outside terraces that lead to the spacious private garden.
- Kaunas Hotel, Laisves Avenue, tel: +370 37 750850, fax +370 37 750851 . It offers comfortable rooms with views directly onto the avenue, has an elevator and provides a sumptuous breakfast in its cellar restaurant for the more discerning traveller.
The hotel houses 85 rooms, including room for non-smokers, suites with separate bedrooms, executive suites, a triple room and rooms for disabled guests. In each room You can find telephone and internet lines, a TV set and sattelite TV with 20 channels, a mini bar, a cosy shower or bathroom with heated floor, and a hairdryer. The majority of rooms have air conditioning systems, and for the convenience of our guests we offer individual safes. The rooms, located on the upper floors facing Laisvės avenue, are especially well-liked by our guests. From here, a picturesque panorama of Laisvės avenue and Žaliakalnis area opens for our guests.
- Mega - a huge shopping complex just outside the city centre with shops, multiscreen cinema, restaurants and a spectacular aquarium in the main entrance stocked with tropical fish including sharks. Stairs and an escalator take you up beside it for a better view. You can even watch them feed the fish (twice a day in the week, once at weekends). Served by bus #38 and #21 from the city centre (journey time about 20 minutes).
This page was last edited at 21:52, on 12 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by John Tinsley and David, Wikitravel user(s) Hot Coffee, Morph, Episteme and Stewartward, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.