It’s been more than a month since Vilniaus Street, the central axis of Kaunas Old Town, has been closed down for renovation that is planned to be finished in 2022. While we’ve been missing many businesses located on the pedestrian avenue, the truth is, this does not mean the whole of the Old Town is closed for visitors!
Read on to find out which cafes, restaurants, galleries and other institutions are wide open and looking forward to serving their customers. Maybe it’s time you discover something new in the oldest part of Kaunas?
Kaunas is rapidly becoming one of the most colourful cities in the region, thanks to many talented artists and a positive approach from building owners and the municipality. While Old Town is a protected heritage area, there are numerous exciting pieces of art – both murals and sculptural objects – for you to visit and share on your Instagram. Starting with one of the largest murals in Kaunas, the Old Wise Man near the Kaunas Castle, follow the wallographers path through the narrow cobblestone streets and discover a sizeable red-brick fingerprint, a friendly statue of Hebrew-language novelist Abraham Mapu, a cone-man in Santaka Park, mysterious fine-art stencils etc.
While you’re on the street art hunt, don’t forget to treat yourself to a delicious cup of tea, coffee or chocolate in places like CH Chocolaterie, Chaika Kaunas or Kavos Kerai – you’ll definitely meet likeminded individuals there. Ready to wrap up your day? Why not visit Klimas, Hop Doc or NiSha for a pint of craft drink?
While a lot of the restaurants on Vilniaus Street had to temporarily close because of the renovation, those with inner courtyards and back accesses have been lucky. So, all you have to do is find a new route through the narrow streets parallel to the main road – and you’ll be soon enjoying a generous Indian dinner at Masalaciti, croissants and coffee at Motiejaus Kepyklėlė, bagels at Holy Donut (takeaway only), a great set of sushi etc.
Also, some of the favourite spots of Kaunas residents and guests have been working without any changes – check Jurgis ir Drakonas, Piano Piano and Al Cantuccio if you love Italian, Le Garden for Belgian cuisine, Selfish Bistro and Senis ir Jūra if you’re craving for some seafood… We’ve put together a small map of Kaunas Old Town with all of the places working despite the renovations! (Click here for a larger PDF)
Culture lovers should remember Meno Parkas, one of the leading contemporary art venues in the city, offers new exhibitions each month in the three-storey gallery located at Rotušės Square. On the other side of the square, there’s Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, located in a historical manor – it’s a great place to discover our literary gems and the beauty of the Lithuanian language. One of its numerous departments, the beautiful interwar apartment museum of writer and priest Vaižgantas, is a stone’s throw away on Aleksoto street. In fact, it’s right next to the Gothic Vytautas Church, the former ‘office’ of Vaižgantas.
A total of three departments of Kaunas City Museum are located in the Old Town; one of them is in the Town Hall – and you can climb all the way up to its tower. Families travelling with small children will love the Folk Music Branch on L. Zamenhofo Street. After trying out a handful of ancient instruments and learning about Lithuanian folklore, sit back and unwind in Folkas, a cosy cafe in the Gothic courtyard of the museum.
After a cup of coffee, it’s time you visit the 14th-century Kaunas Castle, yet another department of the museum, that will reveal interesting facts about the history of our city and its defence.
Kaunas St. Peter and Paul Cathedral Basilica, preserving hundreds of years of sacral history of our city and country, is also open for visitors. You can catch an organ concert on weekends if you’re lucky… More sacral objects in the Old Town can be found in our pilgrim map – its digital version is available at kaunastika.lt. The route of Hanseatic Merchant will also help!
Last but by no means least is the Kaunas IN Tourism Information Centre in the Town Hall. You can’t miss us – our office is on the ground floor. We’re looking forward to answering all Kaunas-related questions you have, as well as offering you guided tours, sharing free kaunastic maps and recommending unique souvenirs.