The turn of the year in Lithuania is predicted to be a very warm one. Not only will the thermometer go up, but so will your mood. If you still don’t have any plans for December 31st, here are some festive ideas for Kaunas. A plan to start the year 2023 in a contemporary capital is already a good start! Yes, yes, although the European Capital of Culture year is officially over, we’ve built up a lot of steam and momentum for the future to come.
“An exclusive New Year’s Eve dinner at Europe’s most cinematic venue, with a mass in the Pažaislis monastery church to follow, is a successful start of the New Year,” guarantees the staff of the Monte Pacis hospitality complex. Just decide what to wear, and everything else will be taken care of.
Moxy offers its guests a kaunastic setting, a splendid location in the heart of the city centre for the New Year, and an evening programme with a concert by Gabriel Vagelis, a special brunch menu and a late check-out.
For those who appreciate the aura of the Old Town, the Boheme House is the go-to place for the New Year. Stay in one of several unique apartments and enjoy a moment on the panoramic terrace, a table in the cosy lobby bar or even a movie in the on-site cinema.
Radisson Hotel Kaunas offers a special buffet menu for a festive last night of the year and a tasty morning on 1 January.
The Best Western Santaka, located at the intersection of the city centre and the Old Town, will accompany your festive dinner with a musical programme prepared by pianist Darius Kudirka.
On the last day of the year, you can visit two exhibitions of the Kaunas 2022 programme. These are “The Family of Man”, a fragment of the history of humanist photography at Kaunas Photography Gallery, and “Ultrasocial Pop”, an ultra-bright look at the grimaces of contemporary culture at the Meno Parkas gallery. Both venues are located at Town Hall Square.
The art-deco style Romuva cinema runs a cosy Festive Comedy Club between the holidays. On 31 December, the repertoire includes recent hits “The Triangle of Sadness” and “The Good Boss”.
From 4 pm, the music sounds will flood the Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall. The Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, soloists and the Kaunas State Choir, conducted by Robert Šervenikas, will invite the audience to make a positive step towards the New Year with the most beautiful melodies, choirs, arias and duets from operas and operettas.
The VMU Chamber Orchestra also invites you to celebrate together. The concert, which has already become a tradition at the VMU Great Hall, will feature gems from the works of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar and Imre Kalman, the most famous Viennese New Operetta composers.
Another kaunastic tradition is the ringing of the bells to farewell the Old Year. This year, Raimundas Eimontas will perform carillon music in the garden of the Vytautas the Great War Museum. The repertoire will include Christmas carols and New Year’s melodies, starting at 11:30 pm.
Kaunas will welcome the New Year differently than always, but no less festive. Instead of the usual fireworks at midnight, the New Year will be marked by a gift of 3D video projection installations at Kaunas Town Hall, accompanied by festive music. The installation will run from 10 pm to 12:30 am.
After midnight, the party animals will be treated to another festive Kaunas tradition - the electronic music event ‘Prisukamas Abrikosas’. This time it will take place at the Pergalė steel factory, which was turned into a giant club by the Audra festival in 2022.
Although there will be no fireworks in the city, it’s always a good idea to see Kaunas from above. The Owls Hill in Žaliakalnis, where the flag flies, the Milikoniai Lookout or the popular Aleksotas panorama are all excellent places to welcome 2023. At the Aleksotas observation point, you will also see one of the newest highlights of Kaunas - a sculptural object created by Lukas Šiupšinskas to symbolise historic photography.