It’s a double pleasure to return to your cosy home after a long hike or other winter adventures. So what can you do on the next or any other winter weekend in Kaunas?
Kaunas’ main Christmas tree delights with its art-inspired details and subtle elegance this year. Enjoy a warm drink with some doughnuts, or send a Christmas card to a dear friend after you’ve taken a picture of the main symbol of the holidays. Moreover, various workshops and educational activities take place in the domes of the Christmas Town around the tree, accompanied by festive music.
But that’s not all! If you’re heading towards the heart of the Old Town from the city centre, try to count all the trees that meet you on your way. Lost count? Here’s a hint - there are three hundred of them. As many as 55,000 lights are wrapped around the trees that have turned Vilnius Street into a genuine road to Christmas. We couldn’t count the number of lightbulbs in the trees on Laisvės Alėja, but we recommend walking along this pedestrian boulevard after 4 pm with a cup of coffee or tea in your hand - it’s said to help you get into the festive mood quicker.
Who says nature trails are only beautiful in summer? Yes, you might be unable to count the yacht sails by visiting Pažaislis, but the Kaunas Lagoon and its surroundings offer a very instagrammable landscape. Our favourite Pažaislis nature trail meanders through hills and slopes, revealing the stunning panorama of the lagoon and villages beyond and the everlasting beauty of the baroque monastery ensemble of Pažaislis.
What about a reward with a celebratory dinner at the Monte Pacis restaurant in Pažaislis after a 2-hour walk? Another fun way to make up for the calories you’ve burned is to have lunch at the Ipanema pizzeria on the banks of the Nemunas River after a hike in the Panemunės Šilas.
A great hike awaits you in Kleboniškis - if it snows, be sure to bring a sledge for a swift trip down the hill. Fans of city history, big and small, will not be able to resist the opportunity to slide down the quarry by Kaunas Castle. And Santaka Park itself, or rather, the trees that have lost their leaves, offers spectacular views of the banks of the Nemunas and Neris rivers.
As we keep mentioning the trees stripped for the winter, it’s wise to remember that winter is also an advantageous time for the panoramas of Kaunas, revealing its architectural beauty. Owls Hill, Milikoniai Hill, the Christ’s Resurrection Basilica terrace - the routes might be the same as in summer, but the views are entirely different. We hope there’s no fog when you’re up high!
Light festivals are prevalent in Lithuania, and Kaunas residents are enjoying a spectacular event in their city for the first time. The VMU Botanical Garden is hosting the Jungle Book light festival. Over 200 illuminated figures are on display, all specially created for this event, based on the story of Mowgli. The luminous figures and their compositions are only part of the Jungle Book effect. The entire environment of the Botanical Gardens is specially illuminated and soundtracked: the chirping of cicadas and birds and the roaring of beasts. Don’t be surprised if there’s lightning or tropical rain! The organisers offer tickets by the hour and encourage you to arrive on time. For more information, click here.
There are two ice arenas in Kaunas. The first one is in Žaliakalnis and the newer one, with two skating rinks, is by the Girstutis swimming pool. The latter, called Kaunas Ice Palace, hosts exciting ice hockey matches, curling and open ice skating sessions. It doesn’t matter if it’s sub-zero outside or if there are puddles; the weather and ice thickness are always perfect here.
We won’t even start discussing the benefits of a sauna session for health, body and soul benefits - after all, it’s one of our national sports. There’s no shortage of choice in Kaunas, depending on the size of the company and the particular style of sauna. But, when it comes to winter, we prefer the small wooden house on the banks of Lampėdis. If there is snow, you won’t even want to go home!