Kaunasians have been enjoying hot temperatures for a while now; the meteorologists promise the summer of 2018 will be hot and long. We’ve come up with a handful of ideas for kaunastic activities in June, July and August – memorise them if you’re planning a trip to Kaunas!
You might want lighter food in the summertime, and that’s what Lithuanians like, too. We eat a lot of fresh vegetables, especially cucumbers and tomatoes, soaked in sour cream; the main summertime hit in Lithuania is, however, the cold beetroot soup. We’ve even written a love poem for the pink soup. It’s available literally everywhere!
Every Thursday is street food day in Kaunas! Open Kitchen, the street food market located on Nemunas island near Žalgirio arena, offers approximately 15 to 20 choices every week, so get out there and choose your favourite food truck and world cuisine before the summer is over. The event might be cancelled if it rains, so check the Facebook page if the sky is not blue.
Check out our kaunastic Gastro Guide for 100+ ideas for a tasty meal in Kaunas.
The 23rd Pažaislis music festival starts on June 2nd and will last for three months. The extensive program includes concerts in the Pažaislis monastery itself, manors in the Kaunas region and beyond, Kaunas state philharmonic, Kaunas yacht club etc. Check out the schedule and treat yourself with quality classical music in Kaunas this summer!
The international folklore festival “Atataria Lamzdžiai“ will fill the streets, yards and public spaces on June 1-3rd. Don’t forget to pick up a free copy of the kaunastic Ethnic Trail map when enjoying folk music from Lithuania and around the world!
“Adform” courtyard in the Town Hall Square, “Kultūra” cafe at the Kaunas Picture Gallery and “O kodėl ne?” venue in Vytauto park host plenty of live and electronic music events – check out their Facebook profiles for upcoming gigs. Another place to watch is Parakas, a 19th-century gunpowder warehouse in Šančiai reinvented as a community space for all sorts of creative activities. It will be officially opened on June 23rd.
If you’re in the city on June 30th, do try and visit the Valley of Songs. This is where the opening concert of the Centenary song celebration will be held. It has become a tradition that the first event of the Song celebration is held in Kaunas as a sign of honour to the city, which in 1924 hosted the first Song Day. The art ensembles from Lithuania and other states will gather to demonstrate that the fire of the celebrations is unfading, just the opposite – it burns in our hearts.
The night of June 23, or Midsummer, is the shortest night of the year and, as in many countries around the world and Europe, it has been celebrated in Lithuania for centuries. Last year, we covered some of the kaunastic specialities of the celebration in a blog entry.
Kaunas is the sports capital of Lithuania, and it’s not only because we have the best basketball team ever – BC Kauno Žalgiris. Exercising is the way of life for more and more Kaunasians, and the municipality has a special programme to encourage that. Called “Judėk sveikai” [“Move healthily”], the programme offers free classes of boxing, yoga, zumba and beyond – you can even choose a particular class if you have a toddler by your side or if you’re not so young anymore. The open-air courses in different parts of the city are held in Lithuanian, but if you do have some basics, it shouldn't be too difficult to join in. Check out the programme calendar here.
In addition to that, free open-air yoga classes are also available in the Šilainiai sleeping district. Hosted by Fluxus Labs, the community programme of Kaunas 2022, the outdoor yoga sessions are held at 7 pm every Tuesday. Bring your mat! Find the like-minded yogis at a field near Baltijos g. 2.
Interested in American football? We’ve got that, too! The team does speak English and invites you to try out the sports in J. Basanavičius gymnasium stadium in Šilainiai on Sundays. No previous experience required! More here.
Jogging is always an option in Kaunas – numerous parks including Santakos, Nemuno salos, Kalniečių, Neries krantinės and Ąžuolynas, are at your disposal. Many people choose the Nemunas and Neris riversides, too.
Oh, we must note that the 6th Kaunas marathon will kick off in the early hours of June 10th in the Town Hall Square. The runners’ event invites people from Lithuania and all over the world to enjoy one of the flattest – and very picturesque! – marathon tracks in Europe. More on it here.
If you prefer to sit back and watch a game, please note that the Lithuanian basketball league season will be over before the end of June. Žalgiris will most likely make it to the finals, so you’re welcome to watch a top-notch game in Žalgirio arena sometime in June. Full schedule announced here.
Football season is not ending, though, and as the renovation of historical S. Darius and S. Girėnas stadium has been postponed, the A league games are played there. You can even pick your favourite Kaunas team – Stumbras or Žalgiris. Games are scheduled for June 19th, June 26th, July 4th, July 5th, August 11th, August 18th, August 22nd and August 28th this summer.
Kaunas on a Bike
More and more kilometres of bike-friendly paths are being lined up in Kaunas, all part of the Like Bike revolution. We covered it last summer and here’s our guide to renting a bike in Kaunas. Please mind that the CityBee service will start mid-June as the previously semi-friendly system has been completely reprogrammed for the best user experience.
Kaunas from above
It’s likely you’ll be arriving in Kaunas by plane, but did you know there’s one more airport in the city? The historical S. Darius and S. Girėnas aerodrome named after two pilots that flew over the Atlantic in 1933 and tragically crashed in Poland before reaching Kaunas, is one of the oldest in Europe. It’s located in Aleksotas neighbourhood. Association Pilotai.lt offers flights over Kaunas with ultralight planes, and we can tell you it’s as romantic as it sounds! Ieva Liekytė and Lukas Liekis, the kaunastic sibblings that basically grew up in the airport, will take care of you. Read our story about them here. The Lithuanian aviation museum is also located there.
Kaunas on a boat
Boat trips to Kačerginė, Birštonas and other popular destinations are scheduled through the summer; you can also book a private tour. Kaunas reservoir is home to the Kaunas yacht club where you can also arrange yourself a little private boat party. Contact the Kaunas IN tourism information centre for more information.
Just like museums, cinema is always the answer when the weather is too cold or too hot. Or too rainy! The boutique cinema “Romuva“ is closing for holidays on July 1st but the team have already announced they’ll start their annual open-air cinema programme in late July.
For the past few years, the students of KTU Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Design have been organising drive-in cinema nights in “Urmas” shopping town. The first movie night of this season is scheduled for May 31st – we hope there’ll be many more! Contact the page for more information.
Museums and galleries
Oh, where should we start..? Kaunas offers around 30 museums and galleries of all kinds, including contemporary and folk art, zoology, devil figures, musical instruments, medicine and pharmacy, sports and even clowns. Check out the museum and gallery section in our webpage. Most museums and galleries are closed on Mondays; some work longer on Thursdays. Oh, and there’s one gallery that’s open 24/7 – it’s an actual courtyard full of street art, located right outside Laisvės alėja. More on Yard gallery here.
Grab a copy of Kaunas architecture guide or a free kaunastic map called Modernist’s Guide (the latter available in late June) and make sure you wear comfortable shoes! The modernist heritage in Kaunas includes thousands of public and private buildings located mostly in the centre and Žaliakalnis neighbourhood. You can also download an app called Kaunas of 1919-1940.
“Wallographer’s Notes” is a twin of “Modernist’s Guide” – the English version of the convenient street art map will also be available in late July. It’s great to browse for exciting drawings, tags and other forms of street art in Kaunas without a map, too! NYKOKA street art guide can help with locations. Check out the festival’s Facebook page for many inspiring examples and start walking.
For more ideas, browse our blog at kaunastic.lt.