Klaipėda is Lithuania’s third largest city and has long been an important port and industrial hub. Despite being one of the country’s larger urban areas, we found the heart of the city to have a quaint and relaxed vibe. Whether you just plan to visit for a day or want to stay a while, there are plenty of things to do in Klaipėda and the beautiful surrounding coastal areas.
1. Wander Old Town
Klaipėda’s Old Town is quite charming with pretty streets, unique architecture, and many cafés, restaurants, and shops. It’s fairly small as well, so you can walk most of it in a couple hours. Klaipėda was once part of Prussia before joining Lithuania in the 1920s, and as you wander the cobblestone streets, you’ll see some of the German influence that gives this city unique look from others like Vilnius and Kaunas.
Be sure to walk by Theater Square where there is a pretty theater building, a fountain and sculpture dedicated to German Poet, Simon Dach, and a large open square with some souvenir stands and events occasionally set up. There are also many metal sculptures around old town, such as the Black Ghost appearing to climb out of the canal and the Little Mouse who is said to grant wishes. Learn more about the sculptures and their locations here.
2. Take a Day Trip to the Curonian Spit
Perhaps the largest draw for tourists heading to Lithuania’s coast is the beautiful Curonian Spit. This long, thin stretch of land is covered in huge dunes, pretty pine forests, and sandy beaches. There are quiet fishing towns, a handful of museums, and other attractions lining the lagoon.
A great aspect of the Curonian Spit is that visitors can reach it cheaply and easily from Klaipėda by ferry. A visit can be done as a day tour, or you can spend a few days exploring this serene area. Read more about visiting the Curonian Spit in our other post.
3. Visit some of Klaipėda’s Museums
Klaipėda has several unique museums to visit. The most popular museum in the area is the Lithuanian Sea Museum. It is on the Curonian Spit and offers a lot of info about the marine life of the Baltic Sea in its exhibits and aquarium.
But, there are other options on the mainland as well. Visit the Klaipėda Castle museum to learn about the history of the city, the turbulent military history of the castle that once stood here, and the development and restoration of parts of the castle over time. Other interesting museums to visit in the city include the Blacksmith’s Museum for insight on the blacksmith craft, the Resistance and Deportation Exposition to learn about the Soviet Era and the thousands of people imprisoned here, and the Lithuania Minor History Museum to learn about Klaipėda history, currency, old Baltic settlements, and more.
4. Stroll along the Danė River
Running through the old town area is the Danė River. The wide canal is lined with pretty paths and many restaurants and cafés. The Meridianas ship, a famous symbol of Klaipėda, also sits docked in the canal. It currently houses a restaurant said to be one of the best in the city.
During the summer months, the river front is quite the bustling place with many eateries offering outdoor seating, boats cruising on the water, and both locals and tourists just enjoying the views along the river. A park also sits along a portion of the waterfront with fountains, a playground, a skate park, many benches, and open green spaces where we saw many gathering, even on a chilly fall day.
5. Water Sports
Being on the coast, Klaipėda is a popular place to enjoy the sea during the summer months. Whether you are looking for an action-packed day of windsurfing, or prefer something a little more laid back like kayaking or paddle boarding, there are various tours, lessons, and rental companies.
The river canals running through the city and lagoon between the Curonian Spit and mainland offer calm waters, while the more exposed areas along the coast and the Baltic Sea-facing side of the Curonian Spit offer larger waves and conditions better for surfing.
6. Enjoy Nature at Pajūrio Regional Park
Pajūrio Regional Park is a beautiful natural area along the coast between Klaipėda and the resort town of Palanga. The park was established to protect some of the Baltic ecosystem in the area. It consists of some small lakes, wooded areas, overlooks, and beautiful beaches. There are various trails that run through the park and some camp spots as well.
Though only a 20-minute drive away from the heart of Klaipėda, the area is a great place to enjoy nature. There are multiple options if you don’t have your own transport. You can reach the southern end of the park on foot or by renting a bike in Klaipėda. Bus 24 and others also run from Klaipėda into the park. Click here for timetables, stops, and more.
7. Explore the Sculpture Park
The Sculpture Park was once a cemetery that was destroyed during the Soviet Era. Over 100 sculptures have been placed here to commemorate those buried here before the cemetery’s destruction, those who died here during the conflict before Klaipėda’s annexation to Lithuania, and others.
The park is free to visit and the unique sculptures and many beautiful trees make this a nice place for a stroll.