The heart of the Lithuanian culture, tradition and history is just waiting to be discovered. Experience the real taste of Lithuania strolling through the cobbled streets, separating the beautiful 16th century buildings scattered along Vilnius Street and around Town Hall Square, by following in the footsteps of ancient pagans in one of our many parks and enjoying the mix of modern and traditional shops, cafes and bars on Laisves Avenue.
Basketball is synonymous with Kaunas not only because we held the very first official basketball game in 1922, but also because of the famous Zalgiris team and its NBA superstar Arvydas Sabonis.
Enjoy our traditional Lithuanian countryside tourism sites and try the Lithuanian food: the fried bread sticks with cheese together with a pint of local light, dark or "live" honey beer. Don't forget to try traditional, cold refreshing beetroot soup or "balandeliai".
Kaunas has plenty for everybody to see and experience. The macabre collection of nearly 3,000 devils at the Devils' Museum and exhibitions showing the unique artistic styles of the composer and painter M.K. Ciurlionis, as well as J. Maciunas, originator of the avant-garde Fluxus art movement.
Near the confluence of Lithuania's two largest rivers the Nemunas and the Neris, Kaunas Castle, built in the 13th century towers over the historic Old Town. The Town Hall and the impressive Thunder House are worth visiting. Also see the circle of nine forts, constructed at the times of the Russian Empire, surround Kaunas; the Ninth Fort hosting the museum for commemoration of the victims of the WW II.
To see all of Lithuania at just one place, visit the open air museum in Rumsiskes with its collection of authentic wooden villages representing each of the four regions of old Lithuania existing to date: Zemaitija, Aukstaitija, Dzukija, Suvalkija.
Every spring and autumn, the international Kaunas Jazz Festival showcases famous performers in a mix of familiar and non-familiar, large and small venues around the city. The internationally recognised Pazaislis Classical Music Festival lasts for three months each summer and hosts stars from all over the world.
In May, we host the annual Kaunas City Days which lights up the main pedestrian street from the New Town all the way through to the Old Town with fancy dress parades, street stalls, theatre processions, concerts, fairs and other eye-catching sights.
Throughout the year, national and international orchestras, choirs, ensembles, soloists and dancers charm the audiences in one of the many inside and outside venues. See opera at the Kaunas Castle Operetta, marvel at the Modern Dance Festival or check out the motorbikes and vintage cars exhibits of our annual Bike Show.
The southern architecture beneath the northern sky, the Vilnius amphitheatre nestled among hills, invaded by groves and barren areas, summer cumuli and autumn haze - all this gives a breathtaking view and radiates the spirit of freedom and individuality of Europe.
It is not surprising that the capital city of Lithuania is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in the Eastern Europe. Now the UNESCO World Heritage site, Lithuania's Capital is recognised as an attractive place, certainly worth visiting. Whether a fan of architecture or social life, opera, street festivals or shopping, Vilnius is an ideal stop when travelling near the Baltic States or Scandinavia.
If one hasn't heard much about Vilnius in the past, one can expect to in the future. So don't wait! Vilnius belongs on the list of the "must see" cities. One might come for a short stay and never quite get around to leaving.
Driving from Kaunas to Vilnius, drop in the 15th century Trakai Castle. This is the only castle island in the entire territory of the Eastern Europe. Trakai is also interesting because over 30 Karaim families live here, representatives of a Turkish ethnic group, the ancestors of which were invited by the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Vytautas the Great, to guard his castle in the 14th century. The Karaim community has preserved their religion, customs and culture up to the present times. Concerts and theatre festivals are organized in the Trakai Castle year round.
The National Geographic Institute of France defined the geographical centre of Europe 26 Km away from Vilnius, towards Moletai, near the Purnuskes village in 1989. Touch the memorial stone in the centre of the continent, visit the Tourist information centre to get a personal certificate verifying that one has been to the Centre of Europe!
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