Klaipeda Travel Guide
Klaipeda is Lithuania’s third-largest city. For the most part, many travellers use this place as a transit point. This is a shame, as this city has its fair share of hidden gems. Once you’re done touring Curonian Split, check out its castles, museums, and other attractions.
Come check out our Klaipeda travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
If you’ve come to Klaipeda, there’s a decent chance you’re here to visit Curonian Spit National Park. Lithuania’s best-known nature reserve protects a 98-kilometre long sand spit, along with associated lagoons. Of that, 52 kilometres lie within Lithuania, with the rest falling within Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast.
Geologically, it is an infant, forming about 5,000 years ago. Human history in the area began in prehistoric times. According to local Baltic tribes, its creation was due to Neringa, a female giant. In the medieval era, pagans maintained a trading centre. Meanwhile, the Teutonic Knights started building castles in the area in the 13th century.
Closer to modern times, Enlightenment-era residents deforested the spit. In the 19th century, artists set up colonies in the region. From the early 20th century through to the present-day, Lithuanians and Germans built holiday homes nearby.
In the protected area of the national park, you’ll find the highest dunes in all of Europe. Depending on winds (which constantly shift its shape), they can reach 35 metres in height. Birders will love this park, as up to 20 million of our avian friends visit during migration seasons.
Klaipeda is not a cultural hot spot, but it does have a few sights of note. Begin by paying a visit to Klaipeda Castle. This attraction is far from intact – after archaeologists excavated its remains in 1968, work began on reconstruction.
A museum is set up in Prince Fredric chamber. This part of the castle was one of the only sections that survived the ages mostly intact. In its galleries, you’ll learn about the history of this keep and Klaipeda. Check out various artifacts as you walk amidst this atmospheric chamber.
Want to check out something a bit offbeat? Make time in your schedule to visit the Museum of Clocks. This unique institution was born in 1984 to serve as an offshoot of the Lithuanian Art Museum. They moved their burgeoning collection of timepieces into a 19th-century building, giving Klaipeda one of its top attractions.
1,700 pieces are on display, spanning from the Renaissance era to modern times. Additionally, you’ll find a beautiful sundial collection out in their garden – so, do make time to see this attraction!
Finish off your culture and history crawl in Klaipeda by stopping by Klaipedos Central Post Office. This beautiful Neo-Gothic structure still serves its original purpose – to organize and deliver mail. Within, you’ll find gorgeous mosaics. If you have a choice, make Sunday the day you visit. At noon every Sunday, a 48-bell carillon plays its sweet music for a half-hour!
If you have time to walk about town for hours, check out all the Sculptures of Klaipeda. Over the years, local artists have positioned many cool, thoughtful, and puzzling pieces throughout the city.
The smallest (and arguably, most popular) of the lot? The Golden Mouse. Standing a meek 17 centimetres tall, you’ll find this bronze rodent outside Kurpiai Jazz Club. According to local lore, if you whisper your dreams into its ears, they will come true someday.
The Black Ghost is another famous sculpture in the Klaipeda area. Affixed to a dock near Klaipeda Castle, this eight-foot-long spectre has a good story attached to it. According to legend, the Teutonic Knights were saved from famine by this ghostly figure. And in the late 16th century, a guard saw the ghost, who asked about the state of food supplies.
Many other statues are worth checking out. As you explore, you’ll find buckets of money, a little mermaid, and a chimney sweep to name a few.
Tour one of Lithuania’s most iconic ships and get in a good meal by boarding the Meridianas. A Finnish shipyard built the Meridianas to thank Russia after the Second World War. From 1948, this sailing ship served as an educational vessel for Lithuania.
After its decommissioning in 2013, its new owners moored it for the final time. Now, it serves as a museum and restaurant. On board, you’ll learn about the history of this vessel, and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy fine cuisine.
Learn about the sea creatures that call the Baltic Sea home at the Lithuanian Sea Museum. From seals to molluscs, you’ll know more about the area’s marine life than you did before. Also, this facility is home to a dolphin and sea lion show. If you have kids, be sure to check them out!