port city in Lithuania
Europe > Baltic states > Lithuania > Lithuania Minor > Klaipėda
Klaipeda is Lithuania's third largest city, located in the north-western corner of the country. It is the gateway to the Curonian Spit, a stretch of sand dunes 99 km in length from 400 m to 4 km, in breadth that arcs down to the Kaliningrad region of Russia.
Street in Klaipeda
It was founded by Baltic tribes, and the city and castle was built by the Teutonic Order in 1252 and named Memel in honor of the river of the same name some 40 km to the south. For most of its history, Memel was part of Prussia and large battles with Lithuanian lords took place here. Invasions came from Sweden and Russia and the city was part of the Prussian Kingdom and became a prosperous harbor town. It represented the northernmost city in Germany and Prussia until 1918. After Germany lost the First World War, Memelland was first given free city status and then subsequently annexed to the newly established Republic of Lithuania. The Weimar Republic partly encouraged this annexation as it feared French influence on the League of Nation administration over the former German territory, which still bordered East Prussia, at the time a German exclave. It was briefly reabsorbed by Nazi Germany before World War II and then reverted to Lithuania (the Soviet Union) in 1945. Since Lithuanian independence in 1990, Klaipeda has become one of Lithuania's most buoyant cities with a steadily growing tourist trade.
Get in
By ferry
See also: Baltic Sea Ferries
Klaipeda Port
Port of Klaipėda. The port is one of the most important in Lithuania and sees ferry service from Sassnitz (Rügen, Germany), Kiel and Karlshamn, Sweden. It also handles a lot of freight and used to be an important link for railway ferries from the GDR to the USSR.
By plane
By bus
Bus Station, Butkų Juzės g. 9 (near the railway station), ☏ +370 46411547, ✉tarptkasa@klap.lt. Direct service throughout Lithuania and even into neighboring Kaliningrad Oblast (Russia) and Latvia. (updated Jan 2017)
By train
Klaipėda railway station. The station is served by the national railway several times daily from Vilnius (~4 hr). Trains aren't all that fast, but the tickets are affordable. The station opened in 1875 and was built by Prussia with parts of the original station still remaining.
Get around
Map of Klaipėda
By bus
A single paper ticket costs €0.70 (from a kiosk), or €0.80 (from the bus driver). Do not forget to validate these tickets.
Trips are cheaper when loaded onto an electronic card, ~€0.74 (day time) and ~€1 (night time), and you do not need money to carry around. Apart from that the cards do not have further advantages.
There is e.Ticket Klaipėda mobile app to buy tickets.
More information on Klaipėda passenger transport: http://www.klaipedatransport.lt/ and http://www.marsrutai.lt/
A bus departs from the Smiltyne old ferry terminal every 2 hr, a few minutes after the ferry arrives from Klaipėda. It's possible to take a bike on it for an additional charge.
By taxi
The easiest way to book a taxi is with the eTAKSI app for smartphones, a service similar to Uber/Lyft.
Taxi cost ~€0.29/km.
By ferry
To reach the Curonian Spit and Nida, you need to get onto a ferry first:
There are also ferries to Jaodkrantė; €1.40.
By bicycle
Du ratai bike rental is located near the old ferry terminal and rents bikes from €12 per day. Bikes are especially easy because they can be taken on the ferry to get around the Curonian Spit, which has a bike lane running along almost the entire length.
Blacksmith museum
Klaipėda is known for its main icons: sculpture Annchen von Tarau, located in theater square, old sailing ship Meridianas (there was a restaurant inside). There are also lots of small sculptures (sculpture of mouse, dog, dragon, chimney sweep, post pigeons and others) hiding in the old town.
There are several museums. The most popular include the History Museum of Lithuania Minor, the Klaipeda Picture Gallery, the Marine museum and the Clock museum. Klaipeda's old town is small but interesting. Anika Square has a balcony where Adolf Hitler addressed a crowd. Legend has it that Hitler was annoyed because the statue depicting "Anikė" of the Lithuanian folk tale was not facing him, so he had the statue removed. A replica is now in its place.
Sunset over the Baltic Sea
If you like nature, visit the Curonian Spit, which is only a couple of minutes by boat from the old ferry terminal (New ferry terminal for vehicles). In the summer ferries run every 30 min, from 06:00 till midnight. In other side (Smiltynė) you can visit the sea museum, ethnographic fisherman farmstead, take a walk on the pier, see the white sand beaches or just take a bus to Juodkrante or Nida (they are located 18 and 50 km from Smiltynė to the south). Renting a bicycle and cycling to Juodkrantė is a nice day trip. The forest is magnificent.
When coming from or staying in Klaipėda, it's possible to rent a bike there, take the ferry to Smiltynė, catch a bus to Juodkrantė and return by bike. See the get around section.
There is a big and wide sand beach at Smiltynė (at the Baltic Sea side), full of locals and tourists in the summer. The beach runs almost along the entire length of the Spit.
Giruliai and Melnragė beaches are at Northern Klaipėda, big and popular places to visit. The water is clean and warm in summer.
Klaipėda is a unique city - here you will not find shopping street or old town crowded with stores. Of course you will find some stores in the center but, most of them are located in big shopping malls such as: "Akropolis", "BIG", "BIG-2", "Herkaus Galerija", "Mega Plaza", "Studlentas", "Banginis", "Arena".
The biggest shopping mall is called Akropolis and it is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Baltics. Akropolis attractions include cinema, skating rink, restaurants, shops, 2 supermarkets, gym, pizzerias and so on.
If you are looking for non-expensive lunch you can go to any restaurant/bar and get the day lunch, from the day lunch menu. The time when you can eat day lunch is 11:30-14:00. It consists of a soup "day soup" and 2-4 main dishes. Approximate price is €3-4.
There is a decent selection of Lithuanian and Western restaurants, most of which are located around the city's main thoroughfare, Herkaus Manto street, and its continuation into the Old Town, Tiltu street. Main course prices range from €3 at the lower end up to around €20 at the higher end.
If you are looking for snacks, you will find small bakeries in city center and the old town.
There are also few popular bistros: "Friedricho bistro" at Herkaus Manto street, and not far from it there is Mažvydo alley "Alėja".
Klaipėda city is famous for its mysterious cheese fingers - you can't leave the city without trying this. These you can get in the bar "Senamiestis", located in Bažnyčių street 4. Many bars tried to copy famous cheese fingers but did not succeed.
In the city center and old town is not so easy to get fast food. The most common fast food is kebab, but still in the city center it isn't easy to find where you can get one. However, it is always possible to get some pizza slices or bakery items at a Maxima or IKI supermarket.
Klaipėda has one McDonald's restaurant (located next to the "Akropolis" mall, about 3 km south from the center).
Outdoor seating at the restaurant street Friedricho pasažas
The local brewery is Švyturys (Lighthouse, pronounced roughly SHVEE-too-rees). Klaipėda is known not only for its beer, locals are very into wineries. Almost on every corner you can find a small and cozy winery with huge variety of wines.
Balta Varna, Sukilėlių g. 18 (near Teatro square). A great down-to-earth but arty bar with cool music/decor/staff. 
As well you can find plenty of small and cozy pubs in the Old town "Herkus Kantas", "Leika", "Senamiestis".
Most of the pubs are located in the city centre and also in the southern part of the city. In the city centre there is old warehouse Memelis (now it is renovated and working as bar/club), there is a brewery inside and you can taste beer that's produced in the same building. Average price for a pint of beer in city center for pub €1.45-2.30.
Popular clubs include:
Night in Klaipeda, view of the sail ship Meridianas
Pajūrio kempingas (Seaside camping). In this camping place you can stay in a tent, camper, camping wagon or indoors. They offer a stay in one dorm room with five beds. Bungalow: Sept-May €40-50, June-Aug €60-65. Camping from €5 per person. (updated Nov 2017)
Stay safe
Klaipeda is a safe place but like anywhere you have to use common sense. Try to walk with a confident air and not look lost.
Go next

This city travel guide to Klaipėda is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.

Last edited on 7 December 2020, at 08:02
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