An Unforgettable Family Fun Weekend in Klaipeda
Klaipėda is Lithuania’s third largest city, located in the north-western corner of the country. Originally founded by Baltic tribes, the city and castle was built by the Teutonic Order in 1252 and named Memel. This historic harbour town with fascinating past as former Prussian capital has a rich cultural heritage and became one of Lithuania’s most buoyant cities with a steadily growing tourist trade.
Klaipėda’s main sights are the historic buildings in the city’s centre, dating from the 13th to 18th centuries. The oldest fachwerk style buildings, influenced by Germanic culture, have been used since the foundation of the City. The tiny downtown houses and warehouses are being used by various art organizations – writers, artists and photographers. There you can find small art galleries, museums, souvenir shops and cozy cafes.
It’s the heart of the city with the sculpture of Ann from Tharau in the fountain. Simon Dach dedicated the poem to a girl named Ann: a poet fell in love with Ann, however, she was engaged to another man. The poem is still very popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The nicely redecorated building behind the sculpture is the Drama Theatre. Since the 18th century the theatre has played an important role in the cultural life of Klaipėda.
Port of Klaipeda
The city of Klaipėda has been involved in maritime trade and shipbuilding since as early as the 13th century, and probably during prehistoric times, since it is located on the Amber Road. The Port of Klaipėda is the most northerly ice-free port in the Eastern part of the Baltic Sea. It is the most important Lithuanian transportation hub, connecting sea, land and railway routes from East to West.
There is a one big and wide sand beach at Smiltynė, full of locals and tourists in the summer. Smiltynė beach is a part of UNESCO world heritage list. Giruliai and Melnragė beaches are at Northern Klaipėda, big and popular place to visit. The water in summer is clean and warm.
Danė Wharf – Sailing vessel Meridianas
Meridianas was built in 1948 in Finland and is now one of the most beautiful sights of Klaipėda. The vessel has been restored recently and shall reopen its restaurant in summer 2014.
Liepų street and Central Post Office
This street developed on the right bank of the river Danė in the 17th century. The new street later became popular with the aristocrats and rich merchants of the City. The Post Office was one of the most important institutions because Klaipėda was the hub of an important postal, as well as the passenger traffic from Russia to Europe. A carillon of 48 chromatically tuned Post bells can be heard playing for 30 min. every Sunday at midday.
This area is the cradle of Klaipėda culture life. The buildings complex was built during the XVIII century in old, fachwerk style warehouses. Nowadays various crafts workshops invite guests to feel the past times spirit by letting them try local traditional crafts. The Artists yard is popular among locals and many events always attract visitors.
Events and Festivals
Annual cultural events include Klaipėda Music Spring, the Klaipėda Castle Jazz Festival, Museum Nights, the International Festival of Street Theatres, the International Short Film Festival and the flamboyant Klaipėda Sea Festival, when Klaipėda celebrates its rich nautical heritage each July.
Gateway to the Curonian spit
Klaipeda is the springboard to the natural beauty of the Curonian Spit. This magical pigtail of land dangling off the western rump of Lithuania hosts some of the worlds’ most precious sand dunes and a menagerie of elk, deer and avian wildlife. The fragile spit, which Unesco recognised as a World Heritage site in 2000.
The unique Dolphins and Sea Lions Show is a family must-see. The eight energetic and cheerful dolphins have just returned home from Greece to the renewed Klaipeda Dolphinarium and are ready to rock the waters!
The sea lions join in the show by splashing water and entertaining the crowd with their comic nature. Definitely one of the best ways to spend a quality time with family. Great fun!
Where to Stay
Park Inn by Radisson Klaipeda hotel is the best place to stay in Klaipeda. The hotel is in a great, central location near the ferry boats wharf, quiet, convenient rooms and friendly staff will ensure your stay is enjoyable.