Remote work options now allow millions to stay in their travel destination for a longer period of time. Combining both the duties of work and the pleasure of travel, people are given the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and experience it like a true local.
Given the current state of tourism, Lithuania Travel—the country’s national tourism agency—has prepared a list of locals’ favorite places and activities in each of the country’s three biggest cities—Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipėda. Balancing lush nature and a rich range of multicultural experiences, the cities are easily explorable by foot or bike and offer a true quality relaxation in the places most adored by their residents.
Vilnius – the cozy capital
Filled with culture and life, Vilnius city center welcomes its visitors only a 15-minute drive away from the airport. This is where Paupys, one of the historical districts of the old-town, blooms in the most cultural diversity brought along by its residents. While it is still off most tourists’ radar, a freshly open area—Paupys market—has already become an acclaimed modern gastronomic space that houses many cultural events.
The locals’ old-time favorite, Barbakanas, is a spot situated just a short walk away from Paupys area. This original renaissance bastion—part of the UNESCO World Heritage List—offers a full view over the red-roofed Vilnius old-town and serves as a hang-out spot for the residents and visitors alike. Another short walk away, surrounded by picnic grass fields, basketball courts, and a skate park, The White Bridge square attracts countless spectators as hot air balloons rise above daily to catch the sunset.
MO Museum is the most residents’ go-to place for a modern art experience offering a collection of over 5000 modern and contemporary pieces dating from the 1960s to this day. For those keen to spend some time surrounded by nature, Belmontas—a common choice of local joggers and hikers—offers a showcase of waterfalls on the dam and verdant forest trails. It is also home to a host of unique geological wonders, such as the Pučkoriai outcrop—the largest one in Lithuania.
Kaunas – an urban open-air museum
The second-biggest city of Lithuania has plenty to offer as a city-break destination. The recently redeveloped Unity Square serves as a skate park for local skateboarders and families, and is filled with lunch spots for the local students and workers. Marked by its extravagant architecture, it has been awarded a prestigious iF Design award. Lastly, the square is littered with 40 fountains—a spectacle that the youngest country’s visitors particularly enjoy.
The Book Ministry is a bookshop cafe adored for its unique book selection and the seven types of Arabica coffee—a selection that is sure to appeal to each taste. The bookshop’s terrace is located right on the main pedestrian boulevard in the city—Liberty Avenue. Just a short walk away, Courtyard Gallery is a tiny, self-managed open-air gallery that has been built in cooperation with the residing neighbors and perfectly captures the unique charm of the city.
For a green break, Panemunės Šilas is just a short (bike) ride away from the city center. Being the largest park in Kaunas, it is frequented by the local joggers and bike enthusiasts for its beautiful scenery of Nemunas—the largest river in Lithuania.
Klaipėda – among pine forests and white beaches of the Baltic Sea
Nested on the shore of the Baltic Sea, Klaipėda offers a variety of nature activities for its residents and is perfect for those looking to spend more time in the fresh air. The Baltic breeze on the white beaches in Giruliai and Melnragė accompanies those sunbathing, swimming, or riding a bike along the seashore—the most common choices for a weekend activity, especially during sunny weather. Just a few minutes away—Melnragės pier provides a perfect spot to bid the sun a day’s goodbye.
Located by the river Danė, Žvejų street offers its visitors the chance to discover the city’s less-known old-town charm, and is where many locals gather to have a dinner out or simply enjoy a warm afternoon. This cobblestone street leads towards Smiltynė terminal, the only place to catch the ferry and visit the magnificent dunes of Curonian Spit that lure people from the whole country and abroad.
Balancing various natural and urban attractions, Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipėda enable a different lifestyle experience. Feel the true, authentic soul of these cities and immerse yourself into the real urban environment by living this real local experience—because “Real is beautiful.” Find more “like-a-local” spots to visit for the next urban getaway here.